D.J.'s Debut

D. J. Augustin

Ryan Brock

"Darryl Augustin," as he was referred to in the Times-Picayune article, made his Brother Martin debut as a freshman on November 19, 2002. Unfortunately, his opening game was a loss.

  • The Crusaders rallied from a 48-36 Q3 deficit to tie Warren Easton at 57 when 5'7" senior Ben Relle hit a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left.
  • Both teams failed to score their next possessions.
  • Finally, the Eagles held for the last shot, which missed. However, F Brian Lindsey tapped in the basket with 0:03 left.
  • D. J. led all scorers with 29 points.
  • The Crusaders led 24-23 at halftime, but Easton began Q3 with a 16-3 run.
  • BM's fourth-year coach John Lavie said, I think this game bodes well for both teams to have a good season.

Lavie was right as far as his Saders were concerned.

  • Improving as the season went on, BM made the playoffs with a 27-7 record.
  • Ranked #7 in the state 5A poll, they defeated Destrehan 70-59 at home in the first round.
  • Then the Saders upended visiting West Jefferson 62-59 to qualify for the quarterfinals.
  • The Crusaders traveled to Lake Charles and defeated Barbe 56-54 on sophomore Ryan Brock's layup with a 1.2 seconds left.

That put the Brother Martin into the Top 28 for the first time in 20 years.

  • The Crusaders' improbable journey continued as they upended Denham Springs 65-60 in the semifinals.
  • That put them in the finals against Woodlawn of Baton Rouge, which sported a 53-game winning streak.
  • The Crusaders were tied going into Q4 before the senior-laden Panthers pulled away to an 80-63 victory.

D. J. would lead his team to the finals two more times and win both.

Ernie's First Home Loss
Ernie Smith took over the St. Aloysius basketball program for the 1957-8 school year.
  • Ernie came to Esplanade Avenue from St. Stanislaus, where he coached just one year. However, what a year it was since the Rock-a-Chaws had one of their best teams in many years, losing only four games.
  • The Crusaders were invincible at home for the first three and a half years of Smith's reign, compiling 32 straight wins in the Aloysius gym.

That streak came to a halt on Friday night, January 15, 1960.

  • Crestfallen by their fourth place finish in the annual CYO Tournament, the Jesuit Blue Jays were determined to bounce back in league play.
  • Jesuit opened Catholic league play at Aloysius.
  • Jay Coach Kevin Trower used only five players: Bobby Kerrigan, Rusty Staub, Lou Triche, Al Weddle, and Pat Screen.
  • The visitors were hot in Q1 to take a 19-12 lead. They led 33-24 at the half.
  • The Jays scored only 4 points in Q3 but held Aloysius to 9 to still lead by 4 going into the final eight minutes.
  • Jesuit won the last period 18-14 to take the ball game 55-47.
  • C Triche led all scorers with 20 points while Staub contributed 14, Kerrigan 9, Screen 8, and Weddle 4.
  • Gary Albrecht was high man for the Crusaders with 15, and Ed Burgard threw in 8.

Aloysius lost to Jesuit at their gym in the second round 41-39 on their way to tying for 2nd in the district with the Blue Jays behind De La Salle.

  • The deadlock necessitated a playoff with the Jays for the district's second state playoff berth.
  • Jesuit completed the trifecta 49-48 at Loyola Field House to end the Knights' season.
Coach Ernie Smith
Ernie Smith

Gary Albrecht
Gary Albrecht

Ed Burgard
Ed Burgard

More Crusaders in Hall of Fame

Dick Brennan
Dick Brennan



Two more Crusaders have been added to the New Orleans Prep Sports Hall of Fame at Ye Old College Inn Restaurant. (Spring 2013)

Here's Ron Brocato's comments on each from the Clarion Herald with some additional information on each.

  • Dickie Brennan - One of legendary coach Johnny Altobello's greatest basketball players. He was named to the All-City and All-State teams each year from 1948 to 1951.

    Brennan was also a solid first baseman for Altobello's teams that won the 1948 AAABA tournament in Johnstown PA and Aloysius's first city and state baseball champion­ships the following year.

  • D. J. Augustin - A two-time All-State guard who led Brother Martin to state basketball titles in 2004 and 2005. He now plays for the Indiana Pacers of the NBA.

    D. J. also led the Crusaders to the finals his freshman year. We'll never know what would have happened if Katrina hadn't exiled his family to the Houston area for his senior season.

Read about all the new inductees.

D. J. Augustin 2004
D. J. Augustin

Double Victory


Coach Milton Rohm
Milton Rohm

Darwyn Alexander 1985-6
Darwyn Alexander

Bart Bonnaffee
Bart Bonnaffee

Coach Ray Charbonneau
Ray Charbonneau

Saturday, December 7, 1985, was an outstanding day for Brother Martin athletes.
  • The basketball team won the CYO Tournament.
  • The wrestling team captured the Big 8 Wrestling Tournament.

Milton Rohm's hoopsters entered the annual CYO tournament with a 3-1 record.

