"Things are coming along for us really well," said Raven, who has scholarship offers from Texas A&M and Ole Miss, along with several other schools. "We have some young guys who will need to make plays and I feel confident that they'll do that. We have some versatile players on offense who can move from running back to wide receiver. Stafford Jones should be a big factor in our offense. He has big legs and gives us some power in the backfield.
"We have a big game in the first week against Patterson and there's some young guys on our defense. I think they'll be alright after they get hit and get the feel of things. Gerron Borne, our junior defensive tackle, honestly - he's a monster. His game speaks for itself."
At 6-foot-2, Raven has unusual height for a corner and that will come in handy when the Wildcats face St. James and WR Alonzo Lewis in Week Three.
"Last year, he (Lewis) ran a couple of hitches early in the game and I hit him and stopped them. After that, he caught another hitch and turned it into a 91-yard gain. I'm not going to lie, I was nervous last year, but things will be different this year."
Jones, a transfer from St. Charles Catholic, hopes to play a similar role as former ESJ running back Alex Singleton (now at Tulsa).
"I'm going to do everything," said Jones. "Run the ball, block, catch passes. I had to file a hardship to get eligible after transferring and Coach Dauterive said for me to come get a starting job. I know that I'm going to do something big this year."
Jones showed that he's more than capable in a couple of games last season.
"We were losing 21-0 to Vandebilt Catholic at halftime," said Jones, "and I had to sit out the first half because I had turf toe. In the second half, I ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns and we came back and won. I also had 150 yards and two TDs against Lusher."
As a sophomore, Jones rushed for 12 TDs. He reports a 3.2 GPA and plans to take the ACT soon.
"I just sent film off to 18 colleges," he said. "Some of the schools I'd like to hear from are TCU, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and LSU."