Bastrop High will be among 10 teams competing in the Louisiana High School Officials Association's preseason scrimmage Friday at Ouachita. Admission is $5 and covers all five games. Proceeds from the event go to the LHSOA.
Gates open at 3:15 p.m. Union Parish and Caldwell take the field at 4 p.m., followed by Richwood vs. West Ouachita at 5, Bastrop vs. Ruston at 6, West Monroe vs. Franklin Parish at 7 and Neville vs. Ouachita at 8.
Each game will consist of two 15-minute halves, with a seven-minute halftime and a three-minute warmup time.
The LHSOA uses its annual scrimmage as a training tool for young officials. For the teams involved, it's an opportunity for an extra preseason outing.
“One week in pads and you play somebody at the end of the week. It gives the kids something to look forward to,” Bastrop coach Thomas Bachman said. “Of course, we've been at it all summer with conditioning and seven-on-seven camps. I think everybody's excited that (football season) is here.”
Senior wide receiver Jamari Payne, senior cornerback Mardarius Thompson and sophomore running back Travion Burks were among the Rams who caught Bachman's eye through the first three days in pads this week.
“Jamari's looked good, but I don't think anybody will be surprised by that,” Bachman said. “Mardarius Thompson has done some good things. Travion Burks has had an awesome summer.”
Friday's outing gives the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate the team's personnel.
“I want us to come out and look good. I don't want to see any negative plays — no false starts or turnovers,” Bachman said. “We'll continue to work every day to make sure the product we put on the field is the best it can be.”
Bastrop traveled to Ruston last year, winning 45-30. The two teams will not meet in the 2013 regular season.
Friday's contest will mark the Bearcats' first appearance under new head coach Brad Laird, a former Ruston quarterback. Brad Laird succeeds his father, Billy Laird, as the Bearcats' head coach. Billy Laird remains at the school as athletic director.
Next Friday, the Rams return home to face Alexandria Senior High in a preseason scrimmage.
4 p.m. — Union Parish vs. Caldwell Parish
5 p.m. — Richwood vs. West Ouachita
6 p.m. — Bastrop vs. Ruston
7 p.m. — Franklin Parish vs. West Monroe
8 p.m. — Ouachita vs. Neville