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Athletics: Cajuns ‘very fortunate’ to dodge major hurricane damage

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, Aug. 28, 2020

Cajun Field and UL’s other sports facilities mostly were spared the wrath of Hurricane Laura.

“We sustained no considerable weather damage to our athletics facilities,” Ragin’ Cajuns spokesman Patrick Crawford said Thursday afternoon.

“We will need to do some light fence mending in certain places around some of the stadium (Cajun Field), and there obviously is a lot of tree and brush debris that will need to get picked up.

“But otherwise,” Crawford added, “our athletics department considers itself very fortunate to not be in the same situation as others around the state who definitely need support and help right now.”

Related:Hurricane Laura makes landfall in Louisiana

More:See footage from inside Hurricane Laura captured by Hurricane Hunters

Laura made landfall early Thursday morning, arriving as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph winds near Cameron, not far from Lake Charles, where McNeese is located.

McNeese, a Southland Conference member and a longtime rival of the Cajuns, was to have opened the 2020 season against UL of the Sun Belt Conference on Sept. 5 at Cajun Field, but the Cowboys canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our thoughts as an athletic department are certainly with McNeese State as Lake Charles took the hurricane head on and they have a lot of cleanup and pickup to do,” Crawford said.

UL’s campus was closed Wednesday and Thursday because of the hurricane.

Crawford said the Cajuns’ athletic teams did not conduct any practices Thursday, but they were “planning to resume practices and normal operations on Friday.”

After losing the McNeese game earlier, in addition to a Sep. 12 home game against Wyoming among others against non-conference opponents because of the virus, UL’s football team is now scheduled to open Sept. 12 at nationally ranked Iowa State.

More:McNeese AD explains decision to not play the Cajuns

More:UL schedule may be tougher, but will it all be played?