Crowley, LA (KPEL News) - The Crowley High Gentlemen, or Gents as they are widely known in Louisiana, have had a less than stellar few years on the football field. The argument can be made that their seasons have very nearly circled the proverbial drain. A new head coach hopes to change their record and rebuild what has become a skeletal team.

Eric Cooley has spent more than a quarter of a century as part of Acadia Parish football programs, having spent time at both Crowley and Church Point Middle and Church Point High. He has been head football coach at Church Point Middle for 11 years.

In an interview with The Acadiana Advocate, he remembers when the Crowley team was strong.

Traditionally, Crowley has always been known as a very talented football team. We’ve been through some tough times the last few years, but hopefully we can get it back to where it used to be.

He's right, but it's been a while since they've seen success.

The "Fighting Gents" won the state football championship in 1989 under the direction of legendary head coach Louis Cook. Coach Cook took them back to the championship games in 1991 and 1996. They didn't win but were runners-up. They did capture the district championships in 2005 and 2006 under Coach Brent Indest, and then again in 2015.

Then, things began spiraling.

The Gents' record over the last four years under the direction of Kyron Benoit is an abysmal 5-32. They only won two games in the 2023 season. The last time they went to the playoffs was in 2019.

Statewide, participation in football programs has been down. Cooley explained to The Advocate that numbers are a concern as Crowley High struggles to be deep enough on the sidelines.

I still believe that a 3A school should have around 65 kids on the team, and we don’t have that. Before the season started last year, the number of players were around the high 30s to the mid 40s. By the time the season ended, they were in the mid-to-high 20s. We have to figure out what’s going on and fix it.

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Gallery Credit: David Schultz

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