ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - The start of the high school football season is playing an important role in the healing process after historic flooding across much of the Baton Rouge area.
Walker High School kicked off their season in a jamboree game against Dunham Friday night.
"These two weeks have been like two months, two years," said Tutti Smith, the mother of a Walker linebacker.
The storm left many Livingston Parish communities underwater. Over the past two weeks, the Walker Wildcats exchanged their uniforms for some boots and gloves.
They helped gut out several homes, including the home belonging to their 9th grade coach Steve Johnson. It is his first year with the team.
"To have them come and accept me and be there – it meant the world to me," Johnson said.
Johnson got six inches of water in his house, which is located near Denham Springs High School.
"When I saw them today for the first time in about two weeks, I could not help but start crying. They came up and they hugged. It was a great thing. The support was unbelievable," Johnson said.
And although things are far from normal in south Louisiana right now, it seems each play out of the coach's playbook is signaling the start of a new chapter for this hurting community.
"It's going to be a great year, we're looking forward to our team playing," Smith said. "This brought them closer together and I think they're going to be stronger as a team, stronger as individuals. I think they grew up and became men."
Walker won the jamboree game over Dunham with a score of 33-14.