Port Allen coach Guy Blanchard found plenty of potential— and some areas that need work — during a round-robin 7-on-7 last week at Guy Otwell Stadium.
Blanchard saw a team that needs the kind of experiences that only comes under the lights on Friday nights.
“The thing about us is that we’re a talented group, but we’re extremely inconsistent,” said Blanchard, who will begin his eighth season this fall as PAHS head coach. “There’s a lot of talent among them, but they just lack game experience.”
A young Pelican squad headed into action last Wednesday for action against neighboring rivals Plaquemine and Livonia, whom PAHS faces in Week 3 of the 2013 regular season.
Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano returned to Port Allen, where he coached nearly two decades earlier. The second-year PHS mentor led the Green Devils to four touchdowns against a scoreless Pelicans squad.
PAHS mustered one TD against three from Livonia, the team that defeated the Pelicans in last year’s Class 3A regional playoff round.
The Pelicans produced some shining moments, particularly with a freshman running back Josh Snow, who made a strong showing as running back.
Port Allen also brought into action a first-year starting quarterback, junior Alex Hebert.
Blanchard expects plenty great showings from the Pelicans, but right now he’s working with a diamond in the rough.
“Best thing going right now is the natural abilities,” he said. “We do have talent, and we do have the abilities, but it’s trying to get them understand they have to do everything right on every play.”
He admits it’s a new experience for many of the players.
“You have seven to nine sophomores who are in a whole new element,” Blanchard said. “Last year, they were playing junior varsity when you make an error and it’s no big deal — but doing it in varsity will cost you.
“When you’re playing in varsity, you’re playing against a lot of experienced players, so the margin of error is much greater,” he said.