The Deep Mandeville Senior Class Helped The Coaching Transition Go Smooth Under First Year Head Coach Hutch Gonzales
by Cameron Cerniglia
First year Mandeville High School Skipper coach Hutch Gonzales had a lot of talent and leadership when he took over the job last summer. Mandeville returned 24 seniors heading into the 2018 season, and they played vital roles for the team throughout the season.
“Most of the seniors in this year’s class were strong contributors in what we were trying to do on the field,” Coach Gonzales said. “For a while, it felt more like it was their program rather than ours because they had been here for four years. They were able to help with things that we were trying to implement. Once we got the seniors on board, it was easier to get everyone else on board. This class was the reason we were as competitive as we were throughout the season. Even the loses were close, they were competitive games because those guys really stuck it out and fought hard for us.”
Having a talented group of seniors is always important when there is a coaching transition. If a coach has seniors like Coach Gonzales had, the season will go better and they will leave the program ready to win the following season.
There might not have been any big name players in the Mandeville senior class, but they were all great football players and meant a lot to the program.
“I think my senior class has got a lot done in our time here,” senior Madrid Steele said. “Even though our senior season did not go as expected, I feel like we have built a strong foundation for many classes to come.”
Steele was a left tackle for the team and is expected to sign with Millsaps College because of the proximity to his home and the academics they offer.
“I expect to make a big impact at Millsaps by going out everyday and giving my all,” Steele said. “I also expect to play a big role on their offensive line and help the team out in anyway possible.”
“Steele is an extremely tough and physical offensive lineman,” Coach Gonzales said. “He is slightly undersized for that position, but the reason he is able to play it is because he is so tough and physical. He is also an athletic guy for that position.”
Louisiana Football Magazine’s own recruiting specialist Lee Brecheen thinks Steele is a good player also.
“Steele is a guy I think could play defensive end in college,” Brecheen said. “I think he could even play some linebacker if he gets with the right team. If he bulked up some, he could play center at the next level also. I think Millsaps will be a great fit for him.”
Steele was a great player for Mandeville and will remember his time with the Skippers.
“One thing I will always remember about my time at Mandeville is the brotherhood and lifelong friendships I have made here,” Steele said. “Some may say it’s just your teammates, but I feel like I have made a family at Mandeville High.”
Steele and the rest of the senior class will be missed by the Skipper faithful, but it is time for him and the rest of the class to move on and continue making memories that will stick with them forever at the next level.
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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