Sense of relief and hope at Varnado on last day of school

Published 9:04 am Friday, May 22, 2015

Wednesday was the last official day of school for all Washington Parish School System students and teachers.

Students and staff at Varnado High School pretty much already knew Wednesday how they were going to spend their summer months.

“I’m glad the final day is finally here because I was really tired of doing school work and I’m ready to relax,” sophomore Errol Varnado Jr. said. “It’s been a good year because I haven’t gotten any referrals.”

The athletic Varnado said his summer plans include playing in a baseball scout camp. He is a cornerback on the school football team and shooting guard on the basketball team.

Sedric Howard said he is looking forward to his senior year at Varnado.

“It’s been a hard year because of all the testing, testing, testing,” Howard said. “Of course, I did well.”

Howard had specific events to look forward to next school year.

“I’m looking forward to homecoming, scholarships, the prom, awards and graduation,” Howard said.

During the summer, Howard said he planned to be a 4-H camp counselor at Garrett Walker near Alexandria.

Howard plays trumpet in the school band and is a member of the school Key Club.

Howard said he planned to be in Destin, Fla., for his July 24 birthday.

“I’m just ready to start my senior year,” Howard said.

Keairria Green said she is also anxious to begin her senior campaign. A busy athlete, she plays volleyball, softball and basketball and runs track.

“I’m just ready for school to be over as I have been taking exam after exam. I don’t like tests at all, but I do make excellent grades.”

Summer plans for Green call for her to attend Girls State in Natchitoches June 21 to 27. She also plans to attend basketball camp at William Carey University near Hattiesburg, Miss. Green plays point guard on the school basketball team.

Green plays third base, second base and center field in softball. She is a setter in volleyball. In track, Green runs the 400-meter dash and participates on most of the relay teams.

I’m looking forward to my senior year walking across the stage and getting a scholarship,” Green said. “I’m ready to stop working and doing some fun stuff.”

Head football coach Scott Shaffett guided the Wildcats to the second round of the State 1A playoffs. The Wildcats will attend camps at University of Louisiana-Lafayette and Southeastern Louisiana University during the summer.

“I’m looking forward to getting started with out 7-on-7 camps and getting ready for next season,” Shaffett said. “Hopefully we can take it further into the playoffs next season. I’m very ready for summer workouts, conditioning and 7-on-7s.”

Shaffett also teaches physical education class.

“We’ll find some time to rest over the summer. It will be a chance to spend some time with the family,” Shaffett said.

Varnado head boys basketball coach and assistant football coach Brad Oestriecher just completed his second season at the school.

“I’m absolutely ready for the school year to be over,” Oestriecher said. “I’m excited for the summer workouts. I’ll have an opportunity to rest over the summer, but summer is an opportunity to get the kids focused on their sport. The summer is when most improvement goes on for an athlete.”

Oestriecher’s team will play in the Mandeville Summer League and attend an overnight camp at LSU.

Oestriecher also teaches World History. He said he plans to become certified in in math.

Oestriecher said prospects for next season are bright as he returns all five starters from a team that finished 12-13.

Head baseball coach and assistant football coach Blake West said it was a long year. He also teaches U.S. history and civics.

“I’m looking forward to the summer. I’m looking forward to getting some rest,” West said. “I’ll spend a little time and catch up with the family.”

West’s baseball team made it to the playoffs for the first time. All nine starters return for next season.

“It was good to have this one in the books. At the same time, we got a lot of players experience.”

Varnado principal Jennifer Beninato started March 31 after two years as Bogalusa High School assistant principal.

“I started here on March 31 because I didn’t want to start on April Fool’s Day,” Beninato said. “I’m ready to begin planning for a new school year. I’ve enjoyed getting to know everyone.”