Brother Martin seeks to continue recent success as Bonis family faces adversity
It has been a good run for Brother Martin.
The Crusaders reached the Division I semifinals in 2014 and 2016 and the quarterfinals in 2015 and 2017.
Mark Bonis has done an excellent job in his nine seasons at Brother Martin, posting 63-42 record. He has a good coaching staff and has had good players that have produced good results.
The 2018 season will be a challenge.
Brother Martin must replace a host of key players who graduated, including quarterback JP Pierce, two-way star Erick Lassair, offensive linemen Zachary Breaux and Rhett Fleetwood, linebackers Brendan Brown, Jabari Watts and Ben Chaplain and strong safety Matthew Alfonso.
The offensive line will feature five new starters, including eight players who are competing for jobs. They include senior Collin Ardon (5-10, 220) and juniors Casey Pittman (6-1, 220) and Hunter Fisette (5-9, 210), along with four sophomores in Adam Bourgeois (5-10, 225), Drew Romano (5-8, 250), Saul Canizales (5-10, 230) and Arturo Garcia (5-10, 250). Freshman Jayson Montgomery (6-2, 260) may see time as well.
While the offensive line is new, the wide receivers are an experienced group, with six players who started games last year back.
That includes senior Brady Faust (5-11, 180), who had 36 receptions for 490 yards a year ago. Junior Devon Moore (5-9, 175) is also back after catching 19 catches for 326 yards and a touchdown in 2017. Seniors Victor Tomlinson (5-9, 175), LJ Gilyot (6-0, 170) and Javier Perez (5-8, 170) return, along with junior Nick Turner (6-1, 180).
Junior running back Chris Smith (5-9, 185) is a returning starter who rushed 105 times for 503 yards a year ago. He will be joined in the backfield by sophomores Ryan Rouge (5-9, 190) and Jaylon Spears (5-8, 180).
The tight end position is well stocked with senior Michael Clapp (6-0, 200), junior Noah Labbe (6-3, 220) and sophomore Logan Farrell (6-4, 190).
The quest to replace Pierce at quarterback could include two players seeing action, including senior Drew Martin (5-10, 175) and sophomore Issiah Torregano (5-11, 175).
The defense has four returning starters, including two stalwarts up front in senior Mack Brown (6-2, 265) and Noah Labbe (6-3, 220). They will be joined by senior Akil Smith (6-0, 280) and junior Kyle West (5-11, 230).
The inside linebackers include seniors Beau Ranlett (6-0, 210), Jack Romano (5-9, 210) and Jack Dickinson (5-10, 190). On the outside, seniors Sport Faust (5-10, 185) and Christopher Gardebled (6-0, 195) will be joined by junior Luke Schexnaildre (6-0, 185).
The cornerbacks include Moore and Perez, along with juniors Cole Stromboe (5-10, 175) and Jaiden Watson (5-10, 175) while senior Von Addison (6-1, 190) is back to start at safety and will be joined by junior Joshua Payne-Morgan (6-2, 195).
Junior Jack Landry (5-9, 165) is back to handle kicking duties while Sport Faust will handle punting duties. Gilyot, Moore, Smith and Turner are expected to handle kick return duties.
The schedule opens with a bang with three very tough non-district opponents. Brother Martin starts on the road at Petal, MS on Aug. 31 before taking on Warren Easton and Hahnville at Tad Gormley Stadium.
District 9-5A action begins on Friday, Sept. 21 against two-time defending league champion John Curtis Christian at Yulman Stadium.
Then comes a game against Gentilly rival St. Augustine on Sept. 29 before a non-district contest at home against Bastrop. It is back to Catholic League play on Oct. 12 against Holy Cross and the Crusaders host Archbishop Rummel Oct. 20. After a trip to Archbishop Shaw, the Crusaders close the regular season against Jesuit on Nov. 2.
If the Crusaders can settle their quarterback position and if the offensive line can mature early, Brother Martin could have another consistently good season, though it will not be easy with a very tough schedule.
**On a personal note, there are no quotes from Coach Bonis for a specific reason.
We ask all of our followers at CrescentCitySports.com to please keep Coach Bonis, his wonderful wife Rebecca and their infant son Marc in your prayers. They are a wonderful, beautiful family with two daughters as well. Baby Marc is in critical condition.
I spoke with Mark this evening and he asked that we thank everyone for their support, prayers and genuine best wishes.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…