ESJ honors football team at annual banquet

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 6, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / March 6, 1999

RESERVE – East St. John honored its football team that made a thirdstraight appearance to the playoffs this past season at its annual banquet Feb. 22 at the Holiday Inn in LaPlace.Head coach Ronnie Stephens said over 200 supporters attended the festivities. The Wildcats went 9-3 in 1998, advancing to the quarterfinalsfor the first time since 1980.

Georgia Tech offensive line coach Doug Morrane was the guest speaker. TheYellow Jackets have signed two players from the Wildcats over the last two seasons, wide receiver Kerry Watkins in 1998 and defensive lineman Greg Gathers this year.

The East St. John coaches presented award jackets to 38 seniors andjuniors and the team’s four managers. Bi-district and regionalchampionship patches were also presented to the team.

The team’s 15 seniors were awarded with their senior plaques. Honoredwere A-back Jerome Anderson, offensive tackle Clint Guedry, defensive back Charles Rayfield, defensive back Traun Collins, wide receiver Lance Barnes, linebacker Samson Monica, linebacker Jon Moll, offensive lineman Kenny Bossier, defensive lineman Tran Williams, defensive lineman Greg Gathers, linebacker Matt Roussel, defensive lineman Joe Davis, defensive lineman Myer Irvin, wide receiver Latherio Davenport and tight end Anthony Warren.

Gathers, Monica, junior quarterback Floyd Smith, junior wide receiver Roydell Williams and junior kicker Billy Hogan were honored for being named to the all-District 6-5A first team. Gathers, Monica, Smith andWilliams was also honored for being named all-River Parishes and Gathers and Williams for being named all-Metro.

Gathers was also recognized for being the District 6-5A defensive MVP, the all-River Parishes defensive MVP, Louisiana Football Maga-zine’s Player of the Year for the Southern region and for being named to the all- State first team as well as the academic all-State team.

The coaches then issued the individual awards. Junior Brandon August wasselected as the most valuable back on offense while Collins was named the outstanding defensive back. Bossier was named the outstandingoffensive lineman while Irvin was picked as the outstanding defensive lineman.

The most improved players were sophomore running back Chuckie Burl and sophomore tight end Darwin Pittman on offense and Tran Williams and junior defensive end Edward Campbell on defense.

Junior wide receiver Chris Bush received the Newcomer’s award on offense while sophomore cornerback Brandon Mason received it for defense. The special teams award went to Roussel. Moll received the Wildcat award. Stephens said the Wildcat award is givento the player the coaches feel demonstrated what it means to be a Wildcat through leadership on and off the field and shows dedication to both the team and his teammates.

“I feel it is one of the most significant awards we can give,” Stephens said.

Smith and Floyd Williams were named the MVPs on offense. Gathers andMonica received the award for defense. Guedry received the Scholasticaward for having the highest grade point average for a senior. Guedrycompleted his four-year career with the Wildcats with a 3.6 GPA.Gathers, Monica and Bossier received the Captain’s award from the coaches. Stephens said the award is given to those players who thecoaches feel have helped lead the team in the right direction.

“They did a great job of adjusting to the new coaches,” Stephens said of the three.

“They did a great job of leading this football team. It is with theirleadership and dedication why we went 9-3. They were a special seniorgroup, one that I say I am proud of.”

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