Allstate Sugar Bowl and National Football Foundation Honor 33 Student-Athletes

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Allstate Sugar Bowl and National Football Foundation Honor 33 Student-Athletes

NEW ORLEANS (April 21, 2015) – The Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame held its 2015 Awards Luncheon on Tuesday afternoon in the Bienville Club Room at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The highlight of the event was the announcement of five winners of college scholarships from the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation

Thirty-three local high school football players were recognized for their achievements in the classroom and on the football field. 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.

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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.

Video of Scholarship Presentations

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.

The New Orleans Chapter of the National Football Foundation was established in 1971. The Sugar Bowl took over sponsorship of the chapter in 2000.

2014 National Football Foundation Scholar Athletes (alphabetical by high school):

1.     Daniel Allen Hollander, Jr. (Archbishop Hannan)
H: 6’4″        W: 195        P: Wide Receiver
Academic Achievements: Highest Honor Roll for four years; member of National Honor Society; Academic Excellence Award for highest GPA; five Academic Achievement Awards; Academic Athlete Gold honor; Academic Athlete Silver honor. Athletic Achievements: Four-year starter at wide receiver, tight end and long snapper; team captain as a senior; two-time first-team all-district; second-team all-state as a junior; Most Improved Offensive Player as a junior; 2014 All-Louisiana First Team by LA Football Magazine; played wide receiver in Louisiana East/West All-Star Game 2014; three-year starter on the basketball team; four-year letterman in track; led track team to district championship as a junior with three second-place finishes and one third-place effort. Extracurricular Activities: Student Council Secretary and Student Ambassador (Freshman); EF Educational Tour (Sophomore); European Tour; Campus Ministry/Retreat Leader; Eucharistic Minister (Senior); Miracle League volunteer coach; Vacation Bible School; Archbishop Hannan Basketball Camp volunteer; also enjoys golf, swimming, weightlifting, fishing and hunting. Name of College Attending: UL-Monroe.

2.     Pierce Bonck (Archbishop Rummel)
H: 5’9″        W: 235        P: Center/Guard
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll for five years; National Honor Society for four years, Mu Alpha Theta. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman and starter; team captain as a senior; all-district; 2014 Class 5A Honorable Mention All-State. Extracurricular Activities: Big Brother; Operation Headstart; 100 hours of community service; Student Council President. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

3.     Archie Whelan, Jr. (Archbishop Rummel)
H: 6’2″        W: 250        P: Offensive Lineman/Tight End
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll; National Honor Society; National Society of High School Scholars; summa cum laude on National Latin Exam. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; won back-to-back state championships (2012 and 2013); undefeated district champs in 2012 and 2014. Extracurricular Activities: Tutoring; coaching baseball, softball and basketball. Name of College Attending: Loyola.

4.     Jacob Southerland (Bonnabel)
H: 6’0″        W: 195        P: Tight End
Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman and starter; team leader. Extracurricular Activities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Vineyard Student Life, volunteer Student Council. Name of College Attending: Southeastern Louisiana University.

5.     Zachary Randall Kael (Brother Martin)
H: 5’10”        W: 230        P: Offensive Lineman
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; academic letterman; Andy Douglass Memorial Award (highest GPA on football team). Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; Bob Conlin Award winner; also lettered in track & field. Extracurricular Activities: Student Ambassador; student ministry; student recruiting team; church CYO; volunteered at Animal Rescue New Orleans, Habitat for Humanity and Trees for Katrina. Name of College Attending: Either Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette or University of Alabama.

6.     Rory Paul Luke, Jr. (Brother Martin)
H: 6’4″        W: 270        P: Offensive Lineman
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; academic letterman. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; all-district; Clarion Herald Elite Football Team; Bob Conlin Award winner. Extracurricular Activities: Student recruiting team; student ministry; Student Council; Lacrosse Club; Close-Up; church CYO; youth basketball coach; church’s leadership council. Name of College Attending: LSU.

7.     Roderic Fitzgerald Teamer, Jr. (Brother Martin)
H: 6’1″        W: 215        P: Safety
Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; Bob Conlin Award winner; all-district; all-metro; LSWA All-State Football Team. Extracurricular Activities: Jack and Jill of America, Inc., New Orleans Chapter (served as Treasurer, Sgt. At Arms, Parliamentarian); volunteers at Covenant House, Ozanam Inn, and Sheriff Gusman’s Easter Egg Hunt and Thanksgiving dinner. Name of College Attending: Tulane University.

