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Story Archives: What will happen in 2011
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|What will happen in 2011|
Something tells me I better have a roster handy early this football season.
First-year Ferriday High head football coach Richard Oliver may not be looking at an empty cupboard, but there is certainly a lot of empty space.
And it is hard to replace the kind of china Ferriday had last year with the likes of Davante Scott, Marques Lewis, Alred Brown, Carl Ray Thompson, Demetrius Conner and Zuraine Thonmpson.
A tough non-district schedule that includes Natchez High, Block, Wilkinson County and Jennings does not make the task any easier.
After this year, Ferriday officials may need to take a hard look at dropping Natchez High from the schedule. They are just not in the Bulldogs' class, and even though Ferriday has played Natchez close the last couple of years, the bumps and bruises have had an effect the rest of the year.
Ferriday finishes 4-6 in Oliver's first year, but much better days will be back in the near future.
At Vidalia High, second-year coach Gary Paul Parnham will be counting on a number of youngsters to step up and turn the Viking football program around.
The Vikings have not participated in the postseason since 2004.
Parnham has to replace four-year starter Caleb Vines at quarterback, but sophomore Michael Whitley can be a playmaker.
Parnham has to replace two top linemen in D.J. Polk and Walter Jones.
It's going to be tough going early as Parnham and his staff work to find the right cominbation among the new guys. And it will take these young guys a few games to get accustomed to the next level.
The Vikings could very easily start out 0-3, but should be battle-tested by the time they open district at Bolton.
Away games at Baker and Jena are very much winnable. The Giants will be competitive under former Huntington and Ferriday head coach Chad Harkins, but the talent level has dropped off quite a bit in Giant land.
Home games against Marksville and Avoyelles will be huge before the Vikings finish on the road against Caldwell and Buckeye.
Look for the Vikings to finish 4-6, just missing out on the playoffs. But watch out for this team in the next couple of years.
Touching on other schools, after two straight years of ruling over Class A, Trinity Episcopal moves up to Class AA.
Tanner Cage, whose brothers played quarterback at Ferriday High, will be one of the top players for the Saints.
Trinity will find itself in a battle for district against Brookhaven, so mark October 28 on your calendar for that huge game in Brookhaven. Trinity reaches the semifinals before coming up just short.
Also mark Friday, Aug. 19 on your calendars for the most intriguing game of the season in the Miss-Lou.
Cathedral travels to Adams Christian for the first-ever meeting of a public and private school in this area in football.
They may have to park some folks over at the Church of Christ parking lot across the street. I bet Hunter McKeiver of AC is still trying to figure out where he is going to put everyone.
Of course, Cathedral head coach Ron Rushing will not need a road map to get to the game.
Rushing was quite the athlete at Adams County Christian School from 1988-90. He played football under Bobby Marks and even spent a short time as an assistant coach to Marks.
Rushing was on the other sideline as an assistant coach at Brookhaven Academy and Trinity Episcopal.
He finds himself, once again, on the other side of a field where he created a lot of great memories for Rebel fans in the past. This time he hopes the memories will not be as pleasing for AC followers.
McKeiver replaces Paul Hayles, who is now headmaster at Amite School Center.
Hayles had a tough opening to last season, losing his mother to cancer at the start of the season and having his quarterback injured in the first game and miss most of the season.
But the Rebels put together an outstanding season, finishing 8-4, losing to Brookhaven in the first round of the playoffs.
McKeiver has the misfortune of having Trinity back in his district, not to mention traditional power Brookhaven returning another solid team. AC goes 5-6, just missing out on the playoffs.
Rushing led Cathedral to its first playoff win since 1997 last year in his first season at Cathedral and the Green Wave has high expectations for this season.
You can bet the loss to Dexter in the playoffs left a bad taste in Green Wave players' mouths and they are anxious to make amends.
Caleb Upton will be lighting up some scoreboards this season and the Green Wave reach the semifinals in a rugged Class A before ending a Cinderella season.
Benny Vault is in rebuilding mode after losing a talented bunch of seniors, including his son, Trey, who is now at Southern continuing the Vault legacy in Baton Rouge.
The Bears repeat as district champs, but fall short in the second round of the playoffs.
Tensas Academy has been right there the past three years and with a slew of returning playoffs the Chiefs should break down that door to the 8-man football title this season.
Look for former Neville football coach Joe Coats to lead Tensas to the promised land as the Chiefs run roughshod over their opponents most of the season.
|Frank Morris Murder Series|