West St. John is young, but has experience going into 2020 season

Published 8:07 am Friday, October 2, 2020

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EDGARD — West St. John enters this season after reaching the quarterfinals last season.

Rams coach Brandon Walters, who is in his 21st year of coaching overall, 16th at West St. John and sixth as West St. John’s head coach, guided the team to a 6-3 regular season record in 2019. The Rams were defeated by Logansport, 22-14, in the Class 1A playoffs.

Walters said the team is extremely young, but has guys who have played on both sides of the ball.

Walters said in mid-September that the roster numbers are down. They have about 35 players, but normally have about 40 to 45 players.

West St. John lost eight starters total with three or four each on offense and defense.

Walters said they will be doing a lot more two-way guys until players step up.

“We’ll do a lot by committee until guys step and put their stamp on the job,” Walters said. “We’re going to give everybody an opportunity to do what’s best. The guys that do it well and are most consistent with it will be the guys that are out there. We traditionally play the best 11. Those guys train for it. Some of our guys play offense, defense and special teams. It’s going to be a trying year for everybody, but we haven’t had any problems this summer with anything and our kids have done a great job of following the guidelines.”

Last season, West St. John recorded 4,478 total yards and was pretty balanced. The Rams threw for 2,280 yards with 19 touchdowns and ran for 2,198 and 27 scores.

Walters said the Rams are led by senior Ferdinand Young. Walters said Young played primarily wide receiver and was a backup quarterback. This year, he will be a first-year starting quarterback and the team is looking for big things from him to lead the team.

Kaejean Kindrick is a slot receiver/kick returner and sometimes will in the backfield at running back. Walters said he’s an athlete.

Kindrick caught 25 passes for 651 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran 14 times for 135 yards and a touchdown. Kindrick had six returns for 140 yards and a pair of scores.

Jacob Ellis is a main two-way starter for West St. John, as he will play defensive tackle and offensive line. Walters said Ellis is a very versatile player, who will move around the offensive line depending on matchups.

Jason August is an offensive lineman/defensive tackle. Last year, made 61 tackles, 11 for loss and five sacks.

Tylan Pierre will likely go both ways at tackle on both sides of the ball.

Jakobe Lewis is a kicker/defensive end and offensive tackle. Lewis tallied 46 stops, five for loss and three sacks last season.

Some of the secondary players include Kylan Smith and Jaydon Hamilton. Both players are defensive backs and running backs. Hamilton made 31 stops, three for loss and he intercepted two passes.

Devin Hall will mainly play strong safety. He had 38 tackles, one for loss in 2019.

Walters said Kailep Edwards, who plays middle linebacker and defensive end, has had multiple Division I offers for college. Edwards posted solid numbers last season. He had 61 stops, 13 sacks, 22 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered and a defensive touchdown.

Walters said they will also plug in Edwards offensively.

“He’s extremely athletic,” Walters said. “He runs well. He’s one of the legs in our 4×100 and 4×200 (relay teams), so he will be involved with our offense somewhere. We’re going to give him an opportunity. He’s been asking since last year.”

West St. John is scheduled to open the season on Oct. 2 against Lutcher Charter School at home.


This article was submitted by Chris Kinkaid of the Bogalusa Daily News, and he may reached at chris.kinkaid@bogalusadailynews.com.