CROWLEY – From top to bottom, the Notre Dame Pioneers were the dominant force in District 5-AAA in 2008.
So it is no wonder that the Pios landed a league-leading 16 players on this year’s All-District squad, including Coach of the year Lewis Cook and Offensive MVP Ryan Leonards.
The legendary Cook guided his Pios to a perfect 9-0 regular season and their second straight league title despite being in what most thought was a rebuilding year.
Notre Dame breezed through district play, scoring 160 points while giving up just 13.
The Pios also earned the No. 1 seed in the state playoffs and went on to cruise past Sarah Reed (37-0) and Church Point (54-7) in the first two rounds of the playoffs, slip by Richwood (16-12) and Redemptorist (17-10) in the next two before falling to Lutcher in the Class AAA finals, 17-0.
A big reason for Notre Dame’s success in 2008 was Leonards, who made the Pios a legitimate passing threat for the first time in years.
Leonards, despite missing the first two games of the regular season with a staph infection, completed 65 of his 98 pass attempts for 1,071 yards and 12 touchdowns heading into the playoffs. He also rushed for two touchdowns.
In the playoffs, Leonards was 7-for-10 through the air for 159 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for two more scores before going out with a broken collarbone just before the half of Notre Dame’s quarterfinal victory over Richwood.
Crowley’s Jordan Ancelet earned the Defensive MVP award after anchoring a stingy Gent defense that held the majority of their opponents to less 100 yards rushing per game. Ancelet wrapped up his senior year with 45 tackles and 40 assists to go along with 11 sacks, 10 hurries, nine forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Notre Dame’s Robert Johnson (19 receptions for 374 yards and 5 touchdowns) and Nick Zaunbrecher (14 receptions for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns) are the team’s two receivers. Phillip LeBlanc made the team at tight end, hauling in 15 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
Notre Dame’s Hunter Bordelon is the center. He is joined on the line by teammates Matt Casanova at tackle and Austin Berry at guard.
Hunter Stover made the team at both kicker and linebacker and Bryant Gilbert is the return specialist.
The stable of running backs include Church Point’s Joseph Carrier (130-839, 3 TD), Northwest’s Alvin Williams (177-1,055, 10 TD) and Rayne’s Antonio Wheeler (174-826, 9 TD).
Church Point’s Jordy Boone and Jacob Sonnier each made the offensive unit at guard and tackle respectively.
Joing Ancelet on the defensive line are Notre Dame’s John Graf (40 tackles, 5 sacks) and Jacob Molbert (77 tackles, 9 sacks) and Rayne’s Trace Duplantis (111 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and a blocked punt).
Crowley’s George Henagan (100 tackles, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries) joins Notre Dame’s Seth Fruge (90 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery), D.J. Welter (72 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 interception) and Stover (48 tackles, 4 sacks) at the linebacker position.
Defensive backs are Church Point’s Derek Dailey, Rayne’s Andrew Wynn and Notre Dame’s Nick Ware and Chance Oustalet.
The punter on this year’s team is Rayne’s Tyler Venable and the athlete is Church Point’s Blake Boudreaux.
Second-team selections at running back include Church Point’s Von Duplechain and Bruce Citizen as well as Notre Dame’s Jordan Bertrand.
Other locals making the second unit offensively are Rayne’s Andrew Wynn and Crowley’s Mike Milson at receiver; Church Point’s Tory Boudreaux at tight end Cody Prather at center; Notre Dame’s Louis Keigley and Rayne’s Chris Bourque at guard and Church Point’s Zach Faul and Notre Dame’s Ryan Savoy at tackle.
The second-team defensive line consists of Crowley’s Ian LeMaire and Mike Milson, Notre Dame’s Adam Meche, Church Point’s Derek Garrick and Northwest’s Jerry Duffy.
Linebackers are Crowley’s Calvin Lewis, Church Point’s Ben Prosper, Rayne’s Bryant Gossen and Northwest’s Chris Jenkins.
Crowley’s Troy Wilridge and Brandon Harmon made the squad at defensive backs along with Northwest’s Jerrod Duffy and Notre Dame’s Jordan Comeaux.
Honorable Mentions include Crowley’s Rob Richardson, Jake Daigle and Josh Citizen and Notre Dame’s Mike Dysart and Robert Sarver.