LAFAYETTE — Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Terrance Broadway doesn’t want to hear any ticket requests.
He gets four tickets from the school, by the way. Not nearly enough to cover the mass of people that want to make the hour-long trip from his native Baton Rouge to see the former Capitol High star kick off his senior season against his hometown Southern Jaguars. Broadway is a family man, but finding enough tickets for those who want to see Saturday’s game is the last thing on his mind.
“I’ve been focused on the game,” Broadway said. “I told my wife not to refer anybody to me. I told my mom don’t get anybody to ask me anything. That’s not my concern. I’ve got four tickets from the school, and that’s all I’m worried about. Whoever gets them, gets them.
“I’m just focusing on the game and the game plan.”
That’s music to Cajuns coach Mark Hudspeth’s ears.
Hudspeth addressed the team a couple weeks ago to warn them about getting caught up in distractions this game could potentially bring about. He knows the proximity of the two schools means there are going to be some friends — or, in some cases, family — on the opposing sideline. He knows families are going to ask for tickets, and he knows there is a chance his players’ attention might be turned somewhere counterproductive.
“There’s a lot of relationships that may be there,” Hudspeth said. “A lot of fans, family members, maybe Southern fans or grads, didn’t want (the team) to get into a lot of trash-talking, any social-media talk. We wanted to try to keep it as quiet as we can because we have a job at hand and don’t want to fall into that trap of distraction with too many people thinking they can get to our players. We want to just do our job, do it well and play hard.”
Hudspeth also sounded somewhat concerned about making sure his players don’t let their emotions get the better of them during the game.
“I hope we come out really excited to play, but we also (come) with a great mindset that we have to be effective, we’ve got to execute and sort of control that attitude and play between the whistles,” Hudspeth said.
The Cajuns players seem to have bought into that mentality, but it’s not stopping them from being excited about playing against a team they grew up following (and sometimes rooting for).
Five Ragin’ Cajuns call Baton Rouge their hometown, and three more prepped at nearby Dutchtown High.
Broadway’s high school coach, Chad Germany, is now Southern’s offensive coordinator.
So has Germany been trying to get inside Broadway’s head? Not a chance, Broadway said.
“I haven’t talked to coach Germany since before fall camp started,” Broadway said. “He wouldn’t do that anyway. He cares and wants me to be successful and have a great game also.”
The connections go beyond the football field, though. Broadway has family that went to Southern, and while his mother went to college in Lafayette, she always took Broadway to Southern games when he was younger.
“It’ll be the first time I get a chance to be on the opposite side of them and not rooting for them. ... It’s fun being able to go against them and to hear their band playing on the opposite side, and the crowd that they’re going to bring,” Broadway said.
Senior defensive back Corey Trim might find himself re-living a fall afternoon from his childhood.
“I always wanted to play against Southern,” said Trim, who went to Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge. “I know a couple guys that I played with that go to Southern, and my cousin plays for Southern.”
Trim’s cousin is sophomore receiver Nico Talbert, who transferred to the Jaguars after a year at UL-Monroe. Talbert is just one of many family connections to Southern for Trim, who expects a lot of undecided family members to be at Cajun Field.
Both of Trim’s parents and a few of his cousins went to Southern, leading to some thinking about literally splitting allegiances.
“A lot of my family is talking about wearing half-and-half T-shirts,” Trim said. “Half Southern, half Cajun. It’s going to be a great game, a great atmosphere.”