By Will Johnson
GROVETON – After back-to-back first round playoff losses, the Groveton Indians are on the warpath and look to improve on last year’s 6-4 record.
Richard Steubing takes over as the Indians head coach for the 2018 season after serving as the program’s defensive coordinator for the past two years.
Steubing said he had quite a few players coming back including nine starters on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
“We only had five seniors on the entire team last. We had a bunch of freshmen and sophomores who had to play. This year, I think we have seven seniors. Besides one, they are all guys who will play on both sides of the ball,” the coach said.
The Indians will be more run-oriented this year as opposed to the previous few years “… but we’ll still run a spread. We’ll also do some two back stuff as well,” he said.
Defensively, the Indians will be in a 4-3 set and according to the first year head coach, this is where the strength of Groveton lies.
“This will be the third year of being in the same system. We’re returning nine starters who had substantial playing time last year. We have playmakers at all three levels who have experience,” Steubing said.
One area the coach feels the Indians can improve upon is the offensive line.
“We haven’t expected the O line to dominate the line of scrimmage the last few years. We need the offensive line to come on and be a dominant force for us. We have the size, we have the strength, we just have to get in shape and get that mentality,” he said.
Asked specifically what the team’s goal was heading into the season, Steubing commented, “We want to still be playing at Thanksgiving. We have to take care of our business in district but our goal for a successful football season, will be playing at Thanksgiving.”
The Indians will be in District 12-2A DI along with: the Deweyville Pirates; the Hull-Daisetta Bobcats; the San Augustine Wolves; the Shelbyville Dragons; and the West Sabine Tigers.
Players to watch include: Justin Pate; Davuarrio Horace; Anthony Chavez; and Cade Steubing.
“Our key to success is to get better every week and to stay healthy. Just like everybody else at this level, if you have a few injuries, you’re in trouble. We can’t afford to lose anybody. No matter the outcome of these games, we have to hang together and just keep getting better week after week,” the coach said.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.