That one was for you, Trevor.
The South Lafourche freshman football team was excellent on Thursday night, scoring a 43-28 road victory over South Terrebonne, an action-packed, exciting contest from start-to-finish.
But no matter how many touchdowns, tackles or big plays the Tarpons made, the story of Thursday night’s game was always going to be about the team’s fallen brother who wasn’t able to take part in the festivities.
Thursday night’s game was an emotional one for South Lafourche. It was the team’s first time taking the field without wide receiver/defensive back Trevor Toups, who just two days earlier went down after suffering a severe head injury at practice.
Toups was taken to Lady of the Sea on Tuesday after going down following an inadvertent blow to the head. While medical personnel worked its way to the school, Toups received prompt medical assistance from Tarpons coaches and team trainer Lauren Griffin.
While at Lady of the Sea, Toups was diagnosed with a swollen, bleeding brain – an ailment which required him to immediately be airlifted to University Hospital in New Orleans.
Toups underwent surgery on Tuesday and remained in critical condition at press-time on Thursday evening. The young man’s parents, Toby and Tessie Toups, said they’ve been “overwhelmed” and “flooded” with text messages, Facebook posts and other signs of love and support from the community since the accident.
Never was that love more apparent than on Thursday when the Tarpons captains walked Toups’ white No. 23 jersey to midfield for the coin toss in honor of their injured teammate. Minutes before the kickoff, both teams huddled without helmets to pray for Toups – a short procession which was led by St. Joseph’s Catholic Church priest The Rev. Joseph Tregre.
Fans in the stands, some wearing #PrayersForTrevor shirts, held back tears at the show of love from the opposing teams.
Once the game started, the Tarpons played with poise and zest, not wanting to let their injured teammate down. As-if the team needed any reminder of his presence, Toups’ sister Taylor was on the sidelines to support the team in its victory.
Wearing a blue No. 23 jersey – the same uniform her brother wore in games earlier this season, Taylor also led the team’s final break from the huddle. She told the players that: “Trevor would have definitely wanted you guys to play hard, have fun and win.”
About 60 miles to the north and east of South Terrebonne’s football field is University Hospital in New Orleans, which is where Trevor spent his Thursday night.
Immediately after the surgery on Tuesday, the young man’s parents posted on Facebook that they were told by doctors that the next 48 hours were key to the young man’s recovery.
To curb Trevor’s brain swelling and to stop the bleeding, doctors were forced to remove a piece of his skull, while keeping the freshman heavily sedated and under intensive medical care.
But since Tuesday, Toups has shown some progress in his recovery, according to Facebook updates from his parents.
On Wednesday, Trevor began responding to doctor’s tests. On Thursday, he first attempted to and then successfully opened an eye. He then resumed breathing on his own without a ventilator for the first time since the accident and was squeezing his parents’ fingers.
Taylor said Trevor was also attempting to speak throughout the day. She added that he had urged her to attend Thursday’s game.
“He wanted me to be here with you guys – his teammates; his brothers,” she told the team.
The injured Tarpon isn’t out of the woods yet, and he has many weeks and months of recovery to go. Because of that, his parents said they want everyone in the community to continue to pray for Trevor as he continues his fight.
If the past few days are any indication, it surely doesn’t seem like the Toups family has anything to worry about when it comes to prayers flowing their way.
South Lafourche High School, the school’s freshman football team and the community as a whole will most certainly be there to love and support this fallen Tarpon in his time of need.
Posted on Fri, October 2, 2015
by Gazette Staff Reports