Bearcats expect strong season
BASILE – The seniors on the 2020 Bearcat team have advanced to the Class 1-1A state football quarterfinals three straight seasons.
As a program, Basile has advanced to the quarterfinals eight times in the past nine seasons.
Kevin Bertrand took over as the Bearcats head coach in 2014.
Last season, Basile finished 8-5 overall, 5-2 in District 4-1A as the Bearcats fell to No. 2 Oberlin in the quarterfinals.
In 2018, the Bearcats earned the district title and finished 10-3, falling to Kentwood in the quarterfinals.
In 2017, Basile went 9-4 as the Bearcats’s season ended with a loss to Oak Grove in the quarterfinals.
The coronavirus erased the spring practices and Bertrand said the missed time is something all teams will have to adjust to.
“We have a lot of guys coming back but not being having the spring practices really hurt,” Bertrand said. “But their attitudes have been great and their work ethic has been unbelievable even with all the uncertainity of what has been going on.
“They really missed football and being in school,” he said of his team. “They are ready to get back at it.”
With the first two games on the schedule taken away, the Bearcats are scheduled to face Sacred Heart of Ville Platte on Oct. 8.
The aftermath of Hurricane Laura could affect Basile’s District4-1A games against Hamilton Christian and Grand Lake.
“We know Lake Charles and Cameron Parish both have a lot of damage,” the coach said. “I know they have bigger problems to deal with than football.
“But hopefully they can get their lives back to normal soon.”
The other district games include Elton, East Beauregard, Merryville, Gueydan and defending district champions Oberlin.
“If we start the season with just one game before district starts we are going to have to pick up on things fast,” Bertrand said. “Because every game seems to be a rival game for us.”
Bertrand said he is looking to his seniors to lead the way this season.
“They are setting a good example for the younger guys and they are showing them how we do things as Bearcats.”
The offense will be different this season according to the coach, even with seven returners.
“We lost all of our starting running backs from last year,” he said. “But I have confidence in what our guys can do.”
Senior quarterback Cole Manuel will lead the offense, while juniors Ethan Langley and Ethan Bazinet will line up behind him at running back.
“Cole grew as a quarterback as the season went on last year,” the coach said. “I am thankful to have his experience on offense.”
The offensive line is experienced with seniors Bryson McCoy, Wesley Lejeune, Anphrony Guillory and junior Gabe Fontenot.
Sophomore Christian Bergeron will be the new starting center for the Bearcats.
Junior Justin Smith returns at tight end/wide receiver.
Logan Guillory will also see action at wide receiver.
The defense should bestrong again this season with nine returning starters.
“We always lean on our defense as we put our best out there,” the coach said. “We try to win games with our defense.”
Justin Smith and Lejeune return at defensive end with Anphrony Guillory at nose guard.
Returning starters at linebacker are Bryson McCoy and Baylor McCoy.
Returning starters in the secondary include Bazinet, Langley and Manuel.
“I am looking forward to seeing the team back on the field that first game.” the coach said. “It has been so long since they had any sense of normalcy.”