Businesses have reopened and many families have returned to their homes. But as the historic flooding in August 2016 fades into memories for many people, St. Amant High marks a curious milestone that also serves as a reminder.
The Gators (4-0) host their annual Gold Dome Classic at Dutchtown High starting Wednesday with four games.
“This is one of those things we’re figuring out daily with the help of a lot of people,” St. Amant coach Travis Uzee said. “I can’t say enough about how gracious Dutchtown's coaches, Pat Hill and Annette (Lowery), have been, first last year and now this year. I can’t thank them or their administration enough. It’s not the same as playing at home, but we've all made it as close we can get it.”
The four-day Gold Dome tourney begins at 4:15 p.m. with Woodlawn taking on Donaldsonville. The host Gators face Lutcher in the final game set for 8 p.m. Instead of bracket play, there will be a round-robin format with each team guaranteed four games on what will be a busy tournament weekend.
St. Amant’s situation is a special one. The Gators practice in the school’s smaller gym and will again play all their boys/girls games at Dutchtown. Uzee said work to restore the Gold Dome is set to begin in the coming weeks with plans for it to be ready for games/practices in 2018-19.
Not having the Gold Dome Classic at the Gold Dome is a contradiction that illustrates what life has been like since the 2016 flooding. Uzee said he has freshmen and sophomores who have never played a game in the Gold Dome, which is something older players miss. However, the games must go on.
Uzee has started thinking about a celebration to mark the return to the Gold Done. For now, the Gators' focus is on the Gold Dome tourney, which features several bayou area schools — Assumption, Thibodaux, Terrebonne and H.L. Bourgeois, along with regulars like Hammond, Dutchtown, Airline of Bossier City and Denham Springs.
“I think there will be some good games and matchups,” Uzee said. “Right now, that is what everybody is looking for. We happy to be hosting it.”