LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Washington-Marion Charging Indians are set to welcome their third football coach in as many seasons as the Charging Indians hired Delhi coach Toriano Williams to lead the program.
“When you think about Washington-Marion, they are a powerhouse. But they are one that has been lying dormant a little bit,” admitted Williams. “Coach Harrison did well with some things he was doing here, so now it’s just going to be building on what he started.”
Williams takes over for DeCarlos Holmes, who accepted a job with East Mississippi Community College last month after a 4-6 season with the Indians.
“These young men need someone they can count on. I think it’s very important when trying to re-establish a program back to where it used to be, that you have kids understand that there will be a place that things will remain the same,” said Williams. “It will in turn help with retention of players and getting new players to feel comfortable about coming to your school. When they know the coach is not going to go anywhere, it makes it easier to keep the talent flowing in.”
Williams led Delhi High School to a 9-4 record a year ago, easily the best season during his three years with the Bears. The school’s playoff run ended at the hands of Haynesville in the quarterfinal round.
Before Delhi, Williams spent a season with the Warhorses of Peabody High School where he led the school to an 8-4 record and a district championship. Under Williams, the school won its first playoff game in 50 years.
Both at Delhi and Peabody, a strong offense was his calling card. Last year with the Bears, his team averaged over 37 points per game and only scored less than 20 once.
“One of the things that I really believe in to help my defense is that you’re going to have to make [the opponent] focus more on stopping us. When coaches spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to some things are going to go by the wayside in practice,” said Williams. “I spend time on offense, but I try to make sure defensively, we are able to make the job easier. That’s how my mindset is when it comes to my offense. My offense is there to alleviate some of the pressure from the defense.”
Washington-Marion had little problems scoring points in 2018, as the team averaged over 33 points. Williams believes schemes won’t be a problem with the talent the Indians possess.
“I think it’s more relationship challenges than X’s and O’s. They have shown scheme-wise that they haven’t had a problem no matter who comes in doing whatever they wanted to do. They can make it come to life. I think it’s more relationship issues that we will have to deal with, both community and team.”
Williams isn’t a stranger to Washington-Marion having played under Robert LaVergne during his freshman and sophomore seasons. He’s excited to have a chance to bring the Indians their first winning season since 2012.
"This is probably one of the best jobs you can have in 4A football when talking about the opportunity to fight to go to New Orleans, said Williams. “To bring back the tradition, it’s fun to have the opportunity.”
IN HIS OWN WORDS
On his coaching mentor, Pineville and former Evangel coach Dennis Dunn: “One of my main mentors who gave me an idea offensively of how to coach was Dennis Dunn. He’s like a father to me and he is very close to our family.”
On his football background with Cherry Street: “My background in football basically starts with my parents and from there, Coach Dunn and Coach House. Joe House was the integral part of it all because he was my Pop Warner coach and he made me love football. He was very successful and I learned about success through him being at Cherry Street. Cherry Street was one of the most successful Pop Warner football teams in the city of Lake Charles. Joe House is a legend and I don’t know if a lot of people know that, but he is one that should get a lot of recognition for some of the great athletes that have come through Washington-Marion.”
On a talented pool of athletes at Washington-Marion: “The joy of this job is that you are going to have talent consistently. Now it’s about managing it to the point to where it manifests itself and it become something you can see every Friday night. My goal is to get as many kids in college as we possibly can and that’s really my goal. We can win championships, but if my kids don’t go to the next level, then it’s more of a selfish thing at that point.”