Stein makes mark in Cajunland

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 21, 2002


LAFAYETTE – Former St. Charles Catholic High School running back Wayne Stein said he sometimes surprises even himself these days.

The current University of Louisiana at Lafayette fullback is living out a dream.

“It feels good that people doubted me before I came to Lafayette. To be honest, I shock myself,” Stein said with a laugh.

While at SCC, Stein racked up 990 yards one season, scored 10 touchdowns, and he was a member of the All-District team.

However, when he left St. Charles Catholic, several skeptics said he did not have the talent to compete at the next level. He made the ULL team as a walk-on during his freshman year, but did not see any action because he was a redshirt. Today, the LaPlace native, a junior, has started three of nine games for the Ragin’ Cajuns this season at fullback, and is fourth on his team in receptions.

Despite ULL’s 2-7 record, Stein has kept focused and remained upbeat.

“I really can’t complain right now. We have had a rough season, but right now we’re just trying to build momentum for next year,” he said. “We have got some new coaches on this year’s staff that are still adjusting to the system.”

Stein recalls a classic play that helped him realize he did have potential to play at the college level.

“I remember one game it was fourth down and three yards to go when I caught a pass to keep the game and drive alive for us. I guess I knew then that I was fulfilling my dream as a college football player,” he said.

One of the people Stein admires the most is his uncle. His uncle is SCC head football coach Frank Monica.

“He had a lot to do with me making it to the next level,” Stein said. “Without a doubt, he has been a big influence on my life.

While playing for the Comets, Stein recalled some pivotal games against local rivals.

“We played Riverside (Academy) down to the wire one year and we gave up a fourth quarter drive and let West St. John beat us,” he said.

So far, the biggest thrill Stein has gotten this season is playing a game in Tiger Stadium against LSU.

“That was awesome. I think the reason I was able to do that is because I have been blessed to be around some good people,” Stein said.

The transition from high school football to college football was an experience in itself.

“The size and speed of college players is outrageous. I didn’t realize it was that fast until I saw it on tape,” he said.

Even though the Ragin Cajuns are suffering through a difficult season, Stein is optimistic about the 2003 season and beyond.

His would like to become a coach at some point, possibly at SCC.

“I had a dream to play football at both St. Charles Catholic and ULL. I’m lucky because there are millions of football players who are still trying to achieve their dreams,” he said.