- Feature Story
- George Becnel
- August 26, 2015 - 10:34pm
With 25 seniors back from a 9-3 team, expectations are again high at St. Charles Catholic.
“I’m looking for maturity from this football team. I’m looking for leadership and I expect a high-character football team this season,” St. Charles coach Frank Monica said.
Finally getting a chance to guide the Comets’ offense is senior quarterback Patrick Ratliff.
“He’s been the quarterback in waiting for a long time,” Monica explained. “He’s worked extremely hard to get himself in that position.
“All I’m going to do is ask him to distribute the football and take care of the football. He doesn’t have to go out and make phenomenal plays. We’ll take that, but he just has to run the system.”
The Comets will feature different types of runners in 2015, led by Justin Loupe. Tahj Smith is a receiver/running back while versatile defense back Eric Lewis also factors in the backfield.
The area of concern on offense for St. Charles comes from the offensive line.
“We need to develop some offensive linemen. That’s a problem area right now as far as numbers and size,” said Monica.
Tyrin Arceneaux, a three-year returning starter at left tackle, and center Kobie Houston are the only two returning starters.
In the mix along the offensive line are Don Chauvin, Robert McDonald, John Campbell, Reed Jacob, Kyle Waguespack and Grant Vicknair.
Nicholas Scioneaux is the tight end, a position a lot of teams on the high school level no longer utilize.
“I still think the tight end is a viable, viable part of an offense, especially if he is good enough to be a receiver and not just a blocker,” Monica said. “People are not used to lining up against a tight end and it gives a bigger target downfield for quarterbacks to throw to. It gives you a lot of variety.”
The strength of the St. Charles defense is an experienced, physical secondary.
“Justin DuBose will lead that physicality. He’s a physical player as the strong safety,” said Monica. “The two corners are Jacoby Johnson and Jayce Snowden. Eric Lewis is the free safety and nickel back is Justin Ory. Devin Dumas also will see playing time.”
The Comets return linebackers Trace Cortez, Wayne Revere and Tevione Bigham.
The most inexperienced area on defense is along the line.
“They are pups. None of them have a lot of experience,” Monica pointed out.
The defensive ends are Trent Matus and Jonathan Scarpero, backed up by Daniel Bosco.
In the middle, down linemen include Jaelon Gordon, Austin Alberado, Hunter Waldridge and Nick Rollo.
An experienced defense, Monica said, will need to carry the offense early in the season.
“I think our defense is a bit more experienced with eight starters returning. They will really take care of the football team, along with the special teams, until the offense arrives,” the veteran coach said.
Scioneaux returns as punter from last year while the kicker is Andrew Rodrigue.
Among the Comets’ pre-district opponents is Class 5A schools Thibodaux, Central of Baton Rouge and East Ascension.
Although the Comets have dropped down from Class 3A to Class 2A, District 12-2A play will be no easy task. With the likes of Riverside Academy, Newman and West St. John, a very good football team could find itself finishing fourth in the league.
“The district will be real, real competitive. Plus, the select side of the playoffs doesn’t guarantee you a playoff anymore. When you look at the top 16 teams, a lot of good football teams will lose that first week of the playoffs,” Monica said.
Considering the district competition, getting off to a quick start could be a key to the 2015 season for the Comets, according to Monica.
“I don’t want to crawl into district play,” the St. Charles coach said. “I think we need to start fast and it will be the crucial part to our season. The way we start the season will be probably the defining factor in how the game finishes. What that does is it gives you some confidence and some momentum. I think some early victories are the key to our season.”