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Local teams in playoffs

Caleb Lay/Daily Star

OPEN FIELD -- Amite's Devonta Lee returns a kick against St. Thomas Aquinas.

BY CALEB LAY

Daily Star Sports Reporter

sports2@hammondstar.com

After Amite's first lost a game for the first time in 2017, head coach Zephaniah Powell expects his team to bounce back stronger than it was before.

"Our players are very upbeat this week," Powell said. "We're ready to get back under the Friday night lights. There wasn't any screaming or hollering in the locker room after the game, and we didn't stew on the loss when Monday came around." Powell said he thought the loss would benefit the players.

"There was a lot to learn from that loss. You have to learn from your failures, so you can improve and be better the next week."

That 24-20 loss to St. Thomas Aquinas, dropped Amite to 9-1 for the regular season, but the Warriors are the three-seed in the LHSAA Class 2A playoffs. They should make plenty of noise in the postseason.

The Warriors are one of the most talented teams in Class 2A with senior Tyus Wheat committed to play safety at Mizzou, receiver Devonta Lee is a top-50 player in the country for the 2019 class and defensive tackle Ishmael Sophser ranked as the second-best overall recruit for the 2019 class.

Lee also plays defensive back for Amite, giving the Warriors at least three SEC-level prospects on that side of the ball. The team allows just 11.8 points per game going into the playoffs.

Cam Henderson leads the offense as a dual-threat quarterback. With a target like Lee to throw to, Henderson is a threat to run for significant gains on his own or throw the ball deep that let Lee use his athleticism to win jump balls over opponents. Amite's opponent, Bunkie, is the 30-seed after a 3-7 season.

"They run the wing-T and have a couple athletes that can hurt you," Powell said about Bunkie. "But the main thing for us is avoiding turnovers, penalties and possessing the ball since that cost us last week. Those are the things we've focused on during practice this week."

Kentwood

After losing their first game of the season, the Kangaroos ran off nine-straight wins to capture the 3-seed in Class 1A. Kentwood's opponent, 30-seed Tensas, has a 1-9 record. One of Kentwood's biggest assets is speed. Receiver-defensive back Trey Palmer is the 36th-ranked prospect in the 2019 class and is one of the standouts on a team that made it to the semifinals last year.

After returning most of their starters, the Kangaroos have a chance to play in the Superdome at the end of the year.

St. Helena

After going 8-2, the Hawks took the 6-seed in the LHSAA Class 2A playoffs. St. Helena has plenty of athletes like Aaron and Troy Hurst and quarterback Ricky Travis. Travis committed to Grambling earlier in the season, and Troy Hurst is a four-star athlete in his own right.

The big strength of this team is an offensive line that rivals the size of college teams. The average weight of a St. Helena starting offensive linemen is 306 pounds which gets a great push at the line scrimmage on both sides of the ball since most of them play both ways.

St. Helena's opponent, 27-seeded Loreauville, is 3-7.