North Iberville High School is making a comeback. After opening the school’s doors for the first time since 2009 last year, the football team has also made a nice resurgence as well under head coach Joshua Gast. The football team had its first season since the school came back last fall and it was a great debut for not only Coach Gast, but the entire team with the program posting a winning record last fall.
“Last year was kind of survival mode for us. We went through the program together in July and barely got pads in time to pull off a season, but we made it happen. We played a JV schedule and went 4-3. That was a positive to build off of. We actually got out the gate to win our first three games, lost a few, and then, we finished strong at the end. Going into the offseason, this is something that we hope that we can build off of.”North Iberville Head Coach Joshua Gast
Even though the program is entering its second and final year of playing a junior varsity schedule before making the transition into full-time varsity action in 2024, Coach Gast feels that this two-year buffer before going out to varsity action is the perfect transition for an upstart program.
“That two-year JV buffer is kind of perfect for building a varsity program. In the first year, you hit a lot of roadblocks and you learn a lot. By the time that they are in varsity, the kids look back at that film and they are disgusted. We are hoping that we can continue to make big steps each year as we build.”North Iberville Head Coach Joshua Gast
Coach Gast is familiar in helping upstart programs make smooth transitions from junior varsity to playing varsity action. Playing at a consistent 5A program for St. Paul’s in Covington, Louisiana, Gast took what he knew from playing for longtime head coach Ken Sears and brought that to Liberty as the offensive coordinator where he and head coach Drey Trosclair helped start the Liberty football program back up. Like at North Iberville, Liberty also went through two junior varsity seasons before finishing 10-2 and winning the district title in their first varsity season. Coach Gast wants to achieve similar success with the Bears.
“What did the most for me was help gage my expectations and set the pace for something like this. My first six years coaching was at St. Paul’s. It is a 5A program and totally opposite of what I’m dealing with at a 1A program. At Liberty, it showed me what the expectation should be in the learning curve.”North Iberville Head Coach Joshua Gast
Not only does his experience carry over to building the Bears’ program, but Gast can go to a couple of different coaches on the Bears staff that have multiple years of head coaching experience including former Northeast head coach David Masterson, former East Iberville head coach Solomon Lee, and former North Iberville head coach Marcus Hill on staff as well as former East Iberville, Tara, St. John, and Belaire head coach Ron LeJeune as the school’s athletic director.
“To have four former head coaches at the school is great. They do a great job in helping me out and it is very humbling. I am very lucky especially in a startup program to have such a great staff working with me.”North Iberville Head Coach Joshua Gast
For Gridiron Football’s inaugural Media Day, Coach Gast brought three of his players to the event including two-way player Corey Domino and two seniors on the lines of scrimmage in Jordan Philson and Brodie Jones. Although two of those players will not get the experience of playing a varsity schedule, they will get the chance to put their stamp on the growing football program.
“I brought two seniors and I have a lot of respect for those guys because they won’t be part of our first varsity season so they came out and they wanted to be a part of our program. They want to set the foundation to what future Bears want to be a part of. I have a lot of respect for them because they show up all summer and will work for just one JV season. I brought Jordan Philson and Brodie Jones, who anchor our defensive line and lead that side of the football. We also brought Corey Domino, who is a junior and will have one varsity season with us. He is a two-way guy and flies around all over the place in the defensive backfield. He also plays wide receiver.”North Iberville Head Coach Joshua Gast
The future of the program is also very bright as there were six North Iberville 8th graders that participated and showed out in this past season’s Gridiron Football Junior High All-American Bowl Game including Ja’Vonta Thomas, Dekai Butler, Jeremy Favorite, Brinten Harris, Braylon Christmas, and Bra’Jon Melancon.
The middle school program has had plenty of success, which will help the program even more as they set their sights on playing Class 1A football in the near future. What also helps is that the Maringouin community is fully behind the Bears 100 percent.
“The community allured me to the job. I heard of North Iberville in the past, and they weren’t short selling the community at all. The community came out big time for a small JV schedule and they loved it. If I can just get more of the same around our community and around our program, the future is really bright. I am blessed to have the community support at North Iberville.”North Iberville Head Coach Joshua Gast
North Iberville is certainly back on the map and on the rise for the years to come.
To read more about the latest programs that participated in our Gridiron Football Media Day, click below!