Individual and Team Annual Standouts To Be Recognized at New Orleans Hall of Fame Banquet
NEW ORLEANS (July 9, 2019) – Two local high school programs and five standout individuals who excelled during the 2018-19 athletic seasons will be among a full slate of honorees to be recognized at the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, August 10, 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, 26 individuals and two teams will be honored at the banquet. The full slate of award-winners will be announced over the next nine days.
Mount Carmel’s Ellie Holzman, who was recognized as the top high school volleyball player in the nation, will be honored as the Greater New Orleans Female Amateur Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive year while Tulane baseball star Kody Hoese, a first-round pick in this year’s Major League Baseball Draft, will be presented the Greater New Orleans Male Amateur Athlete of the Year honor.
April Hagadone, the head coach of the Mount Carmel volleyball team, will be honored as the Greater New Orleans Girls’ Prep Coach of the Year, while Wayne Stein, the head coach of the St. Charles Catholic High School baseball squad, will be presented with the Greater New Orleans Boys’ Prep Coach of the Year honor.
LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux was selected as the Outstanding College Coach for the State of Louisiana after directing the Tigers to a second-place finish nationally.
Finally, this year’s top high school teams are the Edna Karr High School football team and the St. Scholastica Academy girls’ soccer team. Both had dominating performances as they repeated as Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA state champions.
Holzman capped one of the most impressive prep volleyball careers in the state by being named the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year. A three-time winner of the state player of the year award, Holzman, who is headed to the University of Illinois later this year, led her team to state championships in all four years she played at Mount Carmel. The 6-foot-2 Holzman finished her senior season with 571 kills, 303 digs, 106 blocks and 30 aces as the Cubs finished 44-2. One of the best all-around players in the history of the state, she racked up 2,426 kills, 1,379 digs and 749 blocks for her career. “In addition to her physicality, Ellie Holzman is just the ultimate competitor in everything she does,” head coach April Hagadone told The Advocate. “I mean she wants to win in everything she does. She’s up for class valedictorian and she is also her class mascot. She’s a leader on and off the court and that what makes her truly special.”
Hoese, Tulane’s star third baseman, finished the 2019 season leading the Green Wave with a .391 batting average, producing 92 hits with 61 RBI and 72 runs scored. The Indiana product slugged .779 to go with a .486 on-base percentage as he started all 58 games for the team. He was named the 2019 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and to the All-American Athletic Conference first team. Hoese’s name is littered throughout the Tulane record book, as he ranks fourth in slugging percentage, tied for second all-time in a single season with 23 home runs and fourth with 183 total bases. Within the conference the home runs, total bases, slugging percentage and 72 runs scored are all AAC records. He was drafted in the first round (25th overall) of the MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hagadone guided Mount Carmel to a straight-set victory in the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division I Volleyball Championship – it was the fifth consecutive state title for Hagadone and Mount Carmel. The Cub’s dominant championship performance capped a memorable season in which they lost just twice all season. “The leadership on this team was outstanding,” Hagadone told Nola.com. “I couldn’t be more proud of all my players. They led from the bench or on the court. What an amazing group of young ladies. Their focus was unbelievable. Everyone contributed, and it’s an amazing feeling watching it all come together.”
St. Charles Catholic won its first state title in its eighth trip to the championship game. Stein guided the Comets to a 7-4 upset of top-seed University Lab to win the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division II Baseball title. “It kind of clicked to me,” Stein told WGNO-TV. “One of my players in a meeting one time that I had with him said, ‘I think you need to be harder on me.’ He was telling me I think you need to push us a little extra and I took that advice to heart. It took me two months later to realize what he was trying to tell me and I did. I started to push more and I just demanded a higher standard that I thought that they wanted.” Stein’s sixth-seeded Comets won 17 of their final 19 games and defeated the top three seeds to win the state title.
Breaux directed the LSU gymnastics team to second place in the nation, the best NCAA finish in school history. “I could not have asked this team for a better performance,” she said. “They outperformed themselves from the semifinal. We gave it all we had and there is nothing wrong with finishing second to a great Oklahoma team. I am taking a lot of pride in this second-place finish and great season.” Breaux earned her 799th and 800th career wins during the NCAA Championships, making her one of two coaches, regardless of sport, in LSU history with 800 wins. Following the regular season, she was recognized by her peers as the SEC Coach of the Year for the ninth time in her career. The dean of all coaches in SEC history led the squad to a record of 18-3 overall and the program’s third-straight SEC championship. Five gymnasts under Breaux’s direction earned WCGA regular season All-America honors. LSU continued to improve in each week of the season and over the final four weeks leading into NCAA postseason the squad averaged a 197.900. The LSU team was the second in NCAA Gymnastics history to average a 197.900 or higher in four meets.
Edna Karr recorded its third straight state championship by coming from behind to defeat Warren Easton, 28-20, to capture the 2018 Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Class 4A state title. After trailing 12-0 in the first quarter, the Cougars came to life with two second-quarter touchdowns. A 31-yard fourth-quarter TD connection between quarterback Leonard Kelly and Jahii Howard clinched the victory to cap a perfect 15-0 season. “We talk about humility,” Karr coach Brice Brown told Nola.com. “You have to win with humility and you better be humble. God has blessed us tremendously to be in this position. If you played good or you played bad, you’ve got to remember that these chances and these opportunities don’t come around for everybody, so you have to sit back and appreciate the moment that you’re in.”
St. Scholastica senior Isabella Pflug’s stoppage-time goal lifted the Doves to a 2-1 victory over Northshore to capture their second straight Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division I state championship. The victory capped an unbeaten season (19-0-3) in which SSA scored 81 total goals while only allowing six goals while competing in the state’s premier soccer district. In the first three rounds of the playoffs, the Doves outscored Sulphur, St. Joseph and Mandeville by a combined score of 14-1. Goalkeeper Elizabeth Kalmbach was recognized as one of the top local goalies in many years after allowing just four regular-season scores while forward Sydney Vincens, an Alabama signee, scored 19 goals. “I couldn’t be prouder of the girls and this team,” head coach Matt Jacques told The Advocate. “Everyone played well, and we were fortunate enough to come away with the victory.”
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 63rd year in 2019. 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, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 85-year history. The 86th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, featuring top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, will be played on January 1, 2020. 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 over 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.5 billion into the local economy in the last decade.