Gueydan star heads up 1A All-State squad
BATON ROUGE – With All-State running back Darin Gums sidelined due to a knee injury prior to the start of the 2009 prep football season, the main concern for Class A’s Gueydan Bears was filling that void in the backfield.
Fortunately for the Bears, sophomore Davante Bourque was up to the challenge.
Bourque, who made the Class A All-State team in 2008 as a return specialist, took over in Gums’ absence, rushing for 1,779 yards and 30 touchdowns in helping lead the Bears to their first every district championship.
He accounted for 32 total touchdowns and 230 points to lead all classes in scoring.
Those figures earned Bourque notoriety statewide as exhibited this week with him being named the Offensive Player of the Year on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association 2009 Class A All-State team.
Offensive lineman Greg Verrett, who helped pave the way for Bourque, also landed on the first team.
The rest of the team is dominated by powers South Plaquemine and Haynesville.
South Plaquemines linebacker Seth Ancar earned the top defensive award after logging 75 tackles, 15 behind the line, to lead the Hurricanes to a state runnerup finish.
David Franklin now has more in common with his famous father than just a state championship.
Three days after leading Haynesville to its first state championship in nine seasons, Franklin was named Class 1A Coach of the Year by the LSWA, joining his father, 11-time state champion Alton “Red” Franklin, a past winner of the award.
Franklin’s Golden Tornadoes knocked off South Plaquemines, 19-12, in the title game.
Ancar was part of a six-Hurricane contingent on the first team.
Wide receiver Dylan Boutwell (34 catches, 601 yards, 12 TDs) and running back Mike Barthelemy (810 total yards, 10 TDs) were the Hurricanes’ offensive picks, while South Plaquemines had four defensive players selected.
Ancar was a repeat selection as the Defensive Player of the Year and was joined by defensive linemen Beau Fitte (69 tackles, 12 sacks) and Felix Barthelemy (79 tackles, 19 sacks) as well as defensive back Wendell Turner (40 tackles, seven interceptions).
Haynesville had a pair of first-team offensive performers: running back D.J. Lewis (11 postseason rushing TDs) and offensive tackle Justin Evans.
Ouachita Christian had three first-team offensive selections: wide receiver Mark Laird (39 catches, 859 yards, 12 touchdowns), quarterback Paul Michael Garner (1,794 passing yards, 29 total touchdowns) and kicker Taylor Dawson (44 PATs and four field goals).
Joining Haynesville’s Evans and Gueydan’s Verret on the offensive line were Oberlin’s Devonte Limbrick (6-1, 245), Delhi Charter’s Hunter Pruitt (6-0, 245) and Block’s Theo Carroll (6-5, 323).
Oak Grove’s Kendrick Jackson (1,137 yards, 14 touchdowns rushing; 507 yards, four touchdowns passing) was selected as the athlete.
Defensively, state semifinalist St. John placed two players on the first team: lineman Herman Fitch (71 tackles, 10 sacks) and linebacker Cored David (106 tackles).
The other defensive lineman is Block’s Shelby Zeagler (81 tackles, 19 sacks).
The remaining linebackers are St. Martin’s Calvin Black (58 tackles, four interceptions) and Grambling’s Nick Moore (126 tackles).
Joining Turner in the secondary are Southern Lab’s Taurean Nixon (28 tackles, two interceptions, three sacks), White Castle’s Ronald Martin (58 tackles, nine interceptions) and Oak Grove’s Charles Howard (statistics unavailable).
Christian Life’s Stephen Whisnant (42 punts, 41.0 average) is the punter while St. Mary’s Derion Porchia (five kick-return TDs, two punt-return TDs) is the return specialist.