Plaquemine’s Maracalin, Jenkins join St. Michael’s Reid on first team
Just as their football teams dominated the landscape of Class 4A football, East Jefferson running back Ronald Green, Karr defensive end Gerald Willis and East Jefferson coach Nick Saltaformaggio reaped the spoils generally associated with such success.
Green was named Outstanding Offensive Player, Willis Outstanding Defensive Player and Saltaformaggio Coach of the Year on the Class 4A All-State football team selected by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Green, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior, rushed for 2,060 yards and 32 touchdowns for the Class 4A state champions while accounting for 2,235 yards with his rushing and receiving and scoring 40 touchdowns — good for 240 points.
The District 8-4A Offensive Player of the Year, Green averaged nearly a first down, 9.3 yards, for each of his 223 carries, caught eight passes for 175 yards and four more touchdowns and scored four additional TDs via kickoff and punt returns.
Willis was similar force on defense in earning all-state MVP honors on defense for a second consecutive season.
A two-time New Orleans All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year in addition to being a four-year starter and three-time all-district selection, Willis helped Karr go 12-2, win a fourth consecutive district title and advance to the Class 4A championship game for a fourth straight season.
Locally, running back Julius Maracalin and offensive lineman Damarcus Jenkins of Plaquemine were both named to the first team. St. Michael punter Christopher Reid.
Maracalin was one of the state’s leading rushers all season and finished with 2,814 yards on 315 carries with 29 touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pounder led the Green Devils to the District 6-4A title, its first since 2002.
Reid, a junior, averaged 40.5 yards per punt for the Warriors.
Jenkins, a 6-foot-2, 350-pound senior, paved the way for one of the state’s most potent ground games.
The menacing 6-4, 275-pound senior recorded 15 sacks and 28 tackles for losses among the 107 individual tackles he posted in 14 games. He also assisted in 34 tackles, forced two fumbles, recovered one, batted down two passes and blocked a kick.
Saltaformaggio was selected Coach of the Year after directing East Jefferson to its first state championship in 59 years of playing football and the first undefeated season.
Saltaformaggio, in his sixth season as head coach, guided the Warriors to their first 10-0 regular season and five consecutive playoff wins for a program that had gone 43 years, dating to 1970, without experiencing a postseason victory.
Green is joined on the team by East Jeff teammates in quarterback Eugene Green, linebacker Edgar Jackson and safety Jamal Veazey. Jackson is a returning all-state selection.
In addition to Green,Wells and Maracalin, the other skill players on offense are running backs D’Angelo Reder of DeRidder and wide receivers Terren Encalade of Belle Chasse, Tyron Johnson of Warren Easton and Jamari Payne of Bastrop.
No tight end was selected.
Manning the offensive line positions along with Jenkins are Landry-Walker’s Alex Anderson, Franklinton’s Adrian Magee, Neville’s Trevor Eskew, Vandebilt Catholic’s Tyler Bourque.
Willis is joined by two teammates in linebacker Jaevon Walton and return specialist Glenn Irons, who collectively returned nine kickoffs and punts for touchdowns.
Joining Willis on the front four are Landry-Walker’s George Lea, North DeSoto’s Terrance Winn and DeRidder’s Daniel Crosley.
Also at linebacker are Neville’s Ashari Goins and Breaux Bridge’s Lamontre Huval.
The remaining defensive backs are Travonne Hobbs of Landry-Walker, Scott Rider of Neville and Donovan Wilson of Shreveport-Woodlawn.
Neville quarterback Andre Fuller was chosen at the athlete position.
The special teams performers also include St. Thomas More place-kicker Gunnar Rayborn.