St. Amant looks to continue momentum with young team in 2019

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The St. Amant Gators look forward to building on the positives of a good season in 2018.

Last year, the Gators post a solid 7-4 record, falling 28-21 to Captain Shreve in the opening round of the Class 5A state playoffs.

St. Amant has been a consistent winner under David Oliver who has posted an impressive 71-39 record over the past decade. The Gators were 10-2 in 2017, winning a playoff game. St. Amant reached the quarterfinals in 2016, going falling to West Monroe in an outstanding 11-2 season. The Gators were 9-3 in 2015, winning a playoff as well. St. Amant has reached the playoffs seven consecutive seasons.

There are plenty of new faces stepping into the void as only seven starters return from a year ago. Stars KJ Franklin is now at Nicholls while Johnny Johnson is at West Point after outstanding seasons a year ago. Franklin rushed for 1,188 yards and 17 touchdowns and caught 41 passes for 504 yards and five touchdowns a year ago while Johnson had 11 sacks.

The offense will feature only three returning starters.

The quarterback position will be battled out between junior Slade Zeppuhar (5-7,140) and sophomore Cole Poirrier (6-2, 175).

Senior Lathan Vaughn will get most of the carries at running back.

The offensive line has a pair of starters returning, including senior left guard Gavin Franz (6-4, 310) and senior right tackle Isaak Theriot (5-11, 230). They will be joined by junior left tackle Kaleb Rock, senior center Nick Liotta and senior right guard Kadin Ohmer.

The receiving group will have senior Austin Bascom (6-0, 180) to lead the young group this upcoming season. Bascom caught 21 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown in 2018. The rest of the group will feature a two-way player in senior Javin Augillard (6-3 165), along with junior Justin Storks (5-9, 151).

The defense will return four starters from last year.

There are two returning starters on the edge in senior Mckade Fontenot (6-1, 265) and senior Reese Nelson (6-2 195). Fontenot had four sacks last season while Nelson was one of the team’s leading tacklers. The nose guard is senior Jamir Baptiste (5-7, 280).

The linebacker position will consist of all juniors starting in Marty Jamison (5-11, 160), Tyler Legendre (6-2, 175), Sam McCorkle (5-8, 170) and Trey Vice (5-9, 170).

The secondary has a pair of returning starters, including senior Jordan Bennett (5-10 180) and senior free safety Evan Bourgeois (5-10, 185). The new starters are senior cornerback Cameron Henry (5-9, 143) and strong safety Zach Gonzales.

Special teams will be anchored by kicker Lee Amedee and punter Cole Poirrier.

The schedule opens on Sept. 6 at The Pit against always talented Carver before the Gators host East Jefferson. A trip to Denham Springs follows before home games with Sophie B. Wright for Homecoming and against Lutcher.

District 5-5A play opens on Oct. 11 at home against McKinley and on Oct. 18 against Woodlawn. A very tough game against Catholic follows before Senior Night against Dutchtown. The regular season closes with Ascension Parish rival East Ascension on Nov. 8.

If young players can mature quickly, St. Amant should continue its level of success and return to the playoffs for an eighth consecutive year.

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Joshua Tapia

Joshua Tapia

Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Joshua attended Brother Martin High School while competing in football, wrestling, and track and field. During his athletic career with the Crusaders, he was part of three consecutive team state championships in wrestling under Robert Dauterive. Josh continued wrestling on the college level at Briar Cliff University. After graduating in 2018, he…

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