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Local coaching staffs will have new look in 1998

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / August 26, 1998

LAPLACE – One of the key buzzwords in our world today is change.

That certainly can apply to the coaching staffs in the River Parishes. Eightof the nine local schools will see new faces in their staffs as the 1998- 99 athletic year begins.

Change is certainly the optimum word at East St. John. Ronnie Stephens,the Wildcats’ offensive coordinator last season, takes over as head coach after Lou Valdin left to become a defensive assistant at Hahnville. Thenew defensive coordinator will be Amos Jones, who comes to the Wildcats from the Canadian Football League. Jones, who will also coach specialteams, also served at Tulane under Buddy Teevens.

“We feel real fortunate to get him,” Stephens said.

Other new assistants on the football team include Wayne Grenfil, who comes over from Vermilion Catholic. Grenfil will coach the defensive endsand also assist with baseball. Patrick Prigmore will coach the tight endsand A-backs and will also coach the baseball team at Leon Godchaux Junior High. Nick Mitchell will coach quarterbacks and assist with baseball.Mitchell’s boss with baseball will be Carey Ourso, who led Thibodaux to the District 6-5A title last season. Ourso will also assist with the crosscountry team.

Toni Robinette will coach volleyball after Perry DiCarlo became the principal at the alternative school. Robinette will also assist with thesoftball team. Cathy Fayette will coach softball and assist with thevolleyball team.

St. James also made a number of changes on its football team. WarrenJones will coach the junior varsity football team and assist with baseball.

Ray Oxmann will be an assistant with both football and the girls’ basketball team. Mike Wibel will also assist with football and with track. Kathie Koss will coach cross country and track and as the conditioning coach for all sports. And Donalda Duprey will assist with volleyball andtennis.

There will be a new man at the helm of the Riverside baseball program this year. Marshall Crooks takes over for long-time coach TommyFernandez in the Rebel dugout. Crooks will also serve as an assistant forfootball.

Rodney Fuhrmann Jr., whose father was the first football coach atRiverside, will assist with the football, baseball and basketball teams at the school. Also assisting in football and baseball is Keith Childress.Childress was a star at East St. John and went on to play at NorthwesternState. And Tim Taffi returns to the Rebel coaching staff after one year atSt. John of Plaquemine.Another program with a new baseball coach is Lutcher. Scott Tribble takesover the reins after Matt Dornier led the Bulldogs to seven straight playoff appearances. Tribble will also serve as the secondary coach on thefootball team. Craig Zeringue steps up to become the defensivecoordinator and Chris Barrient will coach linebackers. Troy Borne willcoach the freshman team and will be assisted by Vernon Wells.

St. Charles Catholic also had a big hole to fill as volleyball coach AnneMarie Burgard followed her husband Paul to Christian Life Academy in Baton Rouge after leading the Lady Comets to the state semifinals in 1997. Taking over for Burgard is Michelle Dearmitt, who comes from St.Louis Catholic. Dearmitt will also assist Terri Hruska with the softballteam.

Andy Roussel, a 1993 graduate of St. Charles Catholic, will serve as thehead soccer coach and athletic trainer for all sports. And Todd Hammelwill assist with the football and basketball teams.

Mike McNamara takes over as the head basketball coach at Destrehan, replacing Mike McGuire who left for Country Day. McNamara will beassisted by Shawn LeBoeuf. Brad Caillouet will coach the boys’ soccerteam and Johnny Rome will assist with the softball squad. Allen Moorewill coach the secondary on the football team and will assist Tommy Duhe with the freshman squad.

Hahnville is replacing both head basketball coaches this season. AlvinGauthier will be the boys coach while Earl Oestriecher comes over from Port Sulphur to coach girls basketball.

Lori Rando will be the swimming coach this season while Todd Giambronne will serve as a football assistant.

Reserve Christian made two major changes as it begins its first season in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. Head basketball coachTimmy Byrd will also serve as the athletic director. And Mike Marix, aformer LSU football player, will coach the girls’ volleyball, basketball and softball teams.

The most stable staff in the River Parishes will be at West St. John. TheRams have not made any changes since last season.

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