by Lee Brecheen
|Lee with Westlake Head Coach Max Caldarera and RB Devin Eaglin|
March 24, 2010 – It’s not every day you get to sit down with a coach that’s been at one high school 32 years like Head Coach Max Caldarera at Westlake HS. I was able to see Jimmy Shaver who’s been at Barbe for over 33 years earlier in the day. Over the years coach Max has been very good about calling us back and giving details about his team for the upcoming season. He’s old school, you can tell, and tough but in a good way. When you meet this man it doesn’t take long to understand these kids respect him, and there’s a whole lot of discipline in the program. You look at the facilities and you see one of the first complexes for football at a high school in Louisiana that looks like a mini version of LSU. I say mini, but I mean not much smaller. The field is turf, and the coach’s office is detailed and laid out for team meetings just like a college for each coach. It’s a public school that the community, you can tell, loves as it should be in today’s day of support for kids.
|Tyler Stoddard – Westlake|
Coach Max told me that he and his staff designed the facility to be built, and that Zachery HS, studied their facility before they built theirs a few years ago. You can tell the two are similar. I met long time assistant coach Jamie Schiro, who’s been with Coach Max Caldarera for over 32 years. How about those apples! He’s a great guy and you can tell a very good coach. Max Caldarera is 2 wins away from 200 in his career, which will be in hand, I predict, early this year. FS Tyler Stoddard (6-3, 185) is a good looking college prospect, who has a great future to play either DI or IAA football. The team will be better in 2010 than in 2009.
|Westlake High School Football Field|
The players were nice, and to tell you the truth I had some of the football players that run track wait for me to get their picture taken then go to a track meet. These are some really good kids, not the biggest guys, but you can tell a whole lot of heart and effort comes out of this program. I would like to thank Coach Max Caldarera for his help with the kids and showing me around the facilities.
Jennings High School
|Lee with Jenning Head Coach Russell Phelps|
I left Baton Rouge about 5:00 AM to head to Jennings high school, and I ended up at the school for 6:30 AM. The only problem with that was I beat the students and teachers to school. However, what was good was I had a chance to see the school in my truck and look around. You can eat off the ground it’s so clean. The school is very new; in fact it’s less than 7 years old, and looks like a school that can hold over 1,500 students easy. Head football coach Russell Phelps who’s been at the school now going on 16 years let me know there are less than 700 kids in the school and its one of the smallest enrollment 3A schools in the state. Head coach Russell Phelps is a very smart guy, and I enjoyed sitting down with him talking about his team before school kicked off in the morning. This is a man that gets the most out of his team every year, with not a lot of big time players to choose from. The team does return a host of Running Backs that combined for over 3,000 yards in 2009. All of these running backs are small in stature but great kids, who are all super quick and give great effort. His son, who is only a freshman in high school and (6-1, 205) in size, could be a Sportscaster if not a coach in 7 years. This kid one day will be a good football player. He knows the game like his dad, so remember the name Peyton Phelps in two years. Also remember the names Bryson Abraham – QB, RB Michael Wilridge, and RB Dovondrick Phillips. These are three kids that will run the ball a lot, and again have a shot at over 3,000 rush yards between the three of them in 2010.
|Bryson Abraham – Jennings|
I talked to coach about some of his top players to come out of the program, and I asked about Alonzo Manuel who played Defensive End for LSU at 6-3, 240, and he told me he works for a big company in Houston, Texas, and is doing very well and that he was proud of him. We talked about former QB from the school, yes, QB Gary Riggs, who played FS at Northwestern State but QB and DB for his old high school Jennings. Gary is 6-3, 220 coach said, and runs about a 4.46 in the forty. Gary has a chance to get drafted but will be in a NFL camp this summer. I would like to thank Head Coach Russell Phelps for helping me with everything at the school, and the kids were very nice to me and good kids. Jennings has a chance to be very good in 2010.