Southern Air Cenla Summer Camp: Northwood-Lena Gators

Mary Margaret Ellison previews the Northwood-Lena Gators football team.
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 11:09 PM CDT
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LENA, La. (KALB) - The Northwood Lena Gators made school history many times last season, as they won their very first playoff game and made it to the second round of the playoffs.

Tommy Moore enters his second season as head coach, and the mindset of the players has completely changed as they now have a winning mentality.

“We started out talking in the summer about what happened last year, we are happy with what happened, but now everything starts over,” said Coach Moore. “Practice this year compared to last year, even though we have a lot of young kids, has been totally different. Throughout the summer, the older guys talk to the younger guys and show them, this is how you do things, and they are holding each other accountable.”

The Gators’ program will only return six starters and five of them are seniors, who are ready to step up and leave their legacy.

Even though the Gators will have a young team, they said it will not stop them from working to get to where they want to be, which is continue the trend of putting wins on the board.

“We have a lot of new kids coming out from school, which is good for future teams, and they are showing up, which is also a big difference and change,” said Gators junior Fullback and Defensive end Khalil Paige.

Each of the returning starters will play on both sides of the ball this year. Senior Braedyn Gray, who was named all-district second team, will be a linebacker for the Gators, and he also will take on the challenge of being their signal caller.

“I have switched positions throughout the whole defense,” said Gray. “It is crazy having to play both sides and playing wing back and quarterback, it is a lot. I feel like I have to be a team captain and just pick everyone’s head up when a bad snap happens, a bad throw or a bad handoff. I tell them you have to pick it up the next play.”

One of the guys who will be on the line protecting Gray and will also be on defense is junior Jacob Skaggs, who is excited about having the young players on the team.

“We have determination. We have a lot of it and with the new players that we have, they are actually putting in effort,” said Skaggs. “They want to be out here. They want it.”

The Northwood Lena Gators are looking to surpass their success last season and playoffs and a name for themselves in their district.

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