BAYTOWN, Texas — The Louisiana All-Star football team has had little down time as it prepares for the 10th Bayou Bowl.
The 40-member team arrived at 1 p.m. Tuesday and then proceeded to practice twice. On Wednesday, head coach Terence Williams of Donaldsonville High put the Louisiana squad through three practices.
Game time is 7 p.m. Saturday at Stallworth Stadium. The game matches the Louisiana squad against a team of Houston-area Texas stars.
“So far, so good,” Williams said. “We hit the ground running. These guys have picked up everything we’ve shown with ease. You’ve got a good group of players and an experienced coaching staff who know what needs to be done. It’s a great combination.”
Williams is serving as the offensive coordinator and said both quarterbacks, Devin Powell (O.P. Walker) and Quintin Wheeler (Ouachita Parish), have played equally well.
“Everybody has been asking who the starter will be, and I tell them it’s too soon to tell,” Williams said.
Franklinton High’s Stephen Burris is the defensive coordinator and Troy Borne is the special teams coordinator.
Williams said the Louisiana squad focused on special teams during Wednesday’s afternoon practice. Game situations, including goal-line plans and a two-minute drill, were the focus of the Wednesday night practice.
Teams will practice twice on Thursday, first from 10 a.m. to noon and again from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Both practices will be at Goose Creek Memorial High School.
In between, both squads will go to the Baytown Water Park.
Lakeshore-Mandeville’s Al-Damion Riles, a recent University of Louisiana at Lafayette signee, was selected to play quarterback even though he figures to be a defensive back on the college level.
Riles has added another position to his résumé: running back. Williams said Riles was moved to running back after the state’s top rusher, Carencro’s Alex Johnson, opted not to play in the Bayou Bowl over the weekend.
Lutcher defensive lineman Darez Joseph took Johnson’s spot on the roster, Williams said.
Before he mentioned the quarterbacks, Williams heaped praise on McKinley offensive lineman Garrick Mayweather, a Fordham signee.
“My goodness, did some schools (colleges) miss out out on him (Mayweather),” Williams said.
Lutcher running back Daniel Taylor and East Ascension running back Jamarcus Jarvis have been impressive, along with receivers Devon Breaux (Donaldsonville) and Jamaal Lofton (Woodlawn), Williams said.
Neville-Monroe linebacker Ricky Wyatt, Farmerville defensive lineman Centerio Ford and East St. John defensive back Darion Monroe have been defensive leaders.
“Every practice Wyatt keeps telling us we can’t block him,” Williams said. “So far, he’s been right.”