|Area players land All-State honors|
Several of the top high school football players in the area were selected to the Louisiana Sports Writer's Association All-State football teams last week.
In the top Classification of 5A, local stars were plentiful and led by state runner-up West Monroe with four players on the All-State squad.
Class 5A defensive most valuable player for 2008 was Barkavious Mingo of West Monroe.
The senior linebacker had a banner year for the Rebels with 59 tackles, four tackles for losses, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and seven fumble recoveries in just his second season on the football field for West Monroe.
Junior defensive end Jordan Allen joined Mingo on the Class 5A team from West Monroe. Allen recorded 60 tackles and nine sacks during a stellar junior season that ended when West Monroe lost the Class 5A state championship game to Destrehan, 14-3.
On the offensive side of the ball, quarterback D.J. Banks and offensive lineman Daniel Pipes rounded out the all-state selections for West Monroe.
Banks was a dual-threat quarterback that passed for 1,574 yards and 10 touchdowns as well as having 11 rushing touchdowns for the Rebels in 2008.
Pipes started every game along the West Monroe offensive line and led the way for the West Monroe offense to produce huge gains this season.
"We are very proud of all our players that got this honor," West Monroe head coach Don Shows said. "They all had great seasons for the Rebels."
Ouachita starting running back Montrell Conner was also selected to the All-state team. Conner lead Ouachita in rushing for the third consecutive season as Ouachita went all the way to the Class 5A quarterfinals before losing to West Monroe Thanksgiving week.
"Montrell (Conner) is a great player and is also a real good person," Ouachita head coach John Carr said. "He carries himself well and was a leader by example for our football team. He had a fantastic senior season."
The Neville Tigers landed three players on the All-State squad. Offensive lineman Justin Ellis and kicker Matthew Squyers each made the team. On defense, linebacker Foster Jones was selected as an All-State player.
Ellis started every game at guard for the Tigers. The Neville offense produced 4,286 yards of offense in another very productive season for head coach Mickey McCarty.
Ellis also contributed as a fullback and had three rushing touchdowns for a total of nine yards carrying the football.
Squyres made 27-of-33 PAT this season. The junior also was 5-of-9 on field-goal attempts for Neville.
Jones led Neville with 102 total tackles, 61 solo, this season. He also recorded two sacks, three fumble recoveries and seven hurries as Neville again made the second-round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Class 3A All-State team featured Richwood defensive lineman Rashad Givens. The East Mississippi Community College was the only local player to be chosen in the coverage area.
Givens (6-4, 230) led the Rams into the quarterfinals and finished with 66 tackles, 23 assists, eight sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles and a blocked punt.
Fellow Richwood lineman Andre Sanford garnered an honorable mention on the all-state squad.
Sanford opened holes for quarterback Greg Smith and company to run the Rams all the way to the third round of the Class 3A playoffs before losing to state runner-up Notre Dame.
Sterlington defensive end Lee Spence earned an honorable mention after leading the Panthers in tackles and being one of the Panthers' premier playmakers on defense the last three seasons.
Class 1A was peppered with local talent on the All-State team after the Ouachita Christian School Eagles went 12-2 and has six players honored by the LSWA.
Three players from this year's OCS squad made the All-State team while three of their teammates earned honorable mention.
Wide receiver Glenn Marshall made the All-State team for the second consecutive year. The senior was electric for OCS with 55 receptions for 992 yards and 14 touchdowns during his senior campaign. Marshall will leave OCS with 119 career receptions, more than any other player in school history.
Linebacker Jacob Boles made the All-State defensive team after recording a team-high 120 tackles in 2008. The senior also had one fumble recovery on one of the best defensive units in Class 1A this season.
Sophomore Taylor Dawson was named the kicker for the All-State team. He connected on 54-of-59 PAT kicks as well as 14-of-19 on field-goal attempts.
Offensive lineman Micah Shackelford, quarterback Jacob Davis and linebacker
Blake Wooten were selected as honorable mentions.
Davis directed an offensive that went down as one of the most productive units in the history of OCS football and reached the state quarterfinals where they fell to eventual state runner-up Christian Life in Baton Rouge.
AREA LISTINGClass 5A All-State
DISTRICT 1-5A 1st Team
Quarterback: DJ Banks, West Monroe, Sr.,
Running backs: Montrell Conner, Ouachita, Sr. and LaDarius Abrams, West Monroe, Sr.
Receivers: Brandon Williams, Ouachita, Sr. and Josh Remedies, West Monroe, Sr.
Linemen: Kolt Sistrunk, West Monroe, Sr.; Dillon Day, West Monroe, Jr.; Daniel Pipes, West Monroe, Sr.; Tim Milton, Ouachita, Sr.; and Wayne Hendricks, West Monroe, Jr.
MVP: DJ Banks, West Monroe, Sr. and Montrell Conner, Ouachita, Sr.
DL: Cameron Blakes, Ouachita, Sr. and Jordan Allen, West Monroe, Jr.
LB: Blake Brassel, West Monroe, Sr. and Barkevious Mingo, West Monroe, Sr.
DB: Robert Lay, West Monroe, Jr.
Punter: Matt Little, Ouachita, Sr.
Quarterback: Corey Treadway, Ouachita, Sr.
Running backs: Keynan Harris, Ouachita, Sr.
Receivers: Chris Bolton, Ouachita, Sr.; Joel Barfield, West Monroe, Sr.; and Ryan Gebhardt, Ouachita, Jr.
