Boys squads feature power rebounders, accurate long-range shooters

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 20, 2002


The end of football season means the basketball season is heating up for all the River Parishes high schools. From new coaches to fresh talent, teams from around the area are eagerly anticipating the season to take shape.

Destrehan High School

Coming off a successful 28-8 season and a playoff appearance, the Destrehan High School Fighting Wildcats are aiming for bigger and brighter things for the 2002-03 season.

“Last season was my second year as coach. I think we had seniors that year that were consistent and understood our system really well,” said DHS head coach Joe Schick.

Three top starters returning from last season’s successful campaign are Chris Moore, Donald Pollard, and Darrin Brown. Moore, a point guard, will be one of the quickest players on the court this season. Pollard is a 6-foot, 3-inch forward who is physical and has a solid inside and outside game. He also will likely be one the teams top rebounder’s this season. Brown, also a forward, is one of the most versatile players on the court this year for DHS.

Other top players on the squad include Demarko Hutchinson, Jai Eugene and 6-foot-4 forward Aaron Sylvain, a transfer from West St. John High School.

A difficult non-district schedule for the Fighting Wildcats includes games against West Jefferson High School, John Curtis, and St. Thomas Moore High School.

The outlook for District 6-5A, according to Schick, is “competitive.”

“I think you have got five teams that can win it,” he said. “There is no doubt the potential is there for us.”

Lutcher High School

The Lutcher High School Bulldogs return 10 seniors to this year’s squad. Seniors Jarod Hansley, Gerard Michael, and Ashlon Albert are expected to make a big impact.

“Jared Hansley is a point guard who has got good skills with good passing ability,” head coach Mike McNamara said.

At 6-foot-5, Michael loves the transition game and is a solid shooter. Albert is a forward and one of the top players in the River Parishes last year, averaging 20 points a game. However, the best player on the roster may be guard/forward Gerard Landry. He is described by McNamara as “someone who can do it all.”

Up-and-coming players are sophomore Dustin Mitchell, and freshmen Jack Albert and Khymist Williams.

A tough non-district schedule includes games at East Jefferson, Denham Springs, and Vandebilt.

“I wanted to get a tough non-district schedule to help us get ready for district play and the playoffs,” McNamara said.

Riverside Academy

Last season the Riverside Academy Rebels struggled to an 11-22 record. This year, several players will need to step up in order for the Rebels to be successful.

Josh Labiche, a sophomore, was a part-time starter last year.

“Josh is probably our best overall athlete. He is going to need four guys play as well and hard as he does this year,” said RA head coach Tommy Monier.

Matt Rogers, a sophomore offensive lineman on the football team, is a key ingredient.

Monier is expecting tough District 9-2A competition from West St. John, Newman and Redeemer-Seton.

Reserve Christian School

Things were shining last season for Reserve Christian School and they may shining even brighter this year.

After posting an impressive 43-10 record and claiming the state championship in Class B, the Eagles have all returning starters for what head coach Timmy Byrd hopes will be a successful 2002-03 campaign.

This year, the Eagles will be led by Marlon Brumfield and Frankie Francois.

“Everyone is looking at Brumfield. He is very athletic with tremendous skills,” said Byrd.

Francois, a senior, is described as a defensive specialist who can also score. Francois was the team’s second leading scorer last season. The inside game for the Eagles will be dominated by 6-foot-6, 257-pound center Matt Jackson.

“We just need to be humble and let their play speak for itself,” Byrd said.

Hahnville High School

The starting quarterback for the Hahnville High School football team is also a starter in basketball.

Once the football season ended, Laron Landry quarterbacks the offense on the court. The 6-foot-2 athlete is one of three returning starters on this year’s squad, including Al Mott and Davon Mitchell.

Two freshmen, Brian Singleton, a guard, and Irvin Humphrey, a forward, will also see action this year.

“Those guys are going to make a big impact for us in the future,” said HHS coach Kevin Robicheaux.

Pre-district games include playing in the St. Cloud Southern Showdown from Dec. 26-28 in Orlando, Fla. The Tigers will open up district play on Jan. 7 against East St. John.

East St. John High School

First-year East St. John High School head coach Charles Julie inherited a team that finished with a disappointing 10-15 record last season.

Returning for his senior season will be 6-foot-5 forward Sorrell Allen.

“He (Allen) was our leading scorer last season. He’ll need to step it up again this year,” Julie said.

Other top players include Rickey Johnson, Dejuan Dennis, Ryan Stipe and Ricardo Porter. Stipe played on a national all-star team, while Dennis played guard recently on an AAU National Team.

Two of the top Wildcats football players, sophomore Ryan Perrilloux and senior Kirston Pittman, are also expected to see playing time as the season progresses.

“I think Ryan is one of the best three-sport athletes in the nation,” Julie said.

For years, South Lafourche had been the team to beat in the district. However, the Tarpons have slipped recently, and Julie feels there is a new team to contend with.

“I really think Central Lafourche is going to have a good season and surprise some people. I think Hahnville and Destrehan will be contenders as well,” he said.

St. Charles Catholic High School

Another first-year head coach, Jeff Montz, is enjoying hearing sneakers squeak on the hard wood floor this year. Montz spent last season with St. Charles Catholic as an assistant coach.

Coming off a disappointing season, Montz is not making any predictions for this season. He said the team does not have any real superstars, which is just fine with him.

“Based on the AAU games during the summer, I like the players I have. I think by us not having a standout will only make us better,” he said.

One of the featured Comets this season will be Michael Bonura. The senior will likely play the post position or guard.

In addition, the Comets will likely feature several newcomers to the varsity squad. About half of team is composed of ninth- and tenth-graders.

St. James High School

First-year St. James High School head coach James Smith has some big shoes to fill. He is replacing longtime basketball coach Lionel Ezidore, who retired at the end of last season.

“I realize the rich basketball tradition here. It’s my job to continue that tradition,” Smith said.

The Wildcats, who are coming off a 20-win season, have two of their top starters back for this season, Jarrell Price and David Johnson.

Smith said he does not like to single out players for special recognition.

“My entire team is one big hero. I am going to allow five individuals to work together this season,” he said.

Even though he likes his varsity squad very much, the coach said he is more excited about what the future holds for his team.

“I’ve got a good group of freshmen and sophomores that will take time to mold. I want to rally around them and build a solid freshmen and Junior Varsity team,” he said.

West St. John High School

West St. John High School, the defending District 9-2A champs, are looking to repeat in 2002-03.

“I think our team last season had good chemistry. We really didn’t have much experience, we just young kids that came in and played well together,” said Rams head coach Antoine Edwards.

Unlike most schools, WSJ just recently began to play games.

“The main reason for that is because most of our athletes play football. We have a very small school where it is sometimes difficult to put together a basketball team together right away,” said Edwards.

Four returning starters for the Rams play football, Josh Lumar, Thomas Augusta, Quinn Johnson, and Tyson Jackson.

Due to a virtually non-existent Junior Varsity team, Edwards will have to rely on his juniors and seniors to carry the load this season.

“We need to have a disciplined ball club in order to be good. Everybody needs to gel and be on the same page this year,” he said.