The calendar says the area’s high school football season is barely under way. The weather this week says something entirely different.
With a cool front dropping temperatures to mid-October-like numbers, coaches and players have been happy to escape the kind of heat usually associated with Louisiana’s early season schedule.
The favorable conditions came on the heels of Tropical Storm Lee, which formed off the Louisiana coast late last week and left most teams to play their season openers in a nasty rain.
“Walking out to practice, it was nice to see the kids with a little more bounce in their step,” Livonia coach David Brewerton said.
“The weather tends to do that. We’re excited about it being the fall time of year. This kind of signifies football season.”
But even if it feels like the heart of district play, the fact remains the season is young and improvements must be made.
Several teams that picked up their first win on opening weekend hope to stay hot. Others that kicked off with a loss hope the change in weather leads to brighter days.
After opening with a 27-6 victory over Live Oak last week, Livonia travels to face St. John at Plaquemine. St. John broke into the Class 1A state poll at No. 10 thanks to a 51-22 win over Belaire.
Another highlight of the Week 2 schedule has White Castle headed to Morgan City for a top-10 matchup with Central Catholic.
The top-ranked Bulldogs face a Central Catholic team ranked ninth after reaching the 1A quarterfinals last year.
University plays at Ascension Christian, coached by former U-High star Brian Kinchen. Ascension Catholic hosts Episcopal, coached by former Ascension Catholic quarterback Travis Bourgeois.
Which game will you attend? No matter, you should probably pack a sweatshirt.
The overnight low Friday is around 61 degrees.
“One thing about it is you don’t have to worry about the heat and the cramping and the hydration issues this week,” Bourgeois said.
“You can concentrate on coaching football and playing football and not have to
worry about all the other physical-type things you usually have to look out for this time of year.”
U-High coach Chad Mahaffey will look for the Cubs, up to No. 4 in the 2A poll, to cut down on the four turnovers they committed in a 27-6 victory at Newman. But at the same time, Mahaffey said he was encouraged by his team’s ability to brush aside the mistakes it made.
After fumbling the opening kickoff, for instance, the Cubs held Newman to a missed field goal try.
“I certainly don’t hope to overcome a fumble on the opening kickoff every week, but I was glad we were able to overcome it,” Mahaffey said.
Bourgeois said he will look for Episcopal, which cracked the 2A poll at No. 10 after a 36-0 rout of Albany, to open up its offense after staying mostly between the tackles in last week’s nasty conditions.
“It’s still a learning process for us. We should be able to do some different things just because of the weather,” Bourgeois said.
If the Knights improve half as much as the weather has, they will be well on their way to late season form.