Notre Dame dominates All-District team
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – A change in the district alignment proved to be no problem for the Notre Dame Pios in 2009.
After dropping Crowley, Church Point and Northwest and adding Abbeville, North Vermilion, Kaplan and Erath, the Pios rolled through another undefeated season and, eventually, a state championship.
The Pios dominated district opponents with an offense that produced 154 points in five league games and a defense that pitched four shutouts before giving up a field goal in a 28-3 victory over Kaplan in Week 10.
Their dominance not only showed up on the field, but on the league’s 2009 All-District team as well.
Notre Dame nailed down 14 slots on the first team, including a clean sweep of the top honors in Coach of the Year Lewis Cook, Offensive Most Valuable Player Ryan Leonards and Defensive MVP D.J. Welter.
Cook guided Notre Dame to one of their best seasons ever, going 15-0 while winning the school’s fourth ever state title last week with a 14-7 victory over Parkview Baptist. It was Cook’s third overall state title and first since leading the Pios to the 2000 state championship. His first title was in 1989 when he was at Crowley High.
A big reason for the Pios’ success offensively was the play of Leonards. The senior quarterback completed 61 percent of his passes (87-141) in the regular season for 1,383 yards and 16 touchdowns. He finished the year with 2,174 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air.
Defensively, Welter led the team as well as the district in tackles with 64 solo and 37 assists. The LSU commitment also had eight tackles for a loss, four sacks, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. His season totals were 90 solos, 54 assists and 11 tackles for a loss.
Joining Leonards on the first team offensive unit are tackle Matt Casanova, guard Pete Petitjean, center Hunter Bordelon, running back Stu Cook and wide receiver Morgan Allen.
Cook, a junior slotback, rushed for 427 yards and nine touchdowns on 89 carries. He also had 25 receptions for 261 yards and five more scores.
Allen was Leonards’ main target through the air. The senior receiver hauled in 30 passes for 649 yards and five touchdowns. He also had one rush for 22 yards.
Hunter Stover is the team’s kicker after having the majority of his kickoffs sail into the end zone for touchbacks. He also had a 38-yard field goal, his only make of the season.
Stover also made the team on defense at linebacker along with Welter after logging 32 solo tackles and 20 assists. He had 11 tackles for a loss, five sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception.
Luke Bourgeois also made the team at multiple positions. The junior utility player averaged 15.8 yards and returned three punts for touchdowns in making the squad at return specialist. He is also listed at defensive back after racking up 20 solo tackles, nine assists, one sack and one interception.
Bourgeois is joined at defensive back by teammate Ricky Stoma, who led the Pios in interceptions with seven. Stoma also had 17 solo tackles and 10 assists.
UL-Lafayette commitment Jacob Molbert and Michael Dysart team up with Kaplan’s Jay Schexnaider and Abbeville’s Akeem Lewis on the defensive line.
Molbert had 37 solos and 33 assists as well as 16 tackles for a loss and eight sacks. Dysart had 16 solos, 11 assists and six sacks.
The Pios also landed nine players on the second team, including the state championship game hero Zac D’Aquin.
D’Aquin, a junior receiver, made the team after pulling in 14 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
Logan Venable and Marshall Watson each earned a spot at running back. Venable was the Pios’ leading rusher with 501 yards and six touchdowns. Watson had 391 yards and seven touchdowns on 66 carries.
Also making the second team on offense were tight end Matt Leleux (7-77, 2 TDs), guard Austin Berry and tackle Jacob Melancon.
Second team defensive members include lineman Kacey Mire (30 solo, 30 assists, 2 sacks), linebacker Will Fruge (31 solo, 18 assists, 4 sacks) and defensive back John Rothermel (21 solo, 18 assists, 1 sack, 1 interception).
Rayne’s Tyler Venable made the first team at punter while Kyle Gutherie was named to the second team as an offensive guard.
Honorable Mentions include Notre Dame’s Dylan Lormand, Zachary Abshire, Kevin Johnston and Rayne’s Myles Pryor and Quincy Rochester.