Jam at the Grove Preview
Jason Crockett is accustomed to the trash talking and sibling rivalry that comes with being the father of two sons. Since the schedule for the Jam at the Grove was released about a month ago, the verbal warfare has become more intense.
When Prairie View and Riverfield take the field at 6 p.m. Saturday at ULM's Malone Stadium, the Crockett brothers will be on opposite sidelines for the first time.
Hayes Crockett, Prairie View's starting quarterback, is entering his sophomore season. Lucas Crockett, a 2015 Prairie View graduate, recently joined Boyd Cole's Riverfield staff as the secondary coach and assistant defensive line coach. He is also defensive coordinator for the Raiders' junior varsity.
Needless to say, the matchup has led to some interesting conversations among the brothers.
"They get to jawing," Jason Crockett said. "It's pretty funny."
Jason Crockett even came up with a name for the event.
"I call Hayes, 'The Pistol,' and I call Lucas, 'LC3.' I told them it's 'The Pistol' vs. the 'LC3 Iron Crockett Defense,'" Jason Crockett laughed.
Jason Crockett has reminded his sons that they are to exhibit sportsmanship after the game, at least publicly.
"I told Lucas, 'If I see you coming after your little brother after the game, we will talk.' I told Hayes, "'If I see you getting up on your brother after the game, we will talk. At the end of the night, you are both Crocketts,'" Jason Crockett said.
All joking aside, there won't be a prouder father in the house than Jason Crockett on Saturday night.
"It really is surreal," said Jason Crockett, a Prairie View alumnus. "When the doors of PVA opened in 1970, a Crockett was there. So, basically, we have been there for 47 years. To look out on that field and see Lucas at Riverfield and Hayes at PVA is going to be a moment that, as a parent, you want your kids to cherish."
There is no immediate truce in sight for the Crockett Civil War — the Raiders visit Prairie View in a September 15 Week 5 matchup.
Besides Riverfield, the Spartans are paired against Glenbrook in Saturday's 7:45 p.m. finale. The jamboree games will mark Bo Barton's first appearance as Prairie View's head coach.
After going through preseason camp, Barton says his team is ready to line up against someone wearing different colored jerseys.
"That's what it's all about — getting to pound on someone else," Barton said. "It gives us a chance to evaluate every position, clean up our mistakes and try to get better."
Not that winning wouldn't be nice, but Barton is more concerned about the evaluation process than results on the scoreboard.
"We're excited to be in the Jam at the Grove, but when all is said and done, we're still going to be 0-0," Barton said. "We're going to work on certain areas and run certain plays regardless of the score or the situation. I want to see what we look like."
Next week, it will be time to play for keeps as the Spartans open regular season play in Farmerville against Union Christian on Friday at 7 p.m.
"The way it's set up, every (regular season) game matters," Barton said. "You automatically make the playoffs with a district championship, but you can still get in with a high power ranking.
"We're trying to make sure we're ready for Week 1."
The complete Jam at the Grove Schedule:
(Eight-man) — Franklin vs. Briarfield, 1 p.m.; Tensas vs. Tallulah, 1:35 p.m.; Franklin vs. Tallulah, 2:10 p.m.; Briarfield vs. Tensas, 2:45 p.m.
(Eleven-man) — River Oaks vs. Porter's Chapel, 3:30 p.m.; Claiborne vs. St. Aloysius, 4:05 p.m.; River Oaks vs. St. Aloysius, 4:40 p.m.; Claiborne vs. Porter's Chapel, 5:15 p.m.; Riverfield vs. Prairie View, 6 p.m.; Union Christian vs. Glenbrook, 6:35 p.m.; Riverfield vs. Union Christian, 7:10 p.m.; Prairie View vs. Glenbrook, 7:45 p.m.