Red Stick Bowl back after 3-year hiatus

On Saturday, 90 of the best football players from the region will compete in the 19th annual Red Stick Bowl in Zachary

It’s been three years since the last Red Stick Bowl was played thanks to the pandemic.

Before the Red Stick Bowl and other regional All-Star games came to be, it was tough to get exposure for many of the talented players across the state.

Dennis Lorio, Red Stick Bowl co-director and retired high school football coach with over 40 years of experience, said in all his years as a coach, he only had one player who participated in the statewide all-star game.

Lorio said the game used to be played in the summer. Before long, it was hard to get enough players to play in the summer.

“I coached all these years and I had one player playing state games,” he said. “It was just so hard to get players on the team because of all the teams in the state. It was just a hard operation. So the Saints’ players decided to put up some money and pick a Jefferson Parish, New Orleans area all-star game and let them play in the Superdome as a community outreach. That was approved as the first regional one.”

Lorio and co-director Barrett Murphy have organized the game for the last 16 years. The practice schedule for the two teams was altered a bit because of inclement weather this week.

The teams practiced Tuesday at the LSU indoor practice facility. Wednesday’s practice was canceled because of the threat of severe storms. The final practice is set for 4 p.m. Thursday at Woodlawn.

It’s a great opportunity for these young men to get to play one more game, create some new memories with new teammates, as the vast majority do not go on to play college football,” Lorio said. “So it’s another great memory. You have your high school memory you have your hopefully some playoff activity. And then this all-star level game is a unique experience that we’re thrilled to provide for the coaches and the players of the greater Baton Rouge area region. We hope we get a good turnout in Zachary on Saturday.

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