It's not a matter of if as it is when.

That seems to be the thinking of most high school coaches I have talked to about the coronavirus.

And judging from last week and continuing into this week, they are right on the mark.

But will it be enough to stop high school football from being played.

And if the answer to that is no, then what is high school football going to look like if it is played.

And now that Governor John Bel Edwards has extended Phase 2 for another month (yes, Vidalia High principal Bernie Cooley you told me two months ago that getting to Phase 3 would be very difficult), high school football is a slippery slope.

I must say in visiting Ferriday High, Vidalia High and Delta Charter School, teenage boys are much more protected at practice than they are anywhere else they may visit.

It's after the final whistle sounds ending practice that chances of catching the virus are ramped up.

I was talking with newly-hired Franklin Parish football coach Sonny Nason earlier this week.

Nason is using a saying his dad had back when he was young and it was time to come in for the night.

"Clear the yard,"

Nason uses that saying after football practices to make sure everyone leaves and does not huddle around to follow the coronavirus guidelines.

Nason said he has not had a player test positive for the coronavirus.

"We're keeping a close eye on everyone," Nason said. 

Nason said he has cameras set up around the campus and can watch from his office.

"If they are gathering around I tell them to clear the yard and go home," Nason said. "We've had more cases popping up and it may be only a matter of time for us. But we're checking temperatures every day when they come in and so far we haven't had to turn anybody away. They remain in their same group each day."

Ferriday coach Stanley Smith said he has no trouble keeping his players following guidelines.

"But when practice is over they want to muddle together," Smith said. "I'm like, 'fellas, go home and don't crowd around each other."

Vidalia's Mike Norris and Delta Charter's Blake Wheeler are just as frustrated.

And understandably so. Vidalia High principal Bernie Cooley said right now a road trip would take about 10 buses taking football players, cheerleaders and a pep band to an away game, considering one person to a seat and skipping a seat.

Here's hoping we can actually talk some football next month.

As in the Trojans' chances of repeating.

Which are good considering Ferriday High will be bigger this year than last year, and some new players look ready to step in to replace the likes of Kobe Dillon and Byron Milligan, not to mention some younger players who are apparently hitting major growth spurts.

Turning tires over the summer has a way of doing that.

But don't look for Ferriday to receive a lot of love this year to get back to the Superdome.

All the talk seems to be about Many running backs Terrance Williams and Shamarion Wiseman and Many cornerback Tackett Curtis.

Wiseman had 108 yards on 30 carries (that;s only 3.8 a carry), and Williams was 86 yards on 18 carries (4.8). Fifteen of those yards came on a 15-yard TD run late in the third quarter when the score was 34-8.

Ferriday won that game, 56-17.

The Trojans moved the ball up and down the field at will setting a record for yards per play with 11.4 breaking Haynesville’s previous record of 10.5 in 1994. They ran 46 plays in the contest racking up a staggering 523 yards, and senior quarterback Kobe Dillon was the catalyst accounting for 225 yards with four touchdowns.

Dillon and workhorse Byron Milligan have moved on the the next level.

But the cupboard is filling back up nicely with new players to go along with some impressive talent returning,

As a lot of folks will find out hopefully in just over a couple of months.



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