SIDELINES: Tidbits of information this week

Tryve Brackin

Former White Castle High standout Ronald Martin, who led the Bulldogs to state championships in football and basketball got his first chance to play the college gridiron sport in LSU’s 52-3 rout of hosting and S.E.C. rival Ole Miss.

Moving to the safety position in the late stages of the game, Martin did his part in keeping the hosting Mississippi club from scoring with a pass breakup and an unassisted tackle. The camera also caught him a couple of times on the sidelines early in the game, congratulating Jordan Jefferson after his TD toss to Russell Shepard and sitting with the other secondary members of the defensive unit.

PLAQUEMINE HIGH’S Cross Country team participated in the state meet in November.

The Green Devils were led at state by Math, Science, and Arts Academy West/PHS participant Justin Randall. He who placed 57th out of 195 runners, by finishing the three-mile distance in a time of 18:53.

I CONSIDER the St. John High Eagles most likely the fifth best team in Class 1-A football. It was unfortunate for the Eagles to have played West St. John for district honors and in the second round of the state playoffs. The only 1-A teams I see as capable of beating St. John, along with what WSJHS did accomplish, are the other three semifinalists Vermillion CHS, Ouachita Christian, and Mangham.

My prediction is a very shaky Ouachita Christian against West St. John in the title match. Hosting Vermillion CHS has a very good chance at beating WSJHS with a home field advantage. The Rams’ outstanding defense must stop the explosive VCHS rushing attack and continue to show a very strong balanced offensive attack. Meanwhile, Mangham also has a home field advantage and could use ball control to help stop the vaulted OCHS passing attack enough to edge them out in Dragon Country.

Those are very good semifinal matchups.

I foresee C.E. Byrd and Mandeville in the 5-A title match with Mandeville pulling off a slight road game upset of West Monroe. Mandeville has been excellent when challenged by teams expected to be stronger in 2011.

I see Breaux Bridge winning the 4-A title in a fierce battle against Lutcher, while St. Charles will rule in 3-A with a win over Marksville (a surprise winner over Amite). And, finally, John Curtis wins it in 2-A by beating Evangel in the semifinals and Calvary Baptist in the Superdome.

NOW THAT football is over in Iberville Parish, attention turns to the round ball courts. A huge early season game was set for last night (Wednesday) in the Brusly High tournament when White Castle faced off with Southern Lab in a rekindling of last year’s state 1-A title match. Meanwhile, East Iberville could be a surprise in the Brusly tourney field.

I NOTICED THAT Plaquemine High has its first soccer team ever. The newest Green Devil athletic sports team has an early season record of 1-3. Due to vacation last week, I had to delay getting with PHS Athletic Director Denny Wright to find out more about the program, but I will get with him shortly. In a brief conversation last week, Wright noted that the soccer team is from the Math, Science, and Arts Academy West and the team is playing in the LHSAA under the entitlement of Plaquemine High’s membership.

FORMER WCHS basketball standout Generra Varmall is starting at guard for the University of New Orleans Privateer round ball team and recently set a school record for steals in a single game with nine. Generra, who played on the Bulldogs’ state semifinals club a couple of years ago, had his record number of steals in an 83-49 loss to Rice University. He previously had five steals in a victory for the 3-2 overall UNO club.

Varmall, a former resident of New Orleans, transferred to WCHS after leaving his hometown because of Hurricane Katrina.

White Castle head hoop mentor Ronald Johnson also told me last week that 2011 graduate Daniel Allen is playing basketball at Centenary College in Shreveport, along the school’s website did not have him listed on its roster. Johnson also told me that former Bulldog Ronald Martin (mentioned above) had his photograph taken with the LSU men’s basketball team and that he will become a freshman member of the hoop club once the football season ends.