by Reagan Tucker
December 2, 2009 – With only a single win, the Fontainebleau Bulldogs didn’t quite have the season they had hoped for; and for the graduating players, it was less than ideal. However, after sitting down with three of the seniors, it was clear that they had not been deterred, and their spirits were not crushed as many might assume.
Justin Church, who stands 6’5, 210, never worried about proving his placement as Defensive End, but he certainly always had the drive to play his position to his greatest ability. “Coming into my junior year, I wasn’t that good of a player. But I kept working at it, and you just have to give it your all. Never give up, even if you think you aren’t going to succeed.” Despite the Bulldog’s losing streak, Church says that he worked hard to enhearten his fellow teammates. “I always try to get others motivated, and get everyone fired up to play. I try to be the best leader I can be, on the field and in class.” Perhaps his leadership quality can be attributed to his own accessibility to a player to look up to. His older brother, Logan Church, played quarterback for the Bulldogs until he graduated two years ago. Church is not only a leader on the field and in the classroom, but in the community as well. This coming summer, he is traveling to Mexico City on a mission trip with his church. He says that he didn’t let the losses diminish his spirit, as evidenced by his impressive 65 tackles and 13 sacks this season. He has also already begun to work out in preparation for next football season.
Defensive end Scott Korte, 6’4, 230, follows not only in the footsteps of his father, former University of Arkansas and Saints player, Steve Korte; but also in those of his older brother Steven Korte, former Fontainebleau High School and LSU fullback. Scott Korte is very at home as Defensive End, describing the position as “The perfect combination of athleticism and speed.” Like Babin and Church, he didn’t let their dismal season discourage him. With 53 total tackles, 5 batted balls, and 3 caused fumbles, Korte says his strategy is to “Play hard and be relentless. Don’t let anything bother you, don’t let adversity get in the way of anything.” With the recent family tragedy of losing his older brother Shane Korte in January, he is the personification of perseverance. He says Shane’s memory serves as his inspiration. “This year I dedicated everything I did – in the weight room, and on and off the field – it was all dedicated to his memory. That was definitely my motivation.” Korte also says that the coaches at Fontainebleau have taught he and his team not only about football, but they have given them lessons on life too, teaching them to keep pushing ahead and to give it their all, in every arena of their lives.
Babin, Church, and Korte all plan to attend college after they graduate and to continue playing football. If their sportsmanship, talent, and determination to excel and thrive serve as indicators of where their futures might lead, we can be sure that this isn’t the last we will hear of them.
Of the players, Head Coach Mike Matherne says, “When you want them to do something, they work at it. And they’re good at it.” Of the 2009 season, he says, “We lost a lot of close games. I’m hoping it’s a learning experience for them.” If their testimony is any proof, it certainly was.