Take Five: Defending champ LCCP, undefeated Westlake clash to start 4-3A race

Published 11:02 am Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Five things to watch for this week in the world of Southwest La. prep sports.

1 History: Lake Charles College Prep has history on its side, but not momentum as the District 4-3A football race gets under way this week. The Blazers have won at least a share of the district title each of the past three seasons, going 15-1 in district games in the stretch. The lone loss was in Westlake — a 55-13 loss in 2019 that allowed St. Louis to earn a share of the district crown. The Rams will host Prep this week in a high-stakes opener. The Blazers lost two straight games and are 2-3 after a brutal nondistrict schedule. Among the challengers to their district title will be two of the area’s three remaining undefeated teams — Westlake and Iowa. Iowa blew out Class 5A Pineville 42-0 last week to stay perfect, while Westlake beat Welsh 30-22 on the road. Iowa opens on the road at South Beauregard, which picked up its first win of the season last week behind the play of dual-threat quarterback Jesse Shuff. St. Louis will take on Jennings at Sulphur Friday night. The Saints are coming in with a pair of wins over city rivals Washington-Marion and LaGrange, while the Bulldogs are regrouping from a loss at Sterlington.

2 3-5A West: Each of the area’s District 3-5A teams are off to a 1-1 start in league play. This week will be the first “3-5A West” game with Barbe hosting Sam Houston. The Bucs survived a dramatic 28-26 game at New Iberia last week and has the area’s leading receiver in Jamaal Levi. The Broncos let a second half lead slip away at home against Comeaux last week but can put up points with an explosive offense led by QB Gavin Stout, RB Dennis Gardere and WRs Dylan Abshire and Quinton Simon.

Sulphur kept themselves alive in the title chase with a home win against Lafayette last week and travels to face Southside Thursday night.

3 Big district opener: District 5-2A kicks off with the top two teams from last year, Rosepine and Kinder facing off. Both are coming in with adversity. The Eagles lost their first game of the season last week at Logansport, though they played without star quarterback Ethan Frey, who was attending a baseball showcase in New York.

Kinder lost a 28-26 heartbreaker to Northwest to extend its losing streak to four games. The Yellow Jackets beat Rosepine 40-7 last week en route to the district title.

4 Revenge: Grand Lake (5-0, 2-0), the area’s other unbeaten team, will look to avenge it’s only District 4-1A loss this season, when it travels to Oberlin. The Hornets held off Basile 13-6 last week, while Oberlin had to forfeit its game at Hamilton Christian due to Covid-19 protocols. The Tigers (2-3, 1-1) won their most recent game on the field, beating Gueydan 41-7 in its district opener in Week 4. The Tigers, who received a forfeit win in Week 2, have played only three games this season.

5 Tough district: Sulphur (12-4) volleyball ran undefeated through the Division I, District 2 slate last season and reached the LHSAA state tournament for the first time since 2002. But repeating as district champs will be tough. The last time a team successfully defended its title in the district was 2017 when Barbe (8-12) won the last of five consecutive titles.

Sulphur opens district play at home today against Lafayette (11-3) then will travel to Acadiana (12-7) on Thursday.

Last year’s district runner up Sam Houston (12-5) hosts Acadiana today then heads to Comeaux (9-3) on Thursday, while Barbe hosts Southside today and travels to Lafayette on Thursday.