St. James sends four to All-State Squad

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 22, 2008


Sports Editor

After an appearance in the Class 2A state semifinals, four St. James Wildcats represent the school on this year’s LSWA All-State team.

Tight end Mason King, center Jabari Ambrose, linebacker Rojae Dumas and defensive end Terrance Green each were recognized among the state’s elite as the team was announced this week.

St. James came one win shy of a second straight trip to the Superdome to face District 10-2A rival Curtis for all the marbles — and came only four points shy of toppling the Patriots for what certainly would have been a second straight district crown in October.

King was one of quarterback Marcus Dumas’ favorite targets this season, catching 14 passes for 289 yards and three touchdowns, including a 90-yard scoring reception.

But what makes the senior special is his ability to excel in all phases of the offense, says SJH Coach Rick Gaille.

“His hard work in the last two off seasons have allowed him to become a really terrific blocker for us,” Gaille said. “His toughness makes him ideally suited for our offense. When we do get him the ball, he’s a big play player.”

Ambrose, a junior, paved the way for a Wildcats rushing attack that totaled 3025 yards in 15 games, including three efforts over 300 yards in the playoffs.

“He recovered from offseason knee surgery, and was our best offensive lineman even though he was playing with soreness all season long,” said Gaille. “He’s becoming a real technician at his position.”

Dumas averaged over 10 tackles a game, the only Wildcat to top 100 tackles on the season. At middle linebacker, the senior led a Wildcats defensive unit that started the season a bit slow, but allowed only 10.5 points per game over its last 10 contests. John Curtis could only muster 15 offensive points against St. James, while Evangel only scored 17 offensively.

“He’s just got great ball skills. He’s not only a fine football player, but he’s excellent at a number of sports. He’s a great learner, and he’s worked extremely hard to develop himself physically.

“A year ago, he was really only a kid. He’s developed himself into a man.”

Green, another senior, had three sacks, a fumble recovery, and averaged four tackles a game. He hadn’t played football at St. James since his freshman year, instead concentrating on basketball. But Green returned to the team in 2008, and Gaille knew he had a player with a great deal of ability.

“He really followed through on his potential,” said Gaille. “He plays and practices with a lot of energy. What impressed me about him in the spring was his high motor. He’s highly intelligent, and has a real desire to learn and continue growing.”

Evangel’s Dez Duron was named the Class 2A team’s offensive Most Valuable Player. Duron On the season, Duron, who was also named the Gatorade Louisiana Football Player of the Year, completed 310 of 455 passes for 4,216 yards, with 58 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His 58 scores through the air represent the single season record in Louisiana. He also set the single game mark on Sept. 26 with eight touchdown passes against Springhill.

Defensively, Curtis’ Matt Stansbury took the honors. He recorded 129 tackles and forced five fumbles for the Patriots who won their 23rd state crown and fifth in a row with a 35-14 victory over Evangel.

Many’s Keith Menard was named the Class 2A Coach of the Year. Menard took Many from a 4-6 record in 2007 to a 9-1 regular season and an undefeated District 3-2A championship. Many advanced to the state quarterfinals before losing to Evangel.