The chit-chat is over and it’s time to get down to business.
The season’s first half is in the books. Gone is the muggy mess that is August and September football; welcome in 60 degree temperatures and crucial district tilts.
All four local teams (Minden, Glenbrook, Lakeside and North Webster) have chances to send a message loud and clear this week, although the messages may not all sound the same.
Minden is trying to put the entire state on alert this week as the No. 6 team in Class 4A hosts No. 8 Benton.
Last year, Benton shredded Minden’s defense to the tune of 457 yards and 41 points. The Tide offense actually outgained Benton with 507 yards of offense, but a sizeable chunk of those yards came courtesy of L’Jarius Sneed, now at Louisiana Tech. The Tide offense has been less explosive without him.
Minden has plenty to prove in a battle of top 4A contenders at The Pit.
Glenbrook is trying to let district 6AA hear them charging from the back.
The Apaches fell to 1-4 two weeks ago with after a disappointing win where the offense mustered just 7 points. The Apaches answered the call from head coach Caleb Carmikle to stay the course, and now Glenrook has 34 points in back-to-back games and back-to-back wins, sitting at 3-4 overall and 2-1 in district.
Another district win on the road against Union Christian would get the Apaches back to .500 and move Glenbrook into playoff position.
Lakeside wants to let out 18 games of frustration against Lakeview. The Warriors losing streak continues to climb, but the Warriors have their best chance to snag a win since week three against Lincoln Prep. Jason Martin will have the Warriors ready to play.
North Webster is trying to send a message that they still have the final say in a competitive 1-3A.
The Booker T. Washington Lions visit Springhill for a matchup that features a bit of role reversal. The Lions are 3-2 on the season, while the Knights sit at 2-3.
The Knights running game is beginning to show some life as TJ Hawthorne and Jaylen Thomas each found the end zone last week against North Caddo.
Big tests loom large Friday. We’ll see which teams have the right answers.
Blake Branch is the sports editor for the Minden Press-Herald