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Will Acadiana area football coaches be able to catch up enough this summer for productive August? - The Advocate

High school coaches have carefully crafted plans for preparing a team for a football season.

None of the Acadiana area coaches included three consecutive months of non-team activities.

According to the most

recent LHSAA mandate, June 8 will end the separation on a very awkward and limited basis.

Weight room training will only be in groups of 10 with careful sanitation measures before and after each session. Imagine how long it’ll take for an entire team of 80 or 90 players to get less time working out than before.

So exactly what is the likelihood that June and July will be enough time to overcome those obstacles and actually get a team ready for August camp?

“I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” Loreauville coach Terry Martin said. “Everybody will be behind.”

Martin is among the group of coaches very nervous about the potential negative effects of not having a spring season.

“In all of my years of playing and coaching, I’ve never not had spring football,” Martin said. “The biggest thing for me is linemen-wise. To me, you have to have some type of spring football just to see what the linemen can do. You can still throw the ball around. To me with the offensive and defensive linemen where it’s so critical. This is the first time ever where I just don’t know. We have two kids where I have a pretty good idea, but other than that, we just don’t know.”

All coaches cringe for any colleagues who may be entering a new job with little knowledge of their players and new schemes to implement. This may be the worst year ever for that scenario.

“It depends on your coaching staff and your schemes,” Comeaux coach Doug Dotson said. “Certainly people that have new coaching staffs are at a disadvantage. He’s got to put in an offense and a defense.

“New hires and putting in new stuff will be at a disadvantage. We’re not putting in a offense or a new defense – our schemes have not changed – so I think we’re going to be OK.”

Still, nothing will be the same, because “your timeline gets messed up.”

In Dotson’s situation, he’s got a new quarterback to train in Sean Malveaux.

“The thing that’s going to hurt us more than anything is not being able to do 7-on-7s,” Dotson explained. “I mean that’s crazy. I wish they would let us do that. That would help everybody out. People perceive us as a run offense but we certainly pass the ball well and have won a lot of games throwing the ball.”

Martin agrees on the need for 7-on-7 drills.

“It’s not real football, but it’s so critical in putting in all the things concerned with the passing game,” Martin said. “If you’re going to put in any kind of multiple coverages with your secondary and with your linebackers, you have to have those things.

“Our shut off period has been the Quick Slants tournament (in mid-July). That might be the first time we get to throw and catch with our players to even think about putting stuff in. so I think it’s going to be huge detriment.”

One thing the coronavirus shutdown has pushed back for Dotson is the naming of his new defensive coordinator after Ben Mouton left for neighborhood rival Southside.

“Keith Bergeron, Ray Martin and Dwight Lewis, they worked all last year together,” Dotson said. “We’ll figure it out as we go.”

Then there are programs like Church Point, which must alter offensive plans due to personnel changes.

“We graduated 10 seniors on offense, so we’ve got a lot of kids to get ready on the offensive side of the ball,” Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux said. “We were planning on kind of tweaking some of the things we were doing. It’s going to be a challenge.

“There are things that we’re going to be doing in August that we normally get done anywhere from March through May, because we’re going to focus on the functional side trying to make sure our kids are conditioned and that we’re ready to go (come August). We’re definitely going to installing things in August that could have been done earlier in the summer or even in during the school year.”

Breaux Bridge coach Chad Pourciau says it’s too early to know how all the lost time and complicated summer will negatively impact August.

“It’s a wait-and-see thing,” Pourciau said. “I think there will be some differences. How drastic those differences will be will depend on how these next phases play out. But the new norm is not going to be what the old norm was I think me and other coaches are accepting that.

“We’re just hoping that it’s not too far from the old norm where we just feel like we’re treading water or drowning on a daily basis.”

If plans remain the same, the first indication for the fans to judge how much the shutdown impacts the quality of play will be the jamborees in late August.

Breaux Bridge is currently slated to play Northside in the second game of the Kiwanis Club Jamboree at Cajun Field on Friday, preceded by Southside vs. Teurlings and followed by Comeaux taking on St. Martinville.

For the record, the Kiwanis Thursday schedule includes: Notre Dame vs. Lafayette High, St. Thomas More vs. Acadiana and Carencro vs. Cecilia.

“We were joking that it’s probably going to be a lot of bad football at first, if we are allowed to start again,” Martin said.

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