How valuable is a high school football rivalry? Cynics don’t see value unless the game has direct playoff implications.
Catholic High coach Dale Weiner and first-year Parkview Baptist coach Jay Mayet beg to differ. Their teams continue their somewhat unconventional rivalry to open the regular season Friday night.
“I really think it’s been good for both schools,” Weiner said. “We’ve moved from one district to another and never had a team that’s remained a rival for a long period of time.
“The thing I like about this is both schools and their student bodies have gotten involved. There should a big crowd and a great atmosphere. What a great way to start the season.”
Class 3A PBS hosts 5A Catholic for a game that helps highlight the schedule of games in Class 5A-4A. All games start at 7 p.m.
PBS is ranked seventh in Class 3A, while Catholic is No. 10 in 5A. Three other games involve ranked teams. St. Amant hosts the top-ranked team in 4A, New Orleans’ Warren Easton, at The Pit. Zachary hosts Shreveport’s C.E. Byrd, rated No. 7 in 5A. Also, 10th-ranked Plaquemine of Class 4A hosts 5A East Ascension.
This is the fourth straight year Parkview and Catholic have played. What started out as a way to fill a nondistrict open date evolved into much more. The Eagles beat Catholic the first two times the teams played before the Bears notched a 24-7 win last season. Both schools are already talking about playing for the next two years.
“Dale is right about the rivalry thing,” Mayet said. “We had Redemptorist for a while, but that went away. The thing I like so much about this game is the atmosphere. I didn’t enjoy losing, but the environment for the game was great.
“It’s a good situation because a lot our kids know each other. Some of them went to elementary or middle school together.”
The are some other compelling storylines to note. Each team has a marquee senior running back. Catholic’s Derrius Guice is committed to LSU, while Parkview’s Houston Robert is a Rice commitment.
Longtime Parkview football coach Kenny Guillot will receive the Parkview Strong award at halftime. Guillot, who is the school’s athletic director, was the Eagles’ head coach for 15 seasons. An academic scholarship is being established and named for Guillot.
There will be some role reversal. A year ago, Reggie Hayes made his first start at quarterback for PBS. Ian Brian gets his first varsity start at quarterback for Catholic on Friday night.
“Parkview has always been a very hard-nosed, physical team,” Weiner said. “They do what they do and so do we. I think both teams know exactly what they’re getting.”
Byrd scored 44 points in the first 14 minutes its win over Zachary last season in Shreveport. First-year Zachary coach David Brewerton’s emphasis on defense will meet its first key test.
St. Amant is OK with the underdog role vs. Warren Easton, which has one of the nation’s top senior recruits in receiver Tyron Johnson. “They’ve got playmakers and we feel like we do too,” St. Amant coach David Oliver said.