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Junior high football team receives money to replace equipment

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DENHAM SPRINGS – Football season was an uncertainty for Southside Junior High following last month's historic flooding, but with the help of one store and generous NFL players, the season is now a reality.

Flood water destroyed Southside Junior High, along with the football team's equipment room.
"Water actually backed up into our equipment room, and backed up five feet," Brett Chatelain, Southside Junior High football coach, said.

"Pretty much everything was destroyed, 90 percent of it, you just walk in and it's got mud all over it," Chatelain said.

The thought of being ready in time for football season was out of the question, until one team member's mother took to social media.

"I went to my mom and asked her what we can do, and she put up the little post," Dylan Watson, Southside Junior High football player, said.

The "little post" went viral and caught the eyes of some NFL players along with Academy Sports + Outdoors, who gave the team $5,000 to replace their equipment.

Vincent Morgan, of Denham Springs Academy, store knew the impact the flooding had on the team as his store was also impacted by the flood. When Morgan saw the Facebook post, he knew he wanted to help.

"I know how important it is for these kids to have some normalcy, and football is a big part of that," Morgan said.

"Just knowing that the kids have the opportunity to go and play some football and forget about flooding, and what they lost," Morgan said.

Coach Chatalain says that next Monday night the team will move forward and focus on winning when they take the field, but will remain grateful.

"Win or lose, we are just happy to be on the field playing, and I know the kids are for sure," Chatalain said.

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