By definition, the term CrossFit refers to a fitness program that integrates aerobics, body-weight exercises and Olympic weightlifting.
High school football teams in Class 5A-4A have their own CrossFit Friday regimen thanks to a series of crossover games with teams from other areas, classifications and districts.
Two of the more intriguing games involve New Orleans area 5A foes. Central (2-0) hosts Jesuit (1-1), while Dutchtown (2-0) hosts Destrehan (2-0). Also, fifth-ranked Catholic High (2-0) hosts Denham Springs (1-1), a rival from another area 5A district at Olympia Stadium. Woodlawn (2-0) travels to play 10th-ranked 4A Plaquemine (1-1), and East Ascension (2-0) hosts 3A St. Charles Catholic in classification crossovers. Games start at 7 p.m.
There are ties that bind Jesuit-Central and Destrehan-Dutchtown. Central coach Sid Edwards was Jesuit’s coach in 2006. Wayde Keiser succeeded Edwards. Dutchtown and Destrehan were district rivals during Destrehan’s run to 5A titles in 2007-08.
Skeptics who question how good Central and Dutchtown might get some answers.
“We’ve played four opponents so far,” Edwards said. “We’ve had a scrimmage, a jamboree and two games. I think we’ve had some quizzes and done some things well. This is a huge test.
“Jesuit can throw the ball, and they’re going to put a lot of pressure on our secondary. Their defense will push us, too, especially in our running game. Basically, we’re going to find out where we stand.”
It’s a similar scenario for Dutchtown coach Benny Saia.
“Destrehan is back, and to me, they’re just as good offensively as they were when they won those state titles,” Saia said. “In fact, they may have more weapons now.
“What I want to see is how we respond to the challenge. Everybody wants to play when you’re ahead by a bunch. Who’s going get after it and make the play when it’s 20-20 and you’re down in the trenches? What will happen if we fall behind? We’re going to learn some things about ourselves this week.”
And though his team defeated 4A power Salmen last week, Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles sees his team’s game against District 5-5A Catholic as a key gauge before District 4-5A play begins.
“This is one of Catholic’s better teams,” Nettles said. “You can see this team has bought into what they’re doing. Anthony Camp (Catholic defensive coordinator) has brought a lot of energy to the defense. We want to limit their possessions as much as possible. We’ve got to play good defense.”
“Denham made a huge improvement from Week 1 to Week 2,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “Physically, they’re much bigger than us, so they present a diffent challenge.”
Two prolific runners will be featured in the other games. Plaquemine’s Julius Maracalin (416 yards, 4 TDs) and East Ascension’s Sione Palelei (369 yards, 5 TDs) lead the area’s 5A-4A rushers.
The Louisiana High School Athletic Association issued a sanctions against Jesuit’s Keiser on Thursday.
Keiser will be required to take an online sportsmanship course based on postgame comments he made criticizing the officials following the Blue Jays’ 24-21 loss to St. Paul’s last Friday, according to LHSAA assistant executive director Keith Alexander. The school was not fined.