8.     Isaiah Carter (Covington)
H: 5’10”        W: 210        P: Linebacker
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Student of the Year as a senior; Patrick F. Taylor Award (six years); Honor Society President’s Education Award; “I Dare You” Leadership Award; Louisiana Boys’ State; Academic All-State Scholar-Athlete; WWL-TV A-Plus Athlete, Mathlete. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; team captain; Chuck Thompson Memorial Award, two-time all-district selection; WNOL Friday Night Football “Scholar Athlete of the Week;” Wendy’s High School Heisman Award. Extracurricular Activities: President of FCA and Key Club; Relay for Life; Special Olympics; Faith Bible Thanksgiving Food Bank; Camp Upward (Covington). Name of College Attending: Most likely University of Southern Mississippi.

9.     Bradley Watts (Crescent City Christian)
H: 6’2″        W: 200        P: Wide Receiver/Defensive Back
Academic Achievements: 4.0 GPA throughout high school; National Honor Society; Student Council Member of the Year 2013-2014; Academic All-American for football and basketball; Service Award. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman in football and basketball, while lettering for three years in baseball; served as football and basketball team captain. Extracurricular Activities: Ambassador; Class President (Freshman); Student Council Treasurer (Sophomore); Student Council President (Senior); Chairperson of Big Brother/Big Sister program. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

10. Elijah Rogers (East Jefferson)
H: 6’3″        W: 225        P: Tight End/Deep Snapper/Slot
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman and starter; helped team to 2013 Class 4A State Championship; two-time all-district selection; member of 2014 District Champion track team as a hurdler. Extracurricular Activities: First Zion Baptist Church usher; Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Hospital volunteer. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

11. Matt Adams (Fisher High School)
H: 6’0″        W: 195        P: Lineman
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll; Advance Placement. Athletic Achievements: A three-year starter in football and a three-year standout wrestler; team captain in both sports; 2014 wrestling state champion in the 175-pound weight class; 2013 state runner-up at 175 pounds; 2013 Wrestling District Champion; 2014 FHS Athlete of the Year; 2014 FHS Top Defensive Player; 2014 Pro Combine Football Offensive Player First Place; 2014 HearStrong Champion. Extracurricular Activities: Barataria Baptist Church Youth Group; assists youth wrestling instruction at Ehret High School. Name of College Attending: LSU.

12. Hunter Bastion (Fontainebleau)
H: 5’10”        W: 165        P: WR/CB
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; first-team all-district; first player in school history with 1,000 receiving yards; Coaches Award; LHSAA All-Star Game. Extracurricular Activities: Charity Work.

13. Brennan Kent (Fontainebleau)
: 5’9″        W: 180        P: Defensive Back
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Student of the Year nominee; highest GPA on team. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; three-time all-district selection; team captain; defensive signal-caller; two-time Coaches Award winner; Hardest Worker Award; 2014 Darrel Brown Memorial Award; also lettered in baseball, serving as a team captain. Extracurricular Activities: FCA; Bulldog Buddies Club; FBC Covington Community Ministry Outreach. Name of College Attending: LSU.

14. Chase Mundle (Fontainebleau)
H: 6’2″        W: 255        P: Defensive Lineman
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll; National Honor Society. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; all-district; team captain; Coaches Award. Extracurricular Activities: Bulldog buddies. Name of College Attending: LSU.

15. Greg Cook, Jr. (Helen Cox)
H: 6’4″        W: 325        P: Offensive Lineman
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; four-year team captain. Name of College Attending: McNeese State.

16. Montana Giordano (Holy Cross)
H: 6’1″        W: 220        P: Center
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Valedictorian; Tiger Award; Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; two-year starter. Extracurricular Activities: Powerlifting, Student Council, Peer Ministry. Name of College Attending: Notre Dame.

17. Drew Drouilhet (Isidore Newman)
H: 6’2″        W: 230        P: Center/Offensive Tackle
Academic Achievements: Dartmouth Book Award; Cum Laude Society; honor roll; finalist for Morehead-Cain scholarship. Athletic Achievements: Four-year starter; three-time all-district, two-time all-metro; two-time all-state; team captain; voted top lineman by teammates for three straight years; also lettered in track, finishing second in state in discus as a junior. Extracurricular Activities: SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions); Peer Leadership. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

18. Jabiari Tyler (Isidore Newman)
H: 5’9″        W: 175        P: Quarterback
Academic Achievements: Four years on honor roll; National Achievement semifinalist. Athletic Achievements: Four-year starter; three-time all-district; three year all-metro; three-time all-state; Metro MVP 2012, 2013; State Offensive MVP 2013; District Offensive MVP 2012, 2013; school record 127 career touchdowns and 8,681 total yards; team reached state semifinals for the first time in 23 years; Advocate player of the year 2013; two-time team captain; team MVP 2012, 2013, 2014. Extracurricular Activities: Peer leadership. Name of College Attending: Stanford.

