May 24, 2022
"Changing Lives, Improving Communities"

LA High School Football

Full Time Position

Gridiron Football is looking for a full-time writer. Pay is ($18-24K Annual +bonuses) based on writers experience and qualifications.

Description:

Gridiron Football covers High School, College, and Pro Football daily. Our focus is to help promote the sport of football in a positive manner. We believe football is more than just a game, it is a way of life (overcoming one’s own obstacles). There are a number of benefits at working for Gridiron Football, the one that stands out the most is helping others. Our motto is “Changing Lives, Changing Communities.” Every article written is for the good of the sport and for the prospect. Working for Gridiron Football is a rewarding experience because of the lives that you will effect daily.

Duties Include:

• Demonstrate excellent communication skills and exercise proper judgment

• Writing four weekly article about LSU Football

• Attend LSU Football Games, writing Pre and Post Game Analysis

• Attend weekly press briefings at LSU in-person or online

• Write a minimum of four articles a week on high schools around the country

• Attend high school football events

• Complete any additional responsibilities and/or duties as assigned

Qualifications needed:

GOOD WORK ETHIC, self starter, reliable transportation, a willingness to learn, basic knowledge of computers and social media. (ie. Microsoft Office, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Excel). Have a basic knowledge of WordPress and Adobe (InDesign, Lightroom, and Photoshop). Writer will need good communication skills and good basic writing skills.

How To Apply-Submit Cover Letter, Resume, and References

School Spotlight: Baker High

Baker High School is located on the northside of the state capital in Baker, Louisiana. Baker High has delt with numerous issues that has led to the decline in school attendance. Baker, at one time, was a 5A program, today they are classified as one of the newest 2A programs with around 450 students enrolled. The percentage of Baker High School students on free and reduced lunch assistance (78.2%) is significantly higher than the state average of 54.5%.

In 2016, Baker was impacted by the 100 year flood that hit the area. The High School was flooded and closed that year. Since then, the middle school has been host to the High School students as well. This year made the first year that the graduating seniors had never left the middle school. Since the 2016 flood, the school has struggled getting back on their feet. The football program has similarly struggled and had four head coaches since 2016. Despite this struggle, Baker has always had very talented football players, and this program seems to be turning the corner and it is very exciting to see.

I reached out and interviewed coach Jarrett Henderson. Coach Henderson is a Baker Alumni and one of the current coaches there. He is currently in the running for the head coaching job at the school, but over the course of the interview I was struck by how genuinely excited about the program as a whole he is. The school board has finally approved the remodeling and rebuilding of Baker High School as well as the football team getting a facelift with a new turf field. “With the renovations of the high school finally being started, the upgraded football field, and all the great players at Baker, I am just so excited,” said coach Henderson. “So many good vibes coming from this team. We have former Sothern’s Hall-of-Fame quarterback, Eric Randall, here. I am just so excited about my school.” The rebuilding of the school and new turf field is a real game changer for the whole community. In addition Coach Henderson emphasized that he and the rest of the coaching staff push the players for improved academics. This is encouraging, since the team has in the past struggled in this area. It is one of the things I tell young recruits all the time, if you don’t work on the academics going to play college football is not going to happen.

While there are a lot of very talented players at Baker these are some of the stand outs we discussed during the course of the interview.

Derek Jackson is a class of 2025 Offensive lineman. He is 6’6″ and weighs 330 LBS. Coach Henderson’s Comments, “big time body, makes holes, coachable, when he puts hands on you then you are blocked, long wingspan, has all the intangibles.”

Montez Covington is a class of 2023 Linebacker. He is 6’2″ and also plays Slot receiver and running back. Grambling, Southern, and Nicholls has been showing a lot of interest in Montez. Coach Henderson’s comments, ” Nice size, top 3 speed on team, Best athlete on team, big time hitter, All-District player.”

Clarence Williams is a class of 2023 defensive end. Clarence is 6’2 and also plays tight end. Coach Henderson’s comments, “Does his job, does not miss practices, 2nd year starting, got stronger over the spring, coachable, will be one of the leaders of the team, grades are good.”

Shannon Holliday is a class of 2023 right tackle. He is 6’3″ and weighs 310 LBS. Coach Henderson’s comments, “Real smart kid, one of the smartest kids on team, strong, needs to work on his feet, real talented young man.”

Jahkoreyin Tate is a class of 2023 defensive end. Tate is 6’3. Coach Henderson’s comments, “He got taller and faster this offseason, will be able to run down plays this season, got a great understanding of the game, grades are good, has a lot of experience.”

SAMAJAH DUNCAN is a class of 2025 running back. Duncan is 5’11” and plays safety as well. Coach Henderson’s comments, “2nd best athlete could be best when he gets more experience, most vocal leader on team, big time hitter.”

