Rams receive 2A title rings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / May 24, 2000

EDGARD – West St. John celebrated its Class 2A basketball championship inthe gym where it all began Monday night.

The Rams received their championship rings at a Ring Ceremony at West St.

John Gymnasium. West St. John defeated Coushatta, 84-71, to capture itsfirst state basketball title in March at the Cajundome in Lafayette.

Receiving rings were head coach Antoine Edwards; assistant coach Lennix Madere; players Brian Lumar, Jeremy Lumar, Marlon Jackson, Donriel Louis, Dwayne Bastain, Amone Lumar, Carl Gauthier, Tremaine Nathan, Coy Miller, Davin Farnell, Devin Herbert, Kermit Bethancourt and Lionel Howard; statisticians Nikki Joseph and Donnie Roybiskie Jr.; principal Glenda Gaudetand assistant principal Sheila Louper.

A number of honored guests were on hand, including former player Dale Savoie; former coach Rudolph Dinvault; former principal Leroy Keller; school superintendent Chris Donaldson; parish president Nickie Monica; school board member Leroy Mitchell; and Charles Bailey of the New Orleans Saints.

The guest speaker was St. Augustine head basketball coach Bernard Griffith.Griffith has coached at St. Augustine since 1990, leading the team to fourstate titles, 11 district titles and the national championship in 1995. He hasbeen named state coach of the year four times and the national coach of the year in 1995. In that time, he has had 63 of his players sign collegescholarships.

Griffith talked about how basketball was only a tool to get them to greater lengths, reading a poem that he reads to his teams every season. He pointedout how the coaches did a great job and not only on the basketball court.

“Being a state champion is a three-dimensional thing – your past, your present and your future,” Griffith said. “You didn’t win the statechampionship that night in the Cajundome. You won it the first day in schoolwhen you made a commitment to be a student and an athlete.

“And the best thing about being a state champion is your future. You will be arole model. Everybody will be looking up to you. With a championship comesresponsibility. You have to stay positive. You are a leader of the school andof the parish. You have a lot more goals ahead of you and the lessons youlearned when you won and loss will benefit you for the remainder of your lives.”Savoie also reminded the players of their responsibilities, saying that they need to take the lessons they learned into the rest of their lives.

“Somebody is always watching you,” Savoie said. “Come back and givesomething back to your community.”Donaldson offered congratulations to both the players and their parents, saying they brought pride to St. John Parish.”You showed on the court the skills you will need in the future,” Donaldson said. “You won because you played as a team.”A highlight tape of the championship game was featured and Ronnie Ursin sung a tribute to the team. The booster club also presented plaques to theteam members and coaches.

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