The next stop on the Gridiron Football Spring Tour is Parkview Baptist High School located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Eagles have had a lot of success over their storied program history as the Louisiana football powerhouse has won five state championships with four of them being won by the late, great Hall of Fame Coach Kenny Guillot, who also compiled a 164-31 overall record in 15 seasons as the head coach.
Now, former Louisville, Carolina Panthers, and CFL QB Stefan LeFors is now trying to restore the magic and bring the Eagles back to their championship winning ways. Entering his fifth season at the helm, LeFors has the program heading into the right direction after winning 10 games a season ago and losing in the Quarterfinals to the eventual state champion St. Charles Catholic Comets. There are some big names that the Eagles will have to replace including two-way star Micah Johnson, who signed to play college football with the ULL Ragin’ Cajuns, but Coach LeFors likes what he has from this year’s group to continue the positive momentum for the program.
“We are excited with what we have coming back next year. There are a lot of guys with experience coming back. Each year, our starting point proves to be further and further along than the year before and I think that just comes with the same kids being in the same system now for four years going on five. The continuity within the coaching staff helps and like I said, we got a lot of guys with valuable experience.”Parkview Baptist Head Coach Stefan LeFors
That experience comes most valuable on the offensive line as that is always a great starting point for any football team.
“We got a lot of three-year starters, especially on the offensive line, which everything starts up front on both sides of the football. I feel good about that group with guys like Caleb Ordogne, Buck Winfrey, and Mason Marie. I am so excited about them going into their senior year, and hopefully, we can send those guys out with a bang.”Parkview Baptist Head Coach Stefan LeFors
There is a lot of experience, but Coach LeFors wants to know which guys will step up and provide that veteran leadership, which is what last year’s senior group provided.
“We still have a long way to go to establish our identity as a football team. Last year’s team was led by Micah Johnson, who is going to be at ULL so we got to find somebody to step up in that role. We have some guys that are ready to make that step. I am excited to see our guys continue to grow as players and as leaders.”Parkview Baptist Head Coach Stefan LeFors
A good player to start is two way standout Mason Warren, who as a running back/defensive back does a little bit of everything for the Eagles and is an exceptional athlete. He will be looked upon to lead the way for the Eagles not only for the team’s big plays, but to also set the tone off the field as well.
“Mason is everything that we want in a young man on the field and off the field. He’s consistent and he’s always where you need him to be. He’s dependable and as a coach, all we can ask them to do is to bring everything that we have and some guys may be more talented than others or stronger than others, but whatever your talents are, to bring them every single day in practice, and for Mason, he brings them everyday. That’s all we can ask from him. How he is as a young man and how he carries himself in practice, in the classroom, in the hallway when I see him, he always has a smile on his face, and I can just trust that Mason is going to do what we ask him to do. I am excited to see what Mason can do heading into his senior year.”
“Last year, he started off really well, kind of had a shoulder injury, fought through that, so this year, we are praying for a healthy senior season for him and excited to see what he can do both carrying the ball and defensively like you said, he is going to be a two-way guy for us and at times when we need him. He knows that this is his last year of high school football so we are going to add more to his plate and see what he can handle, but I won’t be surprised to see him take more this year.”Parkview Baptist Head Coach Stefan LeFors
Warren impressed Gridiron Football at the first Elite Camp of the spring, which was held at Woodlawn and because of his ability and physicality, got an offer to play in the Gridiron Football All-American Bowl Game.
Besides Warren, a couple of other veteran players will be counted on to contribute in big ways for the Eagles this season including Abram Johnston, who returns for his third year as a starting quarterback.
“To me, Abram has gotten better and better. That is a credit to him and his work ethic. From his sophomore year to his junior year, he made a big jump in just being more comfortable and understanding the system. His sophomore year, he was winging it to be honest and we put him in a tough spot. We struggled overall as a team and last year, it was good to see all the hard work he put in pay off because he had some great games throwing the ball.”
“This year, the challenge for him is to more vocally be a leader and that just comes with the position whether you are a senior or a freshman starting at quarterback. You got to be a leader when you play that position. I want him to think like I think. I want him to finish my sentences. When he knows that I am ready to call a play, halfway, he should know what’s coming and why it’s coming. He’s a grinder, a competitor. He is going to work his tail off and he is not going to let anybody outwork him. As a coach, you enjoy working with young men like that.”Parkview Baptist Head Coach Stefan LeFors
Coach LeFors gets the chance to work with a lot of guys that are out there competing. In fact, the Eagles wrapped up practice with an Oklahoma drill so it not only gets the players showing their physicality, but their competitiveness as well.
“This is Day 5 so we are halfway through. It started slow a little bit and we have shaken the rust off so to speak. We are back to the basics and so each and every day, we ramp it up a little more. We got a long way to go and we have guys that are fresh from baseball so they are fresh from their postseason run.”
“It is a good opportunity for the younger guys to mix it up and to see what they got. We tell them to don’t worry about making mistakes in spring. We want to see who is willing to go, mix it up, and compete. The guys that are willing to that, we will work with you all summer and into the fall where to go and how to get there. We can’t make you do it so you have to show us that you are willing to mix it up.”
“It is also good for the older guys to sharpen some of those skills and to leave off what they did last year. Some of them can do certain things in their sleep so how can they add more things to their tool belt and that is what spring is to us.”Parkview Baptist Head Coach Stefan LeFors
Next Saturday on May 20th at 5:00 P.M., Eagles fans will get their chance to see the 2023 version of the Parkview Baptist Eagles for the first time as they will go on the road to play the Archbishop Hannan Hawks.
“I am looking forward to that. It is going to be an opportunity for the coaches to be off the field and it is going to be like their final exam. They had nine practices leading up to it. We will mix it up. We will work on some inside run stuff with them and then, we will have a controlled scripted scrimmage format. Hannan will have those guys ready and it will be a good test for us to get it on tape. We will have all summer to break it down and correct the mistakes. We will continue to grow from the things that we already do well and work on some of the things we don’t do well. We are looking forward to it. It will be a great test for our guys and it will be a sneak peek for some of our parents and fans to see what the 2023 Eagles will look like.”Parkview Baptist Head Coach Stefan LeFors
Until then, Coach LeFors and the Eagles will continue to put in the work as the spring winds down and as summer begins.
Check out some of the photos from the Parkview Baptist practice below!
Check out the rest of the Gridiron Football Spring Tour stops below!