Good job, BC! Keep up the good work!
I’ve been doing this Casey’s Corner column now for more than seven years, and I’ve never skipped a week in the entire time that I’ve been employed by this publication.
At one column per week for seven and a half years, that’s roughly 400 columns written by my math – a number that I’ve grown to be quite proud of.
Throughout the years, the column has evolved, and over time, we’ve sort of developed our own little niche and have carved out our place in the local market where we could give both valuable insight on sports-related topics, while also telling the tales of locals who are doing big things, but aren’t getting the recognition that they deserve.
A lot of those unsung heroes that I write about come from Lafourche Parish, because that’s where I live. It’s not a bias, nor a preference. I just have more friendships there than I do in Houma, so I get a lot of the scoop.
But in the Lenten season, I challenged myself to be a little more open-minded, and to think more outside of the box, so my challenge for the week was to find an unsung hero doing great sports-related things in Terrebonne Parish.
I didn’t have to look too far.
So now, let me tell you guys about a friend of mine, Terrebonne Parish Recreation coach Brandon Castle.
Coach Castle coaches the U8 TPR Biddy Basketball Team, and I met him because I’ve coached against him several times as an assistant coach with the South Lafourche Biddy Program.
The TPR boys have been wildly successful over the past few seasons, and this past week, they repeated as the Biddy Basketball International Champions – an honor that almost never happens in Biddy.
Castle has been around basketball for a long, long time, and it shows in his coaching.
Look, let’s be straight, it takes good players for any coach to win – especially at the youth level. And there’s no doubt that TPR talent cupboard has been overflowed with future stars at the U8 level over the past two seasons.
But Castle has done a good job getting the most out of his kids and improving his players throughout the season, and I think that job ought to be commended, because it’s something that we don’t see here nearly enough in the Houma-Thibodaux area.
Outside of the Biddy arena, Castle coached AAU this past summer, working with the Louisiana Cavaliers. His team had success and made it all the way to the National Tournament, finishing in the top half of all U8 teams in the country.
All of those things are awesome, though a lot of those accomplishments never fully come to light because of how poorly youth sports are covered in our local media – a problem that I will work strongly to fix as the Managing Editor of this paper.
But those things aren’t even really why I wanted to write this column today.
I also wanted to tell people about some of the great things that Castle has done in the world of business to help make local sports a better place.
Castle co-owns B&B Wings, which has two locations in Houma – one in downtown and one in the old Dickey’s Barbecue location off West Park Avenue.
The place is delicious, and it’s one of my go-to lunch spots in Houma. But I’m not here to be a food critic, so I will spare you all the details about barbecue sauces and boneless wings.
Instead, I will tell you that through B&B Wings, Castle has given back hundreds of dollars to local prep athletics, routinely giving food or donations to programs during their seasons.
This past season, Castle fed the Ellender Patriots team several times – all the way through to the Playoffs, where they advanced to the Class 4A State Finals.
When asked during the Top 28 to list a company in Terrebonne Parish that’s been generous to the program, both Patriots coach Cornell Scott and Ellender football coach David McCormick had the same answer.
“B&B gives back to us all of the time,” Scott said. “They have been consistent in their support. We’re so thankful to them.”
“They’ve done a lot for us,” McCormick added. “They take care of our kids as often as they can.”
It might not seem like a lot, but in a down economy, something as small as feeding a basketball team or donating food to a local tournament can go an awfully long way.
And I just wanted Coach Castle to know that even though a lot of his contributions aren’t publicized like they should be, they are most certainly appreciated in our community – both by the young people he coaches and also by the others that he helps support through his business.
He’s another in a long line of local unsung heroes who deserve the ink of this column far more than others who get written about in the press.
Congrats on the Biddy Championship last week, coach!
Keep up the good work.
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