On the Carencro Bears’ wishlist this Christmas is a state championship win.
The Class 4A title game features top-ranked Carencro looking for their first state championship since 1992.
The battle-tested Bears scrimmaged Rummel before the season, beat West Monroe in week one, and dominated Neville in the semifinals to punch their ticket to Turpin Stadium.
“You know if you’re going to make those late runs like we’ve been fortunate enough to do right now, you have to play those power teams,” Bears head coach Tony Courville says. “You have to take those long three hour trips to West Monroe as kind of a practice run. It’s not a field trip. It’s a business trip.”
“The West Monroe game felt like a state championship game,” Bears senior running back Kendrell Williams says. “That was the game of the week. Everybody was looking at that game.”
“That pretty much just prepared us for a good Karr team,” Bears senior defensive back Bailey Despanie says. “I really feel confident going into the state championship.”
The Edna Karr Cougars are the defending state champions, boasting wins over Catholic High of Baton Rouge and John Curtis earlier this season.
Bears head coach Tony Courville said his defense will need its best game of the season Tuesday night.
“When you throw on the film, you just notice all of the speed and athleticism of those athletes,” Courville says. “Offensively, they can score on any given play.”
“They can throw the ball pretty well,” Dispanie says. “They air it out. I feel like our DBs will out-match their wide receivers.”
Karr’s offensive attack is a challenge the Bears defense is up for, after posting two shutouts on the season and holding teams to an average of just over 11 points per game.
“We really do it through Monday through Thursday,” Despanie says. “We prepare good. We prepare great. That’s the result out on the field.”
Offensively, Carencro has one of the best running back rooms in the state, led by seniors Kendrell Williams and Traylon Prejean.
The Bears offense put up 463 total points over 12 games this year.
Williams and Prejean both credit the offense’s production to the preparation during the week.
“We study, practice, do our homework Monday through Thursday, and the big test is on Friday,” Williams says. “We prepare Monday through Thursday for the test on Friday.”
“Mainly dominating practice Monday through Thursday,” Prejean says. “It translates to the game then it’s easy. Practices are hard so it translates to the game.”
“You kind of just take them for granted because they’ve been two thorns in people’s rear ends the last two years,” Courville says. “It’s a blessing to have them on Friday nights when we’ve gotta get tough yards. They’re gonna get them for us.”