The St. Paul’s Wolves Try To End The 2018 Season On A Strong Note Sending Their Seniors To The Collegiate Level
by Jace LeJeune
Under longtime Head Coach Ken Sears, the St. Paul’s Wolves have been one of the most consistent programs in the state. From 2008 to 2016, the Wolves have clinched their district championship every season except for two seasons. Also, the Wolves have done a really good job of sending their players to the next level. As far as standards go for the program, the Wolves have had better seasons, but still posted a respectable 5-6 record losing in the first round of the playoffs to another good football program in the Jesuit Blue Jays for the 2018 season. In the first national signing day period, there were three seniors that ended up signing with a college. Those seniors were OG/OT Owen Hnatyshyn, DB Robert Buquoi, and WR Jakob Yancey. Today, Coach Sears got the chance to talk to us about those three seniors, how they contributed to the program, and what to expect from them at their new schools. Also, below, we have the players commenting on why they chose those particular schools. Then, finally, Louisiana Football Magazine’s recruiting guru Lee Brecheen gives his analysis on some of the senior players.
OG/OT Owen Hnatyshyn (6-5, 300)
- Signed With Indiana Wesleyan University
- Bio: OG/OT Owen Hnatyshyn has been the leader and captain of the offensive line over the last couple of seasons. It also helps to have an offensive lineman that wants to go into broadcast journalism as a player to be a leader and communicate with other teammates. Hnatyshyn has received a lot of respect between his coaches and others by earning a letter all four years with the school, being named All-District Honorable Mention as a sophomore, 2nd Team All-District as a junior, and 1st Team All-Parish as a senior. When the football season is over, Hnatyshyn likes to coyote and rabbit hunt as well as riding four wheelers and most importantly, contributing on the St. Paul’s varsity baseball team. He believes that his biggest strengths are his knowledge of the game, his feet, and his length. Hnatyshyn wants to thank Coach Sears, Coach Jeff Drivon, and especially Coach Joe Dickens for helping him get where he is at today.
- Owen Hnatyshyn: “Well, I chose Indiana Wesleyan University because it is a Christian University and I was looking for a place that I didn’t have to sacrifice God to play football. Also, the coaching staff is very similar to St. Paul’s in the fact that they care extra for their players and they will do anything for them. The education is top notch there especially for the field I want to go into, which is Broadcast Journalism. Lastly, when I went on my official visit during their season, I hung out with some guys on the team and they were the nicest group of guys I’ve ever met. I knew I would be in good hands around them and I could learn a lot from them.”
- Lee Brecheen: “Owen Hnatyshyn looks the part of an offensive tackle. He would be a good get for a I-AA or a D-II.”
- Coach Ken Sears: “I think that Indiana Wesleyan is a good fit for Owen. Owen is a type of kid that could have gone to a bigger school, but he is really big into communication and wants to become a sportscaster. Their school has an excellent sportscasting program. As a player, Owen has great hands, great feet, and could have a great playing career over there.”
DB Robert Buquoi (6-2, 195)
- Signed With Southeastern Louisiana University
- Bio: DB Robert Buquoi has been one of the best defenders for the Wolves especially in the secondary over his four years there. It has been a good high school career for the versatile defensive back and three year starter posting 171 career tackles, five interceptions, and three fumble recoveries. Buquoi believes that playing with emotion and pride will be his biggest strength when he comes to Southeastern. While at Southeastern, Buquoi wants to work hard, make an impact as a freshman, and make a name for himself. What he is going to miss most playing for St. Paul’s is playing under Coach Sears and playing with his teammates on Friday Nights. For him, it will always be the greatest days of his life.
- Robert Buquoi: “Southeastern was a place that I felt like I would succeed both on and off the field. The relationship I built with every single one of their coaches had a huge impact on me, and made me feel comfortable there. Coach Frank Scelfo is paving the way to a championship and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
- Lee Brecheen: “Robert Buquoi looks the part, but just needs to be a little more aggressive consistently. Buquoi runs good and has the frame, but needs to be more of a hitter. However, he is a really gifted athlete with 4.6/40 speed.”
- Coach Ken Sears: “Robert had a great year for us. He led the team in interceptions and I want to say that he ran a touchdown back for us as well. He is tall, rangy, and during the part of the year that we gotten a little beaten up, we put him at corner and he did a fantastic job.”
WR Jakob Yancey (5-10, 180)
- Signed With Rhodes College
- Bio: Jakob Yancey is a really good athlete that is also one of the Wolves’ standout baseball players. This season, he had a breakout season as one of the leading receivers for fellow senior quarterback Jack Mashburn. Yancey has signed with Rhodes College in the early National Signing Day period.
