We begin our Football Friday Night 2-A-Days preview series. NBC 10 Sports will travel to every high school in Northeast Louisiana and Southeast Arkansas, leading up to the start of the regular season.
The 2020 tour begins with Oak Grove and Camden-Fairview.
Last December, Oak Grove hoisted championship hardware for the first time since 2001. Entering the 2020 campaign, the Tigers only lost seven starters combined from the offense and defensive sides of the football.
But, those who are gone were play makers for Ryan Gregory’s crew. Bert Hale is now at Louisiana Tech. Kenean Caldwell now plays for Kansas. The former starting quarterback, Braden Sullivan? Gone as well.
Under center, the Tigers will debut former starting safety, Deuce Clement. He was asked by NBC 10 Sports how he will adjust to his new role.
“That’s a good question, really, that’s a good question, ” says Clement. “But, I got some reps last year. Got a little playing time at QB. But, I’m going to work hard this offseason. This long break we get to really get better to perfect being a good quarterback though.”
Taking over for Caldwell at the defensive tackle position is Reid Milligan.
“To come back behind Kenean [Caldwell], is kind of a blessing, ” says Milligan. “You don’t see people of that caliber in high school too much. Going to be hard to fill. But, I’m going to give it my best to see if I could do what he did.”
Our second stop of the day takes us to Camden-Fairview High School.
The Cardinals return 15 players from last year’s squad. In 2019, they finished 6-5 overall, including 5-2 in conference play.
According to head coach Jake Monden, something is different about this team.
“Well I tell you what the culture has really changed around here, ” says Monden. “That’s one thing. And, these kids have put in a lot of hard work. It’s evident. You leave practice everyday, and it’s a pleasure, actually. These guys have been fun to coach so far.”