CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Some former LSU baseball standouts who left their mark at Alex Box Stadium are stepping up to the plate to help local student athletes get back to ball after recent floods.
When historic flooding hit Louisiana, Central High School had just wrapped up its first day of school. Football coach Sid Edwards said, like many, it caught the Wildcats off guard.
"Many of our kids only have the clothes on their back. That's what they were left with," Edwards said.
The Central football field was not damaged, but some student athletes lost gear in the floods.
Coaches and athletes at several other schools, like Denham Springs High School, are also having to do without.
"When you are talking 100 kids, to outfit a football player is now around $700 to $800 per kid," Edwards said.
Former Chicago Cubs and LSU baseball great Ryan Theriot, who now co-owns and trains athletes at Traction Sports, remembers what it was like to hit the diamond at a young age.
"I would get a glove for Christmas and I would sleep with it in the bed with me, and I always had a ball in my hand. It was almost a comfort thing for me," Theriot said.
When he saw this picture of Catholic High freshman football player Jackson Hood carrying his equipment through a flooded street, Theriot said he reached out to some big hitters he felt could help student-athletes stay in the game.
"Buster Posey very generously donated cleats for a whole team, receiver gloves for a whole team. A ton of the San Francisco Giants have stepped up and committed. John Jay with the San Diego Padres did the same thing," Theriot said.
Theriot has partnered with several major players including former Atlanta Braves baseman Trae Duncan. Through the Turning Two Foundation website, created by former St. Amant standout Reid Brignac, they are collecting donations to help local teams replace what was lost in the flood.
Theriot compared it to hitting a homerun.
"It is very gratifying to achieve it yourself but when you know you were a part of somebody else doing it, it's a pretty cool feeling," Theriot said.
The donations will go toward replacing equipment for all sports.