Bragging rights at stake in charity Padres-Coaches matchup

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 7, 2001

A day before the big game, the war of words had already started — and it was wasn’t pretty.

&uot;They better be ready for anything,&uot;&160;said Father Anthony Bharmaraj, or &uot;Father Raj&uot; to parishioners at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Ferriday. &uot;We will be badly whipping them, I hope. They can expect mercy from priests, but not on the basketball court.&uot;

&uot;I don’t know about that … the coaches and teachers have been practicing every night for the last week,&uot;&160;said Cathedral Athletic Director Rocky Kettering.

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&uot;They may have God on their side, but we’ve got a lot of hard work and sweat on ours.&uot;

For $3 per person, crowds at Cathedral High’s gymnasium will get the witness first-hand the first-ever matchup between the Padres, priests from parishes in Concordia Parish and Alexandria, and Cathedral coaches and teachers.

The game starts at 6:30 p.m.

And there are more than bragging rights at stake. Proceeds of admission and concessions will go to Holy Family School to help pay expenses related to recent fire damage at the school.

&uot;It’s just a wonderful feeling,&uot; said Sister Marie Santry, SND, the school’s principal. &uot;This is something they undertook of their own initiative, and we’re very deeply grateful.&uot;

This is not the Padres’ first contest. They have actually played two other games at Catholic schools in central Louisiana to get youth interested in the priesthood as a vocation — and have amassed a 1-1 record.

Father Raj said that when he approached Cathedral Headmaster Scott Fleming about the possibility of scheduling a similar matchup at Cathedral, Fleming suggested that proceeds be used to benefit Holy Family.

And this might not be the last time the Padres and the Coaches meet, if some have their way.

&uot;Who knows? This might be an annual thing,&uot; Kettering said.