After talking with Coach Henderson, I am excited to see what Baker High will do this season. I hope to see you at a game this season. See below for their football schedule for the 2022-23 season.

Fri, 9/2 7:00 pm MMcKinley Home • Non-District
Fri, 9/9 7:00 pmMentorship Academy Mentorship Academy Away •District
Fri, 9/16 7:00 pmWhite CastleWhite Castle Away • Non-District
Fri, 9/23 7:00 pmEast IbervilleEast Iberville St. Gabriel Home • Non-District
Fri, 9/30 7:00 pmCollegiateCollegiate Home
Fri, 10/7 7:00 pmNortheastNortheast Pride Away • Non-District
Fri, 10/14 7:00 pmEast FelicianaEast Feliciana Jackson Home • Non-District
Fri, 10/21 7:00 pmCapitolCapitol Home • District
Fri, 10/28 7:00 pmDunhamDunham Home • District
Fri, 11/4 7:00 pmEpiscopalEpiscopal Away • District

Woodlawn vs Warren Easton Spring Game

Woodlawn played Warren Easton in this year’s spring game at Woodlawn HS in Baton Rouge, La. This matchup had a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. I had a chance to speak to a number of the college coaches on hand for this game. They were just amazed by the talent level at both of these great programs. Coaches from over 30 colleges were present.

Woodlawn is led by class of 2023 5 star QB Rickie Collins, 5 star CB Jordan Matthews, OL Roy Brackins III, WR Tramon Douglas II, CB Dawaun Harris Jr., RB Jay’Veon Haynes, and class of 2025 WR Ryan Brown (who I think will have a massive breakout year as a FR). Warren Easton is led by class or 2023 ATH Archie Chambers, QB Keddrick Connelly, LB Jirrea Johnson, and OL Carmelo Crump.

Click on image to be redirected to link

Interview with Tramon Douglas II

Interview with Jordan Matthews

Interview with Rickie Collins

Interview with Head Coach Marcus Randall

We made these photos free, we only ask that if you use any of these photo’s, that you give credit to Gridiron Football.

Rash Ready for One More Push 

Lyndon Rash’s journey at Grambling State University hasn’t exactly been smooth. 

The Baton Rouge, Louisiana native came to Grambling State as a freshman in 2017 from Madison Prep High School as one of the best wide receivers in the state. 

However, his path to stardom on the football field was met with setbacks ranging from injuries to the COVID season. 

Despite all those setbacks, Rash is back to wrap up one more season and an opportunity to continue to compete at the highest level. 

“I really have two seasons left if I decide to use it,” Rash said. “I’ve met some lifetime friends and learned great history about the program. We won a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Championship my freshman year and went to the Celebration Bowl.” 

Rash earned a redshirt as a freshman in 2017 and in his first playing season, 2018, played in nine games, with four catches for 32 yards. During the 2019 season, Rash, who played 11 games, led the team in receptions (33) and yards (419) and touchdowns (six). He averaged 38.09 yards per game and 12.70 yards per catch.  

During the COVID season in 2020 as Grambling State went 0-4, Rash sat out the year and spent all of 2021 on the sidelines with a knee injury. 

“I am blessed,” he said. “It (the injury) helped me find more about myself even though if it limited me on the field. It made me feel like anything that’s messed up can be fixed and better than before. I’ve grown a lot since my injury. I owe a big thanks to Johnson Physical Therapy and Moreau Physical Therapy for getting me back on the football field.” 

While the journey on the football field hasn’t exactly gone as planned for Rash, his life off is shaping up. The Business Management major is set to graduate during Thursday’s commencement. 

“I chose Business Management because I want to start my own fence company,” he said.  

Rash credits his time in middle school for the inspiration and the idea behind owning a fence company. 

“I started putting up fences when I was in middle school,” he said. “I know it doesn’t seem ideal, but I love putting in the work and it keeps me active.” 

Rash, like many collegiate student-athletes, has aspirations to perform at the professional level once he leaves Grambling State. However, he is aware there is a chance he won’t be playing professional football.  

“I just want to be successful and take care of my family, Rash said. 

Despite having two years of eligibility remaining, Rash left a lasting message to the Grambling State football program. 

“Twenty-four hours is not enough time in a day, make use of your time,” he said. “Keep striving to be better with anything in life. Remember it’s the work that people don’t see that matters.” 

Rising Star: Joseph Emilien

Rising Star prospect Joseph Emilien is a class of 2024 prospect at Jennings High School in Jennings, La. He moved from Ryane to Jennings this year so he attends Jennings High School now. He will play running back and defensive back for the Bulldogs this next year. Joseph has a 3.1 GPA after two years of high school. His mom, Hope Doucet, told me, “He has played since he was 8 years old and everyone has recognized his talent since at a young age. He is an athlete and it comes naturally to him. He can play any position there is on the field. They (his coaches) are playing him at safety, corner, running back, and punt returner.”

