School Spotlight: Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, LA)

The Archbishop Rummel Raiders are a 5A school that plays in the Louisiana Catholic Schools division. The school was founded in 1962 and boasts a student population of around 700. Head coach Nick Monica has been coaching at the school for 18 years. He spent the first nine as the baseball head coach while also serving as an assistant football coach. Monica started as the Secondary Coach, then moved up to Special Teams Coordinator, and then took over as Defensive Coordinator in 2012. In 2019, Monica took over as the head coach, and led the Raiders to the 5A state title that same year. Coincidently, the Raiders also won the 5A state title in 2012, his first year as Defensive Coordinator. Archbishop Rummel has won three state championships in it’s history, the aforementioned 2012 and 2019 titles as well as 2013. The Raiders have made five state championships in total in the program’s history. Some notable alumni include current NFL players Ja’Marr Chase (WR, Cincinnati Bengals), Kristian Fulton (CB, Tennessee Titans), and Cethan Carter (FB/TE, Miami Dolphins), and former All-American track sprinter turned NFL wide receiver Cyril Grayson.

In addition to their 3 state titles, the Raiders have won an impressive 21 district titles, the most recent one coming in 2019. Since then, the Raiders have struggled somewhat, going .500 in each of the last two seasons. last season, in 2022, the Raiders went 5-5 in the regular season and lost in the playoffs in the second round, for an overall record of 6-6. Things seem to be trending upwards though for the Raiders, as many key members of the team are returning for this upcoming season, including leading rusher Jayden Martin, leading receiver Ruben Ramirez, and leading tackler Darius Davis. Either 9 or 10 starters on defense, and 6 or 7 on offense will be returning next season, and with another offseason of hard-work, this team should take a big leap forward in 2023.

Coach Monica spoke on what he felt were the two biggest issues the team faced in 2022: a lack of being able to stop the run and a lack of being able to run the ball effectively. Coach Monica’s main focus for his team next year is to “win up front on both sides of the ball.” Three of five starting offensive lineman as well as the two leading rushers are returning, and so is the entire defensive line. These position groups can hopefully build more chemistry and meet coach Monica’s expectations.

Photo courtesy of Coach Monica

Pictured above is Darrius Davis (2). Davis is a safety who plays both Strong Safety and Free Safety. The 6’0″, 190 pound safety made electrifying plays all over the field and led the Raiders with 178 tackles last season as a Junior. He also added 2 INTs, 2 PBUs, and 6 TFLs to his statline as well. He currently has a college offer from Marshall University in West Virginia.

Photo courtesy of Coach Monica

Pictured above is Jayden Martin (8). Martin is a rising senior and plays running back. Martin led the Raiders in rushing yards last season. From what I found online, Martin played in 7 games and took 105 carries for 435 yards and 6 touchdowns, and added 9 catches for 162 yards and 1 additional touchdown through the air.

Photo courtesy of Coach Monica

Pictured above is Norman Taylor (25). The 5’11” running back finished second on the team last season in rushing yards as a Sophomore, and was specifically mentioned by Coach Monica for his contributions to the team in 2022.

One key element of the offseason to pay attention to is the Raiders quarterback battle. With last seasons quarterback graduating this spring, there is an opening for the job. The position is open for the taking, but Coach Monica has two Juniors who he feels have the best shot at the starting job next season.

All in all, Archbishop Rummel is historically a very successful and prestigious program and should be back near the top of their division next season with all their returning talent.