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Allstate Sugar Bowl and National Football Foundation To Honor 34 Student-Athletes

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame will hold its 2012 Awards Luncheon in the Claiborne Room of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Wednesday, April 11 at 11:45 a.m.

The event will honor 34 local high school football players for their achievements in the classroom and on the football field. Four of the student-athletes being honored will be selected to receive Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarships for $10,000 each. In addition, two honorees will be recognized for their contributions to the community and the sport of football.

Elliott Laudeman, the longest-tenured active member of the Sugar Bowl Committee, will be presented with the Distinguished American Award. This honor is presented to a person who has made significant contributions to the betterment of amateur football in America. Laudeman, who was elected to the Sugar Bowl membership in 1957, served as the President of the organization in 1985, and remains very active in the group, which has provided the region an economic impact of over $2 billion in the last decade alone. In 1967, Laudeman was integral in the establishment of the New Orleans Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame and through the years, his tireless work for the NFF kept the chapter strong. In 2000, his association with the organization was further strengthened as the Sugar Bowl took over sponsorship of the local chapter.

Vince Gibson, who served as the head football coach at Kansas State, Louisville and Tulane, will receive the Contribution to Amateur Football Award. Gibson, who played football at Florida State University, went into coaching immediately after graduating in 1955. His first position was at South Georgia College as the only assistant coach for future Hall-of-Famer Bobby Bowden. He left South Georgia to coach at his alma mater, laying the groundwork for Bowden to eventually join the Seminole staff. After a three-year stint at Tennessee, Gibson took over the head position at Kansas State, bringing the Wildcat program to respectability, including its  first winning season since 1954, its first national ranking in history,  and its first wins over Nebraska and Oklahoma in many years. He also directed both Louisville and Tulane to bowl appearances before retiring in 1982. He remained in New Orleans where he passed away this January after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 78.

Archie Manning, the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, will recognize each of the 34 student athletes at the event. The winners were chosen from a nominated group of talented scholar athletes from the New Orleans area.

Douglas Hartigan (Archbishop Hannan H.S.)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society Member (three years), 3.5 Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Team co-captain, first-team all-district, District 6 LA center, Outstanding Offensive Performance, three-year letterman at both center and defensive tackle. Extracurricular Activities: Habitat for Humanity (four years). Future Plans: To attend Mississippi College and plans to major in physics.

Keith Accardo (Archbishop Rummel H.S.)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society. Athletic Achievements: Two-year starter at linebacker, team captain, squadsman on 2009 state finalist, district champion, two-year letterman. Extracurricular Activities: Operation Headstart, Big Brothers. Future Plans: To attend LSU.

Dominick Bilich (Archbishop Rummel H.S.)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, Principals Honor Roll, Top 5% of Senior Class, Academic All-State. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman at offensive line, all-state, all-metro, all-district. Extracurricular Activities: Operation Headstart, Big Brothers, Raider Ambassadors. Future Plans: To attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on an athletic scholarship.

Charlston Britton, Jr. (Benjamin Franklin H.S.)
Academic Achievements: National Achievement Scholarship Program Outstanding Participant, Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Award, Benjamin Franklin High School Science Fair (second place), Norman L. Koonce FAIA Scholarship, Tiger Excellence Resident Award Scholarship. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman as a center, linebacker, defensive end and long snapper, all-conference offensive lineman. Extracurricular Activities:  Invisible Children's Club, Youth Rebuilding New Orleans, Key Club, Black Culture Club, Val Love Alive Mass Choir, tutor. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Jesse Calico (Benjamin Franklin H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Award (four years), National Spanish Exam, honor roll, New Orleans Posse Scholarship Foundation semifinalist. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman at safety and wide receiver, offensive MVP 2011, second-team all-district, also team captain for basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Political campaign for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Celebration Church volunteer. Future Plans: To attend either the Air Force Academy or Tulane.

Terry Morris, Jr. (Benjamin Franklin H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Award (four years). Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman and starter at strong safety and outside linebacker, Rudy Award for Outstanding Leadership (two years). Extracurricular Activities: Volunteer at local homeless shelter. Future Plans: To attend LSU.

Daniel LaRocca (Covington H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Four-year A-B Honor Roll, National Honor Society, 3.5 Award, leadership class. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman and starter on the offensive and defensive line, first-team all-district (twice), Most Unselfish Award from team, also a four-year letterman in power lifting, broke a 28-year old record for total weight lifted. Extracurricular Activities: Volunteered at food bank, active in church youth group, volunteer with the Special Olympics, tutoring. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Joseph Francis Palmisano, Jr. (East Jefferson H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll (four years), Principal Scholars (four years). Athletic Achievements: Team captain, four-year letterman and starter, all-district running back, team Coaches Award, also all-district 4 X 100m relay team. Extracurricular Activities: Teach Sunday School, Big Brother with special need kids, tutor students and volunteer for Natural Disaster Shelters. Future Plans: To attend Northwestern State University.

