Notre Dame is only transporting the junior varsity to Eunice’s Aug. 28 Joe Nagata Memorial Jamboree, but the Pioneers’ appearance there has jamboree committee members excited.
The Pios are scheduled to play St. Edmund in the second game of the four-team event scheduled for Eunice High’s Bobcat Stadium.
“What we like about getting Notre Dame this year is (NDHS head football coach) Lewis Cook wanted to be here.
“With Notre Dame coming into our jamboree, even with the junior varsity, it’s going to help make (the Nagata Jamboree) the premier sporting event when it’s all said and done,” said Jamboree chairman Tony Fuselier.
The initial two-year contracts for the Nagata Jamboree have expired, Fuselier said. That meant Port Barre and DeRidder no longer are part of the jamboree.
This year’s teams include Sacred Heart-Ville Platte and the Notre Dame junior varsity.
Cook said bringing his junior varsity players to Eunice is advantageous in several ways for his football program.
Notre Dame will play St. Thomas More in the Thursday night games of the Lafayette Kiwanis Jamboree, Cook said.
Playing with the junior varsity in Eunice on the following night provides an added benefit, Cook said.
“The good thing is we’re not splitting our team on the same night, We have a real large senior class this year and going to Eunice will give our coaches a good chance to look at all the players in the team,” said Cook.
Cook said although the Pios are playing in Eunice this season, it doesn’t necessarily mean his (varsity) team will compete in the 2016 Nagata Jamboree.
“It’s something we’re considering, but it’s not part of the agreement with (the Nagata Jamboree) at this time.
“The (Lafayette) Kiwanis Club has been good to us over the years and now that jamboree is split (between public and private schools).
“This is the second straight year that we have played STM (in the Kiwanis Jamboree). We have scrimmaged them (STM) nearly every year and we will again on the Thursday before the jamboree,” Cook said.
Cook said he got a call from the Nagata Jamboree committee representatives sometime during the late spring.
By that time, the Pios had committed again to playing in the Lafayette Jamboree, said Cook.
“The pairings (for the Kiwanis Jamboree) had already been drawn up. I told the (Nagata Jamboree committee) that maybe I would think about it.
“I called back and told them we could bring the players who don’t play in Lafayette on Thursday night and they agreed to that.
“What is attractive to us is we don’t have to split the team on the same night,” Cook said.