St. Amant kicker Briggs Bourgeois commits to Southern Mississippi _lowres

Advocate staff photo by APRIL BUFFINGTON -- St. Amant's Briggs Bourgeois kicks a field goal against Dutchtown during a regular season game. 

St. Amant High’s Briggs Bourgeois said he thought a trip to a camp at Southern Mississippi on Saturday was a success. But at first, Bourgeois was puzzled when the USM coaches told him to call them once he got on the road to return home.

The mystery was quickly solved when the Golden Eagles offered the senior kicker a scholarship during that phone call. Bourgeois accepted the offer a few hours later.

“On the ride home my dad and I got the chance to talk about it,” Bourgeois said. “By the time we got home I pretty much knew that was where I wanted to go.”

Bourgeois waited until Monday to announce his commitment via Twitter. Bourgeois is considered one of the top kicking prospects in the South and was a finalist for the Lou Groza award given annually to the nation’s top kicker last fall.

As a junior, Bourgeois made 15 of 19 field goals, including a long of 51 yards. His long in practice is 63 yards. Bourgeois also averaged 66 yards on kickoffs and was the top receiver for the Gators, earning co-MVP honors in District 5-5A.

“Getting an offer as a kicker isn’t guaranteed,” Bourgeois said. “A lot of schools want you to walk on first. The fact that (Southern Miss) was willing to offer me a scholarship means a lot.

“I also feel like it’s going to be a good fit for me. It’s far enough away from home so that I’ll get that true college experience. But it’s also close enough for me to be able to come home on weekends when I can and close enough for my parents to drive and see me play.”

Bourgeois was a finalist for The Advocate’s Boys Athlete of the Year award. He earned All-Metro honors in football and soccer in 2015-16 and also plays baseball at SAHS. He previously received offers from Nicholls State and Texas Southern. He plans to major in nursing.

Bravata to Berwick

Christian Life Academy baseball coach Brandon Bravata has resigned to become an assistant coach at Berwick. He spent one season at CLA.

“I applied for the head coaching job, and they were interested in me becoming an assistant,” Bravata, a former Redemptorist standout, said. “I enjoyed my time at Christian Life. This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

The Crusaders finished as a district runner-up in their first season in Class 2A after several years in 1A. CLA was 13-15-1 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. However, the Crusaders beat 3A state champion West Feliciana, 2A quarterfinalist Episcopal and 4A Plaquemine during the spring.

Officials to meet

The Baton Rouge Area Football Officials Association will hold its first 2016 meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the East Baton Rouge Main Library located at 7711 Goodwood Blvd.

All officials wishing to transfer from other associations and newcomers interesting in officiating high school football should plan to attend. At 7 p.m., all returning members of the BRAFOA will meet at the same location.

Go to the for information about becoming a member of the officials association.