For head coach Donald Paul the answer is fairly simple.
How do the Comeaux Spartans go from a playoff team to a program that can compete and ultimately claim the District 3-5A championship? Play better defense.
“My opinion it is defense,” Paul said. “This league is offense heavy. Whoever has the best defense is going to win the district title. We got to put a big emphasis on stopping people.”
Comeaux is coming off a 5-5 regular season, 3-3 in district play, and earned a spot in the state playoffs — losing to Ruston in the opening round. Paul is proud of what his Spartans accomplished last season but how the season ended is what has been the focus of the team’s offseason improvements.
“We beat Acadiana and we beat Sulphur and I don’t when the last time that was done at Comeaux,” Paul said. “Those were two big wins for us and we got this momentum and we then head up to Ruston for the playoffs and have over 500 yards of offense and lose the game.
“Proud of the effort,” Paul added. “But I think it is great point for us to build upon and improve on for this season.”
Leading that improved unit in 2019 are senior safeties Tyreke Boyd, a first-team all-district honoree a year ago, and Kavias Honore.
“They get us in the right spots and those two are fun to watch because they fly around,” Paul said. “They are both heat seeking missiles and they both bring it.”
Honore is up for the challenge of having the defense improving on giving up 17.6 points per game in 2018.
“We are up to the challenge,” Honore said. “To be honest, our whole defense has gotten better. We got stronger and more physical over the summer. I feel like we are ready for the season and anything that is going to coming at us.”
Honore added, “There is no more foolishness going on. We are really are paying attention back there. Me and Tarik are making sure the younger guys are paying attention more.”
If Comeaux’s defense can match the play-making ability of the team’s offense then the Spartans could make a run at the district title.
The team switched to an option offense last season and when Tre Harris returned to the team after deciding to focus just on basketball the offense began to take off. Comeaux scored 30 or more points three times over the last five games of the regular season.
With a year under his belt in the offense, and with returning playmakers like wide receivers Malik Nabors and Jalon Lewis, Harris could have an even bigger season in 2019.
“He is great athlete and smart kid,” Paul said. “He is so much better with it this year by having that time with the offense in the spring and the summer. Our offense is going to be pretty special.”
“I feel like I am better prepared because I have a lot more chemistry with team,” said Harris who is committed to Louisiana Tech as a wide receiver. “I feel like I can trust everyone more this year than last year. My running back and offensive line because they know where they need to be.”
For Comeaux, just making the postseason is not the goal. The Spartans are looking to compete for a district title and make a deep playoff run. Comeaux hasn’t advanced past the first round since 2009.
Harris for one pledges to do whatever he can to avoid repeating what he and his teammates went through in Ruston last November.
“I saw my teammates crying and stuff it really opened my eyes to pick this game up and take it more seriously,” Harris said. “I really want to show everybody that we only have one year left and that we have to go out with a bang. We can’t have no first round exit.”
Comeaux High Schedule
9-6 Comeaux at Tuerlings Catholic
9-13 Cecilia at Comeaux
9-20 Comeaux at Notre Dame
9-27 Comeaux at Lafayette High
10-04 Sam Houston at Comeaux
10-11 Comeaux at Acadiana
10-18 Sulphur at Comeaux
10-25 Comeaux at New Iberia Senior High
11-01 Southside at Comeaux
11-08 Barbe at Comeaux