Berwick looks to build on 2011 season
By CORWIN MURRAY
Second-year head coach Craig Brodie continues to sow football seeds at Berwick High School. The Panthers went winless last season, but the BHS coaching staff remains optimistic.
“We got a big commitment from the kids this summer,” Brodie said. “We did more 7-on-7 and went to camps at ULL and LSU where the kids competed well. We also got in here early and got our weights and drills in three days a week. The core group of our players made the commitment.”
Numbers remain below what coaches would like to see at the Class 3A school, though.
“I’m still walking the halls and allowing players to come out this late,” Brodie said. “When you don’t win a lot of games, it’s hard to get kids out to play. But what we have stressed is having kids play from their freshman year. Kids don’t realize what they can be in four years if they work hard and stick with it. Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Berwick has taken the first step in rebuilding a program; the team is bigger and stronger this season.
“We were often overpowered last year, but our core group of players this year should match up much better physically,” Brodie said. “Our front line guys are good athletes. Now we just have to develop more of them.”
The biggest change this season may be at the quarterback position where junior Bobby Boudreaux replaces Reed Leonard.
“We moved Reed to wide receiver,” Brodie said. “While he did a good job for us last season, he never really wanted to play quarterback, and he will help us with his athleticism at receiver.”
Leonard was 37-of-124 passing for 379 yards with three touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 2011.
Boudreaux was the second-team quarterback last season but saw significant playing time.
“Bobby is a good leader, he works extremely hard and the kids believe in him,” Brodie said.
Brodie said Boudreaux has developed well under the tutelage of new quarterback coach Andy Walker.
Junior Drew Landry will be the backup while sophomore Jeremy Boudreaux is the third quarterback.
The strength of the Panthers’ offense may be the running game. BHS has two big running backs to share the load this season.
Seniors Josh Angleton (6-2, 220) and Luis Hernandez (6-0, 220) will be featured in one- and two-back sets. Angleton carried 29 times for 253 yards and a touchdown last season. Hernandez is a transfer student from Mississippi.
“They both run really well,” Brodie said. “They are inside runners, so we will run a lot of zones, traps and counters. We’ll also run some pistol.”
Junior Raheem Colar also returns to the Panthers’ backfield. The junior had a strong season last year before he was injured.
“He’s still not 100 percent,” Brodie said. “… He will help us when he returns to full speed. He has good speed.”
Berwick returns four of five starters on the offensive line. The starters are senior center Carl Reed, guards Sam Bergeron and Jad Dupre while the tackles are Nick Duthu and Tyvonn Batiste.
Joining Leonard at wide receiver are Chaz Russo, Nicholas Osburn and Landry.
“We have some good athletes there,” Brodie said. “And we have some sophomores who can also play out there.”
Craig Brodie Jr. will be calling plays on offense this season with Paul Gilder serving as offensive line coordinator.
Berwick will play a 4-3 scheme on defense. Brodie Sr. has moved from the offense to the defense this season.
“I don’t think the problem was coaching last season,” Brodie said. “I ran the offense, and we didn’t score much, so we are just trying to find ways to get the team better.”
Berwick also returns good experience on the defensive line.
The tackles are Caleb Griffin and Ronald Barrow while Kyle Riggens is one defensive end. Tre Matthews and Seth Legendre are battling for the other defensive end position.
Berwick returns two starters in the secondary. Aaron Lecompte will be at strong safety and Leonard at free safety. The corners are Brooks Richard and Marquis Rogers.
Russo and Osburn also will rotate in at free safety.
The BHS linebacking corps may be special this season.
“They have the potential to be the best group I have ever coached,” Brodie said. “They are all good athletes and over 200 pounds. They certainly pass the eye test.”
Hernandez and Angleton are the outside backers while V.C. Caruso will start in the middle.
“V.C. is the leader on the defense,” Brodie said. “He has good size and speed.”
Brodie noted that Caruso had 15 tackles against Morgan City last season before suffering an injury.
“He’s a player,” Brodie said.
Berwick opens the season Friday in the Morgan City Jamboree against West St. Mary at 5:30 p.m.