Concordia teams had it rough this fallPublished 12:01am Sunday, November 11, 2012
With the election over and the prep football postseason well under way, I’m left wondering what Concordia Parish is more disappointed over.
Is it the results of the presidential election, or the results of its two prep football teams on the field?
Fifty-eight percent of Concordia voters picked Republican Mitt Romney in the presidential election, only to see him fall to President Obama nationally. Meanwhile, between Ferriday and Vidalia high schools, Concordia had a measly three wins to its season this fall.
The Trojans finished the season 2-8, with wins against Vidalia and Lakeside high schools. The Vikings, meanwhile, tallied just one win, a 10-7 victory against Baker High School.
Things are especially rough for Viking fans right now. Vidalia has not had a winning season since 2004. Back then, I was a senior in high school, and few people had even heard of Barack Obama.
The three years following Dee Faircloth’s retirement haven’t been pretty: 2-8, 0-10, 1-9. That’s a 3-27 record, and it has to be particularly frustrating for the players, who have gotten so used to losing that getting over the mental hump becomes that much harder each season.
That’s not a knock on these players. Vidalia head coach Gary Parnham Jr. has bragged repeatedly about his team’s work ethic this fall. The results may not show on the field, but Parnham has said their attitudes all season were top-notch. They may not have gotten many wins, but anytime you give 100 percent, you’re a winner, no matter what the scoreboard says.
Ferriday, meanwhile, struggled through a season that was highlighted only by a win against a cross-parish rival and a victory to close out the season.
First-year head coach Cleothis Cummings hired a good group of assistants in former Wilkinson County High School head coach Elbert Lyles and former Natchez High School offensive line coach James Woodard. Other local coaches have told me his support group is strong. For whatever reason, the results just didn’t show up on the field this year.
A 54-0 win against Lakeside in its final game Nov. 2 should serve as something positive to build on as the Trojans head into the offseason. Cummings was leading Ferriday’s offseason workouts before Richard Oliver left to coach Baker over the summer, so he’s likely used to what’s ahead for his team.
So where does each team go from here? In Ferriday’s case, Cummings and his assistants simply continue to build on the foundation they’ve already established. With him only being the head coach since the summer, Cummings likely spent a lot of his time learning by trial and error.
In Vidalia’s case, the waters are a bit muddier. With such a long string of losing seasons, you have to wonder how long it is before the fanbase and/or administration begins to demand some answers — if they haven’t already.
What are the answers to righting the Vikings’ ship? Having never coached a down of football, I haven’t a clue. Only Parnham and his assistants can find that answer.
Hopefully, both of our Concordia teams can turn things around quickly. One less disappointment is never a bad thing.