LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - “Our goal is to build a strong program here at Grand Lake," Grand Lake head coach Jeff Wainwright said. "The effort and energy have been off the charts these kids have given us. The excellence will come. No doubt with how hard these kids are working.”
The Grand Lake Hornets haven’t had a winning season since bringing back their program. The Hornets took a step in the right direction this offseason after making the decision to hire Cameron Parish native Jeff Wainwright to take over the program.
“I feel pretty confident in our ability to win a couple games with coach Wainwright," Grand Lake running back Logun Granger said. "He’s a great coach and all.”
“We’ve had some good coaches over the years, but we haven’t had as good of a coach as coach Wainwright,” Grand Lake slot receiver Luke McCardle added.
“What I’m trying to do is just build on the previous coaching staffs and put in the stuff I need to do," Wainwright added. "This is my third time taking over a program.”
Offensively, the Hornets will take a page from the old Sulphur and Kinder playbook. Grand Lake will be running the triple-option offense with a mixture of some spread principles. This offense will be led on the ground by all-district running back Logun Granger.
“He carried the ball a ton last year for them. There were nights that he was the entire package for them," Wainwright admitted. "He’s just a tough runner and a great high school football player. I’m really looking forward to working with him. I can tell he has the attitude a good ball carrier needs to have. He shows up to work every day and is a fun kid to coach.”
Grand Lake will look to South Cameron transfer Brayden Richard to take the snaps this season. The senior brings a load of experience to the quarterback position. Richard will have plenty of talent surrounding him just 30 minutes down the road.
“He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from playing over there," said Wainwright. "We’re mixing all kinds of things in the backfield together. Our other guy, slot back right now is Luke McCardle and he’s one of the most explosive players I’ve ever coached at any level. It’s a fun time to mix these guys that ball.”
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On defense, Grand Lake will run the 50. Coach Wainwright will be looking to defensive lineman Brandon Morgan to be his eyes and ears on the field.
“He’s a really intense guy who’s focused on his job," Wainwright said. "He has a way of talking to the other players and they respect him. Then, he goes out on the field and outworks a lot of them.”
Although 2018 brought the end of one Cameron Parish football team, the staff is aiming to mix the Tarpon football tradition with the Hornets.
“It’s neat that we’re mixing South Cameron football with some of the South Cameron defense with some of the old South Cameron coaches and now we have some of their old players,” Jeff Wainwright confessed. “We’re really trying to reunite this parish on the football side and build a strong program our parish can be proud of.”