Athletics have proven to be an important part of almost every school. As an athlete, each goes in search of individual strengths and weaknesses. As part of a unit, these ties assist them in learning the importance of being a team player. Self-discipline, responsibility, and determination are brought to a new height in sports. Important components lie with the unity of teammates and coaches.
The idea of implementing a football team originated in Erath during the late forties. At that time, Coach Robert Segura, Sr. questioned several teenage boys about their interest in the establishment of a football program. A great deal of interest was displayed, so the implementation of the school's new sport emerged.
Travis Kendricks a relatively new resident of Erath, had married a hometown girl, Ethel Flowers and settled in the community. Kendricks had played on the 1936 Haynesville High School Football squad when his team brought home the state championship title. From there, Kendricks played on his college team for Northwestern. Through his experience, talent and precious time, he offered his expertise and played a vital role in the birth of Erath's football establishment.
Though not a school employee, he shared his time and experiences with the young team. It has been said that "he was the voice of Erath's experience in football during that era." Coach Bob Segura and his team truly appreciated the seasoned expertise of Kendricks.
The first football season opened during the 1949-50 school year with six-man football. Wearing simple uniforms that season, that first team possessed an important element in any sport, "enthusiasm." Many members of the team remember the pride felt when they first practiced in front of the three-story school.
Traveling unchartered territory, that team, in reality, began a new sports era at Erath High School. The first season ended with a 6-4 record. The players of the first squad still take pride in that team. As for the community, it was their first experience with this sport and the undying fascination which was alive in their hearts.
During its infant years, expensive football uniforms posed problems, but a determined Coach Bob Segura secured a way for his players to receive suits. Before the 1950 season began, blue and white Bobcat uniforms were purchased.
Coach Bob Segura and Travis Kendricks coached from 1949 until 1952. He later became the head track coach and eventually the EHS Principal. Both men remained active in helping with Erath High Sports for many years.
The fall of 1953 brought with it changes in the football program. The system changed from a six to an eleven man program. At that time, Coach Robert Segura and school officials felt a more experienced coach was needed to lead the new program. Chosen was Abbeville High School's Assistant Coach, Willie Lutring. Coach Lutring successfully led the Bobcats for the next eighteen years. Leading his team to the playoffs four times, he served the longest tenure as head coach in the school's history. Lutring was loved and well respected by both his players and the community. Due to his declining health, he stepped down as head coach in 1971. However, he did maintain the Assistant Coach position for five more years.
Other head coaches through the years included M.C. Trahan (1972-1975), Cliff Alleman (1976); James Mosely (1977-1979 and 1981-1983); Robert Koch (1980); Ray Bridges (1984); Robert Powell (1985-1986); Jacob Byler (1987-2008), Destin Dieterich (2009-2011), Doug Dotson (2011-2014), David Comeaux (2014-2018) and Eric LeBlanc began in 2018.
Through the openness of leader Bob Segura and the effort of Travis Kendricks, a new sport was bred among Erath High athletes. Many of their former players believe that Segura and Kendricks together were the driving force in the new football program. Comments linking Segura and Kendricks' dedication to the early program still echo years later. Former players such as Vories Stoute, Donald "Red Fox" Primeaux and others claimed during the 50th-anniversary ceremonies (in 1999) that both were "outstanding teachers, mentors, and leaders in their lives."
Coupled with the bittersweet agony and triumph of its toddler years, the EHS football program emerged with lessons in commitment and dedication. However, according to the first players, their experience brought not only important lessons but lifelong friendships.
With a seemingly simple game centered around a small oval brown ball in 1949, came the birth of EHS football. What emerged have been weekly traditional Friday night community gatherings each fall to support their sons, grandsons and young men who share a love of that sport.
As part of a unit, the two coaches and team of young players in 1949 brought forth a new sport to the Erath community with pride in their hearts. Six decades later, there are different faces and different uniforms, but evident is that same pride which was embedded in the hearts of the two coaches and team players sixty years ago.
1949 Football Team Members were Vories Stoute, Richard Dubois, Andre Dubois, Calvin Landry, Jimmy Suire, Farrell Desormeaux, T-Paul Broussard, Daniel Nunez and Curtis Bernard, Donald Primeaux, Allen LeBlanc, Harold "T-Beb" Broussard, Douglas Mergist, Raymond Bares, Roland Landry, J.D. Granger, Kenneth Menard, James LeBlanc, Carol Treadway. The two coaches included: Coach Robert J. Segura and Coach Travis Kendricks.