Select Division III State Championship Preview: Calvary Baptist vs. St. Charles

by Hunter Bower // Owner

No. 1 St. Charles (13-0) vs. No. 2 Calvary Baptist (13-0)

Saturday, Dec. 9 | 3:30 p.m. | Caesars Superdome | New Orleans, LA
Tickets | Watch – NFHS Network ($)

Distance To New Orleans: Calvary Baptist (318 miles), St. Charles (29.3 miles)

No. 1 St. Charles Comets (13-0)

Head Coach: Wayne Stein (3rd year at school, 35-3)

State Finals History: 3 state titles – 2022 (S DIII); 2021 (DIII); 2011 (3A) 5 runner-up finishes –  2020 (DIII); 2019 (DIII); 2016 (DIII); 2006 (2A); 2005 (2A)

Road To The Dome:

  • Regional: Beat No. 17 Ascension Episcopal, 43-0
  • Quarterfinals: Beat No. 9 Notre Dame, 31-21
  • Semi-Finals: Beat No. 4 University Lab, 10-7 (OT)

The Skinny:

In a display of sheer dominance, the St. Charles Comets are gearing up for their fourth consecutive appearance in the LHSAA Prep Classic, with their sights set on defending back-to-back state title triumphs in 2022 and 2021.

Head Coach Wayne Stein leads a formidable defensive unit that has emerged as one of the state’s best, boasting an impressive track record of limiting opponents to 10 points or less in seven of their 13 games this season. The Comets’ defensive prowess includes three shutouts, showcasing their ability to stifle even the most potent offenses.

As they prepare to face off against the explosive Calvary Baptist, the Comets are well aware of the challenge ahead. This showdown marks only the second meeting between the two teams, with St. Charles claiming victory in a 2016 playoff clash. However, both squads have evolved since then, setting the stage for an electrifying contest.

Quarterback Brady St. Pierre has seamlessly assumed the reins in 2023, orchestrating the Comets’ dynamic offense. Supported by a talented cast including Skyler Edwards, Jeremiah Wills, Daniel Joseph, and Brandon Kragle, St. Pierre has propelled St. Charles to offensive excellence.

Defensively, the Comets present a formidable challenge with a blend of size up front and a skilled secondary. Kyle Cannon leads the charge at linebacker, while Kayden Cambre anchors the cornerback position. The front line features the dynamic duo of Jaden Breaux and Matt Loup, creating a defensive juggernaut that has proven its mettle throughout the season.

In a season marked by resilience, the Comets’ journey to the championship game included a thrilling overtime victory against University Lab in the semifinal round. Now, as they prepare to step onto the grand stage once again, St. Charles is poised to etch their name in high school football history with a potential three-peat and a legacy of defensive excellence. The LHSAA Prep Classic awaits as the Comets aim to shine under the Friday night lights and etch another chapter in their storied football journey.

Averages: Scoring 34.5 points per game, allowing 9.8 points per game

Signature wins: Archbishop Shaw (Sept. 1); Lutcher (Sept. 8); Teurlings Catholic (Sept. 15); Newman (Nov. 1); Notre Dame (Nov. 24); University Lab (Dec. 1)

No. 2 Calvary Baptist Cavaliers (13-0)

Head Coach: Rodney Guin (8th year at school, 68-17)

State Finals History: 3 state titles – 2020 (DIV); 2014 (DIII); 2013 (DIII)

Road To The Dome:

  • Regional: Beat No. 15 Holy Savior Menard, 49-0
  • Quarterfinals: Beat No. 10 Parkview Baptist, 49-28
  • Semi-Finals: Beat No. 3 Newman, 35-27

The Skinny:

As the Calvary Baptist Cavaliers gear up for yet another shot at high school football glory in the state championship, seasoned head coach Rodney Guin finds himself on the cusp of a unique milestone. Despite leading the Cavaliers to a state title in 2020, Guin is poised to step into the iconic Caesars Superdome for the first time as a head football coach, a moment that adds a special chapter to his illustrious career.

Amid the challenging COVID pandemic, the LHSAA temporarily relocated its annual championship event to Northwestern State University in Natchitoches in 2020, where Calvary secured its latest crown against Ouachita Christian. Now, with the championship returning to the grandeur of the Caesars Superdome, Coach Guin and his Cavaliers have the opportunity to bask in the bright lights of this modern-day coliseum, performing in the shadows of past greatness.

Yet, the Cavaliers face a formidable challenge in the form of St. Charles, the state’s best defense. Calvary Baptist’s high-octane offense, boasting a remarkable 46 points per game, led by the impressive trio of 3,600-yard passer Abram Wardell, 1,200-yard receiver Aubrey Hermes, and 1,400-yard rusher James Simon, will clash with the immovable object presented by St. Charles. The looming question is how the undefeated squad from Shreveport will fare against this defensive powerhouse.

With three state championships in their trophy cabinet (2020, 2014, and 2013), including their latest triumph under Guin, Calvary Baptist is no stranger to championship success. Making their fourth overall title appearance and the second under Guin, the Cavaliers, armed with arguably their best squad in school history, are eager to etch their names into the storied legacy of Louisiana high school football. The quest for another crown is set to unfold in the grandeur of the Superdome, a fitting stage for a team poised to make history.

Averages: Scoring 46.2 points per game, allowing 12.2 points per game

Signature wins: Captain Shreve (Sept. 7); Wossman (Sept. 22); Westgate (Sept. 29); Parkview Baptist (Nov. 24); Newman (Dec. 1)