There is some new found intensity at Alexandria Senior High this season.
With 27 returning seniors, the Trojans are continuing to adjust to life in Class 5A with new assistants around second-year coach Sam Goodwin.
Leading the charge of those assistants will be Thomas Bachman, who brings an impressive resume and a deep offensive mind.
“We have seven new coaches that we didn’t have last year and all of them have made a lot of contributions,” Goodwin said. “Most of them have worked with coach Bachman before and they have a great camaraderie to start with, so I think that’s going to be the biggest change from last year.”
If you ask anyone in Louisiana, the Bachman name carries a great deal of weight.
Bachman’s father, John, has coached Calvary to back-to-back LHSAA Division III championships over the past two seasons and had the younger Bachman on his staff when Evangel won the Class 2A title in 2009.
Bachman, who went 23-21 as Bastrop’s coach from 2011-2014, was attracted to the ASH gig as a chance to build it to what it once was.
Since making the move to Class 5A in 2013, the Trojans have struggled to a 3-17 record after making the playoffs 10 straight years from 2003-12. Despite this, the athletes have taken kindly to their new coaches.
“They have high character and have responded,” Bachman said. “They have responded to every challenge and it’s a process that we have worked through. We’ve learned them and they’re learning us. The kids have been great and I can’t say enough about them. We have to continue to grow, we’re not there as coaches or players. But the process is there.”
Behind center, Bachman has possibly one of the best quarterbacks in the state in Matthew Beck and it has not taken long for him to sing high praises of his new signal-caller.
“He’s as good as I’ve been around,” Bachman said. “I tell him all of the time, ‘Matt, I don’t think you know how good you are’. He’s a humble kid and a hard worker. He’s everything that you could want and he’s phenomenally talented. He has all the physical gifts that you could want, but he’s a phenomenal leader. He ranks right up there at the top.”
At 6-foot-6, the LSU baseball commit put up many big games last season despite a young offense, including putting up 466 yards of passing in a heartbreaking 48-45 loss to Natchitoches Central. However, with an experienced squad there is a goal in mind.
“We want to win,” Beck said. “I want to lead my team and do the best that I can to help them win football games.”
At the skill positions, Beck has a senior-laden group around him in running back Kyle Smith, wide receiver Mack Johnson and wide receiver/running back X’stavious Dorty. However, the underclassmen cannot be ignored as there is some talent there as well.
Juniors Suede Taylor and Khalil McGuire, along with sophomore Jorien Vallien are talented and can keep the Trojans afloat when this year’s senior class leaves.
“It’s a good group of skill kids and there’s some good sophomore mix in there,” Bachman said. “I’m impressed with the kids.”
Defensively, ASH has its heart and soul in Jake Bellino returning after he missed the final six games with an appendectomy last season.
Bellino’s return will take some of the pressure off of fellow senior Kolby Parker, who will move back to his familiar role as an edge rusher.
“We have a lot of good leaders on our defense,” Goodwin said. “I’ve got six or seven kids on our defense that have played a lot and have great work ethic and attitudes. I’m excited about our defense. We might be thin at the line, but we have guys that can play.”
Sept. 4 — Northwood-Shreveport
Sept. 11 — at Bolton
Sept. 18 — at Leesville
Sept. 25 — Tioga
Oct. 2 — Ouachita Christian
Oct. 9 — at Pineville
Oct. 16 — at Ouachita Parish
Oct. 23 — Ruston
Oct. 30 — Natchitoches Central
Nov. 6 — West Monroe at ASH
Franklin Parish 25, ASH 14
Comeaux 36, ASH 9
Lafayette 44, ASH 13
ASH 29, Tioga 19
Peabody 42, ASH 27
West Monroe 55, ASH 6
Pineville 28, ASH 6
Natchitoches Central 48, ASH 45
Ruston 38, ASH 3
Ouachita Parish 55, ASH 6
Last 10 Seasons
2014 — 1-9
2013 — 2-8
2012 — 5-6
2011 — 8-5
2010 — 4-6
2009 — 9-2
2008 — 6-4
2007 — 4-7
2006 — 6-5
2005 — 7-3