All in the family: Following in father’s footsteps is perfect fit for St. Michael’s Calob Leindecker

3 weeks ago The Advocate 0

Follow in their father’s footsteps to join the “family business,” is not for everyone. But for some, like St. Michael defensive coordinator Calob Leindecker, the choice makes perfect sense.

Learning from his father, Randy Leindecker, first prepared him as a high school player at Parkview Baptist. Calob Leidecker lthen entered the coaching ranks, and spent six seasons as a defensive backs coach at The Dunham School where his father served as defensive coordinator.

It nurtured a strong desire for the younger Leindecker to be the coordinator of his own defense. The goal was realized this fall at St. Michael, where the Warriors have taken to their new coach and system. the Warriors are allowing just 11.25 points a game and did not allow a first down in the second half of a Week 4 win over Jewel Sumner.

“I’m fortunate to have learned from my dad, who is a defensive coordinator and also coached at the Arena Football level for many years,” said Leindecker, whose high school playing career was curtailed when he lost his lower left leg in an accident before his junior season.

“He put a lot of defensive coordinator responsibilities on my plate (at Dunham) so I could be prepared enough to be a good defensive coordinator. After those six years, I felt like I was ready as soon as possible, and (St. Michael coach Joey) Sanchez gave me a chance.”

Leindecker took the chance and ran with it.

“I think the biggest thing is our intelligence and preparation, and that’s something that coach Leindecker has done,” Sanchez said. “He has them thoroughly prepared with a great game plan. We’re not the most physically intimidating group, but coach puts them in the right position to make plays and they run to the football.”

Through four games, St. Michael is 2-2, but the defense has shown improvement over 20018. That Warriors gave up 22.6 per game last season. St. Michael opened the season with a 16-7 loss to Episcopal, and the Knights have since scored 40, 35 and 52 points. The Warriors followed that with a 21-6 win over Albany, which put up 68, 56 and 42 points in its other three games this season.

Last week, St. Michael faced a Jewel Sumner team that was averaging 29 points. Not only did the Warriors pick up an 18-7 win, they held the Cowboys to -3 total yards and no first downs in the second half. For the game, Sumner had 134 yards, 55 of which came after it scored on a 79-yard pass on the game’s first play.

Coming into the season, St. Michael returned a starting defensive line of ends Luke Wilson and Mark Albano, and nose tackle Demond Garner. Big production has also come from linebackers Eric Thibodeaux and Garret Mumphrey, and a pair of playmakers in the defensive backfield — Codi Williams and Connor Boudreaux, who leads the Warriors with four interceptions.

They are all part of a group that has formed a quick bond with their first-year defensive coordinator.

“I couldn’t have been luckier to get the group of guys that I got at St. Michael’s,” Leindecker said. “In just the first few days when I stepped on campus, those guys looked up and respected me and they bought into my defensive philosophy immediately. It didn’t take six weeks for them to figure things out. We were ready to go in Week 1.”