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Acadiana Kickoff Tour 2022: Opelousas

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Posted at 6:57 PM, Aug 03, 2022

Opelousas Tigers

2021 Record: 6-6
District: 5-4A
Head Coach: Jimmy Zachery
Note: Returning 18 total starters

Opelousas built a solid foundation in 2021.

The Tigers were a team that battled with adversity from injury early on, which forced head coach Jimmy Zachery to start 14 freshmen.

Things were a little shaky in the first half of the season as the guys grew from boys to men quickly.

“You take a risk when you start that many freshmen,” Zachery said. “That’s not heard of anywhere, but you take the risk with the reward of them being more seasoned. They have more experience. They took the bumps as freshmen, and you try to grow them up fast. Hopefully, these guys grew up and we can pick up from where we left off.”

“I was spooked when they started me,” Tigers quarterback Zackeus Malveaux said. “I had big shoes to fill. I’m the guy."

2021 showed a glimmer of hope for Opelousas as they finished the season 6-6 and made a second-round playoff appearance.

The Tigers return 18 starters total where a top strength is experience.

Their roster is full of young players on paper but on the field, it’s a different story. Zachery is confident his team can compete with the best of the best.

“Being as young as they are, we have size, strength, speed,” Zachery. “I don't think they look at another opponent and feel like they’re bigger than us because they’re big too. That's one of the things we’ve been preaching this summer: know who you are.”

“We know our jobs with this year’s team,” Tigers linebacker Corey Amos said. As an incoming freshman, you don’t know your job. Now, we learn how high school football really is. I’m going to be a problem. Last year I wasn't as good, but this year I'm going to be a problem.”

In competing with the best of the best, Opelousas opens their season at Teurlings, which is a non-district team they fell to in the last two years.
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