Prep football questions, prep football answers

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We’re at the really fun time of the high school football season right now.

District play is here and all of our local teams are in a mad dash for either a spot in the playoffs or a push to earn a better seed.

I’m interested, and apparently you guys are too, because my mailbag this week was full.

So let’s go.

Q: How far can Thibodaux go this year? (Asked by Tommy, Thibodaux)

A: With the way they’re playing right now, likely not very far. I know, I know. They have just one loss and all of that, but they still turnover the ball too much to be a serious contender in a brutally tough Class 5A. But, that’s exactly why the Tigers are so intriguing. They’re winning and they’re still not playing their best. If they put it all together, look out. Then, I think they’re a serious threat to make big, big waves.

Q: We saw ya’ll poll this week about Midseason MVP. Who did you vote for? (Asked by Ron, Houma)

A: First off, thanks to all of our awesome voters who participated in the poll. The kids found the link and took it all over Twitter and the turnout and participation was really good. On my browser, I voted for Deon Jenkins. Look, it’s no disrespect to any of the other players on the list. They are all included for a reason. But to me, no one is more valuable to his team locally than Jenkins. He gets the ball 30-40 times a game, for one. For two, all of the defensive attention is on him at all times, which creates advantages for other players. And for three, even with the defense knowing that he’s getting the ball, he’s still been an absolute monster and touchdown machine. The other guys have all been great, but Jenkins has been next level special.

Q: Who is the local coach of the year right now? (Asked by Reid, Houma)

A: Reid, this is the hardest question I’ve gotten all week. I have to pick Chris Dugas, because, look, Thibodaux won 3 games last year and has already far surpassed that. People don’t realize that dude is both the offensive and defensive coordinator for his team right now. He’s calling every, single play. That’s exhausting. But I will say this. I also think South Terrebonne’s Richard Curlin is doing an amazing job, as is Central Lafourche’s Keith Menard. On any other year, they’d be at the top of my list. Want a sleeper? Don’t overlook Randy Boquet at CCA. That dude has a small (in numbers), young football team. But they’re competing and getting better.

Q: What’s going on with Houma Christian? They’ve struggled this year. (Asked by Tommy, Houma)

A: Well, that’s two-fold. For one, they’re in 2A now, which means a drastic step up in competition in district play. That will take a little bit of time for the Warriors to get adjusted to. And for two, I think they also went into Class 2A at a really awkward time because they’re super young and inexperienced and lost a lot of talented kids off last year’s team. I have friends at Houma Christian and they tell me there are some talented players there — just too young to play varsity. Give it time. They’ll get it back where it needs to be.

Q: Best local stadium food? (Asked by Ross, Larose)

A: Vandebilt Catholic or South Terrebonne. Literally everything is cooked fresh, and you can smell it as soon as you walk into the stadium. Both of those places are among my favorites to cover games.

Q: Had a friend tell me today that coaches here make less than coaches in other places, and we lose talented guys to other parishes because of that. Can you confirm? (Asked by Bob, Houma)

A: I can confirm that, yes. Our area is a bit of a coaching black hole. What I mean by that is just about every, single parish neighboring Lafourche and Terrebonne offers better teacher pay than we do and/or richer coaching stipends. For example, assistant coaches in St. Charles Parish make more money than head coaches do in Lafourche and Terrebonne — sometimes by a lot, if the teacher has put a lot of years into the system. Do we lose people to that? Absolutely. Wouldn’t you drive 30-40 minutes a day to make $10,000-$20,000 more per year?