Watching and learning

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 18, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / January 18, 1999

LAPLACE – Cornell Bazile remembers watching football games on television with his uncle while he was growing up. Soon, it may be Bazilethat people across the country will be watching.

Bazile just completed a four-year career at John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge. The LaPlace resident started his final two years atdefensive tackle, helping the Patriots to consecutive Class 4A state titles.

Bazile grew up around his sports. His mother, Ora, coached girls’ track atLutcher High School for 20 years, winning three state championships.

Bazile started playing football in little league when he was 10-years-old.

He would also spend time with his uncle Clarence watching games on television.

One of the players he watched was John Randle, the all-Pro defensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings.

“He is very aggressive,” Bazile said of Randle. “He was always into thegame. He talks a lot but when it is time to play, he is ready to play.”Bazile started Curtis in the eighth grade and saw playing time as a freshman and sophomore on special teams. He remembers his first gameagainst Capitol of Baton Rouge and the words that his position coach, Leon Curtis, always used to say – “Go out on the field and make a play.”Bazile also played basketball at Curtis, starting in the eighth grade and played through his sophomore year before deciding to concentrate of football. He became a starter on the defensive line as a junior and finishedthis season with 71 tackles, including 28 for losses, and 19 sacks.

During Bazile’s career at Curtis, the Patriots captured three straight championships. Bazile said each one meant a little more to him.”I played special teams for the first one,” Bazile said. “It was a greatexperience. The second one I started and it meant more to me because Icontributed more to the team. The last one topped it off, it was the icingon the cake. It meant the most because I was a senior and it was my lastgame with Curtis.”Bazile said playing for John Curtis, the winningest coach in Louisiana high school football history, was a learning experience, both on and off the field.

“He caught me a lot about character,” Bazile said of Curtis. “He taught mehow to be a football player off the field, how to be a person. Characterwas the most important thing.”Bazile also gave credit to his family for following him and encouraging him throughout his career.

“I thank God for them sticking with me,” Bazile said.

Bazile’s next goal is to play college football and continuing his education, majoring in either zoology or music.

He visited Northeastern Louisiana University last Friday and is also considering Arkansas, Tennessee, South-ern Mississippi, Memphis, McNeese State and Southern among other schools. He is eligibleacademically both on his grades and test scores.

Bazile said his strong points are his speed and quickness. He has beentimed at 4.56 in the 40. At 6-foot-4, 235-pounds, he realizes he needs toget a little more weight before heading to the next level.

“I am looking forward to it,” Bazile said of playing college football. “Ican’t wait to see how the next level will be.”Bazile said his goals for life is to have a heart for God’s people and to do what God wants him to do. As for football, his goal is to make it to thetop.

“To get to the NFL and the Super Bowl,” Bazile said.

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