Allstate Sugar Bowl Announces Summer Athletes of the Month park
Three diamond standouts have been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athletes of the Month for June, July and August. Softball star Christi Orgeron from UL-Lafayette and baseball stars Brooks Vial (Otto Candies American Legion) and Emerson Gibbs (Retif Oil American Legion) were all honored in balloting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Vial had a dominant month of June for the Hahnville-based Otto Candies Legion squad. He opened the month with a no-hitter against Holy Cross-based Ponstein's and finished the month with multiple wins and an earned-run average below 2.00. The senior southpaw was also exceptional in July with a perfect 5-0 record.
Orgeron, the July winner, opened the month by helping the United States National Team capture the Gold Medal at the World Cup of Softball. A New Orleans native and a graduate of Mt. Carmel Academy, she followed up the World Cup Tournament by batting .529 with three doubles, four RBI and seven runs scored for the United States in the International Softball Federation World Championship. Orgeron earned the 2011-12 Corbett Award as the top female amateur athlete in the state after an outstanding year with the Ragin' Cajun softball team and Team USA.
Gibbs, another Jesuit/Retif Oil star, led his squad to the American Legion World Series Championship by pitching a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory over Brooklawn, N.J., on Aug. 21 in Shelby, N.C. It was the first shutout in a Legion Championship since 2004. Following the victory, Gibbs was named the National Legion Player of the Year – the first time New Orleans product to win the honor since Gus Malespin in 1976. It was the first national title for a NOLA team since the Rummel-based squad won in 2006. In the team's opening game of the tournament, Gibbs went the distance in an 11-inning victory over Milford, Conn. Retief Oil finished the year with a 41-7 record. For the month of August, Gibbs threw 47 innings and allowed just 24 hits and three walks while striking out 32 and posting a perfect 5-0 record with one save and a 1.15 ERA. In addition to the World Series wins, he picked up victories in the state championship game and the Mid-South Regional Championship.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1958. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.