They call him "Pup," but his play is nothing like the gentle nickname he’s garnered.
South Forsyth’s junior running back earned the name since his older brother, Zach LaFlamme, a 2012 graduate, was already on the team, so the coaching staff started calling him "Pup," and it stuck.
LaFlamme primarily played linebacker last season, but head coach Jeff Arnette decided to move him to running back after a strong spring showing. However, LaFlamme won’t totally be removed from the defense, as he will still play safety.
"We knew going in that he could run the ball," Arnette said. "He started for us the last two years on defense, even as a freshman he did some starting on defense. This year that was one of the pushes, the coaches wanted him to try and run the ball and we kind of saw it in the spring and in the camp that he looked really good doing it and we he got in the game, he kind of showed out a little bit, and that was exciting for us."
The 5-foot-10, 188-pounder showed out to the tune of 84 rushing yards and two touchdowns on only 14 carries, as South thumped Winder-Barrow 40-21 in the scrimmage on Friday.
"I just played," LaFlamme said. "I really hadn’t played much offense in the past few years and this was the first game playing offense during a game ever since I was little, so I kind of just practiced all summer and all year and just played.
"Last year they had me at running back, but I got hurt so I didn’t really play [running back] and stayed on defense, but this year they moved me back. …I didn’t really have an expectations on how many yards I was going to run, I just knew I was going to run the ball and do my best."
LaFlamme thinks he may have an advantage over other running backs since he knows how a defense thinks.
"It helps me a lot," LaFlamme said. "I know how the defense works and coverages and stuff and so when I’m on offense, I’m more aware of what the defense might be doing.
"I hope I can do really good things at running back. If I need to run someone over, I’ll run them over, but when I’m running, I’m usually just looking for daylight. "
The junior back won’t have to carry the entire load for the War Eagles. Isaiah Williams totaled 809 yards and nine touchdowns on 134 carries last season, en route to a first-team all-county selection. When the two are in the backfield together, Arnette said Williams will more than likely act as a fullback, and the duo could be a force to reckon with.
"Isaiah’s been with us and is our starting tailback, but this year, everybody practices both ways and [playing LaFlamme] gives us more depth," Arnette said. "We knew we were going to put [LaFlamme] at running back, so that’s kind of where we felt like he could help us most, and he turned out to be doing it pretty well."