While there's no way to really prove it, the Lakeshore High School football coaching staff is believed to be one of the youngest in Louisiana.
Couple that with a school that's only been around for nine years and nobody would think that the Titans would be playing for a state championship Saturday afternoon against Edna Karr, but that's exactly what coach Craig Jones and the 14-0 Titans are set to do.
“We have a great coaching staff,” Jones said. “I know every head coach will say this, but there is really no other coaching staff I would rather be working with. I wouldn’t want to change a thing.
“What is unique about our coaching staff is that we have three sets of brothers. My brother, Matt Jones, who coaches the offensive line, our offensive coordinator, Richard Guillot, and his brother, Andrew, who is the wide receivers coach, and special teams coordinator, and then Zach and Jordan Vicknair, who are linebackers and assistant wide receivers coach. It definitely makes it a family feel.”
Offensive coordinator Richard Guillot directs one of the state’s most potent units. Lakeshore is averaging 43.5 points per game and has been held under 30 points only once this season.
The leader of that offensive attack is senior quarterback Chris Penton. The passing leader in the Greater New Orleans area on the season, Penton has thrown for 3,584 yards and 41 touchdowns against only five interceptions. Perhaps even more impressive is Penton has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes (198 of 284).
“I think the kids see that we enjoy being here,” Jones said. “When (the coaching staff) is having a good time, that rubs off on them. That makes practice fun and that makes meetings fun, especially when you get to those parts in the season where it can become a grind. It kind of lightens the mood when you have a staff that does get along.”
While the Lakeshore offense has gotten much of the accolades this season, the Lakeshore defense, under the direction of defensive coordinator Chris Womack, has been equally as impressive, allowing only 11.35 points per game.
“I know a lot of people like to talk about how young our coaching staff is, but when you look at it we have a lot of experience within that. Our offensive coordinator (Richard Guillot) was the quarterbacks coach at Union Parish when they won a state championship in 2013. He has a skin on the wall that allows him to be able to pull a kid aside and say, 'Hey relax.' Saturday afternoon will be nothing different than what we have done the last 14 weeks.
“The kids on the field see how confident we are as a coaching staff and in turn go out and execute the game plan that we come up with. That is the biggest reason that we have been so successful this season.”