©2012 Mike Church
It is that time of year again, time for gridiron heroes and goats to be made and for legends to be born in the championship round of LA High School football.
Last year at this time I wagered Ruston head coach Butch Laird that my hometown Mandeville Skippers would travel to Monroe for the 5A semifinals and shock the West Monroe Rebels and while the Skippers were valiant in a heartbreaking loss I still think I won the bet.
This Friday night, the upstart Skippers travel to Metairie to face the undefeated Rummel Raiders in another semi-final showdown the experts pick them to lose. To that and the Skippers I offer this from Julius Ceasar “nil actum reputans si quid supresset agendum”. You don’t have to speak Latin to know this means “nothing has been done while something remains to be done.”
What remains to be done is for Mandeville to make a trip to the LA Superdome for the 5A finals but what these young men have already done is the real story here. They weathered the heat of July, August and September daily practices. They regrouped and surged after a last minute loss to St Paul’s, brought on by a botched field goal attempt. Coach Guy LeCompte had those boys in field goal formation at every practice for 2 weeks and I couldn’t help but think to myself and chuckle “…laces out, Dan”!
They survived truly being student-athletes, a feat in and of itself; juggling an amazing school workload with daily football practices and if that’s not enough some of them I know even threw in part time jobs, how’s that for building character?
In between playoff wins, when the rest of their schoolmates were enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday week, there they were, practicing every day including Thanksgiving. How’s THAT for commitment?
When Caesar crossed the Rubicon he established an empire unlike any see before. When the Mandeville Skippers cross Lake Pontchartrain Friday night, they will establish a legacy that is not just about football but about young men being prepared for life. And yes a win for Mandeville would be nice but that’s not all that remains to be done.