Finalists for Greater New Orleans QB Club year-end awards announced
A pair of unbeaten state champions, the Gatorade Player of the Year in Louisiana and six coaches who led their teams to outstanding seasons are finalists for the three primary awards to be presented Tuesday at the year-end meeting of the 81st year of the Greater New Orleans Quarterback Club, presented by Home Bank.
Archbishop Rummel and St. James each completed unbeaten seasons as No. 1 seeds, culminating with state championships in their respective classes. Both are leading candidates for Team of the Year.
Christian Westcott, who impacted the game in all three phases all season long, is a top candidate for Player of the Year, along with Archbishop Rummel stalwart Donovan Kaufman, who had a great season and a sensational championship game performance. Westcott recently earned Gatorade Player of the Year in Louisiana.
Nick Monica, who led Archbishop Rummel to an unbeaten season and state championship at the highest level in his first season on the job is a top candidate for Coach of the Year, along with Robert Valdez of St. James. Monica guided the Raiders to the Division I state championship while Valdez led the Wildcats to an unbeaten season and the 3A state title.
All year-end awards are sponsored by The R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
Here are your finalists for Team of the Year:
ARCHBISHOP RUMMEL—Went 13-0 and won the Division I state championship.
DESTREHAN—Went 11-4 and finished as state runner-up in Class 5A
WARREN EASTON—Went 9-5 and finished as state runner-up in Class 4A
KARR—Went 13-2 and won the Class 4A state championship for a fourth straight year
LAKESHORE—Went 13-1, earned the top seed and made the Class 4A semifinals
ST. JAMES—Went 15-0 and won the 3A state championship
Here are your finalists for the Ronald E. Gardner Greater New Orleans Quarterback Club Prep Player of the Year, presented by the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl:
ASAHAAD CLAYTON—WARREN EASTON
A senior, Clayton rushed 202 times for 2,264 yards and 32 touchdowns and caught three passes for 44 yards in helping lead Warren Easton to the 4A state championship game for a second consecutive season. Clayton is a Colorado commitment.
A senior, Edwards rushed 308 times for 1,859 yards and 27 touchdowns and caught 20 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. He has six kickoff returns for 245 yards (41 yd. avg.) and a touchdown. Edwards is an Alabama commitment.
DONOVAN KAUFMAN—ARCHBISHOP RUMMEL
Kaufman led Archbishop Rummel to an unbeaten 13-0 season and the Division I state championship and the No. 11 ranking nationally in the MaxPreps national rankings. On offense, Kaufman had eight rushes for 98 yards and two touchdowns and had one catch for eight yards. He returned 14 kicks for 503 yards and two touchdowns, an average of 35.9 yards per return, and returned five punts for 41 yards, an average of 8.2 yards per return. On defense, he had 100 tackles, including nine tackles for loss with four sacks. He had three interceptions, forced five fumbles, had five fumble recoveries, five passes broken up and two defensive touchdowns. Kaufman was named Most Outstanding Player for Rummel in the Division 1 state championship game, which the Raiders won 14-10. He is a Vanderbilt commitment.
A senior, Kelly completed 187-of-283 (66%) passes for 3,412 yards and 40 touchdowns with just three interceptions. He rushed 67 times for 455 yards and nine touchdowns. Kelly led the Cougars to a fourth consecutive Class 4A state championship.
SHAMAR SMITH—ST. JAMES
A senior, Smith has completed 141-of-247 for 1,971 yards and 17 touchdowns and four interceptions and he rushed 208 times for 1,266 yards and 27 touchdowns. A UTSA commit, Smith led the Wildcats to the Class 3A state championship, the school’s first in 40 years.
Christian Westcott—A senior, Westcott completed 151-of-276 passes (55%) for 2,790 with 35 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He rushed 201 times for 1,367 yards and 38 touchdowns. He had a pair of two-point conversions and punted 20 times for an average of 34 yards. On defense, he was in on 31 tackles, 19.5 for loss with 6.5 sacks. He added five hurries, five pass break-ups, an interception, four forced fumbles a fumble recovery and a touchdown, giving him 74 total touchdowns and 522 total points. He led his team to a perfect 10-0 season, the No. 1 seed in the Class 4A state playoffs and took Lakeshore to the state semifinals. He was named the District 8-4A Player of the Year and was named the Gatorade Louisiana Football Player of the Year.
Here are your finalists for the Coach of the Year:
BRICE BROWN—Karr. Guided the Cougars to a historical fourth straight 4A state championship.
CRAIG JONES—Lakeshore. Led Lakeshore to a perfect regular season, the top seed and the 4A state semifinals.
NICK MONICA—Archbishop Rummel. Guided the Raiders to a perfect season and the Division I state championship in his first season.
JERRY PHILLIPS—Warren Easton. Guided the Eagles to the 4A final for a second straight year.
