Crusader Sports History
January 2, 2018
From the Archives: St. Aloysius's First Football Season - 1921
District Surprise Team - 3

By winning the district second place playoff, the 1985 Crusader diamondmen entered the state playoffs with an opportunity to defend their '84 state title.

  • Chris Francis led the 18-2 first round romp over McDonogh 35 at Kirsch-Rooney. He belted four hits, with five RBIs and runs scored.
  • Derek Cummiskey added three hits, as did Jeff Huth and Dana Curtis. Mike Lonero contributed four RBIs while Huth drove in three.
  • The victory went to Todd Masson, who twirled five innings, allowing two hits and no runs.

Two days later, the Crusaders hosted Slidell, the 12-AAAA champions, at Kirsch-Rooney.

  • Sophomore Brad Stuart limited Martin to one run and two hits for four innings.
  • In the top of the fifth, the visitors pushed across two unearned runs to pull into a tie. Two walks and an error by 3B Lonero set the stage for a two-out, two-run double by Stuart.
  • But the Sader bats came alive the next two innings, pounding out nine hits and ten runs. As Coach Barry Hebert said afterward, "It seems all year long when this team gives up runs, it always comes right back.This is just a determined bunch of kids that believe in themselves. Our bats have been carrying us. We have just been outscoring our opponents."
  • The surge started with the bottom of the lineup in the bottom of the 5th. John Pettavino singled, then Chris Paulin reached safely on a sacrifice bunt, and Cummiskey walked. The next four hitters followed with hits to produce six runs. Macaluso doubled in two. Francis, who had four hits for the second game in a row, singled home two more. Nick Fehn ripped an RBI triple, and Huth knocked him in.
  • The Tigers knocked out starter Pete Dares with two runs in the 6th. Of the four runs off Pete, only one was earned.
  • The Crusaders built upon the 7-4 lead in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Paulin clouted a solo HR. After a walk and singles by Macaluso and Francis, Fehn skied a sacrifice fly, and Huth drove home two more with a double.
  • Hebert: "All through the lineup we have guys that can get on base. We want guys on base for Macaluso and Francis and the middle of our order. That's just what happened."
  • Masson, a freshman like Dares, picked up the save in the 11-4 victory.

The remaining eight AAAA teams now gathered in Denham Springs for the quarterfinals.

  • Scheduled for LSU's Alex Box Stadium, the tournament had to be shifted when the Tigers won the SEC West Division to become the host for the conference tournament.
  • Bill Bumgarner wrote this in an article in the Times-Picayune previewing the final eight: "The Crusaders feature a pitching rotation that goes through one razor blade a month." Dares was undefeated at 5-0. Masson was 2-2, and sophomore Paul Mire sported a 4-2 record.
  • Hebert: “If there is one reason we are here this season, it is because every player in the lineup contributed at least one clutch hit in a key situation. It has been amazing. Regardless of what happens from here on, we have had an excellent season. But the kids are feeling and talking like they really want to go after it. They feel they can beat anyone, and anything else is possible in a tournament like this."

The Crimson Knights met Belaire at noon on Friday, May 10.

  • The hard-hitting Saders used two bloop hits to help back up the pitching of Masson and Mire in the 4-2 victory.
  • The key hit came in the 5th with the score tied 1-1. After walks to Nick Macaluso and Francis, Bengals' starter Kirk Arceneaux fanned cleanup hitter Fenn for the second out. But Huth picked up his teammate by lofting a blooper behind 1B that landed safely, then bounced high over the RF's reach and rolled almost to the fence for a triple, scoring both runs.
  • After Belaire cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning, Martin countered with a crucial insurance run in the 6th on a double by Paulin followed by a wild pitch and an error.
  • BM scored the first run of the game in the 2nd on Curtis's double, a groundout, and an RBI single by Pettavino. The Bengals tied the game with an unearned run in the 4th.
  • Masson lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing both runs on four hits. He got into trouble in the 1st with runners on 2nd and 3rd but escaped without a run by retiring the next three batters.
  • Mire threw the final 2 2/3 innings, holding Belaire scoreless and striking out three.
  • Hebert: "We didn't exactly tear the cover off the ball. But the hitting was timely, and we played good defense. Plus, we also got some breaks. ... I think we are in good shape because we have Dares left for Saturday."
  • The victory meant that the senior Crusaders had to miss their prom Friday night, an omission that had also occured the year before.

The Crusaders were back at it Saturday at noon against East Ascension in a semifinal game.

  • Dares picked up the victory to continue his undefeated streak. He allowed two hits and two runs before being relieved in the 6th.
  • Martin scored in the 3rd on Macaluso's single and a three-base throwing error by the Spartans' 3B. Another bad throw by the same player with the bases loaded increased the lead to 2-0.
  • By the end of the inning, three more runs had come home. Lonero and Pettavino each drove a run with doubles and a throwing error by the pitcher allowed another run to cross the plate.
  • East Ascension rallied in the 6th on two walks and a single as Hebert used three pitchers. A sacrifice fly and a single made it 5-3, but Masson, in relief of Paul Boudreaux, got the final six outs.
  • Curtis iced the game with a two-run double in the 7th.

The triumph propelled the Saders into the championship game that evening.

  • The opponent was none other than the Jesuit Blue Jays, the Catholic League champions who had defeated the Crusaders twice in the regular season.
  • Martin jumped out to a 3-0 lead, the third game in a row in which the Jays had fallen behind. Facing big righthander Kris Heigle, who had amassed a 10-0 record, Fenn singled home a run, then trotted home on Huth's towering HR, the only one of the tournament.
  • Martin still led 3-2 when the roof caved in. Jesuit exploded for a 10 spot in the bottom of the 5th. Tired freshmen and sophomore pitchers can handle junior and senior hitters for just so long. Hebert used five pitchers during the inning to no avail. The final score was 13-4.
  • The Blue Jays finished the season 28-2 while the Crusaders ended 22-7.
  • Jesuit coach Dave Moreau praised the Crusaders. "Their seniors are to be complimented. A coach knows how important leadership is, and they certainly had it. Martin did a tremendous job to get that far."
  • Four Saders made the 16-man All-tournament team: 1B Huth, C Curtis, OF Pettavino, and 3B Lonero.
  • P Dares, OF Francis, and Curtis also made all-metro.

That summer, the Wendy's American Legion team won district and state to go to the Southeast Regional. But that's a story for another day.

Derek Cummiskey

Jeff Huth

John Pettavino

Mike Lonero

Barry Hebert

Chris Paulin

Paul Mire

Pitching coach Scott Murphy

Jeff Francis hits a fly to CF in state championship game.

Crusader Quiz
Pictured is a Crusader soccer player receiving the MVP award following the 2000 state championship game. Identify the player.

About This Site
This site is maintained by Brother Neal Golden, S.C. (CJ '57 who attended St. Aloysius 1953-54). This section of the Alumni Web site is dedicated to all the Crusader and Kingsmen athletes and coaches at St. Aloysius, Cor Jesu, and Brother Martin. All sports and eras will be included, though not in like measure because available information is not equally distributed. The site will be updated as the author's time permits. Older postings will be moved to the archives. So if you don't get back for awhile, anything you missed will be accessible from links in the right-hand column. Suggestions for improvements and items to include are welcome as are the personal stories and memorabilia of Crusader and Kingsmen athletes. Ametur Cor Jesu! Loved be the Heart of Jesus!
The author's personal Web site on college and pro football, baseball, and basketball, including his Golden Football Rankings each fall, can be accessed by clicking here.