This current crop of seniors at Ascension Episcopal has seen it all.
Four years ago when senior quarterback Jake Arceneaux and the rest of his senior teammates started their journey in the 2012 season, they didn’t win a single game.
But now, in the last year of their high school careers they have a shot to reach the pinnacle of their sport, the state championship game in the Superdome, with just one more win on Friday.
“Our senior class, we just want to leave our mark on the school,” Arceneaux said. “When we go out we want to be remembered. We want to do something no one else has done before.
“Our team goals were to go out there and try to win every game and win a state championship.”
Arceneaux said the current group of seniors has been playing football together since the sixth grade, and their first season of high school when they went winless really brought the, together as a group.
“When we didn’t win a game, we all got really close and just started trying to build off of that,” Arceneaux said. “It brought us all together. Going from zero wins to nine wins [four years later] is pretty huge.”
Ascension Episcopal coach Mike Desormeaux has said throughout the season that if anyone was to make Ascension Episcopal history in football, he would want it to be this group of seniors.
Desormeaux praised their work ethic throughout the season and thought they earned the type of recognition they’ve received throughout the season.
“They are a special group,” Desormeaux said. “Everything they’ve gotten they’ve earned.”
Being the quarterback, Arceneaux is often seen as the leader of the team, something he has learned to embrace more and more as his career has progressed.
The senior future Ragin’ Cajun isn’t necessarily the loudest member of the Blue Gators’ squad, choosing rather to lead by example on the field through his work ethic.
Arceneaux said he’s never been the type of guy to get too into big pep talks, or get crazy on the field.
“He doesn’t say a lot, he’s not a big talker or anything like that,” Desormeaux said. “But he’s kind of got it down perfect, because when he talks people listen.”
Desormeaux said he can trust Arceneaux in anyone situation on the field, no matter the situation or the pressure, knowing his quarterback will almost always make the correct read or decision.
Arceneaux has proven to be one of the more elite quarterbacks in the state this season, finishing among the leaders in the Acadiana Preps area and limiting his turnovers throughout the season.
Arceneaux was quick to say that without his teammates he couldn’t have had the season he’s had so far, praising his offensive line, fellow senior running back Ja’Ceiry Linzer and his receiving corps for helping him make the strides in his development this season.
Desormeaux said Arceneaux’s willingness to deflect personal praise onto others highlights the biggest positive he brings to the field for the Blue Gators.
“He’s improved all the way across the board. His game has just gotten so much better as the year has gone on,” Desormeaux said. “It’s hard to say (what his best trait is), but I think his leadership just has more value for us than anything else. He’s positive even when things aren’t going great. He’s a coach out there on the field for us.”
Arceneaux and the rest of the seniors still have one or two more steps to go to fulfill the goals they set out for themselves at the beginning of the season.
And Desormeaux said with Arceneaux at the helm, the Blue Gators are in good hands.
“Whenever we’re at our best is when he is involved and he’s doing his thing. I feel 100 percent confidence in him,” Desormeaux said. “…I said it from the beginning of the year, he was going to take us as far as we were going to go and he’s done that.
“I couldn’t be prouder of that kid.”