Teams, officials prep for season at officials’ clinic

Central Catholic and Patterson both participated in the Louisiana High School Officials Association Officials Clinic at E.D. White’s Harvey Peltier Stadium in Thibodaux Friday. Central Catholic faced Covenant Christian and came away with a 7-0 win, while Patterson defeated Thibodaux 14-7. The clinic is used as a teaching tool for high school officials, who received both on-field and postgame instruction from representatives of college conferences such as the SEC and the ACC. In the left photo, Central Catholic’s Jalen Johnson hauls in a pass. (The Daily Review/Photo by Geoff Stoute)

Patterson’s Sirbatian Charles prepares to toss a pass to Tristen Ausama. (The Daily Review/Photo by Geoff Stoute)

Teams and referees alike both got some preseason work in at the Louisiana High School Officials Association Officials Clinic Friday at Harvey Peltier Stadium at E.D. White High School.
In the scrimmage portions of the afternoon, both Central Catholic and Patterson were among 10 teams to participate.
Central Catholic met Covenant Christian in the first contest of the afternoon and came away with a 7-0 win, while later in the evening, Patterson defeated Thibodaux 14-7.
The games consisted of two, 15-minute halves with a running clock.
Meanwhile, officials received instruction from college referees both on the field — including pregame — and after indoors while reviewing the action on projection screens.
Don Rodrigue, marketing liaison with the event’s main sponsor — Thibodaux Regional Medical Center’s Sports Medicine Center — said that officials from five college conferences including the ACC and SEC, critique the prep officials on the field and talk to them.
Then, the referees come inside and get additional instruction while reviewing the game film, said Danny Gunn, this weekend’s camp director and president of the South Central Football Officials Association.
“They sit down and they go over the games with them play-by-play … They critique him on how they’re supposed to cover the game with mechanics, referees’ penalty enforcements, his mechanics, how he looks on the field giving the signals to the fans and just overall making them better officials,” Gunn said.
Officials from across the state attended. One crew worked half of an exhibition before being replaced by another, Rodrigue said.
Other officials came to watch or join in the clinic, Gunn said.
“This is the biggest clinic,” Gunn said of the clinic, which has been held for six years. “We got close to 300 officials here.”
In the actual contests, Central Catholic scored the exhibition’s lone touchdown late on a long run in the second half by junior running back Stefano Guarisco. Senior kicker Matthew Barbier’s extra point was good for the final margin.
Central Catholic head coach Tommy Minton said his team’s performance was typical for the timeframe they have worked thus far. He said they had some jitters and dropped some passes.
Minton said sophomore quarterback Blake Byrne didn’t play bad, but noted the Eagles dropped passes.
“He put some balls on the money,” Minton said.
Defensively, Minton said his team played hard.
In Patterson’s contest, the Lumberjacks took a 7-0 lead after sophomore defensive back Dillan Giandelone picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown. Sophomore kicker Christian Soria’s extra point was good for a 7-0 lead.
Thibodaux responded with a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Peyton Bonvillian to senior wide receiver Elray Duncan with less than two seconds remaining in the half. Senior kicker Jace Haydel’s extra point was good to knot the score at seven.
Patterson scored the go-ahead touchdown more than halfway into the second half when junior quarterback Sirbatain Charles connected with senior wide receiver Daylon Charlot. Soria’s extra point was good for the final margin.
Patterson coach Chad Blanchard said the experience readies his team for a game.
“What’s good for us is we had to kind of comeback,” Blanchard said. “We had to fight through some things. Even though it rolls by pretty quick, you still get some game-type experience, which is big when you got a young group like we’ve got, so I’m proud of them. I thought they did a good job.”
Local teams were used in the clinic and were drawn from a hat, Gunn said.
Others participating included South Lafourche, H.L. Bourgeois, South Terrebonne, West St. John, E.D. White and Central Lafourche.
While teams are granted one fall preseason scrimmage per preseason in accordance with Louisiana High School Athletic Association rules, those participating in Friday’s action got a little extra work.
Both Blanchard and Minton expressed positives about the extra work they were able to get.
“I’d rather do this here and progress from that next week than to have this be next week,” Minton said.
Both Central Catholic and Patterson will return to action this week when they host scrimmages. Central Catholic will host Ellender Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Central Catholic practice field, while Patterson will face St. James at Patterson High, also at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

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