CONTACT SPORTS: First half featured great games

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 16, 2002


I cannot believe the 2002 prep football season is already halfway over. During the first half, I saw some solid teams play competitive games.

One team which has completely turned it around from a year ago is the East St. John Wildcats. First-year coach Larry Dauterive has done an excellent job bringing his team along so far.

At this time last year, ESJ was a dismal 1-4. Fast forward and they are 4-1.

What is more amazing is star quarterback Ryan Perrilloux has not played in a few of the contests. He has had several games this season with more than 200 yards passing.

Another pleasant surprise so far is the Lutcher Bulldogs. The Underdogs, I mean the Bulldogs, were not expected to have a competitive season and here they are at 3-2 heading into district play.

St. Charles Catholic is clicking on all cylinders heading into its first district game. Comets coach Frank Monica thinks his team could play better, so let’s see how his squad responds during the next five weeks.

And let’s not give up on Riverside Academy just yet. Coach Mickey Roussel’s bunch may possess a losing record, but it has played, for the most part, some close games against top teams.

Playing tough against Karr and St. James is nothing for RA to be ashamed. It will be interesting to see how the Rebels respond during the second half of the season.

I believe that St. James and West St. John have what it takes to advance far into the playoffs this year. However, a difficult district schedule awaits the Wildcats.

All and all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the first five weeks of the season. Most of the people I have met have been very kind.

Whether its parents, booster club members, coaches or principals, everyone generally seems to have a smile on their face.

I have also come across some very interesting stadium nicknames so far. For instance, I did not know Lutcher’s football stadium is known as the “Dog Pound.” It’s funny because I was talking to Lutcher coach Tim Detillier one day and he said their next game was at “The Pit.” I later found out “The Pit” is where St. Amant plays its home games.

The second half gets under way Friday with a championship-type atmosphere. It may be early, but the Hahnville-Destrehan game could go a long way in determining which team will win District 5A. The game could be dubbed as “The Super Bowl of the River Parishes.”

When two undefeated teams get together, it usually creates an excitement second to none. Notice I said usually. I said that because East St. John was unbeaten going into Hahnville recently and got beat by a whopping 28 points.

I just hope the Tigers-Fighting Wildcats match-up is not as one-sided as the Hahnville-ESJ game was and, no matter, the thousands of fans in the stands will go home satisfied they have witnessed two quality River Parishes’ prep programs clash on the still-soggy gridiron.

Before I go, here are some interesting quotes from coaches so far:

“We’re not splitting atoms, we’re playing football.”- ESJ coach Larry Dauterive on his team’s early season practice.

“Our guys are greener that grass this year. We’re the underdogs, not the Bulldogs.” – Lutcher coach Tim Detillier on the youth of his team.

“You have a better chance of contacting George Bush than this guy.”- Riverside coach Mickey Roussel on getting in touch with Fisher’s head coach.

“At least we don’t have to paint the field this week. All we have to do is get on the bus and go.” – Hahnville coach Lou Valdin on playing a road game for the first time this season.

“If our next game is postponed again because of a hurricane, I may have to jump off a bridge or something.”- Destrehan coach Stephen Robicheaux on how the weather has affected his team’s preparations.

GEORGE MAHL is a staff reporter whose primary responsibility is sports. He may be contacted at 985-652-9545 or by sending an e-mail to