The fans of St. Helena College and Career Academy are celebrating today because of the team victory over the East Baton Rouge Parish’s Broadmoor Buccaneers. After a devastating loss last month of the high school’s former principal, the Hawks football team came prepared to win.
Hundreds of St. Helena Hawks fans came out to support their home team for the first game of the regular season. The students and faculty members participated in pre-game events in remembrance of Reginald Douglas. Douglas was a principal at the middle and high schools in St. Helena Parish for eight years. He died of a heart attack on Aug. 24, just a few weeks after school started.
Stephanie Jackson an administrator at the school, expressed her feelings on Douglas’s death “He saw these Boys grow up, it’s been a hard pill to swallow”. Corey Leblanc, a junior student and running back for the Hawks, spoke about the kindness the former principal showed his students. “He was a very nice man, he would always have time to help us out with homework or school projects and he always made sure we had something to eat, I’m going to miss him the most,” said Leblanc.
After the Broadmoor Buccaneers won the coin toss, the Hawks prepared for their first offensive drive when Rizzario Torrence the junior wide receiver, returned a kick and completed a 22-yard run. This placed the Hawks in the red zone, which made it easy for Deshon Singleton, the junior quarterback, to run the ball across the goal line and put the Hawks in the lead. Christopher William’s extra-point attempt was successful.
Hawk Quarterback Deshon Singleton quickly drove his team down the field, and junior wide receiver Jency Riley Jr. caught a 45-yard pass, which placed the Hawks 10 yards away from the goal line. Again, Singleton was able to run the ball and score. This gave the Hawks the second touchdown of the game, gaining a 14-point lead on the Buccaneers at the end of the first half.
Starting the 3rd quarter, the Buccaneers were able to make their first touchdown after senior wide receiver Desmond Matthew returned a 39-yard kick.
The Buccaneers tried to orchestrate a quick drive, but junior receiver Ronald Barnes was flagged for roughing another player. The flag led to an on-field brawl between the hawks and the Bucs, which was quickly resolved by the coaches and officials.
The Hawks keep the momentum going in the final quarter when Singleton threw a 40-yard completed pass to wide receiver Jency Riley which put the score at 21-7. The last 2 minutes of the game fans stood on their feet when Riley intercepted the ball and returned it 60 yards for the touchdown. With the extra point, the Hawks defeated the Buccaneers 30-7. The crowd erupted in cheers as the Hawks celebrated on the field.
St. Helena College And Career Academy ranks #108 in the state and #5 in the Class 2A division.
The Hawks head coach Johnny Felders was visibly overjoyed by how well his team performed. He held back tears as he spoke about his team and former colleague, “This is a bittersweet moment, I am very proud of these young men and all of their accomplishments, even after all their sadness they came out and played an awesome game; I know Mr. Douglas is smiling down on them.”