Amite coach Zephaniah Powell, Erath running back Elijah Mitchell and De La Salle linebacker Josh Paul lead the LSWA’s Class 3A all-state football team selected by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.
Powell guided the Warriors through trying times to reach the Class 3A nonselect title game after the Amite area was hit hard by the historic floods in August. The Warriors finished 11-4, which included a Week 1 forfeit stemming from LHSAA sanctions in 2015.
Amite was forced to forfeit its semifinal appearance in 2015 after a brawl in the quarterfinals, but Powell's seventh-seeded Warriors responded with quarterfinal and semifinal wins over the No. 2 and 3 seeds on the road.
Mitchell, who led the state in rushing at the end of the regular season with 2,358 yards and 38 touchdowns on 227 carries, was voted the Outstanding Offensive Player on the sqaud. The 6-foot, 215-pound senior also rushed for more than 200 yards in one playoff game; he's committed to Louisiana-Lafayette.
Paul was voted the Outstanding Defensive Player after helping the Cavaliers to an 11-1 record and an appearance in the Division II select semifinals. Paul finished with 74 tackles (nine for loss), a blocked punt, two interceptions and two forced fumbles while recovering a fumble for a touchdown.
Lutcher’s Jontre Kirklin is the quarterback for the second straight year. Kirklin accounted for 493 yards with four touchdowns in Lutcher’s win over Amite in the state title game, and 233 of those yards came on 30 carries. For the season, Kirklin had 2,368 passing yards and 877 rushing yards along with 43 TDs to help the Bulldogs win their second straight 3A title.
Kirklin was joined on offense by teammate Al’Dontre Davis (66 catches, 954 yards, 12 TDs) and Amite’s DeVonta Smith (69 catches, 1,040 yards, 19), both wide receivers. Running back Davon Harris (1,582 yards, 21 TDs), who led West Feliciana to the 3A semifinals, also made the team.
The offensive line included three local players, West Feliciana’s Jacob Fudge, University High’s Prince Pines and Parkview Baptist’s Will Teague, one of three players on the team for Division II runner-up PBS.
Amite defensive lineman Ishmael Sopsher (32 tackles, eight tackles for loss, five sacks) made the defensive unit for the second straight year. Lutcher’s Rashaun Preston (134 tackles) and Parkview Baptist’s Xavier Davis (83 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, four fumble recoveries) made the squad as linebackers.
Dylan Recotta of Lutcher (118 tackles, 11 tackles for loss) and Parkview Baptist’s Trent Kavanaugh (48 tackles, three tackles for loss, two interceptions) made the team as defensive backs. Kavanaugh also is an all-state choice for the second consecutive year.
LSWA Class 3A all-state team
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl.
WR DeVonta Smith Amite 6-1 160 Sr.
WR Al’Dontre Davis Lutcher 6-0 200 Sr.
WR Kenan Jones Berwick 6-4 210 Jr.
OL Nehemayeaux Smith Marksville 6-4 295 Sr.
OL Jerrick Romero Kaplan 5-9 240 Sr.
OL Jacob Fudge West Feliciana 6-2 250 Jr.
OL Prince Pines University 6-4 310 Jr.
OL Will Teague Parkview Baptist 6-1 225 Sr.
QB Jontre Kirklin Lutcher 6-0 170 Sr.
RB Travis Etienne Jennings 5-11 195 Sr.
RB Elijah Mitchell Erath 6-0 215 Sr.
RB Davon Harris West Feliciana 5-8 165 Jr.
PK Adam Ieyoub St. Louis 5-8 180 Jr.
ATH Julien Gums De Le Salle 5-11 212 Jr.
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl.
DL Ishmael Sopsher Amite 6-5 280 So.
DL Shawn Williams Marksville 6-0 235 Jr.
DL Jamiran James De La Salle 6-2 276 Jr.
DL Mark Mayes Iowa Sr. 6-3 290 Sr.
LB Josh Paul De La Salle 6-2 215 Sr.
LB Julius Johnson Kaplan 5-10 193 Sr.
LB Rashaun Preston Lutcher 5-11 190 Sr.
LB Xavier Davis Parkview Baptist 5-9 210 Sr.
DB Darius Daniels Iowa 6-0 180 Jr.
DB Dylan Recotta Lutcher 5-10 170 Sr.
DB Trent Kavanaugh Parkview Baptist 6-1 215 Sr.
DB Qway Mingo Marksville 5-8 155 Sr.
P Shelby Creel Winnfield 6-0 175 Sr.
KR Andre Sam Iowa 6-2 175 Sr.
OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER: Elijah Mitchell, Erath
OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER: Josh Paul, De La Salle
COACH OF THE YEAR: Zephaniah Powell, Amite
HONORABLE MENTION: Nijul Canada, Mansfield; Devonta Lee, Amite; Jaray Jenkins, Jena; Cornell Holmes, Lusher; Jason Dumas, St. James; Parker Fink, Jena; Paul Rogers, Independence; DJ Hardwick, South Beauregard; Elijah Walker, Amite; Ethan Stansell, Loyola; Kamryn Mayers, Albany; Bruce Price, Peabody; Stephen Jackson, Independence; Jamar Washington, Peabody; Derek Turner, West Feliciana; Curtlan Johnson, St. James; Craig Walker, Jena; Jacovian Phillips, Jewel Sumner; ZeAndre Ballard, Marksville; Braylon Victor, Iowa; Marshall Laroque, South Beauregard; Gaige Willis, Northwest; Dontaze Costly, St. James; Kaleb Guillory, Iota; Matthew Rideau, Northwest; Hunter Smith, West Feliciana; Jaquan Lee, Jewel Sumner; Cheyenne Labruzza, Albany; K.D. Willis, Peabody; Juantravious Jones, Marksville; Myron Dokes, Amite; Eli Poche, Lusher; Danquan Edwards, De La Salle; Jeremiah James, De La Salle; Tylin Warden, South Beauregard; DB Joel Whaley, South Beauregard; August Pitre, Northwest; Mac Thibeaux, Kaplan; Josh Carver, Berwick; Mitchell Sanford, Berwick; D.J. Robicheaux, Berwick