NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – Outside of Westgate High School, it may seem like another late summer day.
When you go inside, the school looks like it is already in full swing.
That is because the football team has arrived at school early to partake in a lock-in.
A lock-in where they will stay at the school until Friday, which is when the first day of school is scheduled.
This is the second year in a row that the lock-in has taken place.
“We saw a dramatic change in the kid’s attitudes last year. We came in and showed them we cared about them. We showed them that a group of men came together. We love the kids, we want to see them be successful. We want to see them grow up to do great things and maybe come back in and help impact the community in a positive way,” says coach Derek Landry.
The players will not only have practices but will host motivational speakers as well as have organized video game tournaments.
Volunteers cook the players three meals a day and local barbers offer free haircuts.
According to coaches, the main purpose of the week is to keep these young men off the streets.
“People got a lot of athletic ability but they just follow the wrong crowd so we stay here for a week. You’re not really going to have a chance to be in the streets. So you come in and feel the feeling of people around who love you and really want to see you succeed so it gives you motivation,” says defensive back Shannon Deal.
“It gives them more meaning. It helps them realize what they want to do in life. It gives them more of a meaning to life than just being on the streets,” says offensive lineman Jessie Badeaux.
Coaches say the purpose of keeping them until Friday is to make sure that every player has perfect attendance after the first day of school.