Standout lineman severely injured in trampoline incident

Shirley Clement
November 1, 2016
Accused killer has lengthy criminal history
November 2, 2016

South Terrebonne defensive standout Louis Blanchard is hospitalized in New Orleans this evening after severely injuring his neck on Monday afternoon.

A member of the Gators team confirmed to The Times on Tuesday night that Blanchard was hurt after falling on a trampoline after school Monday afternoon.

Blanchard landed on his neck in the fall and immediately lost feeling in his extremities.

Since then, he’s undergone two neck surgeries and is “getting a little bit better,” according to the player, who asked not to be named because of the extremity of the situation. 

South Terrebonne assistant coach Archie Adams posted last night on Facebook asking for prayers, and several students and community members offered prayers for Louis throughout the day.

The Gators lineman is the two-time reigning District 7-4A District Defensive MVP.

In 2016 Blanchard has again been dominant, and has been force for South Terrebonne throughout the season, despite missing a few early-season games with an offseason injury. 

“Louis is one of the most special kids that we’ve ever had here,” South Terrebonne coach Richard Curlin said earlier in the offseason. “He’s played at a very high level from the first day he’s been on our campus. He’s been a guy that’s been a leader, and has always been a good teammate for our program.” 

Two weeks ago after being named the Houma Times Player of the Week, Blanchard said he was getting college offers from ‘just about everyone,’ and added that he wanted to play for a team that ‘felt like home’. 

“I want to go to a place that feels like South Terrebonne does,” Blanchard said. “I just want to be comfortable.”

But now, that playing career is on halt, and it’s unknown if he will ever be given the chance to suit up again. 

After the fall, Blanchard was taken by air to University Hospital in New Orleans.

The Gators will finish their season on Friday at home against South Lafourche. 

It is Senior Night, and it was expected to be Blanchard’s last prep game.

In pre-game preparation, Tarpons coach Brandon Nowlin said a large part of his preparation was on containing the big, physical lineman.

“He’s a tough, physical football player,” Nowlin said. “He’s one of the better players we’re going to see.” 

No. 2 Gators deal with 2 tragedies in 1 year

The South Terrebonne community suffered a couple great losses during the 2016 calendar year.

Over the summer, the Gators’ world was shook when Andraye Verdin was killed as a passenger in a one-car wreck on the Bourg-Larose Highway — an accident caused by slick roads after a rainstorm.

Verdin, 16, was a standout football player for the Gators – a guy that coach Richard Curlin said was about to be a “breakout star”.

“He was just getting comfortable,” Curlin said. “This is such a shame and is so unfair.”

Unfortunately, the tragedies didn’t stop there for South Terrebonne.

At the end of a tough football season, Gators standout lineman Louis Blanchard was severely injured after falling off a trampoline after school.

In the fall, Blanchard condensed his neck, which temporarily left him paralyzed, and which required multiple surgeries.

Doctors speculated Blanchard could possibly make a full recovery, but weeks later, things took a turn for the worst and he passed away at a New Orleans hospital.

He was 18.

Just weeks before the injury, Blanchard had given a verbal commitment to continue his football career at UL-Monroe.

After his death, locals rallied together to show their respects to the dominant lineman, who ended up winning his third-straight District Defensive MVP Award in 2016.

Follow Casey on Twitter for more.