DeRidder, La. (KPLC) - After posting back-to-back six win seasons, the DeRidder Dragons have already reached that mark going into week nine of this year. It's the Dragons best start since 2015.
"It's so hard to tell high school football because between August and now so many things happen," said DeRidder head coach Brad Parmley. "Whether it's Good or bad, right or wrong. I'm just proud of the kids for showing up every day and working to get better."
2015 was also the last time DeRidder was able to hoist the Hooper Trophy, that is until a couple of weeks ago when the Dragons took down rival Leesville led by senior running back Jalyn Thurman's 213 yard performance.
"It was a big feeling because we didn't win it during my 9th, 10th, or 11th grade year and in my last year we got it," DeRidder running back Jalyn Thurman said. "It was hype because it was unexpected."
Thurman is one of the top rushers in the area with 861 yards through eight weeks, including a 100-yard, five touchdown day last week. It's his versatility and the play of the big guys up front that helps him shine every Friday night.
"He runs the ball well, catches it out the backfield, he returns kicks and plays corner for us when we need him to play corner," Parmley said of Thurman. "Filling up the water bottle might be next. He can do it all."
"They push me to have great thoughts and not think of the bad things," Thurman said of his offensive line. "I stay positive and keep pushing and trusting them to go through the holes."
A battle of unbeaten's in district play awaits the Dragons as Tioga comes to town. Accomplishing something that they haven't in five seasons is the only thing on DeRidder's minds.
“District champs. That’s what’s standing in front of us. I’m hoping we can do it, I know we can,” Thurman said.