Babin set to participate in Bayou Bowl

Peter Silas Pasqua
Donaldsonville's Champlain Babin, right, with the late Ronnie Rabalais, former DHS principal, will participate in the Bayou Bowl Saturday.

Champlain Babin is no stranger to all-star games. The Donaldsonville running back was the MVP of the U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl this past season after rushing for 192 yards on two touchdowns on 12 carries.

This week, Babin, a McNeese State signee, is in preparation mode for the 2008 Bayou Bowl. The 40-player Louisiana all-star roster began its five-day training to showdown against a Texas all-star team comprised of Houston-area players. Game time is set for 8 p.m. Saturday at Baytown's Stallworth Stadium.

"It means a lot to me," Babin said. "It gives me an opportunity to go out there and prove to everybody how good I really am. Coming from a small town, I get more recognition."

Babin, the 2007 District 7-2A offensive MVP, has rushed for 2,903 yards and 35 touchdowns on 298 attempts in his career at Donaldsonville while catching 37 passes for 1,261 yard and 18 touchdowns. Overall, the three-time all-district running back and first-team Class 2A All-State selection has 4,164 total yards and 58 touchdowns.

T

he Louisiana squad has many local-area ties. Neil Weiner, most recently the head coach at Catholic-Pointe Coupee will be the head coach, while Weiner's father, Catholic High coach Dale Weiner and former Donaldsonville coach C.J. Alexander will be offensive assistants.

This marks the sixth season for the Bayou Bowl, which began in 2003 with a 32-29 Texas win. Louisiana has won the last three games, including a 31-15 victory last season.

Other locals participating include St. James running back Luther Ambrose, Port Allen receiver Damion Dixon, Lutcher quarterback Blaine Gautier, Dutchtown lineman Kevin Saia, St. James defensive lineman Casey Narcisse and Dutchtown linebacker Jamie Payton.

Quarterback Randall Mackey of Class 4A state champion Bastrop, Louisiana's Mr. Football last fall, and Gautier will share the quarterbacking duties.

The Bayou Bowl is affiliated with Shriners Hospitals for Children with net proceeds going to this worthwhile charity. One day of the player's week goes to visit the hospital.

Fox Sports Net Southwest will televise the game live with the NFL Network doing delayed televising.

Each player and coach receives a game ring, autographed football and a game mug.

Players are hosted to numerous events in the Houston area throughout the week including a Houston Astros game.