Rayne's LaCroix among high school boxing Hall of Famers
Listed among inaugural class of boxing honorees
By Louis Bonnette
The induction of the inaugural class of the Louisiana High School Boxing Hall of Fame will be held Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in Sunset by the sponsoring Louisiana High School Boxing Association.
The event, which will take place at the Event Center in Sunset, will be open to the public and will also serve as a boxing reunion. A reception will get things started at 2 p.m. and the induction ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. with a post ceremony reception to following at 4:30 p.m.
The cost is $15 a person with all former Louisiana high school boxers invited to attend along with their families and friends, as well as any other sports fans. More information on the event can be obtained from LHSBA president Bobby Dupre (337-945-4010).
The boxing association was recently formed to honor athletes who participated in the sport in the Louisiana high school ranks from 1931 to 1958, three centuries when boxing was one of the state’s most popular sports, standing toe to toe with football and filling high school gyms with the greatest fights and fighters in prep boxing history.
The state boxing tournaments were sanctioned and directed by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA).
A total of 32 are in the first Hall of Fame class, 28 boxers, three coaches and one contributor.
Heading up the boxers who will be honored are six four time state champions who also won the Brink Trophy as the outstanding boxer in the state tournament.
Those are Linden Bonner (Morgan City High), Carl Williams (LaGrange High of Lake Charles), Harold Hebert (Milton High), Bobby Soileau (Sacred Heart High of Ville Platte), Ronald Fremin (New Iberia High) and Buddy Chatagnier (St. Edmunds High of Eunice).
Other four time state champions to be honored are Sammy Bono (Lake Charles High), Shelby DuPont (Plaquemine High), Tommy Gascon (Plaquemine High), Frank Scimeca (Istrouma High of Baton Rouge), William Viator (New Iberia High) and Martin LaCroix (St. Joseph High of Rayne).
Three time state champions who also won the Brink Trophy named to the first honored list are Charles Peterson (Opelousas High), Robert Boudreaux (Milton High), Gilliam McLane (St. Edmunds High of Eunice) and Sidney Turner (Milton High) while other three time state champions going in are Edwin Ourso (Plaquemine High), Clarence Cook (Oak Grove High), Harold Bailey (New Iberia High), Larry Hollier (Mamou High), Leroy O’Brien (New Iberia High), Gerald Boudreaux (Plaquemine High), George Bourque (Opelousas High) and Terrona Guillory (Mamou High).
Also to be inducted are Lamar Hankins (Oak Grove High), a two time state champion who is the only boxer to win two Brink Trophies, and Heston Daniels (Plaquemine High), Pat Pastor (Cathedral High of Lafayette) and Floyd East (Landry High of Lake Charles), boxers who won two state titles as well as a Brink Trophy.
Coaches selected were Sam Distefano Jr. who won five state titles at Plaquemine High, Albert DuPont who led Plaquemine High to four championships and Baston Dugas who coached New Iberia High to four state crowns.
Lt. Francis G. Brink, the first boxing coach at LSU who is known as the “father of high school boxing” for creating, organizing and promoting the first high school boxing tournament, will also be inducted.