Photo | Mike Kittrell
Each week has its own personality during prep football season, but it seems the past few days have made the past week and perhaps the upcoming week one that will be hard to forget. First, there’s the football; we witnessed some excellent team play at times and some crazy happenings, not to mention some real-life situations that slammed into view.
As we approach the next-to-last week of the regular season, there’s the great likelihood we will witness some more big games and performances, not to mention some juggling of playoff seedings and also a team or two falling out of playoff contention.
This is the point in the season everyone — with the exception of those associated with teams that have no chance of reaching the playoffs — enjoys most. Here are Five Things to keep an eye on as the games of this week unfold:
Williamson star out: Williamson linebacker Robert Woodyard, who was just as big of an offensive threat as he was on defense, is done for the season. Lions head coach Melvin Pete Jr. said Monday that Woodyard, an Alabama commit, was scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday to repair meniscus damage he suffered recently. He was noticeably absent from Williamson’s game last week against Vigor, and Pete said he will not return to the Lions’ lineup the rest of the way. “He’s done for the year because he has a partially torn meniscus and he’s going to have surgery tomorrow,” Pete said Monday after the Lions’ suspended game with Vigor was completed at Theodore High School. “I don’t think it really affects the team. What the coaches say, he didn’t play the whole year last year so a lot of people amped up to take his position anyway, so they are kind of used to it since this is two years he’s been out.”
Anytime, anywhere: Vigor head coach John McKenzie said if nothing else, this season has taught him that anything can happen and it’s best to accept that and move forward the best you can. The suspension of the Wolves’ game against Williamson because of a shooting at Ladd-Peebles Stadium certainly gets one’s attention, but Vigor has been making adjustments all season long, McKenzie said. “We’re good,” he said. “We’ve played on Thursday, we’ve played on Friday, we’ve played on Saturday; we’ve played at 4 o’clock, we’ve played at 7 o’clock, we’ve played at 12 o’clock, it just don’t matter. We just go with it. Whatever we’re told to do we just try to follow instructions and then try to be prepared for it all. It’s another experience that we went through.”
What will happen at Ladd?: As previously reported, this week’s schedule of games to be played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium has been moved to other sites, with Thursday’s B.C. Rain-Faith Academy game making its third move to Theodore at 7 p.m. It was originally slated to be played on the Red Raiders’ home field at Trimmier Park, but the field conditions forced a move to Ladd, then of course there was a move from Ladd to Theodore because of security questions at Ladd. Also, Friday’s scheduled game at Ladd between LeFlore and St. Paul’s will now be played at St. Paul’s. But what about next week? There is a Thursday and Friday game scheduled at Ladd next week. Will those games be moved as well? How about the playoffs the following week? Vigor will get a home game in the first round and plays its home games at Ladd. Will it be forced to look for another venue?
Freer’s phone rang: When Fairhope’s Luke Freer kicked his bomb of a 59-yard field goal last Friday against Baker, Twitter was abuzz with the feat. Several fans noted how they hoped their favorite college would offer Freer a scholarship. At that point, only Army had made a scholarship offer to Freer, who also handles punting duties for the Pirates and, in fact, had two punts for a 51.2-yard average in the game. A day later, Air Force called to make an offer as well. How many others will step up? What’s interesting about Freer is he’s not someone who just stepped onto the scene and has displayed his place-kicking and punting talents recently. He’s been booming kicks for a while. Here’s guessing there is a Power 5 school or two who will be making an offer sometime soon as well and Freer will have a decision to make.
Undefeated and winless: Vigor, with an 8-0 overall record and 5-0 Class 4A, Region 1 record, is the only team among the 32 teams in the Lagniappe coverage area that enters this week’s schedule of games with an unblemished record. The Wolves play at St. Michael on Friday and will close out the regular season with a game against St. Paul’s. Both could be tough games. As for those without a win yet this season, that list is also down to one team heading into games this week — May G. Montgomery (0-8). The Vikings play Davidson at home on Friday, then finish the season at home Oct. 29 against Theodore.
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