One way to do just that is getting the high school football schedule back to normal, and for Hendrick Leverette and his Oak Grove High team that is exactly what finally happened this past Friday after nearly three long weeks of waiting.
"We have been pretty excited about the game," the AU linebacker commitment says. "People were a little bit ready and I think we had a pretty good combination of practices during the game week to get us pretty prepared for the game."
He notes that although the direct effects of Katrina weren't devastating in Hattiesburg, it still caused a number of problems, which led to the delay in getting the season going again after the big storm disrupted the state.
"We didn't really have much damage out here by my house, but around Hattiesburg people were without lights for two weeks or so," he explains. "At school we didn't have water or whatever and we couldn't really practice without water. We also didn't have power or any of that."
Once Leverette and his teammates took the field against South Jones on Friday night everything else that had happened melted away, at least for a while, and Oak Grove went to work.
"What happened was on Friday night I didn't get a chance to play that much because the coach took all of the starters out at the end of the first quarter," he notes. "It was like 35-0 at the end of the first quarter."
Still, despite only playing in the first 12 minutes of the 52-6 romp, Leverette turned in an impressive performance. "I am still playing both ways," he says. "I had seven carries for about 50 yards and a touchdown and five tackles on defense."
Overall, Leverette says that he is just happy that his team will be able to play a full schedule in 2005. "It is real exciting. It is my last time to play high school football so I was really excited to get back there on the field.
"I remember when we were off during the storm a couple of the seniors got together and we were like, ‘Man, I hope this doesn't ruin our senior season because this is the last chance we have to play high school football.' We were talking about how excited and ready we were to get back and get into the groove again."
Along with working to get his life and senior season back on track, Leverette also got the chance to take a trip to the Plains for the Mississippi State game and says it lived up to all of his expectations.
"I really liked Auburn," he says. "It was everything I expected it to be and maybe some more. I got to lounge in the Tiger Den before the game and at halftime. We got to go in the locker room at halftime and see all of the coaches coaching their different positions, and I got to see the Tiger Walk before the game.
He added that the atmosphere in Jordan-Hare Stadium was another big highlight of the trip. "Maybe being in a big stadium like that," he says when asked about his favorite part of the gameday experience. "That is the biggest one I have been in. It was loud."
The 5-11, 200-pound linebacker prospect adds that the whole trip only helped to solidify his commitment to the Tigers.