19. Johnathan Giardina (Jesuit)
H: 5’10”        W: 205        P: Linebacker
Academic Achievements: A & B Honor Roll all five years; Spanish Honors Society; National Honors Society. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; team captain; all-district; Student-Athlete of the Week for News with a Twist. Extracurricular Activities: Investment Club; Big Brother Program; 100 hours of service to Good Shepherd School; service to Rotary of Westwego & Will Woods Community. Name of College Attending: LSU.

20. Robert Lobrano (Jesuit)
H: 6’0″        W: 225        P: Linebacker
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Spanish Honor Society. Athletic Achievements: Two-year letterman; all-state; all-district; team captain; WGNO Athlete of the Week; Louisiana Football Magazine Defensive Player of the Week. Extracurricular Activities: Student Council; Big Brother; Peer Support. Name of College Attending: Washington & Lee.

21. Michael McMahon (Jesuit)
H: 6’1″        W: 205        P: Running Back
Academic Achievements: Valedictorian candidat;, First (A) Honor Roll every semester; Yale University Book Award; National Merit Commended Scholar; National Honor Society; Spanish Honor Society. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; LHSAA Division 1 State Champion; LHSAA Academic All-State Composite Team; two-year track and field letterman; WGNO Scholar Athlete of the Week. Extracurricular Activities: Sodality of Our Lady 2011-2014; Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion; Campus Ministry; Big Brother Program; Student Council Executive Board; Peer Support; 2014 Homecoming Court; Thanksgiving Drive worker. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

22. Michael Niedermair (Mandeville)
H: 5’10”        W: 180        P: Safety
Academic Achievements: Four-year honor roll; National Honor Society; Academic All-State. Athletic Achievements: Two-year letterman; team captain; all-district; Rogue Award (player that embodies Mandeville defense). Extracurricular Activities: President of Skipper Buddies (special needs club); officer in Invisible Children (raises support for kids in Uganda); Spirit Club, Big Brother/Big Sister. Name of College Attending: LSU.

23. Walker Bright (Metairie Park Country Day)
H: 6’3″        W: 200        P: Offensive Tackle/Defensive End
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; St. Laurence University Award for exceptional leadership and community service. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; two-time all-state honorable mention; three-time all-district; also lettered in basketball for three years, winning a pair of state championships. Extracurricular Activities: Started an annual fund-raising event to donate money to “Be Real New Orleans” that provides support for students in the foster care system in New Orleans. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

24. Robert Livaudais (Metarie Park Country Day)
H: 6’0″        W: 170        P: Wide Receiver/Defensive Back
Academic Achievements: National Merit Semifinalist; Cum Laude Society; National Honor Society; Jose Luis Banos Award (exceptional ability in Spanish); Harvard Book fund; RISD Book Award. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; team captain; also lettered in tennis for four years, winning a pair of state championships. Extracurricular Activities: Trinity Educational Enrichment Program; Habitat for Humanity Service Learning Program; Sophomore Class President; National Honor Society President. Name of College Attending: Dartmouth.

25. Miguel Hewitt Black (Northlake Christian)
H: 5’7″        W: 170        P: Running Back/Cornerback
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Four years honor roll; Key Club. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; first-team all-district running back and flex player; all-metro; all-state (coaches and sportswriters); first-team all-district cornerback as a junior; team MVP Senior year. Extracurricular Activities: Key Club; FCA; SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) club; foreign language; drama; Leader Council. Name of College Attending: Mississippi College.

26. Zachary Vicknair (Pearl River)
H: 5’11”        W: 190        P: Quarterback/Defensive Back
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; three-time Principal Award winner; three years Honor Roll; Pearl River High School Freshman of Year. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; three-year starter; first-team all-district defensive back; 2014 Wendy’s Heisman Local winner; two-time time team MVP; two-time team captain; 2014 Iron Rebel; two-time state powerlifting qualifier (two different weight classes); 2014 and 2015 South Region 4A powerlifting champ; powerlifting 2015 4A State Runner-Up 198lb Division. Extracurricular Activities: Kid Cam volunteer (summer camp); Beta Club; PRYFA camp member; Alton Elementary reader; PA announcer for PRHS JV and Freshman games. Name of College Attending: Southeastern Louisiana or the College of St. Scholastica.

