Walker's Jamie Gibson seeks continued improvement

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLANDWalker's Jamie Gibson gets inside the Denham Springs defense during a game Feb. 6. Gibson is looking to build on a strong junior season as she leads an experienced Wildcats team.

Walker High School’s Jamie Gibson had a breakout basketball season as a junior. After averaging eight points and five rebounds per game as a sophomore, Gibson averaged 18 points and nine rebounds as a junior to help the Wildcats set a school record for wins (31) and advance to the Class 5A quarterfinals. Gibson’s play last season was rewarded with first-team All-District 4-5A and All-Metro honors as well as second-team all-state. “Jamie Gibson really… Continue reading →

Warren Easton, Rummel ranked in USA Today Super 25

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZWarren Easton's Tyron Johnson catches a first-down pass as he's covered by East Jefferson's DeShawn Raymond, left, and Ronald Green in a playoff game last season. Warren Easton is ranked No. 14 in the USA Today Super 25 rankings released Tuesday. Johnson is ranked the No. 24 overall prospect in ESPN's Top 300 rankings.

With the high school football season still more than a month away, two local teams are already garnering national attention. Warren Easton and Rummel are both ranked nationally in the USA Today Super 25 rankings that were released Tuesday. Warren Easton, fresh off winning a national 7-on-7 tournament last week in Hoover, Alabama, is ranked No. 14 nationally. The Eagles return most of the players from the 2013 team that finished 10-3 and reached the quarterfinals… Continue reading →

Southern Lab’s Veal rated among nation’s top QBs

Advocate file photo by John Oubre -- A dual-threat quarterback, Southern Lab's Bladrick Veal is a also a dual-sport athlete who may have to choose between basketball and football in college.

Southern Lab High School quarterback Bladrick Veal’s sophomore season was all about learning to play football — his junior is about proving he understands it. After a freshman season that saw Veal on the opposite end of passes as a wide receiver, a process he described as frustrating, the 6-foot-5, 205-pound dual-threat quarterback is confident in where he can take a Southern Lab program that fell a game short of the Division I select state… Continue reading →

Episcopal’s Spencer Kleinpeter commits to Cornell

What started with an inquiry from one Ivy League school led Episcopal wide receiver Spencer Kleinpeter committing to another. The 5-foot-10, 155-pound Kleinpeter committed to Cornell after attending the school’s football camp earlier this month. “Right after the (2013) season ended, I got a letter from Harvard inquiring about my grades and test scores,” Kleinpeter said. “So I did some research and contacted all the other Ivy League schools. I got invited to all their camps… Continue reading →

Kara Gremillion fearless, fierce competitor

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUKSt. Amant's Kara Gremillion: 'People are going to expect me to be at my best in every game. I’m just trying to focus on getting better in all the sports I play.'

Some athletes barely remember their first sports encounter. But there’s an image etched into Kara Gremillion’s soul. “My mom used to teach a lot of pitching lessons in our back yard,” Gremillion said. “I remember sitting on a ball bucket watching. More than anything else I wanted to be that girl. I wanted to pitch instead of whoever her pitcher was.” That memory tells as much about the St. Amant High multisport star now as… Continue reading →

West Feliciana’s Jazz Ferguson leaping from one sport to another

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- West Feliciana receiver Jazz Ferguson catches a ball in a workout Tuesday.

Athletes with a knack for performing their best in game situations are labeled “gamers.” That label could fit 6-foot-5, 215-pound LSU football commitment Jazz Ferguson. Ask the West Feliciana High senior-to-be to describe himself in one word in the answer is — player. “There isn’t a day when I just go to school and come home,” Ferguson said. “I’ve got to be outside or doing something. I play a lot of games. I’ll play… Continue reading →

Elizabeth Bankhead , Natalie Presedo honored at camp

University High goalkeeper Elizabeth Bankhead and Baton Rouge High wing/defender Natalie Presedo made the 1998 girls pool team at the regional Olympic Development Program camp held in Montevallo, Ala. The pool squad was selected from a group of players from 11 states. A Shreveport area player, Parkway’s Sara Funderburk, also made the pool team. Longtime Catholic High baseball coach Gerry Garidel is set to be Zachary High’s pitching coach next spring, said ZHS head… Continue reading →

Parkview Baptist sharing its facilities with Mentorship Academy

Advocate photo by Robin FambroughMentorship Academy quarterback Garry Jackson Jr., left, does a yoga exercise with Parkview Baptist players Thursday.

