Ferriday High head football coach Stanley Smith is counting on his team’s big-game experience as a key to its season-opening game at highly-touted Alexandria Senior High Friday.
The Trojans have advanced to the Class 2A semifinals the past two years.
Ferriday fell to Alexandria 15-14 last season.
Alexandria is projected as a top team in 5A this season, led by two of the top recruits in the nation in Jacobian Guillory, a 6-foot-2, 331-pound defensive tackle who committed to LSU, and safety Bud Clark, who committed to Virginia.
“We’re a 2A team going against a preseason top 10 5A school with two top players, so that’s enough said,” Smith said. “Our guys have played in some big-time games so we are preparing to go in with the right attitude and right mindset.”
Ferriday did not have a jamboree to prepare for the season-opener, so held a team scrimmage.
“We don’t have any off days around here,” Smith said. “We were mainly just looking at having proper execution. The kids have worked hard in the weight room and with conditioning, as well as studying what they need to be doing. It’s test day now. ASH certainly has the numbers on us. Consistency is the key and and we have everyone do their job. It’s going to be a great atmosphere. We can’t afford any kind of lull.”
Despite finishing one game from playing for a Class 2A state championship in the Superdome for the second straight year, the Trojans finished the 2018 season ranked No. 11 by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Notre Dame, which won the Division III Select championship last year, finished No, 1, followed by state champion Amite, which eliminated Ferriday in the Class 2A non-select state semifinals.
Country Day was third, followed by Dunham and Many, which elminated Vidalia in the quarterfinals.
The Trojans are ranked No, 8 in the Class 2A preseason poll this year.
Notre Dame is No. 1, followed by Amite, Many, Lafayette Christian, Catholic-New Iberia, Newman and Kentwood.
St. Charles is ranked No 9, while St. Helena, which eliminated Ferriday two years ago before the Trojans eliminated the Hawks last year, is ranked No. 10.
The next five are Welsh, Dunham, Rosepine, Kinder and East Feliciana.