Outstanding DEfensIVe Player
Hayden Bourgeois/Notre Dame
There might be other players out there who had better statistics than Bourgeois, who finished the year with 64 tackles, one interception and three defensed passes. But statistics never have been the true measure of Bourgeois’ game. Talk to his coaches and those who had to coach against him. They will tell you, unequivocally, that Bourgeois was the beating heart of a Notre Dame defense that finished a nearly miraculous season: eight shutouts, 52 total points allowed, 10 points allowed in four playoff wins against teams that were, until they ran into Notre Dame’s defense, a combined 39-6. The Pios had as rock-solid a collective unit as you’ll find, but Bourgeois was their heart and soul.
DL Peyton Adams
This two-way player finished the year with 84 tackles, seven sacks, three fumble recoveries and a touchdown.
DL Trey Vautrot
Vautrot was a force on Notre Dame’s fierce defensive front, racking up 16.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.
DL Zi’yon Hill
Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook called this 285-pounder as good a player as his team faced all year.
DL Von’darius Freeman
The 3-5A defensive MVP had 14 sacks, posted 32 tackles for loss, forced eight fumbles and picked off a pass.
LB Shea Zaunbrecher
Zaunbrecher was the Pios’ MVP in the state title game, but he was active all season with nine sacks and 64 tackles.
LB William Noegel
The 7-1A defensive MVP made 158 tackles with 12 tackles for loss, three sacks and an interception.
LB Patrick Burleigh
The leading tackler on Notre Dame’s defense, Burleigh also had 11.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.
LB Tanner Wiggins
Wiggins was all over the field, making 115 tackles (14 for loss) while forcing five fumbles and recovering three.
DB Jalen Johnson
Johnson earned all-state honors after picking off four passes and breaking up 11 others for the Eagles.
DB Michael Bourgeois
Bourgeois had two interceptions and 15 passes defensed — including a season-high seven against Teurlings.
DB Tyler Derouen
One of the truly great two-way players in the state, Derouen made 84 tackles and picked off six passes.
DB Emile Trahan
Trahan filled up a stat sheet with 57 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, two interceptions and four forced fumbles.
RS Frederick Williams
Williams scored on two kickoffs and a punt. He averaged 32.4 yards per kick return and 15.7 yards per punt return.
Outstanding OffensIVe Player
Stefano Guarisco/Central Catholic
This was the year of the running back in Acadiana, and nobody had a more prolific overall season than Guarisco, who was a one-man wrecking crew for the Eagles. In 12 games, Guarisco ran for 2,728 yards and 39 touchdowns, caught 15 passes for 312 yards and five touchdowns and finished with 47 overall touchdowns and 32 two-point conversions. That means Guarisco averaged — averaged! — 253.3 yards from scrimmage and 28.8 points per game. In the regular-season finale against a previously unbeaten Ascension Episcopal squad, he ran for 358 yards and six touchdowns in a blowout win. Oh, by the way, he threw for a score in that game as well. Is there anything he can’t do? Not likely.
QB Hunter Frith
Frith put up monster numbers in a pass-heavy attack, throwing for 3,712 yards and 42 touchdowns.
RB Brontre Griffin
The super sophomore led the state with this statistical line: 3,064 rushing yards, 47 rushing touchdowns. Wow.
RB Chris Lee
Lee virtually single-handedly carried the Raiders in playoff wins against Peabody and Marksville.
WR Tyler DeRouen
Hauled in 58 passes for 1,364 yards and 14 touchdowns and added 388 rushing yards and seven more scores.
WR Ronald LeBlanc
LeBlanc finished with 45 catches for 872 yards (19.4 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns.
TE Ethan Smith
The Pios didn’t throw much, but when they did, Smith was a top target. He averaged 20.9 yards per catch.
OL Wyatt Richtofen
The Panthers’ mountainous offensive lineman cleared the way for an offense that averaged 37.3 points per game.
OL Alan Zaunbrecher
One local coach deemed Zaunbrecher as one of the best offensive linemen Notre Dame has ever had.
OL Thomas Garber
Clearing holes for Guarisco was junior lineman Garber, who made the LSWA’s all-state team.
OL Michael Remondet
Just a sophomore, Remondet led a physical line that cleared a path for the Blue Gators’ talented playmakers.
OL Jacob Vicknair
Vicknair makes this list for the second consecutive season as the undefeated Pios’ top offensive lineman.
AP Jake Arceneaux
Arceneaux got it done with both his arm (2,355 yards, 26 TDs/4 INTs) and his legs (534 yards, 6 TDs).
COACH OF THE YEAR
LEWIS COOK/Notre Dame
There were several coaches in this classification who were worthy of this honor. But nobody’s team played with a ferocity quite like Cook’s Pios. Cook pushed all the right buttons, guiding his team with a first-year starter at quarterback to an undefeated season, during which the Pios defeated opponents by an average score of 37-4. A masterful job by a man approaching living legend territory — if he’s not there yet.