Another state championship eluded Gavin Webster, but not the title of Mr. Football in Louisiana, which went to the Lutcher senior quarterback.
Webster won the award for his feats, which carried Lutcher to an undefeated season until losing in the Class 4A state semifinals to eventual state champion Monroe Neville. Webster had guided Lutcher to the Class 3A crown in 2008 before the Bulldogs moved up in classification. Webster also was named Offensive MVP by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association on the Class 4A All-State team.
"He is as good as anybody I've had," Lutcher coach Tim Detillier said, "and I've been blessed."
In 14 games this past season, Webster threw for 2,962 yards and 38 touchdowns and ran for 1,350 yards and 26 touchdowns.
"I just love playing quarterback, period," Webster said. "Running, passing – it’s all fun."
"He was born to run the spread offense," Detillier said.
Patterson junior running back Kenny Hilliard finished second in the voting. Hilliard, the Offensive Player of the Year on the Class 3A All-State team, already has committed to LSU. The 5-foot-11 Webster has yet to receive any major college scholarship offers to play quarterback.
"I'm mystified, " Detillier said. "No matter what kind of program you have, if it's worth anything, how do you not want Gavin Webster on your roster? If you've watched any film, if you've seen him live, how do you not want him to be a part of your program, in any capacity?
"Of course, they're not telling me, but it has to be his height. What else can it be? It can't be his speed, it can't be his grades, it can't be his play."
Smaller state schools such as the universities of Louisiana at Monroe and Lafayette, Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State want Webster to play both football and baseball. (He made all-state in baseball last season with a .520 batting average.)
In one of his best performances this past football season, Webster rushed for 299 yards and five touchdowns in a 43-34 double-overtime victory against Hahnville. In another stellar effort, Webster threw for 349 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-10 victory over Destrehan.
Briscoe, Helmstetter win top honors on Class 5A team
Central quarterback Will Briscoe and Metairie Archbishop Rummel linebacker Phillip Helmstetter were named the Offensive and Defensive players of the year, respectively, on the Class 5A All-State team.
Briscoe completed 188-of-283 passes for 3,080 yards and 39 touchdowns with two interceptions. He has committed to McNeese State, as has his twin brother, Wes, who made the all-state team at wide receiver.
Helmstetter spearheaded a defense that held opponents to two touchdowns or less in 10 games during a 14-1 season that ended with a 30-0 loss to West Monroe in the state championship game. Rummel’s Jay Roth was voted Coach of the Year.
"I’ve been around some pretty good ones," Central coach Sid Edwards said of Will Briscoe, "and Will is the best I’ve ever coached. What sets him apart, aside from the fact that he’s a great guy, is that I told people he could quarterback a team almost blindfolded.
"I likened him to Pistol Pete (Maravich) on the football field, making something out of nothing. We always felt we could win, no matter how bad the circumstances, when he was in the game."
"The main thing I wanted to do this year was cut down on my turnovers," Briscoe said. "I worked on making better reads and worked with receivers on routes. I thought that would give us a better chance to win."
Prior to the state championship game, Helmstetter collected 70 tackles, including four quarterback sacks. He also recovered two fumbles and forced another. Rummel defeated 11 playoff teams and engineered seven come-from-behind victories.
Johnson, Smith earn Class 4A All-State distinction
In addition to Webster, the Class 4A All-State team recognized New Orleans O.P. Walker junior defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and Franklnton coach Shane Smith for their accomplishments.
Johnson was named the Defensive Player of the Year, while Smith earned Coach of the Year distinction after guiding Franklinton to the state championship game. Johnson collected 79 total tackles with 16 sacks among his 21 tackles for losses. He forced three fumbles, recovered two more and had an interception. Players from 16 different schools made the all-state team.
Boys basketball: Unbeaten Caldwell Parish wins tourney
Not only did Caldwell Parish High of Columbia win the Ouachita Christian School Christmas Classic in Monroe, but the Spartans ran their record to 18-0.
Five players scored in double figures as Caldwell routed host Ouachita Christian, 75-40. Centarius Donald and Reginald Smith each scored a team-high 16 points. Casterdell Hymes scored 15 points, Chris Smith added 12 points and 11 rebounds and Denzell Green finished with 10 points.
Boys soccer: Monsour produces pair of hat tricks
In the span of four days, Captain Shreve senior midfielder Will Monsour tallied a pair of hat tricks.
Monsour first scored three goals in a 5-1 victory over Acadiana of Scott in the semifinals of the Lake Charles Tournament. He returned three days later to do the same thing in a 4-1 victory over Lafayette St. Thomas More. Captain Shreve was ranked second in the latest Division I Louisiana High School Coaches Association poll. St. Thomas More was tied for sixth.
"A lot of people thought Shreve was overrated," Monsour said. "We just knew we had to prove ourselves and represent Shreve. That’s what we did."