The next Gridiron Football Media Day preview highlights the Southern Lab Kittens. Led by head coach Darrell Asberry, the Kittens are one of the Baton Rouge area’s top football programs having won numerous state championships including a Division IV Select State Championship two seasons ago. Now, the Kittens are looking to get back to the state championship in 2023 after losing to Vermilion Catholic in the Quarterfinals last season.
“For starters, we have been putting in some work. The kids have been working hard and I have been very impressed with what we have out there. The coaches have done a great job and I am expecting an exciting season. We are big, fast, strong. We are expecting a great season this year.”Southern Lab Head Coach Darrell Asberry
The Kittens’ offense looks to use their elite athleticism to their advantage by having a fast pace, up-tempo offense this fall.
“We have been focusing more on high tempo. Getting the ball downfield and a lot of people do high tempo with no production, but we want to make sure to be productive and get the ball in the hands of the playmakers at the right place at the right time. The plus is that everybody is special on offense and everybody is special on defense. We don’t have just individual players that we are targeting to get the ball out there. We just want to make plays.”Southern Lab Head Coach Darrell Asberry
There are a lot of guys on the Kittens football team that can make plays. Like there always is on Southern Lab’s campus, there is DI talent pretty much everywhere you look. This year is no exception. The Kittens’ senior class is led by two 2024 Power Five commitments in Miami defensive back commit Dylan Day and Ole Miss OT commit Jude Foster. Both players were at the Gridiron Football Media Day event and talked about their commitments.
“Honestly, it just felt like home. They just made me feel like a priority. That was big for me. They took care of my family. They just made everything genuine. They kept it real.”Southern Lab three-star defensive back and Miami commit Dylan Day
“It’s truly amazing. It’s truly a blessing going against a bunch of four stars, five stars, and a bunch of good guys. I am really excited about it.”Southern Lab three-star offensive tackle and Ole Miss commit Jude Foster
These two Power Five commitments have made it a priority to help the Kittens try and achieve their goals of winning their second state championship in three years. Coach Asberry brought his guys to Media Day not only because of their talent, but also their commitment to the program.
“These guys that I brought with me have been here for four years. Two of the young men Dylan Day and Jude Foster, I’ve had since they were in 8th grade. They are great young men and great student athletes. They are great young men on and off the football field. They’ve exemplified the Southern Lab way. They will be moving on and wish nothing but the best for those guys, but right now, they understand the business at hand, which is to get back to the Superdome.”Southern Lab Head Coach Darrell Asberry
The third guy that Coach Asberry brought with him to Gridiron Football’s office was another senior that knows the task at hand, and his name is Marlon Brown. Brown had some big shoes to fill last year as he had to replace four year starting quarterback and state champion Angelo Izzard under center. However, the first year starting quarterback had a great season in throwing for over 40 touchdowns last season. The dual threat signal caller could be in for a big senior season and Asberry has been pleased with what he has seen over the offseason.
“Marlon Brown has been with me. He played behind Angelo Izzard and stepped right in last year. He really went to work. He put a lot of time in and has studied tons of film. He has really transitioned and has gained 15 pounds over the summer so he has gotten a whole lot stronger and faster. The game has slowed down for him so now, I expect big things out of him.”Southern Lab Head Coach Darrell Asberry
All three players have represented the Southern Lab way on and off the field as all three players have been invited to play in the 2023 Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game at the end of the season. Along with his quarterback, there are a couple of other players that Ausberry is excited about this fall.
“Starting with our quarterback Marlon Brown. You are talking about a player that threw for over 40 touchdowns last year. Linebacker Ashton Raymond had over 129 tackles last year. We also have Douglas Thornton. He is flying under the radar, and much more kids. You are going to see them and we are going to make sure that these guys get recognized and exploit them a little bit more. I am expecting big things.”Southern Lab Head Coach Darrell Asberry
Coach Asberry has already led the Kittens to a state championship just two years ago and knows what that championship formula is in order for the Kittens to achieve that success once again.
“I am a Southern Lab grad. I know it’s always going to be a physical game. There is a lot of excitement offensively. Southern Lab has always been known for great defense. We are going to try and continue that tradition defensively.”Southern Lab Head Coach Darrell Asberry
The program has sent numerous of players to the college level and even some have or are excelling in the NFL including Marcus Spears, Damone Clark, Tyrion Davis-Price, Chris Allen, and others just to name a few. That message of getting players to college and helping them excel in their careers whether it is professional football or anything else still resonates with Asberry.
“You hope to get guys in that want to take care of academics first and want to go to college because we want to put kids in college. We want the kids that are college material into the program starting from our middle school program. We are bringing back our middle school football program. We want to build this thing from the ground up.”Southern Lab Head Coach Darrell Asberry
Expectations are high for the Kittens this upcoming season as they will be in the thick of a championship race this fall. They will have a tough non-district schedule that includes Liberty Magnet, Madison Prep, Opelousas Catholic, and Avoyelles as well as a tough district schedule including the likes of Kentwood, Central Private, Slaughter Charter, and Thrive Academy. Coach Asberry encourages the fans to come out and support the team, but he already knows that the community will be there every Friday night to support their Jaguars every Friday night in Mumford Stadium.
“For the fans, come out and support these young men. It is going to be a special year. These guys have really worked and there have been no complaints. It is hot. We all know that, but they have put the time in. I expect a great year.”Southern Lab Head Coach Darrell Asberry
Contending for championships and having great years is always the expectation on Southern University’s campus.
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