St. Thomas More offensive lineman Payton Logan had to look his head coach Jim Hightower in the eye to make sure of the words that were coming out of his mouth.
Logan was indeed selected to play in the Louisiana High School Coaches Association’s All-Star game.
“I asked my coach if he was sure they wanted me or somebody else,” Logan said. “I always felt like I was a little undersized, but I always worked hard and had the desire.”
Logan, a member of STM’s Division II state runners-up team, was one of 72 players selected and will play for the West team in Saturday’s game scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Louisiana Leadership Institute in Baton Rouge.
Logan, along with STM teammate Bailey Raborn, are also two of 11 players representing the Acadiana area.
“It was great to get invited,” Logan said. “Getting to play with these guys is great. The East has some big guys. If we play hard and play smart, we should win.”
Some of the local headliners from the Acadiana-area contingent include Louisiana-Lafayette commitment Jake Arceneaux of Ascension Episcopal, running back Raymond Calais Jr. of Cecilia, wide receiver/defensive back/return specialist Frederick Williams of Church Point and defensive back Hayden Bourgeois of Division III state champion Notre Dame.
“It’s a huge honor to play,” Arceneaux said. “I’m the first from my school to do this. My coaches are proud. This is really because of them. Anything we did this season, they’ve helped so much. It’s really an honor.”
The entire all-star experience has been fast-tracked since players reported to Baton Rouge on Wednesday.
Both teams went through five practices in preparation, trying to learn personnel and install an offense. Defenses have to play a base 4-3 with no blitzing or stunting and play man-to-man coverage.
The all-star honor is just the latest in a season of memorable experiences for Arceneaux, who directed Ascension Episcopal to 9-1 regular-season record, complete with a share of the District 7-1A championship.
Arceneaux, who will divide time at quarterback in the All-Star game with Patterson’s Sirbastian Charles, helped the Blue Gators (11-2) to a No. 1 seed in the Division IV state playoffs that ended with a 49-42 loss to St. Mary’s in the semifinals.
Arceneaux, an honorable mention Class 1A All-State selection, accounted for nearly 3,000 yards of offense and 32 touchdowns.
“This entire year has been a dream for me,” he said. “I would have loved to have ended up in the Dome, but not everything goes your way.”
STM’s dreams of a first state championship were derailed in the final minutes by Parkview Baptist, losing 24-21.
The Cougars (10-3) earned a share of the District 4-4A championship where Logan — a 6-foot-1, 262-pounder — was named first team all-district, playing both left tackle and right guard for an offense that averaged 389 yards per game.
“I’m excited about the chance to play one more game,” Logan said.
“Especially since it’s against some of the best people in Louisiana.”