The practice tests are now complete.
Now, the games really count for some.
Several local teams will begin their district schedules during Week 4 of the season.
Here is a quick look at the five districts featuring local teams that begin play this week and who we see at the head of the class:
Ponchatoula appears to be the team to beat in this district. Led by quarterback Christian Campbell, a Georgia Tech commit, Ponchatoula is 3-0.
The Green Wave can score points in bunches (scored 55 in each of the last two games) and have shown grit to win a close game when needed. They beat Jesuit 24-21 in the opener. It would be hard to pick against them at this point.
Who is the team with the best chance of threatening the Wave?
That will be answered Friday.
Slidell has flown under the radar with a 3-0 record but plays St. Paul’s in a big early test for both teams.
Covington is a somewhat deceptive 1-2, with its two losses to Franklinton and St. Augustine by a combined eight points.
Head of the class: Ponchatoula
Destrehan hasn’t missed a beat without prolific quarterback Donovan Isom, who is now at Utah.
The Wildcats are undefeated through three weeks of the schedule and are ranked third in The New Orleans Advocate’s Large School Super 10.
Hahnville is right behind them at No. 4 after the first three weeks of the season, although it probably feels like Week 6 or Week 7 for the Tigers after back-to-back triple-overtime games.
East St. John is 1-2, but don’t let the record fool you. The losses are to Rummel and John Curtis, a pair of teams ranked nationally by USA Today.
Head of the class: This one is almost too close to call, but I’m going with Hahnville.
This one appears to be a two-team race between Northlake Christian and St. Thomas Aquinas. The two teams are ranked No. 9 and 10, respectively, in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A poll this week. They are on a collision course for Oct. 17.
Northlake Christian won 14-13 last season, and this year’s meeting could be just as close.
Slight edge to Wolverines at home, so…
Head of the class: Northlake Christian.
Speaking of Oct. 17, go ahead and circle it on your calendar.
You might want to make your way uptown.
Riverside and Newman will play in a game that will likely decide the No. 1 team in that district.
Both teams have dominated. Kendall Bussey and Jay Tyler have proven to be a 1-2 punch that is hard to slow down.
Riverside, on the other hand, hasn’t missed a beat, even with the departure of QB Deuce Wallace, who moved to Tennessee.
Head of the class: Riverside
This one should be easy. Country Day has been the head of the class and I don’t see that changing.