27. William Arata (Pope John Paul II)
H: 6’3″  W: 208    P: Tight End/Defensive End/Punter
Academic Achievements: Two-time Academic All-Star at Pope John Paul II; Region 8 Science Fair – first place and second place; finalist in Louisiana State Science Fair. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; first-team all-district and all-state punter; Most Improved (junior year); Harbor Center Defensive Player of the Week; Lester Latino Award (senior year). Extracurricular Activities: Volunteered at St. Matthews Church; coached flag football. Name of College Attending: LSU.

28. Ian John Reaudeau (Pope John Paul II)
H: 5’11”        W: 168        P: Wide Receiver/Defensive Back
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; 12 Honor Roll awards; Principal’s Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; two-year starter; defensive player of the week award (Week 2); also a four-year track standout; Coaches Award Most Dependable Track; district champ in the hurdles. Extracurricular Activities: 190 service hours; four years of service at St. Luke’s Church. Name of College Attending: LSU.

29. Will Dean (St. Martin’s Episcopal School)
H: 6’3″        W: 195        P: Defensive End
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; French Award (four years), third place in French at District Literary Rally. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; first-team all-district; Most Improved Defensive Player as a junior; district champion; also played varsity basketball and track & field. Extracurricular Activities: Science Olympiad; Model United Nations; Key Club; Math Club; French Club; Junior Farm Committee; volunteer at Lambeth House; Race for the Cure Organization; Volunteers of America; Coastal Roots; The Hope Project. Name of College Attending: Villanova.

30. Ethan Robarts (St. Martin’s Episcopal School)
H: 5’11”        W: 205        P: Linebacker/Wide Receiver
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Spanish Award, Advanced Math II Honorable Mention Award. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; all-metro; three-time all-district; two-time all-state; team defensive MVP; also lettered in tennis, earning team MVP, and basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Student Ambassador; Diversity Club; school newspaper copy editor; Performing Arts; Student Council; race volunteer;  Jefferson Healthcare Center volunteer; Second Harvest, Kenner Math and Science Discover School volunteer. Name of College Attending: LSU.

31. Michael Brands (St. Paul’s)
H: 6’1″        W: 200        P: Long Snapper
Academic Achievements: Five straight years of Principals’ Honor Roll (All A’s); National Honor Society; Mu Alpha Theta; Spanish National Honor Society; 5A Academic All-State Football team; composite Academic All-State Wrestling team; composite Academic All-State Powerlifting team; Superior Achievement Gold Medal (highest award based on extra-curricular and academic excellence; given to one student); Superior Academic Gold Medal (award given to student with the highest GPA in the class); AP Scholar. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; Prokicker.com Honorable Mention All-American; winner of the 2013 Prokicker.com National Long snapping Championship; ranked as the No. 5 long snapper in the nation by Prokicker.com; also a three-year letterman in wrestling. Extracurricular Activities: Student Host Leader; Covington Food Bank volunteer; member of Our Lady of the Lake Roman Catholic Church. Name of College Attending: LSU.

32. Bradley Clawson (St. Paul’s)
H: 6’0″        W: 280        P: Right Guard
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll for five years; National Honors Society; All-State Academic team. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; honorable mention all-district as a junior; first-team all-district as a senior; two-year starter; offensive line leader award (Fat Boy). Extracurricular Activities: Over 10 hours of community service for the last five years, Big Brother. Name of College Attending: LSU.

33. William Kenyon (St. Paul’s)
H: 6’4″        W: 225        P: Tight End
Academic Achievements: LHSAA All-State Academic football team; LHSAA “Beyond the Game” essay contest winner (2012); National Honor Society; Spanish Honor Society; Superior Achievement Silver Medalist; St. Paul’s Golden Torch Award 2011- 2014; honor roll every quarter at St. Paul’s from August 2010 to present. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; LHSAA All-State Academic football team; summer workout standout (Beast of the Week). Extracurricular Activities: Liturgical Band; Young Lawyers; Concert Band; Marching Band; Jazz Band; District Honor Band; baseball; powerlifting; Big Brother; youth recreation district soccer/baseball coach. Name of College Attending: University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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