Chalmette High School Owl JamboreeSep 5th, 2013 | By admin | Category: Sports
By: J. Bickford
After the conclusion of the 2012 football season, Owl coach Jason Tucker figured he had a solid defense with more than seven starters returning for next year, but all that changed when preparation for the upcoming season started this month.
As Tucker starts his seventh season as head coach at his alma mater, he and his coaching staff which has also undergone some changes as well would count upon an experienced defensive unit although young with mostly sophomores and freshman playing in 2012.
As the oldest high school football jamboree in the metro─started in 1962─Chalmette hosts the two shortened games on Friday, August 30 at Bobby Nuss Stadium. After Hannan and Pearl kickoff the event at 6 p.m., the Owls battle Riverdale in the second game scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
A week later, Chalmette opens the regular season by hosting Slidell at 7 p.m. at Bobby Nuss Stadium. Last year’s season opener at home against Berwick was cancelled by a tropical storm, giving the Owls only nine regular season games. The 2013 schedule has Chalmette playing six home games in the regular season.
For the upcoming season, Tucker knew changes had to come to the offense as
all the skilled players graduated – QB Sean Beckwith, RBs Cameron Cosie and Mike Mercadel, fullback Daniel Davis, wide receivers Anthony Williams and Devon Mitchell which produced nearly 90 percent of the team’s offense.
Waiting three years for his chance to start, senior quarterback Timmy Alphonso will be counted upon to use his size to turn the Owl offense into a balanced attack. At 6-1, 195 pounds, Alphonso is the biggest player to call signals for Chalmette in more than a decade.
“We hope he can be a dual threat,” said Coach Tucker.” We look to run Timmy more than Sean was called upon, simply because we didn’t want to take the chance that at Sean’s size he wouldn’t be able to physically take the number of designed running plays we expect Timmy to excute this year.
With Timmy’s size he can even run over LBs or DBs if he’s faced with that action. Second, Timmy needs to be consistent for us to have an effective offense for us to win games.
Tucker continued, “There are no sure wins and there are no sure losses, considering the schedule we have had to play especially in the district the past two years.”
“The offensive line needs to gel,” the coach said. “We have made several changes in that area for the upcoming season. We hope for a bright future for this year and next as well with only two starters as seniors in that starting 11.”
Joining Alphonso as seniors are running back Kemori Junius and wide receiver Andrew Berthelot, who is the only one of two true returing starters on that side of the ball. Junior Cory Pierce switches from defensive back to wide receiver as a starter.
On the O-line only junior Zeke Keirsey, 6-1, 235 pounds, returns as a starter.
However, Zeke changes positions as he moves from tackle to center and will also play guard. Most of the linemen will play multi-positions. Sophomore Jason Tucker, a starting defensive end as a freshman last season before his ninth grade year was cut short by a leg injury, has switched sides of the ball and will line up at offensive tackle and at 6-2, 230, those two will play a major role in protecting Alphonso on passing plays and opening holes on running plays.
Joining them as starters are junior Ryan Youngs (6-1, 220) at guard, Julio Cabrera (6-0, 225) at both center and tackle, Jason Madrid (6-1, 220) and big Damian Borderon at 6-3, 260 pounds at guard and center.
Junior wide receiver Malik Blaise will combine with Pierce to become Alphonso’s primary longball receiving threats while sophomore running back Jayvon Lewis offers explosive speed to become a biggain running threat and William Wei has changed to “H-back” to make an impact on offense.
Defense starter changes are Jalin Scott who has switched from LB to DT with other starters sophomore Reynard Carter at NT, Tyler Lund at DE and senior David Richard opposite Lund at DE and Bryce Curtis to alternate at DT.
The linebacking spots are anchored by junior Austin Bergeron, junior Brandon Tuesno, sophomore Walter Sterling at a strong 5-8, 205 an Seb Gipson as back-up DL.
Two starters return in the secondary in CB Erin Rodriguez and the other Lambert. Two seniors get their first starts in 6-4, 215 Michael Richardson and Connor Dana. Blake Walker, a senior, will play the nickel position on defense.
Special teams seem to be set as last year in kicker/punter Maynor Ayala with Cory Pierce and Connor Lambert handling kickoff returns and Andrew Berthelot and Erin Rodriguez handling the punt returns.
Even though he did not connect on a field goal last season, Ayala should become another offensive weapon with a much stronger leg as a senior.
Tucker counts upon Ayala to use that leg as the punter and put teams deep in their own territory when the Owls have to give the ball up when a drive stalls. The head coach likes his improved ability to kick the ball out of bounds or sky kicks on both kickoffs and punts to improve special team play by Chalmette.
Staff in the coaching staff, veteran Richard Walker now takes ove as Offensive Coordinator after serving as the team’s Defensive Coordinator since arriving at Chalmette several years ago.
Chris McNamara who coached at Chalmette before Hurricane Katrina and then returned from a stint in Georgia and several other stops at Livonia, East Jefferson and Higgins second year
in his return will tutor the goal guarders as Defensive Coordinator.
The jamboree pits Hannan and Pearl River in the first game at 6 p.m. while Chalmette plays the second game against Riverdale at 7:30 p.m. The Owls open the regular season at home against Slidell with a 7 p.m. kickoff.