I reviewed his film after watching Joseph play 7v7 at the King Of The Boot Tournament at the Broussard Sports complex on April 9th. My analysis of Joseph is that he has quick feet with good change of direction. Joseph uses his hands to catch the ball vs his body. He has good instincts and can stretch the field with his speed. He is an excellent returner and can find the holes. On defense he reads the plays well and can diagnose what the offense is giving them. Cons: Joseph needs to un more behind his pads when attacking the line of scrimmage. On defense, his hips are a little stiff at times and can leave him exposed, he overcomes this with his speed. He can fix these two issues by next season by running some fice cone drills this summer. I fell that Joseph will develop into a great prospect over time. He is still young and he already has a great understanding of the game. He has a great work ethic and attitude.

Check out Joseph’s highlights by clicking this link.

When did you start playing football? I started playing when I was 7 years old. I played running back for the Maddogs in Welsh, La.

What have you learned about yourself from the game of football? I have learned that football is a good game and a team sport. One person cannot win a game by themself. I am very grateful for my linemen because they work hard making holes for me to run through and my defense because they help us by preventing other teams from scoring on us.

Goals for your Junior season? Rush for 800+ yards this year. Make All-District and All-State. On defense, I am playing Free Safety this year. I want to work on my craft every day and get better.

What do you look forward to the most next year? I look forward to playing the game I love most and possibly winning a state championship.

What do you like to do when you are not at school? I like working out at the gym when I am not in school. I also like practice with my stepdad since he is former college player. I also coach my little sisters softball team. I like helping people out.

What is some advice you would give to someone that is thinking of playing football? I would advise them to just play the game because at the end of the day, you will fall in love with it.

Favorite quote?I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:11–13

I play 7v7 for 4th Quarter Mentality. Coach Fuse is fun to play for because we can joke around while being able to play the game. I also like playing with my team. Coach is all about teamwork.

Southern Lab Wins Big in 2022 NFL Draft

In the shadow of the capital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, lies a small high school football program. This “small” program has won multiple state championships, faced diversity, and has clawed themselves to the top of the state in football. I am speaking of the Southern Lab Kittens. “The Southern Lab Kittens has always had a rich athletic history. Dating back to guys like Chuck Wiley, Marcus Spears, and Chad Jones. It is great to see that tradition continue,” said J.K. Lee, JK Lee Sportz. The Kittens are off a 2021 State Football Title, a 2022 Boys and Girls Basketball Title, and now they have joined one of the elite groups in all of football. Three of their former players have been selected to play in the NFL 2022 class. Is a coincidence that all three players played on the last state championship team for the Kittens? What is in store for this team for the future?

During the high school careers of Ty Davis-Price, Chris Allen, and Damone Clark, they faced a huge hardship in the 2017 season. They lost their head coach in August due to “recruiting violations.” Coach Randall was accused of violation the LHSAA rules for recruiting so he was terminated form the school. Randall has since been exonerated of the charges following an investigation. The players from that team has since told me how much that had hurt each of them since they all loved their coach. “Football has taught me about overcoming adversity because…my teammates and I had to learn how to keep our heads up and work even harder to achieve our goals,” Ty Davis-Price.

Adversity is nothing new for the Kittens. Southern Lab is a Historical Black High School in Baton Rouge. Southern Lab is on the campus of the Southern Jags, an HBCU that plays in the SWAC. This school has faced many challenges over the years. From a lack of funding, lack of support from the state, and a lack of respect. Only recently has this school started to gain noteriety after overcoming so much diversity.

With three former players selected in the 2022 NFL Draft class, Southern University Lab School is now beginning to shed the troubles of the past. With the 2022 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror and now 3 state titles in the 2021/22 school year, it appears that The Southern Lab kittens are here to make a stand and they are not going away quietly.

Tyrion Davis-Price, LSU Running Back

Drafted by the San Francisco 49ERS in the 3rd round with the 29th pick.

Ty was a 4-star prospect out of high school by 247 and rivals, and ranked as the #2 running back in Louisiana by Gridiron Football. Ty is a pure power back and downhill runner. He has great speed and will be competing with Elijah Mitchell (fellow Louisiana player) for playing time. Ty completed the 2021 season with 1,003 rushing yards with 6 TDs with a career rushing yardage of 1,744 with 15 TDs while at LSU.

SEASONTEAMGPGSATTYDSTDLONGATT/GYDS/G
2019-20LSU140642956334.621.1
2020-21LSU9410444633511.649.6
2021-22LSU1212211100364017.683.6
Totals:351637917441510.849.8
Ty Davis-Price LSU Rushing Stats

DAMONE CLARK, LSU Linebacker

Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 5th Round with the 33rd pick.

