The Sulphur Golden Tors are coming off their best season in nearly a decade. A co-district championship coupled with a playoff victory, gives the Tors confidence to stay cooking in 2017.
"With these kids, we kind of look at it as a chef that's cooking and you know we have little different ingredients this year," said fifth-year head coach Jeff Wainwright. "We have to make a little different recipe and a little different style of football."
That recipe a season ago revolved around quarterback Byron Walker and running back J'Cobi Skinner. Both players are the all-time leaders in yards gained in Sulphur history. Despite their departure, Wainwright has prepared the next in line, quarterback Morgan Clark and running back Glenn Willis.
"We're just adjusting along the way. We're still going to be a spread offense and a multiple defense, but the kids that are out there we're just kind of shuffling through them seeing which players fit us and which ones are going to be the players for Friday nights."
The Tors do return some key pieces from a year ago. Tight end Christian Trahan is back after committing to Houston earlier this summer. In 2016 he pulled in 381 yards and five touchdowns.
"Everything needs to be sharp like last year. There were some knickknack things happen and we have to clean that up," said Trahan. "I think if overall we're just sharp, and we get the offense down right now, we don't have to worry about it during the season."
"[It's going to take] hard work and teamwork like last year," said Sulphur defensive tackle Slade Manlief. "It's going to take the same thing for us this year, to go far in the playoffs."
Defensively, Sulphur brings back seven starters including linebacker Michael DuFresne, safety Connor Cook and Manlief. After coming on late a season ago, the Tor defense should be a better unit. They'll need to, as Sulphur plays in the top classification in the state and in one of the toughest districts.
"That makes it fun," DuFresne admitted. "Getting to play high-quality football every year, there are some good teams in our district."
"If you're a true competitor, you enjoy it because it helps you wake up in January and it helps you wake up in June and July when other people may want to rest. All you have to do is start going down the list of the teams in the district," said Wainwright. "You don't need a snooze button."
"There's no better feeling than running out on Friday nights, when you know the stands are packed," Manlief said. "It's the best feeling ever."
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