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ESJ players ‘believe what we are doing’ under third-year coach

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  • Feature Story
  • By:
  • George Becnel
  • Posted:
  • August 09, 2017 - 12:34pm

East St. John coach Alden Foster pleads his case with his football team as the Wildcats go through practice drills on Tuesday afternoon.


From late-summer camp through the first few days of fall practice, it’s been so far, so good, for East St. John’s football team in terms of dealing with the weather.

“We’ve been blessed to get it in every day we wanted to except the last day of camp we had to go in the gym. In Louisiana, you are going to get that,” Wildcats coach Alden Foster said after Tuesday’s practice.

The so far, so good, mantra could be used to describe the Wildcats as they develop under Foster, who is entering his third season as East St. John coach.

“The kids believe in what we are doing. That’s the key,” Foster said. “The last three classes have been pretty good (in terms of numbers). We will just have some inexperience, but skill-wise, we have a few kids that can roll. We have got to just keep working.”

One of the skilled kids who are expected to roll is junior quarterback Dasmain Crosby. Injuries last season to since-graduated Marquis Darensbourg allowed Crosby to gain valuable experience as a sophomore.

“I’m pleased with the play of my quarterback. Even though he’s a little fellow, he’s a proven vet back there. He doesn’t get rattled very much and he understands the offense a lot more than he did last year, which I’m excited about. He has turned more into a leader,” Foster said.

Another familiar face back on offense is senior running back Shelvin Williams.

“Shelvin Keller is our old Mr. Reliable. He’s been starting since we got here and it shows,” said Foster.

Defensive headliners include D’andrea Pittman, John Gayden, and senior defensive back Javon Antonio.

“Javon Antonio has turned into an animal, which is what you expect out of a four-year starter,” Foster said.

There are concerns as fall practice develops. Except for mammoth Jakobi Anderson, a 6-foot-5, 300-pound sophomore, the Wildcats are relative small along the offensive line.

“We just don’t have the bulk and that you normally see in a 5A school. Besides our big kid, Jakobi Anderson, our line is not very big,” Foster pointed out.

The Wildcats will put on full pads for the first time Thursday. After taking part in a “Meet the Wildcats” outing at the school’s gym at 6 p.m. August 15, East St. John will host Karr in a scrimmage August 18 at Joe Keller Stadium.

We scrimmage those guys to see where we’re at. You will not get too much than Edna Karr. That’s the key to us to gauge where we’re at and then we will take what we learn from that scrimmage and go from there,” Foster said.

George Becnel | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

George Becnel is an award-winning journalist and has been a sports writer and editor for more than 30 years.