Kentwood and Southern Lab pulled off perhaps the rarest of double-doubles. First, the two District 6-1A rivals won state titles on back-to-back weekends.
Now Southern Lab linebacker Chris Allen and Kentwood quarterback Shyheim Carter have swept the top honors on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 1A All-State football team.
“I want to do whatever I can to just be there when the team needs me,” Allen, a junior, said. “There were some tough times, but everything came together at just the right time.”
Allen finished with 108.5 tackles, including 14 sacks to earned Defensive MVP honors on the LSWA squad.
The Kittens lost 14-7 to Kentwood in a game that decided the 6-1A title. Allen considered that game to be a turning point for SLHS. That loss, Allen said developed a deep admiration for Carter, a two-way starter who was selected as the LSWA team’s athlete and Offensive MVP.
“Not only was he fast, but you tell he wasn’t just out there to make plays for himself,” Allen said. “You could see he was making the best decisions and plays for his team. I admire that.”
Carter, an Under Armour All-American, tallied 2,443 passing yards and 1,648 rushing yards with over 30 total touchdowns during his senior season. Defensively he had 57 tackles, five interceptions and broke up 13 passes.
South Cameron’s Mark Delaney was voted Coach of the Year. Delaney led the Tarpons to an 8-4 finish and the second round of the playoffs. South Cameron has the smallest enrollment among football-playing schools and was 4-36 in the previous four years.
SCHS hasn’t had a winning season since 2007. Their first-round playoff win over Ringgold was the school’s first since 2002. Other Coach of the Year finalists were Lee Doty of St. Mary’s, Jonathan Foster of Kentwood and Michael Desormeaux of Ascension Episcopal.
Joining Carter at the skill positions on offense are Vermilion Catholic senior quarterback Hunter Frith (3,712 yards 43 TDs), Basile senior running back Gabe Fontenot (1,951 yards 23 TDs), Central Catholic senior running back Stefano Guarisco (2,728 yards 39 TDs), Highland Baptist sophomore running back Brontre Griffin (3,079 yards 47 TDs), Hamilton Christian junior receiver Kenan Fontenot (635 yards 10 TDs), Vermilion Catholic senior receiver Tyler Derouen (1,364 yards 14 TDs) and Plain Dealing junior receiver Keldrick Carper (947 yards 13 TDs).
Selected to the offensive line were Central Catholic junior Thomas Garber, Hamilton Christian senior Easton Massey, East Beauregard senior Elliott Reeves, Kentwood senior Jalen Bickham and Haynesville junior Jarius Knowles.
Selected to the all senior defensive line were South Cameron’s Tyler Stelly (89 tackles 21 tackles for loss), Oak Grove’s James Turner (83 tackles nine sacks), Kentwood’s Wayne Brown (87 tackles 14 sacks) and St. Mary’s Josh Lucky (80 tackles 13.5 sacks).
Basile’s Blaise Hebert (156 tackles), Vermilion Catholic’s William Noegal (158 tackles) and Hamilton Christian’s Julian Marcantel (134 tackles) are the other linebackers. Merryville senior Hunter Echols (108 tackles), Central Catholic junior Jalen Johnson (68 tackles four interceptions), Varnado senior Delrick Abrams (66 tackles nine interceptions) and Southern Lab senior Jonard Robinson (10 interceptions) are the defensive backs.
The specialists are Southern Lab senior return specialist Curtlan Williams (seven punt return TDs, 616 return yards), Cedar Creek junior punter Matthew Pike (40.1 yard average) and South Cameron senior kicker Nelson Deras (9 of 10 field goals).