Notre Dame Playoff Game Moved to Rayne

Chris Quebedeaux ~ LSN SPORTS EDITOR

CROWLEY – Due to heavy rains and sloppy field conditions at Gardiner Memorial Stadium, Friday’s Class AAA semifinal playoff game between Notre Dame and Catholic High of New Iberia has been moved to Rayne High’s Wolves Stadium.

“The field just hasn’t been able to dry,” said ND coach Lewis Cook of the conditions at Gardiner Memorial Stadium. “We had six days of dry weather last week and it still took a beating Friday night. And with this rain right now... With us and Crowley playing on it along with the weather we’ve had during the season, it just doesn’t have a chance.”

Gardiner Memorial took a pounding Week 9 when Crowley High and Eunice battled for the 4-AAA title on a day when rains fell from early morning and didn’t stop until after the game. Then the annual Rice Bowl between Crowley Middle and St. Michael was played just four days later.

The field has yet to recover from all the traffic.

“In Rayne, it’s just them on their field,” said Cook. “They had one game that it rained but they were fortunate that when the weather was bad, they were on the road most of the time. Their field didn’t take the beating that Gardiner Memorial did. And it wouldn’t be dry by Friday and that’s the bottom line. We’d just tear it up again and it’s not worth doing that.”

The venue change is nothing new for Notre Dame, which has already played three games in Rayne this season. The Pios hosted Christian Life there in Week 3 and posted a 40-0 victory before beating Rayne, 35-0, in Week 7. The also opened the 2009 prep playoffs on the Wolves’ home field, knocking off Carver, 43-14.

“We’ve played there three times already this year, twice as the home team and once as the visiting team,” said Cook. “And having as many kids as we do that play for us from Rayne, for them, they’re playing in their home town.

“It’s not bad. We’re lucky to have that opportunity to go over there. It’s more of a home game for us than it would be if we played it at UL-Lafayette or St. Thomas More.”

Notre Dame also played its Week 9 regular-season home game against North Vermilion on the road, taking on the Patriots at St. Thomas More.

“We’ve played home games all over the place,” said Cook. “We’re like some gypsies you know.”

Friday’s game will mark the fourth time the Pios have played a playoff game in Rayne since the 2005 season.

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