Under First Year Holy Cross Head Coach Guy LeCompte, the Tigers are a Sleeper Team to Watch Out For Come Playoff Time
by Jace LeJeune
After 11 years as head coach and 18 years overall at the program, longtime Mandeville High School Head Football Coach Guy LeCompte resigned from his position in 2017. A year later, LeCompte accepts the head coaching job at Holy Cross High School. It is an understatement of how huge it is for the Holy Cross football program to get such a respected and revered coach. His resume speaks for itself as he posted a 93-40 overall record at Mandeville while making the playoffs every year of his head coaching tenure as well as winning or sharing four district championships and making the Class 5A state semifinals in 2011, 2012, and 2015. Not only do the Holy Cross senior players have their trust in LeCompte because of his past history, but because of the way he takes ownership of the team. Senior DE Dominic Lamm (6-1, 220) and senior OG Austin Wehrlin (6-2, 270) have high praise of their new head coach.
“Coach LeCompte is a great coach,” Wehrlin said. “He is really fun to be around, but when it is time for us to be serious, he turns it on and there is no going back. He brings out the best in you and he knows how to motivate a player when the player might not be doing so well. He’s been a blast to be with this year.”
“What makes Coach LeCompte so unique as a coach is his focus on not just making us better players, but better people,” Lamm said. “It’s not just about the wins and losses for him. Everyday, he teaches us there’s more to life after football. What makes me want to play for him is his knowledge and high expectations that he brings to the team. Day in and day out, he makes sure that I am improving to be the best football player I can be.”
The process is already taking off and seems to be working. In 2017, the Tigers finished the season with a 5-6 overall record. Already, the Tigers have more than equalized that record currently reaching at 6-3. Besides coaching, a big reason for the Tigers’ success is their dominance and depth up front. Louisiana Football Magazine’s recruiting specialist Lee Brecheen got the chance to see the Tigers on film in their game versus Jesuit High School earlier this season and was really impressed with some of the offensive linemen most notably Wehrlin and fellow senior OG Grant Jenny (6-3, 260).
“Austin Wehrlin could play either center or guard in college even though he plays tackle for the team right now,” Brecheen said. “What I like most about Wehrlin’s game is that he is really strong and has really good feet.”
“Grant Jenny is a guy that can become a DI player,” Brecheen said. “Jenny can also play either center or guard at the next level and is more of a tackle right now in high school. He has the feet and the strength to be a DI guy, but he might go I-AA. I think he can end up being a really good player.”
A player that may not play officially on the offensive line, but is an extension of that group is senior FB/TE Merlin Seminary (6-0, 215).
“Merlin Seminary is another player that plays where his team needs him,” Brecheen said. “Seminary is a tight end, but plays fullback for the school. I think he is really an advanced blocker and would make a great fullback. I also believe that he has a chance to walk on at some of these small DI schools.”
A position that may be even more stacked is the defensive line. It is a really deep group with a lot of players that have collegiate ability. Senior defensive ends such as Lamm, David Barnes (6-2, 230), and Elias Brown (6-3, 220) all rotate at those spots while fellow senior Maurice Robicheaux (6-0, 265) plays the role inside at defensive tackle.
“Elias Brown is a I-AA guy that just needs to get stronger,” Brecheen said. “Brown has got the size, high energy, and quickness. If he was a little stronger and a bit heavier, he would be a DI player right now.
“Maurice Robicheaux really impressed me a lot,” Brecheen said. “I think Robicheaux has really improved his senior year. He has become a lot quicker and more active. He could play for a lot of these smaller DI schools in Louisiana.”
At 6-2, 230 pounds, Barnes has a lot of ability and has already been contacted by some schools. The second team All-District player had six sacks last season and has really felt that this year has been his year just because of his progression as a player. Lamm also has a nice frame at 6-1, 220 pounds. He has really taken over as the main guy on that front of the defense. He is already committed to Southeastern and has had a really good high school career including racking up 20 sacks, 112 total tackles, 18 tackles for loss while making All-District and becoming the district sack leader last season. Another player that has had a really good high school career is senior defensive back Chase Rouzano (5-10, 175). Over the last three years, he has had 80 tackles, 20 pass breakups, and five interceptions starting not only at corner, but also at safety.
“Chase Rouzano is a D-III superstar,” Brecheen said. “He is a tough player and could be a good one in college.”
What maybe the biggest secret weapon of them all is their senior kicker Nolan Heitmeier, who is maybe one of the best kickers not only in the New Orleans area, but maybe in the entire state especially according to Brecheen.
“Nolan Heitmeier definitely has a DI leg,” he said. “Heitmeier has made several 40 plus field goals and has made some game winning kicks for them. He is that type of player that walks on at a DI school and could start.”
If you don’t take his word for it, just look at his stats. In his sophomore year, he had 15 points in one game along with three player of the game awards. In his junior year, Heitmeier was fortunate enough to be an unanimous All-District selection, an All-Metro finalist, and an All-State kicker. He was also a part of the first soccer team at Holy Cross to win a state championship. At 5-9, 155 pounds, Heitmeier may not stand out, but his leg sure does.
“The longest I hit in practice was 57 yards and 41 versus John Curtis last year,” Heitmeier said. “One particular kick that stands out was against Rummel to win the game. The ball went inside the right upright and the referees called it no good, which has made me realize to work on what I can do more.”
That philosophy worked as he has become a huge difference maker for Coach LeCompte’s coming out party. Also, there are a couple of seniors that may add their name to the mix when it comes to playing for colleges.
“Dru Stephens (5-11, 160) is another D-III guy,” Brecheen said. “He plays cornerback for the team and would probably be a safety for college.”
At 6-3, the Tigers have a chance to end the season on a strong note. However, tomorrow, they have an interesting non-district showdown in the season finale against a team that is also on the rise and that is Live Oak High School.
“Our record does not reflect our game plan,” Seminary said. “We are just getting used to the new offense and it is starting to come together. This game is a momentum gainer and warning that we are a very powerful team that has got it together.”
With powerhouse names such as Catholic High School (Baton Rouge), John Curtis High School, Evangel Christian Academy, Archbishop Rummel High School, C.E. Byrd High School, Jesuit High School, Brother Martin High School, St. Paul’s High School, St. Augustine High School, Scotlandville High School and even Archbishop Shaw High School, and McKinley High School, it is hard not to forget the Holy Cross Tigers. With the way the team is rolling and is gaining more confidence, this is not a team that the rest of the league would want to play around with.
“This season has been such a roller coaster of events,” Rouzano said. “We’ve had our goods and our bads, but I know my team has been tough through our times of adversity and we’re getting better as every week goes by, and that’s what we want going into the playoffs.”
“I think our mentality has changed and improved all season,” Barnes said. “We have been getting better each week and through each loss, we have managed to get stronger.”
That strength will be at full force in their last regular season game as well as in the playoffs.
Holy Cross and Louisiana Football fans, make sure to check out our website this weekend for our Recruiting Tidbits as we also have some inside scoop on what colleges have offered some of these players mentioned in this article and what campuses they will be heading soon!
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