Cobbers football seniors Scott, Lestrick thankful their families safe in the wake of Hurricane Ida
Concordia seniors Noble Scott and Rob Lestrick are both from the New Orleans area, which was hit by Hurricane Ida about a month ago.
MOORHEAD — While Noble Scott and Rob Lestrick were preparing for this football season, a natural disaster was bearing down on their hometown.
The Concordia Cobbers seniors are from the New Orleans area, which was hit by Hurricane Ida about a month ago. They felt the tension.
“I was stressed just because I couldn’t do anything from where I was at,” said Scott, from Laplace, La. “I just wanted to make sure my mom, my sister and my niece were OK.”
Ida was a Category 4 storm that made landfall in Louisiana in late August.
“It was hard to try to stay focused doing everything here, trying to keep my head on tight for sure,” said Lestrick, from New Orleans.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pound Scott starts at safety for the Cobbers, while the 6-foot, 220-pound Lestrick is a starter at outside linebacker. The Cobbers will host rival St. John’s at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, in Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. Concordia (1-2, 0-1 MIAC) is looking to earn its first conference victory this fall against No. 5-ranked St. John’s (3-0, 1-0).
“I’m excited to go against them because of all the hype around St. John’s,” Scott said. “They’re the best team (in the conference), which they rightfully deserve. … It’s our homecoming. Nobody wants to lose their homecoming.”
Both Scott and Lestrick had damage done to their homes and were thankful their families were able to evacuate the New Orleans area before Ida hit. Scott said his mother, Cassandra Scott, left the day before the storm hit with his sister, Jenae Scott, and niece, Noelle. His sister lives in Baton Rouge.
They were displaced from their homes for weeks before they were able to return. Noble said they stayed in Airbnbs in the meantime.
“I was happy that my mom decided to leave,” Noble said. “She wasn’t going to leave at first. They had to move around until the storm passed over. … Now it’s just a matter of getting the house fixed and cleaned up.”
The area where Noble lived was one of the areas hardest hit by Ida. He said the floors had to be pulled up in his home, along with some ceiling damage and the backyard being torn up by the high winds and pouring rain.
“As long as they’re safe, I know I’m going to be fine,” Noble said of his family. “I’m used to being there to help out. It was stressful not being able to be there and help.”
Lestrick’s mother, Edwina Dorsey, and brother, Akeem Dorsey, evacuated to Georgia to stay with family for a few weeks to avoid Ida. Lestrick said one of the toughest parts of Ida was it got upgraded to Category 4 storm soon before it hit the New Orleans area.
“My mom couldn’t really take money out of the bank to leave,” said Lestrick, who was thankful his brother was able to drive his mom to the Atlanta area.
Lestrick said his family home didn’t get hit as hard as others because the levee in that area held during the storm. The Cobbers had a bye week earlier this season and Lestrick returned home to be with his family and help out.
That damage to Lestrick’s neighborhood was difficult for him to see. Many homes had structural damage and trees were uprooted out of the ground.
“It was devastating,” Lestrick said. “I went home, it kind of just looked almost like a war zone. It was kind of tough going back home, I was getting emotional and stuff like that. … My main thing was to bring my family together.”
Lestrick’s grandmother, Ava Dorsey, died last November and making sure her room in the house wasn't damaged was important to the family as a remembrance.
“That’s a sacred room,” Lestrick said.
Cobbers head coach Terry Horan said his coaching staff and the team wanted to support Scott and Lestrick in any way they could.
“When all that started brewing, I just reached out to them in practice and asked how things are looking. It (the storm) really got pretty ugly,” Horan said. “You would have never known these guys were going through this unless you asked.”
The Cobbers were preparing for their Sept. 4 season opener against Valley City State as Ida hit the New Orleans area.
“With classes and stuff going on and football practice getting going, you want to just stay strong,” Lestrick said. “But knowing that your home where you grew up where all your prize possessions, all your valuables, all your memories, could be gone, it was really tough for me mentally.”
Scott and Lestrick were also in New Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit. Both were around 5 years old at the time. That natural disaster displaced both of their families from their homes for more than a month. Lestrick said he spent three months in Georgia after Katrina.
“We had to pack up everything last minute and just get out,” Scott added.
A former Concordia digital media services employee is the connection that helped get Lestrick and Scott to the Cobbers. Norman Bell, who used to shoot video and help with other media related to the football team, got the two to visit the Concordia campus and they eventually committed.
“They adapted to it all,” Horan said. “They’re really sweet kids and they’re really good football players and we’re so happy that they are part of our college community. … They’re both athletic and both students of the game. They never have a down day, they’re always upbeat, they’re always smiling.”