By Lee Brecheen
Head Coach: Craig Jones (2nd year)
2022 Record: 4-6
Class & District: Class 5A (District 6)
The Skippers have already got my attention by winning Week 1 in 2023 over a talented Denham Springs team at their place. Denham Springs will be in the playoffs and probably win a playoff game or two in 2023. Head Coach Craig Jones spent several years at Lakeshore High School in the same position where he did wonders with that program. He led the Titans to the 2017 4A State Championship where they ended up losing to Edna Karr. I think he will do a great job with Mandeville High School.
We return 16 starters (seven on offense, nine on defense) from the 2022 season,” Coach Jones said. “I think we will be better with the experience and the system now in place for two years for the kids to fully grasp the program.
The Offense will revolve around talented QB Caden Jacob (6-2, 200, Sr.) has a live arm and this is his year to show the colleges the full upside. There’s plenty of talent back to help that in RB Nate Sheppard (5-11, 175), who is one of the best prospects in the state of Louisiana for the class of 2023. Sheppard ran for 1,139 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2022. He can also slide over to play WR for the team.
You also have two talented wide receivers in Donovan McGowan (5-9, 170, Sr.) who had 44 catches for 447 yards and four touchdowns in 2022) and Michael White (5-11, 165) who had 22 catches for 376 yards and four touchdowns 2022 and OT Cole Beecher (6-3, 280, Sr.) sleeper college player returns as a starter. The rest of the Offense starters are WR Parker Lanaux (6-2, 175), WR Nate Guidry (5-8, 155), OG Spencer Davis (5-11, 245, Sr.), center Reagan Touchstone (6-1, 235), OG Caden Rogers (5-8, 245), OT Bryce Scott, OT Nick Averett, and OT Blaise Blackwell. You will also see these players getting time and reps on offense TE William Gammage (6-2, 205), RB Isaiah Baham, WR Wesley Price and WR Bobby Love (5-10, 160).
The Defense will be very talented with many starters back. On the defensive line, the Skippers have DE Pierce Melancon (6-0, 245; four tackles for loss and two sacks in 2022), DT Juan Canales (5-9, 240; 30 tackles and five sacks in 2022), DE Marquez Zenon (5-11, 210) and DT Chance Grant (5-7, 250) will rotate in as well. Mandeville’s linebacking corps consists of LB Wyatt Hammant (5-8, 180; 43 tackles in 2022), LB Jack Roberts (5-11, 190, Sr.) and LB Chase McCarthy (5-11, 190). In the secondary, you have CB Tasmin Showers (21 tackles & 1 Interception in 2022), sleeper prospect CB Elias Allen (5-9, 175; 23 tackles and an interception in 2022), FS Fisher Lalonde (6-3, 170), SS Jacob Hoffstadt (5-8, 165, Sr. and safety Emil Allen (5-9, 160). More players who will get playing time rotating in are CB Charles Sipe (5-8, 155, Sr.), LB Gabe Tomasella (5-11, 180) and safety Bobby Love (5-10, 160, Sr.)
The special teams will be strong and have been for years for the program. Creighton Wilbanks (5-11, 180) will handle both punting and kicking for the team, and like many before him at the school for this position, he has talent. The return game will be really strong with Donovan McGowan and Nate Shephard.
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