GF 2024 Spring Tour: Denham Springs vs. Lakeshore

On the fourth stop of the 2024 Gridiron Football Spring Tour, we stopped by Denham Springs High School where the Yellow Jackets hosted the Lakeshore Titans for their spring game. Despite big plays from both teams with the score being tied 14-14 in the scrimmage portion of the joint practice, it was the visiting Titans that got the better of the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard during the live action period with a 21-14 victory.

Lakeshore High School head coach Brent Indest is entering his third season with the Titans and is trying to bring the instant glory the program achieved in its first couple of years going to the Class 4A State Championship in 2017 and making the semifinals in 2019. Coach Indest has been a very successful coach in his own right as he held a 191-82 overall record at previous stops including Abbeville, Crowley, Kaplan, Carencro, and most notably, Catholic New Iberia where he led the Panthers to a state championship and a state runner-up finish.

After going 11-3 and 5-5 the last two years, the performance against a Class 5A team was positive signs even though there was some adversity that the Titans were also trying to overcome.

“We got our here today and got 65 dressed to their 165 dressed. It was a little intimidating, but we came out and put it in the end zone a bunch of times. We won the game portion. I was really happy about how we battled. We had four starters out and we lost a fifth one with an ACL. I’m not too happy about that, but you got to do what you got to do. We had a next man mentality, and we did that. We battled really well and, in our estimation, won the scrimmage.”

Lakeshore High School head coach Brent Indest

Coach Indest made a huge coaching hire during the offseason in getting his nephew Cory Brodie, who is the former Kaplan High School head coach, and already, the addition is making big waves as the Titans had two pick sixes to help the Titans win the scrimmage.

“We were way behind on defense. Two thirds of my defensive staff is brand new. We brought in Cory Brodie, who was the former head coach at Kaplan, and so prior to spring, we were getting a bunch of work in getting the offense together and it showed because that’s where we shined early. We had some breakdowns on defense, but the couple of plays that we made with two pick sixes from Caleb Larson and Kyle Gegenheimer. That was just fabulous. It is hard to lose a game when you have a couple of pick sixes.”

Lakeshore High School head coach Brent Indest
Lakeshore’s Caleb Larson gets a pick six against Denham Springs in the spring game.
Lakeshore’s Kyle Gegenheimer gets a pick six against Denham Springs in the spring game.
Lakeshore RB Dylan Cusachs scores on a touchdown run against Denham Springs in the spring game.

Well, it is next man up for Lakeshore and despite losing five starters, Coach Indest loves the mentality that his team has shown through spring.

Beau Bernard missed a wide-open receiver early, but after that, really settled down at quarterback. Geggenheimer has really helped us on both sides of the football at split end and at corner where he had a pick six. Our offensive line has had a good spring as well. Beauxdy Willie had a great spring. He got hurt yesterday in a freakish way running off the field. He has an Achilles issue, but he had a great spring.”

“There are a few more guys that stood out. The running backs Dylan Cusachs, Shawn Brown, and also our defensive tackle #99 Spencer Rogers along with a few other guys really impressed this spring.”

Lakeshore High School head coach Brent Indest

While looking ahead to the summer, the spring, especially the spring game, is a good time to look at what is ahead of schedule and what needs to be focused on when the Titans return back to the field.

“I think we can improve on finishing the last couple of series on offense. We need to continue to condition, and we need to continue to develop depth. I don’t like to do it at the 4A level, but we are going to need more guys that are learning a second position on the opposite side of the ball.”

“My message to the guys was that whether you get your butt kicked at the scrimmage or you kick somebody’s butt at the scrimmage or have an overall great scrimmage in which we feel great about, it is still 0-0. You can’t get too high, and you can’t get low from doing poor. It is 0-0. We are going to work on getting faster and stronger in the summer, continue to execute, have a great 7v7 summer, and do all the things that we need to do to get better.”

Lakeshore High School head coach Brent Indest

The Lakeshore Titans did take a step forward in the spring and for the home team, head coach Brett Beard has felt that his Denham Springs Yellow Jackets had an overall great spring even though the scoreboard said different in the spring game.

“I got everything out that I wanted in the spring game. I got to meet Coach Indest and deal with him. I love his energy and love how his kids played. They are really exactly what we needed. Of course, you can say that they got the win today. Hats off to them, but it is what I told our kids that the state championship isn’t won in May. At the end of the day, we won spring because through our eight practices, a walk-through, and a game, we are a lot better today than three weeks ago when we started.”

“We still have a lot of dudes that are going to be guys for us that we put a lot on. We are getting them ready for September and we are going through our growing pains and inexperience. Still, we have a lot of players that we are really excited about, playmakers we are really excited about, and the quarterback position we are really excited about. Our offensive line is now a year older after we took some lumps last year and watched them grow as the year progressed. We are excited about the spring and where we are at. These kids had a heck of a year and they are tired. It is time to shut them down and get those batteries going again when they get back in June.”

