Warriors Red A Team closes stellar season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 24, 2021

LAPLACE — The St. John Warriors Red A team had an undefeated regular season and fell just short in the championship game this past Saturday in Clinton. Head coach K.B. Armstrong said not one kid got upset because they understood that they had already won.

“We still won because we showed up and showed out. We overcame a bunch of adversity – the hurricane, the way their schools switched to half days and virtual learning. A lot of people in the community had houses flooded and gutted. We practiced in the dark because there were no lights at the park. They still showed up to play every week,” Armstrong said.

Team members include Kolby Woodland, Jah Anderson, Christopher Becnel Jr., Gage Taylor, Harold Fleming Jr., Justin Hall, Keshaun Lumar, Dagmawi Tilahun, Zaire Lipps, K’Jahn Greenup, Terence Connor III, Chance Joseph, Brandon Engham Jr., Andre Jackson, Adrian Cosey, Malachi Rixner, Letrace Love, Braylon Campbell, Matthew Eads, Patrick Rogers, Jo’Kobe Jones, Robert Jackson Jr., Jerimiah Franklin, Hezekiah McGary, Mikhail Adams, Bert Hymes II and Brayden Hymes.

Armstrong said quarterback Kolby Woodland stepped up as a true leader and facilitated communication between the team when most of St. John Parish was still without power.

When it seemed that all hope was lost for the season, the kids encouraged the adults to press on.

“They said our homes are not normal; our schools are not normal. Football is normal. This was the kids’ year. They motivated themselves, running through the dark at practice, throwing a ball you can barely see. The kids wanted this more than the adults,” Armstrong said.

He added that the kids, at only 11 and 12 years old, also yearned to establish a sense of normalcy for their parents who had lost so much during Hurricane Ida.

Despite missing the pre-season, the Warriors Red A team went 5-0 in the regular season and collected two wins in the playoffs. The resiliency of those who persevered did not go unnoticed. Before Hurricane Ida, approximately 140 kids had joined the Warriors across all age groups. After Ida, that number dwindled to 59.

“I’ve won Super Bowls before, and I’ve had undefeated teams, but this was a special team. While dealing with their homes, parents got their kids to practice and to games. We had a good year,” Armstrong said.