SCC Honored with the 2022 Jimmy Collins Award
Congratulations to St. Charles Catholic High School Athletic Department for being honored with the 2022 Jimmy Collins award. St. Charles Catholic achieved tremendous success in the athletic arenas for the school year 2021-2022 and honors are being presented for their persistence and perseverance in overcoming challenges presented by Hurricane Ida to reach those levels of achievement.
St. Charles Catholic High School is located in LaPlace, in the heart of the River Parishes region of Greater New Orleans that was devastated by Hurricane Ida in late August of 2021.
“Our athletic facility took a tremendous hit,” said Wayne Stein, the school’s director of athletics. “But the real damage was with our kids and their homes. They were devastated. We have multiple kids that still aren’t in their homes. They’re living with friends or relatives or in trailers. That’s the part that’s amazing. Our kids don’t take athletics for granted; it’s the closest to normalcy that they have. It hasn’t been a chore to get them to focus when they get out on the field and the results speak for themselves.”
After the crushing effects of the storm, it would have been considered a success for the Comets to even field athletic teams for 2021-22. However, the resilient school did far more than field teams – it fielded championship teams.
The football team didn’t play its first game until Sept. 18. Practices were hit-or-miss leading up to the game, as players were spending the majority of their free time rebuilding houses and salvaging belongings. But the Comets won their emotional opener, 3-0. The following week, they won again; and then again. Using a stout defense, they won all eight regular season games, including six shutouts. In the LHSAA Division III playoffs, they stopped Dunham, 27-0, to advance to the semifinals where they held off No. 2 Notre Dame, 17-13. Then, in the state championship game against top-seeded Lafayette Christian, they brought the magical season to a close with a thrilling 32-27 victory.
“I’m a very proud River Parishes resident and I saw so many great things come out of Ida,” said Stein, who also serves as the school’s football and baseball coach. “People doing things out of the kindness of their hearts. Our teams went out and we gutted 20-25 homes in the community. We would all work together to see who we could help. It made us feel good about our community. I’m most proud of our kids exemplifying what River Parishes are all about. They didn’t make excuses; they just went to work. The school and their families supported them; they played for something so much bigger than themselves.”
That wasn’t all for the Comets, however. While continuing to rebuild their community, they made another state championship run, winning the LHSAA Division III title in baseball. Once again, defense was their calling card as they opened the playoffs with 2-0 and 4-1 victories before tallying another shutout in the title game, 2-0 over top-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas. In addition, St. Charles Catholic softball team also had a tremendous run, advancing to the Division III state championship game.