OPELOUSAS — They grew up watching and learning, as their fathers established themselves as Acadiana-area coaching legends.
Now Dane Charpentier and Trent Delahoussaye are putting their own football teams on center stage here Thursday night in a District 5-2A contest scheduled for Donald Gardner Stadium.
Charpentier, son of Teurlings Catholic coach Sonny Charpentier, is in his first season as the Opelousas Catholic head football coach.
The Vikings are undefeated after five games, buttressed by an experienced defense and an offense that is emerging as a dominant presence as the season progresses.
Delahoussaye, son of former St. Martinvillle coach Carroll Delahoussaye, is 61-22 at Loreauville. The Tigers are 3-2 this season, with an offense that possesses explosive possibilities.
From a spectator’s vantage point, the contest could be considered somewhat of a family night, as Opelousas Catholic and Loreauville meet in the district opener for both teams, Trent Delahoussaye said.
“What’s good about it is both dads should be there Thursday night to watch their sons do some coaching,: Delaoussaye said. “When I scouted Opelosuas Catholic against St. Edmund, I saw Mr. Sonny (Charpentier) there in the stands. And I know dad (Carroll Delahoussaye) is going to be there since we’re playing a Thursday night game.”
Dane Charpentier said the coaching profession apparently seemed a natural choice for him and Trent Delahoussaye.
“I guess you could say coaching is in the blood. We saw what goes on when we were growing up, so we both knew what we were getting into.
“You could say we’re carrying the torch.” Charpentier said.
Both teams received votes in this week’s Louisiana Sports Writers Association poll, but each remains unranked.
Delahoussaye said that while the Vikings defense has lived up to expectations, he also is impressed by Opelousas Catholic’s offensive capability.
“Their offensive line has been very physical. They’re a running power, and (Opelousas Catholic quarterback David Labbe) is stretching the field now with his throwing.
“Defensively, they are very aggressive up front. Their defense is very well-coached and never out of position,” Delahoussaye said.
Opelousas Catholic’s defense has returned three turnovers for touchdowns.
Labbe is in his first season as quarterback after moving over from linebacker. In the past two weeks, he has thrown a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Brett Mills and split end Jacobi Richard.
Charpentier said the Tigers (3-2) possess the type of physical team that makes him apprehensive.
“That’s something we have to be able to match. I’ve told our offensive linemen that’s it’s one of those games of man versus man. They are going to have to be ready for a physical game,” Charpentier said.
Loreauville features quarterback Jared Henry, a dual threat who has rushed for 503 yards. Henry has also thrown the ball well, especially to wide receiver Rashid Bonnette (nine receptions, 215 yards).
Shea Lee has rushed for 375 yards and eight touchdowns, Delahoussaye said.
“Jared’s playing well for us. He gives us a running threat, and he has been getting better at passing the ball.
“Rashid has the ability to make plays, and we’re doing things to get him the ball. He returns punts, and he has a 25-yard average on the kickoffs. He’s returned two punts for touchdowns,” Delahoussaye said.
Delahoussaye said he is looking for his team to “play a complete game, where we are good on both offense and defense.”