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Story Archives: Rebels look forward to 2009
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|Rebels look forward to 2009|
For the first time since 2005, the West Monroe High School Rebels advanced to the Class 5A state championship game.
It marked the first time in two years the team had made it out of the second round of the playoffs.
A 14-3 loss to Destrehan has not dampened the spirits of a program known for reloading instead of rebuilding after the loss of key, contributing seniors.
"We had a lot of sophomores and juniors come in and contribute," West Monroe head coach Don Shows said. "We will have some guys ready to take leadership roles and get better next season."
One of those will be quarterback Paul Turner who scored three touchdowns as a sophomore playing both quarterback and slot receiver.
Turner was in the same role D.J. Banks was in before the graduating senior took over as the starting quarterback for the West Monroe run to the Superdome this season.
The Rebels will also welcome back one of their top playmakers on offense in junior-to-be Tyler Cain. Cain can play both receiver and running back, but may be counted on as a running back in 2009.
Cain scored all three touchdowns in the regular season win over Ouachita and contributed in many different ways, including a punt returner for the Rebels.
"(Tyler) Cain is only a sophomore but played just as we expected," Shows said. "He is a great athlete and a good young man that plays hard."
Sophomore wide receiver Cody Stone, son of offensive coordinator Scott Stone, as well as junior wide-out Adrian Manning are expected to continue to become more involved in the West Monroe offense next season as well.
Full back Doncorius Powell is returning for his junior season. Powell ran for 100 yards at Natchitoches Central this season and can only get better with another year of maturity.
Another bright spot for the Rebels will be the return of an up-and–coming offensive line that has the experience to carry them back deep into the playoffs in 2009.
Kolt Sistrunk, Dillon Day and Wayne Hendricks will all return for the senior years after starting at some point during the 2008 campaign.
Sistrunk battled illness half of the year and will be working hard to enjoy a stellar senior season with the Rebels.
On defense, the Rebels say goodbye to some great starting talent, but the cupboard is far from bare.
Defensive end Jordan Allen is an all-state caliber player who will return to a defense ready to prove 2008 was no fluke.
Defensive backs Jonas Tyson and Vincent Bell will also return for the Rebels. Coaches believe Bell and Tyson could be the best defensive back combo in 5A football next season.
Robert Lay will be the lone returning player at linebacker in the starting line-up. Barkavious Mingo and Blake Brassell have gone, but young players wait in the wings for a chance to wear the red and blue.
Senior-to-be Josh Zeigler saw a lot of playing time at linebacker and is expected to make an even bigger impact for West Monroe next year.
Kicker Cody Hollis only missed one kick in the playoffs. He will return as a senior next year for the Rebels.