The busiest time of year has arrived
By: SCOTT JOINER
As most people know in this area, football is king in the fall.
I didn’t cover the Central Catholic win over White Castle on Friday, but I recorded it and stayed up late watching the game.
What a performance from those Eagles, I was impressed.
But, get this — the football team may not be the best squad on campus this fall.
Last season the volleyball team one-upped the boys with an appearance in the state semifinals. The football team fell short in the quarterfinals.
This year, it would be a complete shock if the Lady Eagles didn’t go back to the Pontchartrain Center and return to the semifinals or even the championship game.
A few things stand out that make me think this is possible.
First off, the front line is jumping out of the gym.
Last season the likes of Meo Knight, Gee Garrett and Brienna Hill could clear the net but it took nearly perfect timing to hammer a ball down at an unplayable speed for opponents.
This season, all three seem to have added a few inches to their vertical leap and the ball is paying the price.
During the offseason several of the Lady Eagles starting martial arts training and those kicks and movements they picked up at the Morgan City FightHouse on Front Street have paid off.
The added conditioning was well received and led to a regular workout with the entire volleyball team.
“We actually have a trainer over there, Steve Miller, and he runs the classes there,” CCHS coach Kindra Halverson said. “A lot of our girls go over there. He comes in and works us out two days a week. The girls are in great shape, we’ve just got to get the volleyball stuff to come around.”
Once you get past the imposing front line, the importance of footwork and lateral movement is also something that has seen improvement this season. On long rallies, much like at the state tournament, any extra speed or physical fitness a team can add will pay off.
“It’s a whole bunch of jump roping, a lot of kicking and speed work and that kind of thing,” Halverson said.
So far, it seems to be working out well for Halverson’s team with a first ever win over Assumption to start the season and several wins over other much larger schools.
Now lets get back to some football.
Thursday night features a rematch from the jamboree with Central Catholic hosting Berwick at Tiger Stadium.
The Eagles will likely win again and the starters should get some time to rest in the second half after two tough games starting the season against Loreauville and White Castle.
Don’t count the Panthers out though, they outscored Morgan City in the second half on Friday so that momentum might carry over and add some confidence.
In Franklin, the Hornets will be looking for their first win of the season against Opelousas and just might do it if they can limit their mistakes.
On Friday night the Lumberjacks finally get to host a game with St. James coming to town. It’s probably going to be a long night for the Wildcats with Patterson looking like a better team than they did last season — which is a scary thought.
Morgan City will look for a second win in a row with Sarah Reed coming over from New Orleans.
Every time this game comes up in conversation, it’s all I can do to not call this team Sara Lee and get hungry for pie.
Aside from that, it should be a good game and if Brandon Nowlin’s team can come out with the same intensity they had in Berwick it may just have a winning record at 2-1 by night’s end.
One of the most interesting matchups of the night is in Baldwin with West St. Mary hosting Ellender.
Ellender isn’t a traditionally strong program but at the Class 4A level they can overwhelm a small team with fresh legs, but this Wolfpack team is talented and should be up for the challenge.
Last but not least is the Hanson Memorial road trip to face Pine Prairie.
The Tigers are off to an impressive 2-0 start including a 34-0 shutout over Catholic Pointe Coupee last week. I have a hard time picking against such a senior-laden team and think the HMS bunch comes out 3-0 after this week.