Maason Smith

The thing that stinks the most about the ending of a season is that it’s the final time we get a chance to see outgoing seniors play on our local fields.

You get attached to those young men over the course of their careers. You follow them on social media, you see the ins and outs of what’s going on in their lives and you really get to know a lot about their lives — while also sometimes even making friends with their parents or relatives.

But the good thing about the departures are that there’s always a new batch of players ready to come in and take their place.

So let’s take a lot at some of the best of the best who are coming back and who will make a name for themselves next fall.

Please note — this isn’t intended to be a recruiting ranking list or anything.

These are just young men I, myself, will be following in the next year.

5 to Watch in 2020

1. South Terrebonne quarterback Christian Arceneaux - It’s so weird for me to be sitting here talking about the big, tall, pocket-passing South Terrebonne quarterback. But that’s where we are right now, as Arceneaux took the job in the back-end of 2019 and never let it go. In fact, he actually set some passing records at the traditionally run-heavy program. The future for Arceneaux is bright. He’s big, tall, has a powerful arm and has pretty good mechanics. But he’s also a competitor. If he needs to pick up a few yards, he’s not going to slide. He’s going to lower his shoulder and may the chips fall where they may. I don’t know what the Gators’ offense will look like next fall, but I think their Wing T will continue to evolve.

2. Terrebonne defensive lineman Maason Smith - Maason (yes, two A’s) is literally one of the best players in the entire country, so to have any list without him for 2020 locally feels like it’d be invalid. Maason amazes me because sure, he’s huge — a monster amongst men. But he also moves like a man far smaller than his size. The young man attacks opposing offenses and finds ways to make plays — even while opponents avoid him like the plague. He’s going to have a big, big year in 2020, and I think Terrebonne is going to get creative in how they use him. Will we see packages where he’s a lead blocker on offense? I’d surely think so. Will we see him do some creative things defensively? I’d think so. Will we see some of the most famous coaches in the sport coming to Houma to check in on him? That’s a certainty.

3. South Lafourche fullback Derin Doucet - Derin Doucet is a tough kid. Heck, he has a lot of skins on his wall already in his athletic career — even while still being just a sophomore. As a baseball player, Derin was a starting player at the varsity level as a freshman, and he played in a home playoff game. As a sophomore in football, he was the starting fullback for a triple option offense — arguably the most important position on the field in that offense. Derin got better as the season went on and made a huge impact. He’s a big part of why South Lafourche fans are excited about next season — and rightfully so.

4. Ellender athlete Tyshaun Hester - Look, I admittedly never got a chance to see Hester play in 2019 with my own eyes. He got injured and was lost for the season before I had a chance to see him play. But several people I trust say this kid is a big-time player, and I can’t wait to see what he does as a senior next fall. Hester was Mr. Everything for Ellender while healthy. He played some quarterback, halfback, receiver, defensive back — it all. He excelled in all of those roles, and was easily the team’s top playmaker. When he went out, the team was never the same. With him back, the Patriots will be explosive and competitive.

5. Thibodaux quarterback Luke Alleman - This was was easy for me. Alleman is worth the price of admission every, single Friday night. The dude is just a competitor. He makes plays with his arm and his legs and does whatever he has to do to help Thibodaux win. Some of his playmakers are graduating, but the cupboard will not be bare. And heck, even if it is, I know that the Tigers will have chances to win and compete as long as this kid is under center. He’s one terrific football player. And from what I can tell, he seems to be a really good kid, too.

Follow Casey on Twitter for more.

Casey Gisclair is the Sports Editor at Rushing Media. A native of Cut Off and graduate of Louisiana State University, Casey is a lifelong sports fan who joined the Houma Times team in Dec. 2009 upon college graduation.

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