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Football: Cajuns pray for Louisiana and share cries for help

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, August 30, 2021

UL outside linebacker Tyler Guidry spent part of his Sunday retweeting messages from Louisiana residents in distress and requesting rescue from Hurricane Ida.

Six people of all ages, including one disabled adult, needing help in Houma, which sustained major damage. Two adults and two babies stranded on the second floor of a flooded home in LaPlace. A woman whose oxygen stopped working and whose house in Gonzalez was caving in, and family stuck on the rooftop of a grandparent’s home in Jean Lafitte.

The cries for aid went on and on as Ida blew through Louisiana on Sunday, making landfall at Port Fourchon as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph.

All of New Orleans and other areas were without power late Sunday and Monday.

As the storm approached, Ragin’ Cajuns receiver Kyren Lacy put out a prayer for hometown of Thibodaux, which is located in Lafourche Parish, the same as Port Fourchon.      

“Pray for our city and State and whoever else may be in harms way,” Lacy said on Twitter. “6 days til GameDay.”

Cajuns open at Texas

UL opens its 2021 season Saturday at No. 19 Texas.

The No. 23 Cajuns decided decided to ride out Ida at home in Lafayette rather than relocate to Texas for practice like LSU and the New Orleans Saints did, a team spokesman said.

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UL, which has numerous players on its roster from New Orleans and other areas impacted by Ida, canceled practiced Sunday and planned to resume football activities Monday night.

Lafayette had been on the western edge of the cone for Ida’s projected landfall, but was spared her wrath as the storm struck closer to New Orleans than the Acadiana area.

As the southeastern part of the state started to assess the extensive damage, all hurricane, tropical storm, flash flood and tornado watches and warnings for Southeast Louisiana had been canceled as of early Monday morning.

“We want to express our condolences for all the people dealing with Hurricane Ida,” UL coach Billy Napier said Monday.

Napier said the Cajuns had “a number” of program members whose families have been affected, and that cell phone communication issues were keeping him from knowing the full extent of those impacted.

“We still have a number of players that haven’t talked to their families yet,” he said. “(It’s) a little bit of an ongoing process, but thoughts and prayers are will all of the people that are dealing with … what we know can be a very difficult situation.

“The big thing right now is just helping some of these young men and staff members kind of manage their family situations. We’ve got a lot of folks from over in the areas that were significantly affected.”

Ida puts football in perspective

Napier said some players, staffers and student workers stayed and some evacuated.

All of Sunday’s would-be work was missed.

Napier expected some players and staffers would not make it back in time for practice Monday night, either, but he anticipated everyone being back in time to resume prep for Texas on Tuesday.

Much game plan installation had been put into place in late last week.

“We’ll be fine from that perspective,” Napier said. “The most important thing is the healthy and safety of all the people involved.

“The big thing here is that it creates a little bit of perspective … in terms of what’s important.”

Ida sparked flashbacks for at least one former UL player.

“I remember when the water started coming in our house for Isaac and I was 15 and terrified,” tweeted ex-Cajuns receiver Bam Jackson, who is from Reserve, located about five miles from LaPlace. “I can’t even imagine how high that water is now bruh. I hope everybody back home get out safe.”

“Prayers up for Laplace, Houma, Thibodaux, and other surrounding heavily affected areas”