Bayou Classic starts with coaches luncheon

Grambling State University and Southern University held the 37th Annual Coaches Luncheon at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.
The message at the luncheon was primarily geared toward the football players from both schools reminding them that they are. ” Students first and athletes second.”
The Master of ceremony for the luncheon was Fred Marsh, who is the Vice President of Operations for the Texas Zone State Farm Insurance Companies.

The invocation was done by Pastor Dr. Andre’ Sigler of Pure Light Missionary Baptist Church of New Orleans.

After the head table was introduced, each of the university’s presidents were given a chance to welcome everyone and give a brief speech about the excitement of this weekend.

“Two distinguished HBCUs in competition for thirty-seven years and thousands of visitors and spectators from around the country gather here in the city of New Orleans for this historic game,” said Grambling State University President Dr. Frank Pogue.

There was also a presentation of Honoree’s Canadian Football League Hall of Famer Elfrid Payton who is an alumnus of Grambling State University and who also had a outstanding college career at GSU.
In the three years at Grambling State he was voted as the teams “Most Outstanding Player” in 1988 and 1989.

Also presented with an honoree award was Richard “Tombstone” Jackson, standout end at Southern university on both sides of the ball. Jackson played for the American Football League Oakland Raiders in 1966 and AFL Denver Broncos.

Each of the honorees spoke on having a back-up plan after graduation if you are not accepted into the NFL.

This year Van Alystin Phillips Jr. of GSU and Sir Edward Toussaint Staten of Southern were awarded the Excellence in Leadership Award.

The young men were recognized not only for their involvement in the community, but also for their academic accomplishments.
After the presentations a check in the amount of 202,500 was presented to both schools from State Farm Insurance Company
The coaches from each school Rod Broadway of GSU and Lyvonia Mitchell from Southern made closing remarks and wished each team the best of luck.

The most important thing to remember is that education is primary and no one can take an individual’s education.