Holy Rosary High School Boys Track2012 Eddie Robinson Award

The fourth annual winner of the Eddie Robinson Award was the Holy Rosary High School Boys Track Team. Holy Rosary opened its doors on the banks of a sleepy Bayou St. John in August 2005 and did not become members of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association until recently. Because of its small enrollment, designed to give students individual attention to help them experience academic success and believe in themselves in their quest to receive a college preparatory education, the LHSAA placed the New Orleans school in its lowest classification of competition, Class C. And being on the bottom rung of the sports ladder, the school and athletic director Nick Accardo has asked its athletes to achieve success with few amenities.

With few resources other than the burning desire to win, the 2012 boys' track and field team, just six athletes strong, achieved an incredible second-place finish in the state track championship meet on May 5 in Baton Rouge. The Bulldogs won three events and finished second in four others. Hackberry won the team title with 83 points, but the Holy Rosary boys scored 66 to edge Family Christian for second place.

Its performance not only put it on the medal stand with the state runner-up trophy, but earned the team the coveted Eddie Robinson Award. Coach Robinson was the epitome of the very best in college athletics, and so it is in this spirit the Allstate Sugar Bowl presents annually an award to an athlete, coach, team or athletic administrator in the state of Louisiana who has demonstrated the qualities most closely associated with Coach Robinson: outstanding achievement in athletics, academics, sportsmanship, and citizenship by maximizing the use of limited resources.

Accardo started the track and field program by taking a handful of students to a grassy field in City Park on which he used paint to lay out a 200-meter track. He added an area designated as a shot-put and javelin throwing field. The coach scheduled them in two local and a few junior varsity meets in the Baton Rouge area. They took their small team to the state regional meet and qualified six individuals for the state championships.

Stephen Landry's 122-feet javelin throw gave Holy Rosary its first two points. The runners did the rest. Dathennile Parker won the 400 and 200-meter dashes and finished second in the 100-meter dash. Michael Alphonse placed second in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs. Then the two joined teammates  James Nethery and Qaadhee Carter to win the final event, the 3,200-meter relay. Those final 10 points gave Holy Rosary its silver trophy, which is proudly displayed in the school's showcase.


Story submitted by Ron Brocato of the Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee.

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