Sooner or later, the Catholic High Panther football team is going to win a state championship.
It would be great if they win it tonight against longtime (and much-hated) rival Notre Dame, but whether they win or not tonight, it’s going to happen.
I don’t claim to be omniscient on this prediction — after all, I’ve been saying the same thing about the Lady Panthers soccer team since their first appearance in the state soccer championship match in 2010 at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.
It hasn’t happened yet for the Lady Panthers, but it will.
Just like it’s going to happen for the football team.
It has to.
Sooner or later, the breaks will fall Catholic High’s way in the form of a easier bracket, a bit of good luck and a talented team that knows it stands on the precipice of history.
Since Catholic High has been on this resurgence of its football program, which started around the turn of the century, I’ve been on the front line covering the Panthers and have seen too many heartbreaking losses.
Jason Pellerin getting intercepted in 2013 on a tipped ball that allowed Calvary Baptist to escape with a win in the semifinals. The Panthers playing Calvary tough in the finals in 2014 but falling to a Division I quarterback in Calvary’s Shea Patterson, who converted passes on third down to keep drives alive.
The crushing loss to No. 30 seed and district rival West St. Mary in 2005.
The equally crushing loss to Notre Dame in the 2009 semifinals.
The big loss to Carver at Pan American Stadium in New Orleans in the second round in 2012.
The list goes on and on.
Now fortune has smiled on Catholic High and given the Panthers another chance to come home with the gold trophy to sit alongside the silver trophy that CHS received with the loss to Calvary in 2014.
I know that playing Notre Dame is tough. The Pios shut out CHS when the met in the regular season back in week 4.
But this is a different team than the one that went to Crowley back in September and came up empty.
The offense has been humming, the defense has gotten much better and the kids are excited about getting a second chance at the Pios in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
I like Catholic High’s chances tonight. I think they have an excellent chance of coming away with the win.
But if fortune doesn’t smile on CHS this time, have faith Panther nation.
Sooner or later, the stars will align and Catholic High will come away with a title game win.
Bank on it.
NEAL MCCLELLAND is assistant sports editor of The Daily Iberian.