Editor's note: Since the column was written Ferriday was hoping to play John Curtis in a jamboree, but that also fell through.
It would be hard to find someone more ready for the opening whistle to start football season than Ferriday High head football coach Stanley Smith.
Smith has been snakebitten this month in preparing for his third year at Ferriday, looking to lead his alma mater back to at least the semifinals for the third straight year.
Up until last week, Smith was looking at not hearing an official official's whistle until the Trojans open their season at Alexandria Senior High -- a team three classes bigger than Ferriday that is expected to field its best football team in years.
ASH has defensive tackle Jacobian Guillory (6-2, 332) who is considered one of the top three recruits in the state, and also safety Bud Clark (6-1, 170) and defensive end Khari Coleman (6-2, 212) who are in everyone's top 60 in the state.
That's quite a task without any kind of dress rehearsal.
Up until July, 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.
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 a lot to do 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.
Ferriday reached out to Vidalia, but the late notice would have caused Vidalia's jamboree to go from six teams to seven teams, causing quite a bit of juggling.
So Smith was going to treat a scrimmage scheduled to be held at Wossman this past Saturday as a jamboree.
The scrimmage consisted of Wossman, Ferriday, Huntington of Shreveport and Washington-Marion.
Smith gets a call last Wednesday from Wossman saying the LHSAA does not allow more than three teams in a scrimmage.
Guess who got knocked out?
Snakebite No. 2.
Fortunately, Smith reached out to Jonesboro-Hodge, which scheduled Pickering for a scrimmage last week. Tiger head coach Terrance Blankenship obliged. It didn't hurt that played college ball at Louisiana-Lafayette with J-H defensive coordinator Carlos Hicks.
Vidalia's jamboree on Saturday should be a lot of fun. Games kick off at 6 p.m. with Tensas Parish taking on LaSalle.
Block and Sicily Island meet in the second game.
Viking fans will have a chance to get a glimpse of Vidalia's first two opponents, while also seeing why these two schools have a rivalry that is right up there with Vidalia-Ferriday.
Sicily Island's football team made history last year under venerable coach Donald Money, winning its first home playoff game since 1992.
Benny Vault is back to bring Block High back to signifigance.
The Vikings take on General Trass in the final game of the night.
General Trass competes in the same district with Vidalia and Ferriday.
The first Vidalia Jamboree was held in 1972 with Vidalia, Block, Newellton and Sicily Island competing.
The tradition continues Saturday.
At least there are no hurricanes. Just bring your suntan lotion.