THE POST-SIGNAL / Chris Quebedeaux
Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook watches his Pios go through drills on Monday during the first day of August camp.
Area teams begin preparations for 2019 season
The grind of summer workouts is in the books and now, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty.
That’s the sentiments of both Notre Dame’s Lewis Cook and Crowley High’s Jeptha Wall as their respective teams hit the field for the beginning of August camp which began Monday.
“It was good to get back on the field with everybody together,” said Cook about the first unofficial week of practice.
The first official day of practice by LHSAA standards is Monday Aug. 12 when teams are allowed to work out in pads.
“Now that summer is done, it was nice to have everyone out there. During the summer, it is very seldom that you have everyone out there at the same time,” continued Cook.
“It was good, when you get to this point, because you know you’re going to have about 99 percent of everybody out here.”
The Pios entered August camp with 78 varsity players and their numbers balloon to over 100 with just over 30 incoming freshman.
Of those 78 varsity players, 27 are seniors with game experience, which makes the beginning of camp run much smoother according to Cook.
“Monday was good,” said Cook, whose team is working out in the afternoons. “We have 27 seniors that have played in games when it was on the line so there’s a lot of experience out there. They have been in the program for a while and have run the same offense and defense so we flowed right into what we were trying to do.
“We have a long way to go to get everything that we want put in but that’s what this week is for.”
Across town, Wall and his Gents also hit the field for their first workout of August and despite being pushed inside due to lightning in the area, the veteran coach was pleased with what he saw.
“We’re just going through some things and trying to get ahead a little bit with the numbers we have,” said Wall, whose roster has slimmed down to 46 players. “But we feel good about the start of camp. The kids are getting used to everything and we’re kind of getting back into a routine.
“As simple and basic as we’re trying to keep it, I think we’re doing okay. We have a bunch of kids that are going to have to play both ways so right now, the knowledge part is getting put in.”
Both teams, which are working out in helmets and shorts the rest of the week, will move to pads on Monday for three days before being able to fully suit up after that.
The Pios will get their first taste of live-game action on Aug. 22 when they travel to Lafayette for their annual scrimmage with St. Thomas More. The Gents will also hit the road that same day for a scrimmage at Church Point.
The Gents will then play host to the Acadia/Vermilion Jamboree on Aug. 29 when they take on North Vermilion at 7:30 p.m.
The Pios’ jamboree contest will be on Friday, Aug. 30 when they take on Southside at 6 p.m. in the opening game of the Kiwanis Jamboree at Cajun Field in Lafayette.