North Vermilion Patriots
2019 Record: 5-6
Head Coach: Brett Blakey
Note: Must replace district MVP Darius Gilliam
The 2019 season was a bit of a rollercoaster for North Vermilion. There was the good - district MVP Darius Gilliam - and the bad - a defense that surrendered 359 points.
Head coach Brett Blakey converted the defensive scheme to a 3-3 stack last year. He said watching tape this summer the struggles on defense were not schematic, but fundamentals. He cited an over-focus on installing the system as the problem. But it wasn't all bad. On homecoming night against Rayne North Vermilion shut out the Wolves 27-0.
"Our homecoming game against Rayne, we held them to zero points. We played great on defense that week," said senior Collin Trahan.
That shutout is encouragement that defense can be good this fall, and it may be needed if North Vermilion wants to make it back to the 4A playoffs.
The Patriots graduated starting running back Kendrick Baudoin and district MVP Darius Gilliam. The quarterback rushed for over 1,000 yards. The team's top play-makers on offense are gone. Without a spring period, finding the "next man up" has been a tasked moved to August.
"We're using the month of August as our spring, the evaluation period," said Blakey0 We had about 12 or so days where we were working out and practicing. So it allows us a look at these guys going forward, where if we are lucky enough to put the pads on and play October 8th, we have a leg up going forward."
Replacing Gilliam is the taller of two tasks. Gilliam threw, rushed and caught balls at times last year. But the Patriots have options. Quarterbacks Ethan Guidry and Dale Martin are competing for the starting job, and both took reps at quarterback last fall.
"We have some good competition," said Martin. "All the quarterbacks here work hard and are dedicated and whoever gets the position, will be in a good position."
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