Winnfield High School head football coach Jay Watson visited with members of Winnfield’s Rotary Club on September 1, 2021, bringing with him the two members of this year’s senior class who have played on the football team all four years of their high school career, Travon Nichols and K. J. Delaughter.
Coach Watson said that, although the football team began practice with 50 members this year, it now has a roster of more than 60 players, including some who are on the basketball or baseball teams and decided to try football this year. The team now has 28 freshmen, 12 sophomores, about 18 juniors and around 10 seniors. Given the newness of several players, it will take time for the team to gel, but Coach Watson feels sure the added depth will enhance the team’s success. This is especially true because of the impact COVID-19 has had on the team thus far this year. In fact, the team began the season with several starting players in quarantine due to COVID, and, as a result, the team was led in its first game against West Ouachita by a freshman quarterback.
Another impact COVID-19 has had on Winnfield’s football program is on ticket sales. The program is funded almost completely by season ticket and weekly ticket sales, so last year’s season of only four games resulted in less than half of the usual revenue for the team. The only other revenue is provided by the Boosters. Therefore, ticket sales are especially important this year to make up for the loss of revenue in 2020.
The stadium has been given a face-lift in preparation for the season, including pressure washing, some painting, refurbishing of the flagpole and new goal posts, it is ready for the first home game on September 3.
The schedule includes games against Jonesboro-Hodge, Caldwell Parish, and Delhi Charter before the district games begin. District games are against Red River, Avoyelles, Many, Holy Savior Menard, Bunkie and Lakeview. The final game, not a district game, is against Jena.
Coach Watson has a staff of four assistant coaches, Byron Keller, defensive coordinator, Mike Breaux, offensive coordinator, Jake Parks, who covers a blend of offense and defense, and Mason Garfield. Eric Jones is a non-faculty volunteer coach for the team.
Watson encourages all everyone in the community to come out to the games this fall and support Winnfield High School’s football team. You can make a difference to the team’s success not only with your ticket purchases but also with increased team spirit in the stadium!
Pictured above: from left Travon, Watson, KJ