East Feliciana head football coach Darius Matthews is looking to make a statement this fall and have an impressive season. His love for the game of football is what drives him to be a football coach. Being on the staff before he was hired as the head coach a few years ago has really helped him develop a culture from within. He was the school’s offensive coordinator before taking on the head coaching role before the 2020 season began. This Tiger football program is looking to be taken to new heights under Darius Matthews.
“Football has been my entire life story probably ever since peewee. From there and then all the way through high school and college for sure, I came up behind some guys. My family members, my brothers, first cousin all played football so I was always around it. Melvin Spears who was once the head coach at Grambling is kind of one of my mentors. Then I can talk about Doug Williams and how he’s my first cousin. Football was always bred into me so it just was a way of life for me.”East Feliciana Head Coach Darius Matthews
Coach Matthews has had a long coaching career at a few different places. He was a former running backs coach at Grambling and Alcorn State, so he knows a few things about scoring points and moving the ball downfield. When asked how he thinks they’ll win games this season, he described it as such:
“We are just looking to dominate. We looking to dominate everyone. I think we have a good group of guys coming back who have all been together since peewee football. So yes, we are basically looking to dominate every Friday night.”East Feliciana Head Coach Darius Matthews
Being from the area, Coach Matthews describes the atmosphere as very homey there. He thinks that football brings this community together like no other, and describes how it used to be when he was in school and still is like today:
“I mean, it’s home. First of all, I was raised here you know. It combined to be Clinton and Jackson, but even back when it was Clinton High on a Friday night you could walk into the stadium at 5:30 and the bleachers are full on both sides so, that ‘s just a great environment to play in and then everybody brags on the great turkey wings. So that’s the great thing about East Feliciana football is the support we receive.”East Feliciana Head Coach Darius Matthews
The district for East Feliciana will be a tough task for sure, but Coach Matthews thinks they have what it takes to make it out and into the playoffs once again. He describes how the teams they will be going up against will be experienced and ready for anything, and then he specifies a few individually:
“To me, it’s a tough district. You’re talking about playing against Episcopal and Dunham who basically dominated the district for the last few years. Then you talk about Capitol who’s got Keith Woods back, and he’s a guy who has great football knowledge with a team that’s made the playoffs every year. With the exception of maybe one team in our district, everybody makes the playoffs year in and year out so that speaks highly of the district right there.”East Feliciana Head Coach Darius Matthews
Coach Matthews brought three young men with him and spoke very highly of them. He feels as if the success of their football team starts with these three guys. ATH Stanley Gilmore, DE Bryal Flowers, and ATH Takiri White will all have large roles on this football team according to Coach Matthews.
“Well it’s like I always tell them, ‘either you be the example or I’ll make an example out of you’ so they are in charge of our team and are the leaders. Like I tell them, ‘we will go as far as they take us.’ When you’re talking about Stanley, I tell him everyday how unbelievable his talent and skills are and he doesn’t even know it or focus in on it so we’re trying to push him out there and take that role as the leader both offensively and defensively. Then, you talk about a guy in Takiri White. He’s a kid who works so hard and his work ethic has grown so much since he was a freshman. His ability and his skillset is going to help us so much. Then, you talk about Bryal Flowers who will lead us on defense. He’s going to be one of our bigger and stronger defensive ends who gives us good pass rush and holds that end down. When you have to stop that counter from Dunham and Episcopal, you have to have someone with a little weight out there and he’ll be our guy.”East Feliciana Head Coach Darius Matthews
“Well, I think we were going in the right direction. Like I said when you get kids like Stanley Gilmore, Bryal Flowers, and Takiri White, things are hopeful. Not to mention, we have a great group of offensive lineman coming back next year so I think the future for East Feliciana football is going to be bright and going to be prosperous. We have a bunch of freshmen coming in that are going to be really good so we just have to keep them focused and at home.”East Feliciana Head Coach Darius Matthews