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Allstate Sugar Bowl Announces Corbett Award Winners

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame announced their Corbett Award winners as well as a pair of Special Award winners on Thursday. All of the 2010-11 honorees will be recognized at a banquet on Saturday, July 23 at the Louisiana Superdome.

The Corbett Awards are presented to the top male and female amateur athletes in the state and are based on achievements from July of 2010 to June of 2011. For the second year in a row, this year's winners are both from Louisiana State University. Kimberlyn Duncan, of the LSU Track & Field team, is the female winner, and Patrick Peterson, from LSU's football team, earns the male honor. It is the seventh time since 2000 that LSU has swept both honors.

The Corbett Award was created in 1967 to honor the late James J. Corbett (pictured on right with former LSU football coach Paul Dietzel) and to commemorate his many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and specifically to the Sugar Bowl. When looking through its history, Corbett Award winners have gone on to great success, including 14 NFL players, seven Major League baseball players, four NBA players, including two Hall of Famers, three WNBA players and eight Olympians, including seven Gold Medal winners.

All-Time Corbett Award Winners

"It is a great honor for the Allstate Sugar Bowl to have a part in recognizing these great young athletes," said Paul Hoolahan, Chief Executive Officer of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. "Looking at the accomplishments of these two, I'd like to thank the selection committee for making excellent choices."

Also being honored at the banquet will be two Special Award winners - a category established by the organization to recognize outstanding efforts and achievements in the sports arena in Greater New Orleans that don't necessarily qualify for other awards. An endearing lady in her 90s and a plucky teenager - Lurlyn Fitzpatrick and Tyler Dutruch - are this year's Special Award honorees.

The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Selection Committee, made up of local media members, honors athletes in a wide-range of categories. The committee has been sponsored by the Sugar Bowl since 1970. In addition to Thursday's release of the Corbett Award winners and the Special Awards, the organization released its annual award winners on Wednesday. On Friday, the Committee will announce its 2011 inductees for the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame, as well as the Eddie Robinson Award honoree.

2011 Female Corbett Award Winner - Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU Track & Field
After a freshman year in which she finished 13th in national qualifying for her specialty, the 200 meters, Duncan made a huge leap forward this season and became the first Lady Tiger in 22 years to sweep the 200 at the NCAA indoor and outdoor track and field championships. The Katy, Texas, native becomes the third LSU women's track star to win the Corbett, joining Peta-Gaye Dowdie (2000) and Esther Jones (1990).

At the NCAA outdoor meet in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 11, Duncan won the 200 in 22.24 seconds - the fastest time in the world this year. It was Duncan's eighth consecutive win in a 200-meter final during the 2011 indoor and outdoor seasons. Her work wasn't limited to the 200 meters. Less than 40 minutes prior to the 200 final, Duncan anchored LSU's winning 4 x 100-meter relay team. The previous night, Duncan finished second in the 100 meters, giving her a hand in 28 of the Lady Tigers' 43 1/2 points at the national meet. LSU finished third behind Texas A&M and Oregon. Three months earlier, Duncan established her position on the national track scene by winning the 200 at the NCAA indoor meet in College Station, Texas.

Duncan also swept the 200 titles at the Southeastern Conference indoor and outdoor championships. She also anchored the title-winning 4x100 relay team at the SEC outdoor meet.

2011 Male Corbett Award Winner - Patrick Peterson, LSU Football
Recognized as one of the top college football players in the nation for 2010, LSU star defensive back Patrick Peterson was a consensus first-team All-American, as well as the winner of the Bednarik Trophy, as the top defensive player in college football, and the Thorpe Award, as the top defensive back in the game. The junior was also the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year. He followed those honors by being selected No. 5 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.

The accolades showered onto Peterson despite modest statistics of 42 tackles, four interceptions and six pass break-ups. The fact of the matter was, no right-minded quarterback wanted to throw a pass to the ball-hawking Peterson's side of the field. In addition to establishing himself as the top cornerback in the country, Peterson ranked first in the SEC in both punt-return average (16.1, fourth in the nation) and kick returns (29.1, ninth in the nation). His 1,484 all-purpose yards ranked fourth in the SEC for 2010 and seventh in LSU single-season history, while his 932 kick-return yards are a Tiger season record.

During his career, Peterson earned a pair of All-SEC honors as well as All-America recognition twice. He finished his career with 135 tackles, 22 pass breakups and seven interceptions and he also scored touchdowns three different ways for the Tigers - via punt return (2), interception and return of a blocked field goal. In Peterson's three years with the Purple and Gold, he easily established himself as one of the greatest athletes in LSU's storied football history.

2011 Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Special Award-Winners:
Lurlyn Fitzpatrick

Fitzpatick, know to all as "Mrs. Fitz," dedicated 41 remarkable years to the hundreds of athletes and coaches she befriended while working at the Tulane football offices. The Lurlyn Fitzpatrick era started in 1964 when she accepted a job as a part-time, $2.50-per hour, secretary for Head Coach Tommy O'Boyle. With no designated workplace in the cramped football offices, she set up shop in the recruiting director's office. In the years that followed, she worked with 11 head coaches and well over 100 assistant coaches. But most of her memories are of the scores of young men who frequented the office; some just to hear her cheerful greeting and some in need of cheering up when personal problems arose. Mrs. Fitz was always there to listen and to help.

Tyler Dutruch, Pope John Paul II High School
Dutruch, an outstanding offensive lineman at Pope John Paul II High School, staunchly refused to let Type 1 diabetes slow him down, emerging as an elite athlete. Starting football when he was six years old, Dutruch played other sports off and on but clearly his first love was on the gridiron. When he was 11, he learned of the severity of his diabetic condition, one that required several insulin shots a day. The activity during football practice in the heat and humidity of South Louisiana exacerbated the problem. But Tyler persevered, to the admiration of his coaches and teammates. A three-year starter, he received all-district honors in 2010 as his team finished at 8-4, reaching the Class 2A Regionals. Having received his degree, he is now headed for Southeastern Louisiana University. He was one of 12 finalists for the national High School Rudy Award, named for famed Notre Dame walk-on Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, which recognizes athletes who have served as an inspiration to others.