Local Football Stars Collect Amateur Athlete of the Month Honors park
Dray Joseph, from Southern University, and Eugene Wells, from East Jefferson High School, have been named the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athletes of the Month for November and December, respectively. The monthly award-winners are selected in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Joseph, a senior quarterback from Edgard and West St. John High School, directed Southern to a 4-0 month of November, completing 66-of-111 passes for 989 yards and 10 touchdowns, to lead the Jaguars to the SWAC West title and a spot in the league championship game. In the annual Bayou Classic on Nov. 30, Joseph was 15-of-26 for 226 yards and three touchdowns in the Jags' third-straight win in the rivalry with Grambling. Earlier in the month, he had a monster game in 31-28 victory against Alabama State, completing 26-of-45 passes for 427 yards and four touchdowns. In 31-24 victory against Texas Southern on Nov. 1, he completed 16-of-28 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns. In Southern's other victory, a 53-0 blowout of Clark Atlanta, Joseph passed for 105 yards on 9-of-12 attempts with one touchdown.
Wells capped a dream season for East Jefferson by directing back-to-back fourth-quarter rallies to lead the Warriors to wins over No. 2-seeded Neville and No.1 seeded Karr. Those victories lifted EJ to its first state championship in football and the first by a Jefferson Parish public school in 28 years. Wells was named the MVP in the state non-select 4A championship game after passing for 155 yards and running for 83 against No. 1 seed Karr in a 38-28 victory. He completed 7-of-10 passes including touchdown passes of 59 and 10 yards while adding another touchdown on a one-yard plunge. In the state semifinals, Wells rushed 17 times for 128 yards and a two-point conversion, completed his only pass for a 7-yard touchdown, and returned two kickoffs for 86 yards, as fourth-seed East Jefferson beat Neville, 18-15.
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.