Published 12:00 am Monday, May 16, 2005
Moving into one of the toughest district in the state and having to replace their all-everything back Tyrell Fenroy, St. Charles Catholic prepares for the 2005 season
By DAVID FOLSE II
LAPLACE – When you ask St. Charles Catholic Head Football Coach Frank Monica for a word to describe his squad this spring and as they head into the upcoming season, he gives you an interesting answer.
Fear, nervousness, inexperienced?
Moving down to Class 2A for the 2005 season, the Comets will move into a very tough district that features rival Riverside and perennial state champion John Curtis.
Monica’s Comets will also have to deal with the loss of all-everything tailback Tyrell Fenroy. The All-State back and Louisiana-Lafayette signee, Fenroy accounted for 2,413 total yards and 44 touchdowns.
“I’m anxiously waiting on how we can compete and hold up against the schedule that we have for the upcoming season,” Monica said. “It is the toughest schedule in the history of St. Charles Catholic football. Our schedule has two state champions in West St. John and John Curtis. We’re leading off with one of the better talented teams in 5A with Terrebonne. They might be the most talented team that we play all year long. Mix that into a really tough district in which everyone is very capable of coming out with the title.
“We have a really nice group of seniors. Not that many, but they are a really good group. I like this team’s personality. The only thing that we are worried about is our numbers. We are down in our numbers this season and we may have to play a couple of players both ways in the upcoming season.”
Monica said Curtis wasn’t the choice of the other teams in the district, but the school will have to adjust and look forward to the challenge.
“When we had to come up with the districts for the next two seasons, we had proposed a district that included three Baton Rouge schools. The state threw us a curveball and sent Curtis to us. Everyone knows about their reputation and how great of a football program that they have.
“All that did was solidify a tough district. The tradeoff form our district last season seems to be equal. Having our district so tough will help us out power points wise, so thank goodness for that.”
Knowing that they can never replace a player the caliber of Fenroy, Monica said his former MVP will be missed.
“In his three years that he really played with us he scored 82 touchdowns,” Monica said of Fenroy. “You don’t replace a guy and stats like that. Tyrell had phenomenal ability and was a leader in his own way. He was a very quite leader.
“Now we have to turn the page. It’s a new page and a new year. I would think now that we are going to be more methodical on the offensive side of the ball because we don’t have a homerun hitter like Tyrell. We are going to just have to settle down and say hey if we get a five or six yard gain and we can keep moving the chains; that is the most important thing.”
Monica and the rest of the Comet staff will look to a multitude of players to replace Fenroy’s touchdown and yardage production. One of the biggest keys for the Comets will be the production of wide receiver Casey Robottom.
The leading returning receiver for the Comets, Robottom hauled in 35 passes for 695 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Monica said he will look to get his star receiver as many touches as he can and anyway he can.
“The big thing that we have to figure out is how many ways can we put the ball in Casey Robottom’s hands?,” Monica said. “He is going to have to touch it in some capacity 20-25 times a game. He is going to touch the ball in a lot of different ways.
“You could see him the backfield, as a wide receiver, as a wingback plus special teams. Whenever opposing teams are kicking to us, they are going to try and kick it away from him. Overall, he is going to be the guy that we just want the ball in his hands.”
While Phillip Sutton is the most experienced quarterback returning for the Comets, Monica said the quarterback competition is still open.
“Matt Heltz played quarterback in the spring game for us last season,” Monica said. “Right now it is a battle between Matt and Phillip Sutton, but Matt Heltz is number one on the depth chart.
“Phillip will definitely see some playing time, but it might not all be at quarterback. He might see time and various other positions.”
Up front on the offensive line, the Comets lose several starters but are led by an anchor in the middle.
“We lost two starters on the line and our tight end,” Monica said. “Our play up front is going to be crucial to any success that we want to have. Younger guys will step up and fill those roles.
“Mark Murphy anchors our line at center and is probably our best center that we have had since we have been here. This will be his
third year starting for us. I would say that he is one of the best centers in the river parishes. He is also going to double up and play some nose guard for us. Andy Guidry played right tackle for us last season and Chris Waguespack will be left guard. Those three guys will help our young players mature, hopefully quickly. At tight end, Michael Oncale will step into that starting role.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Monica said his squad will have their fair share of challenges.
“Last year we had a really small defense,” Monica said and added, “This year we are not that much bigger, but what we do have is a lot more experience.
“Nine out of the 11 players we have coming back have extensive experience. We still have to run to the ball and not give up the big play.”