Cathedral looks to start 2023 season with win at Central Hinds Academy

Published 1:49 pm Friday, August 18, 2023

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NATCHEZ — The Cathedral High School Green Wave varsity football team will start the 2023 season with both a new head coach and a new starting quarterback as they prepare to take on former MAIS District 3-5A opponent Central Hinds Academy Friday night.

Kickoff between the Green Wave and the Cougars in Raymond is set for 7 p.m. The last time these two teams met was on Friday, Oct. 7, 2022 at D’Evereux Stadium. Central Hinds came away with a 30-8 victory over Cathedral.

After the most recent realignment earlier this year,  Central Hinds Academy is down to Class 4A while Cathedral is still in District 3-5A but against some different district opponents.

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Loy hopes that the Green Wave will play better this Friday night than it did on Thursday, Aug. 10 when Cathedral hosted Clinton Christian Academy at its Jamboree and was on the wrong end of an 18-8 decision.

“We had our chances to come out on the other end. But we didn’t take care of the football when we got close,” Loy said. “We were down 12-0. We made it a 12-8 game and we had our opportunities. We have to learn from our mistakes and get better from those.”

Loy said his team showed plenty of grit and determination and the defense made some big stops when Clinton Christian got in the red zone. However, he noted that the offense started off sluggish, and even though it played better in the second quarter, the Green Wave dug themselves too big of a hole. He did add that the Green Wave moved the football better toward the end of the game.

Just like Cathedral, the Cougars have a new head coach themselves in Sam Vincent. And with it comes a new scheme that they will implement.

“They have some hard-nosed, tough kids. We have to be ready to show up and ready to play a more efficient kind of football than we showed last Thursday,” Loy said. “Offensively, they’ll be a little more spread-oriented. Defensively, they’ll run a 4-2-5, which is something you don’t see very much. They’ll move guys around. They’re very active on defense.”

The Green Wave’s offense and defense will be running new schemes under coach Loy and his staff. Loy said that the offense will still base around the spread set that former head coach Chuck Darbonne ran, but with some new twists as well.

“We’ll run some two-back sets. Two-tight end sets. Some motion that they haven’t used a lot of in the past. Some of it will be the same, but some of it will be different,” Loy said. “Defensively, we’ll be based on a 3-3-5 alignment, but we’ll be multiple. We’ll change our front and we’ll change our coverages. We’ll be more aggressive.”

As for what the main things the Green Wave are working on in practice, Loy said, “Offensively, be more efficient. Make sure we don’t wear down. Offense wore down late in the jamboree game last week. Defensively, make sure we’re lined up correctly. Make sure we’re recognizing their keys.”

Loy said he hopes to have a big game from sophomore Tristan Fondren, the Green Wave’s new starting quarterback that they’re breaking in. Loy added, “If we’re going to win this game, we have to win up front. Offensive line and defensive line.”