Tigers and Bulldogs eye 2015-16 football schedules
With spring practices coming to a close and with the regular season now just three months away, the official 2015-16 schedules were released recently for the parish's football teams.
Both Donaldsonviile and Ascension Catholic will have new teams to deal with in their respective classifications.
The Tigers will be taking the brunt of the most widespread change as they make a transition to District 6-3A, a district that is completely different from the one they had been playing in for the past two years.
This new district is absolutely brutal, containing the likes of defending Division II champion U-High and Division II runner-up Parkview Baptist. Those are just two of the landmines Donaldsonville will have to navigate through this upcoming season.
The Tigers will be trying to make the postseason for the third straight season under head coach Benny Guilbeaux. They finished 5-5 during the regular season last year and reached the second round of the playoffs.
Their opponent for 2015 will be Assumption, a team they've opened against for the past four seasons. They have won the last two matchups.
However, instead of playing parish foe Dutchtown in week two like they have in years passed, they'll host 2A power West St. John.
With such a large district, they'll only play one other non-district contest. That will come on Sept. 18, against White Castle.
They begin district action on Sept. 25, with a home game against Brusly, a team that went just 3-7 last year.
They then go to the road for back-to-back games with West Feliciana and Port Allen. The two teams combined to go 14-6 in last year's regular season.
The Tigers will then host Baker on Oct. 16, before making a tough road trip to Parkview the following week.
Their home finale will be on Oct. 30, against Glen Oaks, and they'll have to go on the road for a tough regular-season finale against U-High on Nov. 6.
Coach Guilbeaux is disappointed with the lack of parish opponents on the new schedule.
"I wasn't in favor of it. I'm not trying to get away from the competition, but I didn't want us getting away from playing Dutchtown," Guilbeaux said. "I really wanted to get St. Amant on the schedule this year but with an eight-team district, we're going to have to chop that off. We'll have to deal with this for two years and then hopefully, we can get back to playing some teams in our parish."
As for Ascension Catholic, they'll get their taste of a new district as well as they join District 6-1A.
This new league loses West St. John--who moved up to Class 2A--but they add two powers in Southern Lab and Kentwood. Last year, Southern Lab was the Division IV runner-up while Kentwood made it to the 1A semifinals.
The Bulldogs will try to duplicate an impressive 2014-15 when they finished 8-2 in the regular season and reached the second round of the playoffs.
Just like last year, they'll open with non-district games against Catholic of Pointe Coupee and Dunham. Ascension Catholic won both games last season.
They'll host Catholic while they travel to Dunham.
In week three, they'll hit the road to face Central Catholic, a team that also went 8-2 last year.
The Bulldogs will begin district play at home against new district foe Southern Lab on Sept. 24, and will have to travel to White Castle the next week.
On Oct. 9, they'll host parish and district rival Ascension Christian and then visit a struggling East Iberville squad the next week.
They host St. John on Oct. 23, before going on the road for a tough test against Kentwood.
Finally, they'll host 3A non-district opponent Kaplan for their season finale on Nov. 6. Kaplan went 7-3 last year.