Notre Dame duo to play in annual Bayou Bowl
CROWLEY – Notre Dame seniors John Rothermel and Pete Petitjean probably both thought they had played their final high school football game last November.
But the duo will get the opportunity to suit up for one more prep game before entering college when they compete in the 9th annual Bayou Bowl in Baytown , Texas .
The Bayou Bowl, a non-profit All-Star high school football game between the best seniors from Louisiana and the Greater Houston Area, will take place on Saturday, June 11 at Stallworth Stadium.
“Since the LHSAA did away with the East-West game, this is their representative game for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association,” said Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook of the game that is sponsored by the LHSAA and the Louisiana Football Coaches Association. “It’s the only team that is strictly chosen statewide by the coaches and the LHSAA so it’s a nice honor to be part of that.”
Rothermel, who was one of three ND seniors who graduated with a 4.0 grade point average, was Notre Dame’s leader on defense in 2011.
“I thought John really had an outstanding year,” said Cook of Rothermel who moved to middle linebacker from strong safety as a junior. “I happened to be looking at the highlight film just this week and I didn’t realize just how many plays that sun of a gun made.
“His biggest assets are the fact that he can really run, he’s really tough and he’s smart. Once he adapted to being in the middle, he really just came on and had a very solid year for us. He’s very dependable, a guy to count on that is going to make most of the plays that have to be made. He was our leading tackler and our leader on defense up front.”
Rothermel, finished his senior campaign with 109 solo tackles, 55 assists, seven tackles for a loss, two sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and two interceptions. He was a Class AAA All-State first-team selection and earned Defensive MVP honors on both the 5-AAA and All-Acadia Parish squads in 2011. He will attend LSU in the fall.
Petitjean, who will begin his college football career at Arkansas Monticello, was a key cog on the offensive line for the Pios the last three seasons. He played predominately at guard as a senior but he also saw time at tackle.
“Pete has played center, guard and tackle from one time to another having been in the line of fire for three years,” said Cook. “The thing that Pete brings is just a very aggressive attitude. He’s always on the attack and he’s an aggressive lineman that’s going to come get you.
“Pete understands and has a really good feel for the game and the blocks that have to be made. He’s been the guy for the last two years with us, that, when we needed a guy to be in a spot, he was going to give us the best chance to go, he was the one we put into that spot.”
Cook also had a pair of players compete in the Bayou Bowl in 2010. Jacob Molbert and Hunter Stover, now both at UL-Lafayette, were both on the squad with Molbert earning Outstanding Player of the Game honors for Louisiana .
Each team in this year’s game will consist of 40 players who will check in for the game week activities June 7.
In addition to daily rigorous practices, the teams will be treated to numerous activities throughout the week to include: a practice session at Texans Practice Facilities at Reliant Stadium; a visit to Kemah Boardwalk; an afternoon at Pirates Bay Waterpark; the Bayou Bowl Banquet featuring game ring presentations/awards and various other activities and luncheons.
Other events preceding and during the week of Bayou Bowl include the ninth annual Bayou Bowl Celebrity Golf Tournament featuring former professional athletes, Division 1 and 1A college coaches and members of the media on Friday June 10 at Eagle Pointe Golf Club. To register a team for the golf tournament or become a sponsor call the Chamber office at 281-422-8359.
Pre-game activities include a performance by the Bayou Bowl cheerleaders and skydivers will fly in the state flags and the game ball. Baytown Mayor Steve DonCarlos will serve as an honorary captain for the coin toss. Half-time will feature the Greater Houston All-Star Band.
Between the 3rd and 4th quarters the “Perfect Punt” challenge will take place in which contestants get a chance to win $25,000 cash by punting a football into the bed of a pick-up truck. The game will wrap up with MVP presentations for each team.
The 2011 Bayou Bowl kicks off at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 11. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the gate on game day, online at www.bayoubowl.org and at various Bayou Bowl events throughout the week. If you need additional information contact the Baytown Chamber of Commerce at 281-422-8359.