Centerville aiming to join Class 1A with football
By: SCOTT JOINER
CENTERVILLE — St. Mary Parish football fans, your fall Friday night viewing options could be expanding in the next few years as Centerville High School has started laying the ground work for a football team and a move to Class 1A.
CHS currently has the student population to be a Class 1A school with 150, which is larger than Central Catholic in Morgan City’s 140 students and just below Hanson Memorial’s 160 students in Franklin.
But, the Bulldogs aren’t allowed to play in Class 1A without a football team, despite its size.
“We have (the numbers), but the way the rules have been set up in the past, you have to play football in order to move up to Class 1A, so we figure we’re going to give this a shot at the lower level and hope that it grows,” CHS principal Mike Galler said.
The plan is to play a partial junior high schedule for the next two years.
“For the next two years we’re going to have a junior high team,” Galler said. “We may not play a full schedule, which means we’re not going to play eight games, but we might play five or six.”
The six-year plan would move on to junior varsity during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years before moving up to what is currently known as Class 1A in 2015-16.
“After the first two years, we’re going to move into what we hope will be a JV schedule,” Galler said. “There are several obstacles we have to overcome to get to that point. One being participation, two being support. We have about 30 kids signed up for junior high football now.”
Staff coaches Gerald Comeaux and Steve Nugent will coach the junior high this year along with three parent volunteers.
The CHS campus doesn’t have a stadium at the moment, so the team is looking at its options for a home field while the proper steps are taken to get one on campus.
“We don’t have any of that,” Galler said. “We hope to play three games on the road and three at home. We are working on and talking with other schools about if our field isn’t ready - to play at their field.”
Franklin High School’s stadium would be the closest and most convenient location for Centerville games, but the site has not been determined yet.
The Bulldogs do have options with both West St. Mary in Baldwin and Hanson Memorial in Franklin having on-campus stadiums that could be used as well.
“We have a football field and an all-weather track,” Galler said. “And we have a baseball and softball field. We don’t have it marked or goal posts, since we’ve never had (football). That will be part of the process as well.”
The Bulldogs would add a third Class 1A team to St. Mary Parish and provide a short road trip for Central Catholic and Hanson Memorial and possibly a new district rival.
Centerville volleyball is currently in District 5-Division V along with Central Catholic so the schools will be no strangers to each other on the volleyball court and could soon extend the competition to other sports.