Robinson, Smith headline ‘Hall’ class

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 13, 2008

 One of the greatest college football coaches of all time and a two-time Super Bowl champion highlight the Class of 2007 of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame.

This year’s inductees include: former Grambling football Head Coach Eddie Robinson, defensive end Neil Smith, playing and coaching great Billy Fitzgerald, football and track star Joe Heap and baseball coach Joe Brockhoff. Robinson will be inducted posthumously.

All-American record-setting running back Matt Forte of Tulane and LSU women’s basketball All-American Sylvia Fowles are the recipients of the prestigious James J. Corbett Memorial Awards for 2007. The Corbett Award was created in 1967 to commemorate the many contributions to intercollegiate athletics and the Sugar Bowl by the late administrator, who was the Athletic Director at LSU at the time of his death.

The 2007 Special Award winners are the UNO Baseball Team and the Delgado Community College Baseball Team, each who overcame adversities following the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Both teams’ fields were severely damaged after the storm, but Coach Tom Walter’s Privateers and Joe Scheuermann’s Dolphins posted highly successful seasons. UNO advanced to the NCAA Tournament and beat eventual regional champion Wichita State, while the Delgado squad advanced to the Junior College World Series for the first time in 22 years.

Forte, who was a second-round NFL Draft selection by the Chicago Bears, also earned the Outstanding Male Amateur Award for the Greater New Orleans area. He was a back-to-back winner of the Athlete of the Month Award in September and October. Fowles was the second overall pick in the WNBA Draft by the Chicago Sky.

Yearly award winners for 2007 are: Les Miles, LSU Football –  Outstanding College Coach, State of Louisiana; Hubie Collins, Jesuit Soccer – Outstanding Prep Coach, State of Louisiana; Ken Oberkfell, New Orleans Zephyrs Baseball – Outstanding Pro Coach, State of Louisiana; Matt Forte, Tulane Football – Outstanding Male Amateur, Greater New Orleans; Trenese Smith, Loyola Basketball – Outstanding Female Amateur, Greater New Orleans; Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts – Outstanding Pro, Greater New Orleans; Robby Albarado, Jockey – Outstanding Pro, State of Louisiana; Ashley Brignac, John Curtis Softball –  Outstanding Prep Player, State of Louisiana.

Athlete of the Month award winners for the 2007-2008 year are: June – Kevin Berry, Brother Martin Baseball; July – Matty Ott, Holy Cross/Ponstein’s Baseball; August – Jerad Comarda, New Orleans Booster Baseball; September – Matt Forte, Tulane Football; October – Matt Forte, Tulane Football, and Rhegan Whollerman, Newman Volleyball; November – Meggie Schmidt, Sacred Heart Cross Country and Swimming; December – Damaris Johnson, Destrehan Football; January – Breanna Turner,  De LaSalle Basketball; February – Bo Mc Calebb, UNO Basketball; March – Greg Monroe, Helen Cox Basketball; April – Meghan Patterson, Mount Carmel Softball.