2009 title special one for Cook’s Pios

By Chris Quebedeaux

SPORTS EDITOR

CROWLEY – Notre Dame’s 14-7 victory over Parkview Baptist in the New Orleans Superdome Friday produced the school’s fourth ever state championship and conjured up some old memories for head coach Lewis Cook.

The championship was his second title at the helm of the Pios’ and third overall.

Cook guided the Pioneers to the 2000 state championship with a 14-6 victory over Redemptorist. His first state title was in 1989 when his Crowley Gents upended Wossman, 17-15, in the Class 4A championship game.

“It was nice to have that memory of ‘89 and ‘09 together,” Cook said Monday.

Like in ‘89, the feeling for Cook after winning was much the same.

“You know, it’s kind of hard to top that very first one,” said Cook. “I think ‘89 and this one, we had very similar type teams. In ‘89, it was a team that had great chemistry and won it because of that - and a sprinkling of some pretty dang good players. This year, it was the same way. The chemistry of the team was the number one thing that got us over the hump.

“They were so unselfish, such a good feeling for one another and they did it all together. No one ever tried to stand out or complain about not getting their fair share.

“It was truly a team effort all year long and it reminded me of that bunch in ‘89.”

What also made this year’s title so special was the fact that the Pios had lost in four straight championship games this decade after winning it all in 2000.

“The fact that we had such a hard time winning the second one here at Notre Dame in Class AAA...you know, you take that deep sigh like ‘we finally got another one’,” he said.

“With four tries and not having any success, I think that makes it (winning) a little more special since we had such a hard time. It was such a long time in coming. Had we not been there, had we won in 2000 and not gone back until this year it probably would have been different.

“But we had four tries and weren’t successful. Getting this one, after the unsuccessful tries makes it a little sweeter.”

Cook said he took a little time to enjoy some of Saturday’s state title games before returning home on Sunday.

But Sunday wasn’t really a day of relaxation.

Having to pick up his car at Notre Dame before returning home to Rayne, Cook found himself back in his office, at least for a while.

“I had a few loose ends to tie up before our kids returned to school Monday,” he said. “ But I couldn’t help myself. I pulled up the depth chart for next year to just kind of take a look.

“I pulled up this year’s chart to see who we’re missing and who possibly we’ll fill in with. I didn’t spend a lot of time on it, but I just wanted to take a quick look.

“It doesn’t ever end over here. Your mind goes right back to ‘now what do we have to do’. But we’re going to enjoy this for a little while.”

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