Traditionally, the Bossier Press-Tribune has selected an offensive and defensive MVP on the All-Parish football team. Occasionally, there have been co-MVPs.
This season, there were too many outstanding individual performances to honor just two or even three players.
So if you look on Page 18 of the Wednesday, Dec. 30, print edition of The Press-Tribune, you’ll see five MVPs. That’s right, five.
Three are from Parkway, arguably the second best team in the state in Class 5A this season. They are senior quarterback Keondre Wudtee, senior running back/receiver CJ Morgan and senior defensive back Lloyd Cole.
The trio helped the Panthers go 9-1 in the regular season and share the District 1-5A title with Evangel Christian Academy and Byrd. Parkway advanced to the semifinals of the playoffs before losing to No. 2 seed and eventual state champion Zachary 41-27.
The 14-point margin was Zachary’s closest game in the playoffs and it was a one-touchdown game until late in the fourth quarter. The Broncos routed John Ehret 46-12 in the state championship game.
Wudtee, who has reopened his recruiting after verbally committing to Louisiana Tech, completed 192 of 321 passes for 3,466 yards and 34 touchdowns with 12 interceptions in 14 games. He also rushed for 401 yards on 87 carries and scored five TDs.
Morgan, who is enrolling at Mississippi State in January, rushed for 685 yards and scored nine touchdowns. He also caught 39 passes for 753 yards and 10 TDs.
Morgan made many big plays. One of the biggest came in the second game of the season against Bastrop when he fought his way into the end zone after catching a pass in the final seconds to lift the Panthers to a 57-56 victory.
Cole led the Panthers with 66 solo tackles and 70 assists. He defended nine passes and returned an interception for a touchdown. Parkway’s first-team defense allowed just one touchdown in the final six games of the regular season.
The other two MVPs are Benton sophomore quarterback Garrett Hable and Plain Dealing junior receiver/quarterback/defensive back Keldrick Carper.
Hable led Benton to the District 1-4A championship for the second straight season. But unlike 2014, this time the Tigers ran the table and didn’t have to share it with anyone. Benton went 9-1 in the regular season and finished 10-2 after losing to McDonogh 35 in the second round of the playoffs.
Hable completed 210 of 398 passes for 2,409 yards and 24 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in 12 games. He also rushed for 240 yards on 56 carries and scored five touchdowns.
Hable had one of the best performances in school history in Benton’s only regular-season loss, completing 30 of 54 passes for 445 yards and five TDs against Natchitoches Central.
Carper showed why he is considered one of the state’s top college prospects in the Class of 2017. His main position was receiver, but he also played quarterback and defensive back.
Carper accounted for 1,663 yards and 20 touchdowns in 11 games. He caught 66 passes for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns and rushed for 716 yards and seven touchdowns.
Of course, the five MVPs weren’t the only ones who had outstanding seasons. You can see the rest of the All-Parish team on the aforementioned Page 18
Choosing the All-Parish team is always a challenge. The more players you put on it, the less of an honor it becomes. On the other hand, no matter how many players are on it, there’s always a chance of leaving off someone deserving.
In my opinion, every player who got on the field and competed hard this season deserves to be lauded regardless of how their team fared on the scoreboard.
It was another good season in general for Bossier Parish football.
There was Parkway and Benton’s success. Airline created a lot of excitement by starting the season 7-0 before running into some very tough district competition.
Haughton had a winning season and made the playoffs in Rodney Guin’s final season as head coach.
After a winless 2014 season, Bossier won its first three games this season. The Bearkats didn’t win another game, but they were very competitive in most of their games in District 1-4A.
Plain Dealing had a tough season under first-year coach James Thurman. Injuries that depleted an already small roster in the second half of the season was a big factor.
But Carper endured and was able to showcase his talents.
So it’s time to say so long to the 2015 season. Spring practice for the 2016 season is just four months away.
Russell Hedges is Sports Editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He may be reached at email@example.com