Ferriday senior running back Daminya Milligan busted onto the scene in a big way as a freshman in 2017, rushing for 951 yards.
As a sophomore in 2018, Milligan rushed for 1,572 yards as the Trojans advanced to the Class 2A semifinals, falling to Amite.
Needless to say, 2019 was filled with high expectations.
The Ferriday team reached those expectations, winning a state title.
Milligan was unable to build off his early success, however, suffering an ACL injury in January of 2019, and then missing too many credited class hours and being ruled ineligible for the 2019 season.
"It was tough sitting out there and seeing the guys win a championship without me being a part of it," Milligan said. "It gave me some motivation. but we didn't get it done."
Ferriday went 6-1 during the regular season, losing to District 2-2A champion Mangham 42-26 in a season shortened by COVID-19.
The Trojans were unable to play their final two games, and their first-round playoff game against East Feliciana was won by forfeit after East Feliciana had positive tests.
Ferriday, the No. 7 seed, lost to Port Allen 22-20 in the second round to finish the year at 6-2.
Milligan, the All-District 2-2A Offensive Player of the Year, finished the year with 1,110 yards rushing on 64 carries and 18 touchdowns, averaging 17.3 yards a carry and 185.0 yards a game, earning All-Parish Player of the Year honors for the second time in three years.
"The first two games I felt a little rusty, but that was it," Milligan said. "It was good to be back out there and a lot of fun. I don't feel like I played as good as I did my sophomore year."
In Ferriday's third game of the season against General Trass, Milligan rushed nine times for 160 yards and three TDs.
In a 70-0 win over Vidalia, Milligan had 272 yards on eight carries, scoring four touchdowns.
"I had never scored against Vidalia until this year," Milligan said.
Milligan said he plans on playing at the next level.
"I want to play on offense and score touchdowns," Milligan said. "I need to get in better condition."
Smith, the All-Parish Coach of the Year, knew 2020 was going to be different when he had to shut down practice in August.
"That gave me a little idea of how crazy this year was going to be," Smith said. "But I think we contained it pretty good. We had it early and it hit us late. For two weeks we couldn't do anything. We couldn't work out, couldn't do anything and then we had to come back and compete at a high level. And then our first series against Port Allen on defense we give up a touchdown on the second play, and then the first series on offense we fumbled the ball."
Smith said the loss to Mangham dampered the season because the Trojans were wanting to win district and then a state championship.
"That was a rough patch after that loss," Smith said. "We had to be quarantined for two weeks and then come back and get ready for the playoffs. But the kids played hard against Port Allen. We finished the game hard, but the ball bounces funny ways sometimes."
The Trojans also were without five players who went on to play college ball, including three-year starter Kobe Dillon who was named Class 2 Offensive Most Valuable Player.
Dillon helped lead the Trojans to a state championship, completing 120-of-199 passes for 2,112 yards and 23 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,730 yards and 21 touchdowns.
"We lost some big leaders in Kobe, Roosevelt Davis, Tevyn Byrd, Roosevelt Davis and Byron Milligan," Smith said. "They weren't rah-rah guys, but they led by example, played hard and did things right. COVID changed a lot of things for us. We didn't really have a solid offseason. We just didn't have the opportunity to hone in what we needed to do for upcoming season. But that's the way the cookie crumbles."
Smith is looking at four seniors next season at this time.
"We're losing a lot of seniors," he said. "We're challenging a lot of guys to step up and buy in to the offseason program, continue to work hard in the classroom and in the community and do things the right way. We still won a lot of ballgames this season. It's just next man up."
The 2020 All-Parish football team shows a lot of disparity because of the number of games teams were unable to play.
Joining Daminya Milligan in the backfield are Ferriday senior quarterback Jyron Milligan, Vidalia junior running back Nickaloes Banks and Delta Charter senior Tre Griffin.
Jyron Milligan passed for 837 yards and eight touchdowns, while rushing for 33 more.
Banks rushed for 525 yards and had 200 yards receiving in six games.
Griffin rushed for 604 yards on 76 carries with seven TDs.
The wide receivers are Ferriday senior Elijah White, Vidalia sophomore Chris Brooks and Ferriday junior Dylan Boxley.
Brooks totaled 400 receiving yards and had 200 yards returning kicks.
White caught 13 passes for 228 yards and four touchdowns.
Dylan Boxley caught nine passes for 195 yards and a touchdown.
The offensive line consists of Ferriday senior Vincent Hollins, Vidalia senior Daniel Hartwell, Delta Charter senior Will Procell, Vidalia junior Gabe Bourke, Ferriday senior Brondric Hawkins, Delta Charter Chase McGraw, Ferriday junior Dontavious Henderson
The athletes are Vidalia sophomore quarterback Sema'j Hayes, and Delta Charter senior Kenzeric Hollins.
In six games, Hollins rushed 97 times for 541 yards and two touchdowns and completed 8-of-28 passes for 154 yards and three TDs.
Hayes passed for 800 yards and rushed for 150 with eight touchdowns.
The tight end is Delta Charter junior Jarred Barron.
Barron caught two passes for 53 yards and was a solid blocker for the Storm.
The all-parish defense line consists of Delta Charter senior Luke Roberson Ferriday senior Blake Tarver, Trojan senior Khylyn Lewis and Delta Charter senior Drew Brown
Brown led Delta Charter with 46 tackles with 31 solo stops.
Roberson collected 20 tackles, freeing up DCS linebackers to make several stops.
Tarver collected 47 tackles, 10 for loss, had four sacks, one interception and 12 quarterback hurries.
Lewis had 53 tackles, 17 for losses, five sacks, forced three fumbles and had 15 quarterback hurries.
Linebackers are Delta Charter junior Curtis Bullitts, Ferriday senior Donta Boxley, Ferriday senior Kobe Johnson, Vidalia senior Chris Davis and Ferriday senior Larin Stampley.
Bullitts collected 39 tackles, 32 which were solo.
Donta Boxley totaled 60 tackles, 13 for loss and had two sacks and two interceptions. He also totaled 13 quarterback hurries.
Stampley totaled 72 tackles and recovered a fumble.
Davis totaled 45 tackles and had eight sacks.
Johnson totaled 55 tackles, six of loss, had two interceptions, broke up four passes and forced two fumbles.
Cornerbacks are Delta Charter junior Peyten Roberts, Storm freshman Juvari Singleton, Vidalia junior Traveon Hill and Ferriday junior Sharone Finister.
Roberts totaled 32 tackles, 22 of which were solo.
Singleton collected 38 tackles, 31 of which were solo. He also had an interception.
Hill finished with 50 tackles. He also had 200 yards receiving.
Finister had 25 tackles, three interceptions and broke up 15 passes.
The kicker is Vidalia senior Brett Walsworth, who averaged 37 yards a punt. He also caught two TD passes at tight end.