One of my NFL Sleepers in the 20222 Draft. Clark underwent back surgery after the NFL Combine, but has since been ahead in his recovery. Clark has all the intangibles to be an elite Linebacker in the NFL. He has had some of the best mentors in the game. Damone told me that he talks to Devin White (1st rd pick Tampa Bay Bucs) and Patrick Queen (1st rd pick Baltimore Ravens) and continues to seek advise from the best. Clark was a 3-star prospect out of high school by 247 and Rivals, but a 4-star prospect by Gridiron Football when he signed at LSU. Damone finished his Senior year at LSU as the SEC leader in Tackles and #2 Nationally with 135 totals tackles. He also had 15.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception.

SEASONTEAMGPGSTOTALSOLOASTTFLSACKFFPDEFINTTD
2018-19LSU130101000000
2019-20LSU15350173343.50000
2020-21LSU105632835410100
2021-22LSU1212135785715.55.52410
Totals:502024912312623.5102510
Damone Clarks LSU Stats

CHRISTOPHER ALLEN, Alabama Linebacker

Was an Undrafted Free Agent signed by the Denver Broncos.

One of the best edge rushers in college football in 2020 with 13 tackles for a loss (led SEC) and six sacks. He made the All-SEC Team in 2020 after an unremarkable season. Chris, like Damone is another one of my 2022 sleepers. His draft stock fell after a foot injury sidelined him during the 2021 season. The Broncos already have a deep edge rusher field, however Chris has a chance to come into the clubhouse and make a statement. He signed a massive UFA deal with $180,000 in guarantees.

GPSOLOASTTOTTFL-YDSSACKS-YDSINTPDFFFRBLK
201774261-20-00010
20191365114.5-90.5-30000
20201325164113-486-330021
202112131-71-70010
Total3437246119.5-667.5-430041
Chris Allen Alabama Stats

These three Baton Rouge natives will make a huge impact in the coming years in the NFL. I believe that is is just the beginning of something special to come out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Look for the Kittens to continue to dominate in the LHSAA Class IV Division for the coming years.

One Of The Biggest NFL Draft Steals in 2022

The 2022 NFL draft took place this past weekend and 262 college athletes from all over the country had their dreams come true. While all these guys are happy now, the realization will eventually sink in. They were drafted not so they can fulfil their dream but for the teams to find the next super star. By the last pre-season game, some of these guys will be on a practice squad and the hopes of running out of the tunnel and playing a NFL snap will begin to fade. However, there are a few that were drafted late or some who were overlooked and went un-drafted who will excel on the gridiron and who exceeded expectations. Just like there will be some that will go down as complete draft busts.

We all know Tom Brady’s story. He was drafted in the 6th round as the 199th pick in the 2000 draft. Now 22 years later he is a superstar with 7x Super Bowl Titles, 5x Super Bowl MVP, 3x NFL MVP, 15x Pro-Bowler, just to name a few accomplishments.

Let’s look at another all-time great. Zach Thomas was drafted in the fifth round of the 1996 draft by the Miami Dolphins. Zach went on to be a seven time Pro-Bowler and seven time All-Pro linebacker. He was named to the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team and in 2015 was inducted into the College Football Hall-of-Fame.

So who is this years sleeper pick? Damone Clark, LSU linebacker, has incredible intangibles. Drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 5th Round with the 33rd pick. Damone underwent surgery right after the NFL combine which hurt his draft stock, but when you do an honest evaluation of him, he has first round grades. He led the LSU Tigers on defense in 2020 and 2021 in tackles. In 2021, he lead the SEC and was second nationally in tackles with 135. He is 6’3″ and ran a 4.5 40 at the NFL combine. Just to remind you, he performed that 40 yard dash hurt, so his 40 time is actually faster.

SEASONTEAMGPGSTOTALSOLOASTTFLSACKFFPDEFINTTD
2018-19LSU130101000000
2019-20LSU15350173343.50000
2020-21LSU105632835410100
2021-22LSU1212135785715.55.52410
Totals:502024912312623.5102510
Damone Clarks stats at LSU

What makes Damone one of my 2022 NFL Draft sleepers? Besides the fact that he is a tackling machine, Damone is a sideline to sideline player, rangy, and has great instincts. In 2021, he dominated the SEC and was a 2nd Team All-SEC and 2nd Team All-American as well as a Finalist for the Butkus Award (for the best linebacker in the country).

