American Press All-Southwest La. Small Schools: Grand Lake, Kinder sweep honors
2020 was a trying season for Southwest Louisiana high school football teams as they had to cope with the coronavirus pandemic and a pair of hurricanes.
But Grand Lake and Kinder defied the odds to reach the Prep Classic.
The teams combined to sweep the top awards on this season’s American Press All-Southwest Small Schools team.
Kinder senior defensive back Bryce Laughlin is the defensive MVP while Grand Lake senior running back Eli Fountain is the offensive MVP and the Hornets’ Jeff Wainwright is the Coach of the Year.
Laughlin made 66 tackles, a stunning 21 tackles for a loss with five sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles, plus 10 rushing touchdowns as a running back while leading the Yellow Jackets to the Class 2A final for the first time since 2015.
Fountain started the season at quarterback before switching to running back, played defensive back and returned kicks. Fountain accounted for 17 touchdowns, running for 792 yards.
Wainwright led the Hornets to the Class 1A final for the first time in school history, plus the program’s first district title and quarterfinal and semifinal wins since the program was revived in 2013. Grand Lake has won 15 games in two seasons under Wainwright, more than the previous six seasons combined.
On the offensive line is Grand Lake’s Bryant Williams, Oberlin’s Adam Patrick, Kinder’s Dylan John, Wesley Lejeune of Basile and East Beauregard’s Dylan Singleton.
A pair of 1,000-yard rushers made the team in Rosepine’s Grand Ducote (1,083 yds., 15 TDs) and Kinder’s Tylan Ceasar (1,061 yds., 16 TDs) along with Rosepine quarterback Ethan Frey (1,473 yds., 21 total TDs). At receiver is a trio of seniors in Pickering’s Deshawn Jackson (722 yds., 9 TDs), Vinton’s Jaden Carrier (481 yds., 3 TDs) and Grand Lake’s Kyler Little (383 yds., 5 TDs).
Rounding out the offense is Grand Lake kicker Jesus Morales (19-29 PATs) and Kinder athlete Dee Fontenot (12 TDs).
Joining Laughlin at defensive back is Grand Lake’s Levi Murrell (41 tackles, 3 INTs), East Beauregard’s Jacob Gimnich (16 tackles) and Oberlin’s Malachi Simien (24 tackles, 2 INTs, 6 passes defended).
Leading the defensive front is Kinder’s Brandon White (62 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, 19 hurries, 6 PD) and Collin South (74 tackles, 12 TFL) and District 4-1A MVP Noah Nelson (50 tackles, 9 TFL, 5 sacks, 5 fumble recoveries, 2 TDs) from Hamilton Christian.
The linebackers are Kinder’s Trenton Bono (96 tackles, 9 TFL), Grand Lake’s Cole Matt (73 tackles, 2 forced fumbles, 3 sacks), Oberlin’s Aiden Reed (77 tackles, 9 TFL), Welsh’s Kade Miller and Basile’s Baylor McCoy (34 tackles, 5 TFL).
Kinder’s Bryce Savant (38 yards per punt) is the punter while Merryville’s Cam’ron Williams made the team as a kick returner.