There is a different buzz in the halls of Haynes Academy this season.
A 5-1 start to the season will do that, especially in just the school’s seventh season of fielding a football team.
“There is a different vibe here,” first-year coach Paul Longo said. “Kids that have never wanted to talk about football are now talking about. It’s definitely different.”
Longo was an assistant the previous six years before taking the helm this season.
Six weeks into the season, his Yellow Jackets cracked The New Orleans Advocate’s Small School Super 10 at the No. 9 spot.
It’s just what players like junior running back Malik Bailey were hoping for.
“From my freshman year, one of the things I wanted to do was help make a name for my school, and now I feel that my teammates and I are finally starting to do it,” Bailey said. Bailey has been the leader on offense.
He has rushed for a team-best 573 yards this season.
Quarterback Charlie Magaw runs the offense for a team averaging 34.3 points in its past four games.
“Charlie has really stepped up his game,” Longo said. “He is making his reads a lot better.”
The Jackets have won four consecutive games after splitting their first two of the season.
Ronald Clay leads a defense that is allowing just 7.3 points in their winning streak.
“The kids have worked hard, and it started in the offseason,” Longo said. “They jumped in the weight room and we had a great spring. We have 42 kids on the team, and they’re all working for the same reason. We’re just trying to stay the course and stay after it. They deserve it, and we’re going to just keep chopping wood every day.”
Next up is Friday’s key District 8-2A game against No. 10 Thomas Jefferson (3-3) at Joe Yenni Stadium.
It’s also homecoming for Haynes.
“Coach Paul has been keeping our minds straight and keeping all the distractions away,” Bailey said. “We are strictly focused on Thomas Jefferson and this game. We have really come together as a family, and everyone is playing for each other. The whole school is behind us right now. It’s crazy .”
Sacred Heart Hall induction
Sacred Heart will induct its first hall of fame class Thursday during a home volleyball against De La Salle.
Eight alums and former coaches were selected by a committee.
The inductees are:
Alice “Sister” Roth Morgan (Class of 1965) — volleyball, basketball, swimming
Ellen Heidingsfelder Manning (’87) — volleyball, track, soccer
Betsy Becker Laborde (’88) — volleyball, basketball, track, cross country
Kendall Goodier Hales (’92) — volleyball, basketball, softball
Cappy Meyer Johnson (’92) — volleyball, basketball
Betty Kehoe Gordon (1952-1963) — volleyball and basketball coach
Deborah A. Surgi (1984 -1992) — volleyball coach
Jill Eumont Melito (1986-1997) — gymnastics coach
Four football teams in Greater New Orleans are still undefeated. The remaining undefeated teams, all 6-0, are Destrehan, McDonogh 35, De La Salle and Country Day.