School Spotlight: Valdosta

Valdosta High School is located in South Georgia, a short drive to the Florida state line. Valdosta High is known for its rich history of football, having generations of players sporting the black and gold. Football in Valdosta is a very important tradition dating back a little more than 100 years. According to Wikipedia, “Valdosta has the most program wins in the U.S. for high school football at 929 wins along with 24 state championships.” Stores and other businesses close to go support the team on game days. Last season, the Valdosta Wildcats went 4-6 overall. In 2021, Shelton Felton, the interim head coach, was named as the permanent head coach of the Wildcats. In their previous season, they went 4-6. Their upcoming season is filled with good rivalry games including Warner Robins, Colquitt County, and their cross town rival Lowndes.

Demauree “Smoke” Bennett is a class of 2024 guard and tackle. He is 6’1 and weighs 267 pounds. He’s quick off of the line of scrimmage and can easily adjust against his defenders. Demauree is a quick and strong blocker. He also uses his speed when he’s blocking for runners coming upfield. He’s an aggressive player and skilled blocker when making room for his runners or keeping defenders out of the back field.

Joseph Gardner is an upcoming senior. He plays corner as well as quarterback and can also run the ball. He is a strong runner and uses his athleticism to his advantage. He is 5’11 and weighs 168 pounds. He runs a 4.65 40, squats 365, benches 235, and power cleans 235 pounds. His quote is, “They measure me by my height not by my heart and skills .” Watch how I outwork anyone on the other side of me come game time.” He is a versatile athlete being able to play both sides of the ball.

Charles Williams Jr. is another upcoming senior and plays running back. He is a strong and speedy running back. He can break down and get through the hole for yards each play. His 40 time is 4.49, he benches 250 max, and squats 400 max. Charles also has a 3.0 GPA. He uses his strength and speed to break tackles and continue to run for more yards.

Ahmad Denson is another upcoming senior and running back for the Wildcats. He is incredibly skilled when it comes to his run plays and his style of play. He is an impressive runner who can easily dodge his defenders. He is 5’8 and weighs 166 pounds. He is a speedy running back and can outrun his defenders. He can go from one side of the field to the other side and still make a touchdown.

Here is the upcoming schedule for the Valdosta Wildcats:

 DATE OPPONENT
 8/19 vs. North Miami
 8/26 vs. Cook
 9/2 vs. Banneker
 9/9 @ Warner Robins
 9/16 vs. Coral Gables
 9/23 vs. McEachern
 10/7 @ Lowndes
 10/14 vs. Richmond Hill
 10/21 @ Camden County 
 10/28 vs. Colquitt County

DITR: Nicholas Beckwith

Nicholas Beckwith is a class of 2023 safety and wide receiver for St. Thomas More High school. Standing at 6’3 and 190 pounds he can squat 205, clean 225, shuttle 4.21 and runs a 40 in 4.6 seconds. While dominating on the field through the state championship and all-district Beckwith maintains a 3.6 GPA in the classroom. His ability to read the field and his competitors are what make him stand out!

When did you start playing football?

I started playing around the age of 10. I always played with my dad and before starting tackle football I played flag football.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I have played basketball and ran track. I competed in the long jump, 4×1, 4×2, and 200 yards.

Have you always played the position you play now?

When I was playing flag football I was wanting to be a receiver, but once I started playing tackle they put me at free safety. Once I started playing I loved the position.

Who would you say are some of your biggest influencers?

LeBron James, Tom Brady, and my dad.

What has been the highlight/biggest accomplishment of your football career so far?

Winning the state championship in 2020. Going undefeated and then making it to the end is something I won’t forget.

What motivates you to get out and practice every day?

New days and the goal to play football in college. Every day I wake up and I see it as an opportunity to learn and push myself more to be the best player I can be.

What do you feel your biggest strengths are?

My range, physicality, and my football IQ.

What has football taught you about life and about yourself in general?

If you have a goal in your life and you work hard towards it and trust the process, it will all pay off in the end.

What would be your cleats my cause?

Special ed students. There are a lot of special ed kids at my school and just having a platform to bring awareness to that is something I would be grateful for.

Check out Nicholas’s highlights https://www.hudl.com/profile/13550096/Nicholas-Beckwith

School Spotlight: Seward High Alaska

Today’s school spotlight is off the beaten path. I called coach Tyler Mallory from Seward High School in Alaska because, like other states, Alaska has some real talent. They are highly overlooked because of the distance up there, but there are some real diamonds in the rough there. I spoke to coach Mallory for a solid 30 minutes and learned so much about Alaska football. -Coach Andy

Seward High School is located in Seward, Alaska. Seward is a small town with a population of around 2,773 people. Seward is a port city in southern Alaska, set on an inlet on the Kenai Peninsula. It’s a gateway to Kenai Fjords National Park, where glaciers flow from the Harding Icefield into coastal fjords.

