Remembering WC's last semifinal gridiron victory in 2010

Tryve Brackin / Guest Contributor
Tryve Brackin

NOTE: This article was written last Sunday, prior to the prep state championship games held last weekend.

Former White Castle High football coach Ferrante Dominique began predicting a state championship for his 2010 single Bulldog team in the summertime of that year. The Iberville Parish team did just that by marching to a Superdome title win over Ouachita Christian in the title game.

Getting to New Orleans nine years ago meant a long road trip to Oberlin High to face an undefeated, high-rolling host in the semifinals. The Bulldogs accomplished the big win forcefully.

This week, after turning back Oberlin on the road with a 45-point scoring performance last week, the White Castle gridiron program has a shot at accomplishing something no other Parish grid team has done since the leather helmet days of the 1920s . . . win two state football titles. The WC program stands above St. John's two state runner-up finishes in the late 90s, early 2000s by simply showing up this weekend to play Oak Grove for the 1-A Public title as well as efforts by Plaquemine High in the 1960s as a state title game contender.

I have some great memories of the semifinal trip to Oberlin by the 2010 Bulldogs. Coach Dominique came to me several times on the sidelines pre-game and during the contest to wink and beam all over that his Bulldogs would romp their way to the Superdome.

Led by future LSU starting free safety Ronald Martin at quarterback and center field of the Dawgs great defense, the best lines in Single A that season, and several 100+ rushing performances by running back Tyree Bracken, White Castle humbled every foe in the postseason.

Oberlin was one of the most unique atmospheres I witnessed in my 35 years of traveling to various foes. Although, I thought West St. John's jazz band was the best I ever heard at a prep game, Oberlin's sound system was a huge surprise as it blared out Cajun music. I never heard the South La. roots music sound ever before, even down at St. Martinville High and other journeys to away games. And all the while the fa do do blasted out the speakers. When Bulldog players warmed up pre-game, the hosting fans were yelling insults at WC players within ear shot. The WC punter caught the worst of it as he booted kicks nearest the OHS side of the field.

A WCHS coach dashed across the field to tell me what the Bulldog had to face. But in the end, the Oberlin fans I was around were graceful. They again took the beating last week, ending a second semifinal playoff contest with a perfect 10-0 record, only to fall to a visiting Dawg power.

It was a long trip that night in December 2010, especially the road home. Our former Pressman/shop manager Keith Byars (who saw every WCHS game I covered that year) and I drove together to Oberlin. We were both tired as we departed the field, but by the time we got to just east of Opelousas on Hwy. 90, we ended up in an hour delay. We watched as a driver came speeding up behind us in the left lane and another car in the right. We both let the driver come through, but when he cut to the right lane after passing in front of us in the left, he hit gravel. His vehicle zig-zagged, but he saw a service road and jumped to it. However, he spun off the side road, jumped a ditch, and literally FLEW over 60 yards in the air before landing in a field of winter grass.

We stopped to help, but we both thought the driver had killed himself. When we and others near the accident stopped and rushed out to the wrecked vehicle, we were quite amazed to find the driver alive and sitting in his back seat. He actually got out of the vehicle with help and leaned on the car, stunned and beaten up. When the police arrived, we two and others gave the police statements of what we experienced and the officers were stunned as well.

Delayed in our return and stunned more about what we witnessed on the road, our conversation the final miles repeated the words: "What a night!" I remember sleeping to noon the next day, which I have only done during illness periods the last 40 years.

The trip with Keith to the 2010 championship to see the Bulldogs win was as smooth as a Joe Burrow 50-yard TD pass. Great food, fun on the sidelines with former New Orleans Saints hanging out with us, and seeing the huge eyes of the Castlemen and their coaching staff after they claimed the Parish's first modern era football championship was equal to none in my career at the Post South, matching any one of the great and multiple WCHS boys' basketball titles that I witnessed.

Here is wishing the Bulldogs another title.