Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of FameIn January of 2000, the Sugar Bowl Committee took over the title sponsorship of the New Orleans Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. Included in the Bowl's sponsorship of the chapter is the administration of an annual awards banquet held each spring to honor deserving high school football scholar athletes from the metropolitan area. Sugar Bowl Member Archie Manning is the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. To become a member of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, please click here.

The 2014 Scholar-Athlete Luncheon was held on Wednesday, April 9. The highlight of the event was the announcement of four winners of college scholarships from the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

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Thirty-two local high school football players were recognized for their achievements in the classroom and on the football field. The honorees were chosen from a nominated group of talented scholar athletes from the New Orleans area. Archie Manning, the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, recognized each of the 32 student athletes at the event. From that group of 32, four were selected to receive Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarships for $10,000 each. The scholarship winners were chosen based on essays submitted after being notified of their selection as scholar-athletes.

The four scholarship winners were Jack Hebert (Jesuit High School), Tyron McLemore (Bonnabel High School), Jordan Nami (Archbishop Rummel) and Sean O'Brien (Pope John Paul II High School).

Hebert compiled a 4.45 grade-point average and scored a 34 on the ACT, while also being a part of district champion teams in three sports. In his essay, he wrote about work ethic and a desire for excellence, but he also wrote about adversity, from his family losing their home to Katrina, to the recession affecting employment, to serious illness in the family. Throughout it all, his parents were always strong and supportive; and he wanted to say thank you to them by earning the scholarship.

McLemore quoted his father to open his essay - "once you find your passion, your whole world will change." Ten years ago he found that passion on a football field and he kept working and focusing on becoming a great football player. Unfortunately, he lost both his junior and senior seasons to injury. Instead of giving up, he remained a strong supporter of his teammates from the sideline, learning that by helping others reach their goals and by not being selfish, doors would open for him. He plans to attend Southeastern Louisiana in the fall, the first of his family to attend college.

Nami wrote in his essay about being proud of his success on the football field; he won two state championships; as well as his success in the classroom. However, he is most proud to be a big brother to two boys, one who has Autism and one who has Marcus-Gunn Syndrome, which has required eight eye surgeries. Both brothers had been bullied at times due to being "different" but their older brother is always there to stand up for the pair, who he considers his best friends. This fall, he plans to attend LSU; he will also be the first in his family to go to college.

O'Brien has overcome unimaginable adversity - he lost his mother when he was nine years old, followed shortly after by losing his home to Katrina. Then at 12 years old, his father passed away. He wrote, "Life will be filled with challenges and because of what I have been through, I know I will be strong enough to succeed." And succeed he has; he was a four-year football letterman, a three-time all-district selection and a two-time team captain; and he is also a member of the Principal's Honor Roll with a 4.0 grade-point average, a true source of pride for his grandparents who have raised him.

In addition to the high school honorees, two local businessmen were recognized for their contributions to the community and the sport of football.

Jim Henderson (pictured right with Judge Dennis Waldron, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee), a longtime New Orleans sportscaster, was presented with the Contribution to Amateur Football Award. Since taking over as the voice of the New Orleans Saints in the 1980's, Henderson has become the city's most beloved announcer. Faced with the challenge of taking over for the legendary Hap Glaudi on WWL-TV in 1978, Henderson won over fans with his unflappable style, wit and literary prowess to become a broadcasting legend in his own right. Henderson has covered just about every major sport and sporting event in the United States. While few could match his broadcasting talent, his role as the voice of the Saints has cemented Henderson with local sports fans forever. Since joining the Saints radio broadcast team, he has become synonymous with Saints football.

Dennis Lauscha (pictured left with Judge Dennis Waldron, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee), who has served as president of the New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans since 2012, received this year's Distinguished American Award. Lauscha oversees the clubs' financial operations and government affairs as well as its marketing, ticket and suite sales, legal, stadium, community affairs, human resources, information technology and facilities departments. He has been part of the Saints organization for 16 years. Lauscha is a key member of the team that actively pursues future Super Bowls for the City of New Orleans - and was instrumental in landing Super Bowl XLVII, which was played on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He was also part of the Saints' contingent that negotiated the agreement with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on a partnership that continues the club's commitment to the state through 2025.

