By Josh Beavers
Sometimes it’s near impossible to use words, whether written or spoken, to accurately capture a game when the audience wasn’t on hand to see it for themselves.
Words would just say that Lakeside’s Rokedrick Smith rushed for well over 100 yards while Cade Boley and Josh Sebald scored touchdowns (the last of which came off the arm of quarterback Cooper Chase) as Lakeside travelled over to Bienville Parish for a season opening loss against Arcadia. Final score: 26-12.
But again, words just aren’t enough sometimes. Alas, words are all we’ve got for this one, so let me start here by saying there was a whole lot more to this game than the score tells.
While there’s no denying that Lakeside made mistakes and played poorly at times, especially in the first half when the cramps struck and the oppressive late summer air just sucked the life out of everyone who was unfortunate enough to be in a 300-mile radius of the stadium, there were so many factors outside of the boys control that to label the game as one-sided would be unfair and, quite frankly, inaccurate.
The game began more than an hour after the scheduled start due to the daily late afternoon/early evening thunderstorms that mark this time of year. The field was saturated with summer rain and might as well have been branded with a warning label that cautioned “will cause sprained ankles and any other injuries that will stick around and nag for the remainder of the season.”
And if it wasn’t the field that was a cause of concern for injuries, it was the staggering and baffling series of questionable calls by the officials as well as the equally questionable no-calls from the guys with yellow handkerchiefs in their pockets. One of those no-calls was the lack of a roughing the punter penalty on Arcadia when a few Hornets hammered senior CJ Watts after he had kicked the ball away. The standout left the game and didn’t return.
That was just the kind of night it was. The kind of night when Lakeside fans were scratching their heads about pretty much everything including the questionable selection process to pick a winner in the Split the Pot contest. Controversy pretty much everywhere.
Everywhere that is except in the hearts of the boys from south Webster wearing red, white and blue. Despite the odd circumstances, the team represented itself like it always does – as Warriors.
Lakeside showed excellent sportsmanship, determination, drive, grit and a stubborn refusal to throw in the towel like so many others might be prone to do when they see the decks stacked against them.
Rokedrick Smith was one such Warrior. Every time Ro touched the ball, he made the most of it. Kinda like Josh Sebald and Jordan Case. The two J’s experienced diversity several times Friday night, but just like Rocky they took the hits and setbacks and kept coming back to fight for every yard.
Ross Weaver, Kam Grigsby and Jamarian Evans made Arcadia ball carriers think twice every time a run was called up the gut. These three guys laid out hits as well as Hornets numerous times. They were just three defensive players of many who would have reversed the scores on the board if it had been a normal night. But again, Friday wasn’t a normal night, and the trio was left to fight with their backs against the wall on short fields brought on by a mix of a few mistakes and a bit of normal season-opening sloppiness but seasoned heavily with factors beyond Lakeside’s control.
There are so many other names to point out – Ty Manness, Trevor Tharpe, Gavin McCoy, Keegan Bryan, Bryce Parker, Jamarcus Tellis and Gavin Garland. You could go on and on and name every starter and every sub who took the field, and we likely will at some point (or at many points) this season, but for now it’s probably best to just leave this game in the rear-view. Just leave it 25 miles down the road where the favorite word over the loudspeaker seems to be a nasally “boom” uttered almost as often as a questionable call or equally questionable no call from the guys in black and white.
A new week is right around the corner, and a new opponent is on the agenda. In six days, Lakeside will play its first official game on the turf.
It’ll be a perfect time to once again show just how good of a night it is to be a Warrior.