The 11th Bayou Bowl could also be called Bayou Bowl Light.
Teams will have one less day of practice and there will be four fewer players on each roster for the annual Louisiana versus Texas all-star football game set for 7:07 p.m. Saturday at Stallworth Stadium in Baytown, Texas.
Players for both the Louisiana squad and the Houston-based Texas squad report between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday. Players will literally hit the ground running once they arrive in Baytown, thanks to the fact that a media day and two practices also are set for Wednesday.
“We did decide to cut a day of practice, and we’ll have to see how that goes,” coordinator Chris Massey, of Deer Park High, said. “These guys are all-stars, and most of them come here in pretty good job shape. Most of them also pick up things fairly quickly. The main thing you try to do is put the players in a position where they can excel, and we still feel like that’s going to happen.”
Louisiana head coach Brett Lemoine, the offensive coordinator at Monroe’s Neville High, also is anxious to see how the new format works.
“We’ll have to see how that plays out,” Lemoine said. “You normally don’t get to put in very much to start with. On offense, chances are we’ll be looking to find a few plays we can have success with then turn them loose.
“I think we’ve got a good mix of kids. It will be the last chance for some of them to play football. And for others, it will be another chance to be seen by a college.”
Three Baton Rouge-area coaches and one New Orleans-area coach are part of the Louisiana staff. Donaldsonville’s Jay Dykes, Catholic’s Eric Held and Woodlawn’s Jimmy Lieux represent Baton Rouge, while Bonnabel’s Reginald Rogers represents the New Orleans area.
Lemoine said approximately half the players on the 36-man Louisiana roster had to be replaced in recent weeks. Conflicts with players who were required to report to their respective colleges proved to be one obstacle.
Tulane-bound quarterback Leonard Davis, of East St. John, is the biggest name on the Louisiana roster. Lemoine said Davis avoided reporting for summer school by informing Tulane he will enroll in the second summer session.
Massey said the replacement issues were not major for the Texas team.
“We’ve only had a few guys drop off this year,” Massey said. “In past years, there have been more. Each year is different.”
Brusly High’s Jay Christophe, a Texas Southern signee, and St. Thomas More’s Brandon Bergeron are the other Louisiana quarterbacks. Morgan State signee Ricky Fisk, of Port Arthur Memorial, and Dulles’ Robert Harris, a Mary-Hardin Baylor signee, are the Texas quarterbacks, according to Massey.
Defensive back Jalen Williams, of Opelousas’ Westminster Christian, is scheduled to play despite being drafted by the Boston Red Sox in last week’s MLB draft. He was selected in the 16th round as a right-handed pitcher.
“We’re glad to have him,” Lemoine said of Williams.
The Bayou Bowl media day is set for 2:30 p.m. at Stallworth Stadium.
Both teams are scheduled to practice at Goose Creek Memorial High from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and again from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
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