Coach Tyler Mallory leads the Seward Seahawks as their head coach. He played at Diamond High School in Alaska. “I had to work my way through the ranks there,” said coach Mallory, “Diamond is a really big school up here with nearly 2000 students. There are three divisions of schools in Alaska; Big Schools, Medium Schools, and Small Schools. Seward plays in the Small School division. We have about 150 high school kids in the school and we have some home school kids that play for us as well. We have about 35 kids on the football team which is the most this school has ever had on the team. We play schools around the same size as us. Schools with 450 kids is supposed to be the cut off for the Small School division. So our closest bus ride is about three and a half hours with two of our division opponents are in Fairbanks which is about a 10-12 hour bus ride. This is a much different experience to what I grew u in or schools in the lower 48 have.”

Coach Mallory has been at Sward for six years now and head coach for two and said, “we have never taken nothing but a school bus since I have been here. We have been fundraising pretty hard so we can take a charter bus on some of these long bus rides we do. We have had some growing pains here. I am the third head coach here now in the past six years. The most we have ever had on the team since I have been here is 18 kids. We have had to forfeit games because we didn’t have enough players. We had gotten to a point where the school board had discussed taking away the football program from the school since we just didn’t have the numbers. Last year I had 21 kids on the team and this year, I started the weight lifting program last month and we have had 28 kids so far working out so we should be around 30-35 this summer. I only have one senior this next season, so next year I will be able to return all these kids plus have a whole other class coming in. So the community support has grown. We have had people come out of the woodworks and donate to the program. We had a local business owner write us a check to buy an endzone camera and couple of other people help fundraise to buy uniforms. We have had people donating tackle bags. We have had people come and fix our sled that is broken. So it has been growing and it is inspiring to see our town, of about 2500 people, bout 400 people come out and support us during the games last year.”

“We went 2-3 last year. We had scheduled seven games but two were cancelled due to covid,” said coach Mallory. “We have a short season in Alaska. We have an eight week regular season up here.”

“We have a lot of underclassmen here being that we are only returning one senior. I feel we have a lot of great kids to build around and the future looks bright for this program,” said coach Mallory. “I have an upcoming junior Kupono Albino is my starting Tail back and starting Linebacker. He is 5’11” and weighs 200 lbs. A solid kid, he is a strong kid, he runs hard, he runs behind his pads. He is deceptively quick i ad out of his cuts. He makes people miss.”

“We have a solid Linebacker in Landen DeRoos. He is 5’11” and weighs about 190 lbs. He is the leader of the defense and will be one of the Team Captains this year. He plays offensive line for us as well, but that is because he is a solid blocker. It isn’t what he was designed to play, it is just being a small school and we have to use kids in other positions where we need them to play. The kids is one of the hardest working kids out there. He is in the weight room every single day. He gets good grades. He is a true leader, he picks kids up and says ‘come with me lets go do this.’ As a middle linebacker as a sophomore last year he had over 24 tackles in one game on varsity. He was out for one game last year and still lead the team in tackles. Lst week we did max day and he did dead lifted 405 and squatted over 350.” -Coach Mallory

John Van Buskirk is our starting Left Tackle and starting Defensive Tackle. he is 6’5″ and weighs 270 lbs. He is an absolute tank. He has meat cleavers for hands he is heavy handed. Last year was his first year to play football, so he was a little behind the power curve trying to learn but he picked it up quick. He is just a monster. He squatted 395 and will be a junior next year and dead lifted 395. He just built to play line. He is also a 4.0 student, he was part of the National Oceanic Bowl. He is a very smart kid.” -Coach Mallory

Noah Price one of our Running Backs and Linebackers. He is a little undersized at 5’7″ and 155 lbs, but he is a tank. He is all muscle. He ran a 4.82 40 last year as a freshman and has been working out all winter. he was the second fastest kid on the team last year. He is not afraid of contact. He started at middle linebacker last year and had 17 tackles in one game. He understands the game extremally well. He cam in last year as a freshmen and he wasn’t apart of out summer workouts because he and his family was on vacation. So when he showed up when school started, we were all just blown away with this kid and his work ethic. He was a little behind when he started but by game two, I was like I had to get this kid in the game somehow. He is just talented and gifted. Last week he squatted over 300 lbs as 155 lbs kid.” -Coach Mallory

Brett Gilmore. He’s an upcoming sophomore. He was 1st team all conference at receiver as a freshman, with 3 touchdowns. He also plays outside LB. He squats 300 and benches 200. Brett is 5’9″ and weighs 155lbs. He has great hands, and good route runner. Might be our QB this year.” Coach Mallory

“I am just excited about this, we are showing great progress. We are dong the right things and staying out of trouble. Outside of football, I had a coach that impacted my life growing up and made a difference in my life and helped me turn my life around to do the right things. My goal is not to in football games, my goal is to help develop hard working men that will go out into the world and do good things. If I can achieve this, then everything else will come simple. The reality is, when you do this, you create a winning program. So last season, I had 21 kids on the team and I had 21 kids eligible all season. Not one of them got into trouble all season and they all have been getting good grades. This is just something that has never happened here before.”

