Eunice football coach Paul Trosclair walked into the school’s weight room Monday to a standing ovation from his players.
Trosclair was back at work, a day removed after a six-day stay in a Lafayette hospital for the removal of a blood clot.
“(Doctors) told me to take a couple of days to rest, but I’m not doing that,” said Trosclair, whose team hosts Port Barre on Friday. “I’ll rest during the day, sit when I have to, and be ready for practice.”
For the first time in his 36-year coaching career, 25 of which he’s spent as a head coach, Trosclair missed his first game after 302 games when No. 5 Eunice traveled to Church Point in last Friday’s District 5-3A showdown.
The Bobcats, who trailed 6-0 in the first quarter, rallied to lead 17-6 at halftime en route to a 37-6 victory and a significant step toward the league’s championship.
“I just knew we were going to play well,” Trosclair said. “I’ve felt we have something special with this team, and when they focus on something, I think we can really play.”
Since his diagnosis last summer with multiple myeloma, Trosclair has taken medication that can cause blood clots but wasn’t taking any prescribed blood thinners, he said.
Trosclair and his coaching staff set into motion a plan of attack for the Church Point game, meeting as usual Saturday and Sunday and installing the game plan Monday.
Trosclair said he noticed swelling in his leg Sunday but managed to get through a lengthy practice Monday before going to the doctor a day later.
“We had everything in on Monday,” Trosclair said. “It was probably the longest Monday practice I’ve ever conducted. We really repped everything not knowing I wouldn’t be there Tuesday.”
Trosclair believed he would be discharged Thursday, but doctors were unsuccessful on three separate occasions in removing the clot.
Trosclair said he talked with his staff during the week with offensive coordinator Andre Vige’ serving as the team’s acting coach during preparations and for the Church Point game.
On game day, with all the team gathered, Vige’ called Trosclair and placed him on speaker phone so Trosclair could wish the team well.
Before that, Trosclair said he received several texts from players reassuring him they would win the game.
“That’s pretty special when you have a team and coaches like that when they’re behind you,” Trosclair said. “Those guys have had my back pretty good.”
Eunice built an 11-point halftime lead before opening things up with wide receiver Travis Godfrey throwing a pair of touchdown passes to Terryl Poullard and Deshawn Vigers.
The Bobcats defense didn’t allow another point, forcing three turnovers.
Through the highs and the lows, Trosclair, who was bedridden for four days, listened intently to a live-stream radio broadcast from his hospital bed which provided a unique perspective after 302 games on the sideline.
“I had never missed a game before, so listening to it was hard,” Trosclair said. “I was more nervous because I didn’t have control of anything. I was proud of the coaches and players for what they did.”