Championship Bulldogs net five on All-State roster

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Sports Editor

In the wake of capturing its third state championship this decade, Lutcher saw five players recognized on the LSWA Class 3A All-State team this week.

Quarterback Gavin Webster, receiver Jarvis Landry, offensive lineman Rashad Albert, linebacker Blake Rome and cornerback Frederick Thomas each represent the Bulldogs on the 2008 squad.

District rival and 9-3A champion St. Charles Catholic did not go without recognition either — defensive lineman Nick Reine, running back Courtland Taylor, punter Devin Snyder, and defensive back Grant Authement each received honorable mention. Lutcher’s Dexter McCoil also received honorable mention.

Webster, a junior, effectively replaced former LHS quarterback Blaine Gauthier not only on his own team, but on the All-State squad — Gauthier was the Class 3A All-State quarterback representative in 2007.

Of the five selections, Webster’s slot on the team came as the biggest surprise to LHS Coach Tim Detillier — but not based on merit.

“I certainly think he deserved it,” said Detillier. “it’s just with the quarterbacks at Capitol (Terrance Broadway) and Amite (Brandon Mitchell), I wasn’t sure he’d get the recognition. But when it counted, no quarterback in Class 3A played better than Gavin.”

Webster rushed for over 1000 yards, passed for almost 2000, and accounted for 45 touchdowns this season (22 rushing). He was the MVP of the 3A championship game.

His favorite target was Landry, a sophomore, who caught 51 passes for 926 yards and 10 touchdowns. He rushed for 412 more yards and five scores.

“Some of his individual plays just tend to stick in people’s minds,” Detillier said. “It’s very attention getting. And when he’s doubled, he accepts his role. He’s very unselfish, and was especially so in the playoffs.”

Albert, a senior, was the anchor of the Lutcher offensive line this season.

“Whenever we’ve won state, we were very strong up the middle. It’s like the baseball saying, you want to be strong up the middle,” Detillier said. “He’s a big reason why we were. He played every snap for us offensively, and he makes a lot of calls. He’s almost like having another coach on the field.”

Rome and Thomas are two of the senior leaders of a defensive unit that set the Class 3A championship record for the least yards allowed in a game.

Rome totaled 147 total tackles (79 solo) this season. Detillier says Rome was the unit’s leader.

“He was the heart and soul of our defense,” he said. “Blake broke his collarbone in the spring, and it was worrisome. I said, ‘Boy, I don’t want to play without Blake Rome.’ Luckily, he came back — we didn’t have to.”

While a consistent factor all season, Thomas truly came on at season’s end — his year may have been highlighted by a two interception game in the quarterfinals against Amite. He led the team with seven interceptions, and had four touchdowns as a defender, kick returner, and running back.

“He was on our last championship team. Our whole team was hungry, but nobody was hungrier than Fred Thomas,” Detillier said. “He became a force not only on defense, but on offense — we started using him on the other side, and he became such a weapon.”

Reine and Authement were each major contributors on a Comets defense that not only shut opponents down, but helped the offense — the Comets were among the state’s best teams in forcing turnovers, and Reine and Authement each were major players in that area. Snyder is one of the state’s most reliable punters. Taylor led the Comets offense on the ground and was one of the River Parishes’ elite offensive weapons all season long.

After a season opening loss to Higgins, the four were a big reason the Comets won nine straight games before falling in the postseason to Redemptorist.

McCoil was another of the veteran stalwarts in the Lutcher secondary. He totaled 141 tackles (88 solo).