If you live in Louisiana, you have become used to hurricanes slamming the state. This year is no different, as Hurricane Ida has devastated south Louisiana and delayed the start of football in Ascension parish.

Ida hit on Aug. 29 and has left so many areas without power; facilities damaged and hopes dashed. Jamboree action for parish schools was disrupted due to numerous factors, including COVID-19, and those schools were looking forward to a Week 1 matchup with an opponent.

That matchup has to wait.

Cleanup and recovery has begun to get the parish to some sense of normalcy. I have read of so many people that have suffered losses, but also so many acts of kindness by people willing to lend a helping hand.

Ascension parish schools were already scrambling to get their brand-new turf fields ready for the season. Dutchtown’s turf has been completed and was ready for their jamboree, only to not have anyone play a game on it. East Ascension, St Amant and Donaldsonville are waiting for their turf installments to be completed. That is expected to be in early October.

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Ascension Catholic and Ascension Christian were able to participate in their jamborees and win. Both teams made mistakes, but playing allows them to watch film and correct those mistakes.

The unknown of Week 2 games being played in the parish is evident. Utility crews from across the country have started to restore power to Ascension Parish, and that will determine if students head back to school and are able to play their games.

Another factor is the opponent. How affected were they by the storm? So many uncertainties persist as the football season has begun, yet the optimism of the coaches in the parish has not waned. The leadership of the coaches and their administrators has already been on display as they navigate these difficult times.

Some people will say, “Why are we talking about football when so many people are going through so many other things?” My answer is simple: the opportunity to come together and root for your team, not only the players but the cheerleaders, dance team, bands, and booster clubs. As I was trying to figure out what to write about this week with no games being played, the one thing that inspired me is seeing the teamwork and kindness that always seem to show during times like this. Football is a sport that requires teamwork, each player working together for one common goal: victory and celebration.

Friday night lights will return. Until then, be thankful for your many blessings and that you will get another chance to be in that number again, supporting your team. I know I will.