Fisher triumphs by returning to action to highlight area Thursday prep football schedule

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Joe Yenni Stadium

While several area schools swing into action in week four of the prep football season this evening, the biggest story will be in Metairie where Fisher plays Haynes Academy at Joe Yenni Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

Along with Grand Isle, the river parishes and some areas of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes, no area was hit harder than Lafitte by Hurricane Ida.

John Ehret High School welcomed the Gators to their campus to practice to get ready for the game through Fisher graduate and Ehret athletic director Sheena Smith-Dilworth.

Fisher practiced Monday and Tuesday for the first time since the storm and had a walk-through Wednesday.

Just to return to the field was very special for Gators head coach Tevyn Cagins, a Fisher graduate who played for the Gators from 2008-11.

“We have been practicing at Ehret and we will be housed at Ehret,” Cagins said. “We thank them so much for allowing us to be there. Sheena has been great to us. We have right at 30 kids. We were able to retain most of the team, including all of our starters. I thank Haynes for working with us as well and sticking with us without scheduling someone else.”

The accommodation was a labor of love from Smith-Dilworth, who graduated from Fisher in 2001.

“Honestly it’s great,” Smith-Dilworth said. “Seeing the kids’ parents, that is special. I went to school with many of them. It’s really nice to see them all and I’m glad I can help. I feel like it’s not much but I know it means a lot to those kids to play, be around their friends and to keep the Fisher community together. Our school administration was great in helping make this happen.”

Today happens to be Smith-Dilworth’s 38th birthday. While others should be in the giving mood for her, Sheena is the one giving back unconditionally.

“I am not one of those that hides age,” Smith-Dilworth said. “You celebrate and then you see the suffering so many are going through. It truly gives you a clear picture of happiness and suffering. My parents and one of my aunts still live in Lafitte. It has a special place in my heart. Our graduating class celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and we are adopting Fisher teachers to donate basic supplies to help.”

The Gators and the Lafitte community finally have something positive to look forward to.

“Our kids are just happy to be playing,” Cagins said. “Of course, we will go in trying to win but everyone, including coaches, parents and our players are so excited to have a chance to play. Nothing is guaranteed. There are so many obstacles to overcome.”

The harsh reality of what happened in Lafitte is evident in video but in the words of Cagins.

“Our entire team was impacted by the storm, losing homes, clothing, cars, everything,” Cagins said. “We all take the burden together. I lost my garage and had major roof damage but compared to others, I am one of the lucky ones. Our campus had five feet of water in the buildings.

“The gym roof was ripped completely off. The turf was unattached from the field and floating. The press box lost its facing. The scoreboard is dismantled. There is mud everywhere. Our baseball stadium was likely hit by a tornado. All that is left is the front door. That is what the whole community is like.”

It will take a substantial period of time to repair Fisher and lower school Leo Kerner Elementary.

“As of now, we will have a temporary school at Ehret with sixth through 12th grade,” Cagins said. “We will have a different bell schedule and time frame. We will have to have a new Fisher and a new Leo Kerner Elementary built.”

While away from home, the Gators are at home at Ehret.

“We just want to help others,” Smith-Dilworth said. “We would do it for anyone but it is special to be able to do it for my alma mater.”

“It’s a win just coach a game and for the kids to play a game,” Cagins said. “We will be together. Home isn’t a building, it’s where you make it. We’re still home. We will be competitive, I assure you.”

Elsewhere, Bonnabel and Higgins will each open their delayed seasons with a District 8-5A contest at Hoss Memtsas Stadium at 6:30 p.m.

Ben Franklin returns to action, traveling to Houma to face Covenant Christian at 7 p.m. The Falcons lost to Ascension Christian 47-22 last week.

In a District 6-5A matchup, Hammond treks to Fontainebleau at 7 p.m. It will be the first game of the season for the Tornadoes while the Bulldogs fell 45-20 to Franklinton in their season opener a week ago.

Kentwood makes the short trip to Loranger at 7 p.m. The Kangaroos lost 39-13 to East Feliciana last weekend in their season opener while the Wolves lost their opener 13-7 to St. Thomas Aquinas.

Landry and Booker T. Washington square off at 7 p.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium.

The game will be officiated by an all African-American crew of seven.

Landry lost 41-26 to St. James in its opener at Mumford Stadium last week while the Lions defeated McMain 24-8.

Lusher Charter plays at Capitol at 7 p.m. The Lions lost 46-6 to Haynes Academy last week while Capitol is 1-1 after a 37-6 win over Thrive Academy.

Riverside Academy, which lost 54-0 to Carver last week, will head to Southern Lab at 7 p.m. The Rebels expect to have more players available this week while the Kittens are 1-1 after a 48-12 victory over 5A McKinley.

Louisiana Prep Football Schedule for Thursday, Sept. 23

Ascension Episcopal at Jeanerette

Barbe at Southside

Beekman Charter at Highland Baptist

Ben Franklin at Covenant Christian

Bonnabel vs. Higgins, 6:30 p.m. at Hoss Memtsas Stadium

Broadmoor at Liberty

Brusly at Mentorship Academy

Catholic (NI) at Delcambre

Collegiate Academy at Glen Oaks

Delta Charter at Oak Grove

East Iberville at Central Private

Fisher vs. Haynes Academy, 6:30 p.m. at Joe Yenni Stadium

Franklin Parish at Carroll

Hammond at Fontainebleau

Iota at Jennings

Kentwood at Loranger

LaGrange at Iowa

Landry vs. Booker T. Washington at Tad Gormley Stadium

Lusher Charter at Capitol

Madison Prep at West Feliciana

Merryville at Grand Lake

Parkview Baptist at Albany

Port Barre at Mamou

Riverside Academy at Southern Lab

St. John at Belaire

St. Louis Catholic at Washington-Marion

St. Martinville at Westgate

Thrive Academy at Donaldsonville

University Lab at Baker

Welsh at Pickering

Westlake at DeRidder

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