By Lee Brecheen
Head Coach: Shannon Craig(1st year)
2022 Record: 8-5, State Quarterfinalists
Class & District: Class 3A (District 8)
Playoffs 2022: Defeated Port Allen 44-28 in 1st Round, Defeated Winnfield 36-12 in 2nd Round, Lost to Union Parish 38-14 in Quarterfinals of Division III (Non-Select) Playoffs
Patterson will lose several key players from last season, including OL/DL Destin Smith (East Texas Baptist), WR/DB Howard Kinchen (Nicholls) and QB Caylon Davis (Lane College).
“We graduated 20 seniors from the 2022 season and we have to replace all starting 5 offensive lineman,” said new Patterson head coach Shannon Craig. “The good news is we have 75 players back in the program.We also have talented lineman and our offensive line will average around 6-2, 275 (pounds) across but a young group. We will only have seven seniors in 2023. The team will be made up mostly of freshman & sophomores.”
Craig was on the staff with John Ehret HS when he was a part of a program that had produced RB Darrel Williams (LSU and Kansas City Chiefs), LB Michael Divinity (LSU), LB/QB DeJohn Harris (Arkansas). He was also a member of the coaching staff when the Patriots were the State Championship runner-ups to Zachary HS in 2015. Coach Craig is a graduate of Albany HS where he was a part of the 1992 team that advanced to the playoffs for the first time in school history. Craig graduated from Southeastern in Hammond after starting at Southwest Mississippi Junior College. Coach Craig was also on the staff at Kenner Discovery HS from 2019 to 2022.
The program has two players at quarterback who can start with Hayven Keller & senior Cameron Davis (6-0, 190). Both of these kids can also play other positions when not playing QB. The run game returns talented players in team leader Elijah Johnson (5-8, 165, 4.6 speed), senior Courtney “CJ” Williams (5-11, 200), second-year starter Cameron Davis when he’s not playing quarterback and FB/LB Nate Jones (5-10 220) who has both power and speed. Jones is also a very good blocker. The receiving corps lost some big-time talent and experience but it does return senior WR/DB Khylin Brooks (6-1, 175), who is a talented big-time playmaker with 4.5 speed.
As Coach Craig said earlier in the article, the offensive line will be big. The O-Line will be led by senior Brylon Jennings (6-2, 275, OC/DT Jayce Lenard (6-2, 300), OL/DL Jeremy Watson (6-1, 265) and other young linemen battling it out to start. You also have a talented TE in senior Demond Davis (6-3, 230, 4.65 speed) who is a good blocker and has great hands as well.
The defense returns a lot of young and talented players. Many from the offense will also play on defense along with these players senior CB Dylan Richard (5-8, 165), DE Kannain Nash (6-1, 225), senior LB Christian Bobbot (5-10, 190) who is also a leader and a few young players battling for starting spots.
The special teams will be in the hands of Kicker/Punter Omar Cartez, who is the leading candidate to start at (5-10, 245) one of the biggest kickers/punters in Louisiana.
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