Iota pair earns All-District honors

CROWLEY – Earning postseason football honors in District 4-AAA, arguably one of the toughest leagues in the state, is quite an accomplishment – especially for a small school like Iota, which moved up to Class AAA two years ago and got lumped in the league with the likes of Westlake, St. Louis, Iowa and Jennings.

The Bulldogs shocked the experts in 2008 by going 6-4 in the regular season while pulling off a 35-0 victory over rival Iowa. They also played Jennings and St. Louis to close games despite dropping both.

For their efforts, two Iota defensive players were named to the 4-AAA All-District squad that was recently announced. The Bulldogs also landed seven players on the second team.

Linebacker Justin Benoit made the first team after logging 82 tackles to go along with two interceptions.

Joining Benoit on the first team defensive unit was defensive back Blaise LeJeune. The senior utility player, who also made the second team offense as a running back, recorded 40 tackles and had one fumble recovery. Offensively, LeJeune rushed for 744 yards and 11 touchdowns on 142 carries.

The Westlake Rams swept the top honors on the team after going 8-0 during the regular season. The Rams eventually fell to Cecilia in the third round of the playoffs.

Ram’s quarterback Trent Whitley earned Offensive MVP honors while linebacker A.J. Moss was named the MVP on defense. Westlake’s Max Caldarera was honored as the district’s Coach of the Year.

Westlake and St. Louis each nabbed 11 total selections on the first unit while Jennings had four selections and Iowa had one.

St. Louis defeated Iota in the first round of the playoffs before losing the following week to eventual state champion Lutcher. Jennings was upended in the first round by Independence.

Second-team selections for Iota on offense included quarterback Chad Abshire, wide receiver Trenton Pickkett and offensive linemen Treef Andrus and Andrew Thevis.

Abshire completed 59 of his 98 pass attempts for 901 yards and six touchdowns. He was also second on the team in rushing behind LeJeune, rushing 93 times for 625 yards and nine touchdowns.

Pickett led all Bulldog receivers with 23 receptions for 442 yards and five touchdowns.

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