Laterrance Welch

Posted On: 01/8/21 1:21 PM

The LHSAA’s Prep Classic state championship event provided nine title games’ worth of dozens of memorable performances to wind down Louisiana’s high school football season.

Prep Redzone will recognize the best — including several record-setting efforts — during the next couple days with its first Louisiana All-Prep Classic Teams.

A Small Schools Team representing the Class 1A, Class 2A, Division IV and Division III levels and a Large Schools Team representing the Class 3A, Class 4A, Class 5A, Division II and Division I levels will each feature 40 players: 20 on offense (12 by position, one flex and seven honorable mentions) and 20 on defense and special teams (14 by position and six honorable mentions).

Small Schools: Offense | Defense

Large Schools: Offense | Defense

 

PREP REDZONE

LOUISIANA ALL-PREP CLASSIC TEAM

LARGE SCHOOLS DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (4)

DL: Carson Bruno Carson Bruno 6'4" | DL C.E. Byrd | 2021 State LA — 6-5, 290 DL — C.E. Byrd (2021)

The Louisiana Tech signee was one of the bright spots on a tough night for the Yellow Jackets. He finished with eight tackles — second-most in the game to only teammate Brayden Hermes’ nine — including one for a loss of three yards to help hold Catholic (Baton Rouge) to 141 rushing yards — more than 100 yards shy of its 248.6-yard average.

DL: Cahn Meads Cahn Meads 6'3" | DL Edna Karr | 2021 State LA — 6-2, 215 DL — Edna Karr (2021)

The Cougars’ run of four straight state championships didn’t end without a fight led by a handful of standout efforts by key veterans. And the Texas Southern-committed edge rusher was among those leaders on defense with 11 tackles, including 2.5 for loss.

DL: Randre’ Charles — 6-2, 250 DL — Carencro (2021)

Other than a few highlight-reel catches by Aaron Anderson and Destyn Hill Destyn Hill 6'1" | WR Edna Karr | 2021 State LA , the Carencro defense kept Edna Karr in rare check. The Bears were stout up front, tight in coverage and made sophomore quarterback A.J. Samuel look uncomfortable and off his game for the majority of the game. Charles was among the individual standouts with five tackles, including one for loss, and a deflected pass behind the line in a game in which the Cougars only ran 50 offensive plays.

DL: Walter Bob Jr. — 6-4, 250 DL — Acadiana (2022)

The long, lean junior defensive end finished with just four tackles, but helped make several plays in the first half in particular that positioned the Wreckin’ Rams to take control of the game. Bob tied for the team lead with 1.5 tackles for loss and forced and secured its only takeaway until the game-deciding two-point conversion attempt by Alexandria in the final minute. With Acadiana already leading, 14-7, in the final minutes of the second quarter, Bob drilled a receiver to jar the ball loose, then scooped up the fumble to set the offense up just 18 yards from goal to push the advantage to 21-7 before halftime. The plays loom even larger in retrospect following the Trojans’ late comeback push.

 

LINEBACKERS (3)

LB: Dylan Smith — 5-10, 190 LB — Carencro (2021)

Another Carencro senior who drew some of coach Tony Courville’s biggest praise for his team’s stingy defensive effort. The hard-nosed “tackling machine” was the Bears’ leader once again in his final high school game with nine stops, including 2.5 sacks of Samuel in the emphatic 35-19 victory.

LB: Mike Albarado — 5-9, 197 LB — Catholic (2021)

One of the Bears’ undersized, but quick, active linebackers showed up big again to help disrupt the C.E. Byrd offense. Albarado led Catholic with eight tackles, including one for loss, and a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and pass break-up. The Yellow Jackets entered the contest averaging 32.5 points per game for the season and 22.5 in two playoff games to just 12 points in their first loss of the season.

LB: Derreck Bercier Derreck Bercier 5'10" | LB Acadiana | 2021 State LA Jr. — 5-9, 210 LB — Acadiana (2021)

The senior closed his impressive high school career fittingly with one last night as the Wreckin’ Rams’ leading tackler. Bercier finished with nine stops, including half a tackle for loss, and forced another fumble Alexandria fumble. Coach Matt McCullough admitted after the game that his standout linebacker had thought he had a solid case the year before for Most Outstanding Player consideration. And, aside from running back Tyvin Zeno’s big night, Bercier was on a short list of top candidates for Acadiana once again.

