St. Charles Catholic defies expectations with another storybook ending

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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The River Parishes were well-represented in the Superdome as Destrehan, St. Charles Catholic and Lutcher battled their way to LHSAA state football championships in their respective divisions. While Destrehan finished the year with a spotless record and Lutcher dropped only one game early on by a single point, the Comets’ season started out like a turbulent wave with several crests and troughs.

After Week Seven, St. Charles Catholic had a 4-3 record that was a far cry from last year’s dominating performance in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Last year was a storybook season from start to finish, and many doubted whether St. Charles would be able to defend the Division III championship title after graduating 21 seniors, including 17 starters, in May 2022.

If there’s anything Coach Wayne Stein and the Comets have proved this year, it’s that St. Charles Catholic knows how to stay in the fight. Winning is a skill, according to Stein, and it’s one the Comets have possessed even while battling the injury bug this year and facing a particularly tough schedule.

“The kids were always leaders. They showed up every day. They were a great example to the rest of the team, and a lot of them had a chip on their shoulder,” Stein said. “They were told that after last year, they were going to drop the torch and that the light was going to blow out. We always say tradition never graduates, and they were going to find a way to uphold that tradition at St. Charles Catholic.”

Quarterback Ayden Authement heard the same doubts and knew in his heart that the Comets would persevere.

“It’s just the best feeling in the world,” he said. “At the beginning of the season, they said this was going to be a rebuilding year for our seniors, but I knew that our seniors would step up and win the championship.”

The championship game against Dunham was a lot like the season, with a rocky start and an incredible comeback. Stein said Dunham played a tremendous game, and a lot of class and physicality was seen from both teams.

St. Charles Catholic is sometimes referred to as “Toughness U,” not because of the athletes’ size or physicality, but because of their mental strength.

“I think our kids give you a chance to step away and be proud of something,” Stein said. “They stick together, they play with character, they win with class, they care about one another, they come from all different places and become a brotherhood, and I think it means a lot to the River Parishes.”

There’s something to be said about a team that finds a way no matter the odds. As we close out the year with new championship trophies in hand, it would be nice to see our teams celebrated with a community parade that highlights the pride of the River Region.