The Bobcats had no place to call home after Hurricane Ike whipped out the Butler building the team called home since 2006. The new season will feature a new facility for the Bobcats.
The new digs come thanks in large part to Devon Energy. The Oklahoma City-based company has backed several projects at Erath High since the school was damaged during Hurricane Rita in 2005.
“I think this is important for the kids,” Erath head football coach Destin Dieterich said. “It gives them something new.
“It is something that we can mark as a new beginning.”
The 2009 season will be a new beginning for the Bobcats. Dieterich is entering his first year at the helm of the Erath football program, one that has seen its share of weather-related downs since Rita hit nearly four years ago.
Hurricane Ike severely damaged the locker room the Bobcats used before their first home game. The Bobcats were forced to find alternative space.
As it has done in the past with other projects, Devon stepped in and offered to financially support a new building for the Erath athletic program.
“We have a commitment from Deven Energy,” Erath principal Francis Touchet said, “to provide $225,500 for the new field house.
“I would like to thank Devon Energy for all that they have done for Erath High since Hurricane Rita.”
The Vermilion Parish School Board will also put up $50,000 toward the project.
“That is the amount the Board would have gotten for the building that was lost,” Touchet added.
The field house will be equipped with a locker room, office space for the coaches, a training room, and a shower area. Touchet and Dieterich said they plan to meet with contractors and will iron out the details. One thing is certain, the field house will have a pleasing look.
“It will have a residential type look to it,” Dieterich said. “It will not look like a temporary building.”
The field house will meet codes for winds and flooding.
“It is going to be built to where it can definitely survive a storm,” Touchet said.
As far as when the field house will be complete, Dieterich said the process is on schedule.
“In the first week against Berwick,” Dieterich said, “we plan to run out onto the field from our new field house.”