Ready, set, go!!!
Summer is over, school is back in session and football season has begun in full force.
On Monday all five of the parish gridiron teams officially opened fall camp as they tried to beat the sweltering heat that always inundates the month of August.
All five parish head coaches have had to deal with heat indices that, over the past week, have reached in the 105-110 degree range. But, all five also know that with the dangerous heat index comes prudence in the way practice is scheduled.
“We usually build in a water break after every individual and team period during the course of practice,” stated Ville Platte High head coach Jorie Randle. “We even have water bottles ready at each drill station so that the players can stay as hydrated as possible.”
In fact, the heat index has been so bad, on Tuesday Sacred Heart head coach Josh Harper actually tried something new in terms of practice scheduling.
“We brought the players in at six o’clock in the morning to do our individual work and our drills so that we would not have to deal with the extreme heat for very long in the afternoon,” said Harper. “We then did all of our team practice in the afternoon. It helped a lot in terms of not having to be out for a long stretch of time during the hottest part of the day.”
Basile High head coach Kevin Bertrand stressed how important it was to monitor the players during the course of practice.
“We as coaches have to be very vigilante in keeping an eye on the players during our drills so that we can make sure that they are not showing signs of a heat related issue,” commented Bertrand. “As soon as we think something could be going south, we immediately take that player out of the drill and get him cooled down right away.”
As far as how practice itself has been going for the different programs around the parish, all of the head coaches are seeing positive results from their players.
“Things have been going good so far,” stated Pine Prairie head coach Yves Prince. “It seems that the players have retained a lot of what we installed in the spring and over the summer. We are definitely going to have a very young team this season. It will be a process to get them to catch on to all of the stuff thrown at them.”
Randle responded with the same sentiment as Prince.
“From what I’ve seen so far, we are on the right track,” said Randle. “It looks like they are finally settling in to a routine now that school has let back in. Being on a routine is important to a young student/athlete.”
Harper is excited about his team’s ability to continue their growth since the spring.
“I thought we looked good during spring training and that really carried on throughout the summer,” commented Harper. “I feel that we progress and get better day after day. It is just a matter of continuing to improve each time we take the field.”
All five of the parish teams will have a fall scrimmage next week. The teams will then meet in Basile on August 30th for the Evangeline Parish Jamboree.
The regular season kicks off on September 6th with the Tee Cotton Bowl headlining the first action of the 2019 season.