Top Local High School Programs To Be Recognized at New Orleans Hall of Fame Banquet
NEW ORLEANS (July 23, 2018) – Two local high school programs will be among a full slate of honorees to be recognized at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, August 4, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selects annual award winners in a variety of categories; it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year’s Hall of Fame class. Overall, 23 individuals and three teams will be honored at the banquet. This year’s Hall of Fame class was announced over the last four days while the Corbett Awards, which recognize the top male and female amateur athletes in the state, will be released later this week.
This year’s top high school teams are the John Curtis Christian School baseball team and the Pope John Paul II volleyball team.
In one of the most dominant season-long performances in recent memory, John Curtis’ baseball program posted a 26-4 regular season record that included a perfect district mark in the highly-regarded Catholic League, sweeping through 14 games. Curtis was 2-2 (both losses were in extra innings) against some of the best in the country in the USA Baseball National High School Invitational Prep Classic at Carey, N.C. Patriot pitchers posted a 1.51 ERA, backed by a .951 fielding percentage. In the 14-game district season, only one team came within one run of the Patriots (Curtis defeated Jesuit, 1-0, in extra innings). Cade Beloso, a senior first baseman, was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Player of the year after batting .489 with 14 home runs. “I think (this team) stacks up with the best,” Patriots coach Jeff Curtis told The Advocate. “We had so many stepping up. One through nine. Dugout guys. Bench guys. Role players. Starters. It didn’t matter who it was. They came to work every day with a great attitude and worked hard.”
After the Pope John Paul II team won its fourth straight volleyball state title, head coach Danny Tullis had a simple explanation for the Jaguars’ recent dominance. “The key to our success has always been that our girls want to be teammates first and then become the best that they can be,” he told The Advocate. The Jaguars finished the season 37-5 on their way to winning the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division IV state championship. Their wins included two victories over Division I state champion Mount Carmel Academy and another over Division III champion Vandebilt Catholic. Sophomore outside hitter Ansley Tullis led the Jags with 416 kills and 299 digs and was named Player of the Year on The New Orleans Advocate’s All-Metro team for Small Schools.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee began in 1957 when James Collins spearheaded a group of sports journalists to form a sports awards committee to immortalize local sports history. For 13 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 62nd year in 2018. 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.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 93 Hall of Fame players, 49 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 84-year history. The 85th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, featuring top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, will be played on January 1, 2019. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors nearly 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.5 billion into the local economy in the last decade.