The past two weeks for Catholic-Pointe Coupee have been a prime example of a team responding to first-year coach David Simoneaux Jr.’s early-season mantra.
“Our battle cry was just for these kids to show some resiliency,” he said. “Earlier in the year, we struggled overcoming that emotionally.”
Since then Catholic-PC (2-3) has displayed signs of maturing, overcoming an 0-3 start to win its past two games — rallying from deficits in each game — to send the Hornets into the start of District 5-1A play on a high note.
Catholic-PC hosts Westminster Christian Academy (4-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.
“The kids have shown a tendency to battle through that adversity and play all 48 minutes,” Simoneaux said.
Other lower classification games in the local/area feature No. 1 University High (4-1, 2-0) visiting Baker (3-2, 1-1) and No. 4 Parkview Baptist (3-2, 2-0) hosting Glen Oaks (1-4, 0-2) in District 6-3A play. District 6-2A co-leader Episcopal (4-1, 3-0) hosts Mentorship Academy (0-5, 0-2).
The start of district play finds Catholic-PC in a good place mentally and physically.
Consecutive wins over Varnado (35-14) and Covenant Christian (38-20) have given players the positive reinforcement necessary to firmly buy into Simoneaux’s philosophy.
The Hornets, who average a district-high 27.2 points, are a spitting image of Simoneaux’s playing and coaching background at Parkview Baptist, where they’ve instituted a run-oriented, option-based offense that’s starting to pay dividends.
With left tackle Hunter Fuselier leading the way, Catholic-PC rushed 44 times for 289 yards in last week’s win over Covenant Christian — a game they led 25-14 at halftime.
Quarterback Boyd Smith accounted for five TDs, rushing 14 times for 145 yards and four scores. Fullback Lucas Patin added 135 yards and a TD on 13 attempts.
Smith is the team’s leading rusher with 90 carries for 474 yards and seven TDs followed by Patin’s 378 yards and four TDs on 64 tries.
After surrendering 132 points through the first three games, the Hornets have allowed an average of 17 points during their two-game win streak, limiting Varnado to 167 total yards.
Simoneaux credited the play of junior strong safety Sammy Grezaffi, who was inserted into the starting lineup four weeks ago, for aiding in the defense’s improvement.
“We’re playing so much harder on defense,” Simoneaux said. “They understand how to leverage the football better, gang tackle and play with more intensity.
Catholic-PC will get an early barometer of where it stands in the district with Westminster providing the opposition.
The Crusaders, along with Basile, are 4-1 but have shown marked improvement over last year’s 1-10 record.
“It’s going to be a great start to the district,” Simoneaux said. “Westminster plays extremely hard. They bring a different style of physicality and going downhill. It’s kind of three yards and a cloud of dust. It’s a great time to get our mettle tested against a strong and physical opponent.”