Skeptics believe winning is the only thing that counts in football at most levels, including high school. What happened this summer at Parkview Baptist offers a different viewpoint. That’s exactly what first-year PBS coach Jay Mayet was going for when he opened up his team’s facilities and summer conditioning program to players from Mentorship Academy. Mentorship is a charter school searching for its niche in Baton Rouge’s crowded football landscape. Football obviously offered a strong… Continue reading →

Dutchtown safety duo Alonzo Craighton, Justin Reid, aim to give opposing offenses a hard time

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Dutchtown safety Alonzo Craighton, center, is aiming for breakout season, hoping Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference will take notice.

Dutchtown High safeties Alonzo Craighton and Justin Reid won’t claim to be like salt and pepper or red beans and rice. They may be the perfect combination for the Griffins. Some recruiters already think so. The Griffins’ dynamic duo seeks more than accolades or scholarship offers. Reid and Craighton want to be the catalysts for a deep playoff run. “They’ve assumed team leadership roles,” Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. “This is their team, and… Continue reading →

Numbers picking up for coach Cleo Johnigan, Capitol Charter

Cleotha Johnigan, Capitol Charter School football coach

What happens when you take two schools and combine them together to make one football team? But as fall practice approaches, Johnigan can literally count the progress as he tries to bring players from two Recovery District Schools — Capitol and Istrouma — together. “The numbers were small at first,” Johnigan said. “But we’ve been gradually picking up players every week. There’s a list… Continue reading →

Anna Heine, Matthew Jakuback capture titles in BREC Junior golf tourney

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Matthew Jakuback watches his drive on the 10th fairway during the BREC Junior Golf tournament at Webb Memorial Golf Course.

Anna Heine repeated as the girls champion, and Matthew Jakuback won the boys title to highlight the final day of BREC’s Baton Rouge Junior Championship. The 15-year-old Heine shot 5-over-par 77 on Wednesday at BREC’s Webb Park to finish in 156. It was her third junior championship in four years. She is believed to be the only three-time girls champion. Matt Decell won three straight boys titles from 2007-09. Jakuback won his first boys title by… Continue reading →

Scores from the BREC Junior Golf tournament

BREC’s Baton Rouge Junior Championship At Webb Park Boys 16-18 — 1, Matthew Jakuback 69-73 — 142. 2, Daniel Schroeder 74-75 — 149. 3, Peter Mata 77-77 — 154. 4, Donnie Lacombe 72-82 — 154. 5, Cole Arseneaux 73-82 — 155. Richard Trum 80-75 — 155. 7, Ryan Huffty 78-82 — 160. Dylan Pastorick 75-85 — 160. 9, Conner Little 77-84 — 161… Continue reading →

East Ascension promotes Britt Waguespack to baseball coach

East Ascension baseball coach Britt Waguespack

East Ascension High School hired assistant coach Britt Waguespack as its new head baseball coach. Waguespack, an assistant football and baseball coach at EAHS, replaces Mike Toups, who resigned last month. The 30-year-old Waguespack is a former Riverside Academy player and coach. He has coached at EAHS for a total of seven seasons and is in his second stint at the school. Waguespack also spent two seasons as head baseball coach/assistant football coach at Riverside.… Continue reading →

Matthew Jakuback leads BREC Junior Championship after first round

Former Catholic High golfer Matthew Jakuback shot a 3-under-par 69 on Tuesday at Santa Maria Golf Course to grab the first-round lead at BREC’s Baton Rouge Junior Championship. Donnie Lacombe is a second at 72, while Cole Arsenault is at 73. Anna Heine posted the top girls score of 79. The two-day tourney concludes Wednesday at Webb Park. Tee times begin at 7:50 a.m. Jakuback, a Loyola signee, tees off at 8:30 a.m., while Heine… Continue reading →

