Riverside, St. James land All-Staters

Published 11:45 pm Friday, December 20, 2013


 LAPLACE – Riverside defensive end Joe Anderson, St. James wide receiver D’Kwan Sandolph and St. James linebacker Aquindas Steib each helped lead their teams to great success while achieving plenty of individual highlights of their own, resulting in each being chosen for the Class 2A All-State team.
The Rebels’ Von Julien, Herb McGee and Evan Veron earned honorable mention, as did St. James’ Lowell Narcisse.
Anderson, a junior, made his debut for the Rebels this year after transferring. At 6-feet-4-inches and 235 pounds, he made for an imposing presence along the Rebels’ defensive line and proved to be a big part of the team’s turnaround on that side of the ball.
“He was pretty exceptional, the things he did as a first-year player for us,” said Riverside coach Bill Stubbs. “Every so often, you get a player of that caliber, at that size. I’m really proud of the way he responded for us. He’s got a bright future.”
Anderson racked up 8.5 sacks this season to lead the Rebels.
“He’s a 4.5 (40-yard dash time) kid coming off the edge. His great attributes are that speed and length. He’s got very long arms. Those first two steps of his are as good as anyone I’ve ever seen.”
Sandolph was the Wildcats’ quarterback a season ago, but was moved to wide receiver during the offseason by new Wildcats’ head coach Dwain Jenkins, as freshman Lowell Narcisse was tabbed as the team’s new starting passer.
Sandolph quickly took off as Narcisse’s go-to guy, though, and the senior began racking up huge numbers weekly, finishing with 1,224 yards and 14 touchdowns.
“He really proved himself down the stretch, and that was a big reason that our team got hot,” said Jenkins. “He made the transition and really grew into that position. D’Kwan had a dynamite season.”
Jenkins said that Sandolph’s strong transition was something of a representation of the Wildcats’ breakthrough season, one that saw them go from a winless team over the past two seasons to a state quarterfinalist.
“It’s something that the kids can look at and have confidence in what we’re doing, to allow themselves to trust in the process,” he said. “For the whole team, as the year went on, we started off by losing. Everyone kept showing up, and if we put the work in, things would turn around. That’s exactly what happened. Everyone believed. D’Kwan, in many ways, provided the example and led that charge.”
Steib, meanwhile, racked up 138 total tackles this season with 11 for loss. He averaged a whopping 20 tackles a game over three postseason contests and, as only a sophomore, the middle linebacker has cemented himself as the centerpiece for the St. James defense for the forseeable future.
“Even when we didn’t play well, he played well,” said Jenkins. “When the stage got big, his performance got big. He really ran through the playoffs.”
Steib tallied 24 tackles in the first round of the playoffs in St. James’ upset win over Lake Arthur. He took down 19 of them against Sterlington in round two and then 18 in the quarterfinals at Kinder.
“We knew at the beginning of last season, looking at him, that if we were going to be anything this season, he’d have to be a guy that came through,” said Jenkins. “And he did that for sure.”