Oklahoma State "star" and weak-side linebacker Kevin Henry is excited about his opportunities this season as a strong spring practice has put him face-to-face with the excitement of getting significant playing time this season.
The 6-0, 225-pound native of Baton Rouge, La., is excited about the opening game against Southeastern Louisiana from Hammond, near his hometown of Baton Rouge. However, all the excitement has been tempered, actually it has taken a way back seat, to what is happening at home. The recent flooding in southern Louisiana is another chapter in the devastation that seems to continue to pound the people in that area.
"I keep in contact with my family every day because that is something you don't want to see especially when you are away from home," Henry explained the other day. "It's tough being away from home and knowing that you can't do anything about it.
"I've talked to my family and they all good. We've lost a few houses because of the water, but the water level has gone down so we're seeing all of the houses and seeing all the cars. As far as people I went to school with, they lost a lot because that is where the main flood was."
You can see in the video that Go Pokes produced, the aerial video from NOLA.com (New Orleans Times-Picayune), that the water level is high and it is wide spread. There are 40,000 houses lost, 86,000 people seeking federal disaster damage, 13 people are known dead, 30,000 have been rescued by the National Guard, local authorities, and the volunteer rescuers that have come to be known as the "Cajun Navy." Temporary housing is hard to come by as the flood waters drain to the south and the further south there is still rising water in some areas. Twenty parishes (counties) have been impacted.
Henry has lived through a lot in his young life in Louisiana and, of course, his hometown of Baton Rouge has also seen the crisis of the shootings and racial strife over the last few months.
"You have to be very tough," said the 20-year-old Henry. "There are a lot of obstacles that you run into when you live in Louisiana, Baton Rouge, in particular. You have to stay strong. That is the reason that I came to Oklahoma State, the city that I grew up in made me who I am today. It made me tough and able to overcome any obstacle in front of me."
Right now, Henry is hoping for relief for all those people back in his hometown and the neighboring areas.