St. Aloysius fans need to invest in road maps|[5/5/05]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2005

St. Aloysius football supporters should invest in a road atlas before the season starts because finding some of their opponents’ home fields may prove to be quite a chore.

The region the Flashes had been in for the past several years was changed after two Coast teams moved from Class 2A to 1A. Trips to Bogue Chitto, Mize and West Lincoln are out, while treks to Noxapater, Nanih Waiya and South Leake will be in.

“The biggest thing is that in the old division we knew each other, got scouting reports and developed some good rivalries,” St. Al coach Jim Taylor said. “Now, we have to start over.”

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The Flashes will also begin their season with its fiercest rival. St. Al and Cathedral are scheduled to kick off the season on Aug. 26 in Natchez. Historically, the game was played on the last Friday of the regular season. Taylor said that Cathedral used to be in the Flashes’ region which made scheduling easier.

In the past, the Flashes would play Greenville-St. Joe in the season-opener, but the Green Wave had scheduling conflicts with their region, and Cathedral was able to schedule the Flashes for the first game.

“There’s not much we can do now,” Taylor said. “It’s something to work toward early.”

Both Vicksburg and Warren Central will be traveling to new schools this year as well, and the competition within Region 2-5A is as tough as ever.

Warren Central will face one of the toughest schedules in memory.

After opening with Indianola-Gentry in the Red Carpet Bowl, the Vikings will play Grenada, Class 4A power South Pike and Class 5A heavyweight Meridian – before the grueling region begins.

Grenada and Forest Hill were replaced in the division by Provine and Northwest Rankin. Provine allowed one touchdown through the entire regular season while a Class 4A team last year, and Northwest Rankin finished seventh in The Clarion-Ledger’s final football poll.

The Vikings will be on the road for contests with Madison Central, Clinton, Provine and Northwest Rankin, as well as non-division games against South Pike and Grenada.

Vicksburg lost two of its non-conference opponents when South Pike and McComb were dropped. The Gators will play Hazlehurst at home and travel to Southaven. VHS opens the year against Memphis Kirby High in the RCB.

“This is a BCS schedule,” said Vicksburg coach Alonzo Stevens, who returns eight players on offense and eight on defense. “It’s nothing new to us. We’ve started off the seasons recently with John Ehret, Wayne County and Gulfport.

“It’s a good situation and our kids are excited about it.”