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A Big Victory

Re: “Jays and Tigers: 50 years ago they battled for a state title,” by George Gurtner. Characters column, October 2013 issue.

I just had the opportunity to read George Gurtner’s write up about the Jesuit-Holy Cross game.

It was really well done, and like so many, brought back some great memories. I had the honor of coaching in nine of those games (three as a Jesuit assistant under Ken Tarzetti and Ray Coates; six as the head coach of Holy Cross). Each of those games brings back memories of pep rallies and alums. My favorite story was in 1980, defeating the Jays in the Superdome. After the game someone from Holy Cross walked up to me and shook hands and proceeded to put four $100 dollar bills in my hand, and said take the team out to eat. We wasted no time in doing that. On the way back to school on St. Claude Avenue, I had the team buses stop at the Popeyes on the corner of Elysian Fields and St. Claude Avenue, and had the team get out and order chicken dinners. All 80 players in full uniform! No question that game is very special to many, many people. Thanks again for keeping it alive.

Henry Rando,
Longtime New Orleans and
Jefferson high school coach

New Orleans

Ed. Response:
Thanks for the story, Coach. And Holy Cross’ biggest victory was yet to come: That was its renaissance after Katrina.


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