Rebels’ kicker forced to watch championship win from sideline

Published 12:02 am Saturday, December 10, 2016

RESERVE — It was the day after Riverside Academy defeated St. Charles Catholic for the Division III football state championship and Elliott Veron, a senior member of the Rebels team, felt it all over.

While he was certainly elated with his team’s win, he also was very sore and tired.

Elliott, who was the Rebels kicker and H-back this season, never played a down, though.

He spent the whole day hobbling after his teammates on a pair of crutches.

On Oct. 28, the night Riverside beat Country Day in Metairie, Elliott stepped in a hole while making a block.


Veron stand next to celebratory balloons that are decorating the Riverside hallways this week.

“I guess I planted my foot wrong and my body kind of fell down and my leg stayed planted,” he said. “It just kind of grinded left and right.”

Although he walked off the field that night, Elliott had torn the ACL and the meniscus in his right knee. His season was over. He had surgery Thanksgiving week and will need at least six months to make a full recovery.

Not only did he lose the last part of his senior season of football, he also will miss all of the upcoming soccer season.

“It’s rough,” he said. “Sports is, like, my whole life. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Soccer is my favorite. I love soccer. It’s what I’m best at.”

He had used his soccer skills to become Riverside’s place kicker this year and also earned a spot on the Rebels’ offense.

Elliott, the son of Neil and Valerie Veron of LaPlace, had grown up in a sports household. His older brother, Evan, was a starting linebacker for the Rebels and played in last year’s championship game.

He was a starter this year for Nicholls State University.

“It’s awesome,” Elliott said. “I love going to watch him play.”

Evan was in the Superdome Friday afternoon to support his former teammates and his little brother as they took on their biggest rival in the biggest game of the year.

“He had always been kind of in the shadow of his brother, Evan,” Riverside coach Bill Stubbs said. “That makes it difficult, but he was really coming into his own as an H-back for us.”

After the injury, Stubbs said he encouraged Elliott to stay with the team.

“I pulled him aside and I told him, ‘You are a part of this team. Even if you can’t bring it, you can still bring something.’ And he did. He was at every practice on his crutches. I know it was hard for him.”

It was hard for Elliott to be in the Superdome last week, as well.

“The emotions kind of took over,” he said. “During pre-game, it was getting kind of rough because, normally, I’d be kicking and warming up. Not being able to do that kind of got to me. But once we got back into the locker room I was OK.”

When the team came out for the last time before the game, Elliott got a huge surprise when his teammate, Cameron Cook, gave up his spot as a captain so Elliott could go to midfield for the coin toss.

“He did that completely unsolicited,” Stubbs said. “That’s one of the reasons why this team was so special this year.”

Elliott did hobble out to midfield before the game, then spent the next several hours on the sideline, leaning on his crutches. He also managed to follow the team through its post-game celebration and even got to hoist the trophy.

“It was so great to be there with everybody,” he said. “I knew we were going to win. I knew my team was going to play hard. I was just trying to be there for my team and keep a positive attitude for everybody.”

Now, however, Elliott is feeling the letdown.

“I’ve always been so busy,” he said. “I’ve always got something to do after school. Now that football is over, I’ve got nothing to do after school. I really don’t know what to do with myself.”