District champs, Jena and Tioga, use bye week to focus and prepare for postseason play

The Jena Giants and Tioga Indians have earned their district titles and will not use the last week of the regular season to focus for post-season while also avoiding the spread of COVID-19.

Undefeated in district play, the Jena Giants only gave up 42 points total in the last stretch of the season.

“I’ve coached some more talented teams and definitely some with more speed but I’ve never coached a team with more team unity and just playing for each other with this type of grit.”

Early in the season, starting off 0-2, they suffered losses from both Ouachita Christian and Tioga.

In those games, some younger guys were able to see the field which caused some of those mistakes but since then, they’ve grown and learned from them.

Roark says this has overall been an exciting team to coach.

“I think that it (early games) battle-tested us and showed what kind of grit and perseverance that our kids had because we’ve had teams in the past that after those games that if we go 0-2 we get to the third week and try to get over the hump, but this team did and I think it made us a better football team.”

Last Friday, the Tioga Indians earned their district title bragging rights after their lowest scoring game to DeRidder.

Head Coach, Kevin Cook, says it’s an exciting time and mentions that in the different time we’re in, it’s best to enjoy those moments.

For the offense, they’ve averaged about 50 points per game where on the defensive side, they had a 3-game streak of giving up 20 points.

After a mutual agreement of canceling the game against Bolton, the Tioga Indians will use this week to get back healthy, focus on the fundamentals and prepare for their playoff opponent.

“We’re going to heal up a bit, we’ve got several ankle injuries, a pulled groin on a receiver, we have some of those things going on. We want to try and heal up a little bit. We have a lot of work to do on the offensive side of the football, to actually get ready to compete in the playoffs. Realistically, its a time to heal up and try to get our legs back underneath us.”