Comets set for U-High

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2013


LAPLACE – A year ago, St. Charles Catholic coach Frank Monica took his team to task after what he felt was a sloppy performance in their preseason scrimmage at University.
Regardless of the score, win or lose, Monica said that it needs to not be the case this time around as the Comets prepare to face the Cubs at 5 p.m. at St. Charles for this year’s scrimmage.
“If we get nothing else out of this, I want to make sure that we know our assignments,” said Monica. “We didn’t last year. We didn’t make it a competitive game, not because we didn’t come out with fire, but because we didn’t line up right, we missed blocks and didn’t know who to block.’
“They did a lot of stunting, blitzing, and we weren’t ready. We have to be a little further along this time.”
University will provide a stern test for St. Charles. The Cubs are projected as a potential Superdome team, even in a loaded Class 3A-4A “Select” classification. The team is quarterbacked by Manny Miles, the son of LSU Tigers football coach Les Miles, and boasts a handful of players already committed to play at the next level.
“We know they’ll test us. The question is whether we can test them,” said Monica. “They’ve got four guys committed right now, including a ninth grader. Two guys going to LSU, another to Florida … and they’ve surround them with good players. They’ve got a lot of guys returning.”
Monica said that aside from proper execution, the order of the day will be on further solidifying the starting lineup, a situation Monica said was still fluid. Competitive fire should be high once the Comets take the field Thursday.
“It’s a great evaluation process for us,” said Monica.
“We’ll see who can make plays and who can’t. Last year we made a lot of changes following this scrimmage. This is that first chance you really get to see who shines in that competitive fire.”
On that note, he added that natural ability isn’t everything — or even the most important factor in determining who plays.
“You see kids that maybe lack ability, but they’ve got that intestinal fortitude, and that’s who gets on the field,” said Monica. “Those guys in the trenches, for them it’s all about mental toughness. That’s what separates this great game from the others. We need fighters.”
For the Comets, the coach believes success on the scoreboard this Thursday will come down to the team’s ability to limit the big play and corral U-High’s skill position players. The Cubs utilize a fast-paced, no huddle offense, so SCC’s defensive team will have to be in strong condition.
“Beyond that, I want to come out injury-free and knowing we’ve got a good template for what we need to do,” said Monica.