SULPHUR, La. (KPLC) - Sulphur's solid run came to an end last year as it marked the Tors' first losing season since 2015. This off-season, Sulphur lost six-year head coach, Jeff Wainwright, when he departed for Grand Lake.
The Tors didn’t take long to tab Walker Head Coach Cecil Thomas to lead the program.
“First and foremost it’s been a great offseason for us. We’ve put them in a grind they haven’t been used to in a long time," Sulphur head coach Cecil Thomas said. "They’ve responded to that grind, which is a good thing. We’re excited to get going and we’re excited about the season. We’re ready to play football.”
“It’s been hard. He’s putting us to work," Sulphur full back Jace Dufresne admitted.
On offense, coach Thomas has holes to fill, bringing back just one starter from 2018. Receivers Gavin Elliot and Braylen Walker will be relied on to step up and help move the chains while the team finds its identity. The change at quarterback is noteworthy as Sulphur loses the program's all-time leading passer in Morgan Clark. There’s a battle between Jacob Clark and Tag Stelly as to who will be taking the snaps.
Meanwhile, the offensive line and tight ends are perhaps one of the best in the area, setting up the offense for success.
”We’re going to be multiple in what we are doing. Multiple formations, multiple personal groups," said Thomas. "We’re going to cater to the strengths of our team. You’re going to see a lot of tight ends and a lot of fullbacks. We do have some wideouts who can stretch the field for us. So, we’re going to be multiple fast-paced and try to take advantage of where the defense is not.”
Defensively, the Tors will be implementing the 4-3 defense. Senior Wesley Welch will be the anchor at safety as he flashes speed and the ability to finish. Linebacker Austin Tramonte is also back after picking up nearly 100 tackles in 2018.
“Our defense is right now the strength of our football team," admitted Thomas. "Right now we need them to come through and keep us in some games.”
“They are bringing a lot more of an attacking style defense instead of reacting," said Tramonte. "I love the coaching staff they brought in and I’m ready to go.”
As coach Thomas steps into the 17th head coaching role at Sulphur High School, the Tors are ready to start their 90th season in program history. Thomas said he’s ready to take this program to the next step.
“Our goal is to win district this year. We also want to get past the first round of the playoffs," said Thomas. "Sulphur has a great winning tradition that’s been down the past couple of years. So, we need to bring it back to form where it should be, and we need to bring and get this thing back on the map where it should be. It’s too proud of a community and too many proud kids for it to be down the way they have been down in the past. It’s time to come back and bring it back the right way.”