- Coach Ken Sears: “Jakob played in the slot for us and did a great job for us this season. I am glad that he was able to get his opportunity with Rhodes. I feel like that he can get a lot better as a football and I think that overall, Rhodes has got themselves a really good player. I think that is a great fit for him.”
Coming Up: Although, there are three seniors that signed already. There could be two more seniors that also have a chance to play football at the next level. They are Jack Mashburn and Nick Stanton. Those two seniors were on the cover of the South Louisiana Football Magazine Preview Edition. According to Brecheen and Coach Sears, both players have opportunities to play at the college level and could announce their decisions once February hits.
QB Jack Mashburn (6-3, 210)
- Has received offers from the University of Incarnate Word, Lamar University, and the University of Arkansas Monticello as well as a preferred walk-on offer from ULL.
- Jack Mashburn was a one time receiver, but once he overtook the starting quarterback job at St. Paul’s, the rest was history. In only a two year span, Mashburn has had 4,521 career yards from scrimmage including over 3,000 passing yards, 1,000 rushing yards, 300 receiving yards, and also 36 combined touchdowns. Mashburn was also awarded 1st Team All-District, Outstanding Offensive Player for the Clarion Herald’s Elite Football Team, All-Parish, Times Picayune All-Metro Football Large School Finalist, and Academic All-State. Mashburn is going to miss the brotherhood that he had with his teammates while at St. Paul’s. He believes that his ability to run and throw equally will be beneficial for the college team he chooses. In speaking of the college team he chooses out of the three scholarship offers and the preferred walk-on offer, Mashburn gave his thoughts on what program that he will decide to go with in the end.
- Jack Mashburn: “Things that I look for when looking into a program is how well I fit into their system and to be at a place that I enjoy and feel comfortable at.”
- Lee Brecheen: “I think Jack Mashburn is a DI player,” Brecheen said. “However, it looks like he is going to fall DI or I-AA. He is a big time late bloomer that did not play much until late his junior year. He is tall, has a cannon arm, and I think he can develop into a great quarterback. He has got great feet in the pocket and it shows from his days playing wide receiver. Playing that position has helped him become more athletic. I think he is a better quarterback than Kenny Sears (Northwestern State) was and that is Coach’s son. I think he would agree, but I think he is the best St. Paul’s passing quarterback since I have been doing this.”
- Coach Ken Sears: “After he got the starting quarterback job, he just got better each and every week. You could see the progression from the summer. He did a fantastic job and has a great skill set. Quarterback may not be the only position that he could play at the next level. He could also play wide receiver, tight end, and maybe even become a defensive player. I know he will sign somewhere hopefully as a quarterback, but his skill set will fit somewhere.”
WR/TE Nick Stanton (6-4, 200)
- Has received offers from Tufts University, Florida Tech, Wabash, and Louisiana College.
- Bio: The big 6-4, 200 pound senior receiver Nick Stanton has been a favorite target of Mashburn and the stats prove it as he had 78 receptions for 1,082 yards and eight touchdowns over his career. Stanton also has been named 2nd Team All-District, All-Parish, and All-District Honorable Mention as a junior, and St. Paul’s Athlete of the Year as a freshman. What Stanton is going to miss most about playing football at St. Paul’s is his teammates and just playing in the atmosphere of Hunter Stadium on Friday nights. Stanton is also a member of the St. Paul’s varsity basketball team and he brings that rebounding ability to catch jump balls on the gridiron. When he is not playing football, he is usually playing basketball, hanging out with family and friends, playing Xbox, fishing, or traveling. When his football career is eventually over, he wants to help take over his father’s business along with his brother. Stanton also revealed about what he looks at when he is choosing a program.
- Nick Stanton: “I definitely look at the education part of it first and then the location of the school. Then, of course, I look at the football side of it and tuition.”
- Lee Brecheen: “Nick Stanton will need to work on his foot speed just a little bit to stay at wideout because right now, he is about at 6-4, 200 pounds or he can gain some weight and become a tight end. He is a very good athlete with good hands. He is the kind of guy that could go to a Northwestern State or a Southeastern, gain 20 pounds, and become a starter at tight end.”
At the conclusion of the second signing period, the Wolves’ coaching staff is very optimistic about sending two more seniors to the collegiate level. It comes to show you what Coach Sears has done with the program over the last 20 years and where the program is headed for the next 20 years.
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