Sterlington at Oak Grove (Jamboree), Friday, 6 p.m.
In its final dress rehearsal for the 2013 football season, the Sterlington Panthers travel to Oak Grove for a Friday night jamboree. Starting time is 6 pm. for the junior varsity and 7 p.m. for varsity.
Both teams have new head coaches.
Former Neville defensive coordinator Jason Thompson was hired as the Panthers' new boss in January, replacing Mike Collins.
For the first time in over three-plus decades, the Tigers enter the season with someone other than Vic Dalrymple in charge. Gary Adkins, a former St. Martinville assistant, was hired to succeed Dalrymple, who guided Oak Grove to 318 victories, four state championships and three state runner-up finishes during his storied tenure.
Thompson expects Oak Grove to continue to run the football under the new regime.
“Their tailback and quarterback are very good football players,” Thompson said. “Defensively, we have to tackle a lot better than we did last week. Offensively, we just have to execute.”
Lining up against an opposing team for the first time last Friday, the Panthers met St. Frederick and Cedar Creek in a three-way scrimmage.
At this point, Thompson says the offense is ahead of the defense.
“Offensively, I thought we did some good things. I thought (quarterback) Devon Murphy handled the ball well. I thought the offensive line, collectively, did well, which is what we were hoping for,” Thompson said. “Defensively, we still have some work to do. We let some formations get us in a bind and we didn't really wrap up on our tackling, which is stuff you expect to see this time of the year.”
Defensive tackle Trey McDougle and defensive back D'Montavious Heard were bright spots on defense for the Panthers.
Next week, the Panthers open regular season play at home vs. Benton at 7 p.m.