There’s been more to Livonia’s 7-0 overall record, 3-0 start in District 5-3A and Class 3A’s No. 6 ranking than just offensive execution and defensive dominance.
More importantly, there’s been an acceptance of a new coaching staff and new players who once again have helped the Wildcats establish one of the state’s top Class 3A teams.
Livonia turned to veteran coach Guy Mistretta when David Brewerton left for Zachary after a successful tenure that included the school’s first trip to the Class 3A state title game.
Mistretta, with a state title to his credit while at Redemptorist, brought six new assistants — including both coordinators.
He also welcomed an influx of players from Class 1A Pointe Coupee Central, which shut its doors, with half of the 12 remaining players currently in starting roles.
“That’s the story of this team, just the relationships,” Mistretta said. “Playing together and trusting each other is something different. We’ve seen how much it’s changed from week to week.
“Not only have the kids come together, but so has the staff,” Mistretta said. “The kids that were already at Livonia had to trust the new staff coming in, especially after a very successful staff. We changed some things up after they had success, so the trust level from the kids has been big, too.”
Livonia, was wasn’t ranked to start the season, has been a constant in the poll since a 41-19 victory over Live Oak in the season opener.
Ironically, the Wildcats are looking up at District 5-3A archrival No. 5 Church Point (8-0) as the two are separated by three votes and will meet next week in Church Point with the league crown expected to be on the line.
University High (8-0) retained its No. 1 ranking in Class 3A with eight first-place votes and 118 points, while Parkview Baptist (6-2) is No. 7 and West Feliciana (7-1) received points.
There was no movement in the Class 5A rankings for No. 6 Catholic High (7-1) at No. 9 and Zachary (7-1) with Plaquemine (7-1) remaining No. 7 in Class 4A and this week’s opposition in District 6-4A — St. Michael the Archangel (8-0) — four points out of the Top 10.
There was also stability in the Class 2A-1A rankings with No. 10 Episcopal (5-2) and District 6-2A leader East Feliciana garnering 12 points. White Castle (7-1) stayed at No. 10 in the 1A poll with Southern Lab (13), Madison Prep (12) and Ascension Catholic (four) all picking up points.
Five times this season Livonia has scored 40 or more points and maintains a 29-point average margin of victory with a 23-7 road win over McDonogh 35 their closest call.
The Wildcats have limited the opposition to 12 points a game and have registered consecutive District 5-3A shutouts of Port Barre (53-0) and last week against Ville Platte (21-0).
“Once the season started, you quit thinking of anybody being from Livonia or (PC) Central, it was just Livonia,” Mistretta said. “It’s gone so smooth, it’s like they’ve been together at this point. There haven’t been any issues involved with that. Everybody has kind of settled into their role at this point and having success obviously helps that.”