The 2012 Casey Awards for the prep football season

Coleman honored by the SEC
December 11, 2012
Young Patriots leading with defensive intensity
December 11, 2012
Coleman honored by the SEC
December 11, 2012
Young Patriots leading with defensive intensity
December 11, 2012

After multiple installments with poor ratings, unfortunately, the Casey Awards have died – they will not return until basketball season.

OK, OK, I kid – what would our paper be without some postseason prep football awards?

This year’s slate of awards was more difficult to sort through than it has been in years past.

Parity rolled through a lot of our area, and we had so many teams locally that were on par with one another, which created a whirlwind of competitive balance.

But difficult decisions are a large part of any awards process, so here goes nothing.

Below are the Tri-Parish Times’ 2012 Prep Football Awards.

As always, please hold applause until all of the awards have been handed out.

The Saturday Afternoon Superstar Award

(Tri-parish standout most likely to make a splash in college)

Winner: Patterson tight end Deondre Skinner

The Lumberjacks continue to dominate this annual award handed to the player most likely to make an early splash at the collegiate level. Skinner is a 6-foot, 3-inch target that will provide significant mismatches for opponents in the vertical passing game. The Patterson standout also owns a 220-pound frame that will easily be able to be expanded when he enrolls in a collegiate weight program. The biggest mystery around Skinner currently is his future. The prospect is a three-star player, according to recruiting website He is currently an Arkansas commitment. But with the Razorbacks changing coaches, it will be interesting to see which school earns Skinner’s signature. With offers from LSU, Arizona State, Mississippi State and Texas A&M, this player’s recruitment is probably not over just yet.


The Lightning in a Bottle Award

(Tri-parish’s most explosive playmaker)

Winner: Vandebilt Catholic quarterback Elijah McGuire

This one was a no-brainer. McGuire was in first place – every other player in the Tri-parish area was a distant second. In my 20 years watching local Louisiana prep football, I’ve been blessed to see a lot of great players – a list including the likes of Ed Reed, Vick King, Ryan Perrilloux, Laron Landry, Jarvis Landry and Phillip Livas. While all of those players were equally great, I do not know that any were more valuable to their respective teams than McGuire was to Vandebilt. He was the heart and soul of the Terriers’ offense, possessing the ability to score a touchdown on any given play within the team’s system. But more important than it all, McGuire also greatly matured and became a powerful leader within the team’s locker room, which enabled him to help lead the team deep in the playoffs.


The Wild, Wild West Award

(Tri-parish’s best gun-slinging quarterback)

Winner: Ellender quarterback Dustin Creppel

What a turnaround the 2012 season was for the Ellender football team. After three-straight winless seasons, the Patriots took a major leap forward this year and won four games. One of the biggest reasons for the team’s improvement was the emergence of Creppel, who was one of Louisiana’s best quarterbacks this season, slinging for well more than 2,000 yards with more than 30 total touchdowns. Only a junior, we fully expect Creppel to take home this award again next season. Heck, we’ll take it a step further and say he is the 2013 preseason favorite to win the award for the Tri-parish MVP (more on this year’s winner later). The Ellender quarterback is one of the best players in our area and it truly is a treat to watch him sling darts every Friday night. With another offseason to improve, there’s no telling how good this kid may be.


The Stretch Armstrong Super-Slash Award

(Tri-parish’s most versatile player)

Winner: Ellender athlete Ralph Singleton

We just talked about how great Creppel was in the past season. One of the reasons for his dominance was Singleton – the quarterback’s right-hand man. We spoke with Singleton in the preseason and he said he had a simple position within the team’s offense – athlete. He was right – he served multiple purposes within the team’s scheme. Singleton was sometimes Ellender’s running back. Other times, he was Ellender’s lead receiver. Regardless of the position, he was the Patriots’ top playmaker this past season. Very few players at the prep level can juggle multiple responsibilities within a depth chart. For most, the burden of playing one position is a lot – much less being asked to have a diverse role within a team. But Singleton made it look easy. For that reason, he is our Stretch Armstrong Super-Slash Award winner. He did everything that the Patriots needed in 2012 and he truly will be a valuable commodity for any college program that makes the decision to invest in his services beyond this season.