Terrance Howard (Edna Karr H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Tops, honor roll. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman, two-time district champion and state finalist. Future Plans: To attend Langston University.

Conner W. Smith (Fontainebleau H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Academic all-state, Junior Class Academic Award. Athletic Achievements:  Team captain, two-year letterman and starter at quarterback, honorable mention all-district 2011, Quarterback Coach's Award, Workhouse Award, Highest GPA Award. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Top Dawg Little Dawg, Bulldog Buddies. Future Plans: College is undecided.

John C. Hooper, III (Holy Cross H.S.)
Academic Achievements: High Honors, National Honor Society, Great American Rivalry Series Student-Athlete, Tiger Award (two years), Academic All-State. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, four-year letterman and starter at linebacker, two-time all-district, All-State Honorable Mention (two years), also a four-year letterman and three-year starter in basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Student Body President, Key Club, Peer Ministry, Eucharistic Minister, Go M.A.D. (Make A Difference) for the coast, 100-plus Volunteer Hours for T.C.A.C. Athletics. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Taj Smith (Holy Cross H.S.)
Academic Achievements: High Honors, National Honor Society, Tiger Award, National Society of High School Scholars, Academic All-State in football and wrestling. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year starter, all-district, also a three-year starter and team captain in wrestling, state third-place finish in wrestling. Extracurricular Activities: Go M.A.D. (Make A Difference) for the coast, Eucharistic Minister, Peer Ministry. Future Plans: To attend Tuskegee University.

Saunders Alpaugh (Isidore Newman H.S.)
Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman and three-year starter, all-district (two years), all-metro, second-team all-state, also a three-year starter in baseball and basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Relay for Life. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Rhett Reynolds (Jesuit H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll nine consecutive semesters; National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society; Tops; Louisiana State Tiger Excellence Award Scholarship, highest GPA on football team. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman and starter, all-district cornerback 2010, undefeated District Champion Team, Jesuit H.S. Wendy's Heisman All-American Award. Extracurricular Activities: Big Brother, Prolife, usher for mass, tutor students for National Honor Society, service hours. Future Plans: To attend LSU.

Paul Stanton (Jesuit H.S.)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society, Louisiana All-State Academic Football Team, 2011 Italian-American Scholar Athlete of the Year, WGNO ABC Friday Night Football Scholar of the Week. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman, all-state running back, all-metro, all-district, Louisiana High School & New Orleans Saint Player of the Week, New Orleans Quarterback Club Prep Player of the Week, WGNO Radio 990 Prep Player of the Week, Clarion-Herald Newspaper Elite Football Team, WWL-TV Prep Player of the Week, New Orleans Times Picayune Prep Athlete of the Week. Extracurricular Activities: St. Michael's Special School Service Volunteer (100 hours), Jesuit Big Brother, Special Olympics Volunteer. Future Plans: To attend Harvard University.

Alex Yacoubian (Jesuit H.S.)
Academic Achievements: National Merit-Commended, National Honor Society, French Honor Society, National French Exam Standout (four years), Louisiana High School Rally: multiple honors, including first-place awards in French, American History and English, Louisiana Academic All-State Football Team. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman and two-year starter, all-district (two years), WGNO-ABC Friday Night Football Scholar-Athlete, Wendy's High School Heisman Award nominee, also lettered in basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Christian Life Community (four years), French Club (four years), Jesuit High School Homecoming Honors Court, New Orleans Sports School for Underprivileged Children, Special Olympics Counselor. Future Plans: To play football at Washington & Lee University.

Caleb G. Gestes (John Curtis Christian School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society (three years), Literary Rally participant (three years), Science & Math Award, Louisiana Academic All-State Football Team, representative for state at national science competition (three years). Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman on the offensive line. Extracurricular Activities: Class President (three years), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (three years), Interact Club with positive mentoring program at John Clancy Elementary School; active member of Coliseum Place Baptist Church. Future Plans: To attend Texas A&M.

Brett J. Salomon (John Curtis Christian School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society (three years), Literary Rally participant (three years). Athletic Achievements:  Three-year letterman on the offensive line. Extracurricular Activities: Youth Leadership Award from Rotary Club; Neuroscience Camp at Tulane University; STAR Program at Ochsner (six-week internship in the research lab); Interact Club and Positive Mentoring program at John Clancy Elementary School. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Pierson Villarrubia (Lakeshore H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, Academic Endorsement. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman and starter, first-team all-district, also lettered in basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Broadcast Team, Film-Making, and Basketball Team. Future Plans: Has signed to play football at Washington State University.

