Parish jamboree kicks off football season

Bunkie High hosts event this Friday night @ 6:30 p.m.


   Coaches and fans will say the games are “just for fun” and “don’t mean a thing” -- but don’t you believe it for a minute.
  The annual Avoyelles Parish Football Jamboree is a series of 15-minute games pitting the three Avoyelles Parish School District high school teams against each other. This year’s edition of the traditional gridiron season will kickoff at 6:30 p.m. this Friday (Aug. 26) with the Bunkie Panthers hosting. 
  The first of the night’s three games pits Bunkie against the Avoyelles Mustangs from Moreauville. That is followed by a preview of the district opener with Avoyelles facing District 3-AAA rival Marksville. The nightcap will feature Marksville taking on Bunkie.
   “Anything can happen in a 15-minute game,” MHS Coach J.T. Dunbar said.
   Tickets for the game are $8 at the gate for non-students and $4 for students.
  The regular season opens with a bang -- actually, three bangs -- at 7 p.m. next Friday (Sept. 2) when Bunkie hosts Pine Prairie, Avoyelles travels to Welsh and Marksville is at home against Washington-Marion.
   Mustangs Head Coach Andy Boone will be back for his eighth year while Dunbar returns for his 15th season at the helm of the Tigers. 
   Bunkie will have its fourth head coach in four seasons, with Nick Pujol moving up from an assistant coach’s position to take the top job.
   Boone had about 35 players in practice. The Mustangs  scrimmaged Lakeview this past Friday in Moreauville.
   “We are going to keep running the same offense and defense as we have for the last several years,” Boone said. “Just like in years past, we have to keep players healthy because we have no depth.”
   Dunbar said he will start the season with 57 players. The Tigers traveled to Alexandria last Thursday to scrimmage the Menard Eagles.
   “It is always an exciting time of the year when the football season starts,” Dunbar said. “We have three tough games to open the season, but I feel the games can only make us better for the rest of the season.”
   Pujol goes into the Jamboree with 40 players in uniform. The Panthers was scheduled to play Sacred Heart of Ville Platte last Friday but weather canceled the scrimmage.
   “This has been a tough summer as the players are trying to learn their fourth offensive and defensive scheme in the last four years,” Pujol said.  “This is a work-in-progress and we will see how it goes as the season starts, but we still have a ways to go as a team.”
   Avoyelles and Marksville will compete in District 3-AAA while Bunkie will continue to play in District 3-AA.


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