The 2018 Morgan City High School Tiger football team (Submitted Photo/Courtesy of Wade Gussman Photography)
MCHS to begin 2nd tenure under Stroud in 2018
Morgan City High School will begin the Chris Stroud-era for a second time when it hits the field this season under the veteran coach.
Stroud, who coached the Tigers from 2001-2004, will return to the Morgan City sidelines this season after he was hired this summer following the resignation of Ferrante Dominique in June. Dominique had been hired in January to replace Eric Howard, who was not retained after a one-year stint coaching the Tigers.
Stroud said that the community, the players and the administration are excited about the upcoming season.
“I still do not have enough players, and that’s the honest facts, but the kids that I have are working very hard and they’re doing all the right things,” Stroud said earlier this month. “We’re just deficient in a few areas, and we don’t have enough bodies in a few areas for depth for when you get into a game and you have injuries.”
As of early August, Stroud said he had about 37 players showing up consistently.
“We’re improving,” Stroud said. “We’re getting better.”
However, he said there is still a lot of work to do.
In addition to his head coaching duties, Stroud will serve as the team’s defensive coordinator and coach special teams and linebackers.
Assisting Stroud this season will be Andrew Madden, offensive coordinator; Hunter Perrin, offensive line; Chris Brown, running backs; Duriel Singleton, wide receivers; Jason Viator, defensive line; Josh Grizzaffi, strong safeties and special teams; Terence McCutcheon, secondary; and Tim Vidos, linebackers.
Morgan City will run a spread, shotgun look like they did in 2017 but they also will utilize some Wing T principles in the run game off of the shotgun look. Sometimes, the squad will line up in a Wing T look with a tight end and a wing.
“I’ve got a few friends who have had some success running that type of offense. … It really fits our kids,” Stroud said. “The misdirection fits our kids.”
Morgan City’s Tate Alcina, Khai Hartley and Chris Pitre are battling for the quarterback job this preseason.
“Some of them look good throwing the ball a little better,” Stroud said. “Some of them look good running the running game a little better. Some of them look good just taking the leadership of the offense, so they all have their strengths and weaknesses.”
Alcina completed 15 of 33 passes for 298 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.
Devonta Grogan also will see some time at quarterback in a wildcat role. Grogan was a second-team All-District 7-4A selection as an athlete a year ago. He led the team with 55 carries for 260 yards and two scores a year ago.
Noah Sierra Mitchell Mancuso and Dylan Tingle are who the coaching staff is looking at in the fullback position.
“They’re fighting for the fullback position,” Stroud said. “They all do it well. They’re not great speed guys. They’re blockers. They hit the hole hard. They’ll give us some yards. They’re tough kids.”
Nathaniel Campbell is also working at fullback.
The Tigers have been working Hayden Barron, William LaRocca, Grogan, Campbell, Ahmad Hawkins and Zion Landry at the slot back position.
The Tigers’ wide receiver options are Deondre Grogan, Jhai Robinson, Cade Mills, Justice Perou and Taaj Delaune.
Deondre Grogan led the team with 21 receptions for 520 yards and four scores in 2017.
Maurice Mitchell, Hartley (if he isn’t the starting quarterback) and Landry are among those working at tight end.
The team’s starting tackles will be Garrett Deshotel and Austin Deshotel, while Garrett Aucoin will be Morgan City’s center. Several players are battling for the team’s two guard positions. Kytrell Grogan and Cesar Lorenzo are options along with Brandon Jones and Andrew Williams. Jones and Williams will share time at a guard position and not be full-time starters because they also play on defense.
Others being looked at in fall camp were Chris Prejean and Zachary Allemond.
The Tigers will run a 3-3 stack but will adjust to the looks offenses give them.
“So we end up playing a lot of 50 defense, but we’re going to play some cover 2, some cover 3,” Stroud said.
Stroud says he likes his defensive line, which features Jones, Jeremiah Rink and Williams, who all are returning starters.
“I’m impressed by them,” Stroud said. “They’re not huge. Brandon’s a bigger kid. The other two are not huge. They’re just tough, quick kids. Good football players.”
Stroud said Noah Sierra and Mancuso, who he said both have elevated their play, likely will be starters, but he has to find a third option.
Others working at linebacker are Campbell and Hartley.
Gone from a year ago, due to graduation, is second-team All-District 7-4A selection Morrquise Charles.
Martin, Hawkins, Perou and Mills all are fighting for the strong safety position.
LaRocca will be the team’s free safety.
“He’s really taken charge of the secondary,” Stroud said of LaRocca. “He’s a leader on defense. He’s not a big kid, but he’s a ballplayer.”
Pitre also is learning the free safety position, Stroud said.
Devonta Grogan and Deondre Grogan are the team’s two starting cornerbacks, while Alcina and Delaune are backups.
Andy Rangel likely will be the team’s PAT/field goal kicker.
Sierra likely will handle the team’s putting duties, and Rangel is working there, too.
Stroud said earlier this month he still is looking for someone to handle kickoffs but Rangel was handling the job at the moment.
In the deep snapper position, the Tigers have Tingle, while LaRocca also will handle the role on extra points.
The Tigers’ return game will feature Deondre Grogan, Devonta Grogan, Barron, Delaune and Mancuso.
Morgan City High School’s nondistrict schedule features Berwick High School, Hanson Memorial, North Central and Donaldsonville.
In District 7-4A action, Morgan City will face E.D. White, South Terrebonne, South Lafourche, Ellender, Vandebilt Catholic and Assumption.
Stroud said he is familiar with Morgan City’s district, having faced the opponents before.
“They play good football down the bayou down there, so we’ve got our work cut out for us when we get to district,” Stroud said. “I don’t think with the numbers that we have, I’m ready to make any kind of predictions. It’s going to be a battle. It’s going to be tough, and that’s the reality.”
Morgan City will host its annual jamboree Friday, meeting Patterson in the second of two games, starting at approximately 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers open the season at Berwick on Aug. 31.