Something’s gotta give as unbeatens enter Week 5
The numbers say it all.
Combined record: 19-0. Number of points scored: 544.
Never before in the history of prep football in New Orleans has an entire district entered the halfway point of the season with unblemished records.
But that is exactly what has happened to the new District 9-5A teams assembled by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association for the first of two seasons.
Brother Martin, Chalmette, Jesuit and West Jefferson all enter Week 5 with 4-0 records. Archbishop Rummel, which was unable to play or reschedule its Week 1 game against Archbishop Shaw, which Tropical Storm Lee blew away, has a record of 3-0.
All five are in the upper percentile in the Class 5A power ratings, which makes this New Orleans Prep League the most competitive in this classification, so much so that the administration at Grace King was wise enough to beg out of playing a district schedule against these giants. King, which is loping along with a 2-2 record against opponents of lesser strength, will rejoin 9-5A in all other sports.
District play doesn’t get underway until Oct. 7 when West Jefferson and Brother Martin kick it off at Hoss Memtsas Stadium. That’s when the rubber will meet the road, as the axiom goes.
This week’s schedule matches Brother Martin against Higgins (2-1) at Tad Gormley Stadium on Thursday; John Ehret (0-3) against Jesuit at Gormley; West Jeff at Hammond (1-3); Chalmette against Warren Easton (2-2) at Bobby Nuss Stadium on Friday; and Rummel against Holy Cross (0-4) at Joe Yenni Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Martin will face the biggest test against a Higgins team that is highly competitive and is expected to be among the final leaders in district 8-5A.
No room at the top
Then there are St. Paul’s and St. Charles Catholic, ranked at the top of classes 5A and 3A, respectively. Can either be unseated as the best in their classes in the final six weeks of the regular season?
After watching the Comets brush aside Miller-McCoy, 55-2, last week and the manner in which they did it, I believe Coach Frank Monica’s team is a legit No. 1. This unique “old school master” has his players convinced that every opponent is the Green Bay Packers and that they will have to execute at their best to stay in the game. It works, but when you look at the remaining opponents, a Comet loss would be an upset.
The lone team with an impressive record is Port Allen (4-0). But the Pelicans have beaten one 3A team that is 1-3 and three Class 1A opponents with a combined record of 2-8.
On the other hand, St. Paul’s has more work to be done. Coach Ken Sears’ Wolves got past host Covington, 31-7 last week, ending the Lions’ three-game win streak, and now they will face the next big test in District 6-5A, Mandeville, which is also 4-0. That game will be played at Hunter Stadium.
None of the remaining six opponents on St. Paul’s schedule have losing records. And if the Wolves can stop Mandeville’s excellent passing game this week, they still have two more formidable opponents left in Ponchatoula (3-1) on Oct. 21 and Fontainebleau (4-0) in the Nov. 4 finale.
And how about Archbishop Hannan’s display of early-season spunk?
Granted, the Hawks have beaten four opponents with a combined record of 1-12, and the brunt of their schedule lies ahead in the form of Southern Lab, Kentwood and Varnado, but it wasn’t long ago that this transplanted team was taking its lumps. And regardless of the outcome of the remaining games, the Hawks have won the hearts of their new and old fans and alumni.
Volley tourney a success
The recent Catholic Volleyball Tournament, an ingenious offspring from the mind of Ursuline head coach Jay Jay Juan, came down to a duel between 2010 Division I champion Mount Carmel and Division II runner-up Ursuline.
Ursuline entered the title game with a 4-0 tournament record with victories over Dominican,Teurlings Catholic, the Academy of the Sacred Heart and St. Scholastica.
Mount Carmel, which lost a two-game match to E.D. White, battled back into the championship match by beating De La Salle, St. Thomas More, Catholic of Pointe Coupee and Dominican and then won the inaugural title by beating by beating Ursuline, 25-19, 25-16.
Dominican and St. Thomas More won three tournament matches; De La Salle, St. Scholastica and E.D. White won two; and Sacred Heart won one match. Teurlings and Catholic-P.C. were 0-4.
Cabrini is expected to join the field in 2012.