New head coaches in Cenla looking for fresh start in year one
CENTRAL LOUISIANA (KALB) - There are some new kids on the block for the upcoming high school football season in Central Louisiana as four local schools hired new head coaches in the offseason.
Bolton, Buckeye, Peabody and Marksville will look to start the new era of the program in the right direction in 2022.
James Dartez was hired back in March to be the new head coach for the Bolton Bears replacing former coach Mark Teague who is now an assistant at Holy Savior Menard. Dartez aims to turn around a Bears program that went just 2-7 last year and missed the playoffs in Class 4A.
For the Buckeye Panthers, the team fell just short of making the playoffs in 2021 after posting a 4-6 record. The school went with a prominent name in Central Louisiana for their next head coach in Ben McLaughlin. The former LCU quarterback served the last three seasons as the offensive coordinator at ASH where he helped lead the Trojans to the Class 5A State Title in 2020.
McLaughlin hopes to lead the Panthers to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
The Peabody Warhorses had a bumpy road in 2021, failing to get into the win column and finishing the season 0-10. After the season, the school relieved former coach Marvin Hall after four seasons and hired former LSU Tiger and New Orleans Saint Harry Coleman as the next head coach.
Coleman has to replace the talents of Arthur Lavalais and Greg Knox III in his first season as he looks to lead the Warhorses to the first winning season since 2019.
Out of the four schools with new head coaches in 2022, the Marksville Tigers were the only team to make the playoffs.
After former coach JT Dunbar stepped down after 20 years as the head coach, the school promoted Jimmie Hillman as the new head man. Hillman served as the school’s offensive coordinator for the previous five seasons.
The Tigers are hoping to carry the momentum that the team built in the second half of last season. After starting the 2021 season 0-5, the school finished the regular season 3-2 to clinch a spot in the playoffs before losing in the first round.
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