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East St. John looks to solidify new standard

RESERVE — East St. John has seen steady growth over the last few seasons, but this is the first time since 2006 that the Wildcats have advanced to the competitive Class 5A football finals.

No. 18 seed East St. John will travel to No. 10 seed West Monroe this Friday night for a 7 p.m. quarterfinal game. If successful, The E will advance to the semifinals to face the winner of Friday’s game between No. 3 Zachary and No. 6 Alexandria.

Last week, East St. John emerged from the second round of the playoffs with a 19-17 upset victory over the No. 2-seeded John Ehret in Reserve. The Wildcats are fielding an impressive 7-1 record, with the only loss of the season delivered by the talented Destrehan Wildcats.

Coach Brandon Brown said this year’s success is a result of buy-in.

“This is year three with myself being here, and they are buying in. The kids want better. They want more,” Brown said. “We talked about setting a new standard over at East St.John, and I told the kids I wanted them to be at the forefront of that. I want them to be the standard. We’re just trying to set a new standard, and our kids are playing with passion right now.”

Defeating West Monroe next week would be another step to solidifying the new standard, according to Brown. West Monroe, a known powerhouse in 5A, has a 6-1 record for the year.

“West Monroe has always been a great team. It’s no different now. It’s going to be an intense atmosphere,” Brown said. “They’re used to winning championships, so that’s what we want. We want to be able to beat teams like that. West Monroe in the state of Louisiana has always kind of been the standard of high school football, so we want to show we belong in that conversation.”