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Bunkie Head Coach Nick Pujol is grateful for coaching at his alma mater and is ready to lead the Panthers for his fourth season in 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Bunkie Panther Club)

Bunkie’s Very Own Nick Pujol Continues To Give Back To His Community As Head Coach

Bunkie’s Very Own Nick Pujol Continues To Give Back To His Community As Head Coach

by Jace LeJeune

Bunkie Head Coach Nick Pujol (Photo courtesy of the Bunkie Panther Club)

Current Bunkie High School Head Coach Nick Pujol has enjoyed the game of football as long as he can remember.

“Ever since I was a kid, I can remember football being a big part of my life,” Pujol said. “I can always remember waking up on Saturday mornings to go to LSU football games.”

However, it was playing at Bunkie High School that actually gave him the tools that he needed in order to be in the position that he is in today.

“I played at Bunkie High School for four years,” Pujol said. “I played four sports during that time. I never was the most talented guy, but I really gravitated to the X’s and O’s, and that really helped me.”

Not only was it his experience of playing football that helped him develop his football I.Q., but it was his high school head coach that helped him go into the coaching profession.

“My high school coach Gregg Hudson was a big influence in my coaching career,” Pujol said. “He was the head coach at Bunkie from 1997 to about 2004. Then, he coached at other places including St. Martinville High School and Fontainebleau High School.”

Even though Pujol considered coaching, it seemed to be just an afterthought for Pujol, who attended LSU to become an athletic trainer.

“Really, I was just going with the flow,” Pujol said. “I attended LSU and became a student trainer. When I graduated, I worked at my family’s company for a while and then soon after, I became an assistant coach at Bunkie. Three years later, the head coaching job at Bunkie became available and I applied for it.”

Then, the rest of it is history as Pujol was named Head Football Coach at Bunkie High School on May 26th, 2016. For Pujol, his biggest goal is to bring stability to the program as the team had to make its fourth different head coaching hire in four years. Well, that goal has already been accomplished as Pujol has just finished his third season at the school. In his first season, the Panthers made the Class 2A playoffs with a 4-7 record. In 2017, the team once again made the playoffs with a 3-8 record ultimately losing in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs to the Amite Warriors. Last season, the Panthers have had another playoff season and finished the season at 4-7 losing to the Kinder Yellow Jackets in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs.

Considering that the Panthers are not considered a powerhouse program like many others and that they do not produce as much college players as other teams, Pujol encourages his team to embrace the tough competition.

“I really glad that Many High School is playing in our district,” Pujol said. “I enjoy playing them because I get to show the kids what it is like to face an elite program. It gives you something to shoot for or build on. Playing programs like that and being competitive with them puts you in the right direction.”

The right direction is what Coach Pujol is trying to put his team for the 2019 season. After finishing 4-7 last season, there is plenty of optimism for this upcoming season to be one of the best since he started his tenure.

“Last year, we had a lot of turnover,” Pujol said. “We had to play a lot of sophomores and freshmen so we had some growing pains. The good news is that we return everybody. We really look to our skill guys to be leaders. We won’t be big because we lost a lot of our linemen, but we will be a team that has experience. Like in years past, we will be a team that competes for an entire four quarters and we will do so by controlling the tempo of the game by running the football and playing good defense.”

Some of the players Pujol are going to rely on for this season are junior QB Graham Rebouche, who started under center last season, junior RB/DB Lataj’drick Howard, and sophomore RB/LB Hayden Sauseda, who led the team in tackles last season. He is looking for those players to step up like some of the top players he has coached as either an assistant or as the head coach at Bunkie.

Jaylen Mays and Tyler Marks are two of the best players I have coached at Bunkie,” Pujol said. “Mays was a dynamic player for us as both a quarterback and as a defensive back. He was a dynamic player, but he had to miss his junior year because of suffering a gunshot wound. It was incredible to see him fight through that, come back, and have the season he had. Then, there is Marks, who was a two way player for us. He was small for his position, but he stood out to not only us, but the rest of the opposing coaches that we played against. He was an impact player.”

Coach Pujol is looking for those type of guys to help Bunkie take the next step as a program and for Pujol, he would like nothing more than to see this program succeed.

“I have been very fortunate,” Pujol said. “The principal has graduated with me and everybody here is very close. The fans here are phenomenal. We are going to try to keep the pride here. Everything is going well, and we are going to give it our best shot this upcoming season.”

 

Hey football fans. Like our recruiting interviews, stories, and other content on our website? Click on our website daily to view articles on recruits, coaches, and so much more at our website: http://lafootballmagazine.com/. Also, we have exciting news that for the second straight year, we will have our North and South LA issues and both are now out! Both issues will continue to cover all the Louisiana colleges as well as all the high schools in state, but there will be 16 pages that will focus on North Louisiana as well as South Louisiana. For more information, please check the following link to where you can find the magazine in a store near you. Also, below are the two covers as well as where you can order both magazines on our website.

Stores Link: http://lafootballmagazine.com/news/c48-recruiting/2018-louisiana-football-magazine-north-and-south-editions-now-available-in-stores-near-you/ 

North Cover:                                                                       South Cover:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

North Link: http://lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2018-annual-preview-north-edition/
South Link: http://lafootballmagazine.com/product/la-football-magazine-2018-annual-preview-south-edition/

About Jace LeJeune

Jace is from Addis, LA but resides in Port Allen, LA. Jace attends Southeastern Louisiana University and is majoring in Journalism. This is Jace's third year as Associate Editor at Louisiana Football Magazine. He is also a graduate from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge where he was the editor of the school newspaper the “Bearly Published.” While at CHS, Jace also announced their football, basketball, and baseball games for the Bruin Broadcast Network which is the Catholic High’s streaming website for their events. On weekends, Jace is the PA announcer for his middle school football games. At home, Jace enjoys time with his family and friends. Besides being a huge football fan, Jace is also an avid NHRA drag racing fan.