Parish schools began official fall football drills Monday with season-openers scheduled for the first Friday in September.

"There's nothing like the first day of practice," said Delta Charter head football coach Blake Wheeler. "It felt good. I have been looking forward to this for a while. It's nice being around the kids during weight lifting and conditioning, but now we can focus on football. There's nothing like getting out there and having a good practice."

Wheeler and assistant coaches Cleothis Cummings, Geary Crawford and Stephen Collins put the Storm through various drills.

"It really helps having good assistant coaches," Wheeler said. 

Wheeler had 23 dressed out Monday.

"I thought everything went pretty goo and it was relatively smooth," Wheeler said. "The work in the weight room really showed for some of these guys."

Vidalia High head football coach Rob Faircloth conducted his first official day of practice after Dee Faircloth was forced to resign by a re-worded by-law that does not allow retired coaches to be head coaches in football or basketball.

"I thought we were in pretty good shape," said Faircloth, who expects to dress out about 50 this year. "We're thin on the offensive line, which is usual here. We may have to convert some guys."

Faircloth said the team worked hard on its first day. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association only allows teams to practice for no more than three hours a day.

"Right now we're just trying to get better at practice," he said. "We're tying to be as efficient as possible."

Ferriday High head football coach Stanley Smith expects 40 players this fall as the Trojans are coming off back-to-back Class 2A semifinal appearances.

"We're just trying to stay the course," Smith said. "Right now everything is geared toward running and conditioning. We want to make sure we know our assignments so we are able to execute properly on every play."

Ferriday High will scrimmage at Wossman High in Monroe on August 24.

Other teams participating in the scrimmage are Huntington High of Shreveport and Washington-Marion.

Vidalia High is hosting its annual jamboree on August 31 with Block, Sicily Island, Tensas, LaSalle and General Trass competing.

Ferriday High is still searching for a jamboree after it was not notified that it would not be invited back to the Eddie Robinson Classic Jamboree this year after competing the last two years.

The Eddie Robinson Classic had to be cut back from four games to three games because Grambling is playing its season-opener at Louisiana-Monroe on August 31.

Eddie Robinson Classic officials have said that Ferriday will be invited back to participate in the future.




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