Saints Have Big Influence on Northlake’s Campus


Soccer Coach Nick Chetta pictured in signed copy with Saints' Mark Ingram.

Colton Leggett

If you live in Southern Louisiana, there is a good chance you share a unique bond with so many others that live in the area – that bond being a fan of the New Orleans Saints, the beloved NFL team. The support for the Saints goes beyond just Southern Louisiana, though, and has found its way through the doors of Northlake Christian School.

Northlake hosted a pep rally for the Saints on the Friday before the Divisional Round playoff game against Philadelphia. A couple Saintsations made the trip to Northlake to be a part of the rally, one being a Saintsation who was selected to the Pro Bowl.

All grades of the Northlake student body had a dance off led by head soccer coach and well-known Saints fan, Nick Chetta, to popular Saints’ songs and chants such as Choppa Style and the Who Dat chant.

Chetta has been a Saints fan since birth.

“The first picture of me, that I can remember, I’m in an Archie Manning jersey,” said Chetta.

Chetta is a season ticket holder, and he attends most of the games. He became a season ticket holder in a unique way. They were a high school graduation gift from his grandfather.

Chetta has been to many games, but a couple in particular really stand out to him when it comes to the atmosphere and meaning behind them.

“The reopening of the Dome (after Hurricane Katrina) was by far the most emotional game that I’ve ever been to, especially the way the Saints handled the Falcons and Steve Gleason’s blocked punt was nuts,” explained Chetta.

The most memorable game for him is the NFC Championship game during the 2009 Super Bowl season in which the Saints beat the Minnesota Vikings.

Quarterback Drew Brees is Chetta’s favorite player on the team and one of many players he has personally met. 

He listed the following as players he has met: Drew Brees, Mark Ingram, Bobby Hebert, Joe Horn, Jimmy Graham, Austin Carr, Rickey Jackson, and Roy Glover.

During one of the Saints’ games this year, Mark Ingram scored a touchdown, and to celebrate, he jumped into the stands where Chetta sits. This led to Chetta being seen on TVs everywhere, and Ingram ended up giving Chetta a special gift.

“For Christmas I got ‘The’ picture, and it was signed [by Ingram], and it was personalized to me.”

Chetta has received recognition amongst the Northlake community and those who know him due to his constant appearance on TVs whenever a player happens to go into the stands or down below along the wall in front of him.

“At first it was pretty neat, but now it’s just reoccurring. It’s neat though, because the season tickets I got from my grandfather were up in the terrace, and I’ve worked my way down to the very front row. The reason why I get put in the Jumbotron and sometimes the TV is because the people that sit around me are in that Ultimate Saints Fan group. I have The Joker behind me, the Ultimate Fan, the Saint Angel sits right next to me, so it’s pretty cool,” Chetta elaborated.

Chetta, giving his opinion on the blown call that cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl, said he mainly feels bad for the legacies of Drew Brees, Sean Payton, etc. because of how much more Super Bowl berths and wins add to your legacy in football. He also said that he believes referees sometimes do not want to be in control of the game and be the deciding factor of ending a game like that. However, like everyone else in the world, he says and knows it was clearly a penalty.

So here’s to hoping the Saints have better fortune with NFL referees during the 2019 season and Who Dat.