Ten players, five coaches finalists for Metro Prep Player, Coach of the Year honors
It is always difficult to name the very best.
Perhaps last year, it was not so tough to pick Anthony “Pooka” Williams as the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, CrescentCitySports.com, WGSO, 990 AM and Friday Night Football Prep Player of the year.
This year, the decision is a tough one.
There are 10 finalists for the award.
Last year, Ryan Manale of De La Salle led the Cavaliers to a Division II state championship game appearance in winning Coach of the Year honors.
This year, the choice is tough. There are five finalists for the award.
On Tuesday at noon, the picks will be announced at the year-end awards meeting of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club at the Banquet Room next to Rock’n’Bowl.
Here are the finalists for both awards in alphabetical order:
Player of Year candidates:
Jacob Bernard—Lakeshore. Had 57 catches for 1,032 yards and 13 touchdowns, rushed 57 times for 380 yards and 11 touchdowns. He returned a punt for a touchdown and returned a kickoff for a touchdown and averaged 40 yards per punt in leading Lakeshore to an unbeaten regular season and to the Class 4A quarterfinals.
Martin Butcher—Newman—Completed 211-of-332 passes (63.6%) for 3,238 yards and 51 touchdowns with four interceptions. Rushed 42 times for 328 yards, (7.8 avg.) and three touchdowns. Led Newman to the Division III semifinals.
Kylan Duhe—West St. John-222 carries, 2,055 yards and 33 touchdowns. Had 16 catches for 271 yards and eight touchdowns. Completed 1-of-1 passes for 10 yards in leading West St. John to the Class 1A semifinals.
John Emery—Destrehan-Emery rushed 218 times for 1,683 yards and 26 touchdowns and he caught 20 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Emery also returned a kickoff for a touchdown in helping Destrehan to the Class 5A semifinals.
Collin Guggenheim—John Curtis Christian—Completed 58-of-107 passes for 1,096 yards (54.2%) and 10 TD’s with 3 INTS. Rushed 144 times for 1,123 yards (7.8 avg.) and 14 TD’s in leading John Curtis to an unbeaten regular season, the No. 1 seed in Division I and to a 49-7 win over Catholic High in the state championship game in which he was named Curtis’ Most Outstanding Player.
Jacob Guidry—Slidell-Completed 166-of-261 passes (63.5%) for 3,061 yards and 31 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Rushed 38 times for 250 yards and one touchdown in leading Slidell to the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Justin Ibieta—Country Day—Completed 191-of-295 (65%) passes for 2,870 yards, 38 touchdowns and five interceptions. Rushed 147 times for 1,023 yards (6.97 avg.) and 17 TD’s. Accounted for 55 TD’s total. In the playoffs, Ibieta accounted for all 16 touchdowns scored by the Cajuns. He threw for 11 scores and ran for five touchdowns in leading Country Day to an unbeaten regular season, the No. 2 seed in Division III and to the semifinals.
Leonard Kelly—Karr—Completed 183-of-287 passes (64%) for 2,845 yards and 38 touchdowns with six interceptions. Rushed 80 times for 260 yards and one touchdown. Led Karr to an unbeaten regular season and No. 1 seed in 4A playoffs and state title game.
Lance Legendre—Warren Easton-Has completed 115-of-210 passes (55%) for 1,707 yards and 27 touchdowns with four interceptions. Rushed 128 times for 590 yards and seven touchdowns in leading Warren Easton to the Class 4A state championship game.
Travis Mumphrey—John Ehret—Completed 185-of-265 passes (69.8 %) for 2,650 yards and 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Rushed 48 times for 349 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Patriots to the No. 4 seed in Class 5A and to the state semifinals.
Coach of the Year candidates:
Brice Brown—Karr. Led the Cougars to an unbeaten season, the No. 1 seed and to a third consecutive Class 4A state championship, beating Warren Easton 28-20 for the title. Brown won this award in 2015 and 2016.
Joe Chango—Country Day. Led Country Day to an unbeaten regular season and the No. 2 seed in the Division III state playoffs. Chango led his Cajuns to the state semifinals, tying the furthest the school has ever advanced in the state playoffs.
J.T. Curtis—John Curtis Christian. Led the Patriots to an unbeaten season, the No. 1 seed and to the Division I state championship, the first ever for the Patriots, with a 49-7 win over Catholic of Baton Rouge. It was the 27th title won on the field by Curtis and the Patriots, the 26th officially.
Jerry Phillips—Warren Easton. Led the Eagles to the No. 2 seed and to the state championship game in Class 4A.
Steve Robicheaux—Destrehan. Led the Wildcats to the No. 2 seed and to the state semifinals in Class 5A.
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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…