DUTCHTOWN — For Prairieville Middle School football coach Brad Stutzman, Saturday’s jamboree was about more than points on a scoreboard.
Stutzman, coaching in the first of four jamboree games at Griffin Stadium, had one goal in mind — playing all 41 of his seventh- and eighth-grade players.
“We used all of them,” Stutzman said as he waited for his players to huddle after the game.
The most excited on the team seemed to be his seventh-grade players, who scored on a last-minute drive.
“Yes, they’re pretty excited,” assistant Lindsey Scott said. “Coach does a good job of preparing them.”
Stutzman’s team may have won, 22-6, in the game against St. Amant Middle School, but the score didn’t seem to matter much.
Stutzman said he used the jamboree as a teaching opportunity.
“It’s not about running up the score, but it’s about playing football today and winning with class,” Stutzman said.
As the final seconds on the clock ticked down, Stutzman called a timeout to talk to his seventh-graders to make sure they knew what the play call was.
Across the field, St. Amant Middle School coach Keith Lavigne, a golfing buddy of Stutzman’s, had similar goals. Lavigne wanted to see how his 38 players responded in a game situation.
Prairieville’s defense seemed to be giving St. Amant’s offense some trouble.
Besides the hard-hitting defensive players, the weather was another factor in the games.
With temperatures reaching the mid-90s, several “hydration” timeouts were taken.
“They’ve got to stay hydrated,” said Ronnie Harper, Dutchtown High School athletic trainer.
Harper and other trainers made sure each team had water and ice on the sidelines.
“When the temperatures are this hot, you’ve got to make sure they’re drinking enough water,” Harper said.
Water is also a key for fans and cheerleaders, he said. Harper said a lack of proper hydration could cause fans and players to need medical attention.
“We’re here if they need help,” Harper said.
The jamboree also featured games with Dutchtown, Lake, Lowery, Central, Gonzales and Galvez middle schools.
Check each school’s website for dates, times and locations of football games.