With the first days of football practice underway, two Vernon Parish teams will try to build on what they did last season, while one will try to reverse course.
Week 1 starts on August 30 and all three teams have big goals ahead for a successful 2018 season.
Week 1 Games
Washington-Marion at Leesville, August 31
Leesville defeated Washington-Marion 33-2 last year in the season opener, as it went 11-2 on the year, with both losses coming to Rayne.
The defending district champs have big shoes to fill with offensive weapons Andrew Croker, McKenzie Jackson and Chris Vargas all singing to play college football.
The strength of the 2018 Wampus Cats will be the offensive line, which features University of Nebraska signee Matthew Anderson.
On the other side at tackle is college prospect Montae Lynch and interior lineman Brett Pope will hold down the inside.
D'Ante Gallashaw will be called on to tote the rock more in his junior season, while senior linebacker Matthew Pajinag will try to reproduce and expand on a 95-tackle junior season.
Washington-Marion is under new leadership, following the resignation of head coach Freddie Harrison, and turns to new head coach DeCarlos Holmes to lead the program.
The Charging Indians went 5-6 last year, but return a majority of its key offensive playmakers.
Rosepine at Merryville, August 30
Rosepine is coming off an 11-win season, the most in school history, while Merryville won a home playoff game for the first time in 25 years.
These two teams met in Week 1 last year, with the Eagles coming out on top to end its 20-game losing streak.
Rosepine is now under the command of Brad Ducote after Johnny Cryer left to take the offensive coordinator spot at Many High School.
The Eagles bring back multiple weapons on offense, including leading rusher Seth Shirley and quarterback Seth Ducote.
On defense, Rosepine will be led by the district player of the year, defensive lineman Scott Wisby.
After a bounce-back season last year, Merryville will try to build on its 2017 campaign.
The Panthers graduated a lot of its playmakers, including running back Desmond McClain.
Pickering at Lake Charles College Prep, August 31
In Eddie Thomas' first year as head coach of Red Devils, Pickering went winless, going 0-10.
The defense and offensive line were the standouts on the Red Devils with All-District picks Zach Newman, Marquise Jackson, Jonathon Gregory, Jaylen Moore and Arthur Tabor.
Tabor (defensive back and punter) and Moore (offensive lineman) are the only returners from the group.
Pickering will have to retool its line and defense while continuing to figure out how to score points. Pickering averaged just 8.9 points per game last season.
In week one in 2017, Lake Charles College Prep defeated 16-7, and the Trailblazers went on to win just one more game – South Beauregard on October 5.