Zachary High members of the band, baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross-country, dance, football, soccer, swim, tennis, track, volleyball and wrestling teams met Aug. 18 with their coaches and Athletic Director David Brewerton to organize flood cleanup efforts in Baker, Baton Rouge, Central, Denham Springs and Zachary.
Brewerton and Athletic Secretary Dianne LeBlanc spearheaded the effort, sending teams and their coaches to the Blairstown Drive area in Baker; Park Forest and Frenchtown Road areas in Baton Rouge; the Bluefield Drive area in Central; Kline Street and Sandlewood Court in Denham Springs; and Castle Place, Little Farms, The Oaks and Redwood Lakes subdivisions as well as Plank Road area businesses and First Baptist and Fellowship churches in Zachary.
"The athletes have been going out into the community all week, helping where they can," LeBlanc said.
Students were transported by bus, car and van to assist residents and business owners in cleaning, moving debris from houses and businesses to the curb and organizing and sorting donations and flood relief supplies.
Former Redemptorist running back and Southeastern University alumnus Jay Lucas and his wife, Ashley, who live in The Oaks, helped coordinate efforts in their neighborhood for Brewerton and the Zachary athletes.
Lucas played for Brewerton when he coached at Redemptorist, and the two have remained close.
"We did not flood, but as you can see, most of our neighbors did," Ashley Lucas said, motioning toward piles of debris on the street. "I've coordinated my own flood relief efforts and have help from friends all over the country in the form of much-needed supplies."
The Lucases walked house-to-house with the Bronco athletes, helping move heavy appliances and furniture as well as consoling residents.
Louisiana National Guard veteran Ingram Scott and his family were affected by the flood and were grateful to receive the assistance from the athletes.
"We are luckier than a lot of people; we only had floodwater up to here," Scott said motioning to about a 4-foot waterline inside his home. "I was involved in the recovery efforts following Hurricane Katrina with the National Guard ...it's different when you're on the receiving end of help."