“Alaska Football is legit. We just, not just us but kids in Alaska, don’t get the exposure. There are some true athletes and some really good football up here. It would be cool to see more kids from Alaska go to college to play football.”

Sat, 8/13 12:00pmValdezValdez Home • Conference
Thu, 8/18 5:00pmNikiskiNikiski Home • Conference
Fri, 8/26 6:00pmHomerHomer Home • Non-Conference
Sat, 9/3 12:00pmValdezValdez Away • Conference
Sat, 9/10 1:00pmMonroe CatholicMonroe Catholic Fairbanks Home • Conference
Sat, 9/17 1:00pmBen EielsonBen Eielson Eielson AFB Home • Conference
Sat, 9/24 1:00pmMonroe CatholicMonroe Catholic Fairbanks Home • Conference
Fri, 9/30 5:00pmNikiskiNikiski Away • Conference

School Spotlight: Belaire

Belaire HC Byron Wade addressing the team before a game last season

Belaire High School is a magnet high school in Baton Rouge, off of U.S. Highway 190. Prior to the past 3 seasons, this team did not have any real success. It has all turned around with the hiring of Head Coach Byron Wade, who has helped this team win more games over the past three years than they had the decade before. Last season, Coach Wade took the team to the district championship game, and a home 5A playoff game. For more about last season’s success, go check out the article series Beyond Belaire and the Coaches Corner videos at the bottom of every Beyond Belaire article.

While the Bengals look to build on their success, they face a daunting task after losing 16 seniors, including state interception leader Denichlass Jeter, whom recently committed to Grambling State. Fortunately, they have some guys worth checking out who look to take a brunt of that load.

WR/DB Cameron Johnson (#33), a first team All-District FLEX player, is the number one player to watch out of Belaire. Learning the ropes from three collegiate athletes lead to a great season for Johnson, and it’s exciting to predict what he can do with a larger role on the offensive side of the ball.

LB Jayden Butler (#25), a first team All-District Linebacker, will lead the Belaire Bengals defense this year as a senior.

ATH Lacoreyan Compton (#3) can do everything on the field. He played QB and DB last season, and will be used all over the field in Wade’s offense and defense.

OL/DL Christian Hill (#55), an All-District Honorable Mention Defensive Lineman, looks to improve on an impressive season last year and will only get better with time.

RB Javieon Morgan (#5), a transfer from McKinley High School, looks to play a big role this season after team rushing leader Denichlass Jeter and change-of-pace RB Makih Palmer graduated.

DB Kendrick Myles (#6), another newcomer, also looks to get a large role with team interception leader Denichlass Jeter and other soon-to-be collegiate DBs Noah James and Avante Givens graduating.

Check out a Belaire Bengals game this season. Here is their schedule:

September 2@ Live Oak High School
September 9@ Istrouma High School
September 16vs. St. Michael High School
September 22@ Brusly High School
September 30@ Walker High School
October 7vs. Broadmoor High School
October 14@ Plaquemine High School
October 21vs. West Feliciana High School
October 28@ McKinley High School
November 5vs. Tara High School

Gridiron Football Spring Kickoff Camp

On Saturday morning April 23rd, Gridiron Football held our Spring Kickoff camp at Rayville High School. Over 40 people turned out from the small town of Rayville and surrounding communities. The local community made a big impact on supporting this camp. Sonic and Popeyes donated lunches for the kids while Brookshire’s and Wal Mart donated water and power aid.

Unlike many others putting on camps, Gridiron Football’s purpose is to get kids the exposure and teach technique that college recruiters look for. Coach Andy (owner of Gridiron Football) is a subject matter expert in this since he has D1 experience in evaluating talent at LSU and SLU as well as served as a scout for CFL scouting camps. These camps are not about the money, unlike other camps. The money made barely covers the insurance, contracts, and other expenses to host a camp. So if it is not about the money, then why drive eight hours to a small town to look at a few kids? “It is all about the kids,” said coach Andy, “many kids go overlooked because schools cannot physically go to every school and see every kid. For example, we had a young man today run a 4.38 forty yard dash. This kid currently has NO offers. How does this type of thing happen? This is why I do this. This is my motivation.”

Coach Andy and Marcus Randall plan to host several camps following spring football this May. Gridiron Football will be announcing their next camp within the next few days.

