FNF: St. Paul’s leaning on chemistry, experience in 2021 football season

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COVINGTON, La. — The St. Paul’s Wolves finished the 2020 season with a 4-4 record and a loss to Jesuit in the first round of the Division I playoffs.

They will lean on the experience and chemistry of their 15 returning starters in 2021.

Quarterback Grant Billson is one of 5 starters returning on offense for St. Paul’s this fall.

Billson threw for 1,500 yards and 8 touchdowns a year ago.

With a full season ahead, the 3-year starter’s success will be key for the Wolves.

“He’s come a long way in terms of leadership and running the offense.  Just having that confidence and battling through those tough situations in a game and getting through that. He showed that early on last season where we fell behind by a score or two scores and came back and won. So, just battling through that adversity and showing the leadership through that adversity is important for us,” says St. Paul’s head football coach Ken Sears.

Something Billson was able to do with the help of his favorite target and St. Paul’s top pass-catcher last year — Brody Reina.

“Me and Brody have been playing together and against each other since we were 5 and 6. So, I think some of the chemistry has always been there, but I think everyone really saw it against Slidell and Destrehan in our first two games last year and that’s just the beginning of it,” says Quarterback Grant Billson.

Reina hauled in 32 catches for 724 yards and 5 touchdowns, averaging over 20 yards a reception.

“He can push down the field vertically and give us that vertical stretch down the field. He certainly became more consistent catching the ball. Consistency and giving us that vertical stretch really helped us out last year,” says Sears.

“I really think I’ve gotten a lot more confidence. i think that’s a big part of playing receiver,” says St. Paul’s wide receiver Reina.

The Wolves will use a committee at Running Back featuring Ben Knobloch and Danny Sears.

Sears was the Wolves leading tackler last year for a defense that returns 9 starters in 2021. 

“We play fast. I think our front seven is very dangerous this year and we can be something really big,” says St. Paul’s linebacker Danny Sears.

“Just about all of our guys are back. With our d-line, our linebacking corps, two guys returning at corner. I think the strength of that unit is not just all of those guys being back with experience, but just the chemistry they have together,” says Sears.

St. Paul’s opens the season with L.B. Landry, Jesuit, and Catholic New Iberia.

They face Ponchatoula week 9 in a game that could decide district 6-5A.

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