The C.E. Byrd Yellow Jackets Improved on Their 5-5 Record From 2017 With The Help of Their Senior Leaders
by Cameron Cerniglia
Going into the 2018 season, Coach Mike Suggs knew that he had the talent to have a better season than in 2017 when the C.E. Byrd Yellow Jackets went 5-5. That record was improved in 2018 and it contained big wins against Sulphur, Parkway, and Airline.
A 7-2 regular season record earned the Yellow Jackets a first round bye in the playoffs. They drew a tough matchup in the second round having to face Evangel Christian Academy for the second time this season. Byrd was defeated in the regular season 7-42 and Evangel Christian got the best of them in the playoffs also by a score of 37-17.
The season did not end how the program wanted it to, but the team was able to get better from the previous season and have seven wins, which is more than the previous two seasons. This improve is due, in part, to the 2019 senior class. Some of the players in this class include CB Avaunte Steward, FS Cade Gray, RB Charlie Barham, WR Carson Dunn, and K/P Scotty Roblow among others.
Louisiana Football Magazine’s own recruiting specialist Lee Brecheen had lots to say about these players in Byrd’s 2019 senior class.
“Carson Dunn is a former quarterback turned receiver,” Brecheen said. “I think he could go to a small college. He’s about 6-0, 185. He transitioned to wide receiver his senior year after being the quarterback two years ago. He made a good transition. He’s got good hands and good speed. He could be a D-II or D-III guy in the end.”
“Henry Lott is a linebacker for the team,” Brecheen said. “He is also a baseball prospect. He missed four games this season due to injury. He’s about 6-2, 215. He can play football and baseball in college if he wanted to. He might sign baseball I-AA or DI.”
The next player that Brecheen is high on is 6-0, 180 pound senior CB Avaunte Steward.
“Steward is a gifted CB,” Brecheen says. “I think he’s a DI player who is just being overlooked right now. He should go to a great school. He’s a good student too with a high GPA.”
“I thought the leader of the team was the running back Charlie Barham,” Brecheen said. “He’s not a DI or a I-AA guy, but I think he could play D-III football. He’s about 5-8, 185. I thought he was one of the toughest players on the team.”
One of the players that was upfront blocking for Barham was OG Nick Erwin.
“Erwin could be a D-III guy,” Brecheen said. “He’s about 6-0, 240.”
Another player that was big for the team in the 2018 season was sleeper CB Chondrick Lofton.
“Lofton is a sleeper at the I-AA level,” said Brecheen. “He trains with former Louisiana Tech defensive back Weldon Brown, who was very good during his time. Lofton is about 5-10, 180 and can run. He could be a good I-AA player in the end.”
Patrolling the backfield with Lofton and Steward is FS Cade Gray.
“Gray is a FS/LB for the team,” Brecheen said. “He’s about 6-0, 200. He got hurt and missed most of the season but he could be a good D-III player if he chooses to play in college. Cade is also a baseball prospect.”
Luke Slabaugh is another player in the 2019 class that was big for the Yellow Jackets.
“Slabaugh is a linebacker for the team,” Brecheen said. “He’s about 6-0, 195. He is also a good student with a GPA over a 3.0. I think he would be a great D-III guy.”
There is one guy that Coach Suggs could count on when the offense did not score the ball and that was K/P Scotty Roblow.
“Roblow is about 6-4, 165,” says Brecheen. “Once he fills out, he will probably kick at about 175 or 180 in about a year. He has a strong leg and could either kick or punt in college. He’s a sleeper for the I-AA level.”
There is much talent that is being lost from the 2018 team but the Yellow Jackets and Coach Suggs will look to reload and have another great senior class that has hopes to make a run in the playoffs in 2019.
Cameron is from Baton Rouge, LA. He graduated from Woodlawn High School in 2014. Cameron is now attending LSU where he is seeking a degree in Sport Administration with a concentration in commerce. Cameron joined the Louisiana Football Magazine staff in the summer of 2018 for his school internship. During the his days off, Cameron enjoys spending time with family and friends. Outside of being a football fan, Cameron also enjoys watching baseball and playing music.
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