Oct. 16: Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club Plus Bonus Content with Ronnie Rantz by Wyatt Vaughn

by Wyatt Vaughn, Senior, Holy Cross

This past Tuesday after another great week of Louisiana football, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation Quarterback Club convened for the weekly luncheon. This weekend’s slate of games begins on Thursday and Friday night with some great High School action with Holy Cross taking on the undefeated John Curtis football team at 7 pm on Friday. Tulane kicks it off on Saturday looking to rebound from a loss, against SMU. The Fighting Tigers of LSU look to stay ranked inside the top 5 when they take on the #22 ranked Mississippi State in Death Valley. To end the weekend the Saints travel to Baltimore to take on the 4-2 Ravens.

The luncheon started off with the Week 6 Prep Player of the Week, senior Quarterback Chandler Fields of Archbishop Rummel. The University of Louisiana Lafayette commit went 16-21 for 215 yards with a touchdown, adding 62 yards on the ground in 13 tries. Fields led his Raiders team to a 20-7 victory over division rival Jesuit pushing Rummel to 6-1 on the season.

The first speaker of the day was Emanuel Powell, Landry-Walker’s football coach. He started the speech talking about his team’s recent heartbreaking loss against John Ehret 20-6 this past Friday. He remains very proud of his team, as he noted that they have played one of the toughest schedules in all of the state. Their first three games were all against teams ranked inside the top-2 in their respective divisions. He also said that at this point it isn’t about the wins and losses because this is much bigger than football and that fighting hard together as a team is the most important thing.

Next up on the block was Frank Monica, St. Charles Catholic football coach. To start off his monologue, he praised the entire state of Louisiana for a great week of football. Moving on to his team, he noted that they have played an extremely tough schedule. Specifically he pointed out University Lab High School as one of the best teams he had ever faced. He believes that when this recruiting cycle is finished, in total ULab will have over 5 players committed to SEC schools and even more committed to Division 1 college. He believes that the root of his team’s troubles are with the offense which is struggling mightily.

The next speaker to the podium was former Saints player and member of the Saints Hall of Fame, Tyrone Hughes. To start he wanted to talk about the Saints defensive backfield which has been a point of emphasis for the team this season. He believes that the backfield is solid but could use some tweaking in the form of a trade for Patrick Peterson. He was very excited about even the idea of this trade saying that it would make the Saints exponentially better. He believes that if they can solidify the defense then everyone knows what the offense is capable of with their many playmakers. Overall he is very excited about the Saints as they look to reach the playoffs and beyond.

Next on stage was former Tulane Quarterback Terrence Jones to talk about the Green Wave. Terrence was very adamant in his speaking that he really does love being able to still contribute to his alma mater in any way possible. He really enjoys just being around the place. Also he is really happy with the growth happening at the University takes joy in being a part of that growth. He really believes that positive things are on the horizon for Tulane. He really believes that the team in just a few short years will be able to compete in the conference and loves Head Coach Willie Fritz. Although he is confident for the future he believes that the next two games for the Green Wave are huge on impacting what kind of season they have in total.

Last up to the stage for the day was former LSU and professional baseball player Ronnie Rantz. To start he was very impressed and even surprised that the LSU football team was able to dominate this past weekend against a very good Georgia Bulldogs team. He thought it was an incredible atmosphere and that the fans played a big part of the game. He also mentioned that a big part of this game was the mental hurdle the team had to climb over since the loss to Florida last weekend. He believes the locker room attitude, led by Devin White, was a huge reason they played so well on Saturday. And although he was supremely impressed by the Tigers, he believes that the team has a long way to go and still hasn’t played their best game, which is terrifying for all of their opponents.

After the luncheon I sat down with Ronnie Rantz to talk about his career at LSU from a player and caster point of view. As Rantz was a part of the special team from 1993 that won the College World Series, he remembers the players more than the games. The most memorable were pitcher Mike Sirotka, and third baseman Todd Walker. He knows that those two players really carried them to where they ended up. He also loved playing for such a legendary coach as Skip Bertman. He remembered, “Skip was a real straight shooter, he told you the truth.” He loved such a great quality as straightforwardness in his head ball coach. He believes that was a key formula to helping Bertman win multiple national titles at LSU. Moving to this year’s LSU team he has very high expectations even going as far as to say that they are, “Omaha or bust.” He knows that with all the talent they have returning they should be at least in the World Series. After Rantz’s career as a player he quickly picked up broadcasting. He actually started doing it when he was on the LSU baseball team. When he wasn’t scheduled to pitch in a game he would always go up to the press box and do play by play in his uniform. Obviously for him it was an incredible feeling when his alma mater hired him to do the play by play for the Baseball team back in the 90’s. And to this day he still loves it because he has an absolute burning passion for baseball and in particular LSU baseball. Although he does the post game show after LSU football games he was adamant that Baseball is his true passion and what he loves to do more. And that is what he will continue to do until he can’t do it anymore.

Every week, Chevron and the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation also recognize a male and female Scholar Athlete of the Week, for excellence in the classroom as well as on the fields of athletic competition. Additionally, each recipient will be recognized on field during the 2018 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, on December 15th. Finally, all winners will be invited to a future Pelicans basketball game where there will be a drawing for one male and one female to receive a $5,000 scholarship. This week’s recipients were:

Rachel Yiu, Hahnville High School

  • 4.4 Grade Point Average.
  • 28 ACT Score.
  • Beta Club Vice President.
  • National Honor Society President.
  • Varsity Letter and Member of the Tennis Team.
  • Member of the Interact Rotary Club
  • Tutor and Mentor.
  • Art Honor Society.
  • Received DOW Award, Superintendent’s Award.
  • Wants to Study Biomedical or Chemical Engineering in College.

David Duplechain, Archbishop Hannan High School

  • Cumulative GPA: 3.75
  • Captain of the Football Team
  • Captain of the Wrestling Team
  • Member of Student Ambassadors and Campus Ministry
  • Volunteer for St. Anselm Gala, Livingston Flood Clean Up, Children’s Museum of Covington and St. Peter’s Catholic School.
  • Honor Roll all Semesters at Hannan High School.
  • Hannan Football Pillar Award
  • Wants to attend LSU and study Pre-Med.