The only thing sweeter than hearing that his team could have contact was Franklin Parish head football coach Sonny Nason hearing the sounding of popping pads Thursday at practice.

“Those shoulder pads have been sitting in the lockerroom long enough,” Nason said.

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association on September 9 approved a Louisiana House Education Committee proposal to start football in October regardless of whatever the pandemic response phase is for Louisiana based on executive orders from Governor John Bel Edwards.

The LHSAA had been following the mandates of Governor Edwards with regard to which phase the state was in and what was allowed for football programs across the state, based on the current phase.

Louisiana remains in Phase two at this time, which allows only gatherings of 25 persons at one specific time for high school football teams and for all sports. The result of this restriction is that no high school football team in Louisiana has been able to gather as a whole as part of any practice or meeting.

The LHSAA later that day moved the start date to October 2. Edwards then moved Louisiana into phase 3 on Thursday.

Nason said Franklin Parish will scrimmage Ouachita on Thursday, September 24.

The Patriots will open their season on October 2 at Richwood in Monroe.

Franklin Parish will hold Homecoming on October 9 against LaSalle.

A game at Union in Farmerville will be followed by a home game with Neville.

The Patriots play at Bastrop on October 23.

The final home game will be October 30 against Huntington.

Away games at Sterlington and Minden end the regular season.

“The down side is only three home games, but right now that’s a small blip on the radar,” Nason said.

Nason said three weeks is enough time to be ready for the season opener.

“I know how big contact is, and that’s part of the game,” he said. “But the kids are pumped.”

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