Crowley Gents release 2011 football schedule
CROWLEY – When the Louisiana High School Athletic Association released its district realignments in December, the Crowley Gents found themselves between a rock and a hard place.
The Gents were placed in a new district that includes Notre Dame, Jennings, Westlake, Iowa and South Beauregard.
That was not a problem: the problems arose when it came to non-district scheduling.
Abandoned by longtime rivals Church Point, Rayne and Eunice, the Gents were forced to seek other non-district opponents and there weren’t many takers. Teams like Abbeville, Erath, Kaplan and North Vermilion said ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’
Fortunately, after a bit of a scrambling, CHS officials were able to fill their non-district lineup and the result is one of the most formidable schedules in recent memory.
For starters, the Gents will open their 2011 campaign on the road against last year’s Class AAA state runnersup, Patterson. Then they return home to take on Class AAAAA Comeaux, who is coached by former CHS coach Kevin Magee.
A road trip to Lake Charles to take on Class AAAA Washington-Marion is next, followed by home games against Peabody and Teurlings.
“Our schedule next year will be a very challenging one,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate. “The non-district schedule should make us a little battle tough.
“When you look at it, Patterson, a 5A school in Comeaux, 4A schools in Washington Marion, Peabody and Teurlings, that’s filling your plate right there.”
The strength of schedule continues once district starts with the addition of Notre Dame and Jennings as well as South Beauregard, which moved up from Class AA.
Crowley will open league play in Week 6 when the Gents travel to Iowa before returning home to take on South Beauregard. The Gents travel to Jennings for a Week 8 matchup before returning home to renew their rivalry with Notre Dame the following week. They round out the regular season with a road trip to Westlake.
“We lose Eunice, Church Point and Northwest, but we gain Notre Dame, Jennings and South Beauregard so it’s going to be a very challenging district,” said Tate. “It’s going to be a very exciting year with a lot of good football against a lot of good football programs.”
Even with the challenging schedule, the Gents look to be a heavy contender in the Class AAA ranks considering that they return the bulk of their offense that posted staggering numbers in 2010.
“We had 14 seniors last year and it’s always tough to replace those guys, but we have a pretty good group returning,” said CHS coach Tommy Tate. “We have a good freshman and sophomore class and our junior class has a lot of experience. A lot of those guys will be three-year starters so it’s going to be a good senior class coming up.”
Crowley returns District 4-AAA Most Valuable Player and Class AAA All-State selection Davante Bourque as well as All-District quarterback Tuskani Figaro.
Bourque rushed for 2,316 yards and scored 36 touchdowns during his junior campaign with the Gents. He also had 11 kickoff returns for 395 yards and two touchdowns and caught 15 passes for 199 yards and another pair of touchdowns.
Figaro also had a stellar junior season, completing 119 of his 201 pass attempts for 1,841 yards and 17 touchdowns while rushing for 873 yards and 12 scores on 173 carries.
Also returning to the lineup is senior wideout Kaleb Cormier, who is expected to move to tight end.
“Offensively, we return most of our skill guys,” said Tate. “You’ve got to look forward to that.”
The Gents return just two offensive linemen in Jude Cradeur and Yuri Lewis, but a number of their underclassmen gained some valuable experience early last year that should pay off.
Defensively, the Gents lost heavily on the front. Gone are Troy Johnson and Nick Hoffpauir. Other key losses are Travoris Robinson at linebacker, and Christian Allen and Joski Banks at defensive back.
“Those guys were big contributors on defense this past year and they had some years of experience,” said Tate. “But we do have some guys that are coming back that we feel good about.”