COVINGTON, La. – A very young Northlake Christian football team finished 2019 with a 5-5 record and first-round exit from the playoffs.
“They matured. We say that some of them took their lumps last year because we were young., but they went out there and competed, they fought, and they gave it everything they had even though they were young. That does something for a young man as far as confidence level,” says Northlake Christian Head Football Coach James Willis.
Second-year head coach James Willis says the Wolverines return 15-18 starters from last season and is excited to see their growth.
“We have a lot of guys who have experience last year, who I am expecting this year to have a better season and are an impact in our district.”
Guys on defense like All-District Linebacker, Justin Picone, and offensive lineman, Justin Perrit and Joshua Dufour.
Senior leaders that are crucial to Northlake Christian’s success in a district that is neck-and-neck each season.
“You have to be tough, because a lot of us have the same numbers so you have to be smart as far as how you train them and how you prepare them to make sure that you haven’t peaked too early and you haven’t gotten everything out of the tank by the time the season is over with,” says Willis.
“So, you have got to manage everything week-by-week and also understand that you have a lot of different skill sets throughout this district. So, playing to that and not against it. In other words, you can’t come out and run the same things every week, you cannot do that. You have to be able to adjust and adapt week-by-week.”
So the main goal for coach Willis’ Wolverines in 2020, “Start fast. I want to get off to a good start. You should judge your team by, how much did we get better week-by-week so I want to see us pick up where we left off (from 2019) and see us improve week-by-week. That starts in training cap, that starts in offseason workouts. I want to see improvement each day and not just stay the same the entire time.”