Jonathan Walsh knows all too well the dangers of receiving a first-round playoff bye.
The Teurlings Catholic boys soccer coach coached for nearly a decade at Ruston, before taking over the Rebels two seasons ago. It was there Walsh learned a valuable lesson about how to manage a bye.
“Fortunately I have been in this situation before at Ruston,” Walsh said. “We were the five seed that year and we had a bye and I learned a lot from that experience. The main thing is to make sure to truly be prepared. We lost that year to a 12 seed, and that was because we were rusty. So I am still very conscious of that, and I expressed that to my team.”
No. 7 Teurlings (10-11-2) will host No. 10 Lutcher on Thursday in the second round of the Division III playoffs.
“I would have preferred to play a lead-in game because I just think the bye takes a little bit of that edge away,” Walsh said. “Even with that said, I like where we’re at even though.”
Even though Teurlings did not play Lutcher this season, the two teams did face off in a Baton Rouge tournament last season with the Rebels falling 2-0.
Walsh said his team will be prepared.
“We kind of know what they are going to bring to the table,” Walsh said. “I think we have seen teams that are similar to the way that Lutcher is going to come at us. We will be ready and focused to play Thursday.”
Like Teurlings, Beau Chene is coming a bye as well.
No. 5 Beau Chene (12-9-5) hosts No. 12 Ruston on Thursday in the second round of the Division II playoffs.
Longtime Beau Chene coach Chad Vidrine said he made sure his team was focused on practice and team building —not Mardi Gras — during the week off.
“We got a little process that we do during every Mardi Gras,” Vidrine said. “We do a process that keeps them out of trouble. We go bowling together or go to someone’s house and eat dinner together or watch a movie.
“Kids sometimes go and have too much fun at those parades, so this method has worked for us.”
After some midseason struggles, the Gators appeared to be playing to the standards of a team that has reached three straight semifinals, but after a tie with St. Thomas More, Beau Chene ended the season with a 2-1 loss to Comeaux and a 2-2 tie with Westminster Christian.
Vidrine has been using that extra time to motivate his team.
“I didn’t see the same fight in those games after we played STM,” Vidrine said. “So I went a little harder on them and hopefully we will have it all together and starting to play right.”
Also in the Division II bracket, top seed STM (15-6-6) will shake off the rust of its bye by host No. 16 Terrebonne on Thursday.
In Division I, No. 3 Acadiana (20-2-5) hosts No. 14 Brother Martin while No. 9 Lafayette (10-6-4) faced off against No. 8 New Iberia (14-3-0) on Wednesday night.
In Division IV, top seed Catholic High of New Iberia (18-2-1) will host No. 17 St. Charles Catholic, No. 8 Lafayette Christian (12-4-2) will host No. 9 St. Frederick, No. 7 Westminster Academy (10-7-5) hosts No. 10 Evangel Christian while No. 3 Episcopal of Acadiana (15-5-1) meanwhile defeated No. 14 Riverside Academy 7-1 on Wednesday.
In Division III, No. 16 Abbeville (12-5-1) will take on top seed and perennial powerhouse St. Louis Catholic, while No. 8 North Vermilion (12-3-6) hosts No. 9 Episcopal.
After edging Opelousas 2-1 in first round, No. 11 St. Martinville (13-7-3) travels to Alexandria to take on No. 6 Bolton.