METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — St. Martin’s football is in a place it hasn’t been since 1974 – the LHSAAA state quarterfinals.
The Saints are led by running back Harlem Berry, the top prospect in Louisiana in the Class of 2025.
Seth Mandella, St. Martin’s Player: “It is awesome, he’s always pushing everybody,” said St. Martin’s senior safety, Seth Mandella. “Gets us the looks, and draws all the attention.”
But, the Saints are much more than just Berry. Mandella had a pick-six in a second-round win over Delhi Charter. The Saints routed a nine-win team, 48-12.
Former Newman head coach Frank Gendusa is leading this football revival.
Five years ago, Frank Gendusa said it would take five years to get here. Even his grandson had to admit that he was correct.
His grandfather concurred.
“He used to say it would take four of five years to get this thing, and I didn’t think anything of it,” said senior tight end, Grant Gendusa. “But, we have grown a lot and now we are there.”
“Five years ago, we were struggling, 17, 18, 19 players somewhere around there,” admitted Coach Gendusa. “We built a program. I said it would take five years, and we are five years to making here. Hopefully we can continue to keep on playing.”
That is certainly Berry’s plan – in the second round, he rushed for 202 yards on only 17 carries.
“We put the work in all season, during the summer,” the sophomore running back told WGNO Sports. “To see it pay off for us to make it to the quarterfinals and to the Dome.”
St. Martin’s hosts St. Mary’s on Friday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Catch all the prep highlights from this game and others around the area as the 31st season of Friday Night Football rolls on starting at 11 p.m. on Nola 38 and again at midnight on WGNO.