by Hunter Bower // GeauxPreps.com Owner
In a season filled with heart-stopping moments and triumphs, Union Parish’s Joe Spatafora emerged as the shining architect of success, earning the title of GeauxPreps.com Class 3A Football Coach of the Year presented by Chevyland.com. The accolade comes on the heels of Union Parish’s thrilling victory in the Non-Select Division III state championship game.
Facing a 35-28 deficit with under nine minutes left on the clock, Spatafora’s Farmers orchestrated a remarkable 14-play, 78-yard drive. The crescendo came with a game-winning touchdown and a gutsy two-point conversion, clinching a 36-35 triumph over St. James and etching a fairy-tale ending to an extraordinary season.
Union Parish, initially navigating the regular season with quiet determination, transformed into giant slayers during the Non-Select Division III playoffs. The Farmers vanquished two formidable top-seeded opponents, culminating in a dramatic state championship victory. The win not only ended a three-year drought of finals heartbreaks but also marked Union Parish’s first title since 2013 and its third overall in school history. The Farmers concluded the season with a commendable 10-4 record.
For Spatafora and Union Parish, this championship run symbolized more than just a quest for glory; it was an opportunity to rewrite recent history. Overcoming setbacks and drawing strength from four regular-season losses, the team evolved into a force to be reckoned with in the postseason. The journey was a testament to resilience and growth, as Union Parish triumphed over rivals like Bogalusa and Jena en route to their well-deserved championship.