There will be prep football in Lafourche Parish in 2021 – but likely not Friday night lights.
Lafourche Parish Public Schools were informed today that they can continue practicing for their fall sports seasons tomorrow and can resume competition in the coming days – some much-needed normalcy for our community post-Ida.
Local public school football teams are planning to resume their seasons next weekend – Week 4 of the high school season.
South Lafourche has confirmed it will play E.D. White on Sept. 25, and Thibodaux will "likely" play Dutchtown, according to coach Chris Dugas.
Attempts to contact Central Lafourche coach Aaron Meyer were unsuccessful. The Trojans were scheduled to play Lutcher.
Sources told the Gazette that there are challenges to the return to competition plans, but that schools are confident they can pull this off safely.
One challenge is electricity. A lot of Lafourche Parish is still without power, and the parish is still under curfew because of the dangers of driving at night without street lights. Because of that, a lot of games scheduled at night may be during the day. For example, South Lafourche's football game with E.D. White is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sept. 25.
Another is infrastructure. Some of the athletic facilities in Lafourche Parish took on damage, which may cause some home games to be moved to other venues.
South Lafourche Athletic Director Brian Callais said it's unlikely that the Tarpons will play a football game at Memorial Stadium in 2021, but that the team could possibly look to play its home games at other stadiums in Lafourche. It could also possibly play an all-road schedule.
The same for basketball. The South Lafourche gymnasium was destroyed by Ida, so the Tarpons are looking at other venues for volleyball and boys' and girls' basketball.
Central Lafourche and Thibodaux had lighter damages to their athletic facilities and should be able to play home games.
The Lafourche decision to return to action next week mirrors Terrebonne Parish public schools, which made the same decision last week.
Private schools are returning sooner, and E.D. White, Vandebilt and CCA are all scheduled to play football games this Friday.
Lafourche Schools Superintendent Jarod Martin has said multiple times during the storm recovery that he wanted extracurricular activities to go on as scheduled as best as possible.
Martin promised The Gazette last week that "there would be football."
That promise is now confirmed with a confirmed start date.