Written for the LSWA 

A pair of future LSU teammates and the coach of a historic, championship-winning team lead the LSWA’s 2023 Class 4A all-state football team. 

Lafayette Christian quarterback Ju’Juan Johnson caps a decorated and record-setting high school career as the Outstanding Offensive Player in 4A. 

The LSU signee threw for 3,597 yards and 41 touchdowns and rushed for another 1,497 yards and 25 scores as a senior to help topple Louisiana’s long-standing career marks for total yardage and total touchdowns.  

Johnson was among the state’s most dynamic playmakers at any level all season to help lead his Knights to a seventh straight state championship game. 

Evangel Christian defensive end Gabriel Reliford, another new Tigers signee, garnered Outstanding Defensive Player for his dominant senior showing on the team selected by a panel of sportswriters from across the state. 

The edge-rusher racked up 122 total tackles, including 71 solo, 29 for loss and nine sacks, and forced three fumbles.  

Reliford and his teammates finished 7-5, including a playoff win, for the second straight season after the Eagles went winless their freshman season and 3-7 as sophomores. 

Opelousas alumnus Jimmy Zachery earned Coach of the Year honors after leading his alma mater the Division II nonselect title, the first football state championship in program history. 

In his fourth season at the helm, Zachery led the Tigers to a title just three seasons after OHS was winless in a COVID-shortened 2020 year. In Opelousas’ first title game appearance since 1956, the Tigers beat District 5-4A rival Cecilia 26-13. 

Opelousas finished 12-3 overall, including three straight road playoff wins and four straight as a lower seed on a Cinderella postseason run to rewrite its record books. 

2023 LSWA CLASS 4A ALL-STATE CHART 

OFFENSE 

Pos player school ht wt class  

WR Cole Cory North DeSoto 5-9 175 Jr. 

WR Parker Fulghum Evangel Christian 6-2 180 Sr. 

WR Kylin Wheeler, Rayne 5-11 175 Jr. 

OL Gage Caskey North DeSoto 6-0 255 Sr.  

OL Ashton Helaire St. Thomas More 6-3 325 Sr. 

OL Raymond Howard Archbishop Shaw 6-2 280 Sr. 

OL Joseph Milton Opelousas 6-2 282 Sr. 

OL Jace Williams, Assumption 6-1 280 Jr. 

QB Ju’Juan Johnson Lafayette Christian 5-11 195 Sr. 

RB Jaylon Coleman Vandebilt Catholic 5-9 160 Jr. 

RB D’Shaun Ford Opelousas 6-1 210 Jr. 

RB Xavier Ford Leesville 5-11 190 Jr. 

PK Trey Furey Belle Chasse 6-0 175 Sr. 

ATH Sam Altmann St. Thomas More 6-3 195, Sr.  

 DEFENSE 

Pos player school ht wt class  

DL Melvin HIlls III, Lafayette Christian, 6-3, 270, Sr. 

DL Ted Jackson, West Feliciana, 5-11, 240, Sr. 

DL Gabriel Reliford Evangel Christian 6-2 255 Sr. 

DL Brody Whatley Neville 6-5 255 Jr. 

LB Hayden Hernandez St. Thomas More 6-0 215 Sr. 

LB Jamal Jordan Evangel Christian 6-3 215 Sr. 

LB Brody Latiolais St. Thomas More 5-11 195 Sr. 

LB Brody Robichaux Assumption 5-10 200 Sr. 

DB Lake Bates North DeSoto 5-10 180 Sr.  

DB Brent Gordon Cecilia, 5-11 180 Jr. 

DB Ty Lee Lafayette Christian 6-0 180 Sr. 

DB Ja’Corian Norris Tioga 6-2 185 Sr. 

P Cameron Ott Assumption 6-1 170 Jr. 

KR Ky’ree Paul Istrouma 5-10 175 Jr. 

ATH Diesel Solari Cecilia 5-8 170 Jr. 

 OUTSTANDING OFFENSIVE PLAYER: JU’JUAN JOHNSON, LAFAYETTE CHRISTIAN 

OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAYER: GABRIEL RELIFORD, EVANGEL CHRISTIAN 

COACH OF THE YEAR: JIMMY ZACHERY, OPELOUSAS 

Honorable mention 

Chris Addison, Franklin Parish; Jakai Anderson, McDonogh 35; Kaleb Andrus, Tioga; Jason Banks, De La Salle; Paul Boudreaux, Vandebilt Catholic; Kamden Bourg, South Lafourche; Quantravious Bradford, Huntington; Corey Broussard, Cecilia; Bradford Cain, Teurlings Catholic; Wade Cannon, St. Thomas More; Jalan Chapman, Warren Easton; Jackson Cordill, Franklin Parish; Luke Delafield, North DeSoto; Dartavin Depass, Peabody; Greg Donaldson, Warren Easton; Travis Esprit, Opelousas; Jacob Fairchild, Vandebilt Catholic; Izaiah Farley, Leesville; Korey Fontenot, Opelousas; Collin Fontenot, Opelousas; Jonathan Ford, Opelousas; Wallace Foster IV, Warren Easton; Kilas Francis, Archbishop Shaw; Tavias Gordon, Westgate; Robert Graves, Neville; Jayden Hagger, Cecilia; Jackson Hedrick, Grant; Brandon Henderson, Woodlawn-Shreveport; Andrew Houston, Booker T. Washington; T.J. Hullaby, Peabody; Chase Jacobs, Assumption; K.J. James, Teurlings Catholic; Jacobi Jefferson, Salmen; De’Myrion Johnson, Westgate; Maximus Kadrmas, Tioga; Alfred Kennedy, Assumption; Cleveland Latulas, Westgate; Dy’traevous Lively, Westgate; Charlie Mader, Teurlings Catholic; Tim Maxson, De La Salle; Dameon McCloud, McDonogh 35; Peyton McFarland, McDonogh 35; Brian McMillian, North DeSoto; Damon Narcisse, Salmen; Carson Orgeron, South Lafourche; Jasper Parker, Archbishop Shaw; Bronson Patt, Cecilia; Santana Price, McDonogh 35; Taylor Quinn, Neville; Ben Ragas, Vandebilt Catholic; Kaileb Rayford, Salmen; Keidrick Richardson, De La Salle; Fred Robertson, Warren Easton; Joel Rogers, West Feliciana; Justin Ross, McDonogh 35; Markel Senegal, Washington-Marion; Kenias St. Romain, DeRidder; Tyrese Mosby, Plaquemine; Landon Strother, St. Thomas More; Hutch Swilley, St. Thomas More; John Martinez, St. Michael; Zyrian Taylor, Peabody; Kenny Thomas, North DeSoto; Reece Turner, Assumption; Landon Vallee, Grant; Eric Vories, Peabody; Damyren Washington, Booker T. Washington; Jayden Webb, Neville; Tyler Welch, Huntington; Javion White, Franklin Parish; Mason Wilson, Archbishop Shaw; Cody Beall, St. Michael; Landry Wyatt, North DeSoto.