Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of FameIn January of 2000, the Sugar Bowl Committee took over the title sponsorship of the New Orleans Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. Included in the Bowl's sponsorship of the chapter is the administration of an annual awards banquet held each spring to honor deserving high school football scholar athletes from the metropolitan area. Since 2000, the Sugar Bowl has recognized over 350 student-athletes while distributing over $250,000 in scholarship money. Sugar Bowl Member Archie Manning is the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. To become a member of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, please click here.
The 2015 Scholar-Athlete Luncheon was held on Tuesday, April 28.
2015 Facebook Photo Gallery
Thirty-three local high school football players were recognized for their achievements in the classroom and on the football field at the 2015 luncheon. The honorees were chosen from a nominated group of talented scholar athletes from the New Orleans area. Archie Manning, the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, recognized each of the 33 student athletes at the event. From that group of 33, five were selected to receive Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarships for $10,000 each. The scholarship winners were chosen based on essays submitted after being notified of their selection as scholar-athletes.
The five scholarship winners were Matt Adams (Fisher High School), Miguel Hewitt Black (Northlake Christian), Isaiah Carter (Covington High School), Montana Giordano (Holy Cross) and William Kenyon (St. Paul's). Carey Wicker, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee, recapped their accomplishments and referenced their winning essays prior to presenting each scholarship winner with a commemorative check.
Adams is scheduled to graduate with honors after a standout football and wrestling career. He was the top defensive lineman at his school and won a state wrestling championship as a junior. However, prior to his senior year, he suffered a major knee injury and doctors said he would miss the full year. Instead, he fought his way back and won another state wrestling championship. He reached this impressive level of achievement despite being born with a serious hearing disorder requiring him to read lips and watch hand signals to keep up with the action. In his essay, he referenced his older brother, who has Down Syndrome, writing, "he reminds me every day that we all face challenges and should make the best of our abilities."
Hewitt-Black was an all-state running back, captain of the soccer team, and an all-district performer on the track team, while maintaining a 3.8 grade-point average and being active in a wide-range of non-sports activities. His essay highlighted his gratitude to his mother, who is a single parent to four children. He wrote, "I hear people make their opinions that a woman cannot raise a man. I beg to differ...my mother is the reason I am the person I am." He is headed to Mississippi College to pursue a career in pediatric neurology.
Carter was an all-district football player and team captain and a regional championship participant in track and field, while logging an amazing GPA of 4.5. He was named the "Student of the Year" for his school and volunteered for many great causes. In his essay, he referenced his older brother who was born with medical deficiencies that have left him in a state of slow development. "Having my brother in my life has helped me become a better, more independent and less judgmental person." He also wrote, "The role model I want to be is one that knows how to overcome times of hardship and bounce back even stronger."
In Giordano's essay, he related a story his mother told him on the value of perception. The story was of two twins, one a CEO and one a prisoner. The prisoner was asked, "How did you become a criminal." He answered, "Well, my mother died when I was 11." The CEO was asked, "How did you become a CEO?" He replied, "Well, my mother died when I was 11." Sadly, this story hit close to home shortly after his mother's lesson. When he was 12 years old, his father died in an automobile accident. Despite the pain, he wrote that "giving up would not make my father proud." He credits the support of his family, including his mother and grandfather, for him becoming a standout football player with an exceptional 4.69 GPA as he expects to finish as his school's valedictorian.
Kenyon credits football for helping him make it through challenging times. Rather than let issues in his life break him, he wrote about those challenges "serving as my motivation, a catalyst to alter my view of life in a positive way." He threw himself into football, following the words of his coach, Ken Sears, who taught him, "the player with the most heart becomes the greatest player both on the field and in life." He was a three-year letterman and a member of the Academic All-State team as well as a member of the National Honor Society who will graduate with a 4.0 grade-point average.
In addition to the high school honorees, two local businessmen were recognized for their contributions to the community and the sport of football.
Karl Benson, the Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference, was recognized for his years of service with the Contribution to Amateur Football Award. Benson, a native of the state of Washington, has spent over 25 years serving in conference commissioner roles at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. After four years at the Mid-American Conference, he went on to an 18-year tenure with the Western Athletic Conference. In 2012, he came to New Orleans and took over the reins of the Sun Belt.
Jack Laborde, an ideal example of someone who has built upon the lessons and principles learned as a young football player to become a successful businessman, was presented with this year's Distinguished American honor. Laborde is the President of All Aboard Development Corp., a New Orleans based independent oil and gas exploration and development firm. After starring in football at Jesuit High School, Laborde accepted a football scholarship to attend Tulane University where he went on to earn his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1971. He added a master's in business administration with a major in finance and tax in 1973 from Tulane.