The John Chavis Award

(Tri-parish’s top assistant coach)

Winner: South Lafourche offensive coordinator Jared Landrum

This is the inaugural Chavis Award within our awards structure. Congratulations to Coach Landrum for a lop-sided victory. In our area, we are blessed with a lot of quality head coaches and assistant coaches – it’s part of the reason why our teams are as competitive as they are throughout the season. Of that bunch, no one had a larger impact on the 2012 season that the Tarpons’ offensive coordinator. Thanks to his up-tempo, “NASCAR” offense, South Lafourche overwhelmed opponents all year long and averaged 40.7 points per game in the regular season. A lot of the reasons for those numbers were because of Landrum’s play calling prowess. The Tarpons perfectly mixed run and pass throughout the season to keep opponents in check.


The Tri-parish’s Walking Brick Wall Award

(Most dominant defensive playmakers)

Co-winners: South Lafourche defenders Braxton Acosta and Devin Blackwell

For this award, I will quote a good friend of mine who is a member of the chain gang at South Lafourche. During the middle of the season, he said the following regarding the Tarpons’ defensive duo. “They are a bunch of mean boys,” he said. “Most kids are nice. They are just nasty.” Before anyone takes this the wrong way, let me state that Acosta and Blackwell are both high character kids away from the football field – true leaders within their school. But what my friend referenced was accurate. On the field, these two guys were absolute terrors. Never afraid to stick their noses into a pile, Acosta and Blackwell piled up countless tackles and forced multiple turnovers.


The Les Miles, Eat Grass and Take Names Award

(Tri-parish area’s Coach of the Year)

Winner: Vandebilt Catholic head coach Brad Villavaso

This was by-far our most difficult decision in this awards cycle. After narrowing down the field, we had five finalists and they were all worthy of the honor – South Lafourche coach Dennis Skains, Ellender coach Terry Washington, Patterson coach Tommy Minton, last year’s winner and Morgan City coach Brandon Nowlin and Vandebilt Catholic head coach Brad Villavaso. After laying everything on the table, Villavaso earns the top honor because of the deep playoff push the Terriers made. People recognize Villavaso’s name because he’s been around the local prep football scene for a long time. But most forget that this season was his first during his new tenure as the team’s head coach. To push a team to the quarterfinals under those circumstances is amazing and worthy of our top coaching honor, even amidst a deep pool of viable finalists.


The Rookie of the Year Award

(Tri-parish area’s best first-year player)

Winner: H.L. Bourgeois quarterback Jake Broggi

Sure, H.L. Bourgeois wasn’t the greatest football team in the world this past season. But the future in Gray surely appears to be bright. Broggi possesses a big arm and he has a lot of pocket presence. He gets sacked far more than any human being should, but he has the ability to make plays within the team’s deep passing game. The Braves are currently searching for a new coach, so the future of their program is somewhat uncertain. But Broggi is surely one of the bright spots of the team’s upcoming seasons. He’s definitely a solid player.

OK, OK, we’ve handed out all of our awards except one – the big one, the MVP Award. This award is so difficult to hand out each year because we have such a vast array of talented players at so many different positions. The runner-up for this year’s award is Creppel, who truly was a joy to watch this season. Had the Patriots made the playoffs, he would have won the award because in terms of “value,” Creppel is such a huge part of the team’s success.

But because his team failed to reach the field of 32, we’ll go another direction with our most prestigious award.

The Most Valuable Player Award

(Tri-parish’s most valuable player in the 2012 football season)

Winner: Vandebilt quarterback Elijah McGuire

How can anyone go against McGuire with this one? The Vandebilt standout rushed for more than 2,000 yards during the season and was clearly the most dynamic and exciting player to watch in our area. In the team’s regular season finale, McGuire rushed for a mind-boggling 402 yards with five touchdowns. Oh yeah – he was four-of-four passing in that game, too. McGuire is a remarkable athlete who is also a fine young man – he truly deserves this honor. The 2012 Tri-parish football season was memorable in a lot of ways. But when the history books are written, we will look back and remember this year as the Year of Elijah.

Ellender quarterback Dustin Creppel prepares for a pass during a practice this season. The Patriots’ gun slinger won a Casey Award for his passing ability.