THE SPECTATOR, with Tryve Brackin
St. John High has played one extra game and has two victories to lead the parish pack of prep football teams with one more playing date before district gridiron competition begins next week for most. None of the parish’s four public school teams has a victory.
SJHS is 2-1, while Plaquemine, White Castle, and North Iberville are 0-2. East Iberville is way behind with only one game played due to the hurricane and an opponent dropping off the schedule last week.
PHS, WCHS, and NIHS should win their first games this week. They have the edge over the group of teams they play. PHS should have the toughest assignment of the public schools with 4-A Tara High visiting. St. John also has a tough game on its hands tonight (Thursday) at Green Devil Stadium. Fellow 2-A Riverside Academy has a solid football tradition and returns
experience. East has a beatable opponent in visiting Gueydan High, but the Tigers are so far behind in game experience they will be playing catch up the remainder of the season with a young team and low numbers.
The St. John line has come a long way from being pushed around by 3-0 Brusly. They turned in outstanding performances against University and Central CHS on the road. Hard running by the senior trio of T.J. Williams, Guy Morgan, and Shelby Hemenway, along with junior Josh Johnson has ignited the offense. Still, the number of first-year starters on the club need to continue to mature and gain confidence. District 7-2A is going to be solid with Donaldsonville, Livonia, and Loreauville all playing good football to this point in the season. While SJHS’ offense is averaging just over 17 points a game with a 2-1 mark, defending champ D’ville is averaging 42 a game with a 2-0 mark. Livonia is 3-0 with a 36-point scoring average, while Loreauville is 2-1 with a 26-point average.
Plaquemine High is better than its 0-2 record. Redemptorist had a huge game speed advantage on PHS and the same could be said for Opelousas last week. Senior quarterback Ryan Travis showed last week that he is the spark to the attack behind the big PHS offensive line. Travis passed for 307 yards in last week’s 40-32 loss with Demarcus Watts and Reggie Travis showing they could get open and catch, while Albert Battiste managed over a hundred on the ground. If the PHS boys can get by Tara tomorrow (Friday) night it could be a big boost as they open district next week against a much improved Brusly High host.
North Iberville looked sluggish in the second half of their loss to 2-A Dunham last week. The Bears were in the game through halftime, but fell apart defensively against the Tiger passing attack in the final two periods. In the meantime, the Bear offense showed some quickness, but could not punch it in when they got into the red zone during key times in the second and third stanzas. That took the gusto out of their game.
First-year quarterback Stephen Williams plays very aggressively as do linemen Darius Rowe and Nate Pryer and running back Nikita Woolfolk. Decory Brown and Casey Toussant also caught positive attention.
White Castle’s Bulldogs still reeling last week from the 40-0 shellacking they took the week before from Brusly. They had the win in their hands and let a lackluster 3-A Berwick team take it away from them. Playing a weak Tensas High club tomorrow night should provide a big win and a huge confidence booster for the young Bulldogs who are playing a lot of underclassmen, but have solid talent to be a playoff contender down the line.
I see both WCHS and NIHS having enough talent to give it a run for playoff berths in the upcoming District 9-A. Ascension CHS is improved, but they have yet to play the likes of Brusly, Dunham, or Christian Life for that matter on their early 3-0 slate. West St. John is still the top contender to repeat as champ despite the Rams’ winless start, which did come against outstanding competition (St. James and Riverside). WCHS mentor Ferrante Dominique says the WFJHS Rams have the most experienced squad in the district to go with the school’s tradition for having great gridiron talent.
NOTE: Due to the hurricane, the Plaquemine High Green Devil Golf Classic has been pushed back to April 20.