Blake Forsythe started a new job bright and early on Thursday morning. It’s a position that both he and his bosses hope that he has for a long, long time.
The Tarpons named Forsythe their head football coach this week, ending a month-long search to find a replacement for Brandon Nowlin, who was dismissed after 2016 – his only season with the team.
Forsythe, 26, was the offensive coordinator at H.L. Bourgeois this past season, helping to guide the team to the Class 5A State Playoffs, despite facing one of the most challenging districts in the state.
The new coach was picked out of the pool of nine candidates who applied for the job.
He started his position on Thursday, calling the job a dream come true for both he and his family.
Prior to the job at H.L. Bourgeois, Forsythe also spent time as a coach at E.D. White. As a player, Forsythe was a standout lineman at St. Charles Catholic – a multi-year contributor for longtime Comets coach Frank Monica.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity at South Lafourche,” Forsythe said. “It is a great community with a blue collar mentality that loves their football.”
For Forsythe, the objective is clear: bring stability to a Tarpons program that’s been in rough waters for the past several years.
Forsythe is the third head coach the Tarpons will have employed in three seasons – a rare spat of instability for a program that had just four head coaches from 1966-2003.
A LaPlace native, Forsythe graduated from St. Charles Catholic, then attended college at Nicholls State University. During his time in college, he immediately dove into coaching, starting his career with E.D. White, where he learned under Kyle Lasseigne and the rest of the Cardinals staff.
He then went to the Braves in 2015 and called plays for an offense that became prolific on his watch.
Forsythe utilizes a lot of shotgun formations, but he incorporates power runs and veer principles in a lot of his packages, despite the spread-out look.
With the Braves, Forsythe helped groom quarterback Jude LeCompte, who was one of the top athletes in the entire state in the past season – a player that routinely rushed for 100 yards or more on Friday nights.
H.L. Bourgeois scored 40 or more points in three games in 2016, including a thrilling comeback victory over Central Lafourche.
With the Tarpons, Forsythe can likely replicate that feat.
The Tarpons were just 3-7 last season, but they heavily battled the injury bug throughout the year, which significantly altered the team’s results.
Offensively, the Tarpons return several starters, including halfback Corbin Allen, lineman Chad Cheramie Jr. and split end Brock Bailleaux, who is expected to change positions and move to quarterback.
Defensively, South Lafourche brings back guys like Terry Hunter and Jeremy Rogers, both of whom will contend for District MVP honors.
Principal Gaye Cheramie said she’s excited to see how Forsythe utilizes the talent the team has in its locker room, touting that the new coach’s ability to get the most out of players was one of the main factors that prompted the hire.
“(He) brings with him an enthusiasm and love for the game,” Cheramie said in an emailed statement. “Coach Forsythe is a welcome addition to the South Lafourche family.”
Forsythe has already started his job in Galliano, and he will be teaching health courses, in addition to his football duties.
Forsythe will immediately take over the Tarpons offseason program, before leading the team into spring football practices later in the school year.
Posted on Fri, February 3, 2017
by Gazette Sports Reports