Golf: Baton Rouge Junior Championship report

Golf Baton Rouge Junior Championship 16-to-18-year-olds 1, Matthew Jakuback 69. 2, Donnie Lacombe 72. 3, Cole Arsenault 73. 4, Daniel Schroeder 74. 5, Dylan Pastorick 75. 6, Conner Little 77, Peter Mata 77. 8, Ryan Huffty 78. 9, Richard Trum 78. 14-15 1, D.J. Johnson… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge junior amateur opens Tuesday

BREC’s Baton Rouge junior amateur golf championship begins Tuesday at Santa Maria Golf Course. The two-day tournament has attracted a field of 30 boys and girls. Wednesday’s final day will be played at Webb Memorial Golf Course. Jack Terry, BREC golf development manager, said the par-72 courses will challenge the participants. Santa Maria is longer, while Webb has smaller greens. “Santa Maria is long and expansive,” he said. “The golfers will use all 14 clubs… Continue reading →

Crawfish swims to top spot; Tiger Aquatics second

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO  --  Kara Kopcso, of TIger Aquatics, swims to first place in the girls 100-meter butterfly Sunday during the Louisiana Long Course Championship Meet at UNO's Kiefer Lakefront Arena. Kopsko was named the Outstanding Female Swimmer.

Call it the other Louisiana two-step. Instead of dancing, Crawfish Aquatics and Tiger Aquatics Club swam their way to the top once again. Crawfish won the team title, and TAQ placed second at the Louisiana Long Course State Swimming Championships completed Sunday night at UNO’s Kiefer Lakefront Arena. “I think we were consistent each day and swam really good at night,” Crawfish coach Billy Newport said. “And it was from top to bottom. It’s a team… Continue reading →

McKinley linebacker Kirk Louis Jr. commits to Arkansas State

Making a good first impression is always important. Arkansas State did just that on Saturday with the parents of McKinley linebacker Kirk Louis Jr. By the end of the family’s visit, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Louis committed to the Red Wolves. “I really like the facilities, the coaches and the program,” Louis said. “They made a real good impression on me and especially on my parents. More than anything else, I like the… Continue reading →

David Brewerton, Guy Mistretta, Neil Weiner play musical coaches

Advocate file photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Neil Weiner coaches The Dunham School during 7-on-7 action in June.

High school football coaching changes are as much a part of Louisiana as Mardi Gras and crawfish season. They’re not always a cause for celebration. When you take three prominent coaches and toss them into each other’s jobs, you’ve definitely got something. David Brewerton, Guy Mistretta and Neil Weiner can’t say exactly what that “something” is just yet. One thing is certain, life is different for the long time colleagues. “We’ve talked to each other plenty,” Brewerton said.… Continue reading →

Fambrough: LHSCA needs more involvement from coaches

The Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic held last week gave coaches something else to cross off their summer checklist. For most, the list goes something like this: Summer league games. Check. Team camps. Check. Preseason practice schedule set. Check. There are a few key things you won’t find on a typical list. Taking on an ownership role in the LHSCA should be on every coach’s list. But it isn’t, and as… Continue reading →

Prep notebook: Episcopal’s Mubungirwa invited to walk on at LSU

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Episcopal's Clement Mubungirwa

Clement Mubungirwa’s status as a football player for Episcopal remains up in the air, but the senior-to-be has picked up a notable walk-on offer. Episcopal coach Travis Bourgeois said Mubungirwa has been invited to be a preferred walk-on player at LSU in 2015. Mubungirwa turned 19 earlier this month and is 55 days too old to compete in 2014-015 in football and soccer for the Knights under Louisiana High School Athletic Association rules.… Continue reading →

Ascension Catholic’s Delmond Landry commits to UL-Lafayette

Delmond Landry wasn’t sure what to expect when he was called into coach Mark Hudspeth’s office Saturday during Louisiana-Lafayette’s football camp. But soon the Ascension Catholic defensive lineman got a scholarship offer from Hudspeth — one he eagerly accepted. “We talked for a while,” Landry said, “and then (Hudspeth) offered me a scholarship and I accepted.” The 6-foot-4, 267-pound Landry earned all-metro and Class 1A all-state honors in football and basketball as a junior for ACHS. He finished… Continue reading →

