Berwick Panthers may turn the corner this year

By CORWIN MURRAY

The rebuilding program continues at Berwick High School, but the Panthers may turn the corner this season.

Berwick head coach Craig Brodie Sr. simply asked the players to stay together three years ago and they have.

“We have a strong junior class that has been with me all three years, and they lead by example,” Brodie said. “They bought into the rebuilding process, which is tough to sell to a lot of kids.”

The Panthers competed well on the seven-on-seven circuit this summer.

“We played the local teams, and we went to UL and LSU, which was a great experience, and we finished 5-4.”

Berwick broke a 20-game losing streak last year, beating Hanson, for their only win in a 1-8 season.

Quarterback

The 2013 Panthers will be led by senior quarterback Bobby Boudreaux. Boudreaux is a returning starter.

Junior Jeremy Boudreaux will also see snaps at quar-terback.

“They both are good ath-letes and will also see time at running back and on defense,” Brodie said.

Other quarterbacks include freshmen Dillon Giandelone and Cameron Wiley.

Running back

Juniors Braden Billiot and Justin Morvant will be the starting running backs.

“Morvant is an all-around back,” Brodie said. “He will be our Reggie Bush; we will line him up everywhere.”

Laquandre Freeman and Druvan Robinson will also be in the running back rotation.

“Robinson is a freshman we will use at fullback,” Brodie said. “He’s ready to play and has a big upside.”

Offensive line

Berwick returns four starters on a solid offensive line.

“I think the o-line will be the strength of our offense,” Brodie said.

Seniors Nick Duthu and Sam Bergeron return at guard, while senior Tyvonn Batiste and junior Seth Legendre return at tackle. Bergeron was a second-team All-District 9-3A selection a year ago.

Blake Bergeron will be the starting center.

Wide receiver/Tight End

At wide receiver, Berwick must replace the contribu-tions of such players as second-team All-District wide receiver Nick Osburn.

This year’s starting wide receivers include junior Brandon Navarro and senior Drew Landry. But the Pan-thers will mix in seniors Brooks Richard and Bryce Benedietto, junior Marquis Rogers, senior Tim Shelby, Audwin Williams and Keith Henderson.

The tight ends are junior Tre Matthews and Williams.

“We’re gonna run the pis-tol, and Bobby can change a play at the line at any time, so we need these guys to catch the ball,” Brodie said.

Defensive line

Defensively, Berwick will change from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme.

The defensive line has three starters returning, senior Dontrell Clark, junior Ronald Barrow and Legendre.

Senior Dean Leblanc and sophomore Gavin Barrilleaux also will see a lot of playing time.

“We will also use our offensive linemen here as needed,” Brodie said.

Linebacker

Berwick lost all three starters from last year’s linebacker’s corps, including Mississippi College signee VC Caruso, a second-team all-district selection a year ago, as well as departed senior Luis Hernandez, also a second-team all-district selection in 2012.

“This will be the hole in our defense,” Brodie said. “We will likely have to play a couple of our key offensive starters here. Bobby and Jeremy will have to be in the mix at outside linebacker.”

Other outside linebackers are Navarro, junior Zach Dupuy and Lionel Langley.

The inside linebackers are Matthews, Robinson, Leblanc and Sam Bergeron.

Defensive backs

The Panthers will be strong in the defensive backfield.

Morvant, Billiot, Dupuy and Rogers all will see play-ing time.

Richard also will play some defensive back.

Special Teams

Richard will serve as the Panthers’ kicker and punter.

In 2012, he earned second-team all-district honors at punter.

Schedule

Berwick’s non-district schedule features Class 2A’s Delcambre and Jeanerette, Class 1A’s Highland Baptist, Hanson and Lafayette Christian Memorial and Kipp Renaissance.

Berwick will welcome two new opponents to District 9-3A this season in Donaldsonville and former district foe E.D. White. Both Patterson and Franklin remain, along with the Panthers, from last year’s version of District 9-3A prior to redistricting.

Berwick will compete in the St. Mary Parish Jamboree at Tiger Stadium in Morgan City today when it faces Morgan City in the nightcap of the two-game event. Hanson and West St. Mary will begin the action with a 6 p.m. contest.

The Panthers will open their season at home Sept. 6 against Delcambre.

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