CHURCH POINT — Perhaps the term “big game” is overused when describing perceived big games throughout the football season.
However, as far as Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux is concerned, his team’s game against Livonia Thursday is not only a big one, but the biggest game in school history.
And he’s right.
“This is without a doubt the biggest game in school history,” Arceneaux said. “Two undefeated teams playing for a district championship and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, a regular season game cannot get any bigger than that.”
The Bears (9-0, 4-0) host Livonia (8-0, 4-0) in a rematch of their quarterfinal clash last year. After Livonia beat Church Point 40-9 in the 2013 regular season, the Bears battled the Wildcats to a one-point game in the playoffs, losing 27-26.
Arceneaux said not too much can be taken from last year’s game as Livonia has an entirely new coaching staff. He said his team’s main draw from last year is now being somewhat used to that big-game atmosphere.
“All these kids were in that game last year,” Arceneaux said. “They understand what it’s like to have a big game at home, and they’re grounded because of it. They understand the significance of the game, but we don’t want to put too much emphasis on this one.
“We still have to wake up Friday morning and prepare for the playoffs, whether we are 10-0 with the No. 1 seed, or we’re 9-1 and the No. 2 seed.”
Arceneaux said this special undefeated run has really rallied the entire Church Point community around the team. He said the city is buzzing around Thursday’s game and he expects the stadium to be at capacity for kickoff.
“Everyone is excited and everyone is going to be there,” Arceneaux said, “but our community has always supported us — even when we aren’t having the best of seasons. I think (this season) has brought a lot of pride into this community.”
Offensively, the Bears will rely on their two workhorses in the backfield, Fred Williams and Deion Monroe. Arceneaux said he knows it’s going to be tough to expose weaknesses in a Livonia team that has won its past 21 regular season games.
“Fred and Deion, and (fullback) Christian Veronie are the kids that have done most of the work for us this year,” Arceneaux said. “Livonia is a very talented football team, and we need to work hard to try and find weaknesses. They’re big and athletic and very aggressive. They’re talented on offense. We’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
Arceneaux said winning is always fun, but Thursday’s game won’t determine whether or not this season is ultimately an enjoyable one.
“This has been a blast,” Arceneaux said. “We’ve enjoyed the ride, and we’re just trying to keep the kids focused on starting that second season.”