Luke To Luke Connection Along With Contributions From Other Seniors Leads Blue Jays To Hard Fought Season
by Jace LeJeune
Led by interim head coach Scott Bairnsfather, the Jesuit Blue Jays had themselves a very impressive season finishing 5-5 in a very tough Catholic league while advancing to the Division I Quarterfinals. Coach Bairnsfather would be the first one to tell you that this senior class had to adjust playing different roles and contribute much more than in the past. Because of that, the team had a successful season. Channeling Taysom Hill from the nearby New Orleans Saints, Jesuit’s Swiss Army knife Luke LaForge had to step up at the quarterback position more than years past.
“I actually have played quarterback all my life, but as a sophomore, I switched to wide receiver to try to help out the team and see the field a little sooner,” LaForge said. “This past year, I decided I wanted to give quarterback a shot again, and I think it really went well.”
Luke LaForge uses his versatility in playing three different sports off the field to help him become versatile on the gridiron. There are not a lot of players that could play quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, H-back, and finally, long snapper.
“I think my biggest strengths are my toughness, hands, and my ability to play multiple positions,” LaForge said. “I think that I can play all of those positions in college, and I’m not opposed to any, but I think I can excel the most at long snapping and some sort of hybrid tight end.”
Whether it is throwing footballs, catching footballs, or snapping footballs, LaForge is a jack of all trades. Despite his versatility, LaForge is still seeking his first Division I offer. Louisiana Football Magazine’s recruiting guru Lee Brecheen loves all what LaForge brings to the table.
“Luke is a kid who has never played quarterback prior to this season, and this was his first year to really start the whole season,” Brecheen said. “Luke is really an athlete playing quarterback. He is a great long snapper. I think he can long snap for some DI schools, and he is also a very good receiver in a tight end’s body. Luke is already 6-2, 215 pounds so he really has tight end size right now, but he is a kid that is going to be 230 pounds once he gets to college. In college, he will either become a long snapper or a tight end because he has already outgrown wide receiver. He did play quarterback for the team and did a good job as you will see so on the film, but his future is either at tight end or long snapper.”
LaForge did have a lot of help when he was playing quarterback as he got to throw to one of the most productive receivers in the state.
“Throwing to a guy like Luke Besh is every quarterback’s dream,” LaForge said. “Just having such a reliable target who is always open made quarterbacks a lot less stressful.”
The Luke to Luke connection worked quite often in 2020. Along with talented junior quarterback Jack Larriviere, Besh, who is the son of American television chef John Besh, did not cook up meals, but secondaries with 43 catches for 863 yards and 13 touchdowns during the regular season. Although having two talented quarterbacks instead of one take some adjusting, it did not take too much to adjust based on their strong arms.
“They are both super talented players, and I’m lucky to have played with both,” Besh said. “They both have big arms and can scramble very well. The biggest difference was that Luke had more experience than Jack had coming into this season. I would say that my success came through our offensive scheme and both of the quarterbacks playing well all season.”
It was not just the scheme that got Besh open a lot in 2020, but it was also his Division I talent that allowed him to separate himself from opposing defensive backs.
“Everybody is talking about the top receivers in Louisiana including Chris Hilton from Zachary, Brian Thomas from Walker, Jack Bech from St. Thomas More, and there are some others, but I think the biggest sleeper in the state at that position is Luke Besh out of Jesuit High School,” Brecheen said. “He has the best hands in the state outside of Jack Bech. I really think Luke is a SEC wide receiver. You will see how dynamic he is on the highlight tape along with his route running, the ability to catch the football, tightrope the sideline, and also the ability to catch the ball over his shoulder. All of it is truly amazing to watch. If you are a DI coach, you got to love this kid because you can put him in the slot and catch 50 to 60 passes a year. He also has explosive speed and the ability to get in the end zone.”
While Besh’s name does not get thrown around as much as the guys Brecheen mentioned, it is what he can do with the ball in his hands that makes him just as dangerous as the top receivers in the state.
