Despite not having won an outright district championship in over a decade, that hasn’t stopped the Mandeville Skippers from being one of the more successful postseason teams in Class 5A.
The Skippers have made it as far as the state quarterfinals three out of the past four years and will look to continue that trend again Friday night when the 12th-seeded Skippers (7-3) host No. 21 Thibodaux (6-4) in 5A bidistrict playoff action.
“We have had some success in the postseason,” Skippers coach Guy LeCompte said. “Our coaching staff works very hard, and our routines are in place. The players throughout the years know the routines and how things go around here. Consistency is important in football and we have it.
“We don’t shy away from playing anyone in the regular season in our predistrict schedule. The benefits of that come from the fact it puts the kids in big-game atmospheres early on. It also makes us better as a coaching staff and trickles down to the players.
“Each week our opponent doesn’t make a difference. It is on us and how we prepare. We prepare the same each week. We focus on us, nothing else. Our goal is to improve each week.”
Losers of two straight games heading into the postseason, the Skippers look to right the ship against Thibodaux. After falling to St. Paul’s 7-0 on Oct. 30, Mandeville was upset by Covington a week later, 21-6.
“A St. Paul’s hangover could have a little bit to do with the loss to the Lions,” LeCompte said. “Credit Covington, they outplayed us.”
The Skippers are led by the twin brother combination of quarterback Cody Orgeron and wide receiver Parker Orgeron.
Both seniors, Cody has thrown for 1,859 yards and 19 touchdowns while Parker has 50 catches for 748 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“We turned the ball over way too much in the loss to St. Paul’s,” LeCompte said. “We have to go back to the ways we played the first eight weeks of the year. That starts with protecting the football. I want to see us play with the energy we had early in the season. I don’t think we have had that same type of energy the last two games. We must protect the football, avoid mental mistakes and execute.”
Thibodaux also comes into the game against the Skippers on a two-game losing streak. The third-place finisher in District 7-5A, the Tigers lost to Destrehan 51-40 on Oct. 30 and Hahnville 45-14 on Nov. 5
“We look at Mandeville on film and see a team which is very good on defense,” Tigers coach Chris Dugas said. “They are very aggressive and have outstanding linebacking play. It is going to be a tough challenge for us to go on the road there and win. We are going to have to play a complete game and our best to win.
“If we don’t turn the ball over I like our chances. Turnovers have plagued us the last couple of weeks. We have to take care of the football and establish a consistent running game. If we do that I like our chances for success.”