North of New Orleans across Lake Pontchartrain sits the city of Mandeville. Roaming the sidelines for the past six seasons for the Mandeville High School Skippers football team is head coach Guy LeCompte. He's coached Michael Mauti, senior starting linebacker at Penn State, and Jerry Mitchell, sophomore cornerback at Arkansas. This year he has standout running back Charles Jones.
"Charles is a great young man," said LeCompte. "He's a three year starter for us but has been here since he was a freshman and has developed into an outstanding team leader. C.J.'s one of the hardest workers I've ever coached and one of the nicest players I've ever coached. He's always polite and very respectful."
Jones, 5-foot-11, 195-pounds, has led the Skippers in rushing the past two seasons. In Mandeville's opening game against Parkview Baptist he had 162 yards on 17 carries with three touchdowns (one an 80 yard scamper) in a 19-16 victory. Parkview Baptist won Louisiana's 3A State title last year and was ranked #1 pre-season in 2011, so it was a significant early year for the Skippers.
"When you talk about C.J's strength I think it's his character and work ethic that set him apart," said LeCompte. "As a runner he has excellent speed and field vision. We're very pleased with how he's come along as a player and a person."
"They were the first team to offer him and he jumped on it," said LeCompte. "He told Coach Smith yes, so right now it's a verbal commitment (to Kansas State). He hasn't been to the campus yet. I'm not sure when he'll make his official visit. I believe he's working on that now with the coaches."
LeCompte says Kansas State is also showing interest in wide receivers Garrett Dinicola and Xavier Marcus, both seniors. Linebacker Sam McGivern has been shown some interest from Texas A&M. Several schools are interested in starting quarterback Matt Bergerson but he doesn't have anything official yet on the table.
The Skippers take on Catholic of Baton Rouge this Friday. They're trying to make it back to the 5A playoffs. They lost in the first round last year to Terrebonne, 28-27.
Jones wears #24 for the Skippers. He's up 10 pounds for his junior season after spending a lot of time this summer bulking up in the weight room.