The St. Thomas More Cougars Keep the Winning Tradition Going by Making the Playoffs for the 31st Consecutive Season
by Cameron Cerniglia
The St. Thomas More Cougars have had yet another successful season under Head Coach Jim Hightower. They head into the second week of the playoffs with a 9-1 record after a bye in the first round. Their only lose came against the Catholic High Bears in Week 4.
Coach Hightower has a great group of seniors that he has been able to lean on throughout the regular season. Many of these guys will get the chance to play at the next level once they graduate. Louisiana Football Magazine’s own recruiting specialist Lee Brecheen speaks very highly of this team and says they have a ton of talent.
It is impressive at the amount of guys they have at each position that can play at the next level. The first position that has multiple guys that can play in college is the receiving corp. Deion Senegal and Grant Arceneaux lead this group.
“Deion is a D-I talent,” Brecheen said. “He transferred from Carencro High School for his senior year. He has all the tools to be great. He just needs to gain a little weight. He has really good hands and can run a legitimate 4.5/40 or faster. He’s a DI guy that will probably go to a smaller DI school, but has a chance to be a great player.”
“Arceneaux has great hands,” Brecheen said. “He runs a 4.5/40. He can probably walk on to a I-AA school and start within a year or two. He’s a big time receiver for the team, but he just isn’t that tall at 5-8, 165.”
The next group that has depth is the running back group. The Cougars have two bell cows in William Cryer and Sydney Lindon.
“Cryer is a very good RB,” Brecheen said. “He’s 5’8, 180. I think he’s a I-AA player and could play RB there or be a slot receiver. He’s one of those guys with legit 4.40/40 speed that can make big plays at the I-AA level. He’s like a lot of guys that have come out of St. Thomas More in the past like Trevor Begue, who is now at McNeese State playing receiver. There have been a lot of guys to come out of the program like him that have done well at I-AA schools.”
“Lindon is 5-11, 188 and is a I-AA guy,” says Brecheen. “He can probably run a 4.5/40. He might get used a little more at another high school since St. Thomas More has so much talent on offense and everyone splits the reps. He could play slot receiver or RB at a I-AA or D-II school.”
The Cougars also have a massive offensive line that blocks for these great backs. There are five guys in that group that could go play at the next level once they graduate.
“Landon Burton is a true center,” Brecheen said. “I think he’s the team’s top senior DI player. He’s got great size at 6-3, 310 pounds. He can really move and get down field. He’s an extremely advanced blocker using his hands and feet to get low. He engages on defenders and gets after second players while blocking on plays. He could start as a freshman depending on where he signs D-I. I think he’s good enough to go to a SEC school.”
“James Segrest is a DT for the team and a long snapper,” Brecheen said. “Segrest is projected to play either offensive guard or defensive tackle in college. He needs to improve his footwork a little bit. I think he would be a great offensive guard. He transferred in from Florida. His dad is an assistant coach at ULL. He’s a guy that really could switch positions for college and do a good job.”
“Thomas Deloach is another OT for the team, but he would make a great fullback at the I-AA or DI level,” said Brecheen. “He’s 5-10, 235 pounds. He’s strong, tough, and has good feet.”
“Henry Koke could maybe be a I-AA center,” said Brecheen. “He’s a guard at 6-0, about 235 pounds.”
“William Blanchet is another offensive lineman that could go D-III,” says Brecheen. “He’s about 6-1, 220. He could be a center in college.”
It does not happen too much but when this offense is not able to score, the team knows they have a kicker that can always pick the offense up when they do not score. That kicker is Trevor Robertson.
“Robertson is a very could kicker,” Brecheen said. “He could kick DI. I think he’s the kind of kid to walk on DI and start within a year or two. He’s a decent punter also. He could probably be a dual starter in college as a kicker and a punter. He just needs to work on kickoffs and kicking the ball in the end zone consistently. He’s definitely a I-AA starter.”
The Cougars also have a very reliable defense that is full of seniors like the offense. Greg Mahtook and Trey Clark lead the linebacker group.
“Mahtook is a sleeper for the team,” says Brecheen. “He plays a lot of linebacker for the team. I think he’s a safety in college probably a free safety. He’s really improved from his junior year to his senior year. He really didn’t get to play much as a junior. As a senior, he’s been a big time hitter. He’s a big guy at 6-1, 190 and can run. He probably runs a legit 4.6/40. He’s the kind of kid that could walk on at a DI school and play at some point or go to a I-AA school and be a good starter.”
When it comes to Clark, Brecheen thinks he is probably a D-III guy in the end. The defensive line is anchored by Burke Matthews at the DT position.
“Matthews has really improved,” said Brecheen. “He will play nose guard at a I-AA school probably. He’s 5-11 about 330 pounds. He’s a big time sleeper at nose guard.”
The defensive backfield has three guys that are capable of going at least D-II. This group includes CJ Hill, Dalen Cambre, and Andrew Sonnier.
“Hill is a D-II or a D-III guy,” Brecheen said. “He’s not a big guy at 5-9, 160, but he can run.”
“Cambre is another sleeper on the team,” said Brecheen. “He’s 6-0, 185 and has really improved as a senior. He’s a D-II guy that could be a great player or he could walk on I-AA.”
“Sonnier could go D-III,” Brecheen said. “He’s about 5-9, 170 and is a big time hitter.”
Coach Hightower is lucky to have this group of seniors, and they will do what it takes to make it to the Dome. That run starts this week against E.D. White High School. If this group plays up to their ability, the Cougars and Coach Hightower will be raising a trophy at the beginning of December.
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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