Rebel quartet highlights awards banquet

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 5, 2011



Four Riverside athletes were awarded top honors as Ricardo Gathers, Darnell Rachal, Shea LaFountain and Kristy Milioto shared the spotlight at the school’s recent athletic banquet.

Gathers was named the school’s Male Athlete of the Year. Rachal was tabbed as Riverside’s “Mr. Rebel.” And LaFountain and Milioto shared the crown of Female Athlete of the Year.

Gathers, a 6-foot-8-inch, 240 pound basketball forward, earned the Athlete of the Year honor after a season in which the junior was one of the most decorated athletes in all of Louisiana. Already a two-time state championship game MVP, Gathers earned that honor for a third time after helping to lead the Rebels to a second consecutive state title. He was also named the MVP of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic tournament, the overall MVP of Class 2A, the Gatorade Louisiana Player of the Year, Louisiana’s Mr. Basketball, and L’Observateur’s St. John Parish MVP.

He averaged over 20 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks and a steal each game.

“Rico was just totally dominant in his sport,” said Riverside athletic director Timmy Byrd. “Being named the Gatorade Player of the Year for the state in any class, in addition to his honors in 2A, was the tipping point in his favor when the coaches had to decide. He was tremendous.”

Rachal, a senior, was the triggerman for Riverside’s high-octane spread offense on the gridiron last fall, and the quarterback put up record setting numbers as he was named Class 2A’s MVP and the co-MVP of St. John Parish by L’Observateur. Riverside averaged 41.5 points per game and scored 40 points or more in 10 of their 13 games. Rachal passed for 1,587 yards and 15 touchdowns to go with four interceptions. He piled up 1,789 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns, giving him 48 total over the course of the season and all but rewriting the Rebel record books.

“Darnell had a dominating year on the football field, being named MVP of Class 2A,” said Byrd. “Even so, Mr. Rebel isn’t awarded just based on your play on the field, but who you are off the field, who you are from a character standpoint. And Darnell is someone who did well on the academic side, never gives anyone trouble, and has been a great role model for others in our school. He’s very well-liked by all and is very deserving of the honor.”

LaFountain and Milioto were each multi-sport stars that earned plenty of accolades this past season. Each were senior anchors on the volleyball and softball teams respectively. LaFountain also starred on the track and field team, while Milioto stood out in basketball.

The two were named district co-MVP’s in volleyball after leading Riverside to a 27-8 record and a trip to the state volleyball tournament. LaFountain was named L’Observateur’s Parish MVP for the second consecutive season after again establishing herself as one of the state’s most feared hitters, averaging 12 kills a match. Milioto tallied 350 kills on the season and nine digs a match.

Both were named All-District in softball. LaFountain finished second in state in the indoor high jump event. Milioto was honorable mention All-District in basketball.

“Both have meant so much to our program, it was too difficult to pick one and leave the other out,” said Riverside girls athletic director Kristy Hebert. “They play three sports and they were leaders. They contributed in such a positive way. The coaching staff as a whole just felt both of them deserved to be honored.”