Wildcats’ Title Run Begins With Successful Spring
Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / May 27, 1998
ST. JAMES – Coming off a District 10-3A championship in 1997, the St.James Wildcats had what coach Rick Gaille said might have been the best spring practice since he has been at the school.
The turn out was certainly there with 70 players participating and another 40 incoming freshman working on their own drills. Gaille said it was hislargest turnout ever, The intensity and the team’s play was also above the norm.
“The things they did to learn and their performance in the spring game were ahead of schedule,” Gaille said.
The Wildcats played Terrebonne in the spring game. The first and secondteam offenses both scored three times while the Wildcat defense was holding the Tigers scoreless.
In the goal line situations, the Wildcats scored three times while the defense again kept Terrebonne out of the end zone.
“The whole spring went well,” Gaille said. “We were impressed how wellthe defense played and the offense showed more finese than expected.”Gaille emphasize that work still needs to be done however and that the Wildcats will use the summer to get in better physical condition.
Defensively, the Wildcats return eight starters from the 1997 squad. Theoffense returns seven starters although some of those may be playing different positions.
The Wildcats open the 1998 season at home against West St. John in arematch of their thriller in the Hap Glaudi Classic in the Superdome last year.
A home game against Assumption follows before the Wildcats travel to Amite in a rematch of their Class 3A quarterfinal game. The Wildcatsreturn home to host West Jefferson and Crowley.
St. James opens its defense of its district title on the road againstPlaquemine. Home games against cross-parish rival Lutcher and Lawlessfollow before the Wildcats travel to play E.D. White. St. James closes itsseason at home against Donaldsonville.
Gaille said the team will be as good as its talent will be and that will be determined at a later date. But he said that the team has good athletes andsolid senior leadership.
“I think we have a good football team,” Gaille said. “What is good aboutthese players is not just their football ability but also that they have decisions about how good they want to be. They are fun to be around.”
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