Prairie View will make its season debut Saturday, August 12 in jamboree action at ULM.
More often than not, first-year head coaches find themselves in a rebuilding situation. Prairie View's Bo Barton has the luxury of taking of over a program on the rise.
Matt Middleton guided the Spartans to back-to-back district championships before accepting the head coaching position at Class 4A West Ouachita in December.
"These kids have won two district championships in a row, so they obviously know how to win," said Barton, whose career includes head coaching stints at Newellton, Rayville and Caldwell. "We just want to do our best to add to what has been accomplished and continue the tradition."
Prairie View opened its preseason camp Monday, July 24, and is into its second official week of practice.
"I've really been pleased, so far," Barton said. "They have been coming out here and working their tails off."
Carrying only 20 players, the Spartans' biggest area of concern is depth.
"We have some kids who are going to have to play both ways full-time, and we have some who are going to have to play both ways part-time," Barton said.
Barton, however, isn't overly-concerned about the numbers.
"In reality, high school teams may dress out 80 kids, and play between 26-30," Barton said. "These kids want to be here and they want to play. As far as the physicality of the game, they are going to be fine with it because they have been working hard."
What has stood out to Barton through the first few practices is the Spartans' team chemistry.
"There are no superstars on this team," Barton said. "What I have seen is a team full of unity. I like being around teams like this. As a coach, this is the kind of team that is fun to coach. When you have unity and kids who are loyal to each other, you surprise yourself and everybody around you."
JAMBOREE: Prairie View will make its season debut on Saturday, August 12 at ULM's Malone Stadium with jamboree contests against Riverfield at 6 p.m. and Glenbrook at 7:40. Prairie View fans are encouraged to purchase their tickets from the school. (Proceeds from tickets purchased at Prairie View will go directly to the school, while money from tickets sold at the gate will be split among all participating schools).