For many high school teams, the basketball season is underway.
However, for the defending Class 4A state champion Breaux Bridge Tigers, the basketball season won’t tip off until the first week of December.
That’s life in Breaux Bridge, because the Tigers’ head football coach Chad Pourciau doubles as the head boy’s basketball coach, and the vast majority of the varsity basketball roster is composed of football players.
Although basketball officially started Monday for Class 5A to 1A schools, Breaux Bridge football is 9-2 overall and in the regional round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“We’re scheduled to play (basketball) in the Teurlings tournament the first week in December,” said Pourciau, whose football Tigers will play host to Belle Chasse in the second round of the postseason Friday. “If we are fortunate enough to win Friday, we’ve talked to (Teurlings basketball coach) Jake (Dueitt) about having to drop out because it would be too quick of a turnaround.”
Of the Tigers’ 10-man varsity roster, three — Deandre Hypolite, Dalton Alexander and Chase Alexander — don’t play football. Hypolite and Dalton Alexander are both returning starters, while Chase Alexander is a sophomore expected to play valuable minutes for the Tigers.
“Last year, we had a few more kids who weren’t football players,” Pourciau said. “But this year, we don’t. So, there isn’t a whole lot we can do right now, and everyone understands that.”
The Tigers competed in the jamboree this past weekend with one returning starter, two sophomores and four freshmen. Pourciau admits, the results were impressive.
“We had only practiced like three times for about an hour each day,” Pourciau said. “I was very impressed with the younger players. I thought they did a good job of stepping up and playing at a high level.”
While some are curious as to how Pourciau balances time between the two sports, he says it is quite easy.
“There’s no balance,” Pourciau said. “During football season and until football season ends, it is all football. We don’t start basketball until then. Even though we practiced basketball those days, it wasn’t like a detailed practice or game plan. We just went out there and played. Wanted to see what we had in the younger guys. Our focus is completely on football.”
Having that understanding has been a true benefit to both the football and basketball programs.
“By waiting to start basketball, I feel like it has kept guys playing football,” Pourciau said. “It allows myself, coaching staff and players to participate in multiple sports. Kids don’t want to miss anything, so by starting basketball later, those kids who want to play basketball can still come out for football. This allows them to do both.”
The amount of success the Tigers are enjoying in either sport won’t play a role in when the season will start, according to Pourciau.
“Expectations are going to change when it comes to basketball,” Pourciau said. “I know that since we have won the championship, there has been a lot more excitement for basketball. But our kids understand, and since I’ve been here we didn’t start basketball until football was over. So, whether we are really good at basketball or not as good, we will finish football before moving on to basketball.”
Eric Narcisse covers high school sports for The Daily Advertiser. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @eric_narcisse.