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Story Archives: Football season kicks off
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|Football season kicks off|
Local teams have been vigorously fighting through humid, hot summer days on the practice field as they prepare for the 2009 prep football season.
Area high school squads have various methods to their practices.
Neville High School practices their team in the morning before school begins. Ouachita also follows this philosophy on the practice field.
The West Monroe Rebels take advantage of practice field lights by practicing in a light workout each morning before going through a roughly two-hour workout in the evening.
Parish squads will put teams to the test against live competition this weekend beginning Thursday night in several live scrimmages.
Thursday will see Neville host Minden. Neville could have one of the strongest teams in years under head coach Mickey McCarty. Senior quarterback Taylor Burch is expected to make Neville fans very happy with his arm strength and leadership ability.
Burch is coming off a knee injury last season and seems to be going at full speed once again.
Minden is led by head coach Eric Middleton, a former Neville defensive coordinator who also spent many years as an assistant defensive coach at West Monroe.
West Monroe will host three other teams in a scrimmage at Rebel Stadium Friday night at 6 p.m.
The Bastrop Rams, West Ouachita Chiefs and Alexandria Senior High School will participate in the scrimmage.
Each team will get an opportunity to go up against each team present in different situations and live quarter action as well.
Fans have been clamoring to see West Monroe and Bastrop go at it on the field since each has won its share of championship gold in the recent past.
Admission will be $6 at the gate.
West Monroe participated in a scrimmage with Franklin Parish last week and defeated the Patriots 20-0.
Fans will be anxious to see Rebel quarterback Paul Turner in his new starting role against an always tough Bastrop defense that has caused headache for opposing quarterbacks for years under head coach Brad Bradshaw.
West Ouachita will also be breaking in a new quarterback during the scrimmage as senior T.J. Murphy gets the start for the Chiefs.
Billy Minnifield returns as the Chiefs' leading rusher. He is expected to be a true scoring threat with an offensive line blocking for him that returns three of the five starters from a team that showed marked improvements in 2008.
Another scrimmage that will have local fans' interest will be going on at Ouachita High School as the Lions tangle with cross-town rival Richwood on Friday night.
Ouachita is replacing many skill position players from a quarterfinal playoff qualifying squad last year.
However, if they get their young players to step up early and gain some much needed game experience, they could be a dangerous sleeper coming out of district 1-5A.
Richwood is staying quiet on the quarterback situation as they try to settle on one of several young men going out for the starting responsibilities of leading the athletic Rams offense.
Richwood is attempting to prove that they can go even further in the Class 3A playoffs after a great run to the quarterfinals last season.