Meet Riverside’s biggest fans: The Rusty Rebels
Published 12:27 am Wednesday, February 2, 2022
RESERVE — No one has more Riverside pride than the Rusty Rebels.
This group of seasoned fans can be found perched in the bleachers of just about every basketball and football game. Announcers know them by name, as do the young athletes who call Riverside Academy home.
Most of the Rusty Rebels are in their 70s; the oldest of the bunch is 82. Yet, all of them bleed red and blue and bring a youthful energy to the school’s athletics programs.
The eight Rusty Rebels are Barry Triche, Marvin Triche, Kelsey Simon, Bob Vicknair, Bobby Vicknair, Joseph Oubre Sr., Joseph Oubre Jr. and Glen Freeman. Most have been around since the inception of the school and have watched their children and grandchildren flourish at Riverside.
The Rusty Rebels continue cheering on their favorite athletes, even after they’ve graduated from Riverside. Kelsey Simon and Marvin Triche recently attended a Southeastern Louisiana University basketball game to support Class of 2021 graduate Gage Larvadain, a multi-sport athlete.
“It was a blast because we were sitting right in the back of the bench, and the two coaches from Southeastern both came up to the head rails, talked to us and thanked us. They saw our Riverside caps and knew who we were,” Simon said.
Larvadain ran to the stands to take a picture with the Rusty Rebels and thank them for years of support.
“He’s the nicest kid you ever want to meet,” Simon said. “I told his mama a couple of years ago, I have an extra room in my house, and if you ever need a place for that boy, he’s more than welcome.”
It’s not uncommon for students to greet the Rusty Rebels with hugs and handshakes after every game. Simon said the Rusty Rebels also strive to support the school through acts of service around campus.
“I’d say we’ve been together 10 years. We were all a little younger, then. We used to line up tunnels on the football field. If anything had to be done around the school, power washing and stuff like that, we would take care of it. We’re the first ones they are going to call,” Simon said. “As we’ve gotten a little older, we try to go to all of the games, and we do what we are able to.”