But Pios’ coach Lewis Cook and Gents’ coach Josh Fontenot aren’t complaining.
“It’s unfortunate that it rained the first few days,” said Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook. “We were able to finish up practice on Monday and for the first day in pads, we came out and bounced around pretty good. There were a lot of things that I saw that I liked.
“We got rained out Tuesday but we had a good practice Wednesday and, hopefully, we can learn a lot more about our team the rest of the week.”
Over at Crowley High, the Gents faced the same weather conditions and also got limited work the first two days.
“We started outside the first two days, but we were run in after the first 10 minutes,” said Fontenot. “We went in the gym on Tuesday and got some good work in and we were outside Wednesday. I was very pleased with what I saw.”
High school teams are allowed 10 days of spring practice. Notre Dame will continue workouts next week and will end the spring session with an inter-squad game on Thursday, May 17 at 5 p.m..
The Gents will wrap up spring drills on Tuesday, May 22 (6 p.m.) with their annual Green-Gold game.
Fontenot, who was named head coach of the Gents after the 2011 season, said the Gents are “nowhere ready to play a football game” but he said he is impressed by his team’s attitude and the effort.
“The kids adjusted to the pace of practice and the attitude and the demeanor was what we want,” he said. “That’s the first step. The X’s and O’s, we’ve got all summer and fall to get all that. Right now, we’re worried about attitude and effort and they’ve responded well so far.”
With that said, both teams are using the spring to see which players will step in to fill holes that were left behind by graduating seniors.
For Notre Dame, the main question mark for Cook is: who will be the Pios’ starter at quarterback?
“We have quite a few offensive linemen coming back who played last year so I think we are a little ahead of where we were last year at this time right there,” said Cook. “Obviously our biggest question mark we have is quarterback; whoever comes in and plays is going to be a first-year guy because nobody got any valuable experience last year.”
Vying for the opening at quarterback after the loss of Waylon Young to graduation is Brad Stoma, Kyrick Pannell and Jeff Daigle.
“We have three guys competing for the starting job and it’s wide open right now,” said Cook. “At the end of the spring I’m going to decide who will be the guy who is going to start fall practice as the No. 1 guy.”
Joining the new starting quarterback will be returners Luke Broussard and Austin Thibodeaux, both who saw extensive playing time last year.
Thibodeaux was a fullback who came on late in the year. Broussard was at tailback.
“Those two guys, if they can stay healthy, are going to give us a big boost because they both played a lot last year,” said Cook. “Luke rushed for over 1,000 yards as a backup.”
Crowley High, on the other hand, returns its starting quarterback in senior Andre Mills. And despite losing star running back Davante Bourque, who will be playing at the University of Tennessee in the fall, Fontenot’s main concern is his offensive line.
“Any time you loose a back like Davante it’s tough, but that spot is the least of my worries,” said Fontenot, who will fill the void at tailback with Danny Malbrough. “Danny is a phenomenal running back. If Davante Bourque wouldn’t have been at Crowley High, Danny Malbrough would have been our starter and he would have had great years the last two seasons.
“And we have a good pair of backup running backs so tailback is not really what I’m worried about.”
Losing center Jude Cradeur is a major concern on the line for Fontenot.
“We have to replace a few on the line on both sides of the ball,” said Fontenot. “When you’re in a spread shot-gun offense and you lose a three-year starter at center, you have to fix that first.
“We have some good kids, but right now we just have to get the center-quarterback exchange down and learn the position. I’m very positive that both of the kids we have at center will get it done, but it’s a work in progress.”
Defensively, the Pios will be a little inexperienced at linebacker but the main area of concern is the defensive line.
“We really lost our whole defensive line,” said Cook. “We have some guys there that played a bit last year and we have a lot of younger guys that are going to really push.
“The good thing about this team is that we are going to have competition at a lot of positions. And that’s always the best motivator. Competition, that will get them going more than we can get them going.”
Crowley High also lost heavily on the defensive side of the ball and the fact that the Gents are switching over from a 4-2-5 to a 3-4 defense will also provide a stiff challenge for Fontenot and his staff.
“The big names we have returning on defense are Jesse Harmon, Damon Malbrough and Andrew LeJeune,” said Fontenot. “But of those three players, the only one playing the same position is Damon.
“Both Jesse and Andrew are moving from defensive line positions to linebacker, whether it be inside or outside. So you can really say that they are new to that, too. Game experience they are fine; position experience, they need a little work.
“But we have a lot of holes to fill on defense just because people left and we have a lot of kids with no playing experience. We like all of them and we have a lot of confidence in them.
“But this is a brand new defense so they are all coming in with a brand new slate.”