MCGUIRE'S CAJUNS CONTINUE TO SHINE
To reach your potential, you must challenge yourself to be the best you can be against the best.
That has been the philosophy of head coach Mike McGuire at Country Day for many years and this season is no exception.
The Cajuns are set to participate in the 4th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl National Prep Classic January 2-4 at the Alario Center in Westwego.
Despite being a 1A school, Country Day plays up in classification against some of the best teams in the state on a regular basis.
The Cajuns already have wins over 5A Holy Cross (2), John Ehret and Jesuit, along with a superb win over 4A power East Jefferson. Losses were to 5A powers St. Augustine and East St. John.
In his 16th year as the head coach at Country Day after coaching at St. Martin's and Destrehan, McGuire has coached many good teams. This year's team is another of those and they are a team that is getting tested every time out by a difficult schedule.
"We feel like scheduling this way is beneficial," McGuire said. "The kids enjoy it, the preparation is fun and we measure ourselves to see where we are. We still have John Curtis, Newman, Riverside and Karr on the schedule so it will continue to be a challenge. It is never about the overall record but it is about where you end up."
Country Day is coming off of a banner season in which the Cajuns rallied to down Arcadia 60-54 in overtime for the 1A state championship at Monroe, the same team the Cajuns downed in 2009 for the 1A title. Mike McGuire also led Country Day to title games in 2007, 2008 in 2010, falling to Christian Life on each occasion. Country Day also won the 1A state championship in 1977.
"Last year was a marvelous run for us," McGuire said. "We won the last three playoff games in overtime, including White Castle, Christian Life and Arcadia. "Those were great games and to prevail in each one was a testament to how hard this group worked and how special they were."
Senior center Scott Plaisance (6'9, 205) leads the way for the Cajuns. The Louisiana-Lafayette commitment tops the Cajuns in both scoring and rebounding. Senior Kent McGuire (6'1) is experienced and solid. Sophomore guard Michael Corchiani (5'7) is outstanding, a returning starter from last year's state championship team. Sophomore guard J.C. Younger (6'3) is a dangerous shooter and freshman Romin Williams (5'8) is talented.
"Kent, J.C. and Romin have been playing very well for us," McGuire said. "Plaisance is still our main guy but we need all of our players to play well together."
While Country Day has enjoyed some good wins early on, the Cajuns have not reached their full potential.
"I think we are a really nice team that is coming together," McGuire said. "We are getting better. Corchiani's ankle is getting better. Plaisance has had an injured thumb. When we get them both at 100 percent, we feel we will be quite good."
Country Day is playing in the Cactus Jam in Phoenix, AZ before playing in the Sugar Bowl event. Country Day played in the first two Sugar Bowl tournaments but did not participate last year.
"I thought that we had some other tournaments to participate in last year but we are thrilled to be back," McGuire said. "We will give a good showing where we may not have last year, at the time of the tournament. It's an honor to play in this tournament, in our own back yard. We're excited about competing with the field assembled. Every game should be good."
With the Cajuns in the field, expect every game they play in to be entertaining.