The addition of Carencro, coupled with the subtraction of three teams from St. Martin Parish and another from Iberia Parish, has brought a distinct Lafayette flavor to District 4-4A.
With Lafayette-based Teurlings Catholic and St. Thomas More already giving the district a reputation as one of the state’s best in Class 4A, the inclusion of Carencro to go with Northside only adds more appeal to the league.
“It’s similar to what it’s been before with quality opponents week in and week out,” said Northside coach Trev Faulk, whose district also includes Opelousas and Beau Chene. “We’re used to playing against tough opponents each week.”
If anything, competition within the new-look district will only increase when you match former nondistrict foes Northside and Carencro as well as the Bears and St. Thomas More together in high-stakes league games.
“It’s good,” Teurlings coach Sonny Charpentier said. “Anytime you don’t have far to go to play is good. It helps with the gate; the interest level is increased. That’s why the Catholic League in New Orleans is so popular: They know each other and they play each other all the time. They have a natural rivalry.”
To illustrate Charpentier’s point: The four schools in Lafayette Parish are separated by a total of 15 miles, with Northside and Teurlings (1.5 miles) and Carencro and Northside (4.5 miles) the closest to each other. Moreover, Opelousas and Beau Chene are divided by a 13-mile stretch of I-49 in St. Landry Parish.
“It’s fun to play people you know,” Carencro coach Rip Eveland said.
Carencro and Northside, who both participated in 7-on-7 play this summer at Teurlings, played each other in the second week of the season the past two years.
Not only are the schools close in proximity, but Faulk, a former Lafayette High and LSU linebacker, is related to Carencro offensive coordinator Kevin Faulk, a former LSU All-American and three-time Super Bowl winner with the New England Patriots.
“It will have a little more meaning this year with us competing for a district championship against those guys,” Trev Faulk said of Carencro. “We’re looking forward to it.”
Carencro has also had STM on its schedule and did so last season, resulting in one of its three losses, en route to the District 3-5A championship.
Eveland, who has been at Carencro for 34 years and is entering his third year as head coach, said it has been close to three decades since the Bears faced Teurlings in a regular-season game.
Eveland and current Rebels assistant Tony Courville served together on Carencro’s staff under Mac Barousse for approximately 10 years when the Bears won the 1992 Class 5A state championship.
“When our kids have some familiarity, I think they play harder,” Eveland said. “I hope so.”
The league’s signature series only gained in interest with Teurlings’ remarkable second-half rally, erasing a 26-point deficit for a 56-46 victory over St. Thomas More.
“We were fortunate enough to win, and that adds to it,” Charpentier said. “Last time I checked, to have a rivalry, you have to win a few every once in a while.”
Teurlings and STM are Lafayette Parish’s largest parochial schools and, following a long break, they resumed their series in 2011 as playing partners in the same district.
The Cougars had won all three of their league matchups by a total of 28 points until last year’s improbable comeback.
“The interest is good for high school football,” Charpentier said. “It’s a win-win if you handle it well.”
Coach: Rip Eveland (11-10, third season)
2014: 8-3, 6-1 District 3-5A
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to Covington in Class 5A first round)
Looking back: Carencro thrived in tight-game situations a year ago, winning four district games by a touchdown or less.
Moving forward: For the first time in recent memory, the Bears are in Class 4A.
Ask The Advocate: With seven returning starters on defense, Carencro will have to compensate for its talented but young offense.
Projected starters on offense (multiple): TE Sampson Smith (6-0, 200, Sr.), SE Trevor George (6-2, 180, Jr.), T Chase Melancon (6-0, 250, Jr.), G Tyrek Portalis (5-11, 250, Sr.), *C Braylon Simon (6-0, 215, Sr.), G Gabe Duplechain (6-1, 180, Sr.), *T Ken Mouton (6-1, 260, Jr.), QB Gabriel Duffy (6-0, 195, Sr.), *RB Tyriek Campbell (5-11, 190, Jr.), WR Eric Toliver (6-3, 165, Sr.), RB Kendrarious Pollard (5-6, 140, Jr.) or Mondarious Pollard (5-6, 140, Jr.).
Projected starters on defense (3-3-5 stack): *DE Wendell Barras (5-11, 245, Jr.), *DT Gerrun Phillips (6-2, 295, Sr.), *DT Cory Augustine (5-11, 250, So.), *LB/E Austin Gary (6-1, 200, Sr.), *LB Rashad Harding (6-2, 190, Sr.), LB Jayln Angelle (6-2, 200, So.), SS Drakelle Harmon (5-10, 160, So.), *CB Traylon Barnaba (5-11, 185, Jr.), *FS Kevin George (6-3, 185, Jr.), *SS Kordell Williams (5-9, 180, Jr.), CB Juan Noel or Dorian Gregory.