STEVE ROBICHEAUX—Destrehan. Led the Wildcats to the 5A state championship game.
ROBERT VALDEZ—St. James. Led the Wildcats to a perfect season and the 3A state championship, the first in school history in 40 years.
Here are the 15 Greater New Orleans Quarterback Club, 106.1 FM NASH ICON, CrescentCitySports.com and Friday Night Football Prep Players of the Week who will be honored Tuesday:
Week #1—Will Sheppard—Mandeville
A senior wide receiver, Sheppard had an amazing performance with 13 catches for 346 yards and 6 touchdowns in a 65-35 win at Poplarville, MS. The yards and touchdowns are believed to be school records. Sheppard is coached by Hutch Gonzales.
Week #2—Donovan Kaufman—Rummel
A senior and Vanderbilt commit, Kaufman returned a kick 80 yards for a touchdown, returned another kick 31 yards, intercepted a pass, forced a fumble which was recovered for a touchdown and had three tackles, including a sack as the Raiders shutout Slidell 37-0. Kaufman is coached by Nick Monica.
Week #3—Justin Ibieta—Country Day
A Tulane commitment, Ibieta completed 19-of-28 passes for 254 yards and six touchdowns and rushed nine times for 63 yards in a 48-35 victory over previously unbeaten Episcopal, overcoming a two-score deficit for the victory. Ibieta is coached by Joe Chango.
Week #4—Corey Warren—Pearl River
A senior, Warren rushed 17 times for 265 yards and six touchdowns and ran for a 2-point conversion as Pearl River remained unbeaten with a 58-21 victory over Springfield. Warren is coached by Joe Harris.
Week #5—Christian Westcott—Lakeshore
Westcott was brilliant in all three phases of the game in a 35-14 win over De La Salle as Lakeshore moved to 5-0. Offensively, Westcott completed 11-of-20 passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns and rushed 20 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, he had five tackles, including three for loss and returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown. On special teams Westcott averaged 42 yards per punt. Westcott is coached by Craig Jones.
Week #6—Isaiah Lee—East Jefferson
A senior, Lee rushed 13 times for 310 yards and three touchdowns and completed 2-of-7 passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns as East Jefferson shutout Grace King 39-0. Allelo is coached by Frank Allelo.
Week #7—Darryle Evans—Hahnville
A senior, Evans rushed 16 times for 234 yards and four touchdowns as Hahnville remained unbeaten with a 38-26 victory over Central Lafourche. Evans is coached by Nick Saltaformaggio.
Week #8—Collin Guggenheim—John Curtis Christian
A senior and Army commitment, Guggenheim rushed 14 times for 314 yards and four touchdowns as the top-ranked Patriots whipped Holy Cross 62-31 to remain unbeaten. Guggenheim is coached by J.T. Curtis.
Week #9—Harlan Dixon—Slidell
A senior and Louisiana Tech commit, Dixon had 18 carries for 180 yards and three touchdowns and caught three passes for 73 yards and a fourth touchdown in a 36-20 win over Fontainebleau. Dixon also completed a pass for 17 yards and had two tackles on defense at free safety. Dixon is coached by Larry Favre.
Week #10—Gage Larvadain—Riverside Academy
A junior, Larvadain completed 9-of-17 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown and rushed 24 times for 136 yards and four touchdowns as the Rebels upset Country Day 36-35. Larvadain is coached by Kevin Dizer.
Week #11—Edgerrin Cooper—Covington
A senior and Oklahoma commitment, Cooper had two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown, he returned a fumble for a touchdown and rushed for a touchdown offensively as No. 23 Covington went on the road and upset No. 10 Sam Houston 42-28 in the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs. Cooper had eight tackles, including two for loss and broke up a pair of passes. Cooper is coached by Greg Salter.
Week #12—Steveland Williams—McDonogh 35
A senior, Williams carried 28 times for 278 yards and a touchdown as McDonogh 35 defeated Lake Charles College Prep 22-14 in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs. Williams is coached by Wayne Reese.
Week #13—Leonard Kelly—Karr
Kelly completed 15-of-17 passes for 266 yards and five touchdowns and rushed four times for 43 yards and two touchdowns in a 51-14 victory over Breaux Bridge. Kelly is coached by Brice Brown.
Week #14—Ashaad Clayton—Warren Easton
Clayton rushed 17 times for 274 yards and four touchdowns as Warren Easton upset No. 1 seed Lakeshore on the road in the Class 4A semifinals. A Colorado commit, Clayton is coached by Jerry Phillips.
Week #15—Shamar Smith—St. James
A senior, Smith completed 14-of-19 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. Smith rushed 12 times for 71 yards and two touchdowns and he caught a 20-yard touchdown pass as St. James completed an unbeaten season, defeating Jennings 51-14 to win the 3A state championship. A UTSA commit, Smith is coached by Robert Valdez.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE 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 Sports Media Association, National Football…