CALVIN LAFITON IS A FOOTBALL LIFER.
The New Orleans-native played college ball at LSU and Nichols State before trying out with the Texans, Buccaneers and Dolphins. He even traveled north of the border to Canada to live out the dream before suffering an injury.
"I always knew I wanted to be a part of football and came back to start coaching," LaFiton said.
His landing spot four years ago was Frassati Catholic, where he is in the process of building a football program from the ground up.
"I just had to come in and create a culture," LaFiton said. "When I first got here, the kids didn't know what football all embodied – the leadership, the brotherhood, the togetherness, the unity. I had to get them to buy into that.
"They are also learning that football is much more than a sport … or an extracurricular activity. They are taking the lessons they are learning from football and applying them to life."
Football is a numbers game. Sure, it's about wins and losses, but it's also about the number of students coming out for football.
Frassati Catholic has played varsity football for only two years. The gains have been coming as the Falcons went 2-8 a year ago and the locker room is starting to fill up.
"The buy-in was the first step and now it's about putting together a winning season and hopefully making the playoffs," LaFiton said. "The guys have been in the system now for three years and the terminology and the staff has remained consistent. We have a lot of guys coming back with experience who can provide the leadership that is so important to a new program."
With the growth of Frassati Catholic, the Falcons have been thrust from TAPPS 3A to 5A virtually overnight.
"These kids just got adjusted to high school football and now they are moving up a class," LaFiton laughed. "The competition will be much tougher, but football is about blocking and tackling. "If we can do that, I feel good about our chances. The sky is the limit."