By Lee Brecheen
Head Coach: Travis Bourgeois (29th year)
2022 Record: 10-2
Class & District: Class 2A (District 6)
2022 Playoffs: 1st Round Bye, Defeated Loyola Prep 10-7 in the 2nd Round, Lost to Notre Dame in the Quarterfinals of the Division III (Select) Playoffs
“It all starts with replacing (quarterback) Lewis Ward,” Episcopal head coach Travis Bourgeois said. “The next guy just needs to just be himself and let the guys around you help you and we found that with new starter Zach Hu. We had more depth in 2022 and will need to develop some depth with the younger players in the beginning of the season for 2023.”
I was able to get some scouting information when I went to Episcopal’s jamboree against Catholic (Pointe Coupee) last Thursday.
The offense I think is in great hands with young QB Zack Hu, who I think in time will be a good player because he is an athletic kid with a good football IQ and will have a lot of upside. From what I saw in the jamboree, the run game looks like it will be the 1-2 punch of three-year starter Braeden George (6-0, 180, 4.5 speed) and second-year starter Reid Chauvin (5-8, 185). George ran for 1,029 yards with 15 touchdowns and caught 14 passes for 269 yards and one touchdown in 2022. Chauvin ran for 768 yards with 15 touchdowns and caught 15 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns. These two will prove difficult to stop or defend for any defense in Class 2A.
The offensive line returns some experience in senior center Will York (5-10, 195), senior OT Preston Pontiff (6-4, 225), senior OL James Thom (6-0, 210) and OL Matthew Boagni. The starters for the receiving corps from what I saw were Nathan Sanchez who is an athletic kid and WR David Olinde (5-11, 180), who also plays some DB for the team with good speed and high IQ of the game. WR John Hart Singer and WR Walker Dauzat also will get reps for the Offense.
The defense has several two-way starters that can and will start on offense but the team relies on these kids for defense even more in leader DE/TE Chase Cresson (6-0, 200) who had 64 tackles in 2022. Cresson is a three-year starter and can flat-out make tackles sideline to sideline. You also have DE/TE Ethan Ott (5-11, 190) who had 61 tackles, three sacks and 10 tackles for losses in 2022. The Knights also have third-year starter DE/FB/TE JB Sessums (6-1, 230) who is a tough kid off the edge who had 27 tackles (four for a loss) last season and has gotten stronger in 2023. Also, don’t forget about OLB/SS Will Ribes (48 tackles & 2 Interceptions in 2022), second-year starter OLB Chase Finley who is a great tackler in space, senior DE Kareem Badawi (6-4, 225) has a lot of upside and is improving every day, second-year starter CB Brody Bailey (5-11, 160) had two interceptions in 2022 and tackles well in space, DB TJ Callahan (5-11, 160, 4.5 speed) and has this year to show it all, and his brother DB/RB Taj Callahan (5-11, 170). Some younger players being called upon for reps for depth will be DB Neff Neauman, DE Sean Stewart, LB Carson Furniss and DE Demetrick Johnson.
The special teams have the talent to keep this program in all games in 2023. Kicker Alden Romano (29/32 in extra points & 2/5 in field goals in 2022) returns for his third year as the starter with a great leg and great hangtime as a punter. Episcopal’s long snapper Silas Hall (6-2, 200) has a lot of potential here.
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