The Louisiana High School Athletic Association landscape may be changing a bit.
But the bottom line for Ferriday High head football coach Stanley Smith is that Class 2A is still the most competitive, and becomes even more competitive with Kentwood moving up from Class 1A to Class 2A.
“Class 2A is the most consistent class,” Smith said. “It’s always top-heavy. You have Many, Welsh, Amite, St. Helena, Vidalia and Kinder who never have a problem of attrition.”
Of the 10 opponents on Ferriday’s 2019 schedule, five will be under new head coaches, including Vidalia High where Rob Faircloth is the interim head coach.
Dee Faircloth resigned after a by-law stating retired coaches cannot be a head coach in football or basketball.
Former Franklin Parish defensive coordinator Joseph Purvis is the new head coach at Rayville High School.
Purvis replaces Lent Bursey.
Scott Wilcher is the new head football coach at Mangham High.
Former Mangham coach Tommy Tharp, who led the Dragons to three straight Superdome visits, falling in all three state championship games.
Tharp is expected to be named an assistant coach at a school in the state.
Jerry Foote is the new head football coach at Delhi Charter, taking over for Delhi Charter headmaster Brett Raley.
To round out Richland Parish, Storm Ridgway is the new head football coach at Delhi High School.
Ridgway replaces Toriano Williams, who took the head coaching job at Washington-Marion.
Williams led Delhi High School to a 9-4 record a year ago, easily the best season during his three years with the Bears.
The school’s playoff run ended at the hands of Haynesville in the quarterfinal round.
Ferriday will once again be playing up this season, taking on the likes of Alexandria Senior High, Plaquemine and Richwood.
“It not only helps us in power points, but it benefits us when we get to the playoffs against tough competition,” Smith said.
Smith is trying to find a jamboree to compete in a week before its season opener at ASH after Grambling did not contact him to play in their jamboree for the third straight year.
“A lot of people are already locked in,” Smith said. “I’m still reaching out to some people.”
Ferriday players are going through weight lifting and conditioning while also competing in 7-on-7 competitions.
“This is one of the biggest parts of the year,” Smith said. “Without this you don’t have the foundation. And being in the South, you have to get acclimated to the heat.”
Smith said he will have from 45 to 50 players this season.
“We have a chance to be good if we stay healthy and pay attention to details,” Smith said. “There are a lot of different variables involved. It’s a process. But I believe our kids are looking forward to the challenge this season.”