by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner
This may be not surprising to those in the Southwest Louisiana area but Lake Charles College Prep could end up shocking the state when it steps on the field this fall.
In its second year as a member of Class 3A, Lake Charles Prep has high expectations. A program technically still in its infancy does not show many signs of weakness. LCCP locked up its second consecutive district title, its first in Class 3A, last season while also having defeated Class 5A foes Natchitoches Central and Sulphur.
According to FizzRankings, the factors used in determining a “dark horse” for each class looks at a program who finished outside of the “Top 100” football teams in the last five year breakdown as well the program’s positive trajectory for the last few seasons. Another factor that plays into the formula is the coach. A coach with 3-6 years of experience has a positive trajectory within that time frame and can help a team’s ranking.
The expectations have not changed entering the 2020 season with the squad expected to be even stronger. Lake Charles Prep returns nine offensive starters from a team that lost just nine lettermen total.
Head coach Erick Franklin expects to have a solid team with a ton of veterans set to return for a run at a third straight district championship as well as a deep run in the Class 3A playoffs.
The Trailblazers return a slew of offensive personnel that have either committed or are entertaining offers from multiple FBS programs. South Alabama commit Dillon Simon returns at the QB position after having passed for over 2,500 yards and 24 touchdowns last season with just three interceptions. Senior wide receiver Glynn Johnson, a New Mexico State commit, totaled a few yards shy of 1,000 last season along with 12 touchdowns.
Other key personnel include Louisiana Tech commit Solomon Lewis and Grambling commit Jaylen Joseph. Keshlon Jackson and Trevonte Citizen have each been offered by several FBS schools.
On defense, Lake Charles Prep looks to develop a unit that returns just four starters from last season.
LET THE DEBATE BEGIN!
Others to watch: The Caldwell Parish Spartans adopted the mantra, “One Way Football”. That slogan defines the Spartan squad perfectly as they continue to improve year-by-year and go only one way and that is up. Head coach Buster Duplissey has Caldwell on the right track since starting out with just one win in his first two seasons. In the last three seasons, the Spartans have gone 27-8 and advanced to the postseason each time. Look for Caldwell to make some noise in Class 3A this season and make a deep run in the playoffs.
The Iota Bulldogs have come a long way since a pair of winless seasons in 2013 & 2014. Under head coach Josh Andrus, the Bulldogs are seeing an upward trajectory and could cause damage along the way this season. Iota is just two years removed from a semi-final run along with a 13-1 record. Look for the Bulldogs to continue improving but don’t count them out as contenders in 2020. Most may keep Iota “under the radar” but we might see a nice run in the postseason from the Southwest Louisiana school.