McKinley lineman Daniel James gets offers from every Ivy League school

McKinley's Daniel James

When a football player like Daniel James says he loves to read books about sports, a certain image takes shape. The idea of the McKinley High lineman reading “The Blind Side” or “Friday Night Lights” seems logical. That’s the exact moment when James makes it obvious he’s not your stereotypical lineman. “I don’t have many hobbies, but I do like to read,” James said. “Mostly it’s sports books, like one I read about how to… Continue reading →

Louisiana-Lafayette’s Mark Hudspeth brings message to prep coaches

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- University of Louisiana at Lafayette head  football coach Mark Hudspeth speaks at the LHSCA Coaches Clinic Wednesday at the Crown Plaza hotel.

Like his program, University of Louisiana at Lafayette football coach Mark Hudspeth has moved up in the world. A year after speaking to an overflow crowd in a smaller meeting room, Hudspeth had no problem filling a larger one with enthusiasm and energy at the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic on Wednesday afternoon. Not all seats were filled in the Crowne Plaza’s Premier I ballroom, but that didn’t keep Hudspeth from getting… Continue reading →

LHSAA lays down basics for eight-man football

One-by-one, coaches and administrators made their way into the meeting room at the Crowne Plaza Wednesday morning. Some scanned the room to see if they recognized anyone else attending the question-and-answer session about eight-man football. With just 10 schools represented, it was not close to being the largest seminar held on the second day of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic. Getting a bigger/better understanding of what it will take to add eight-man… Continue reading →

Crawfish Aquatics looks to defend state titles

Swim teams from across Louisiana will try to unseat defending champion Crawfish Aquatics when the Louisiana Long Course State Championships take place Thursday through Sunday at UNO. Hundreds of swimmers will compete in age group competition in 132 events. Crawfish ran away from the pack last year, winning both the boys and girls divisions by amassing 5,646.5 points. Tiger Aquatics was second with 3,788 points. Crawfish plans to bring around 125 swimmers to… Continue reading →

LSU coach Les Miles talks at LHSCA clinic

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUKLSU coach Les Miles speaks at the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic on Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Two things are a given when LSU football coach Les Miles tackles a public speaking engagement. Plenty of people will be there to listen and you never know what Miles might say. Miles’ lecture that helped open the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic on Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza was listed as “Building Toughness.” But it was as much about building relationships as it was football. After speaking, Miles addressed a… Continue reading →

Vic Bonnaffee urges LSHCA to be part of solution private/public schools

Louisiana High School Athletic Association President Vic Bonnaffee of Central Catholic-Morgan City asked members of the Louisiana High School Coaches Association to be part of the solution to the LHSAA’s public/private school issues on Tuesday. Bonnaffee spoke to the LHSCA’s general business meeting that was part of the Tuesday schedule at the LSHCA Coaches Clinic held at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge. “I believe as an individual that what we have to do is regulate not separate,”… Continue reading →

High school coaches discuss future at forum

Former St. James High School coach Rick Gaille wasn’t sure what to expect when coaches met Tuesday to discuss “The Future of Football in Louisiana.” Some dismissed the two-hour session, calling it an instance of talk and no action; Gaille and others were energized by the forum that helped open the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic on Tuesday at the Crowne Plaza. “I thought it was every bit as good as we expected it… Continue reading →

Tony Robichaux has teaching covered

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- UL-Lafayette baseball head coach Tony Robichaux speaks at the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic, Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge.

Pitching is as simple as red, white and blue. University of Louisiana at Lafayette baseball coach Tony Robichaux captivated his audience for an hour Tuesday afternoon with a talk about how to teach pitchers to hit the strike zone. Robichaux, who coached the Cajuns to a 58-10 record and a super regional berth, was a featured speaker at the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Coaches Clinic at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.… Continue reading →