First-year Woodlawn High School football coach Brett Beard blew his whistle and told players to run a victory formation play to close out Thursday’s walk-through practice.
“You know how this feels,” Beard told the Panthers as they huddled to run the play. “Yes, you know how this feels.”
Beard wants to make sure his team takes nothing for granted. Woodlawn opened the season with a 27-21 win over Denham Springs last week.
WHS (1-0) hosts New Orleans-based John McDonogh (0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday. The game doesn’t involve two high-profile teams, like the one at Olympia Stadium, Catholic High (1-0) vs. Mandeville (1-0). But it serves a key purpose.
With a win, Woodlawn will double its win total from 2012. WHS would also have a three-game winning streak, dating to 2012.
“What we’re trying to do is not just change the culture, but also change the mindset,” Beard said. “We’ve pushed them hard and these guys are buying into it.
“But it takes time. Last week the effort was great. We made a ton of mistakes last week and the goal is to get better.”
Charles Brooks passed for 139 yards and ran for 73 last week. Cameron Lazare scored the game-winning touchdown on a 28-yard run after picking up a teammate’s fumble.
Beard got a reminder that his Class 5A team’s process is ongoing. On Monday, Beard said a student approached him in the hall and asked how the team did. When Beard said the score was 27-21, the student, “It’s all right coach, you almost won.”
“I didn’t correct him,” Beard said. “Some things take time.”
MANDEVILLE VS. CATHOLIC: Are the Bears and Skippers really mirror images? Catholic coach Dale Weiner said he thinks there is more than a grain of truth in that notion.
“I think both teams are self-disciplined,” Weiner said. “And I think both of us are used heightened expectations. And we’re both intense.”
Intensity won’t be a factor when it comes to an important game-time decision for the Bears on Friday night. Weiner said Catholic running back Derrius Guice has made progress in his recovery from a thigh bruise suffered in last week’s win over Parkview Baptist.
If Guice can’t play, freshman Clyde Edwards-Helaire will likely step into Guice’s role.
BROADMOOR AT PARKVIEW BAPTIST: In this one, 5A Broadmoor will be the underdog. This game comes with some ties between the two teams other than the fact they’re both located off Sherwood Forest Boulevard.
Marline Price, the wife of BHS coach Rusty Price, has been a teacher at Parkview since the school opened.
Reggie Hayes, one of two quarterbacks who rotate in Parkview’s option offense, is the son of the former Broadmoor star Reginald Hayes, who was The Advocate’s Athlete of the Year in 1991.
MIXED MATCHUPS: The Mandeville-Catholic game is one of three games in Week 2 that match 5A teams against each other.
Higgins (0-1) at St. Amant (0-1) and Scotlandville (1-0) at East St. John (0-1) are the other 5A games. The only all-4A game is McDonogh 35 (0-1) at Lutcher (1-0).
The remaining 13 games match 5A and 4A teams against an opponent from a lower classification.
The Downtown Showdown, which matches 2A Capitol (1-0) against 5A McKinley (0-1) at Memorial Stadium, offers the greatest classification differential.