Someone dropped the ball.

And unfortunately the turnover has apparently cost the Ferriday Trojan football team a jamboree.

Up until last month, Ferriday figured on receiving an invitation for the third straight year to the Eddie Robinson High School Football Classic in Grambling.

But that invitation never came.

Ferriday coach Stanley Smith said he was blindsided by the omission.

And when he realized the Trojans would not be going back to Lincoln Parish, all other jamborees were filled up and every school was obligated to play their enhanced scrimmage at certain spots around the state -- and even in Arkansas where Bastrop will be playing Crossett,

For the record, Ferriday being slighted had to do more with Grambling State University playing at Louisiana-Monroe on August 31, forcing the Eddie Robinson Classic to be played on Friday instead of Saturday.

And, instead of four games on Saturday, there will be three games on Friday.

Edgar Rayford with the Eddie Robinson Classic told me he was under the impression that Ferriday was playing in another jamboree.

As puzzling as that sounds, Rayford seemed genuinely surprised, concerned and disappointed when I told him Ferriday does not have a jamboree to play in so far this year.

"I feel quite sure Ferriday will be invited back, but Grambling playing ULM on a Saturday caused us to make adjustments," Rayford said.

The two-day Bayou Jamboree also had to moved up, as games in Monroe will be played Thursday and Friday.

The Eddie Robinson Classic will have Lincoln Prep against Carroll, Arcadia taking on Rayvllle and Evangel against John Ehret.

The finale will give fans a look at Conner Champion's new offense at Evangel after he was named offensive coordinator at the Shreveport school.

Champion is the son of former Huntington School standout Joe Champion.

Ferriday High christened the renovated Grambllng State University stadium two years ago with a resounding 42-0 domination of Lincoln Prep in the first game of the Eddie Robinson Memorial Jamboree.

Last year, Ferriday blanked Northwest of Opelousas 26-0 in the Grambling jamboree.

What would have helped is if Eddie Robinson officials could have let Ferriday know earlier so they could have been reaching out across the state.

I would think the Bayou Jamboree in Monroe would certainly be interested in a school that has competed in the Class 2A semifinals the past two years.

Smith tried to get into the Vidalia Jamboree, but that long-time jamboree is already scheduled with Tensas against LaSalle, Block against Siciliy island and Vidalia against General Trass on August 31 in Dee Faircloth Viking Stadium.

While the Vidalia Jamboree will still be a classic night of football, I can't help but think what could have been -- and not just with Ferriday.

Because the Concordia Parish School Board is involved in a lawsuit with Delta Charter, no parish school can play Delta Charter in any sport in the parish.

I know I'm beating a dead horse here (probably time politically correct-wise to bury that analogy), but think of what could have been.

You could have had Block against Sicily Island, Delta Charter against Tensas, General Trass against LSalle and finish it up with Ferriday against Vidalia.

Talk about a standing room only crowd and a big payday for all three parish schools.

Well, unfortunately all we can do is talk about it.

Meanwhile, Ferriday appears to be going into its tough season-opener at Alexandria Senior High without a dress rehearsal.

"It started with the fall scrimmage and then you back that up with a jamboree to go into the first week of the season," Smith said. "It's a process."

Ferriday has participated in the Vidaila Jamboree off and on, hosting its own jamboree at times, while playing in other jamborees, such as West Feliciana, at other times.  

Ferriday played in the Vidalia Jamboree in 1988, but it wasn't until 1989 the Vikings and Trojans competed against each other in the well-attended jamboree.

Vidalia hosted its first jamboree in 1972 with Sicily Island facing Newellton and Vidaila taking on Block. 

The Vidalia Jamboree was once one of the biggest in north Louisiana. That was when Faircloth had Ferriday, Sicily Island, Cathedral, Block, Jena, LaSalle, Newellton and other teams involved.

The Block-Cathedral matchup came close to matching Vidalia-Ferriday for intensity. Those two teams had an immediate hate for each other. 

The other thing that made the Vidalia Jamboree so popular was when it was moved to Saturday by pure accident.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew soaked Vidalia's field, forcing Faircloth to move the jamboree back a day.

That allowed other schools' fans who normally would be attending their own game to attend the jamboree.

A standing room only crowd that night convinced Faircloth to keep it on Saturday.

But Cathedral had to pull out when their football season was moved up a week.

Eventually, Block and Sicily island were going elsewhere. And Ferriday began looking at other options.

Those options have apparently backfired this year.

The season has not even started and we already have Ferriday without a jamboree and Dee Faircloth being forced to resign as head football coach at Vidalia because of a re-worded by-law by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association that retired coaches cannot be football or basketball head coaches.

Apparently, the high school football off-season is becoming as crazy as the NBA.

Another reason the season cannot get here fast enough.




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