GF Media Day 2023 Preview: East Iberville High School (St. Gabriel, LA)

Head Coach Justin Joseph and the East Iberville Tigers are looking to bring that playoff atmosphere back to the community. Following the departure of head coach Ron LeJeune in 2019, Justin Joseph led the Tiger football team to the semifinals in the LHSAA playoffs. In just his first season as head coach, his team was that close to being able to compete for a state championship. Coach Joseph is looking to bring that type of winning atmosphere back to the community and the players themselves.

Justin Joseph has been around football all of his life, especially ever since he graduated from high school. From starting as a volunteer coach to now being the head coach of his own team, Joseph has learned many things along his journey.

“I graduated from high school, Istrouma High School, in 2006. The year I graduated, I started as volunteer coaching football. I was working with a little league team in Baton Rouge, and I was also going help and volunteer at Desire Street Academy where my mom had worked.”

East Iberville Head Coach Justin Joseph

Coach Joseph lets it be known that football is deeply embedded in this community. Whenever the Tigers are having success, the town thrives on it and loves every bit of it.

“Oh yeah, when we are winning games, it’s going to be electric in that in that stadium. The community rallies around our team just regularly, but when we’re winning, they kind of take some pride and ownership of it so you can’t come through St. Gabriel on a Friday night when the Tigers are winning, that’s for sure.

East Iberville Head Coach Justin Joseph

Relating back to the community, Coach Joseph thinks because they are in a smaller school district that the football program gets the attention it needs from the people in town. He mentions how even the superintendent and him have a relationship based around football. He thinks things are only going up from here.

“Oh yeah, I’ve been a lot of places, but one thing I can say is that community here is so closely knit. I can go out in the community, and people recognize me and they’re talking about football. My superintendent, being in small school district, he’s coming around and talking about football and that’s like no other. You know, coming from East Baton Rouge, there’s a lot of schools there, so you’ll be surprised or you’ll be lucky if you can even talk to the superintendent.”

East Iberville Head Coach Justin Joseph

He describes their district and how it can fluctuate each year from team to team. He thinks the key to their success in the district is just taking one game at a time and being consistent.

“Our district sees some changes year in and year out. I think we’ve been pretty consistent so just kind of building that culture in our district and trying to keep up with Ascension Catholic. Ascension Catholic is good and they have a great formula for building what they are doing. One that, you know, we’re trying to follow to a certain extent, but the key is that we’re just getting what comes to us.”

East Iberville Head Coach Justin Joseph

Justin Joseph talked very highly of the athletes in attendance at the GF Media Day event. He thinks they all will play a huge role in the success of their team this fall. The East Iberville Tigers that were in attendance were Ashontis Brooks, Darien Thomas, and Theo Dunn.

“I’ll start with Darien Thomas. I brought him today because he is our quarterback. He has a really strong arm and is a really smart kid when it comes to the game of football. Sometimes I am looking at him and he is looking back at me and we already are thinking the same thing, and that’s just great to have with your quarterback. And when we’re not, I kind of lean towards him because he’s on the field and I trust him. Another guy is Theo Dunn, who is our wing back and free safety. He is reluctant at times to move over from cornerback, but if you are a safety, you can roam freely and force the other team to run the ball because they won’t be able to throw against him.

East Iberville Head Coach Justin Joseph

Coach Joseph sees the future for East Iberville as a bright one. He thinks as the community grows larger and larger, that the school will continue to become better than it already is.

“I think East Iberville is definitely growing. That’s for sure. The community is growing and and with that growth comes a bigger pot of athletes to pick from. So if we can retain everyone who’s coming through St. Gabriel to come to East Iberville or MSA, then the future’s bright for East Iberville football for sure.”

East Iberville Head Coach Justin Joseph
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