GF 2024 Spring Tour: The Dunham School

We begin our first stop on the Gridiron Football Spring Tour by visiting The Dunham School, which is one of the most prestigious schools in the Baton Rouge area.

The Tigers have produced plenty of great talent including most notably, Derek Stingley Jr., who was a former cornerback for the LSU Tigers and is now one of the top young cornerbacks in the NFL playing for the Houston Texans.

Ever since taking the job at the end of the 2013 season, Neil Weiner has made the Tigers into a program that is not only competing for district championships but is also making deep runs into the playoffs. Recently, the Tigers even made it all the way to the Division III Select State Championship where they came up just short to St. Charles Catholic back in 2022.

Despite having to replace multiple starters including Eastern Kentucky quarterback Jackson House, who led the Tigers to the state championship, the 2023 version of the Tigers proved to not miss a beat winning back-to-back district championships while also winning eight games. Although it was bookended with two losses to Baton Rouge rival Parkview Baptist once in the season opener and the other in the playoffs, there is certainly a lot of excitement about this upcoming season.

“Certainly, it was a good season. There were a lot of positives. You always want to end the season in the Superdome when you are in Louisiana so there is a little bit of a disappointment if that is all you are concerned about. Certainly, that is on the priority list, but that is not the top priority. Our kids maxed out and played the best that they could. We had a great senior class last year. It was the smallest class we had in the last ten years, but it was a very productive one. We got a lot of big shoes to fill in for sure.”

Dunham High School Head Coach Neil Weiner
The Dunham School 2027 QB Elijah Haven (Photo taken by Ben Hall)

What helps is that the Tigers will return one of the best young signal callers in the state of Louisiana in Elijah Haven. At 6’5, 210 pounds, Haven is already getting a lot of national attention including offers from Miami, Ole Miss, Florida, and Texas Tech. After leading an explosive offense to 42 points per game as a freshman, this highly recruited 2027 gunslinger has even higher standards for the upcoming season.

“I am always striving to be better and work on my craft. There’s always things that I could do better than I did last year. I can step in more as a leader. I was a freshman last year so a lot of times it was hard for me to speak up, but this year, I will be stepping up as more of a vocal leadership role. I never like to make it about myself, but definitely, my goal is to go to state and win state.”

Dunham High School 2027 QB Elijah Haven

“Elijah came in with lots of confidence in his own ability and he grew confidence in what we do as an offense. He got better and better as the year went on. The first game was probably his best statistically of the year, but he got better in running the offense. He is learning about what it takes to be a quarterback in terms of understanding coverages and different passing concepts. We are really working on his game in how quickly he can get the ball out, how accurate he can be in the quick game in RPOs and continuing to improve his feet. He is a naturally gifted guy so we are not going to overcoach him too much, but we are going to fine tune some things.”

Dunham High School Head Coach Neil Weiner

It is always good to have the quarterback position solidified, but the Tigers will be replacing a lot of weapons including Haven’s top two wide receivers Drew Bourgeois and Georgetown signee Jac Comeaux.

“From an offensive production standpoint, we lose Comeaux, Mason Wild, who was a great senior running back for us, Drew Bourgeois, who was a Mr. Do Everything for us on offense so that’s three big guys on offense for sure. Overall, our receiving core is better than last year from top to bottom. We were pretty top heavy last year with Comeaux and Bourgeois for sure. We got a group of young guys that are ready to have their turn. Trevor Haman is a good one. Bronson Bonneval has been a primary defensive back for us as a two-year starter and will start on offense. Grant Morgan is another safety last year that will play a lot on offense. Richard Montgomery is really a name to watch, and he is going to get a lot of attention the next two years. William Dantin, Jarone Harris, and Khris Thomas are going to be on the scene as well. Khris is about 6’2 1/2 at about 180 pounds that is a sophomore and is a rising junior. It is a great group of wide receivers.”

“At running back, Colin Pecue returns. He took over the starting role and was fantastic for us. Then, we had an enrollee mid-year from Southern Lab in Jerome “JJ” Harris that was a 1,000 yard rusher as a 10th grader last year. He’s not with us in football just yet because he’s on that 4×1 relay team so we actually haven’t seen him do a whole lot of football yet, but we played against him and he scored against us so we know he is pretty good.”

Dunham High School Head Coach Neil Weiner

The Tigers will have plenty of firepower on offense and although they may not be as big as in years past, the trenches will make up for it with their tenacity and relentlessness.

“We want to keep everybody healthy, but we want to create a work ethic and an attitude knowing that they have to go full speed. Up front, this will be the smallest group that we’ve had in about four years so those guys have to play like their hair is on fire and play with great technique. That is not easy to do. You got to know what you are doing while still going full speed. That’s the challenge of teaching these new guys, younger guys, and smaller guys that this is how you can play as fast as you can while doing it the right way.

Dunham High School Head Coach Neil Weiner

The Dunham Tigers will be playing fast and aggressive on both sides of the football, which will make an exciting brand of football for Tiger fans this fall.

“It will be a fast, aggressive up-tempo team on both sides of the ball. We are going to be aggressive on defense. Because of the size that we don’t have, we are going to have to be super aggressive. We will be stunting, and we will be blitzing a lot and we are going to put a lot of trust in our defensive backs. It is good to have a veteran group back there and we will be just as aggressive on offense. We can throw the ball deep. We can run the ball fast. We’ll have the same feel on offense, but we will spread the ball out more. With two fantastic running backs, a fantastic quarterback, a slew of receivers and a veteran offensive line that includes three starters in Hopelond Eldridge, Joshua Beychok, and Connor Guidroz, we will be dynamic on offense.”

Dunham High School Head Coach Neil Weiner
The Dunham School 2025 OL Hopelond Eldridge (Photo taken by Ben Hall)

After spring football, the Tigers will continue to get ready in the summer and in the fall, the team will scrimmage against Brusly and get ready for a jamboree against U-High before starting the season with a revenge game against the Parkview Baptist Eagles.

We will continue to post our Spring Tour trips and we will continue to make our stops during fall practice.

Check out these photos taken during our visit at The Dunham School!

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