2015: Thirty-Three Local Football Standouts Recognized at Superdome Event
2014: Scholarships Highlight Allstate Sugar Bowl/NFF Honors Luncheon
2013: Allstate Sugar Bowl and NFF Honor 34 Local Scholar-Athletes
2012: Thirty-Four Local Scholar-Athletes Honored by Sugar Bowl and NFF
2011: Allstate Sugar Bowl and NFF Honor 35 Scholar-Athletes
2010: NFF Honors Local High School Football Players
2009: Talented Class of Honorees at 2009 NFF/College Football Hall of Fame Luncheon
2008: Nineteen Honored at 2008 Football Foundation Luncheon
2007: Sugar Bowl Honors Standouts at 2007 NFF Awards Luncheon
2006: No class recognized due to Hurricane Katrina
2005: Listing of the 2004-05 NFF Scholar Athletes
2004: Listing of the 2003-04 NFF Scholar Athletes
2003: Listing of the 2002-03 NFF Scholar-Athletes
2002: Listing of the 2001-02 NFF Scholar-Athletes
2001: Listing of the 2000-01 NFF Scholar-Athletes
Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the NFF/CFHOF Special Awards
| Year || Contributions to Amateur Football |
| Distinguished American |
| 2014|| Jim Henderson, Sports Broadcaster|| Dennis Lauscha, New Orleans Saints|
| 2013|| J.T. Curtis, John Curtis School|| Elliott Hill, Nike North America|
| 2012|| Vince Gibson, Tulane University|| Elliott Laudeman, Sugar Bowl Committee|
| 2011|| Bill Curl, Louisiana Superdome|| Doug Hertz, Tulane University|
| 2010|| Bill Bumgarner, Sportswriter|| Mickey Loomis, New Orleans Saints|
| 2009 || Wright Waters, Sun Belt Conference |
| Doug Thornton, SMG (Louisiana Superdome) |
| 2008 || Jerry Romig, Saints/Sugar Bowl |
| Tony Biagas, New Orleans City Park |
| 2007 || Skip Bertman, Louisiana State |
| Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints |
| 2006 || NA || NA |
| 2005 || Rick Dickson, Tulane University || Jerry Ebbert, New Orleans Homeland Security |
| 2004 || Archie Manning, NFF/Sugar Bowl || Peter Finney, Times-Picayune |
| 2003 || Don Wattigny, Edna Karr H.S. || Tommy Henry, LHSAA |
| 2002 || NA |
| NA |
| 2001 || Ken Trahan, Sports Reporter |
| Gene Newton |
| 2000 || Ed Daniels, WGNO-TV |
| Tom Benson, New Orleans Saints |
| 1999 || Edward Bravo |
| Paul Buckley, Hilton |
| 1998 || Leonard Reis |
| James Wilson, Tulane University |
| 1997 || Bobby Conlin, Brother Martin HS |
| William Ross |
| 1996 || Jack Salter, Covington HS |
| Larry Lundy |
| 1995 || Rev. John T. Curtis, Sr., Curtis School |
| Jim Mora, New Orleans Saints |
| 1994 || Roy Glapion, N.O. Public Schools |
| Tony Reginelli, Newman HS |
| 1993 || Otis Washington, St. Aug HS |
| Pat Taylor |
| 1990 || NA || Bob Roesler, Times-Picayune |
| 1986 || Shelby Fredrichs, Southern Yacht Club |
| Tony Porter |
| 1984 || Champ Clark, Sportswriter |
| NA |
| 1984 || Capt. Joe Katz, New Orleans |
| Kent McWilliams |
| 1983 || Ben Weiner, Tulane University |
| NA |
| 1983 || George Kalil, N.O. QB Club |
| Stan Kotteman, Tulane/Official/QB Club |
| 1982 || Hap Glaudi, Sports Reporter |
| Kenny Konz |
| 1981 || Armand Kitto |
| Hank Lauricella, Louisiana Legislator |
| 1980 || John Lynch |
| Jim Taylor |
| 1979 || A.B. Nicholas |
| NA |
| 1979 || Pie Dufour, Writer |
| John Petitbon |
| 1978 || NA || Charles Cusimano |
| 1978 || Marshall David, Sugar Bowl |
| Andy Pilney, Tulane University |
| 1977 || Theo Maumus, Sugar Bowl |
| NA |
| 1977 || Sam Corenswet, Sugar Bowl |
| Hank Lauricella, Louisiana Legislator |
| 1976 || Cliff Kern, Sugar Bowl |
| Dr. Rix Yard, Tulane University |
| 1971 || Ike Carriere |
| Lester Lautenschlaeger |