The uncertainty of Hurricane Isaac’s path kept both Calvary coach John Bachman Sr. and his Natchitoches Central counterpart Brandon Helms on edge for much of the last two or three days.
Tuesday morning, however, brought some semblance of relief and certainty for the coaches whose teams were supposed to meet Thursday night in Natchitoches.
After monitoring the storm and its potential to reach northwest Louisiana, the Cavaliers and Chiefs came to a mutual decision and will play their season opener on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Northwestern State’s Turpin Stadium.
“I’m sure Natchitoches was going to be ready to play on Thursday,” Bachman said. “Who’s going to watch it in a monsoon? I’m sure they want a nice gate. They’ve got bills to pay. Then there’s the safety of travel. I think it was a very wise decision on their part and we certainly agreed with them.”
The postponement marks the second time in five seasons the Chiefs have had to move their Week 1 game because of a storm in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2008, Hurricane Gustav pushed Natchitoches Central’s game against Minden to Saturday.
That game marked Helms’ debut with the Chiefs, giving him some added experience in dealing with game changes.
“You learn from every situation,” he said. “There are things we’ll do different. I’ll probably be more laid-back with the kids, give them more relaxation time, not so much mental preparation. When you play on Friday, they’re in class at 3 o’clock and you only have them from three to seven. Now you have them all day. We’ll use our time wisely.”
The extra time stands to benefit the Cavaliers, who played in Saturday’s Jam at The Joe jamboree in Ruston.
“It helps you now relax a little bit,” Bachman said. “We had such a short week because we played on Saturday. Now we have a chance to relax and let the air out.”
Connect with Jason Pugh on Twitter at @JasonSPugh.