A total of 10 first-year head coaches have put the finishing touches on their game plans.
Jerseys, shoulder pads and helmets are also ready to go at local high schools across the Baton Rouge metro area.
And yes, there’s new grass on the field at BREC’s Olympia Stadium.
Everything is in place for the 2011 high school football season to begin Friday night for most teams. The Coca-Cola Kickoff Classic jamboree set for three sites, including Olympia, helps highlight a busy schedule.
“We’re good to go ? actually we’re great to go,” BREC sports manager Marc Palmer said on Thursday afternoon. “The field looks so green. In fact, we’ve got a crew out there striping it right now.”
As the games begin, the upgrade to the Olympia turf, its first makeover since 1993, will become one of the backdrops.
Eleven East Baton Rouge-based schools are part of the Coca-Cola jamboree set for BREC’s Olympia, Memorial and Woodlawn stadiums, starting at 6:30 p.m. Teams play two 12-minute halves.
First-year head coaches make their debuts at two of the Coca-Cola/EBR sites.
Southern Lab’s Nick Mitchell is one of three new coaches leading a team into Memorial Stadium. Capitol’s Damieon Mills and Istrouma’s Johnny Felders are the others.
“Yes, I am excited,” Mitchell said. “I’ve been thinking back to the last couple of jamborees we had at East Ascension when I was assistant.
“A jamboree doesn’t count on your record, but we always used it as a barometer to see where we were. You want to make sure you’re where you need to be on offense and defense. It can set the tone.”
Mitchell’s SLHS squad takes on Scotlandville in the first game. Istrouma meets Capitol in the second game.
Belaire’s Jason Wilkins is the other first-year EBR coach. Wilkins’ Bengals are part of the Coca-Cola at Woodlawn group. Belaire meets New Orleans-based Sarah Reed in the first game, followed by Woodlawn versus Broadmoor. At Olympia, Glen Oaks meets Northeast, while McKinley plays Tara.
The second portion of the All-Catholic Jamboree at Redemptorist, the Zachary Jamboree, the South Baton Rouge Jamboree at Parkview Baptist, the East Ascension High-based LeBlanc’s Jamboree and the Neighbors Federal Credit Union Jamboree at Walker are the other multiteam events.
The All-Catholic Jamboree features two games and starts at 6 p.m. with St. Michael the Archangel taking on St. John-Plaquemine. Redemptorist and its first-year coach Aaron Vice play Catholic High in the second game. Teams play two 12-minute halves.
Former Redemptorist coach Guy Mistretta makes his debut as The Dunham School’s head coach at the South Baton Rouge Jamboree that also features defending Class 3A state champion Parkview Baptist.
Teams play two 12-minute halves starting at 6:30 p.m. Episcopal plays Parkview in the first game, followed by Dunham versus Christian Life Academy and its first-year coach, Keith Dooley, in the second game.
East Ascension’s Paul Bourgeois is the lone first-year coach at the LeBlanc’s Jamboree at EAHS. The Spartans, Dutchtown, St. Amant and Donaldsonville square off in a series of 15-minute games starting 6 p.m.
The Zachary jamboree begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes three games: Central versus East Feliciana, West Feliciana versus Denham Springs and Zachary versus Baker. Teams play two 12-minute halves.
The Neighbors jamboree at Walker High begins at 6 p.m. and includes two varsity games: Albany versus Mount Hermon and Pine versus Walker. Teams play two 15-minute halves. It marks the debut of Walker’s Dwayne Severio.
False River Academy’s Matt Edwards is the other first-year coach making his debut. The Gators meet East Iberville in their own False River Jamboree set for 7 p.m.
Other jamborees set include the Plaquemine Jamboree and the Pointe Coupee Jamboree.
Plaquemine hosts defending 1A state champion White Castle for its jamboree, while Pointe Coupee Central travels to Livonia for the Pointe Coupee Jamboree at 7 p.m.