INDEPENDENCE, La. (WGNO) — At Independence High School, the Tigers feel like they are ready to turn the corner. In 2021, they won three. But, with 25 lettermen returning, head coach Scott Shaffett said patience is about to pay off.  

“We have been preaching since they were freshmen,” Coach Shaffett told WGNO Sports. “We have a special bunch.”

Independence football has a proud past. Scott Shaffett said he came here to restore the future.

Shaffett was an understudy for Independence legend, head coach Charlie Baglio. 

I did my student teaching here in 1994,” said Shaffett. “I used to wash the clothes for Coach Bags. He used to send me a bunch of quarters, now guess what? I have a washer and dryer, don’t have to go to the laundromat.”

Last season, the Tigers were the 32nd seed, falling to top-seed Many in the 2A playoffs. If the playoff brackets do shrink to 24 teams, Shaffett said his Tigers will be ready with a big effort. 

“Whatever they make that number at, it will be our job to get in that number,” he said. “I think our guys understand that. It won’t come easy.”

The 31st season of Friday Night Football kicks off August 19 at 11 p.m. on NOLA 38 (The CW) and then again at midnight on WGNO.