August 31 marks the first official game of the season for local high school teams. Thursday is the LHSAA’s first day of practice in full pads, which leaves high schools with about fifteen days of practice before their first steps onto the field for the 2012 season. Are they ready? It’s been a warm, wet summer, but the training never stopped. And the teams have to look at the non-district opponents before they look at tough district opponenets.
Almost all parish schools have the same schedule this year as last year. The Wildcats of Abbeville High School will look to come out on top in their non-district games this year as they take on Iowa, Westlake and Rayne. Last year, the Wildcats dropped these matches, but with rising stars in the ranks, their hopes are to come out on top in the rematches.
For Vermilion Catholic and North Vermilion, it’s a rivalry that is renewed with vigor this year. Last year, a very strong Vermilion Catholic team won 25-7, but the Eagles have a new head coach and North Vermilion is also looking at some young guys to step up for the Patriots.
VC wants to repeat on their non-district performance from last year when they went 5-0 against the Patriots, Northlake Christian, Erath, Oberlin and Dunham.
NV has a tough matchup with VC, followed by a rematch with Ville Platte, a team the Patriots defeated 34-23 and Catholic High of New Iberia.
Another local rivalry is re-ignited this year between Delcambre and Erath. In non-district play, the Panthers seek to come out on top against their local rival as well as Lake Arthur and Elton. Last year, they dropped those but resoundingly defeated Hanson Memorial and Ascension Episcopal.
Erath, meanwhile, wants to earn another win against Delcambre and overcome Catholic High and Vermilion Catholic to make up for last year.
Kaplan Pirates got one non-district win under their belts last year over season kickoff opponent Jeanerette. A repeat there gives them momentum against Church Point, St. Martinville and West St. Mary this year, all teams they fell to in non-district play.
Gueydan, meanwhile, has a new opponent on their non-district schedule. They’ll be kicking off the season against Highland Baptist Christian of New Iberia. After that, they’ll once again take on Wright looking for a repeat win. Following those games the Bears take on North Central and South Cameron. Later in the season they’ll also once again compete against LaSalle of Olla.
The season kicks off on August 31. Players will have a few weeks of practice to get themselves prepared before stepping out under the big lights of Friday night.