LOREAUVILLE — The Loreauville Tigers were bitten hard by the injury bug in head coach Terry Martin’s first year at the school.
By the conclusion of the second game, the starting quarterback, Zy Alexander, and a key starting receiver, Logan Girouard, were both lost for the season.
In the case of Girouard, he had barely gotten his feet wet during his junior season before an injury early in the first quarter of Week 1.
“On our first offensive play against Vermilion Catholic, we tried running a trick play,” said Girouard, who got the ball on a reverse.
“I tried to get out of bounds, but I got hit and tore my ACL.”
The loss of an athlete of Girouard’s stature hurts even worse when it’s at the small-school level where players often go both ways. In his case, the Tigers lost both a receiver and a defensive back.
“I’m around 90 percent right now,” he said. “The therapy is a lot of work. You go to therapy three times a week, then after you leave you go home and do it again. They give you a list, tell you what to do, and you have to get it done.”
The rehab process took a toll on Girouard both mentally and physically.
“It was a long offseason,” he said. “I had to work a lot harder than anyone else. I’m still working, try to get better after what happened.
“It was very frustrating, but I had to think about how this is my last year so I have to get everything done correctly and come back strong.”
Girouard also had to deal with skeptics along the way.
“People were telling me I probably shouldn’t play football again,” he said, “that I should think about doing something else my senior year.
“I told them I really want to play, and that I’m still trying to prove myself. I had to go through a really tough time and face a lot of adversity with the injury.”
The Tiger went 1-9 last year, but Girouard believes his team can completely turn it around.
“We’re very hungry,” he said.
“The mood in the locker room is focused on what we have to do, and we’re concentrating on that.
“I believe we can go 10-0. I think what needs to happen is we have to stay healthy, focus, and work hard.”
On August 29, Loreauville will square off with district rival Jeanerette on Day 1 of the Iberia Parish Jamboree, which will be held at Westgate High.
Last year the Tigers clicked on all cylinders in a 28-0 jamboree win over Highland Baptist. A 73-yard touchdown pass from Alexander to Girouard opened the scoring in that contest.