Warren Mack (L.W. Higgins H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Art Award, Southeastern Louisiana University early start program member. Athletic Achievements: Team co-captain, three-year letterman, Jefferson Parish All-Star Team, second-team all-district, also lettered in track (shot put). Extracurricular Activities: Black History Club, Southern University early start program. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Michael Evans (Lusher Charter School)
Academic Achievements: National Achievement Semifinalist, AP Scholar (Human Geography, U.S. History, Psychology, Physics, Calculus). Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year starter at quarterback, all-district, team scoring leader, also lettered in basketball (team captain) and baseball. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Garrett Dinicola (Mandeville H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Academic All-State. Athletic Achievements: Three-year Letterman, Best Offensive Skills at Southeast Showcase Combine, team MVP and first-team all-district/all-parish in track. Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Big Brother, Life on Purpose, XL Youth Group. Future Plans: To attend Mississippi College.

Parker Hufft (Metairie Park Country Day)
Academic Achievements: AP Scholar Award, Patrick F. Taylor Award for Academic Achievement. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman, all-district, district defensive MVP, all-state, all-metro, Country Day Tri-Athlete Award. Extracurricular Activities: Admissions Office Ambassador, Peer Mentor, Family Service of New Orleans, National Young Leaders Conference, Youth Group Representative, Anti-Defamation League, Habitat for Humanity. Future Plans: College is undecided.

John Karlin (Metairie Park Country Day)
Academic Achievements: National Merit Commended Scholar, AP Scholar with Honors, New Orleans Literary Rally. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman as a safety and kick returner, all-district defensive back, also a two-time all-district selection in track. Extracurricular Activities:  New Orleans Medial Mission, Krewe of Barkus volunteer, Senior Class Treasurer. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Reid Shorter (Northlake Christian)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll (four years), National Honor Society (four years). Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman, all-district (two tears), Coaches Award, started at right tackle and blocked for a 2000-yard rusher. Extracurricular Activities: Student Council Vice President. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Steven Gaines (Northshore H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor roll (four years), Northshore Gridiron scholarship, LHSAA Academic All-State Team. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman at quarterback, honorable mention all-district (two years), Team MVP, Player of the Week (three times). Extracurricular Activities: FCA, Boys State, Northshore High Ambassador. Future Plans: To attend Southeastern Louisiana.

Cameron Dean (Pope John Paul Catholic H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Principal's Honor Roll, Honor Roll, Academic Star. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman and two-year starter at linebacker, first-team all-district, Coach's Award, also all-district in power lifting. Extracurricular Activities: Boy Scouts (eagle scout), Reheat Team (youth group), St. Margaret Mary Church. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Alex Edward Ramirez  (Pope John Paul Catholic H.S.)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society, Principal's Honor Roll, Honor Roll (four years), Academic All-State, PJP Alumni Scholarship 2011, Honors English, Math, Science & Social Studies (four years). Athletic Achievements: Team captain, three-year letterman and starter on both offensive and defensive line, honorable mention all-state at offensive line, first-team all-district offensive line (two years), all-district defensive line (two years), selected as district's top lineman, Scholar Athlete of the Week, Prep Player of the Week NOLA, also a three-year letterman in baseball, twice earning all-district recognition. Extracurricular Activities: PJP Eucharistic Ministers, volunteer for fundraisers at St. Margaret Mary School and Church (four years). Future Plans: College is undecided.

Chris Gulino (Salmen H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Boys State, National Honor Society, Secretary Beta Club, President A-Plus Athlete. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman as a kicker and punter, first-team all-state, Special Teams Player of the Year, all-district in soccer (three years). Extracurricular Activities: Beta Club. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Brandon Delahoussaye (Saint Paul's H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Principal's Honor Roll (two years), National Honor Society, Academic All-State, Gold Medals in Algebra (two years), Silver Medal in American History. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman, first-team all-district linebacker, honorable mention all-state, WWL Prep Player of the Week. Extracurricular Activities:  National Honor Society Secretary, Sociedad Honoraria Hispanica Chapter Secretary/Treasurer, Mu Alpha Theta, Big Brother, Spanish Club, Habitat for Humanity, Student Council, Powerlifting. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Gabe Emerson (Saint Paul's H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Composite Academic All-State, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Honor Roll (four years). Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman, first-team all-district. Extracurricular Activities: Eagle Scout. Future Plans: To attend Georgia Tech.

Dane Stubbs (Saint Paul's H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll (four years), National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, National Merit Commended Scholar, Golden Torch (four years), Gold and Silver Class Medals. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, four-year letterman and two-year starter at cornerback, all-district, all-metro, all-state, Clarion Herald Elite Team, also lettered in baseball. Extracurricular Activities: Big Brother, Student Host. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Reed Wilson (Saint Paul's H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Principal's Honor Roll (three years), Golden Torch Award Recipient for Extracurricular & Academic Achievement (three years), National Merit Commendation, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Wendy's High School Heisman Nominee. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman, all-district on both offense and defense. Extracurricular Activities: Big Brother, volunteer with St. Andrew's Village. Future Plans: College is undecided.

Troy Cooper (Thomas Jefferson H.S.)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll (three years), National Honor Society, Tops. Athletic Achievements: Team captain, four-year letterman, all-district (two years), team MVP. Extracurricular Activities: Honor Roll Group. Future Plans: To attend LSU.

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