Coming home a champion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 2, 2011

By David Vitrano and Nyla Smith


WALLACE – Edgard native Quinn Johnson continued his winning streak Saturday as scores of supporters gathered under clear skies to honor the athlete.

The parish staged a parade through the streets of the west bank in recognition of Johnson’s achieving a Super Bowl championship with his team, the Green Bay Packers. Parish officials such as Parish President Natalie Robottom, Clerk of Court Eliana DeFrancesch and members of the St. John Council and School Board as well as Johnson and members of his family rolled through neighborhoods in Edgard, Lucy and Wallace tossing beads and cups, magnets and even chocolates emblazoned with the fullback’s image to the crowds of supporters.

The close-knit nature of the west bank community was apparent in the crowd that assembled in the shadow of the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Wallace, where the parade ended.

“We’re here to support the family,” said Renell Raphael of Edgard. “We are all from the same community and went to the same schools, so we know each other.”

Of course, many in the crowd knew Johnson better than others. Flora Donald of Vacherie, who waited for the parade’s arrival for more than two hours, was Johnson’s third-grade teacher.

Said Donald, “I’m here to support Quinn in his future endeavors with football, and I hope he goes to the Super Bowl again next year.”

The parade itself was a short but joyous affair, and it ultimately provided yet another opportunity for residents of the west bank to celebrate their community.

“I loved the parade, and everything was really nice,” said Clara Edwards, owner of CRS Snowball Stand and Restaurant in Wallace. “We all grew up together and came out to support Quinn.”

After the parade, a reception in Johnson’s honor was held at West St. John High School.