It has been a respectable year for the Catholic Pointe CoupÃ©e Hornets in 2020.
Finishing with an overall record of 7-3, Catholic ends his season in the playoff quarterfinals with a loss to state runner-up Calvary Baptist, 48-16.
The biggest intrigue for this year’s squad will undoubtedly be how they fare without two-way star and LSU signatory Matthew Langlois. Head coach Vinnie Bullara called Langlois “arguably the greatest player in school history.”
Langlois was a big factor in attack and defense. He racked up stats on both sides of the ball, rushing for 1,340 yards and 27 offensive touchdowns and racking up 68 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 12 assists defended and 4.0 sacks in defense.
While Catholics will regret Langlois’ contributions to the field, the Hornets will seek to prove that they are capable of supporting a winning culture. âThis team also seems to be developing a big chip on their shoulder as they are tired of hearing that the loss of Matthew Langlois means the end of success,â Bullara said.
Catholic will also go ahead without three-year-old starting quarterback Aiden Vosberg, offensive lineman Andrew Bonaventure and linebacker Spencer Lacoste. However, Pointe CoupÃ©e’s closet is not empty.
“We expect to be pretty strong on both sides of the ball because the majority of our starters had a lot of playing reps last year as young players,” Bullara said.
This year’s senior class is a small class for the Hornets, so some younger players will need to step up. The lack of age of this team is partly compensated by experience, as many subclasses have had playing time in the past.
A player who should see a lot more offensive touches this year will be senior back Hunter Beard (5’10 “, 195). Last year he carried the ball 99 times for 519 yards and eight touchdowns. The beard is It’s also a key part of their defense; last year he totaled 51 tackles since being a linebacker.
Another player Bullara will be looking to take a leadership position in this squad will be Andrew Jewell (6’1 ”, 185), senior running back and defensive back. Like Beard, Jewell will have to take more offensive touches due to the loss of Langlois. Jewell carried the ball 45 times for 313 yards and 6 touchdowns during the 2020 season. In defense, he was a key contributor, ending the year with 63 total tackles and a pair of interceptions.
The Hornets are relying heavily on their rushed offense, attempting just 38 assists in 10 games last year. That’s why another player who will have to produce is junior running back Landon Frey (5’10 â, 175).
The flexbone offense is an optional running-intensive attack, which makes more than one running back critical to his success. Frey had 11 carries for 45 yards in 2020. Where he really shone last year was in defense with 64 total tackles and 3.0 sacks from his outside linebacker position.
Junior offensive and defensive lineman Matthew Morrison (6’0 ”, 225) will anchor the midfield of the offensive line from center position and be on the edge to rush the passer to the defensive end.
Catholic has five returning starters on offense and only three on defense, so they will be looking to build chemistry and confidence between themselves and the coaches ahead of the season.
âWhile we will have a good number of new starters, these are not guys who have never seen game action before,â noted Bullara.
The Hornets begin the 2021 season with five out of district games starting with their first road game against the Livonia Wildcats. Their next four opponents will be Ascension Episcopal at home, St. Martin’s Episcopal on the away, Kinder at home and Episcopal on the away.
The neighborhood game begins with a trip to Ville Platte to face off against the Trojans of the Sacred Heart. Tensions could be high as the Catholics beat SacrÃ©-Coeur once in the regular season, 28-22, then bounced the Trojans out of the playoffs, 42-6.
Week 7 includes another road game against the Catholic Vikings of Opelousas. Last year’s game was called off due to complications with COVID-19, so the two teams will be looking to rekindle that rivalry.
The final match of Catholic’s four road games will take place at Opelousas, where Westminster Academy awaits. Last season, the Hornets faced the Crusaders, 49-7, on their home turf.
The North Central Hurricanes, who won’t just be looking to avenge last season’s 43-0 loss in a winless 2020 season, will surrender in Week 9. The Hurricanes allowed at least 40 points in every game last year.
Catholic’s final regular season game will be against the St. Edmund Blue Jays. Last year’s game, a hotly contested competition, was won by the Hornets, 35-21.
Life without Matthew Langlois leaves many wondering whether Catholics will sink or swim against their competition this year. Substituting over 1,600 versatile yards and his playmaking ability in defense won’t be easy, but the confidence Bullara has in his young team speaks volumes for his expectations for this season. After all, the Hornets are only two years away from an appearance in a state title game, so it’s not out of the question or character for this program to make a late playoff run.
Click here for more CCS Prep Football team previews (including archives of last season’s preview).