Southern Air Cenla Summer Camp: Grant Cougars

For this part of our Southern Air Cenla Summer Camp, Mary Margaret Ellison takes a look at how the Grant Cougars are prepping for the season.
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:31 PM CDT
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DRY PRONG, La. (KALB) - The Grant Cougars are riding a wave of momentum going into this upcoming season, as they found themselves in the win column eight times last year for the first time since 2004.

As Dillion Barrett heads into his third year as head coach, there is one theme the Cougars are focusing on throughout the season.

“Our theme this year has been ‘rise with us’ we have a new theme every year,” said Coach Barrett. “Two years ago, the theme was ‘all in’. This year is ‘rise with us’ as we are moving from 3A to 4A, so that is kind of our motto for this year.”

“Going from 3A to 4A does have its challenges, it is a different league,” continued Barrett. “I think we are preparing accordingly. We have to take a different approach to certain things, but we are excited about it, and we look forward to it.”

There are 15 seniors who are rising into key leadership positions this season, and the goal is to have back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in program history.

One of the key seniors on the Cougars’ roster is Senior Wide Receiver Eli Morrison, who racked up over 1,600 yards last season, as he played running back and wide receiver.

“I think we are going to carry the momentum to next year, and we are going to show what we are made of,” said Senior Wide Receiver Eli Morrison.

Morrison played two positions last year because of an injury to who would have been their starting running back in Kareem Gaines, who suffered a broken fibula and played only three weeks.

“It means a lot to me considering I had to sit out and miss seven weeks last year not being able to help my team in the toughest games, so I am just really trying to be there for them all this year,” said Senior Running Back Kareem Gaines.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cougars are only returning four starters from last year, but there are new faces on the coaching staff that bring the experience needed to get the defense where they need to be come game time, along with one key player to look out for.

“Landon Friedu plays linebacker for us,” said Coach Barrett. “He will be a sophomore this year. He started midway through the year last year and was a difference maker for us. He is a guy with a ton of potential. We have high hopes for him.”

As rising to 4A brings new matchups, such as Peabody High School and Neville High School, the players are most excited to play their crosstown rival, Tioga High School.

“I have friends that go there. It lights a fuse knowing that we are getting ready to play them,” said Gaines.

The Cougars are looking to keep making program history as they look to make it to the playoffs for the third straight season.

To see who the Grant Cougars will play this season, click here.

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