A worthwhile week

Photo by Robb QuinnLa Porte's Robbie Kiner pitches to Jayden Parkes in a game against visiting Portage on October 17.

La PORTE — It's not very often that a high school football team has two weeks to prepare for a postseason contest.

That's the situation for La Porte, though, as it gears up for its Class 5A sectional opener at Michigan City next Friday night.

While most football teams around the state opened postseason play Friday night, the Slicers have to wait until next Friday night, November 1, to hit the gridiron.

La Porte is striving to take full advantage of the extra week.

“You spend a little bit more time on your plan, but to really utilize the time, you treat it similar like you're going to play Friday,” first-year Slicers coach Jeremy Lowery said. “You get your stuff in and you start going over it. That allows you to get more time next week to really fine-tune. A lot of people do it different, but I think you go through this week very similar to like you were going to play the game this week. Then next week, you get deeper into your game plan.”

In Class 5A, six of the eight sectionals have four teams. The remaining two are five-team sectionals.

La Porte (1-7) received a bye in the opening week of the postseason due to the fact it has just four teams in its sectional.

The Wolves (4-5) are in the same boat.

And both squads experienced this last season, too, but Lowery wasn't coaching the Slicers then.

Lowery said it's basically a simple process to formulate a bye-week plan, namely talk it over with his La Porte coaches.

"You talk to your coaching staff and get ideas from all of them," he said. "You want to weigh out what you've got to get done with also giving them a little bit of rest. We have our coaches' meeting every week and obviously, that was something we discussed last weekend. We came up with a plan and we think it's a good plan. It gives us plenty of time to practice, but yet, give the kids a little bit of rest as well."

Lowery added the coaches gave the players off last Monday, and they'll give them off Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well.

“We can get a little bit of rest along the way, too,” the coach continued. “We try to build some of that in, because you want them fresh also. That's a big thing also. You want your team to look like the fresher team, to have a little bit more pep in their step when the game comes around.”

If La Porte is victorious, it faces the Munster/Valparaiso winner in a Class 5A sectional final on November 8.

The Slicers didn’t play the Mustangs in the regular season, but got blanked by the Vikings 35-0 in Week 3.

Back on October 11, the Wolves topped La Porte 7-3 in a regular-season matchup at Kiwanis Field.

This time, La Porte gets two weeks to prepare for its archenemy.

The bye week affords the team ample time to perfect the game plan and work out any issues ahead of this crucial contest.

“It's a little bit of extra time and we're taking advantage of that time,” Lowery said. “We want to give our kids every opportunity that's out there to know our plan inside and out and play the best football they can play against Michigan City. Our kids are excited and they seem ready to play.”

Class 5A sectional 9

Semifinals

La Porte at Michigan City, 7 p.m., Nov. 1

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