“I think what sets me apart is my route running, catching ability, and the yards I get after the catch,” Besh said.
Currently, Besh has received one offer from Army West Point, but he is still keeping his recruitment process open. While players like the Lukes get a lot of attention and certainly so, there are a lot of other guys that deserve some attention for doing the dirty work and Win Schibler is one of those players.
At 6-0, 210 pounds, Schibler is a tough, physical player that prides himself on his high football IQ, versatility, hard work, heart, and leadership.
“Win is a kid that has battled some injuries prior to his senior year,” Brecheen said. “His senior year was really the first year he played a lot. He played some his sophomore year and got hurt his junior year. He just needs another year to get bigger and stronger. He is a kid that can go up to 220 in college. He has good hands, but they just have not thrown the football to him a lot. Once he gets bigger, he will also become a better blocker in college.”
In terms of work ethic, Schibler works very hard at what he could do best and it shows with the work he puts in leading up to Friday nights.
“As soon as the offseason begins, I catch 500 balls a week with my speed and football agility Coach Harrel,” Schibler said. “I also train twice a day and six days a week over the offseason.”
Although Schibler has not received any offers, he has been contacted by the University of West Georgia and Kentucky Wesleyan College. Because of having lack of film the previous seasons, it was important for him to have a season, especially since there was a lot of doubt about having a football season in the first place because of COVID 19.
“Although for some games, I didn’t even know where I was going to be playing and despite missing Terrebonne and St. Paul’s in the beginning of the season, the LHSAA made the most of a horrible situation for every high school team in Louisiana,” Schibler said. “With all of the COVID restrictions this season, I was worried about all of the new young guys that were to play for their first time. However, I think that COVID actually brought the team closer together to work at the best of their abilities in order to fight each week.”
Even though the two Lukes and Schibler all have the ability to play college football at the next level, they are not the only Jesuit seniors that can take their talents to a college football program.
“Max Milano is a great slot receiver that has great hands and can run,” Brecheen said. “Presten Berggren is a sleeper at a small college or could even play at the I-AA level because he can run and catch. A.J. Alvarez is a great fullback that is often overlooked. William Hawkins is one of the best defensive backs in New Orleans that did not play this season because of injury. I think he has SEC ability, but just did not have any senior film. Max Jubenville is a player that if he was 6-0 tall, he would get some DI offers. He can become a small college football player if he wants to. Jake Murphy is a center prospect for the college level, but he can also play guard. He is just tough and I like his feet. Luke Carlton is a really good looking defensive tackle that could play defensive end in college. He can walk-on either DI or I-AA, but it is just a matter if he gets an opportunity to play elsewhere. Finally, there is Carson Miller, who is one of the toughest defensive backs and one of the biggest hitters in New Orleans. Again, if he wants to go to a smaller school, I think he would be a great safety.”
With all of that talent, one would wonder why the Blue Jays only finished the season at 5-5, but it comes to show you the talent all across the Catholic League. With a big senior class such as this one, only Jesuit fans can hope that the underclassmen can pick up where the Lukes and where everybody else left off.
Click the link below to check out Luke Besh’s senior highlights:
Click the link below to check out Luke LaForge’s senior highlights:
Click the link below to check out Win Schibler’s senior highlights:
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Jace is from Addis, LA but resides in Port Allen, LA. Jace attends Southeastern Louisiana University and is majoring in Communications. This is Jace’s fourth year as Associate Editor at Louisiana Football Magazine. He is also a graduate from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge where he was the editor of the school newspaper the “Bearly Published.” While at CHS, Jace also announced their football, basketball, and baseball games for the Bruin Broadcast Network which is the Catholic High’s streaming website for their events. On weekends, Jace is the PA announcer for his middle school football games. At home, Jace enjoys time with his family and friends. Besides being a huge football fan, Jace is also an avid NHRA drag racing fan.