Long before a young 2016 Calvary football team makes it to the District 1-2A race, the Cavaliers might be battered and bruised, but definitely battle tested.
Calvary will scrimmage Loyola and Natchitoches Central in the preseason, then will face Ouachita in the jamboree. The non-district slate features Teurlings Catholic, Peabody, Byrd, Zachary and Union Parish.
“Our first five games take us into the land of the giants,” Calvary coach John Bachman said. “We’ll be battle tested for sure. I just hope we still have some guys to compete with.”
But don’t fret for Bachman’s boys just yet. They are strong, talented and experienced where they need to be – at line of scrimmage.
“The people in the box have had a number of reps, so that should give us a chance to grow up,” Bachman said. “We have a lot of experience there.”
Seniors Hunter Beatty and Landon Guerrero, along with junior Marvin Williams will anchor and offensive line that also includes senior tackle Damien Doyle and sophomore guard Christian Manno and John David May.
Gone is a defensive secondary that sent players to Oklahoma, LSU and Oklahoma State.
“Who everyone lost and has coming back is what makes us different and the same,” Bachman said. “We’ll be young at spots, so we’ll need to grow up on the field. Some of these guys have been backups – not in a position to be the guy we depend on. So that’s different.”
The Cavs also have two of the most exciting offensive players in the area in Kordavion Washington and Kyle Jones, who Backman calls “a special, special player.”
The duo combined to score 25 touchdowns and score 156 points last year for Calvary. Jones caught 36 passes for 687 yards, while Washington rushed 115 times for 897 yards and 17 scores.
The defensive line will be anchored by senior Dalton Brook and junior Luke Robinson, backed up by senior linebacker Jack Tyndall.
“I’ve told the guys that as far as talent goes, this may be the least talented team we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Bachman said. “But it’s teams that win championships, not talent. We can be excited because this ‘team’ has a chance to take us places.”
Quarterback Jake Bartley graduated, so the Cavs will turn to freshman Cade Hart and sophomore Keithen Lewis, who doesn’t become eligible until the third game, to run the ship.
“Keithen is more cerebral, while Cade is probably more of the athlete,” Bachman said. “We’re more than comfortable that both of them can take us to the Promised Land. Cade may be tough to unseat because of the reps he’ll get before Keithen becomes eligible.”
Sophomore punter Brian Barber, who attended numerous camps this summer including the IMG Academy in Florida, is under orders to punt the ball out of bounds, according to his coach.
“I’ve been in games where the punter kicked the ball 65 yards and teams returned it 85 yards,” Bachman joked.
Calvary Baptist Academy
2015 record: 9-3 advanced to Division III quarters
Coach: John Bachman Sr.
Quotable: “I’ve told the guys that as far as talent goes, this may be the least talented team we’ve had since I’ve been here. But it’s teams that win championships, not talent.” — Bachman
Key game: The Cavs host Class 4A Teurlings Catholic, a team that went 9-4 last season and advanced to the Division II semifinals, in their opener, and their performance will say a lot about their season.
Returning starters: Offense 5, Defense 5
Players to watch: RB Kordavion Washington, WR Kyle Jones, LB Jack Tyndall, Punter Brian Barber
2016 Calvary schedule
Sept. 2 Teurlings
Sept. 9 at Peabody
Sept. 15 at Byrd (LH)
Sept. 23 at Zachary
Sept. 30 Union Parish
Oct. 6 at North Caddo
Oct. 14 Red River
Oct. 21 at Lakeview
Oct. 28 Lakeside
Nov. 4 Jonesboro-Hodge
2015 results (9-3)
Teurlings Catholic L 28-45
Peabody W 52-20
Byrd L 21-49
Zachary W 42-28
Union Parish W 21-7
North Caddo W 49-7
Red River W 40-13
Lakeview W 56-8
Lakeside W 41-0
Jonesboro-Hodge W 35-12
Dunham W 50-7
Notre Dame L 7-28