Orangefield rallying back BOBCAT STRONG

Published 3:03 pm Wednesday, September 6, 2017

ORANGEFIELD — Rallying around one another.

There is no doubt that is going on in Orangefield these days as that community will look to comeback BOBCAT STRONG, which has been the “rally cry” throughout the proud area.

It has definitely been busy around the Orangefield schools and nearby at the Cormier Museum and First Baptist Church Orangefield.

The Orangefield Lady Bobcat volleyball team held a voluntary workout Wednesday and about half the teams showed up out of the varsity, JV and freshmen units as first-year varsity head coach Ashlee Broussard was proud.

After getting in a brief workout, the Lady Bobcats immediately began assisting the community. They were unloading trucks full of supplies, but mainly clothes that will distributed throughout the community.

“I’m so proud of our kiddos,” said Broussard. “They’re doing every little thing they can do to help.”

Lady Bobcat Kaiya Boquest was loading boxes up with clothes as she and her teammates were scurrying about.

“We were very lucky we didn’t get our house damaged and we feel blessed,” said Boquet. “Whatever we can do to help, that’s what we’re here for. We love our community.”

Broussard, a Orangefield graduate certainly agreed.

“If you weren’t personally affected, you know 20 people that are,” said Broussard. “To see so many people go through hardship is so tough to take and I just love this place so much. We will rally back, that’s what we always do here. Bobcat Strong, that’s what it is all about.”

Cormier Museum was a distribution location for people to pick up supplies and has had a very steady flow.

“A bunch of volunteers got here at 8 a.m. Tuesday and we worked all through that day and are back again today,” said Misty Bellard, who was getting meals together to get handed out. “Thank goodness for the 18-wheelers that came in here yesterday with all kinds of food and supplies. It’s been non-stop.”

Bellard, who coached at Orangefield, loves how the community has responded.

“We have some pretty strong-willed people out here and we will get through this,” said Bellard. “I was fortunate enough that where I live was safe and sound and I know how people are hurting right now. I felt like whatever I could do for our area, I was going to do it so God is using me in that way.”

Right across the way, First Baptist Church Orangefield was serving first responders. Several Texas State Highway patrolmen where there getting some rest and gladly appreciated the food and hospitality.

The Orangefield school district really took the onslaught of Harvey’s wrath as both the high school and elementary took in plenty of water. The junior high was spared.

“Prayers go out to everyone, not just our Orangefield family but families all across Southeast Texas,” said Bobcat Athletic Director and head football coach Josh Smalley, who was out and about at Cormier Museum, handing out food and water “This has been so devastating to so many people across our region. Our district took a good hit and it’s going to take awhile to get everything operational. Our fieldhouse, weightroom and training room took in some water. We’ve got coaches with water in their houses and we’re all worried about our kids at the same time. We just want them to be safe and with their families right now.”

Plenty of players have approached or checked in with Smalley throughout.

“First thing they tell me, is ‘Coach, when can we come back, I’m ready to practice, ready to play’. It just tugs at my heart to hear that and so many have water in their homes.”

The Bobcats have already missed games with Buna and Kirbyville and cancelled their game at Woodville for Sept. 15 on Tuesday of this week.

Smalley said there will be a voluntary practice Monday, Sept. 11 at 9 a.m.

“We’re just going to wait and see because there is so much cleanup to do with our facilities,” said Smalley. “I know the kids are anxious to get back to practice, but it could be quite awhile. We would really love to be back before the LC-M game here Sept. 22, that would be a good thing.”