2023 Louisiana Prep Football Preview: Live Oak High School (Denham Springs)

Live Oak Eagles

By Lee Brecheen

Head Coach: Hutch Gonzales (1st year)

2022 Record: 3-7

Class & District: Class 5A (District 5)

Like Oak OLB Bentz Borne (Photo taken by SulliPix Photography)

Live Oak High School hired Hutch Gonzales to be the new head coach. Gonzales was the offensive coordinator for Central (Baton Rouge) last season. Before he was at Central. Gonzales was the head coach at Mandeville High School from 2019-2021 where he led the Skippers to a quarterfinal appearance in 2019.

"We will be big upfront in 2023 and I am excited to be the new head coach at Live Oak," Gonzalez said. "The freshman team went 10-0 in 2022, and the eighth-grade team never lost a game so the future is really bright here."

The program has two really good quarterbacks that they will be able to work with: Cayden Jones, who is a great athlete with 4.6 speed and has some playing experience on varsity, and freshman Kingston Johnson, who can already throw a football 60-plus yards. You might see both all year and if someone doesn’t start the other will be on the field somewhere helping this team win games.

The offense will rely on the big offensive line to start. The group is led by OT James Sadler (6-4, 295), OL Bogie Knapp (6-2, 290), OL Garrett Zachary (6-3, 300), OG Ryan Sawaya (5-11, 245) and senior OG Evan Truse (6-0, 225). You also have athletic blocking TE/WR Hayden Ray (6-3, 240). The run game will feature talented Jamal Murphy (5-9, 185, 4.5 speed), the fast RB Brayden Jones (5-6, 165, 4.4 legit speed) and senior FB Blake Rosenthal (5-9, 225) who is strong with 4.7 speed. There’s also talented RB Dekohta Jones (5-10, 170, 4.45 speed). The rest of the WR group will be starting WR/FS Jack Peterson (5-11, 170) who is a new starter with a 4.5 speed playmaker and WR Marcus Mack (5-9, 165) who is a young talented player.

Live Oak DE Tyler Maher (Photo taken by SulliPix Photography)

The defense front seven has a chance to be pretty good in 2023. The front seven consists of three-year starter and team leader DE Tyler Maher (6-0, 220), OLB Bentz Borne 5-10 170 returning starter, MLB Brennan Wilson 5-10 215 strong player, MLB Cooper Smith (5-10, 185), DE/OLB Gabe Harvey (6-4, 235), DE Jacob Cowart (6-3, 235, 4.7 speed), LB Wyatt Tynes (5-9, 200) who is a leader of the defense. There will be some others who will make this a tough unit. The secondary will have two-way starter WR/FS Jack Peterson, Brody Welch (5-10, 160) and DB Cullen Wheeler (5-10, 165). There are still a few others battling for open spots for fall.

The special teams will return a strong unit. Kicker/Punter Brek Schultz returns for his third year starting with a cannon leg. The long snapper will be starting LB Wyatt Tynes who did a really good job snapping during the summer.

Coach Gonzales played wide receiver for Southeastern Louisiana, where he was a teammate of Denham Springs High School head coach Brett Beard.

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