The Natchitoches Central High School Chiefs football team kicked off its first spring practice under new head coach Jess Curtis Monday afternoon with intensity and enthusiasm.
Curtis and his staff did not waste so much as a minute of practice time. In his first spring at the helm of the NCHS program after a phenomenal run as the head coach at Many High School, Curtis was a ubiquitous presence on the field Monday, observing each group of players and joining drills in position groups.
The Chiefs have 78 returning upperclassmen along with a group of 45 freshmen, all looking to make their mark on the program. Tightly focused intensity, the hallmark of Curtis’ program during offseason conditioning, was in evidence as the team practiced plays and performed drills.
“Get better every week” was his answer when asked what his goals were for the program. Hard work will also lead to his other goal this season — making a run at the playoffs.
The Chiefs will be installing new schemes on both sides of the ball this spring as coaches get a real evaluation of the roster. NCHS won just three times last fall, but two years ago made a playoff run. Curtis and his Many Tigers won two straight state championships in smaller classifications in the same timespan.
The Chiefs will take the field with a scoreboard operating for the first time Aug. 25 in a preseason jamboree against Loyola Prep from Shreveport. The first regular-season game will be held Sept. 1 against Woodlawn and the first home game will be against Opelousas on Sept. 8.