Erath High's Mitchell voted top offensive player in Class 3A
Erath High's Elijah Mitchell
When you think of a combination of power and speed, you think of Erath High’s Elijah Mitchell.
Mitchell, who was voted the Class 3A Player of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers, had some impressive numbers in 2016. They were so impressive that he led the state in rushing at the end of the regular season with 2,358 yards and 38 touchdowns on 227 carries.
The 6-foot, 215-pound senior also rushed for over 200 yards in both of Erath’s playoff games and is committed to Louisiana-Lafayette.
Mitchell is the first Erath football player to be selected as a first team all-state running back. The last Erath football players selected first team all-state were Derrick Fourroux (Quarterback) and Matt Domingue (Wide Receiver) in 2004.
Also landing on the Class 3A All-State Team from Vermilion were Kaplan’s Jerrick Romero (5-9, 240, Sr.) as an offensive lineman and Kaplan’s Julius Johnson (5-10, 193, Sr.) at linebacker.
The team that handed the Kaplan Pirates (13-1) its only loss of 2016 were the Amite Warriors, who reached the Class 3A finals.
Amite High coach Zephaniah Powell didn’t get the finish he was looking for in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Powell narrowly missed his first state title.
The Warriors lost 40-36 to back-to-back champion Lutcher 40-36 in the title game. However, Amite’s second-year coach earned his first Coach of the Year award from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Powell, Erath running back Elijah Mitchell and De La Salle linebacker Josh Paul lead the LSWA’s Class 3A All-State football team selected by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.
Amite’s Powell guided the Warriors through trying times to reach the Class 3A title game. The Amite area was hit hard by the historic floods in August just before the start of the 2016 season but the Warriors still finished with an 11-4 record, which includes a Week 1 forfeit stemming from LHSAA sanctions in 2015.
Amite was forced to forfeit its semifinal appearance in 2015 due to a brawl in the quarterfinals but Powell and the seventh-seeded Warriors responded this year with quarterfinal and semifinal wins over the No. 2 and 3 seeds on the road.
De La Salle’s Paul was voted the Outstanding Defensive Player after helping the Cavaliers to an 11-1 record and an appearance in the Division II semifinals. Paul finished the season with 74 tackles including nine for loss, one blocked punt, and two interceptions with two forced fumbles while recovering one fumble for a touchdown.
Lutcher’s Jontre Kirklin defended his spot at quarterback on the Class 3A. Kirklin accounted for 493 yards with four touchdowns in Lutcher’s win over Amite in the title game and 233 of those yards came on 30 carries.
Kirklin was joined on offense by teammate Al’Dontre Davis, Amite’s DeVonta Smith and Berwick’s Kenan Jones at the receiver positions. West Feliciana’s Davon Harris and Jennings’ Travis Etienne, the LSWA’s 2015 Outstanding Offensive Player who rushed for over 2,000 yards for the second straight season, were the other running backs. Harris led West Feliciana to the 3A semifinals.
Along the offensive line, Class 3A’s top five players included Marksville’s Nehemayeaux Smith, Kaplan’s Jerrick Romero, West Feliciana’s Jacob Fudge, University High’s Prince Pines and Parkview Baptist’s Will Teague.
St. Louis’ Adam Ieyoub is the Class 3A kicker and De La Salle’s Julien Gums was voted as the athlete.
On defense, lineman include returning All-Stater Ishmael Sopsher of Amite, Marksville’s Shawn Williams, De La Salle’s Jamiran James and Iowa’s Mark Mayes. In addition to Paul at linebacker, the position was also occupied by Kaplan’s Julius Johnson, Lutcher’s Rashaun Preston and Parkview Baptist’s Xavier Davis.
In the secondary, selections included Iowa’s Darius Daniels, Lutcher’s Dylan Recotta, Parkview Baptist’s Trent Kavanaugh and Marksville’s Qway Mingo. Winnfield’s Shelby Creel is the Class 3A punter and Iowa’s Andre Sam is the kick returner.
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl.
WR DeVonta Smith Amite 6-1 160 Sr.
WR Al’Dontre Davis Lutcher 6-0 200 Sr.
WR Kenan Jones Berwick 6-4 210 Jr.
OL Nehema. Smith Marksville 6-4 295 Sr.
OL Jerrick Romero Kaplan 5-9 240 Sr.
OL Jacob Fudge West Fel. 6-2 250 Jr.
OL Prince Pines University 6-4 310 Jr.
OL Will Teague Parkview 6-1 225 Sr.
QB Jontre Kirklin Lutcher 6-0 170 Sr.
RB Travis Etienne Jennings 5-11 195 Sr.
RB Elijah Mitchell Erath 6-0 215 Sr.
RB Davon Harris West Feliciana 5-8 165 Jr.
PK Adam Ieyoub St. Louis 5-8 180 Jr.
ATH Julien Gums De Le Salle 5-11 212 Jr.
Pos. Player School Ht. Wt. Cl.
DL Ishmael Sopsher Amite 6-5 280 So.
DL Shawn Williams Marksville 6-0 235 Jr.
DL Jamiran James De La Salle 6-2 276 Jr.
DL Mark Mayes Iowa Sr. 6-3 290 Sr.
LB Josh Paul De La Salle 6-2 215 Sr.
LB Julius Johnson Kaplan 5-10 193 Sr.
LB Rashaun Preston Lutcher 5-11 190 Sr.
LB Xavier Davis Parkview 5-9 210 Sr.
DB Darius Daniels Iowa 6-0 180 Jr.
DB Dylan Recotta Lutcher 5-10 170 Sr.
DB Trent Kavanaugh Parkview 6-1 215 Sr.
DB Qway Mingo Marksville 5-8 155 Sr.
P Shelby Creel Winnfield 6-0 175 Sr.
KR Andre Sam Iowa 6-2 175 Sr.
OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER: ELIJAH MITCHELL, ERATH
OUTSTANDNG DEFENSIVE PLAYER: JOSH PAUL, DE LA SALLE
COACH OF THE YEAR: ZEPHANIAH POWELL, AMITE
HONORABLE MENTION: Nijul Canada, Mansfield; Devonta Lee, Amite; Jaray Jenkins, Jena; Cornell Holmes, Lusher; Jason Dumas, St. James; Parker Fink, Jena; Paul Rogers, Independence; DJ Hardwick, South Beauregard; Elijah Walker, Amite; Ethan Stansell, Loyola; Kamryn Mayers, Albany; Bruce Price, Peabody; Stephen Jackson, Independence; Jamar Washington, Peabody; Derek Turner, West Feliciana; Curtlan Johnson, St. James; Craig Walker, Jena; Jacovian Phillips, Jewel Sumner; ZeAndre Ballard, Marksville; Braylon Victor, Iowa; Marshall Laroque, South Beauregard; Gaige Willis, Northwest; Dontaze Costly, St. James; Kaleb Guillory, Iota; Matthew Rideau, Northwest; Hunter Smith, West Feliciana; Jaquan Lee, Jewel Sumner; Cheyenne Labruzza, Albany; K.D. Willis, Peabody; Juantravious Jones, Marksville; Myron Dokes, Amite; Eli Poche, Lusher; Danquan Edwards, De La Salle; Jeremiah James, De La Salle; Tylin Warden, South Beauregard; DB Joel Whaley, South Beauregard; August Pitre, Northwest; Mac Thibeaux, Kaplan; Josh Carver, Berwick; Mitchell Sanford, Berwick; D.J. Robicheaux, Berwick.