The Bayou Bengals’ Breaux Bridge Connection
by Dylan Brossette (Special to ESPN 1420)
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the sun will soon find its home in the western sky, and it will be Saturday night in Death Valley.”
OK, so admittedly it was too overcast during yesterday’s snoozer of a ballgame between the LSU Tigers and ULM Warhawks for the greatest announcement in all of sports to ring out in the new and (awe inspiringly) improved Tiger Stadium, but I was more than elated nonetheless to be back in the venue which houses the closest thing you’ll get to a religious experience outside of church in this state: LSU football.
This was, of course, one of those obligatory “money games” that the bigger programs play early in the year, so I wasn’t expecting a fireworks show; the Tigers did not surprise me. They blandly ran the ball for most of the evening and kept the pesky Warhawks in check on their way to an easy victory.
One thing about this LSU team intrigued me, however, as I sat in the renovated end zone, head resting in my hands during the fourth quarter: How come the Breaux Bridge Tigers have not won a state title in the last five years? Confused? I’ll elaborate.
The LSU Tigers’ main target in the passing game right now is a young man named Travin Dural. Perhaps you’ve seen his highlights on ESPN, where he catches a long bomb and glides away from defenders like he entered a cheat code for extra speed. During Dural’s tenure with the prep version of the Tigers, all he did was torch defensive backs to the tune of 74 catches, 1,438 and 28 touchdowns. He was a four-star recruit coming out of high school -- rightfully so. Stay with me; there’s more.
That linebacker you’ve seen hurling himself into opposing defenders like a kamikaze, that’s Lamar Louis. Yet another Breaux Bridge product, Louis was a linebacker and fullback during his days in maroon and white. He has stellar speed for a defender, and was a nightmare to block on edge rushes.
As if Louis wasn’t enough for high school linemen’s nightmares, we’re going to toss in 6’3”, 290 pound Quentin Thomas, a defensive end for Breaux Bridge. Thomas may have missed his senior season in 2010 because of knee problems, but what is even scarier is that LSU needed to see only three seasons of his abilities to decide he was SEC-caliber. Let that sink in while we talk about one more young man.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Kavahra Holmes, the cornerback with blazing speed who returned home to the Cajuns over the summer after two seasons with the Tigers. He was a member of Team USA running the 400-meter dash, and also claims the Louisiana state record in that event at 46.8 seconds. If you don’t know, that’s really fast. He was a wide out and corner as a BB Tiger.
So, we’ve now established that between 2008 and 2012, Breaux Bridge had at least four SEC-caliber players suiting up. Big deal, that’s not a whole team. Consider this, though. There’s a larger portion of prep players who never see a down of football post-graduation than there are players who will go on to collegeiate teams. Of that large population, a great number of them will have been at least decent athletes. I’ve spent a great deal of time at Breaux Bridge games and I can tell you one thing: there are not many “decent athletes” there. There are a ton of “phenomenal athletes.”
That brings me back to my original dilemma. Perched in the stands high above the chaos playing out on the turf far beneath me, I rolled the question around over and over. How come Breaux Bridge has not won a state title since… wait, have they ever won a football title? I need to look into this. Is it coaching? No, Paul Broussard does a wonderful job. Scheduling? Perhaps. Poor luck of the draw when they were seeded for playoff brackets? It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened to a team.
I don’t know the answer. I don’t know if any current or past BB Tigers do either. It is a Scooby-Doo-esque type of mystery that needs solving, though. That town is churning out D-I athletes at an alarming pace and they need – no -- they deserve a title to validate that level of skill.
What were your thoughts on LSU’s 31-0 win over ULM. Why do you think Breaux Bridge has never hoisted a football state title trophy? Sound off below!