The excitement is back

The excitement is back. East Ascension High School and St. Amant High School students, staff, alumni and fans will once again gather to cheer their respective school on to victory at the 12th Spartan/Gator Tailgate Shout Out event, held the day before the annual East Ascension-St. Amant football game in Ascension Parish. James LeBlanc (father) on the Gators side and Derek J. LeBlanc (son) on the Spartans side. The Community Committee has been meeting for the past two months organizing the event.    

    The community pep rally event to decide the owner of the 2014 "Spirit Stick” is scheduled for Thursday October 30 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Lamar-Dixon Center (Savoy Arena) in Gonzales, capping a week of events prior to the game.

    This year’s football game between the Spartans and Gators will take place Friday October 31 (Halloween Night) at The Pit in St. Amant. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. Bring the kids to the stadium in their Halloween Costume, for some great treats. 

    Jambalaya will be served for lunch on October 30 in the LeBlanc's Payless Parking Lot on Airline Hwy. in Gonzales. Please place your orders now for your local business. The Shout Out Committee will also deliver.  

    All proceeds from the event will be donated to both schools’ athletic programs.

    Coaches, pep bands, cheerleaders, dance teams, trainers, ROTC groups, and flag squads will be at the event, along with both football teams.

    The event was brought back in 2008 by James E. LeBlanc and Alan Marrero, and Jose Boriel from St. Amant and Ralph Delatte and Tommy Trahan of EA. In 2008, each school was given $8000, stated LeBlanc. In 2009, each school was given $12,000. In 2010, both schools were given $13,000. In 2011, both schools were given $11,000. In 2012, both schools were given $16,000, In 2013, both schools were given $18,000 for a total of $78,000.00 to each school for the past six years, stated James LeBlanc, Event Coordinator.

“To be able to hand over $78,000 to these two schools in a six-year period is a true testament of the two communities we live in,” James LeBlanc said. “We cannot begin to thank our sponsors over the past six years enough.”

    When this all began years ago, thousands of fans for both teams would gather in the parking lot of Dalton’s restaurant to listen to music and speeches from both teams’ head coaches before the back-and-forth shouting match began. A decibel meter was used to determine the winning school, which would receive the “spirit stick” and keep it until the next year’s event.

    The event and game also have more of a combined meaning, as the two schools are again district rivals in athletics. Ten years ago, redistricting by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association moved East Ascension down to Class 4A (Student Enrollment) while St. Amant stayed in Class 5A. The teams still played their annual game, but it did not count in district standings. However, another redistricting seven years ago brought East Ascension back into Class 5A and into a district that includes St. Amant and another parish rival, Dutchtown.

    Event organizers will also hold a “Shout Out Ryder Cup Shoot Out” golf event on Monday, October 27 at Pelican Point in Gonzales. Last year, 138 participants took part in the event. The Golf Tournament last year raised “anywhere between $7,000 to $8,000 total profit.” Please contact Bret Hughes (EA) or Camile Trabeau (STA) if you would like to play.

    “This is what this whole entire event is about, raising money for these two schools and coming together as a community to do so,” stated LeBlanc.

    At this time we are looking for Sponsorships for the 2014 Event. Get your business announced during the event and listed in the local papers. Also shirts are on sale now for GATOR and SPARTAN fans to purchase. The shirts are $12.  

    For more information on the event, call James E. LeBlanc at (225) 445-5766, Derek J. LeBlanc at (225) 313-5775, You can also contact Sherri Jenkins at (225) 644-4820 for Thursday Jambalaya sales.