The 2019 Catholic-Pointe Coupee football team has made history over the course of the season, and it will add another footnote on Friday.
The No. 7-seeded Hornets (10-2) face No. 6-seeded Southern Lab (9-3) at A.W. Mumford Stadium for action against in the first CHSPC semifinal football appearance since 1985.
How long ago was 1985? Ronald Reagan was president, the Chicago Bears led the NFL, “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits topped the music charts, “Cheers” was the top-rated TV show and “Back to the Future” dominated the box office.
The parents of most of the players on the roster were not yet in high school, and head coach David Simoneaux was the ripe, old age of 2.
The 1985 team – which included John Bartee, Mitch LeBlanc, John Jackson, Kenton Leonard and Rob Marionneaux – lost a 14-7 heartbreaker to Springhill High, as reported in the Dec. 12, 1985, edition of The Pointe Coupee Banner.
The 2019 Hornets hope the battle against Southern Lab does not mark the end of the season. The goal is to reach the state championship, a pinnacle CHSPC has not reached since 1978 under coach Jim Hightower, now a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Nothing good in life comes easy, and that will certainly be the case Friday when the Hornets cross paths with the Kittens.
The Kittens are not an unknown quantity for the CHSPC seniors. The two teams collided in 2016 – Simoneaux’s second year as head coach and the freshman season for this year’s upperclassmen.
“A lot of those kids were little puppies back then and a lot of these guys were starters, but they’ve put on 35 or 40 pounds since then,” he said. “I’m proud of these kids and they’re excited for this opportunity.
“Southern Lab has a very talented group, but we’ve got some good football players, too,” Simoneaux said.
“Their numbers are a little low, but they still have close to a full squad on both sides.”
The Kitten offense will unleash a pack of well-seasoned standouts including running back Daleon Hardy (5-9, 210), middle linebacker Keyon Kyer (6-0, 220), Kenyon Andrews (6-3, 186), and wide receiver Reginald Jonnson (6-2, 180).
“I don’t think we’ve seen speed like that across the board, but we certainly have played a lot of fast football teams,” he said.
“Opelousas Catholic was very fast, and Riverside had a lot of speed, as well, so hopefully our pre-district and district schedule have prepared us for what we will face against Southern Lab.
“It’s hard to match their speed and we certainly can’t match their size, but we’re talented and we’ve worked hard for this all season,” Simoneaux said.