While some schools struggle to find one competent quarterback, the Cougars have two excellent signal callers. Both Will Bellamy and Matt Gardner will see significant playing time this season, and both have their unique strengths. Bellamy runs the offense well and will keep the Cougars humming along smoothly, but Gardner has a live arm and can drive the ball down field; even showing nice touch on his deep balls at times. Trevor Begue will touch the ball 15-25 times per game, and tight end Nick Morton and receiver Griffin Hebert provide other options in the passing game.
On defense, the Cougars lost a lot of experience, but return players who saw playing time last season. Defensive end Aaron Monrose will anchor the defensive line, with linebacker James Brauns and safety Quentin Olivier provide plenty of athleticism behind him.
Olivier is still recovering from an injury, and will have to get himself back into peak condition before the season starts to be the type of player the coaching staff thinks he can be. Coaches expressed some concern about depth in the front seven, but were confident younger players could step up and fill the void when called upon. The Cougars’ offense is in good hands with Gardner and Bellamy, but the defense will have to prove itself in the early portion of the season against some tough competition before it solidifies itself as a premier unit.
The Cougars should be in rebuilding year after losing so much talent from last year’s team, but through internal improvement and key players returning at important spots they will end up competing for yet another district title under coach Jim Hightower. Look for the defense to establish an identity in the first four weeks of the season, and build upon that as the district schedule approaches.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
William Bellamy, QB: Bellamy will be the leader of the Cougars offense and after a strong junior campaign he will be expected to produce the same type of success in his senior season.
Bailey Raborn, K/P: While most teams have question marks at their specialists positions, the Cougars have one of the best in the nation in Raborn. The stronglegged senior has committed to UCLA and gives the Cougars a big advantage in the special teams department.
Quentin Olivier, DB: Olivier was previously expected to miss most of the season due to injury, but now could be back as early as Week 1. Olivier has experience playing safety for the Cougars and will help shore up the back end of the Cougars secondary when he is ready to go.
Trevor Begue, RB/WR: Begue will be the focal point of the Cougars offense this season, whether it be split out wide or in the backfield. Begue blends 4.4 speed with surprising power for his size and is a favorite target of Bellamy in the passing game.
James Brauns, OLB: While the Cougars lack some starting experience in their defense, Brauns is the exception. A member of last year’s starting ‘backer corps, Brauns will provide much-needed starting experience for the Cougars and use his speed to disrupt opposing offenses at the line of scrimmage.
10 El Dorado, Arkansas
25 Catholic B.R.
9 BEAU CHENE
23 Teurlings Catholic
2014 IN REVIEW
Overall Record: 9-2
Beat SULPHUR 43-26
Beat Glade Water 42-21
Beat CARENCRO 56-21
Beat EVANGEL CHRISTIAN 56-19
Beat Cecilia 41-22
Beat Westgate 63-13
Lost TEURLINGS 56-46
Beat Northside 55-14
Beat ST. MARTINVILLE 42-0
Beat BREAUX BRIDGE 25-7
Lost JESUIT 20 – 13
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP
(* denotes new starter)
QB William Bellamy (6-0, 183, SR)
RB Evan Trahan (5-9, 187, SR)*
WR Trevor Begue (5-11, 181, SR)
WR Griffin Hebert (6-3, 191, JR)
WR Jamison Thibodeaux (6-0, 175, SR)*
TE Nick Morton (6-3, 227, SR)
OT Payton Logan (6-2, 293, SR)
OG Ethan Wood (6-0, 235, SR)
C Landon Roy (5-9, 220, SR)*
OG Steven Gardner (5-11, 251, SR)*
OT Nathaniel Gentry (6-2, 242, SR)
FS Connor Latiolais (6-0, 180, JR)*
CB Payton Broussard (5-11, 185, SR)*
CB Josh Hebert (5-10, 165, SR)*
OLB James Brauns (6-0, 215, SR)
OLB Hunter Markerson (6-1, 195, SR)*
ILB Will Waguespack (6-0, 230, SR)*
ILB Ethan Broussard (5-10, 215, SR)*
DE Aaron Monrose (6-1, 210, SR)
DE Christian Leonard (6-1, 220, SR)*
DT Logan Klusman (6-2, 265, SR)*
DT Hunter Clay (6-0, 270, JR)*
PK/P Bailey Raborn (6-0, 205, SR)
FROM THE ARCHIVES
St. Thomas More quarterback Jamie Howard (15) and his stable of receivers helped to bring the Cougars’ program to its first state semifinal trip in 1991.