Pios clash with Cecilia in Kiwanis Jamboree
By Chris Quebedeaux
CROWLEY – The Notre Dame Pioneers will find themselves in a familiar position Friday when they hit UL-Lafayette’s Cajun Field for the Kiwanis Jamboree.
For the second straight year, the Pios will line up against the Cecilia Bulldogs in a game pitting former district rivals. The game is the third and final game of the night in the annual preview of high school football teams.
Notre Dame was originally scheduled to play Northside in the first game and St. Thomas More was scheduled to play Cecilia in the nightcap. However, Cecilia and St. Thomas More are scheduled to play in early October so both teams requested the schedule change.
“I didn’t mind (making the change) because one year it might happen to us where we want to make a switch,” said Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook. “If it helps them out, that’s fine.”
Cook is quite familiar with Cecilia, having been in the same 5-AAA district with the Bulldogs for a number of years before playing them last year in the opening game of the jamboree.
“You know, you’re looking at two of the final four teams left in the playoffs last year,” said Cook. “Cecilia lost to Lutcher in the semifinals and then, of course, Lutcher beat us in the finals.
“That just shows you the quality of program they have over there. That’s what I like about this jamboree. Anybody that you are going to play is going to be just as good if not better than you are.”
Notre Dame has the edge as far as experienced players. The Pios return 10 players from last year’s squad while Cecilia lost 17 starters.
“Cecilia was senior dominated last year,” said Cook. “They have their largest senior class this year that they’ve had in a while, it’s just not as much experience as they have had.
“They are going to throw some maturity out there; they just don’t have a great deal of playing experience. But they have more speed than most teams have, they are always well coached and they are just so athletic.”
Last year, Notre Dame broke loose for a 40-yard pass play that led to a 6-yard touchdown run late in the game to give the Pios a 7-0 victory over the Bulldogs.
“Every time I’ve played Cecilia, whether if it was here or when I was at Crowley High, it’s always been a knock-down drag out,” said Cook.
Friday’s matchup should be no different and Cook agrees that the contest will give him a good measuring stick to see where his team is.
“It’s still a dress rehearsal but they turn the scoreboard on so it means a little more,” said Cook. “Anytime you turn the scoreboard on, it adds a little fuel to the fire.
“If you have any questions that still need to be answered, or you want to see how something looks before you get into the regular season, now is the time to get it.”