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Talented Class of Honorees at 2009 NFF/College Football Hall of Fame Luncheon

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame held its 2009 Awards Luncheon in the Hilton Riverside's Napoleon Ballroom on Thursday, March 12.

The event honored 23 local high school football players for their achievements in the classroom and on the football field. Two of the student-athletes being honored were also selected to receive Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarships for $2,500 each. In addition, two local businessmen were recognized for their contributions to the community and the sport of football.

Doug Thornton, the senior vice president for SMG, the management company that operates the Louisiana Superdome and the New Orleans Arena, was presented with the Distinguished American Award. Thornton, who has been involved in amateur athletics in the city of New Orleans since 1988, oversaw the remarkable rebuilding and reopening of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina.

Wright Waters, the commissioner of the Sun Belt Athletic Conference, which is based in New Orleans, received the Contribution to Amateur Football Award. Waters has 36 years of experience in college athletics, including the last 17 in his current position. The Sun Belt began sponsoring football in 2001 and he also helped found the New Orleans Bowl. He is currently Vice President of the Collegiate Commissioner's Association for the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Archie Manning, the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, recognized each of the 23 student athletes at the event. The winners were chosen from a nominated group of talented scholar athletes from the New Orleans area.

Domenique Nguyen (Ben Franklin H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Three-Year Taylor Award Recipient. Athletic Achievements: Three-Year Letterman, Second Team All-District Linebacker. Additional Comments: Team Captain.

Tang Nguyen (Ben Franklin H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Taylor's Award, Principal's Honor Roll, National Honor Society, ABC 26's Scholar Athlete of the week. Athletic Achievements: Three-Year Letterman, Second Team All-District 2007, First Team All-District 2008, Senior Captain. Extracurricular Achievements: Asian Pacific Club, Big Brother, Peer Assistance Team, IOTA Sigma, Young Republicans.

Devyn Chisholm (Bonnabel H.S.)
Athletic Achievements: All District, Two-Year Letterman. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Senior Football Leadership Council.

Donovan Weatherspoon (Bonnabel H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: All District, Two-Year Letterman. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Senior Football Leadership Council.

Andre Williams (Bonnabel H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: All-District. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Senior Football Leadership Council.

Philip Blitch (Brother Martin H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Alpha Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Academic Letterman. Athletic Achievements: All District Defensive MVP, All Metro, All New Orleans, Defensive Player of the Year, Clarion Herald Elite Team Defensive Player of the Year, All-State. Extracurricular Activities: CYO, Service Work. Additional Comments: Track Letterman, Student Ministries.

Timothy Lala (Jesuit H.S.)
Academic Awards: First Honor Roll (9, 11), Second Honor Roll (10), National Honor Society, First-Place District Literary Rally, Gold Medal- National Latin Exam (9, 10, 11), LSU National Scholars Award. Athletic Awards: Three-Year Letterman, Second Team All-District, Team Captain. Extracurricular Activities: Youth rebuilding New Orleans, Habitat for Humanity, First Baptist Church Summer Camp, JHS Big Brothers, Thanksgiving food drive, over 100 service hours total.

Ian Fitzgerald (Jesuit H.S.)
Academic Awards: Honor Roll four years, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, Centennial Award Scholarship, National Latin Exam Award Scholarship. Athletic Awards: Three-Year Letterman, Second team All-District, Team Captain. Extracurricular Activities: 100 Hours Community Service, Homecoming Court, Rugby, Work Study, Thanksgiving Drive, Columbia Squires, Christian Life Community, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Intramurals, Ping Pong Club, Student Council Rep.

Clifford "Chance" Van Meter (Jesuit H.S.)
Academic Awards: National Honor Society, First Honor Roll, And National Latin Exam: Gold, Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude. Athletic Awards: Three-Year Letterman, four years football, three years track. Extracurricular Activities: 100 hours community service, Beacon of Hope, Big Brothers, Thanksgiving Drive, NHS Tutor, Tour Guide.

Matthew Stansbury (John Curtis)
Academic Achievements: Class Rank: 1, President's Award for Educational Excellence, National Honor Society, multiple awards across different subjects, A� Athlete by Channel 4 News. Athletic Achievements: All-District Football, All-District Baseball, All-District MVP for Baseball, Football State Champion Team Member, 2005, 2006, 2007. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Student Council President 2005-2006, Student Council Vice President 2006-2007.

John Baus (Isidore Newman H.S.)
Academic Awards: Four-Year Honor Roll. Athletic Awards: Three-Year Letterman, Team Captain, Most Valuable Lineman Award. Extracurricular Activities: Student Service Leaders, Relay for Life team captain, Summer Bridge teacher.

