Last Modified: Saturday, June 09, 2012 1:14 PM
Former Barbe High linebacker D.J. Prudhomme almost didn’t get to play football.
Prudhomme’s cousin first asked him to play when he was 8 years old, but his mother didn’t want the young Prudhomme in the line of fire on the field. However, as Prudhomme recalled, his father helped assuage her worry before he embarked on a football journey that included a four-year stint with the Buccaneers.
Prudhomme’s high school career is finished after a senior season that earned him a selection for the Bayou Bowl, the Texas vs. Louisiana High School Seniors All-Star Game, June 16 in Baytown, Texas. He’s the only player from Lake Charles to receive an invitation to the annual non-profit all-star game that raises money for youth athletic scholarships.
“It means a lot to me to represent Lake Charles and the Barbe football team,” Prudhomme said. “I hope people see how much of a hard worker I am and how aggressive I am.”
Prudhomme (6-foot, 215 pounds) garnered District 3-5A Defensive MVP honors, all-state honorable mention and All-Southwest Louisiana recognition after recording 79 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery this past season. His next stop is Louisiana College, where he’ll continue his football career in the fall.
Barbe head coach Mike Cutrera said Prudhomme leaves some big shoes to fill after a breakout season, and his performance on the field made his Bayou Bowl selection well-deserved.
“It’s a very big honor; not many people get selected to play in that game,” Cutrera said. “He played all out and did what he was expected to do and did a great job for us. So we expect the best for him and from him.”
The Texas and Louisiana All-Star squads each consist of 40 graduating seniors. Prudhomme, who will wear No. 16, was one of six Louisiana linebackers selected; the others were: Parkview Baptist’s Brody Burkhalter, Central Catholic’s Lloyd Grogan, Franklinton’s Khalib Travis, Neville’s Ricky Wyatt and St. Thomas More’s Andrew Mahtook.
The Bucs will be in full swing of their summer workouts when Prudhomme heads to Texas on Tuesday. Barbe’s first official practice is Aug. 6, and Cutrera said they will miss Prudhomme’s leadership.
“He just did a lot for us … he’s a hard worker,” Cutrera said. “He did a lot not only on the field but off the field; it’s hard to replace leadership like that.”
Prudhomme has one more chance to highlight that strength and skill in a high school uniform next weekend. It’s a good thing his mother let him play 10 years ago.