Storm suffers heartbreak to end great season

Published 10:37 pm Friday, November 10, 2023

FERRIDAY — Delta Charter left everything on the field in a 35-6 loss to Covenant Christian Academy. The Storm ended a district championship winning season with an 8-2 record with its second loss of the season in the first round of the LHSAA Select Division IV playoffs. 

Senior quarterback Juvari Singleton, who had suffered an injury in the third quarter, ran the clock out on a draw play to end his season. He was the first senior Storm player to be hugged by Head Coach Blake Wheeler. 

Players took a knee in the endzone to listen to Wheeler’s post game speech. He was prepared to comfort his kids, some of them walking off the field one final time Friday night. His message was carefully given to the team, to encourage and lift up. 

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“This is the hardest part of my job. Be proud. This loss doesn’t define us and who we are. We are a team who always fights hard and loves each other,” Wheeler told the team. “We are a brotherhood and family. Don’t let this loss define you or your season. We had the best regular season in history. Seniors y’all are leaving behind a legacy. I know it hurts. It’s supposed to hurt. You have put so much effort into it. Let it hurt tonight but when the sun comes up tomorrow be proud of what you accomplished tomorrow. Be proud of the season y’all have had and the young men you are.” 

Wheeler led the team in a prayer. Players bowed their heads and embraced teammates. Singleton led the team in one final cheer before closing his football career. Senior Davis Cooper hugged teammates. He told them how proud he was of their growth, and how he would miss them. 

Cooper made one of the biggest plays for Delta Charter Friday night. When the Storm needed a stop, he recovered a fumble to swing momentum in Delta Charter’s favor. Singleton would march the Storm down the field and score on an eight yard touchdown pass to Jaydon Griffin. 

Delta Charter was within a touchdown of tying the CCA Lions until the fourth quarter. Once the game got out of hand, the Storm continued to fight for every inch. Wheeler told the team they were a special group. 

“We are a close knit group. We want to play good and impress coach Wheeler. We play for the guy next to us,” Cooper said. “I think they will be stronger next year. There will be a lot of seniors on the team and they have grown up a lot this year… We play hard for Wheeler because he gives his hardest and makes us better men. He has helped us grow up and get us ready for the real world.” 

With five minutes to go in the game, power was knocked out at Delta Charter and Ferriday’s stadium. Wheeler said it was the first time he had gone through a power outage during a game. Coaches and referees discussed options around the breaker box at the field before power was restored. 

Cooper said during the break with the power out he kept hoping the game would get rescheduled or replayed. Instead, his high school football career is at an end. 

“I knew if we had another chance to go back we could fix it,” Cooper said. “I think I knew it would be hard but I didn’t know it would be this tough. I’ll miss it. I plan to go to college and make something good of myself. Become a commercial airline pilot. Maybe go to Louisiana State University at Alexandria or wherever I can get good scholarships.”