DITR: Lynkon Romero

Lynkon Romero is class of 2024 quarterback for Erath High School. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and made a 22 on his ACT. He stands at 6’3 and weighs 190 pounds. He benches 175, squats 315 pounds, power cleans 215 pounds, and his 40 yard time was 4.8. His last season stats include 2,291 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, 416 rushing yards, and 4 rushing touchdowns. Some of Lynkon’s achievements include 1st Team All-District, 1st Team All-Parish, and All State Honorable Mention. Lynkon has good coordination and can also run the ball. 

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

L: I’m from Erath, Louisiana. I play sports all the time I play football and baseball and I’m on a 7 on 7 team in the summer.

Can you tell me what made you play football?

L: I’ve been playing since I was 4. My dad played college football.

What is going through your mind before a game?

L: I just listen to music and talk to my friend. I  like to make sure we’re all on the sam page.

What is something you’ve learned in football that you’ve been able to apply in everyday life?

L: If you don’t work hard and strive for what you want then it won’t happen.

What is an academic and athletic goal you have set for this year?

L: Academic is to finish with As. My athletic goal is to get all state for football.

What is something that keeps you motivated to be a great athlete?

L: My family and coaches always keep me motivate.

What is your biggest strength?

L: I’m always positive throughout the game and try to keep my teammates ready and doing their best.

What are you most excited for when you think about your future in football?

L: I can’t wait to play college football and looking up to the people that played before me.

DITR: Andrew Redditt

Andrew Redditt is a class of 2023 cornerback out of John F. Kennedy High school located in New Orleans, LA. Standing at 5’9 and 169 pounds he makes his mark on the field with his big plays. His ability to scan the field and put pressure on others is his strength. While making his mark on the field, he also makes his mark in the classroom holding a 3.5 GPA as well as being on the honor roll. Andrew is excited to see what the future holds for him in football!

When did you start playing football?

When I was younger, my cousin and I use to go to the park to play together. Ever since then I loved the game. I also played for Pontchartrain as well as St. Roch Park in the 8th ward.

What made you play football?

My cousin. He kept pushing me to become the best that I can be.

What are some things you do to get you in the zone before games?

Listen to music. My favorite artists I listen to are NBA YoungBoy, DaBaby, Meek Mill, and a few others.

What are things you have learned in football that you can use in everyday life?

Discipline. Understanding that there are people who are counting on you and you need to do what you got to do to make sure you are not letting them down.

What is an athletic/academic award you have set for yourself?

I want to get my grades even higher. I have high expectations for myself so being able to make the best grades I can while being the best player is my goal.

Who are your biggest influences?

Mainly my family, as well as my coaches.

Who is your favorite NFL player/ is there a specific player you like to model your game after?

Jalen Ramsey. The cornerback for the Los Angeles Rams.

What are you most excited about when you think about your future in football?

Making it to the next level. Being able to play football in college and hopefully in the NFL.

Check out Andrews’s highlights https://www.hudl.com/profile/14946144/Andrew-Redditt

DITR: Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown is a class of 2025 wide receiver, safety, and running back out of Woodlawn High School located in Baton Rouge, LA. He stands at 5’6 and weighs 115 pounds. After completing his freshman year he is excited to grow in the sport of football as well as in the classroom while he maintains a 3.1 GPA. Ryan is a driven athlete who wants to reach the next level and show the world who he is and what he is made of. Coach Andy said, “Ryan is one of, if not the fastest guy in the state of Louisiana in hiss age group that I have seen so far. I love watching this kid play football. He has all the tools to develop into one of the top receivers in the country as he continues to grow.”

When did you start playing football?

I started playing flag football around the age of four. Growing up I was always watching my brother and father play and after playing I just fell in love with the game.

Did you play any other sports growing up?

I played baseball and basketball, but I was most drawn to football.

Have you always played the position you play now?

I have always moved around to where the coaches needed me. This past year I played freshman quarterback and then I went back to play wide receiver.

Who would you say are some of your biggest influencers?

The guys I go to school with such as Rickie Collins and Jordan Matthews. Just playing with them makes me want to challenge myself even more and just know I can do the same.

Who is your favorite NFL player? Is there anyone specific you try and model your game after?

Justin Jefferson. His route running and how he always just has fun on the field is why he’s my favorite.

What has been the highlight/biggest accomplishment of your football career so far?

Playing varsity as a freshman. Having the opportunity was a great way for me to push myself and really learn.

What motivates you to get out and practice every day?

The competition. There is someone out there who is working just as hard or even harder, so constantly grinding during practices and games.

What do you feel your biggest strengths are?

My confidence. A lot of people underestimate me because of my size, so being able to prove them wrong and make big plays because I am confident in how I play.

What has football taught you about life and about yourself in general?

Never give up. No matter if you are in a game-losing or in life struggling, never give up because there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Check out Ryan’s Hudl https://www.hudl.com/profile/16036864/Ryan-Brown