Amateur Athletes of the Month To Be Recognized at Hall of Fame Banquet park
Twelve Amateur Athletes of the Month from the Greater New Orleans region will be honored at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, recognizes amateur athletes of the month throughout the year, in addition to selecting each year's Hall of Fame class and additional annual awards. Overall, 26 individuals and two teams will be honored at the banquet. Additional honorees will be announced over the next two weeks.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee began in 1958 when James Collins spearheaded a group of sports journalists to form a sports awards committee to immortalize local sports history. For 12 years, the committee honored local athletes each month. In 1970, the Sugar Bowl stepped in to sponsor and revitalize the committee, leading to the creation of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in 1971, honoring 10 legends from the Crescent City in its first induction class. While adding the responsibility of selecting Hall of Famers, the committee has continued to recognize the top amateur athlete in the Greater New Orleans area each month – the honors enter their 55th year in 2013. To be eligible, an athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region.
Being honored at this year's banquet will be the past year's honorees from June of 2012 through May of 2013. The group includes four football players, three baseball players and one athlete each from bowling, softball, tennis and wrestling.
Brooks Vial (Baseball, Otto Candies Legion)
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.
Christi Orgeron (Softball, USA Softball)
Orgeron 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.
Emerson Gibbs (Baseball, Retif Oil Legion)
Gibbs led his squad to the American Legion World Series Championship by pitching a three-hit shutout in the title game. Following the victory, Gibbs was named the National Legion Player of the Year. In the team's opening game of the tournament, Gibbs went the distance in an 11-inning victory over Milford, Conn. For the month, he 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.
Jabiari Tyler (Football, Isidore Newman HS)
Tyler threw for an amazing 1,223 yards with 19 touchdown passes and only two interceptions in September. He completed 79.3% of his tosses. He added 299 yards on the ground, averaging 7.6 yards per carry and six mores TDs. He threw a school-record six touchdowns against Miller-McCoy and then again against Carver in a wild 72-68 victory, when he had 430 passing yards.
Devante Noil (Football, Edna Karr HS)
Noil completed 42-of-62 passes for 557 yards and six touchdowns passing while rushing 35 times for 400 yards and three touchdowns. As a receiver, he caught 14 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown. In a 45-10 win over Shaw, he passed for 231 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 164 yards and another score. In a McDonogh 35 win, he passed for 198 yards and three touchdowns while running for 128 yards and catching one pass for eight yards.
Damian Williams (Football, Archbishop Rummel HS)
In five victories to lead the Raiders to the Class 5A championship game, Williams completed 37-of-60 passes for 854 yards and seven touchdowns with just one interception while rushing 74 times for 447 yards and four touchdowns. Williams set a school record in Rummel's bi-district playoff win over Lafayette, going a perfect 9-of-9 passing for a school-record 315 yards and two touchdowns.
Malachi Dupre (Football/Basketball, John Curtis HS)
Dupre helped the Curtis football team to the state championship, catching four passes for 85 yards and a touchdown in two games – he left the state title game in the second quarter due to injury. Then on the hardwood, the junior averaged 16.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and eight blocked shots. He captured the MVP of the Country Day Tournament by scoring 19 points with 12 boards and three blocks in the Championship Game against St. Thomas More.
Shaquille Preston (Basketball, East Jefferson HS)
Preston led his team to a perfect 10-0 month of January. The 6-4 junior averaged 19 points and seven rebounds per game, leading the Warriors in scoring nine times. His highlight was a 25-point, 13-rebound effort against St. Augustine. He also tallied 18 points, six assists and four steals in a second meeting with the Purple Knights.
Connor Campo (Wrestling, St. Paul's School)
Campo completed a fabulous wrestling career with a perfect 5-0 February, including the 132-pound championship at the state meet. He finished his illustrious career with a record of 194-27. A four-time all-6-5A performer, the 2013 district MVP and won back-to-back state championships in 2012 and 2013. He did not lose a match in Louisiana in 2012 and 2013, going 106-1 overall.
Mason Katz (Baseball, LSU)
Katz batted .455 (35-of-77) with 11 home runs, 38 runs batted in and 19 runs scored in 20 March games – 19 of them wins for the Tigers. He was named Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week on both March 18 and April 1. In addition, he was named LSWA Hitter of the Week three times (March 11, March 18 and April 1).
Charles Noble (Bowling, Archbishop Rummel HS)
Noble led Rummel to a second consecutive Division I state bowling championship, shooting a 663 series to pace the Raiders to a championship match victory over Morgan City. A senior, Noble led the metro New Orleans area and the state during the season, averaging 221.9 per game. Over a two-year period, Noble helped the Raiders go unbeaten at 32-0, dominating the sport on the boys side.
Hobie Hotard (Tennis, Jesuit HS)
Hotard capped a sensational career for the Blue Jays by winning the boys' singles title at the LHSAA state tournament. Despite being a No. 2 seed, the senior rolled, 6-1, 6-0 in the finals to complete his four-year varsity career undefeated against in-state competition. Hotard won the singles championship as a freshman, sophomore and junior as well. It was also the sixth straight Division I state title for the Blue Jays.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier bowl games in the country, having hosted 23 national champions, 86 Hall of Fame players, 46 Hall of Fame coaches and 15 Heisman Trophy winners in its 79-year history. The Bowl will host the 80th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic on January 2, 2014. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee is involved with various community initiatives through hosting and sponsorships of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors over 13,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2 billion into the local economy in the last decade.