Barbe head football coach Mike Cutrera. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:10 PM
The Barbe Bucs will be playing for their first trip to the Superdome for a state championship football game, in large part due to a high-flying offense.
A plethora of skill position players put the ball in the end zone, but the five big guys on the line are also a big part of the Bucs’ success.
The line has helped the offense average 41.2 points per game.
The starters are tackles Nick Reed and Logan Woods, guards Tanner Hooper and Quinn Burkhalter and center Nick Fontenot. Position coach Parry Lalande Jr. said his group approaches the game the right way, both mentally and physically.
“We returned two starters (Hooper and Reed) from last year that have done a great job with the leadership,” Lalande said. “We ask our linemen to do a lot, especially the center who has to identify every front and sets the middle linebacker, which dictates who everyone is supposed to block. They all have to make calls before the snap then go out and execute their assignments. Because of the amount of things we do in our offense, it is a difficult scheme to perform in. They have done a great job.”
Lalande said the talented skill position players help his linemen.
“It makes it easy when you have guys like Kennon Fontenot, Courtney Galentine, Desean Smith, Trey Quinn, Gunner Leger and Kade Demarie making plays for you. You don’t have to hold those blocks quite as long because we know Kennon is going to get rid of it. We know Courtney is going to hit the hole quick and we know those guys are going to make great catches.
“I like the physicality of this group, not only when we run the ball, but also in pass protection. I like the way they bring the game to the opponent instead of waiting for the opponent to come to them.”
Lalande said the team’s success is a testament to its work ethic.
“It speaks volumes to the character of the kids that we have, how hard they have worked going back to last January, preparing themselves for this season,” he said. “They put in the work that was necessary for them to be successful against this difficult a schedule.”
Right tackle Woods said he and his fellow linemen are like family.
“They have been brothers to me, it has been great,” he said. “I think this group of linemen is the toughest we have had. We prepare well and execute on the practice field. We have a lot of heart.”
Fontenot, the center, said chemistry is a strength both among the linemen and in the offense as a whole.
“The line, we all play as one,” he said. “Our quarterbacks, running backs and receivers know it all starts up front and they appreciate us to the maximum level.”
Left tackle Reed said chemistry extends off the field.
“This is the most close-knit team we have had. We do more stuff together both on and off the field,” he said. “Coach (Mike) Cutrera and Coach Lalande are both smart and know the game. When we go to camps, the college coaches are telling us the same things they tell us every day.”
Hooper, the right guard, said Lalande is a big part of the team’s success.
“He is a great coach,” Hooper said. “He has helped me with technique, speed, weight, and strength. It has been fun being one of the leaders, I just try to encourage people and play every game like it is my last.”
Left guard Burkhalter said time the linemen spend together during the week pays off on Friday nights.
“We all know we can talk to each other and there’s never any fighting,” he said. “It is great to play on this team with all the tradition; it would be amazing to become the first team to get to the Superdome.”