CARENCRO — Tony Courville has been coaching for more than two decades at Carencro High, including the past two seasons serving as Bears head coach.
So to say the least, Courville has seen plenty of spring practices, summer weight and conditioning programs and a slew of two-a-day drills in his lengthy coaching career. Yet, Courville says that this past offseason has been one of the most impressive.
“This past offseason has been one of the best that I have ever been around in my entire career,” Courville said. “They have really bought into our system and our expectations.”
Carencro is looking to build significant momentum from this past offseason and return to the Bears back to prominence.
All of Carencro High football games can be heard this fall on Z105.9.
In the past two seasons, Carencro has gone 8-13 overall and has been eliminated in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs both seasons. The last time Carencro won a playoff game was 2016 when the team advanced to the state quarterfinals before losing to Neville, and the last state title game appearance was back in 2011 when current Catholic High of New Iberia head coach Brent Indest was the head coach.
Hoping to lead Carencro back that prominence is someone connected to its storied history — junior quarterback Tavion Faulk — the nephew of Kevin Faulk who led the Bears to the state championship in 1992.
“It all starts off with our quarterback Tavion Faulk,” Courville said. “He got a few starts last year and a lot of meaningful snaps. For him, the main thing is the experience he got last year has made him a more confident player for us.”
Faulk will have plenty of playmakers to help run the Bears’ split-back veer offense. Carencro returns running backs Trayvon “Popcorn” Prejean and Kendrell Williams, while Lucas Williams is making the switch from tight end to wide receiver and Chad Dupre will start at tight end.
“We are looking at some explosive guys with some power and some speed,” Courville said.
The offensive line, which has been young in the past, will feature three juniors and one senior — all of who are entering their third seasons as starters.
The Bears are changing defensive scheme (from 3-4 to 4-3) to better suit personnel. The defense will be anchored by ends Randre Charles, Nick Elgin and defensive tackle Mojirreh Shomade. Safety Ra’shad Onezime, who is reigning District Defensive MVP, and cornerback Bailey Despanie will lead the backend of the defense. That experience will help with the youth in the linebacking corps.
Carencro went 5-5 in the regular season last year but went an impressive 4-1 in District 4-4A play, the lone defeat coming at the hands of eventual Division II state runner-up St. Thomas More.
For the Bears to reach its goal of hosting a home playoff game, Carencro must perform better in the non-district slate of the schedule. This season Courville’s team faces a trio of old district rivals in Acadiana, New Iberia Senior High and Sam Houston (all who play in Class 5A), and will face off against St. Martinville, a quarterfinalist from a year ago.
“I think we have a do better job in the non district schedule,” Courville said. “We have to do better and have the season we want here at Carencro.”
Carencro High Schedule
9-6 Acadiana at Carencro
9-13 New Iberia Senior High at Carencro
9-20 Carencro at Sam Houston
9-27 Washington Marion at Carencro
10-04 Carencro at St. Martinville
10-11 Carencro at Teurlings Catholic
10-18 Northside at Carencro
10-25 Carencro at Abbeville
11-01 Carencro at St. Thomas More
*11-07 Westgate at Carencro
*Thursday Night Game