Parish football coaches were not surprised, but still pleased after LHSAA Commissioner Eddie Bonine issued a statement last week that high school football teams may be able to kick off their seasons on October 8 against their current third week opponent for a slightly abbreviated eight-game regular season. There could be fewer playoff opponents, and teams could still potentially play championship games in New Orleans with a little maneuvering around bowl games and a New Orleans Saints home game around Christmas time.
Bonine also discussed the possibility of having a six-game schedule starting Oct. 8 that would keep championship dates in place that were already set for the Superdome in New Orleans.
Another meeting is scheduled for September when Bonine and other officials hope to have more answers for the upcoming season.
The LHSAA released practice guidelines in July, stating teams could practice in helmets on Aug. 3 and shoulder pads Aug. 6. Schools can’t go to full pads until Phase III.
“We’ve been kind of speculating that, especially after most colleges announced they would just be playing conference schedules,” said Ferriday High head football coach Stanley Smith, who led the Trojans to the Class 2A state championship last year. “As long as we can get some games in and everybody’s safe, that’s what is important. We were geared up to play in September, but since we can’t do that we’ll digress a little bit and focus more on conditioning.”
The Trojans were scheduled to open at Alexandria Senior High for the fourth straight year.
Their second game at Plaquemine was cancelled
Smith said although there are other options being discussed, he believes the Trojans will open defense of their Class 2A state championship title at home against District 2-2A opponent Madison Parish.
The game will also tentatively be Ferriday’s Homecoming contest.
Vidalia High first-year head football coach Michael Norris said he hates to lose two home games to start off the season. The Vikings were scheduled to host Sicily Island and Block, but those games have been cancelled.
“Those were two good money games for us,” Norris said.
Vidalia will open at West Feliciana or at Rayville, depending if the LHSAA decides to just have district games.
‘We all want to play, but if there was a year for this to happen I’m glad for it to be this year,” said Norris, who welcomed Josh Loy as offensive coordinator on August 3. “Right now we’re going back to treating this time like summer camp. We’re going to keep lifting and practicing Monday through Thursday. At least was have a date to work with and the players can focus on being ready by that day.”
Delta Charter was scheduled to open at home against Delhi Charter before traveling to Peabody.
Tentatively, Delta Charter will host Jonesboro-Hodge on October 8 in its opener.
The Storm fell to Jonesboro-Hodge 52-26 in Jonesboro last year.
“It’s good to have a date, but it’s still wishful thinking,” said Delta Charter head coach Blake Wheeler. “It is so hard to look our seniors in the eyes and not know for sure what is ahead. This does give us more time to prepare and we will continue to work hard preparing for the season. We want to play. There are just so many unknowns now. And this virus doesn’t care if we play football or not.”