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Football: Cajun Fans lend hand

Cajun Fans Lend Hand


Marsha Sills

LAFAYETTE � Ragin’ Cajun pride showed itself this weekend, when volunteers helped prepare Cajun Field for another season of football.

On Saturday, about 70 volunteers turned out to get the field and stadium in shape. Volunteers painted fresh coats of vermilion, trimmed hedges and pressure-washed where needed.

The group will wrap up the work today and more volunteers are needed, said Gerald Hebert, UL Lafayette director of development for athletics.

Later today, fans will have a chance to meet Ragin’ Cajun athletes and teams during Fan Day at the stadium. The event begins at 6 p.m.

Hebert has coordinated the clean-up, allowing alumni and the community to show their support of the university.

�The university has given us so much," said Kent Suire, class of 1980. �It’s just our way to give back."

Helping out also creates a sense of pride, said Steve Menard, class of 1971.

�We don’t have a $30 million budget like other people," Menard said. �It makes people take more pride in the facility."

He and Calvin Thibeaux even grabbed mops to spruce up a Ragin’ Cajun pepper decal above the end zone.

�We couldn’t pressure wash it," Menard said.

He took a break to admire what a little soap, water and elbow grease could do.

�We hadn’t planned to do it, but to me it looked like it needed to be done. We got five games on TV, and it’s highly visible. It just looks so much better," he said.

University residence hall counselors adopted the cleanup as one of their service projects, said Brittany White, an Evangeline Hall counselor.

�We wanted to show our school spirit and give back to the school," said White, a UL Lafayette performing arts and creative writing student.

The students spruced up the faded red paint that had covered the stadium’s handrails.

About 40 students volunteered for the day, Hebert said.

Fans and students are ready for the football season. During games, students sit in a special part of the stadium called the Red Zone. There, the energy is different from any other seat in the house, White said.

�We could be losing and the Red Zone is still amped," she said.

The first home game, the Herbert Heymann Classic, kicks off at 7 p.m. Sept. 4. The Ragin’ Cajuns will play the Northwestern State University Demons.

Want to help?

More volunteers are needed today to help get Cajun Field ready for the football season. Volunteers are needed from noon to 4:30 p.m. today.

Fan Day

Ragin’ Cajun fans have the chance to meet their favorite athletes and teams at 6 p.m. today at Cajun Field.

On the Web

For more information about Ragin’ Cajun athletics, visit www.ragincajuns.com.

©The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
August 15, 2004