EAHS-SAHS Shout Out returns with week of events before football contest

Staff reports

After a two-year hiatus, East Ascension and St. Amant high school students, staff, alumni and fans will once again gather to cheer their respective school on to victory at the 6th Annual Spartan/Gator Tailgate Shout Out event, held the day before the annual East Ascension-St. Amant high school football game.

The pep rally event to decide the owner of the 2008 “Spirit Stick,” is scheduled for Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the LeBlanc Payless parking lot on South Burnside Avenue 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 at The Pit. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Jambalaya dinners will be served for lunch during the day and again that night for the event.

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

Coaches, pep bands, cheerleaders, dance teams, ROTC groups and flag squads will be at the event, along with both football teams. There will also be a live performance by the band Side Effects.

The Shout Out began in 1999 when Jody Elisar and his brother Todd, both St. Amant High School alumni, looked to start an event to raise money for both schools while also boosting the spirit of the community leading into the annual contest. The Elisars met with co-founder James “Stump” Marchand and his brother Luke, both East Ascension HIgh School alumni, and the Shout Out event came from those meetings.

The week-long celebration began with a bass tournament, golf tournament and horse show. On the day before the game, the two schools would meet to cook large amounts of jambalaya during the day.

Later that afternoon, 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. Four years ago, redistricting by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association moved East Ascension down to Class 4A 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 two years ago brought East Ascension back into Class 5A and into a district that includes St. Amant and another parish rival, Dutchtown.

Event organizers also held a “Shout Out Ryder Cup Shoot Out” golf event Monday with 96 participants taking part in the event. James E. LeBlanc, vice president of the St. Amant High School Booster Club, said in an e-mail Monday that the event raised “anywhere between $6.500 to $7.000 total profit.”

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

For more information on the event, call James E. LeBlanc at 717-5436, Bubba Richard at 313-9422, Ralph Delatte at 603-5413 or Alan Marrero at 907-3468.