Westgate High School is still a relatively new school, but the Tigers from New Iberia have nonetheless developed a well-deserved reputation for producing top-flight talent. Jared Mitchell, Randall Antoine, Tyrunn Walker, and Deon Anthony are all Westgate products and the newest standout for the Tigers is Class of 2014 LB/RB Jamal Sam.
Sam, at nearly 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, has an excellent mix of size and speed, especially for a player his age.
"I run for the New Iberia Youth Track Team," said Sam. "We travel around different states, including Arkansas and Mississippi, to compete. It's a USATF (United States Track & Field) sponsored team. I run the 100 (PR of 11.0), 200 (22.5), 400 (52), and a leg on the 4 X 100 relay team."
In a junior high game vs. Iberia Middle School, Sam rushed for 139 yards on only three carries, scoring on all three attempts. Sam, who played for Anderson Middle School, has not experienced a loss since he's been playing organized football.
While Sam gets great results running the football, he prefers defense, adding that he "likes to hit people" from his linebacker position.
Sam's older brother, Vetric Sam, was a star running back for New Iberia Senior High a few years ago (and now plays for Arkansas Baptist) and his cousin, Christopher Cormier, is one of the top players at Alief Hastings HS in the Houston area.
Westgate, coached by Brian Fine, has enjoyed two trips to the 5A semifinals over the past few years, including last year. The Tigers lost a nailbiter (7-6) to Archbishop Rummel in the 2009 semis.