Sept. 4 Westgate
Sept. 11 at New Iberia
Sept. 18 at Acadiana
Sept. 25 Sam Houston
Oct. 2 Breaux Bridge
Oct. 8 at Opelousas#
Oct. 16 St. Thomas More#
Oct. 23 at Northside#
Oct. 30 Teurlings Catholic#
Nov. 6 at Beau Chene#
Coach: Trev Faulk (11-21 in three seasons at Northside, 24-22 overall)
2014: 4-7, 2-4
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to North DeSoto in first round)
Looking back: Northside enjoyed a signature win over Evangel Christian but didn’t taste postseason success for the second straight year.
Moving forward: One advantage the Vikings enjoy will be an experienced offensive line that averages 260 pounds.
Ask The Advocate: Two games in three weeks against defending state champions Acadiana and Livonia could set the tone for Northside’s season.
Projected starters on offense (spread): *T Jaylon Newcoste (6-4, 255, Sr.), *G Anthony Ozene (5-10, 254, Jr.), *C Jacob Hutchinson (5-10, 270, Sr.), *G Tyreek Sonnier (5-10, 280, Sr.), T Quontae Chargois (6-1, 250, Sr.), QB Markaylon Byrd (5-10, 170, Sr.), RB Raleigh Robinson (5-8, 170, Sr.), RB Braylon Constantine (5-10, 170, Jr.), *WR Denzel Cormier (6-0, 160, Sr.), *Phabien Ryan (6-1, 190, Sr.), *WR Taveon Leary (5-8, 150, Jr.).
Projected starters on defense (multiple): *DL Jason Celestain (6-2, 230, Jr.), DL Christian Broussard (6-0, 200, Jr.), *DL Tyler Shelvin (6-3, 320, Jr.), LB Antoine Prejean (5-10, 200, Sr.), *LB Devontai Wilson (6-0, 230, Sr.), LB Byron Zeno (5-9, 175, Jr.), LB Ty’Rike Simpson (5-8, 175, So.), DB Tyrese Bellard (6-0, 180, So.), Jason Castille (5-10, 165, So.), DB Chance Prejean (5-10, 170, So.), Theophilius Rose (5-9, 170, So.).
Sept. 4 at Acadiana
Sept. 11 Cecilia
Sept. 25 at Livonia
Oct. 2 at Westgate
Oct. 9 at Teurlings Catholic#
Oct. 16 Opelousas#
Oct. 23 Carencro#
Oct. 30 at Beau Chene#
Nov. 6 at St. Thomas More#
Coach: Dwight Collins (first season)
2014: 2-8, 0-5
Last playoff appearance: 2004 (lost in second round)
Looking back: After three wins in three seasons, former OHS player Quentin Payne is no longer leading the Tigers.
Moving forward: Collins, a former linebackers coach at Eunice, is a head coach for the first time.
Ask The Advocate: OHS needs to play to its strengths: an experienced offensive line and linebacker corps led by second-team all-district performer Payton Duffy.
Projected starters on offense (Wing-T): Hunter Lacroix (5-10, 145, Jr.), TB George Dominick (5-9, 184, So.), FB Shaun Charles (5-7, 145, Jr.), WB Steven Edwards (5-7, 155, Sr.), *SE Carl Jason (6-3, 185, Sr.), TE Bryce Louviere (6-0, 180, Jr.), OL Derek Henry (6-3, 329, Jr.), *OL John Zacharie (5-7, 229, Sr.), OL Kenneth Bergeron (5-9, 180, So.), *OL Delano Thomas (6-1, 298, Sr.), OL Christian Willis (5-11, 296, Jr.).
Projected starters on defense (multiple): *DL Caleb Villery (5-9, 180, So.), DL Leo Franklin (6-0, 240, So.), *DL Marquarious Andrus (6-3, 220, Sr.), *DL Marlon Young (6-2, 215, So.), *LB Payton Duffy (5-11, 245, Sr.), LB Aaron Johnson (5-9, 175, Sr.), *LB Michael Manuel (5-7, 165, Sr.), LB Michael Reese (6-2, 180, Jr.), *DB Christopher Boutte (5-11, 155, Jr.), Jawan Nimer (5-7, 145, Sr.), DB Jordan Lemelle (5-7, 150, Sr.).
