Former editor chirps in on fall prep sports scene
St. John High volleyball Coach Chase Mancuso has made a tremendous impression on me this prep season.
Last week his Lady Eagle court and net team posted its 19th season win and a 4-0 start in district play. This year’s club should easily add to a string of 20-victory campaigns since he took over the program. Prior to his tenure as the volleyball mentor, SJHS had never won 20 games in a season.
And, this fall, his Lady Eagles are the youngest club he has mentored since becoming the head coach. The program lost several veteran seniors to graduation, including a couple of four-year starters, and the club features a group of girls who were key substitutes, not starters, last year.
Chase, an SJHS graduate and former Eagle athlete, deserves a lot of recognition for his leadership efforts.
Meanwhile, Julius Maracalin continues to be a student leader on the field for Plaquemine High. He has over a thousand yards rushing, another 148 yards in pass receptions, and 14 touchdowns entering only the sixth game of the prep football season. Off to a 4-1 season start (the single loss was by only a couple of points to winning 5-A East Ascension in the season road opener), the Green Devils are expected to vie with a young Lutcher High team for district honors at the end of the regular season. Maracalin has been the go-to fellow on the PHS offense, a feat that is amazing when one considers the fact he was out almost all of last gridiron season with a knee injury. He is a special senior student-athlete who has excelled on the baseball diamond since the ninth grade.
I am expecting White Castle High’s football team to step it up once their 1-A district play begins. West St. John is considered the top team in the area league, while Ascension CHS is greatly improved under a veteran mentor. However, the Bulldogs have the team speed, traditional toughness, and solid coaching to make it hard for WSJHS and ACHS to take honors by the time early November comes around.
Longtime POST sports editor, retired