Notre Dame Pioneers
By Lee Brecheen
Head Coach: Lewis Cook (26th year)
2022 Record: 10-3
Class & District: Class 2A (District 5)
2022 Playoffs: 1st Round Bye, Defeated Lake Charles College Prep 41-40 in 2nd Round, Defeated Episcopal 47-0 in Quarterfinals, Lost to St. Charles Catholic in Semifinals of Division III (Select) Playoffs
“The key to the season will be gaining experience quickly as we lost some really good players from last season,” Coach Cook said. “Replacing some of those positions will be challenging but the good thing is we will be replacing these players with juniors & seniors. We will have all new starters in the secondary. We only return two starters back on defense.The offense also only returns 2 starters. The special teams are wide open going into the fall and its been a few years since we have been in this position at those spots going into fall. We need to stay healthy to have a great season in 2023 because the schedule we play has some very talented teams.”
Head Coach Lewis Cook has 392 wins as a high school head coach going into 2023 and I think it’s safe to say will go over 400 wins in 2023. That is a remarkable feat for any coach. One of the first high school football games I ever attended was in 1988-1989 seeing Crowley High School play who was then coached by Lewis Cook. My dad drove me from Baton Rouge to the game in Crowley to see two All-State wide receivers at that time Wes Jacob, who ended up playing for LSU, and WR Shane Garrett, who ended up playing for Texas A&M.
I went to Notre Dame’s first game at Southside High School. I was impressed with the 18 new starters and I think the program will be strong by season’s end with this young group of talented kids. Notre Dame did lose to Southside, which is a Class 5A program, 27-18. However, from what I saw, the Pios will be a major factor in Class 2A in the end.
Pios’ starting quarterback is former defensive back, senior Jackson Link (6-0, 180). Link has a lot of athleticism and will get better as the season goes on.
From what I saw, the run game has a rotation of starting senior RB Joe Quebodeaux (5-9, 190) has power and quickness, starting FB Ben Rosinski (5-11, 175), talented RB Cameron Stelly (5-11, 170, 4.5 speed), young but talented RB Jack Medus (5-11, 175) and SR Justin Dupuis. The passing game has some talented wide receivers in Leyton Faul (5-10, 165, 4.5 speed), senior WR Jacob Trahan (6-0, 180), WR Brice Duhon, and WR Jake Johnson; all these kids have great speed. Senior TE/FB Hayden Johnson (5-11, 210) is a really good blocker as well and can help out with the passing game as well.
The Offensive Line has some size and the potential to be good by season end led by senior center Colin Lawson (5-11, 225), OG Jack Cassedy (6-1, 245), second-year starter senior Luke Schultz (6-4, 270) with a lot of potential, strong second-year starter Matt Brown (6-1, 240) and new starter with really good quickness is Landon Mouton (6-2, 255).
The defense will build around two returning starters three-year starter DT Sam Kirsch (6-2, 235) and second-year starter Jackson Casanova (6-1, 215). Both these kids bring it every play as leaders full throttle. I saw Casanova in person and he has a chance to become a DI linebacker for college. For the rest of the front you have tough/strong kids in senior DE/OLB Jack Guidry (6-1, 185), DT Christian Patin (5-10, 205), DE Walker Venable (5-10, 175), DT Aiden Leonards (6-1, 240), LB William Prevost (6-0, 190) and senior LB Keefer Kelbaugh (6-1, 180). The secondary has CB Kagen Semmes (6-1, 165), DB Wes Duplechin, DB Jayden Andrepont (5-7, 160) and safeties Eli Gros (5-9 155) and Matthew Mixon (6-0, 180).
On special teams, Notre Dame’s punter is Justin Dupuis and kicking is senior Hudson Hollier (6-2, 175) who are both new starters. The long snapper is senior Ian Fruge.
I had a chance to bring Coach Cook on my podcast (The Sports Scouting Report) over the summer to promote a biographical book that tells his story called “Coach of a Lifetime: The Story of Lewis Cook Jr, Legendary High School Football Coach” that was written by Gaylon H. White. You can find the book on Amazon.
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