Linemen, Sr., Corey Christianson, Ouachita, Jr., David Hurd, West Monroe, Sr.
DL: Cornist Broadway, Ouachita, Sr. and Tyler Burdeaux, West Monroe, Jr.
LB: Teron Bell, Ouachita, Soph. and David Eley, West Monroe, Sr.
DB: Nick Ross, Ouachita, Jr.,
QB: Taylor Burch, Neville, Jr.
RB: DeAndre Reed, Neville, Sr.; Josh Ellis, Neville, Sr.; and Billy Minnifield, West Ouachita, Soph.
TE: Truman VanVeckhoven, Neville, Sr.
OL: Clay Blanchard, Neville, Jr.; Joey Huston, West Ouachita, So.; Justin Ellis, Neville, Sr.; and Demitris Matthews, Carroll, Sr.
Kicker: Matt Squyes, Neville, Jr.
Athlete: Xavier Gray, Carroll, Jr.
DL: Dez Collins, Neville, Sr.; Trey Griffin, West Ouachita, Sr.; and Erin Brown, Carroll, Jr.
LB: Foster Jones, Neville, Sr. and Heath Hopfinger, West Ouachita, Jr.
DB: Hagan Lawrence, Neville, Jr. and Andrevius Brandon, Neville, Jr.
Kick returner: JeMarrion Bolton, Neville, Sr.
Punter: Erin Brown, Carroll, Jr.
Quarterback: Matt Calhoun, West Ouachita, Sr.
Running back: ZuBrandon Brown, Carroll, Jr.
Receiver: Ben Sartor, Neville, Sr.
OL: Jake Caldwell, West Ouachita, Soph.
Athlete: Jarvis Grayson, West Ouachita, Sr.
DL: Duke Guillory, Neville, Jr. and Darius Dunaway, Carroll, Sr.
DB: Malcolm Carter, West Ouachita, Sr.; Patrick Lewis, Carroll, Soph.; and Dwight Amphy, Carroll, Fr.
Kick returner: Ray Moss, West Ouachita, Jr.
District 1-3A 1st team
Quarterback: Greg Johnson, Richwood, Sr. (MVP)
WR: Cedric Goins, Richwood, Sr.
OL: Andre Sanford, Richwood, Sr.
DL: Rashad Givens, Richwood, Sr (MVP)
LB: Corey Middleton, Richwood, Jr.
DB: Lamar Wilson, Richwood, Sr.
Kick returner: Richard Wilson, Richwood, Sr.
1-3A 2nd Team
RB: Greg Hudson, Richwood, Jr.
WR: Anthony Abraham, Richwood, Jr.
OL: Charles Sumbler, Richwood, Jr.
DL: LaCraig Brown, Richwood, Sr.
LB: Justin Young, Richwood, Jr.
DB: Dorian Epting, Richwood, Sr.; Quentin Jacobs, Richwood, Sr.; and Quinton Stubblefieds, Richwood, Sr.
1st team 2-2A all-district: QB Logan Dobdson, Sterlington.
WR: De'Undre Gray, Sterlington, Sr. and Cole Bagbey, Sterlington.
OL: Tyler McCarty, Sterlington, Soph.
DL: Lee Spence Sr. and LaQuinten Allen, Sterlington.
LB: Dylan Bardin, Sterlington, Jr.
P: Thomas Giddens, Sterlington, Sr.
2nd Team 2-2A: RB Marquis Douglas, Sterlington, Jr.
WR Thomas Giddens, Sterlington, Jr.
OL: Bronson Bonner, Sterlington, Sr.
DL: Grant Bardin, So., Jacob Pruitt, Sterlington, Jr.
LB: Trevor Black, Sterlington, Sr.
DB: Cole Bagbey, Sterlington, Sr.
1st Team All-district:
Offense: Chris Buttitta, St. Frederick, Sr.; Matt Kennedy, OCS; K Brooks Hummel, St. Frederick, Soph.; TE Zach LaSuzzo, St. Fred; and QB Landon Williams, St. Fred, Sr.
DL James Laird, OCS, Jr. and Matt Temple, Ouachita Christian, Jr.
LB: Christian Sager, St. Frederick, Jr. and Jacob Boles, OCS (MVP)
DB: Blake Gillikin, Ouachita Christian, Sr. and James Johnston, St. Frederick
P: Jacob Davis, OCS
WR James Johnston, St. Frederick, Sr.; Hayden Robinson, Ouachita Christian, Soph.;
OL Taylor Downhour, Ouachita Christian, Sr;
Tackle: Catar Kennedy, St. Frederick, Sr. and Brandon Henderson, St. Frederick, Sr.
DL: Aaron Thibodeaux, St. Frederick, Jr. and Sam Wade, Ouachita Christian, Sr.
LB: Harry Hawthorne, OCS, Jr. and Zach LaSuzzo, St. Frederick, Sr.
DB: Mark Laird, Ouachita Christian, Fr.
Kick returner: Glenn Marshall, Ouachita Christian, Sr.
Honorable Mention All-district: Ouachita Christian (Cade Lawhon, Matt Parker, Colby Allen, John Clay Reeves, Jeremy Hill). St. Frederick (Corbin Fry, Jarrod Nichols, Patrick Eberts, Zach LaPietra, Nick Coon, Cooper Hastings, Taylor Crousillac, Harrison Howell, Anthony Marshall, James Norman, Steven Tyler, Jamar Owens).