Denham Springs High School head coach Brett Beard

The good news is that the Yellow Jackets do have a lot of playmakers that flashed in the spring game. Jerry Horne returns for another year as the quarterback and made a lot of nice throws throughout the spring game, but he is getting some good competition from Da’Jean Golmond, who showed that he can be a starter too in this offense with his ability to extend plays in and outside of the pocket. Both quarterbacks especially found nice connections with Tylan Haynes, who consistently found his way open and made big plays in the game, especially when he was on the receiving end of a scoring toss from Horne on a scramble drill during the game. There were also other playmakers that Coach Beard was impressed with at the spring game.

“Tylan Haynes has a chance to be a special player. Of course, our two quarterbacks Jerry and Da’Jean are great players. #9 has had one of his best offseasons since he’s been here, and he has shown that. Colton LeBeouf had some good opportunities and really took advantage of it. I had to tell our guys that there’s five guys that can’t touch the football and six that can. We got a few dudes that are really good.”

“We have Brenton Paul in the backfield and DaSean Golmond to throw the ball to. There are guys that we can give the football to, but there’s only one football to go around. When people are game planning for us and they are trying to take away one to two guys, we still have four guys that can really hurt you, which gives us a chance to be scary offensively and that is what I am excited about.”

Denham Springs High School head coach Brett Beard
Denham Springs QB Jerry Horne finds his trusty WR Tylan Haynes on the scramble drill for the touchdown against Lakeshore in the spring game.
Denham Springs RB Brenton Paul scores a touchdown against Lakeshore in the spring game.

Like Coach Indest from Lakeshore, Coach Beard is one of the most respected coaches out there in South Louisiana and has done some great things at the previous head coaching stops including currently at Denham Springs where he led the Yellow Jackets to their best finish in 40 years with a 10 win season that put the Yellow Jackets in the Quarterfinals two seasons ago.

Last season was a disappointing season for the Yellow Jackets going 3-7, but in a way, the humbling season has made this an even tougher group.

“Our kids aren’t going to quit. They are going to fight for 48 minutes or 24 minutes like it was today. If you take away the two pick sixes, it is a totally different game. Sometimes, kids need to experience that and be on the wrong side to understand that. The critical plays and critical turnovers that lead to sixes, the percentages of winning goes down when an offense gives up a touchdown and it goes down drastically with two. We did that today, but again, it’s May. Our guys need to learn that and they need to feel that so when we go back and correct it, we can grow from there.”

Denham Springs High School head coach Brett Beard

After ten practices, Coach Beard knows that his team needs a break, but he and the coaching staff has a plan for his guys when they return back to the practice field for summer and fall camp.

“We are giving them a break until June 3rd. We are going to crank it up this summer. It is going to be intense. We are going back to the basic and to some of the things that we have done in the past in getting teams ready. We are continuing to get them comfortable and again, we can’t play enough football. They need to have the 7v7 reps. I am not a big 7v7 guy, but I know its place and with our young dbs, we need it so more now than the last few years with all the guys we had back there every year. We are going to get through June and crank it up in July.”

“Our guys just need to play football. They got to be out here on this turf, and they got to be out there together. We will continue to grow this and work the process. We are honing in on the details that we’ve struggled on and decide what is we are good at and what team we are going to be. Of course, come September, we are going to be a different team and you will see a different team in October and a better team in November. Our job as coaches are to continue to work them, train them, and make them better.”

Denham Springs High School head coach Brett Beard

As Coach Beard mentioned, the Yellow Jackets are replacing some key pieces in a very talented secondary including Maison Vorise, who signed with Hutchinson Community College, and Da’Shawn McBryde, who is an early enrollee at LSU and has really made a great first impression.

“I am not surprised. The kid is a freak athlete. He is 6’4 and he can run. The biggest thing for Da’Shawn that I can tell most everybody on why he is going to be successful is that sometimes those four or five star dudes have to do so much and when you step on a campus at LSU with all those dudes, he has got to compete every single day and bring it every single day. Being around that type of player everyday competing and going against those SEC caliber receivers day in and day out, you are going to see a different McBryde. He’s really fast, savvy, very football intelligent, incredibly hard working, instinctive, and can do everything they need. He is so multiple. There is going to be a place for him to play.”

Denham Springs High School head coach Brett Beard

Losing special players like Da’Shawn McBryde hurts, but again, Yellow Jacket fans should be excited for the future stars and the excitement about what this upcoming team has to offer.

“If you want to take a look at this snippet and judge off of it, we made some bad mistakes that put us in a hole. We dug a hole like we did a few times last year, but just like in the past, we have kids that are gritty. They are not going to quit. They are not going to point their fingers, whine, and make excuses. They are going to dig in, keep fighting, chip away, and you saw that from this team. We got to stop the hole we are digging ourselves in and start faster, but you are going to see a gritty team and a team that is a lot of fun to watch.”

Denham Springs High School head coach Brett Beard

Check out the photos taken by Denham Springs student Jaxson Leblanc! Make sure to follow Jaxson on Instagram: @leblanclens!

For our more recent stops on the Gridiron Football Spring Tour, click below!