Numbers picking up for coach Cleo Johnigan, Capitol Charter _lowres

Cleotha Johnigan, Capitol Charter School football coach

What happens when you take two schools and combine them together to make one football team?

Capitol Charter School coach Cleo Johnigan still doesn’t know for sure.

But as fall practice approaches, Johnigan can literally count the progress as he tries to bring players from two Recovery District Schools — Capitol and Istrouma — together.

“The numbers were small at first,” Johnigan said. “But we’ve been gradually picking up players every week. There’s a list with 50 names on it. On any given day we’ll have around 30 guys working out.”

Johnigan, who was previously the Pointe Coupee Central coach, took over at Capitol in early June. With the school’s conversion to a charter school and the closure of Istrouma there were plenty of questions. Johnigan said the Lions are moving slowly, but surely finding answers.

The nucleus of the Capitol roster includes about 20 players from Capitol and 10-12 who attended Istrouma a year ago.

In addition to lifting weights and doing conditioning each day, Johnigan said the Lions also spend some time learning offensive plays and defensive schemes.

Johnigan said the players have melded together well. There is, however, an intriguing battle for quarterback. Davonte Maxwell was Capitol’s backup quarterback a year ago; Randell Bessard played several positions, including QB, at Istrouma.

“They’ve both been doing well,” Johnigan said.

Central alumni game

Central High is set to host its first alumni baseball game on Saturday at the school. Festivities will begin at 5 p.m. with a Home Run Derby.

The alumni game is scheduled for 7 p.m., giving alumni the chance to see the school’s upgraded baseball facilities, including newly installed lights.

Xavier adds trio

Three more Baton Rouge have signed to compete in track at Xavier-New Orleans.

Sprinter Langston Adams and long jump/triple jump specialist Malik Harrison of Christian Life are among the latest Gold Rush signees along with Southern Lab sprinter Devante Bailey.

CLA sprinter Joseph Moses III and St. Michael the Archangel girls hurdler Tylor Row signed with Xavier previously.