Hurricane Ida devastation can’t stop South Lafourche’s football season
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For the first time in almost a month, the South Lafourche Tarpons suited up for a practice. The team is finally back together after weeks apart due to the devastation of Hurricane Ida.
“It’s terrible man. Before we left, I took a ride up and down the bayou. Just knowing when I come back it would never look the same. When we came back down on a Tuesday. It was something I never will forget,” said senior Wes Allemand.
“So much devastation. when I came back it was so eerie. Like a ghost town,” said Brody Pitre.
The football players of South Lafourche High come from Larose, Cutoff, Golden Meadow, and Galliano. Those areas possess limited electricity, food, and gas. With too many unknowns, the season appeared to be a lost cause in 2021. But the community rallied together, and the Tarpons will indeed play football.
“I jumped out of bed. I was excited, very happy. My dad called me when he found out. Just all happy. Came back down the bayou, ready to get to work,” said Allemand.
“It’s almost surreal. Because a week and a half ago you didn’t know if you were going to get this. To see them back in pads is good. A lot of schools chipped in . Newman gave us a 100 pairs of cleats and gloves coming today. Chalmette gave us practice jerseys, mouthpieces, and knee pads,” said South Lafourche head coach Brian Young.
The helmets are shiny, the equipment brand new, but the product on the field is a work in progress.
“Shoosh. Haven’t been really working out or anything, because we’ve been picking up everything. I guess we’ve been sweating in the sun, and everybody was been working at their houses. But other than that, a little out of shape,” said Pitre.
“We’ve been working since we were eight years old together. Been waiting for this year. It was supposed to be a special year. Now, we’re lucky just to get back in pads,” said Allemand.
South Lafourche will be “road warriors” this fall. Due to extensive damage from Ida, Tarpon Stadium can’t host a game. It’s just another obstacle this resilient bunch we’ll need to overcome.
“No, no games here this year. Which is tough. There’s a lot of tradition in this stadium, and at this place. They do the Tarpon walk. People look forward to coming out right in their backyard and get some football. Unfortunately there won’t be any here this year. Right now our home stadium is Thibodaux High,” said Young.
The Tarpons will kickoff their season Saturday against rival E.D. White. The kids will not only be playing for the Blue and White of South Lafourche, but for all those suffering and rebuilding on the bayou.
“It’s definitely going to be a big responsibility on our shoulders. Because it’s just devastation around here right now. If we get something up and winning, it’ll bring some hope back to the community, some life, give them something to look forward to,” said Allemand.
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