STM Coach Jim Hightower Leading a High-Flying Offense

Coach Jim Hightower (Photo Credit: USA Today High School Sports)

In his 43 seasons as a head coach, St. Thomas More Head Coach Jim Hightower has seen about everything. But this season has brought a new experience for the hall of fame coach. After six games this season, his offense is averaging a whopping 60 points a game.

St. Thomas More is set to break school records for total yards and passing yards a game. The Cougars are averaging 503 yards a game and 311 yards passing a contest.

Hightower remembers the days when it took three games to accumulate 60 points.

“The game has changed so much in those 40 years,” said Hightower. “We used to throw four-five passes a game, now that happens in the first series.”

STM has scored 70 points or more in two games this season. The Cougars beat Westgate 71-20. They scored seven times and they did in three plays or fewer five times.

Former STM quarterback Shane Savoie directs the hurry-up, no-huddle offense as the team’s offensive coordinator.

He’s got the perfect quarterback to lead the Cougars’ version of the “Greatest Show on Turf,” and that’s 6-foot-5, 210 pound, Caleb Holstein.

“He has a strong arm, accurate passer, good feel for the ball game, tough, handles pressure well, he’s smart,” said Hightower. “The experience he got last year was very valuable. Had a great summer, becoming more in tune with receivers.”

Holstein took over as the starting quarterback during the middle of the 2017 season. He led STM to the semifinals of the Division II playoffs where they to lost to top seeded De La Salle.

Through six games of his junior campaign, Holstein has completed 65% of his passes for 1,854 yards, 22 touchdowns and three interceptions.

So far, the offers from the big-time schools have yet to come in. Hightower is not sure what else colleges are waiting to see from the son of a former LSU punter.

Holstein has a good supporting cast led by senior wide receiver Grant Arceneaux, who is just 5-foot-7, but has put up huge numbers. Through six games, Arceneaux has 35 catches for 604 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“He’s very heady, finds open spots, catches the ball very well, deceptive speed when he has the ball in his hands,” said Hightower. “Tough, quick, smart receiver.”

Arceneaux had a monster game during week 4 of the season against Division 1 state champion Catholic High, as he caught 12 passes for 225 yards.

Holstein threw for 366 yards in that game. It’s the only contest they’ve lost this year as Catholic outlasted the Cougars 53-42.

St. Thomas More doesn’t plan on losing another game. Carencro transfer Deion Senegal and Dalen Cambre are Holstein’s other top receivers.

And when the Cougars choose to run the football, William Cryer carries the rock. The senior is averaging 10.6 yards a carry and has nearly 800 yards rushing.

In 2016, STM won its first state championship in school history and the first for Hightower.

They would be considered favorites to win the Division II title again, if University High wasn’t in the same division.

The Cubs are one of the top teams in the South, but Hightower has seen his teams overcome many obstacles during his career and hopes his high-powered offense gets a chance to light up the Mercedes Benz Superdome scoreboard in the title game.

Teurlings Catholic vs. St. Thomas More will be streamed lived this Friday at 7pm.