Sept. 4 at Eunice
Sept. 11 at Lafayette
Sept. 18 Madison
Sept. 25 St. Martinville
Oct. 2 Ville Platte
Oct. 8 Carencro#
Oct. 16 at Northside#
Oct. 23 Beau Chene#
Oct. 30 at St. Thomas More#
Nov. 6 at Teurlings Catholic#
St. Thomas More Cougars
Coach: Jim Hightower (272-88 in 29 seasons at STM, 376-116-1 overall)
2014: 9-2, 4-1
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to Jesuit in Division I select quarterfinals)
Looking back: STM lost to eventual Division I state champion Jesuit to end its 2014 season.
Moving forward: The Cougars elected to play in Division II for the postseason this year.
Ask The Advocate: STM has its own version of the “Killer Bs” on offense in QB Will Bellamy and RB/WR Trevor Begue, a duo that could lead the Cougars a long way.
Projected starters on offense (spread): *QB William Bellamy (6-0, 183, Sr.), RB Evan Trahan (5-9, 187, Sr.), *RB/WR Trevor Begue (5-11, 181, Sr.), *WR Griffin Hebert (6-4, 191, Jr.), WR Jamison Thibodeaux (6-0, 175, Sr.), *T Nathaniel Gentry (6-2, 242, Sr.), G Steven Gardner (5-11, 251, Sr.), C Landon Roy (5-9, 220, Sr.), *G Ethan Wood (6-0, 235, Sr.), *T Payton Logan (6-2, 273, Sr.), *TE Nick Morton (6-3, 227, Sr.).
Projected starters on defense (4-2-5): *DE Aaron Monrose (6-1, 210, Sr.), DT Logan Kluseman (6-2, 265, Sr.), DT Hunter Clay (6-1, 270, Jr.), DE Christian Leonard (6-1, 220, Sr.), ILB Will Waguespack (6-0, 230, Sr.), ILB Ethan Broussard (5-10, 215, Sr.), OLB Hunter Markerson (6-1, 195, Sr.), *OLB James Brauns (6-0, 215, Sr.), CB Payton Broussard (5-11, 185, Sr.), CB Josh Hebert (5-10, 165, Sr.), FS Connor Latiolais (6-0, 180, Jr.).
Sept. 4 Sulphur
Sept. 11 vs. El Dorado (Ark.) in Shreveport
Sept. 18 Plaquemine
Sept. 25 at Catholic-BR
Oct. 2 Hahnville
Oct. 9 Beau Chene#
Oct. 16 at Carencro#
Oct. 23 at Teurlings Catholic#
Oct. 30 Opelousas#
Nov. 6 at Northside#
Teurlings Catholic Rebels
Coach: Sonny Charpentier (179-55, 21st season)
2014: 9-2, 6-0
Last playoff appearance: 2014 (lost to Rummel in Division I select quarterfinals)
Looking back: Teurlings has won or shared in the past two district titles, including an undefeated run a year ago.
Moving forward: The Rebels open the season with two-time defending Division III state champion Calvary Baptist and play Shaw and Catholic of Baton Rouge for the first time.
Ask The Advocate: The development of playmakers around Arkansas QB commitment Cole Kelley will be of paramount importance to the Rebels’ success.
Projected starters on offense (spread): TE Paul Hammes (6-2, 210, Sr.), SE Jacob Richard (6-2, 195, Sr.), WR Hayden Cantrelle (5-9, 170, Jr.), *Jacob Mathews (6-4, 280, Sr.), LG Zeb Burley (6-1, 300, Sr.), C Cole Quebedeaux (5-11, 245, Sr.), *RG Ashton Whaley (6-1, 270, Sr.), RT Justin Mathews (6-2, 290, So.), *QB Cole Kelley (6-7, 250, Sr.), *FB Noah Harris (5-9, 180, Sr.), TB Jansen Lormand (5-10, 175, Jr.).
Projected starters on defense (4-3): DE Jordy Provost (6-0, 210, Sr.), DE Brennan Pratt (6-2, 200, Sr.), *DT Caden Malbrough (5-9, 250, Sr.), *DT Greg Grappe (6-1, 245, Sr.), *OLB Alec Robertson (6-1, 210, Sr.), OLB Jonathan Fontenot (6-2, 215, Sr.), OLB Kaede Collette (6-0, 190, Sr.), *CB Justin Murray (6-0, 185, Jr.), CB Luke Mahne (5-9, 175, Sr.), FS Landon Taylor (5-10, 170, Sr.), *SS Luke Gossen (5-11, 185, Sr.).
Sept. 4 Calvary Baptist
Sept. 12 at Shaw
Sept. 18 at Notre Dame
Sept. 24 at Breaux Bridge
Oct. 2 Catholic-BR
Oct. 9 Northside#
Oct. 16 at Beau Chene#
Oct. 23 St. Thomas More#
Oct. 30 at Carencro#
Nov. 5 Opelousas#
* — returning starter; # — district game