New look, same stadium: White Castle ushers in new era for football stadium

Staff Report
An artificial turf and new lighting adorn the refurbished Rocky Ourso Memorial Bulldog Stadium at White Castle High School during the first game after upgrades to the facility.

The wait is over at White Castle High School.

After a year and a half of planning, Rocky Ourso Memorial Bulldog Stadium has a new look.

The clash between White Castle and longtime rival Ascension Catholic was the setting for the first White Castle game in the newly renovated stadium.

Chris Daigle and Darlene Ourso, sister of the late Milton “Rocky” Ourso did the honorary coin flip at the start of the first game in the refurbished Rocky Ourso Memorial Bulldog Stadium on Friday.

For School Board member Darlene Ourso, whose district includes White Castle, the opportunity to do the honorary coin toss with local supermarket owner Chris Daigle was a major honor.

The biggest honor, however, came from the improvements to the stadium that bears the name of her brother, Milton “Rocky” Ourso, who died in a boating accident in 2006.

“It was an honor to be able to do that,” she said.

The work came about as a major upgrade package the Iberville School Board approved in 2020.

The stadium plan also included a new scoreboard, but parts for the digital sign remained on backorder, according to Superintendent Dr. Arthur Joffrion.

James “Fry” Hymel, Ernest “Bayboy” Allen and Dennis Blank of Whaley Savoy Post 212 of the American Legion presented the flags on the opening night at the refurbished Rocky Ourso Memorial Bulldog Stadium, which hosted its first game Friday night.

The delays on stadium construction fall in line with the dilemma across the nation – and, in many cases, around the world – due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In addition to that, we’ve had to deal with an unprecedented amount rain this past summer, which caused a delay for many school districts including ours for which had stadium upgrades underway,” Joffrion said.

The contractors working on the stadiums were put out of the hotels because of a state order to give utility workers and displaced residents priority after Hurricane Ida.

Contractors sought rental houses for the workers so they could continue work on the White Castle stadium project.

Each of the football fields was $2.5 million and $5 million for the softball/baseball complex at Plaquemine High School. Drawings are near complete and were set to be presented to the council at the Oct. 11 meeting.

New tracks, new storage facilities, so in a lot of ways these schools will mirror Plaquemine High School in terms of amenities.

WCHS had been using Plaquemine High’s Andrew Canova Green Devil Stadium for the games since the 2021 season opener.

“The return home was nice for the football team, even though we lost to Ascension Catholic,” White Castle head football coach Marc Brown. “To have what we have with the turf and those types of things are special, means a lot, and I take pride in it.

“I’ve been to a lot of 3A, 4A and even 5A, and what we have facility-wise is a lot better era,” he said.

For Darlene Ourso, the new stadium sends a message to smaller schools in Iberville Parish.

“We were very blessed to have something of that nature in Iberville, and I’m excited for East Iberville as well to know that our small schools can have something as nice,” she said.  “It doesn’t matter if kids go to a big school or small school … they deserve nice things, and it’s nice to see our small schools get something equally nice as the big schools.”

As for the game itself, he White Castle Bulldogs had plenty reason to celebrate with their refurbished stadium.

Unfortunately, it did not guarantee a celebration for the game itself.

Archrival Ascension Catholic tallied four touchdowns in the first half en route to a 42-22 win over White Castle in District 7-1A fare Friday night.

Ascension improved to 3-1, while the Bulldogs remained winless after four games.