Louisiana will get its first taste of football on Friday as Silliman Institute, Bowling Green and Baton Rouge Home School travel to Central Private for the first high school jamboree of the 2013 season.
“We get to look at these teams and get an idea of what they do,” Central Private coach Terry King said. “But a lot of times in these jamborees coaches won’t show everything. It’s a time to find out what are you doing well and what you are doing that’s not so well and how you can improve on that.”
Silliman and Bowling Green kick off the jamboree at 6 p.m. Bowling Green will then follow against Baton Rouge Home School at 6:30 p.m. Central Private will take the field at 7 p.m., when it is scheduled to play Silliman, a Mississippi Association Independent School District 6-2A rival, before it caps off the event with a 7:30 p.m. matchup against Baton Rouge Home School.
“We all know each other pretty well,” Silliman coach T.J. Davis said. “We’re going to see these teams again, so I see this as a glorified practice where we try to get better and make all of our final adjustments before Week 1 of the season.”
Silliman is coming off a 2012 season that saw them narrowly miss a district championship with a lone loss to Centreville Academy. The Wildcats are looking to maintain last year’s momentum.
“The biggest thing for me is to see if we can play as a team,” said Davis. “That’s been our driving goal ever since last spring. I want to see if we can play together as a family.”
One of Davis’ major focuses this season was to find a replacement for last season’s quarterback, Cobb Kelly, who threw 1,567 yards while also rushing for 1,670 yards.
Davis said he has found someone in Cobb’s younger brother, Ryan, but is interested to see how he will perform in his first varsity start Friday.
“It will be his first start besides scrimmages so I’m eager,” Davis said. “I’d like to see if he can be a player for us and help us this season.”
Central Private’s objective is much different.
The Rebels, who ended up 2-8 in 2012, finished last in district this past season after failing to collect a league win. But with a new coach, there is a cautious sense of optimism.
“We’re trying to change the culture and change the attitude,” King said. “We’re young at a lot of skill positions and just need to grow. Our maturation period is going to be a big key for this team and to get to the level that we need to be at.”
King enters his first season with the Rebels after a short successful tenure at Bayou Academy, including a 1A playoff appearance last season.
Originally brought to CPS as the head basketball coach and assistant athletic director, King had football coaching duties added to his job description following Lyn Lumley’s resignation. Even though it is a jamboree, King is excited to be on the sidelines and see where is team is at after their summer workouts.
“What I know I am going to see is our kids playing hard,” said King. “I think we are going to try to play every play and try to win every play. They have been working hard, and I have seen improvement from our scrimmages. We’re making progress.”
This will not be the last time Central Private sees three of these teams this season. The Rebels host Baton Rouge Home School on Aug. 30, will travel to Silliman on Oct. 4, before capping off the regular season against Bowling Green on Oct. 25.