 

DEFENSIVE BACKS (4)

DB: Brayden Hermes — 6-3, 193 DB — C.E. Byrd (2021)

The senior safety ended two of Catholic’s three first-quarter possessions with third-down interceptions to give his Yellow Jackets a chance to compete early. The Byrd offense could never sustain enough on offense to keep up with the Bears. But Hermes kept flying around the field making plays to finish the evening with a game-high nine tackles, including one for loss, to go with his early takeaways.

DB: C.J. Kittling — 6-1, 180 DB — Alexandria (2021)

One of Louisiana’s under-the-radar and underrated senior defensive backs after patiently waiting his turn behind eventual TCU signee Ja’Darius “Bud” Clark, the Trojans’ standout rose to the biggest stage of his high school career and showed again his potential to be one of the standouts of the class within the next few years once he finds his college home. Kittling finished with 14 tackles, including one for loss, as well as a fumble recovery and a pass breakup to earn his team’s Most Outstanding Player recognition.

DB: Laterrance Welch — 6-2, 165 DB — Acadiana (2022)

The Wreckin’ Rams didn’t expect their star junior cornerback back on the field at all this season as he continued recovering from a knee injury. But Welch’s interception of a two-point conversion attempt will go down as many people’s highlight-reel memory in the 35-34 survival of Alexandria. Doctors had cleared “LT” to return to practice just a few days before the team’s semifinal matchup. And while the championship game was not without some flaws as he works his way back, he played well overall in coverage and recorded three tackles, including one for loss, in addition to the pivotal play at the end.

DB: Royon Davis — 5-9, 165 ATH — Madison Prep (2021)

A fantastic final showing for a versatile playmaker for the Chargers in all three phases throughout his high school career. Davis led Madison Prep’s shutout defensive performance with six tackles, including one for a 3-yard loss, as well as an interception, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup — all with Union Parish running just 42 offensive plays.

 

 

KICKER (1)

K: Kylan Dupre — 6-1, 210 K/P — Catholic (2022)

Not one of the 10 teams in the Class 5A, Class 4A, Class 3A, Division I and Division II games made a field goal. Only one even attempted one. The Bears received solid kicking performances from their duo of Dupre and sophomore Landon Carter, who made good on all five of his extra-point opportunities. Dupre averaged 57 yards on his six kickoffs, five of which reached the end zone for touchbacks. He also downed his lone punt inside the 20-yard line.

 

PUNTER (1)

P: Gavin Royer — 6-2, 170 K/P — Carencro (2022)

Carencro’s specialist would have been a worthy member of this team at either the kicker or punter position. His 50.7-yard average on six kickoffs, including three touchbacks, was one of the week’s best stat lines in those categories. And, highlighted by a 62-yarder, his 51-yard average also led all punters for the week.

 

RETURNER (1)

RET: Trey Holly — 5-6, 178 RB — Union Parish (2023)

Oddly enough, the sophomore star’s 110 rushing yards on 23 carries — a great day for most players — was far and away his least productive offensive performance of the season. Though it was less than half his eye-popping average that had him among the nation’s leaders, that total was still eighth among all players in the Prep Classic’s nine games between 18 of Louisiana’s top teams. And Holly made his presence felt in special teams, as well, with 92 yards on four kickoff returns. Typically a deep returner, the sophomore was positioned more as an up-back to give him a better opportunity at receiving Madison Prep’s shorter kickoffs. Holly still broke tackles and found lanes to scratch out an average of 23 yards per return despite the more condensed space and time. His three first-half returns in particularly gained 85 yards, for an average of 28.3 yards per return to set his Farmers offense up with average starting field position of the Chargers’ 46-yard line.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Bryce Boullion Bryce Boullion 6'1" | LB St. Thomas More | 2021 State LA — 6-1, 220 LB — St. Thomas More (2021)

Christian Mannino Christian Mannino 6'2" | DL Catholic - Baton Rouge | 2021 State LA — 6-0, 272 DL — Catholic (2021)

Jermaine McNeal Jermaine McNeal 6'1" | LB Alexandria | 2021 State LA — 5-11, 190 LB — Alexandria (2021)

Tory Morgan — 5-10, 210 LB — Edna Karr (2022)

Josh Robertson — 5-8, 154 DB — Catholic (2022)

Quency Wiggins — 6-6, 275 DL — Madison Prep (2022)

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