The Vermilion Catholic Eagles are in the midst of a special season.
A year after making a run undefeated all the way to the state title game, it was fair to think maybe this year’s team would take at least a small step backward.
That has not happened. Once again, VC is undefeated and is the top overall seed in the Select Division IV playoffs. After a bye in round one, they are set to face #17 Delhi Charter.
A big reason for their success is two-way player Jackson Trahan. Trahan splits time on the O-line and at defensive end, and was a starter on last year’s State Runner-Up team as well. He caught up with us before the playoffs in today’s Prep Profile Q&A.
QUESTION: We’re here with Jackson Trahan of Vermilion Catholic. Jackson, you’re a guy who has been here before. You were a part of a pretty special team last year. But to come back then off of kind of heartbreak at the very end, a lot of teams struggle to come back from that. You guys never really skipped a beat. So what kind of goes into that?
ANSWER: We had a great season last year playing with those guys. It was fun over the summer. We really wanted it this year. We know we had to work hard to get back where we were last year, so we just knew what we had to do.
Q: And going into that, you guys get off to an interesting start with a lot of close games, but you won them all. And then you get into a mode there where you start really dominating. So what allowed you to have that success?
A: Just over the summer working hard, getting that extra stuff at the practice or after workouts or in the chemistry with the team. We’re all close, so we’re just playing together. It really helps.
Q: You guys have a pretty special player at quarterback (Jonathan Dartez) and he’s accomplished a lot while he’s here. So what’s it like having a guy like that who will keep you in the game?
A: He’s a hard worker. He deserves it all and he works very hard and knows his stuff. He watches a lot of film, plays hard, and is a great athlete So it’s great to have him back there.
Q: Now into a playoff stretch here already got the first round out of the way, and now it’s into the second round of things. So what do you have to focus on in order to make sure you’re taking each opponent and doing what you need to be able to win each game?
A: We’re very excited that we get to play at home first of all and we respect the opponent that we have to go against. We’re just trying to be well-prepared to play through practice by staying locked in.
Q: And what’s it been like being the team that everybody’s targeting? You guys are the top seed, you’re the ones that everybody’s expecting to make a big run. So does that change your your approach at all?
A: No, we don’t like to think of ourselves like that. We like to think of ourselves as the underdog.
Q: And lastly, as you go through the stretch run, how much does that experience from last year making a big playoff run help this group?
A: We know what it’s like. We know what we have to do to get back where we were.