LSU’s Jackson & Johnson, Tulane’s Lumar honored at WSJE
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 13, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
West St. John elementary school recently honored three of its former athletes that now shine on the big stage of the NCAA.
LSU’s Tyson Jackson and Quinn Johnson and Tulane’s Joshua Lumar all returned to the school for its athletic banquet on Monday night, and were each presented with a plaque commemorating what they’ve given back to the school and their accomplishments at the next level.
“It really touches my heart,” said Martin Sylvain, who coached all three in Biddy Basketball, as well as doing so as an assistant on the WSJ football team. “To have one of them at Tulane, and two others go on to win a national title is wonderful. They’re on the road to graduation, and are great role models for these kids.”
The three led West St. John High to a Class 2A state championship in 2003. Johnson currently starts at fullback for LSU as a junior. Jackson, a sophomore, is one of the Tigers’ starting defensive ends, while Lumar is about to enter his senior year as a starting defensive back at Tulane.
Fresh off their BCS title win, Johnson and Jackson were able to show off their rings and take photos with those present at the event.
Johnson said that making an impact with the kids at the school is something he takes seriously.
“It means a lot to me,” Johnson said. “It’s good to come back and show that it isn’t impossible to make it. The opportunities are there, it’s just about how bad you want it.”
“I enjoy coming back, and trying to do my best to motivate and give advice,” he said.
Lumar, meanwhile, was the special guest speaker at the event, where he stressed the importance of dedication to one’s craft and perseverance.
“When you work hard at something, you’re dedicated to it,” Lumar said during his speech. “And when you are dedicated to something, you work hard at it.
“If you have a goal, pursue it. And don’t give it up.”
Lumar said that he was inspired to speak by his brother, and the other athletes that spoke to him as a youth when he attended these banquets.
“They’d talk to us, and from that experience I know that it inspires them,” Lumar said. “It can help keep them on the right track, and show them a way out.”
And if they’re lucky, that way out could include the ultimate athletic prize at the college level.
“I’m still on a high right now,” Jackson said of LSU’s title win. “I can’t even really explain it. Once the first game comes against Appalachian State, I’ll be ready to come down and focus on 2008.”