Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 1999

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / October 13, 1999

This is the second year that East St. John football coach, Ronnie Stephens,allows me to address the Wildcat football team before each game. I try torelate the game of football to the journey we take in this life. My talk isno longer than five minutes and then we pray.

Two weeks ago, in my pre-game talk before the Destrehan game, I predicted an East St. John win. It was a great game! It took Destrehan fiveovertimes to win the game, 57-50. I’ve never heard of a game having fiveovertimes. I had two of my grandsons, David and Kane, with me. Theyreally got into the game! The next day, Kane told his daddy, “I bet you never saw a five-overtime game!” (Not too many people have.)Well, last Friday before the Thibodaux game, I had to admit that my prediction was wrong. God has a reason for everything and maybe He wasjust building character in this team. “Yes, you lost a great game lastweek, but after the game, you acted with class as you congratulated Dest- rehan,” I said.

“When you get as old as I am, you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren that you played in one of the most exciting games in River Parish history. Thatgame was only a page in your book of life. If you dwell on that defeat, theremaining games could be disasters. On the other hand, if you decide topress on and leave the past behind, the rest of the story, as you reminisce with your grandchildren, could go like this. After that defeat, we re-grouped and won the rest of our games and made the state playoffs.”Will this happen? Only God knows, but with dedication and teamwork, it is indeed possible.

Last Friday, East St. John defeated Thibodaux, 44-14. A big win by a bigmargin! (Another page in their book of life.)Monday, I went to the school to congratulate Coach Stephens. A group ofthe players was looking at films of their upcoming opponent. BrandonBrown said, “Mr. Keller, I intercepted a pass last Friday!” He was asexcited telling me about it as he probably was when it happened. “I’m No.21,” he continued. I told Brandon that I would mention him in my article.I would publicly like to thank Coach Stephens, his staff, and all the players for allowing me to meet with them every week.

May I suggest to all the Saints, LSU and Tulane fans: If you’re tired of spending big money, traveling and being disappointed, why don’t you try an exciting high school football game this week? The entertainment is great, and the effort put forward by the players is always 100 percent.

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