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Story Archives: Richards lead All-Parish
|Richards lead All-Parish|
It was a learning year at Ferriday HIgh School.
First-year Trojan head football coach Richard Oliver had to learn his new team, new district and new surroundings and senior Richard Jefferson had to learn a new position.
They both managed just fine as Oliver is the 2011 Parish Coach of the Year, while Jefferson is the Player of the Year.
Ferriday finished 3-2 in District 2-2A and 5-6 overall, falling to University High in Baton Rouge in the first round of the playoffs.
"At the beginning I had very high expectations," Oliver said. "As the year went on and we started playing so many ninth-graders, my expectations were still high, but I knew what we were facing. We were kind of green.
Jefferson moved from tailback to quarterback.
"That is one of the toughest positions to play," Oliver said. "A lot of people think there is nothing to it. It's very tough. We asked him to run the football so much and he did a good job. We were able to throw the ball more toward the end of the year. We had some young wide receivers and they caught on at the end of how to run their routes."
Jefferson rushed for 1,438 yards and passed for 1,578, accounting for 23 touchdowns. He also had 47 tackles on defense and led the team with seven interceptions.
"It took a while," Jefferson said of his transition to quarterback. "I didn't know what to expect. The first game (Natchez) I took a lot of hits, but that helped me adjust. I love running with the football and I learned a lot during the year. Our offensive coordinator (Rodney Chaisson) worked with me on reading defenses and be the end of the year I was able to recognize a lot of things. I would love to see how I would have done this year playing quarterback earlier at Ferriday. I think I would have had even better numbers and helped the team a lot more."
The Trojans had a tough non-district schedule, falling to Natchez High 19-0 in their opener, defeating Block and Vidalia before losing to Wilkinson County 22-20 and Jennings 31-19.
"Wilkinson County is a game I wish I could get back," Oliver said. "We should have won that game. And I thought we had a chance against Jennings."
The Trojans were the lone district team to beat Lake Providence, defeating the Panthers 30-28 in overtime in Ferriday.
"That was the highlight of the year," Oliver said. "That was the highlight of my overtime career. I lost my first three overtime games. Richard did a good job for us in that game. The entire team stepped up."
Next year should be an interesting year," Oliver said. "We're still going to have a lot of young kids even though their feet have been in the fire. We'll be starting over a quarterback. Miguel Paige was hurt in the Natchez game. Shannon Morales is a good athlete. If he doesn't play quarterback, he will play somewhere. The future is bright and hopefully we will have some more kids come out. We'll begin working with the weights and do that all through the spring. I started out with 60 last year and ended with 38. I would love to get us around 60 as our final number. This is the first time Ferriday played a junior varsity schedule in along time and I think the kids enjoyed that."
Joining Jefferson in the backfield is Vidalia sophomore quarterback Michael Whitley, Ferriday junior Jarvis Brooks and Vidalia senior Jamale Davis.
Brooks rushed for 1,438 yards and posted 18 touchdowns.
He also had 126 yards receiving for the Trojans.
At receiver is freshman Adrian Wiggins, who had 578 yards receiving and scored eight touchdowns.
The offensive line consists of Ferriday senior Carlton McKeel, Trojan senior Charles Chandler, Ferriday senior D'Mirri England and Trojan junior Henry Jefferson.
Named to the All-Parish team on defense were Ferriday senior DeRius Jolla, Trojan sophomore Jalen Neal, Ferriday freshman Dontrell Domino, and Ferriday junior Alonzo Watson.
Watson picked off three passes during the season.
Jolla led Ferriday with 68 tackles from his linebacker position, while Domino followed with 64.
The kicker is Vidalia junior Joshua Fauver.
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