2014: Scholarships Highlight Allstate Sugar Bowl/NFF Honors Luncheon
2013: Allstate Sugar Bowl and NFF Honor 34 Local Scholar-Athletes
2012: Thirty-Four Local Scholar-Athletes Honored by Sugar Bowl and NFF
2011: Allstate Sugar Bowl and NFF Honor 35 Scholar-Athletes
2010: NFF Honors Local High School Football Players
2009: Talented Class of Honorees at 2009 NFF/College Football Hall of Fame Luncheon
2008: Nineteen Honored at 2008 Football Foundation Luncheon
2007: Sugar Bowl Honors Standouts at 2007 NFF Awards Luncheon
2006: No class recognized due to Hurricane Katrina
2005: Listing of the 2004-05 NFF Scholar Athletes
2004: Listing of the 2003-04 NFF Scholar Athletes

Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the NFF/CFHOF Special Awards

 Year  Contributions to Amateur Football
 Distinguished American
 2014 Jim Henderson, Sports Broadcaster
 Dennis Lauscha, New Orleans Saints
 2013 J.T. Curtis, John Curtis School
 Elliott Hill, Nike North America
 2012 Vince Gibson, Tulane University
 Elliott Laudeman, Sugar Bowl Committee
 2011 Bill Curl, Louisiana Superdome
 Doug Hertz, Tulane University
 2010 Bill Bumgarner, Sportswriter
 Mickey Loomis, New Orleans Saints
 2009  Wright Waters, Sun Belt Conference
 Doug Thornton, SMG (Louisiana Superdome)
 2008  Jerry Romig, Saints/Sugar Bowl
 Tony Biagas, New Orleans City Park
 2007  Skip Bertman, Louisiana State
 Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
 2006  NA  NA
 2005  NA  NA
 2004  Rick Dickson, Tulane University
 Terry Ebbert
 2003  Archie Manning, NFF/Sugar Bowl
 Peter Finney, Times-Picayune
 2002  Don Wattigny
 Tommy Henry, LHSAA
 2001  Ken Trahan, Sports Reporter
 Gene Newton
 2000  Ed Daniels, WGNO-TV
 Tom Benson, New Orleans Saints
 1999  Edward Bravo
 Paul Buckley, Hilton
 1998  Leonard Reis
 James Wilson, Tulane University
 1997  Bobby Conlin, Brother Martin HS
 William Ross
 1996  Jack Salter, Covington HS
 Larry Lundy
 1995  Rev. John T. Curtis, Sr., Curtis School
 Jim Mora, New Orleans Saints
 1994  Roy Glapion, N.O. Public Schools
 Tony Reginelli, Newman HS
 1993  Otis Washington, St. Aug HS
 Pat Taylor
 1990  NA  Bob Roesler, Times-Picayune
 1986  Shelby Fredrichs, Southern Yacht Club
 Tony Porter
 1984  Champ Clark, Sportswriter
 NA
 1984  Capt. Joe Katz, New Orleans
 Kent McWilliams
 1983  Ben Weiner, Tulane University
 NA
 1983  George Kalil, N.O. QB Club
 Stan Kotteman, Tulane/Official/QB Club
 1982  Hap Glaudi, Sports Reporter
 Kenny Konz
 1981  Armand Kitto
 Hank Lauricella, Louisiana Legislator
 1980  John Lynch
 Jim Taylor
 1979  A.B. Nicholas
 NA
 1979  Pie Dufour, Writer
 John Petitbon
 1978  NA  Charles Cusimano
 1978  Marshall David, Sugar Bowl
 Andy Pilney, Tulane University
 1977  Theo Maumus, Sugar Bowl
 NA
 1977  Sam Corenswet, Sugar Bowl
 Hank Lauricella, Louisiana Legislator
 1976  Cliff Kern, Sugar Bowl
 Dr. Rix Yard, Tulane University
 1971  Ike Carriere
 Lester Lautenschlaeger