- Feature Story
- George Becnel
- August 12, 2017 - 3:03pm
As a current two-time champion, few opponents have beaten the Lutcher Bulldogs over the past couple of years. You now can add Mother Nature to the list.
After three days of practice in helmets and shorts, Lutcher could have put on full pads for the first time in fall practice on Thursday. Since that was the first official day of school, the Bulldogs opted to make it Picture Day, delaying the first day of full pads until Friday.
Shortly after the Bulldogs took the practice field Friday afternoon, the one thing that can stop a team these days is lightning. Nearby lightning strikes forced Lutcher indoors but the Bulldogs were eventually able to make it out to their artificial turf field for workouts.
“We made it a tradition that I like to have Picture Day on the first day of school because it’s normally a bad day either way, so we get it out the day and we work around the weather the next day. We got a late start but we will get practice in on our first day of full pads,” said Dwain Jenkins, now in his second season as Lutcher head coach.
The slight delay to Friday’s practice was of no particular consequence for the Bulldogs.
“Really, we were so far ahead in helmets that we had enough of it and we were really looking forward to this week and we kind of took a little step backward when we put the pads on, which is to be expected because we are so young. We have so many guys that are having to step up in new positions and maybe it’s taken us a couple of days, and hopefully, now that we are putting the full pads on we can get some really good work.”
Although Lutcher put on full pads for the first time Friday, not much changed from the first three days in helmets and shorts for the Bulldogs.
“The only thing that we will do now is we will get in some live team-up situations that we don’t see without the pads on,” said Jenkins. “Really, we’ve done a lot of install. We have a lot of guys that are really young and we just need to see with the pads on who will respond when they make a mistake and get hit or when something bad happens. Everybody can recover when you are in helmet and shorts but now it’s a little bit different because it makes the physical part of the game. That’s something you need to see you get to Friday nights that account.”
The Lutcher coach said he likes what he has seen so far of his club on both sides of the ball.
“We have real good competition on the defensive side of the ball. We have a lot of guys that are vying for some playing time,” said Jenkins. “Offensively, we obviously have guys who are returning and have experience. Kolby Bourgeois, as expected, had a great spring and summer, and he’s continued to build on that. He knows he’s never going to fill Jontre Kirklin’s shoes but he will put his own stamp on what we do offensively. I think our top six offensive linemen have been pretty standout through this point and that’s what we need it to be. We’ve kind of made a big point out of those guys that they don’t get to have a day off. They have the most experience and they have to show up every day.”
The focus of the Bulldogs hasn’t changed much, Jenkins said, as Lutcher transitions to full pads before hosting West St. John on Thursday in a scrimmage.
“For us, because of the type of team that we are, we will focus mostly on ourselves,” the Lutcher coach said. “We will probably look a little bit at what West St. John does just so we can set up blocking schemes and how our run fits will fit in but for the most part, it will be just to continue to install as usual. Really, it will continue that way through Destrehan (in the jamboree on August 25) as well and treat it as preseason where you are just getting ready for your stuff and the things you need to do for the 10 weeks that matter.”