Green Demons’ Walker named to 2-A All-State
By Jason Pugh
Written for the LSWA
Dez Duron took his Evangel Christian Academy offense to unprecedented heights in 2008. Matt Stansbury took the John Curtis defense to yet another state championship.
For their efforts, Duron and Stansbury have claimed the top honors on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A All-State football squad.
Many’s Keith Menard, who turned a 4-6 Tigers team into a state quarterfinalist, was named the 2A Coach of the Year by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.
Duron set a state record with 57 touchdown passes as the Eagles finished as the state runner-up to Curtis, earning him Offensive Most Valuable Player honors.
On the season, Duron, who was named the Gatorade Louisiana Football Player of the Year, completed 310 of 455 passes for 4,216 yards against nine interceptions.
In addition to his state single-season touchdown pass record, Duron set the state single-game touchdown pass record with eight touchdown tosses against Springhill on Sept. 26.
Duron threw for 212 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ state championship game loss to John Curtis.
Defensive MVP Stansbury racked up 129 tackles, including 10 for losses, forced five fumbles and recovered one for the state champion Patriots, who won their 23rd state crown and fifth in a row with a 35-14 victory over Evangel.
Former Sacred Heart of Ville Platte and Central of Baton Rouge head coach Menard completed his second season at Many, and presided over an impressive turnaround. The Tigers went from a 4-6 team to a 9-1 regular season and an undefeated District 3-2A championship.
Menard led Many to the state quarterfinals where it lost to Evangel.
Two of Duron’s top targets in Evangel’s pass-happy offense - Quinn Giles and Eric Thomas – are the All-State wide receiver. Giles, a 5-11, 185-pound senior, caught 92 passes for 1,497 yards and 18 touchdowns. Thomas led the Eagles with 21 touchdown catches on 71 catches. Thomas, a 6-1, 170-pound junior, finished with 992 receiving yards.
The All-State backfield features returning All-Stater Rob Walker of Mamou (2,021 yards, 27 touchdowns), Farmerville senior LaDarien Brown (2,283 yards, 35 total touchdowns), and Darin Self of St. Helena Central (1,501 yards, 17 touchdowns).
Calvary’s James Michael Miller, a running back/kick returner/linebacker, was named the 2A All-State athlete. Miller ran for 1,452 yards and 21 touchdowns while adding a kick return and punt return score and blocking one punt.
The all-senior offensive line features Farmerville’s Parker Temple, Donovan
Miller of Rosepine, George Alonzo of John Curtis, St. James’ Jabari Ambrose and Clinton’s Brandon Spurlock. Dustin Mistric of Port Barre is the All-State kicker.
Stansbury leads the defense, which features four underclassmen among the 12 spots.
Two other Patriots join Stansbury on the defense. Mike Henry, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound senior (42 tackles, 19 assists, 8 tackles for loss), is one of the four defensive linemen while 6-foot, 170-pound junior Jonathan McKnight was selected to the team as a defensive back.
Joining Henry on the defensive line are seniors Bennie Logan of Red River and Terrence Green of St. James (41 tackles, three sacks). Evangel sophomore Jermauria Rasco, who had 18 regular-season sacks, rounds out the defensive line.
Farmerville’s Jakelton Joiner repeated as a linebacker after recording 141 tackles, 10 sacks and three fumble recoveries.
Joiner is joined by Charles Miller of St. Thomas Aquinas (77.5 tackles) and Rojae Dumas of St. James (67 tackles, 33 assists). Miller recorded 77.2 tackles and two sacks while forcing three fumbles. Dumas helped St. James reach the 2A semifinals by recording 100 total tackles and intercepting three passes.
McKnight is joined in the defensive backfield by Jonesboro-Hodge’s Rob Donovan Lewis (109 tackles, seven interceptions), St. John’s Guy Morgan (56 tackles, 4 interceptions) and Newman’s Ronnie Vinson. Vinson and Lewis are juniors while Morgan is a senior.
Evangel’s William Russ is the All-State punter (42 yards per punt) while St. Thomas Aquinas’ Raymone Andrews is the return specialist.
2008 LSWA CLASS 2A ALL-STATE FOOTBALL CHART
Pos. Name School Ht. Wt. Cl.
WR Quinn Giles Evangel Christian 5-11 185 Sr.
WR Eric Thomas Evangel Christian 6-1 170 Jr.
TE Mason King St. James 6-2 210 Jr.
OL Parker Temple Farmerville 5-11 185 Sr.
OL Donovan Miller Rosepine 6-3 285 Sr.
OL George Alonzo Curtis 6-0 290 Sr.
OL Jabari Ambrose St. James 6-0 250 Sr.
OL Brandon Spurlock Clinton 6-4 300 Sr.
QB Dez Duron Evangel Christian 6-0 170 Sr.
RB LaDarien Brown Delhi Charter 5-9 175 Sr.
RB Rob Walker Mamou 5-7 180 Sr.
RB Darin Self St. Helena Central 6-0 235 Sr.
PK Dustin Mistric Port Barre 5-7 155 Sr.
ATH James Michael Miller Calvary Baptist 5-10 185 Sr.
DL Bennie Logan Red River 6-3 280 Sr.
DL Jermauria Rasco Evangel Christian 6-4 230 So.
DL Terrence Green St. James 6-4 215 Sr.
DL Mike Henry Curtis 6-6 285 Sr.
LB Matt Stansbury Curtis 5-10 185 Sr.
LB Charles Miller St. Thomas Aquinas 5-10 160 Sr.
LB Jakelton Joiner Farmerville 6-1 205 Sr.
LB Rojae Dumas St. James 5-9 200 Sr.
DB Rob Donovan Lewis Jonesboro-Hodge 5-11 175 Jr.
DB Guy Morgan St. John 6-0 180 Sr.
DB Jonathan McKnight Curtis 6-0 170 Jr.
DB Ronnie Vinson Newman 5-11 185 Jr.
P William Russ Evangel Christian 6-3 157 Jr.
RS Raymone Andrews St. Thomas Aquinas 6-3 180 Sr.
OFFENSIVE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Dez Duron, Evangel Christian
DEFENSIVE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Matt Stansbury, Curtis
COACH OF THE YEAR: Keith Menard, Many
HONORABLE MENTION: Rod Davis, Many; Jeff Hampton, Newman; Joe Coleman,
Livonia; Ryan Gambel, St. Thomas Aquinas; David Wing, DeQuincy; Lance Leone, Many; William Burks, Rosepine; Alex Lavalle, Farmerville; John Mark
Holliday, Rosepine; Dustin Dixon, Livonia; Matt Lewis, Episcopal; Michael Carraway, Welsh; Kyle West, Pine Prairie; DJ Palmer, Many; Gary Suydam, Rosepine; Chris Sterling, Vinton; Dakota Cryer, South Beauregard; C.J. Carter, DeQuincy; Josh Reed, St. Thomas Aquinas; Joseph Robinson, Clinton; Bryant Dunn, Donaldsonville; Lee Spence Sterlington; Dwight Wright, Donaldsonville; Chris Davenport, Mansfield; Nic Remedies, Many; Travis Moses, Rosepine; Brandon Black, St. Thomas Aquinas; Donovan Mallet, Port Barre; Walker Ashburn, Curtis; Levier Pryor, Ferriday; Emmanuel Broussard, Welsh; TC Mitchell, Many; Nic Jacobs, Many; Joey Nixon, South Beauregard; CerDerrick Tyson, Evangel Christian; Robert Lloyd, University; Kenny Cain, Curtis; Jonathan Ginsburgh, Menard; Cole Vanderlick, Menard; Sean Spears, Clinton.