2017 Clarion Herald’s Elite Boys’ Basketball Team
Unless, your basketball team’s opponents were stocked with the Munchkins or the Seven Dwarfs, posting a record of 28 wins and 3 defeats is quite commendable.
Among Catholic schools where quality coaching is the norm, a fifth-year head man at Archbishop Hannan accomplished that feat to mark the finest season in that school’s roundball history.
With it came the District 10-2A title.
Michael Senna learned the game from his coach at Loyola University, the veteran Jerry Hernandez, and served an apprenticeship on the bench at Brother Martin before getting the call to take over the Hannan program in 2012.
As the school continued to grow its enrollment, Senna elevated the level of play in his athletes.
Selecting the Coach of the Year and the players who comprise the Clarion Herald’s 20th Elite team was hardly an easy task.
Senna was one of five mentors who were deserving of such recognition.
Paul Kelly, who also serves as principal at De La Salle, led the Cavaliers to a 28-4 record, the District 10-3A championship and into the Division II select school tournament.
Chris Biehl coached Brother Martin to a 25-7 record, the District 9-5A crown in a highly competitive season and a semifinal round appearance in the Division I select schools’ tournament.
Biehl’s opponent in the semis is none other than Mitchell Johnson, who led St. Augustine to a 26-5 record and a split with Brother Martin in Catholic League play.
Also deserving was St. Paul’s first-year head coach Stephen Dale, whose Wolves went 26-8 and won the District 6-5A championship before being eliminated by Brother Martin in the select Division I quarterfinal round by a scant 69-66 margin.
St. Augustine senior Caleb Daniels, selected as the Most Outstanding Player, leads a group of five returning Elite team honorees.
Daniels was the Catholic League coaches’ choice as that district’s most valuable player, noting his versatility. Daniels, a senior in his second year as an Elite player, performed at a high level regardless of his position.
He was as efficient as a point guard as he was when moved to the post or wing.
Also back for a second year are seniors Timothy Bedford of St. Paul’s, Tre Swilling of Brother Martin, Troy Nisby of De La Salle and St. Charles Catholic’s Jordan Arceneaux.
Bedford was selected as the District 6-5A most valuable player.
St. Paul’s, one of four schools to place two players on the Elite team, is also represented by senior forward Parker Edwards.
Vejon Wallis joins Brother Martin teammate Swilling on the team, senior point guard Dashawn Wright also represents De La Salle, and Cedrick Jones is the second senior from St. Augustine chosen.
Making their debut are Archbishop Shaw’s high-scoring guard Latrell Jones and Norris Williams of Archbishop Hannan.
Just a sophomore, the 5-11 Williams was the Hawks’ leading scorer and playmaker.
Coach of the Year
Michael Senna holds a team meeting with his Archbishop Hannan basketball team during a recent practice session. The former Brother Martin assistant coach led the Hawks to a 28-3 record and the District 10-2A title. Senna’s team won 12 of its last 13 games.
Most Outstanding Player
St. Augustine’s Caleb Daniels was capable of playing any of the five positions on the basketball court. And at times, he did. The 6-4 senior’s versatility helped propel the Purple Knights to the Division I semifinals. He is a member of the Elite team for the second year.
NORRIS WILLIAMS 5-11
TRE SWILLING 6-3
ROY NISBY 6-1
TIMOTHY “T.J.” BEDFORD 6-3
JORDAN ARCENEAUX 6-1
VEJON WALLIS 6-3
PARKER EDWARDS 6-4
DASHAWN WRIGHT 5-11
LATRELL JONES 6-3
CEDRICK JONES 6-2