FCA honors Comets Arceneaux

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2001

Michael Kiral

NEW ORLEANS – The River Parishes has a history with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes that dates back to the 1970s.
Through those years, the area has been rewarded for that relationship with a number of local players earning awards and scholarships.
That tradition continued Friday as St. Charles Catholics Matt Arceneaux received the Nokia Sugar Bowl Football Player of the Year Award at the 32nd FCA Annual Nokia Sugar Bowl Breakfast held at the New Orleans Hilton Riverside.
The breakfast featured a talk by former Nebraska head football coach and current United States Congressman Tom Osborne. Other speakers included Florida head football coach Steve Spurrier and team captain Alex Willis and Miami (Fla.) head coach Butch Davis and the Hurricanes Daryl Jones.
Arceneaux became the 10th River Parishes athlete to earn the award in its 30-year history and the fifth St. Charles Catholic player. Other Comets to have won it were Wade Cooper (1985), Dustan Louque (1989), Rodney Rocconi (1990) and Toby Cortez (1991). Lutchers Chris Calderera, Kevin Ragas, Brad Zeller and Dwayne Jenkins (1996) and Destrehans Tommy Ellis also received the award.
“I was awestruck,” Arceneaux, who was presented the award by former Tulane player and current Mandeville mayor Eddie Price, said. “I never would have thought in a million years that it would be me. Im just pleased to get the opportunity to meet coach Osborne and coach Spurrier and coach Davis. It feels good to be recognized.”
Dr. Benny Jones, the Louisiana State Director for FCA, gave an update on FCA in the New Orleans area and around the state.
Jones talked about growing up in Dallas with his father a preacher. But he said it never really struck him what church was supposed to be all about until he went to a retreat in the 10th grade. There, he was challenged that if the bus tipped over and everybody died, what would happen to him.
“I gave myself to Christ after that,” Jones said. “Ive been involved in FCA and it has been great. I urge everybody to stay with FCA. Dont be afraid to be a Christian.”
Willis talked about how he was slowly making football his God before suffering a high ankle sprain.
“I had lost my purpose of playing football and that was to give glory to God. It let me realize the important thing in life. You have to make God first and foremost in your life.”
Osborne talked about the Apostle Paul and his teachings that can be related to athletics.
“If you put God first, your life will have a sense of purpose and a sense of meaning; a sense of assurance and stability; it will give you the strength and courage to do what you have to do; and you will learn what grace is.”