LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With success comes expectations. The Welsh Greyhounds know that well as the Hounds are aiming to make it back to the dome for the third straight year. The road there began with change as former coach John Richardson departed for Westlake this offseason. Offensive coordinator, Cody Gueringer was promoted to head coach and tasked with continuing the excellence.
“We take it day by day," Welsh head coach Cody Gueringer said. "We’re not worried about the Dome right now, we’re just focused on getting better today and every single day.”
The Hounds see plenty of change in personnel on the offensive side of the ball as only three starters return. Leading the way is running back Jaheim Simon who finished 2018 with over 1,100 rushing yards in just 12 games.
While the backfield has the experience, the receiving corps will be learning on the fly after losing Welsh's all-time leading receiver in Da'Ren Zeno.
“You’re obviously never going to replace Da’Ren Zeno in one year at the same capacity, but we’re hoping that Ethan Theriot will step up," Gueringer said. "Will Green is going to be on the outside and will step up, he played cornerback last year, getting playing time. So, we’re just trying to see who can play. The best 11 will be on the field at all times.”
“It’s a lot different this year after losing those big guys as seniors," Welsh’s center Gavin Richard said. "But I think it’s just the same thing this year. we look just as good and we have players that fill the spots just as well.”
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The other side of that ball is where Welsh has plenty of experience with eight total starters back from a year ago. The Hounds will be sticking to 4-2-5 and relying on their front six as Jevin and Kaden LaBouve bring the intensity needed at linebacker.
“Kaden and Jevin LaBouve are good players," said Gueringer. "They’ve seen it all and they’ve seen every scheme. They know every blocking scheme that’s come. Also, with them playing on offense has only helped them on defense. They know what to expect and how to do things.”
“We just have to come out and stay focused,” said linebacker Jevin LaBouve.
As the Hounds approach 2019 they're ready to continue the tradition and legacy the previous senior classes handed down.
“It’s all about the hard way: hustle, attitude, respect, discipline and they are really buying into that. They are taking ownership of the program. They have a sour taste in their mouth from last year. We sat in the weight room in January and I told them ‘you got to the Dome again, but you lost’ so what will you do to uphold your legacy. No one will remember your junior year, everyone will ask you what you did your senior year,” Gueringer said.