Ouachita Christian’s new turf football field is expected to be ready in time for the season opener against Arcadia on Friday, Sept. 6.
“As soon as the carpet is down, we’ll be able to start playing on it,” OCS coach Steven Fitzhugh said. “August 31 is the target date for completion.”
Construction began in the spring. Alas, Fitzhugh can see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
“Everything is looking good and going good,” Fitzhugh said. “You can see significant progress each day. The guys out here working have been hitting it hard.”
Upon completing its first week of preseason camp Friday, the team will spend Friday and Saturday nights at Camp Ch-Yo-Ca in West Monroe.
“We will go out there and have some different sessions on being men of God and being good teammates — some good life sessions,” Fitzhugh said of the Eagles’ annual getaway. “We will have time for the swimming pool, dodge ball and different team building activities. It’s always a lot of fun.”
Another traditional event is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23-24, when the juniors and seniors join their fathers for an annual retreat.
“That’s always a good weekend,” Fitzhugh said.
OCS will return to the practice field Monday before seeing its first preseason action against Shreveport Calvary Baptist on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Ruston Middle School.
SHS INJURIES: Sterlington has been plagued by early-season injuries at the skill positions the past three seasons. This year, the injury bug hasn’t waited for the season to start, although it has targeted the defense.
All-District 2-3A senior safety Reece Brooks was lost for the season upon injuring his knee during a preseason drill. Senior tackle Luke Carmichael, the only holdover starter on the defensive line, has yet to practice due to a broken foot.
Meanwhile, senior free safety Dorian Eddins has been limited due to a deep thigh bruise.
As a result of the injury wave, senior linebackers Cole Jones and Seth Temple were the only two healthy returning starters for the first week of camp.
Defensive coordinator Randy Carr is taking the glass is half full approach to the situation.
“We have been able to give the younger guys a lot more attention and a lot more reps,” Carr said.
Head coach Lee Doty applauded the Panthers’ workouts for the early sessions.
“I like the effort of our football team right now,” Doty said. “I really believe if we continue to play with this type of effort, we can be a pretty good football team by playoff time. The effort has been outstanding.”
Sterlington will make its preseason debut Thursday when it hosts Cedar Creek and Beekman in a three-way scrimmage.
GSU JAMBOREE: Tickets for the 5th annual Eddie Robinson Classic at Grambling State University may be purchased in the Carroll High School office for $10.
Carroll will play Lincoln Prep in the opener of the Friday, Aug. 30 triple header at 5 p.m. Rayville and Arcadia collide in the middle game with John Ehret and Evangel squaring off in the nightcap.
WO SCRIMMAGE: West Ouachita will host Richwood and Carroll in a three-way scrimmage on Friday, Aug. 23.
JUNIOR JAMB: St. Frederick will host the Sparks Nissan Kia Junior High Jamb at Chip Luffey Field on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
The complete schedule has D’Arbonne Woods vs. Delhi Charter at 4 p.m.; Glenbrook vs. Cedar Creek at 4:45; Riverfield vs. Mangham at 5:30; Oak Grove vs. Evangel at 6:15; and Beekman vs. St. Frederick at 7:00.
NAME CHANGE: The Mississippi Association of Independent Schools will now be known as the Mid-South Association of Independent Schools. The rebranding was approved by the MAIS Board of Directors during a July meeting.
Formerly the Mississippi Private Schools Association, the league was renamed the MAIS in 2009.
Per River Oaks Headmaster Dr. David Nordman, the organization now has member schools in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee.