HAYNESVILLE, AS USUAL, TEAM TO BEAT The Haynesville Golden Tornado has dominated the district and there is no reason why the defending state champions won’t do so again. Plain Dealing gave Haynesville a good game last season en route to a runner-up finish. The Lions have one of the state’s top juniors in defensive back and receiver Keldrick Carper (above). The district has two new additions. Homer, Haynesville’s Claiborne Parish rival, has moved down from District 1-2A and has a new coach in Glenn Kyle, who is in his second stint with the Pelicans. New LHSAA member D’Arbonne Woods, a charter school in Farmerville, also joins the district.
Can Haynesville make another state title run?
Haynesville won its 17th state championship last season, second in state history to John Curtis’ 26.
It was the third title for Coach David Franklin, son of legendary Haynesville coach Red Franklin.
When you win that many titles, fans and media start bringing up state championship prospects before the season begins.
But Franklin doesn’t like that kind of talk.
“We’re looking forward to the season but a state championship is the last thing on our mind right now,” Franklin said.
Haynesville didn’t lose a lot of players off last year’s team, but the ones they did lose were a big part of the team’s success.
They include linebacker Kendrick Jackson, the MVP on the Class 1A All-State team. He also played quarterback.
“We lost some really good football players that have been leading the team for a couple of years,” Franklin said.
Among the returnees are Keandre Harris, a first-team All-State linebacker and All-District running back. Others first-team All-District players returning are offensive guard and linebacker Brian Randle, tight end KZ Larkens and defensive lineman Tony Critton.
Treyvon Hunter, a cornerback and halfback, was a first-team selection at athlete. The Tors also have one of the top sophomore athletes in the state in Jamarceon Jackson, a wingback and safety.
How will the battle for second shake out?
Like everybody else, new Plain Dealing coach James Thurman thinks Haynesville is the clear favorite.
He believes the battle for second could be a good one, though, with his team in the thick of it.
Thurman and Franklin both look for Homer, which dropped down from District 1-2A, to be better with former head coach Glenn Kyle back at the helm.
Thurman also has heard good things about D’Arbonne Woods in terms of the number of players out for football.
He also thinks Cedar Creek will bounce back from a rough season with the help of new offensive coordinator Shannon Brown.
x-Haynesville 5-0 14-1
x-Plain Dealing 4-1 9-3
x-Cedar Creek 2-3 3-8
Grambling 2-3 3-7
x-Arcadia 2-3 3-8
x-Ringgold 0-5 3-8
x-earned playoff berth
RETURNING ALL-DISTRICT PLAYERS
(Based on underclassmen who made the 2014 coaches’ team)
POS. (team) NAME YR. SCHOOL
TE (1st) KZ Larkens Sr. Haynesville
TE (1st) Shawntavian Jenkins Sr. Grambling
TE (2nd) Nick Slusher Jr. Cedar Creek
TE (2nd) Eryion Robinson Sr. Arcadia
WR (1st) Keldrick Carper Jr. Plain Dealing
WR (1st) Archie Amos Sr. Grambling
WR (2nd) Tanner Disotell Jr. Cedar Creek
OG (1st) Brian Randle Sr. Haynesville
OG (2nd) Jarvis Harris Sr. Plain Dealing
OG (2nd) Seth Hartsfield Sr. Cedar Creek
OT (2nd) Bijan Mitchell Sr. Plain Dealing
OT (2nd) Caleb Nolte Sr. Cedar Creek
RB (1st) Deandre Glover Sr. Ringgold
RB (1st) Keandre Harris Sr. Haynesville
PK (2nd) Mitchell Spillers Sr. Cedar Creek
POS. (team) NAME YR. SCHOOL
DL (1st) Tony Critton Sr. Haynesville
DL (2nd) Nick Slusher Jr. Cedar Creek
DL (2nd) Dustin Mills Jr. Arcadia
LB (1st) Brian Randle Sr. Haynesville
LB (1st) Bijan Mitchell Sr. Plain Dealing
LB (1st) Herbert McCauley Sr. Plain Dealing
LB (2nd) Ty Mitchell Sr. Grambling
DB (1st) Deandre Glover Sr. Ringgold
DB (2nd) Keldrick Carper Jr. Plain Dealing
DB (2nd) Jarnel Harris Sr. Haynesville
P (2nd) Matthew Pike Sr. Cedar Creek
ATH (1st) Treyvon Hunter Jr. Haynesville
ATH (2nd) Richard Rogers Sr. Arcadia
RETURNING REGULAR SEASON STAT LEADERS
RECEIVING – Keldrick Carper, Plain Dealing, 38 receptions, 759 yards, 8 touchdowns
TACKLES – Bijan Mitchell, Plain Dealing, 91.5; Herbert McCauley, Plain Dealing, 70
Editor’s note: The above appears in the 2015 Bossier Parish High School Football Preview