We closed the book on the 2015 high school football season late Saturday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
If you’re from the Greater New Orleans area, it didn’t come with the happy, feel-good ending you may have hoped for.
The final chapter was John Ehret losing to Zachary in the Class 5A championship game, which was all too similar to the previous chapters.
Karr lost to Neville earlier in the day.
A week before that, Rummel, which looked downright invincible, lost to Catholic High, making it 0-for-3 for teams from Orleans and Jefferson parishes.
It marked the first time since 2010 that at least one team from the New Orleans area didn’t win a state championship.
This year belonged to the Baton Rouge area, with Catholic (Division I), Parkview Baptist (Division II), Southern Lab (Division IV) and Zachary (Class 5A) all winning titles.
But despite the ending, there were plenty of chapters that made this a memorable year.
Who will ever forget the night Twitter went crazy as Brother Martin’s Bruce Jordan-Swilling traveled to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and rushed for 343 yards and seven touchdowns … in the first half?
Or the day John Curtis made its Catholic League debut and Brother Martin ruined it when Jake Broggi (not Bruce Jordan-Swilling) faked the handoff and sprinted into the end zone in overtime for the win.
A week later in that same end zone, and again in overtime, a 15-year-old at Holy Cross (Chandler Fields) threw a clutch fourth-down pass to Bret Carter to help the Tigers beat rival Jesuit.
The future seems to be quite bright at quarterback around here with guys like Fields, a freshman, and a star-studded junior class of QBs like St. James’ Lowell Narcisse, St. Aug’s Justice McCoy, Karr’s Aldon Clark, Landry-Walker’s Keytaon Thompson, Newman’s Miles Lapeyre and Country Day’s Christian Kerut.
There were coaches, like Country Day’s Joe Chango, who made splashing debuts. Chango and the Cajuns won their first seven games of the season, then put a scare into St. Thomas Aquinas in one of the more memorable playoff games.
And there were coaches whose debuts weren’t so dazzling, like Karr’s Brice Brown. His team started 0-3, but he righted the ship and got the Cougars back to the Dome yet again.
Warren Easton was “supposed” to be down this year, but there was no dropoff at all on Canal Street.
There wasn’t much dropoff uptown either as Newman proved to do just fine in the post Jay Tyler-Kendall Bussey era.
And while we’re uptown, let’s not forget De La Salle, which had its best start since the ’60s.
There were record-setting performances, like Shaw running back Trey Ragas becoming his school’s all-time leading rusher.
And Rummel’s Chase Fourcade setting single-game passing records at a school that rarely passes.
There were the guys putting up sack numbers that make you scratch your head. Ehret’s Robert Green was credited with 31 sacks, just 2.5 short of the 33.5 credited to McDonogh 35’s Sci Martin.
If you think those numbers are crazy, how crazy does a 77-yard punt sound?
Well, that’s how far Curtis’ Kody Schexnayder was able to boot one this season.
And believe it or not, that wasn’t even the most mind-boggling special team number of the year.
That honor goes to Mandeville’s Joseph Bulovas, who attempted a 69-yarder in the semifinals against Ehret.
It fell just short as time expired.
The city of New Orleans fell just short at the end as well.
But, boy, what a ride the 2015 season was.