Field lights shine a final time for Bulldog seniors

Michael Tortorich
Teisha Theriot, parent of Ascension Catholic seniors Owen and Angelle Theriot, and Robbie Acosta, parent of Bulldog senior Brock Acosta, hang banners Monday, April 13, during the “Be the Light” ceremonial lighting of the field. Photo by Michael Tortorich.

Dim light began to emit from the lamps surrounding the baseball diamond.

Soon after 8 p.m., the field was fully lit as it would be on a game day. But no pitch was thrown.

Instead, vehicles steadily filed into the parking lot between the softball and baseball fields at the South Louisiana State Fairgrounds in Donaldsonville. Horns honked and passengers waved throughout the parade to celebrate Ascension Catholic’s seniors.

 The “Be the Light” campaign has spread throughout the country as a tribute to high school senior athletes who had their spring sports season cut short. Bulldog baseball and softball coaches organized the event as a way to honor the Class of 2020.

The lights remained on for twenty minutes as supporters showed their appreciation to the student-athletes. Supporters were asked to remain in their vehicles and practice social distancing.

Recently, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Executive Committee elected to cancel the remaining spring sports season, officially quashing any hope of playing again this school year.

Ascension Catholic’s head baseball coach, Todd Landry, said the event was meant to honor all sports, not just baseball and softball.

“This is a symbolic gesture put on by the sports of baseball and softball to honor all seniors, of these sports and all sports at ACHS, the surrounding areas and the State of Louisiana,” he said.

Banners of each player are created every year by Chuck Montero. The season ended so early, that the softball banners weren’t finished yet. The “Be the Light” event was the first time the banners were displayed. Parents of baseball players also draped their banners along the fence.

Tommy Bennett, an avid researcher of local sports, said the last time a baseball season was cancelled was in 1975. According to his research, a varsity sport at the school had to cancel a season in 1933. That year, football was scratched due to the Great Depression.

Ascension Catholic’s 2020 softball seniors are: Hailee Rome, Katie Pizzolato, Angelle Theriot and Emily Beck. Bulldog baseball seniors are: Sam Mire, Jai Williams, Brock Acosta, Conner Shally and Owen Theriot.

Ascension Catholic seniors participating in spring sports are: Eric Simon Jr. (track and field), Haley Dupre (track and field), Dorian Barber (track and field), Gary “Trey” Millett III (tennis), Nicholas Hilliard (powerlifting) and Catherine Rome (powerlifting).