- Ben Mintz
Week 1 of high school and college football season is upon us! Today I am going to go over some news and notes from the local high school and college football scene before we get into the previews tomorrow. We will start with some jamboree thoughts.
Captain Shreve defeated Byrd 12-7 at Lee Hedges Stadium Friday night behind two touchdown passes from QB Lucas Grubb to WR Stephen Smith. The Gators are trying to sustain momentum from last year’s playoff run and this certainly was a solid start. Entering his 3rd season, Coach Bryant Sepulvado is doing a solid job and has this Gators momentum on the rise. Coach Mike Suggs and the Byrd Yellow Jackets are trying to bounce back from a 4-7 season where youth, attrition and injuries were too much to overcome. Byrd has 9 returning starters this season and should be improved.
I attended the Lions Club Jamboree at Airline which had a huge turnout raising money for a worthy cause. Bossier defeated Plain Dealing 20-14 in the opener. The Airline Vikings looked strong in their 19-0 win over Haughton. Junior QB Brad Fream has gained 15 pounds of muscle and is now 6-3 and around 205. He showed off his strong arm early and often in the Airline spread offense. Star Senior WR Coby McGee is back off a torn ACL from last season and had a 91 yard TD reception on a screen pass. McGee, who runs a sub 4.5 40 yard dash, already has an offer from Southern Miss and could have many more with a successful senior season. The Vikings showed off some speed on defense in the shutout as well. Airline opens the season at 7:00 Friday night hosting the Union Parish Fightin’ Farmers.
In the night cap, the Benton Tigers upset the highly ranked Parkway Panthers 23-14. Benton is led by 4 year starting QB Garret Hables and WR Doyle Adams Jr. They were extremely impressive in a matchup few people gave them a chance to win and have to be considered the District 1-4A preseason favorites. This was a sloppy, chippy affair with Parkway accruing 6 personal foul penalties in 2 15 minute periods. Parkway’s QB Justin Rogers has already committed to TCU and star WR Torrace Marshall Jr. is the top ranked WR in the nation this fall. However they struggled in this matchup especially Marshall who was called for a personal foul for fighting with a Benton cornerback. Time will tell if this jamboree is the wakeup call Parkway and new head coach Neal May need to make a run at District 1-5A this fall.
Speaking of Parkway WR Torrace Marshall Jr., he updated his top 5 schools last night on Twitter. His choices are LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Florida State and Alabama. The 6-3 230 pounder literally looks like a man among boys at the high school level and has NFL dreams.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association has dropped the hammer on perennial 5A power West Monroe suspending head coach Jerry Arledge the first four games of the season and fining them $5,000 for player tampering. There are rumors of a possible postseason ban as well. These charges steam from improper contact and recruiting. West Monroe is picked to make the state championship game this fall and opens with 5A powerhouse John Ehret Friday night. It will be an interesting storyline to follow to see how the Rebels respond to the punishment.
High school football season officially starts on Thursday night when the high flying Calvary Cavaliers take on the Byrd Yellow Jackets at Lee Hedges Stadium at 7:00 in what should be a fun matchup with contrasting styles. I will post my District 1-5A preview tomorrow and District 1-4A on Wednesday.