End of Regular Season
Man, the football season goes by fast, but what a joy it has been to cover each of parish's 12 football teams. The postseason is upon us, so this will be the final rankings list of the football season. I hope you enjoyed reading the weekly list as much as I did choosing it.
Remember, you can tweet at David Folse @DavidFolse or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. (tie) Covington (10-0, last week ranked #1): For the first time since current Covington coach Greg Salter was a ball boy for his grandfather's teams, the Lions are unbeaten. Devin Brumfield also surpassed the 6,000-yards rushing mark for a career, which really made this a special season for the Lions. Covington has a legitimate chance to make it to the Superdome. I never thought I would be able to say those words about a St. Tammany Parish football team and not be joking. But here we are.
1. (tie) Lakeshore (10-0, last week ranked #1): The roll continues. Playing without their starting running back didn’t stop the Titans from finishing 2017 perfect, capturing the 8-4A title and clinching the school’s first ever undefeated season. But before fans start booking hotel rooms in New Orleans, the team first must capture the school’s first-ever playoff victory. Lakeshore gets its chance Friday at home.
3. Salmen (8-2, last week ranked #3): I refuse to drop the Spartans in the rankings even after a loss because of what I saw with last week. Salmen gave Lakeshore all it could handle in the District 8-4A title game, but they just didn’t get the breaks that had gone their way earlier in the season. Despite the loss, Salmen still will host a first round playoff game. I like the Spartans' chances to be playing until at least Thanksgiving.
4. Slidell (7-3, last week ranked #4): To use the words of coach Larry Favre, “Slidell High is back, baby!” What a year for the Tigers, who posted their best record in five seasons under the veteran coach. Slidell even earned a home playoff game. Now, can that momentum carry over into the postseason?
5. Archbishop Hannan (8-2, last week ranked #7): It took a thrilling overtime victory, but the losing streak is officially over for the Hannan Hawks. Seth Caillouet’s foot proved to be the difference as Hannan finished the season 8-2 after a big win on the road against Bogalusa. Now they return to the state playoffs after missing out last season. Can Hannan string together a few more wins and make a postseason run?
6. St. Paul’s (6-4, last week ranked #8): A change at quarterback proved to be a catalyst for the St. Paul’s offense. Jack Mashburn led the Wolves to a big victory over Fontainebleau and the question is "Does Mashburn start again this week?" We will find out as the Wolves head into the Division I bracket.
7. Mandeville (4-5, last week ranked #5): After dropping their first three games of the regular season, the Skippers righted the ship and scratched out enough wins to earn a Class 5A playoff berth. Credit goes to interim coach Josh Buelle, who took over just days before the season started and did an outstanding job in a tough spot. His players also are to be praised for maintaining focus and giving it their all on the field. Mandeville will be a tough out in the postseason.
8. Northshore (5-5, last week ranked #6): For the first time since 2008, the Panthers will play postseason football. Big congratulations to coach Mike Bourg and Northshore for returning to the state playoffs. The road won’t be easy, but just making it back to the 5A bracket deserves recognition. Well done, Northshore.
9. Pearl River (4-5, last week ranked #9): In his first year at the helm, Jarrod Danford has the Rebels back in the Class 4A state playoffs and he and the rest of the Rebels deserve a tremendous amount of credit for qualifying for the postseason. Unfortunately, they head into the 4A bracket on a long losing streak after a regular-season finale loss to Franklinton.
10. Fontainebleau (3-7, last week ranked #10): This was certainly a rebuilding year for the Bulldogs, but if Fontainebleau is successful in the next few seasons, coaches and players will look to the 2017 campaign as an important one. The Bulldogs found a talented running back in Iverson Celestine, and there are other bright spots in the locker room. Fontainebleau should be fun to watch in 2018.
11. Northlake Christian (3-7, last week ranked #11): Another tough loss for the Wolverines, this time a beating at the hands of a talented St. Helena squad. Despite a 3-7 record however, Northlake will be in the state playoffs. So the season isn’t over yet for Anthony Agresta’s squad.
12. Pope John Paul II (2-8, last week ranked #12): I thought the Jaguars had a legitimate shot to beat Pine, but they could only manage a pair of Kade Dixon field goals in another loss. Much like Northlake, the Jaguars will have a chance to play again this Friday in the Division III state playoffs.