2005 football season set to begin with annual jamborees

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2005

East St. John to take on West St. John Friday night at Hahnville in ‘family affair’


Sports Editor

ST. JOHN PARISH — Call it “The Battle of St. John.”

Friday night at Hahnville, two of the perennial powers of the area will face-off, as the West St. John Rams take on the East St. John Wildcats in the first game of the Hahnville jamboree.

The two-time defending state champions in Class 2A, West St. John will be moving down to Class A this season while East St. John is once again in the very tough district 5-5A.

West. St. John Head Coach Laury Dupont said he is excited to begin the season.

“We still have a long way to go, especially with our offensive and defensive line,” Dupont said. “We are still not where we need to be. We must improve in those positions for us to be a productive team this year. We need to get better.

“That is the weak spot on our football team right now because of lack of experience. That’s our problem. We need depth. That is where we are at.”

Dupont said ball control is going to be a major factor in his ball club having a chance to pull off the upset Friday night against East St. John.

“We have to try and keep the ball away from them,” Dupont said. “Nobody is going to slow them down. They are just way too good offensively. They are one of the best high school teams offensively that I have seen in a long time. I think that they have the best three receivers in the state. It does not matter which quarterback is going to play, both of them (Johnny Thiel and Ricky Dixon) are really good.

“They mix it up really well. They have a running game to go along with their passing attack. I think that the best defense against them is to not give them the ball. I think the most improvement on their football team has been their defense. I don’t know how we are going to move the ball offensively.”

While any coach would be happy to receive the compliments that Dupont has given East St. John, East St. John Head Coach Larry Dauterive took them in stride.

“We are playing an opponent who is family,” Dauterive said. “It’s cousins playing cousins and friends playing friends. They are going to get after each other.

“Don’t ever let the fact that West St. John is a Class A school fool you. They play as good as anybody. I watched O.P. Walker scrimmage on Saturday night and I thought they were the best team there between Jesuit and McDonogh #35. I watched West St. John take that team apart in the spring. Laury’s got seven guys going both ways and that may take a toll on them with the heat, but those guys are so well coached and they do such a good job over there. Those kids are going to play hard. They are on a mission.”

The East St. John head coach said he has enjoyed the series against their fellow rivals.

“We’re 1-1 right now,” Dauterive laughed. “This is the tie-breaker. They beat us two years ago with Tyson Jackson and the talented team that they had and we beat them last year.

“It is just good to go up against somebody else. Laury is a good friend of mine. We just don’t want anybody to get hurt. We are going to prepare for it like a game because it is a dress rehearsal. I’m happy with our performance after the first scrimmage. We’re not perfect, but it is as good of a first scrimmage that I have had since I have been coaching.”