Friday football a much-needed distraction for flood victims

Friday football a welcome distraction for flood victims

HAMMOND, LA (WVUE) - It has been a season of challenges for the Hammond High football team, because when most teams were making final preseason adjustments, players were greeted with a field that looked more like a lake than a place to call home.

"There's a lot of different variables that you have to consider when a flood of that nature happens. So the first thing we did was got on the phone and make sure we called all of our kids to see how they did through the flood," head coach Cecil Thomas said.

The Tangipahoa River that caused much of the damage in Hammond sits along the high school's campus. The overflowing waters in last month's storm flooded the campus as well as the team's locker room and weight room.

Out of 75 young men on Thomas' team, the storm displaced ten of his players.

The days after the flood the team stood up as an example, helping gut homes and reaching out to those affected but getting back in the swing of things not long after.

"I think that helps relieve some of the the doubts in their minds by being able to get back to football practice, getting back to work and just getting back in the routine of things instead of having to deal with with all the other factors they've been dealing with and putting everything back together," Thomas said.

"We're working through it right now. I'm doing good right now, me and my family we are still straight getting everything together. But this is the second time it's flooded where I stay at," Freshman Aziayha Scott said.

Scott is one of the players who was displaced by the storm.

But even through his loss, he felt as though he and his teammates gained a sense of pride bigger than themselves.

"I just think about it and it makes me grind harder and I think we can be in a better place than we (are) right now," Scott said.

Hundreds flocked to the game Friday night. However, the team struggled and were defeated by Ocean Springs High School.

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