Will Langenstein (Isidore Newman H.S.)
Academic Awards: Honor Roll, ABC 26 Scholar Athlete, National Merit Commended Scholar. Athletic Awards: Three-Year Letterman, Second Team All-District, Special Teams MVP, Soccer team, Track Team Captain. Extracurricular Activities: SADD volunteer, Relay for Life member.

Kenneth Robertson (McDonough #35 College Prep)
Academic Achievements: Four years Honor Roll, Top 5% of class. Athletic Achievements: 2008 All-District (10-4A), 2008 Southshore All Star, Three-year Letterman. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Youth and Government Association, Big Brothers, Fellowship Foundation, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Student Council .

Oel Scott (McDonough #35 College Prep)
Academic Achievements: A� Athlete WWL TV, 4 years Honor Society. Athletic Achievements: New Player of the Year '08, Heisman Award Nominee. Extracurricular Activities: Student Council, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta (VP), National Society for Black Engineers, Youth Government Association.

Andrew Cosse (Northshore H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society, Three-Time Panther Achiever, National English Merit Award. Rnaks sixth of 321 students in class. Athletic Achievements: Second Team All District, Selected to the Northshore/Southshore All-Star Game, Three-Year Letterman, All-District Honorable Mention, Baseball: First Team All-District, First Team All-Parish. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Key Club, Alpha Society, Student Council, Varsity Baseball, 2008 Bayou Cleanup, Toys for Tots, Hospice Foundation, Relay for Life, Principal's Advisory Committee.

Chandler Emery (Northshore H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, National Merit Semi-Finalist, Gridiron Scholarship, A� Athlete Award, High Five Award, Panther Achievement, Second in State Advanced Math Literary Rally. Athletic Achievements: Three-Year Letterman, All-District Honorable Mention (Junior Year), Second Team All-District (Senior Year). Extracurricular Activities: Beta Club, Key Club (President), Volunteer at Slidell Memorial Hospital, Student Council, Tulane Science Scholars Program, Junior Engineering Technical Society, Wrestling (Freshman and Sophomore year).

Luke Corass (Archbishop Rummel H.S.)
Academic Awards: National Honor Society, Alpha Honor Roll, Scholastic Achievement Award, Torch Award, Rummel Renaissance Red Card, Fourth-Place District Literary Rally for Advanced Math, Gold Subject awards. Athletic Awards: Letterman. Extracurricular Activities: Mu Alpha Theta, Campus Ministry, Key Club, Operation Head Start, Stats Club.

Andrew O'Dwyer (Archbishop Rummel H.S.)
Academic Awards: Scholarship to Rummel, Torch Award (Top 5 GPA), Honor Roll. Athletic Awards: All District, Scholar Athlete, Two-Year Letterman, Pontchartrain All Star Game. Extracurricular Activities: Big Brothers, FCA, Ambassadors, National Honor Society.

Stephen Gieger (St. Martin's Episcopal H.S.)
Academic Awards: National Honor Society, Honor Roll, Nomination for the Jefferson Scholars Program at UVA, Certificate of Merit AP Biology, Alternate for Biology AP Rally, Alternate for Louisiana Boy's State. Athletic Awards: Team Captain, First Team All District, First Team All-East Bank, First Team All-Metro, District Championship, State Semifinals, Coaches Award Winner, James Burlingame Award, Second Team All District (baseball). Extracurricular Activities: Latin Club President, Admissions Club Tour Guide, Student Council, Baseball clinic volunteer, Noveau Marc Retirement Center.

Greg Blasier (St. Paul's)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society, Honor Roll, Golden Torch Award. Athletic Achievements:  All-District DB 2007-2008, Second Team All-District DB 2008-2009, Four-Year Letterman. Extracurricular Activities: Student Council, Student Hosts, Big Brother, Lasallran Youth Leaders.

Chris Gensler (St. Paul's)
Academic Achievements: Principal's Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Multiple Gold Medals (highest overall grade in subject). Athletic Achievements:  First Team All-District - 2007, 2008, All-Parish Team 2007. Extracurricular Activities: Big Brothers, Church Confirmation Sponsor, Special Olympics Volunteer

Nathan Quick (St. Paul's)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements:  2007-2008, 2008 - 2009 All-District OT, Four-Year Letterman, Team Captain, Northshore All-Star Team. Extracurricular Activities: Big Brothers.

Stephen Mullet (Slidell H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, National Honor Society. Athletic Achievements: Second Team All-District. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Beta Club

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