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SCC Football: Taking care of the ball

LAPLACE — High school football in the River Parishes is nothing less than phenomenal.

Football at St. Charles Catholic ranks high among that category. Just as many other local schools are preparing for the tailgating, rivalries and Friday Night Lights tradition, SCC is gearing up for another year of success.

Coming off their extraordinary season last year taking them all the way to the championship, Coach Monica attributes the success to a strong support system, school administration, the coaching staff, his wife and most importantly, the players.

“They have put so much into it. It’s all about the kids and the relationships you have with the players,” Monica said.

The team has been working hard, as early as 6:30 a.m., trying to prepare for a season that unfortunately is still undecided. The Louisiana High School Athletic Association voted Monday to restrict the playing of high school football games until high school athletics reaches Phase 4 of reopening.

“We were anxious to get started as soon as the restrictions were put in place for Phase 1, so I had them come in groups,” Monica said. “Yet, there is nothing better than that personal contact. So, what I did was I tried to call them once a week, just to check in with them. It was amazing the impact that had!”

“The greatest joy in the world is anticipation,” said St. Thomas Aquinas, and those very words ring true for Coach Frank Monica and the St. Charles Catholic Comets.

“Anticipation for the season is where the kids are at right now,” Monica added.

Here in LaPlace, the team has been working hard and gearing up for the new fall season of football to begin. As Coach Monica stated, “The beginning of the season is always exciting because everyone is undefeated now. It’s always exciting to see the new offensive lines, defensive lines, who the new quarterback is going to be, the new systems and the new plays the teams have. That anticipation is always there, and we certainly don’t want to take that away from the kids with this pandemic.”

High school sports have been on hiatus since March, and kids most definitely want to get back to some form of normalcy in their lives. What better way than to get back to football!

“We have had very minimal absenteeism this summer, so the kids are committed,” Monica said. “It’s attributed to their dedication and it’s also a sign that they really want to play a sport. I have about 100 kids wanting to play football, some who have never played before, but they are excited to be a part of it!”

Who wouldn’t want to play for SCC? With Coach Monica’s wisdom and experience, St. Charles Comets have become a premier team to contend with here in the River Parishes. Of course, the kids will sacrifice time and some sweat, but if they are willing to push themselves, they will go far beyond what they imagined with Coach Monica.

Coach Frank Monica and Coach Wayne Stein teach and model core values to their players at St. Charles Catholic High School.

The team is still putting in their fair share of work, sweat and determination even in this time of crisis and uncertainty.

“I don’t have any expectations; I just take it game to game. There is a formula for winning but there’s also a formula for losing. If you don’t work hard, if you don’t get bigger and stronger, you don’t improve week to week, you can easily find yourself at the end of those victories,” Monica said.

“We had many close games we barely escaped in. We had two overtime games that we won, but they could have easily gone the other way. We had to schedule up, and the kids wanted it and competed well. Tradition is here and we have that, but it’s about the kids having individual success. We talk about getting better on a daily basis and the victories will take care of themselves. We constantly discuss preparation and hard work leading up to this. If they can become a better player, that’s something! I hate to use the cliché, ‘it’s a game at a time’. For me, it’s day-to-day. I can tell how we will play on Friday just by watching them practice on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Miracles don’t happen on Friday night, its what you put into it in practice. If you have success in practice, you will have success on Friday night.”

As if the pandemic and mystery of high school sports at its current state wasn’t enough, the Comets are rebuilding their team offensively.

“We lost 18 seniors, our entire offensive line. But I have many kids that will step up and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do. I have many kids coming back this year that I’m banking on their experience that will be a real good group,” Monica said.

Some of the standouts, step ups, and a few sleepers on this awesome Comet team to watch out for are Brock Clement, Keenan Gauff, Zack Vicknair, Reid Landeche, Eric Cador, Chris White, Mandel Eugene, Kamren Campbell, Kendall Harris, Josh Templain, Kaiden Jones, Moses Clark, Tyler Boudreaux, Cade Pregeant, Kaden Foster, Troy Johnson, Carter Chauvin, Aiden Authement, Justin Tuicuit, Sammy Joyce, Rustin West, Mohammad Nabut, Devon Sturgis and Logan Forsythe.

These Comets will absolutely be a watched team this year. Football fans can’t wait to see these fantastic players hit the bright Friday Night Lights!

–This article was submitted by Tara Williams, contributing writer to L’Observateur.