TDL: Two-A-Days - Grand Lake Hornets
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - “This team is going to be very special this year,” said Grand Lake lineman Bryant Williams. “Like I said, we want to repeat what we did last year but we just have to play as a team and stick together.”
Special can’t begin to describe the improbable run to the state title game the Grand Lake Hornets were on a season ago.
“They know anything is possible now. I think up until that point there was always a shadow of doubt that maybe the state championship was for some other team,” said head coach Jeff Wainwright. “When you get down to playing for it on that last day it starts bringing every workout into question knowing that everything is important.”
That attitude and attention to detail have carried over into this fall. The Hornets bring back double-digit starters led by a strong offensive line.
“The core of the lineman is coming back,” said Wainwright. “Our center, Bryant [Williams], Brett King and our tight ends are coming back. We have a big nucleus there.”
Big is only scratching the surface of UL Lafayette commit Bryant Williams.
“When he is in the weight room or doing his drills, you realize that you get those special players once in a lifetime as a coach,” admitted Wainwright. “You see things that you will never see for the rest of your career. He’s 6′8, 325 pounds and can run a speed ladder like a linebacker, he can slam dunk a basketball and he throws the discus and shotput out of sight. He is a very skilled person at an NFL size.”
Not so good for Grand Lake is the inexperience at the skill positions as Nathaniel Murrell is the only offensive weapon returning. However, Connor Guillotte is back at quarterback after taking over midseason a year ago.
“Guillotte has been amazing. He grew as a player this past season obviously getting thrown into the starting position,” said Williams. “He started at quarterback and took over the offense like that leading us to the state championship. I think he is going to come into this year very confident and I think he’s going to have a break-out year.”
“You knew he was going to be a leader,” said King, “and Connor really stepped up and filled the shoes that Brayden Richard and Eli Fountain had left.”
Guillotte like many other Hornets will be relied upon on defense too. Linebacker Grant Trahan leads the unit that will be stout between the tackles.
“He shows up every day and he works,” said Wainwright. “His group is always in the direction that Coach Picou wants them to be in via his leadership. They have a special relationship and it works.”
“In the box, we are really defined and our defensive backs are really going to shut down all the passes,” said Trahan. “We’re going to stop the run.”
The Hornet secondary comes in an experienced position group as well with three players who contributed to Grand Lake’s title run.
But as Wainwright said, it’s a new season and one that the Hornets will be asked to prove their worth again.
“We just kind of look at it as, someone stole the last bite,” said Wainwright. “There is going to be another dinner table and we’re going to try and get to that last bite.”a
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