In just a few weeks, the Amateur to Professional Developmental Football League will kick off the 2018 season and everything in the past will become even further in the rearview mirror. Time will tell which team truly made the most of their off-season, but the Plaquemines Parish Broncos are confident this season will be good to them.
“We’re looking good,” Broncos owner Tony Henry told Developmental Football USA. “We’ve got a lot of our veterans back and we’ve got a lot of guys out of high school that are looking to get to college and play. We’re looking like our championship team from 2011.”
The Broncos, who were established in 2008 and come into this season ranked No. 14 in the APDFL, know that they’ll need to play almost flawless football all-season long if they want to play for the President’s Cup, due to the level of elite organizations in the APDFL.
“The Dynasty is one,” Henry said. “We played them a couple of years ago and the Jaguars are always a competitive game. That’s like a rivalry game for us and the Lightning is another rivalry game for us.”
Plaquemines Parish will face the Dynasty on March 17 and both the Lightning and Jaguars in May just prior to playoffs. The outcome of these games should give everyone a good indicator of who truly is cut out to make a run for the championship this year.
“I think we’re going to match up well,” Henry said. “We’ve got a lot of veterans back and a lot of young guys hungry to play ball. In our system, we should do well. We should compete with these guys. They are rivalry games, so we know what they do and they know what we do, so it’s basically who wants it more.”
It’ll take solid veteran leadership for the Broncos to make their goals a reality and veteran leadership is one thing they have going for them.
It starts on offense.
“Darrell Nevis is my quarterback,” Henry said. “He’s like a Culpeper. He’s a big guy with a big arm and he’s hard to bring down and Kyle Franklin is my all-around guy. He does everything. He plays some quarterback, running back and wide receiver. He does everything. He plays defense, he’s a hell of an athlete.
“Those two on the offensive side should be dominant.”
Defensively, Henry will continue to look to the versatile Jeff Gallet, who plays some along both lines as well as at linebacker.
“He’s my signal-caller on defense,” Henry said. “He plays wherever I need him. He’s just an all-around leader, gets the guys to come to practice, picks them up, drops them off, just an all-around leader.
“He can run a practice, if I’m not there, and make sure everything runs smoothly. He has a nose for the ball and everybody respects him and he makes my job a lot easier. Whatever play is called, he knows where everybody is supposed to be.”
Gallet is joined on defense by another veteran that makes things easier on the coaches, in shutdown cornerback Gabriel LaFrance.
“I put him on the other team’s best receiver,” Henry said of the 6-foot-1, corner. “He played cornerback and linebacker at Southern University, so he has college experience. His technique is good and he just knows how to play the ball when he sees it. His height and length is what makes him a good asset on the cornerback side.”
While every team’s ultimate goal is to bring home the championship, Henry knows it is a process, so the Broncos focus is taking things one step at a time.
“Winning our division would be a success,” Henry said. “The last time we were in the APDFL, we won our division, so claiming that title back would be a start, then finishing the season strong and having a strong push in the playoffs.”