  • The Crusaders began with a 76-62 victory over East Jefferson in the Brother Martin Gym. Sophomore G Darwyn Alexander scored 18 with junior Jamal Lacour's 17 close behind. BM pulled away in the final period, outscoring the Warriors 23-14.
  • Playing at home again the next night, the Knights edged Rummel 60-55 with Alexander again topping all scorers with 22. He hit two FTs with 17 ticks left to extend the lead to 58-55. Senior John Wagar added another pair of charity tosses in the final seconds to provide the winning margin. Lacour was again runnerup in point production for the Crimson with 12.
  • The action switched to Jesuit the next night where the Purple Knights provided the semifinal challenge. The contest was tied at 35 midway through Q3 when Alexander and Lacour sparked a 6-point run that gave BM a lead it never relinquished, thanks in large measure to hitting 14 of 17 FTs in Q4. Darwyn kept his high scorer streak alive with 19 while Lacour and junior Bart Bonnaffee each added 15.
  • After a night off for the consolation finals, Martin took the court again to face the host and defending champion Blue Jays, who had beaten De La Salle 75-71 in the other semifinal. Bent on avenging a 60-56 loss to Jesuit in the finals of the Bonnabel Tournament the previous week, the Saders jumped to a quick lead, but Jay pressure helped erase an 8-point deficit and knot the score at 25 at the break. The even-steven contest continued with each team netting 16 in Q3. As in the semifinal, the Crusaders made a spurt that opened some daylight and forced the Jays to foul. As a result, 18 of the 26 BM points in the period came at the charity stripe to salt away the 67-58 win. Three Jesuit starters fouled out, and the other two finished with four fouls. Two Crusaders got disqualified as well.
  • Alexander won the MVP Award, and Bonnaffee joined him on the All-Tournament Team.

Meanwhile, across town, the Crusader grapplers defended their championship in the annual tournament held at De La Salle.

  • Ray Charbonneau's squad, on the way to their third state championship in a row, took the title in nine of the 13 weight divisions to roll up 217.5 points. Runner-up Comeaux lagged far behind with 127.5.
  • Senior Paul Ulfers, who captured the 185lb title with a pin, took most valuable honors in the upper division.
  • Other champions for Martin were:
    Denis Bush - 98
    Chris Holmes - 105
    Marc Davenport - 112
    Greg Schmidt - 126
    Don Smith - 132
    Paul Schmidt - 138
    Mark Bell - 145
    Chris Bailey - 155.


Jamal Lacour
Jamal Lacour

John Wagar 1985-6
John Wagar




1986 State Wrestling Champions
1985-6 Brother Martin Wrestling Team
Divided Attention
The Brother Martin athletic community had its attention split on Tuesday, December 5, 1972.
  • The football team left that morning for Alexandria where the Crusa­ders took part in an unprecedented game - the replay of the 0-0 deadlock with Neville the previous Friday when the teams also tied in first downs and penetrations.
  • Andy Russo's youthful but promising basketeers hosted Baton Rouge High.

Many people in the Crusader gym kept tabs on the football game via their transistor radios while watching an exciting basketball contest that went into overtime.

  • The game stayed nip and tuck the whole way. The Crusaders led 13-11 at the end of Q1 and 22-21 at the half.
  • The Bulldogs tied the game 33-33 at the end of three periods to set up an exciting final eight minutes.
  • But the last quarter settled nothing, each squad scoring 14.
  • The Crusaders won the OT 4-2 to take the game 51-49 and run their record to 7-0.
  • Junior C Rick Robey, in his first year of eligibility, led the Crusaders with 17 while sophomore Leroy Oliver added 15. Other scorers were Jimmy McCulla 8, Sidney Hill 6, Joel Hron 4, and Jay Trapani 1.
  • Cornelisu Fair led Baton Rouge with 20. Severa Alexander contrib­uted 12 and Dave Faris, 11.

The news from Alexandria was not as good.

  • A large portion of the game was played in a driving rainstorm.
  • Neville capitalized on a botched snap on a punt to take over on the Crusader 42. The Tigers drove eleven plays to score the only TD of the evening to cop an 8-0 win.
  • Three days later, Neville played its third game in eight days but still defeated Airline 6-0 for the state title.
1972-3 Brother Martin Crusaders
1972-3 Brother Martin Crusaders
Front row: Sidney Hill, Billy Jones, Jim McCulla, Tom Cronin, Rodney Montgomery, Albert Minor, Mike Marques
Back row: Kim Aromy, Jay Trapani, Paul Miller, Jeff Douglas, Reggie Hadley, Leroy Oliver, Joel Hron, Rick Robey
Mr. Basketball - I
St. Aloysius basketball players twice earned the "Mr. Basketball" award in the 1950s by being chosen the outstanding player in the annual North-South All-Star game.

The first was Anthony Imbraguglio ('53) in 1953.

  • The lanky C led all scorers in the game held August 6 at Tulane Gym in New Orleans. Tony's 13 points (3 FG, 7 FT) paced the South's 52-42 victory over the North.
  • Three other Crusaders from M. L. Lagarde's state champions played on the South squad: Boogie Murret, Bobby Skrokov, and Paul Zin­ser. Murret scored 5, Zinser 10, and Skrokov 0.
  • Zinser and Murret joined Imbraguglio on the game's All-Star team.
  • The team was coached by Johnny Altobello, who had just completed his first season at De La Salle. As coach of the state champions, La­garde was tabbed to lead the team but was coaching the League All-Stars in the International Junior Baseball series in Mexico City.
  • It was Altobello's third straight All-Star game after leading the Cru­saders to the state title in '51 and '52. The South victory kept his slate clean at 3-0.
  • The game was held in conjunction with the annual clinic sponsored by the Louisiana High School Coaches Association. The all-star football game was held several days after the basketball affair.
1953 Basketball Starters
The players are identified clockwise starting from the bottom.
Mr. Basketball - II

John Gilblaint
St. Aloysius basketball players twice earned the "Mr. Basketball" award in the 1950s by being chosen the outstanding player in the annual North-South All-Star game.

The first was Anthony Imbraguglio in 1953. Read more ...

The second was John Giblaint in 1958.

  • When Ernie Smith came from to coach the Crusaders for the 1957-8 season, he brought Giblaint with him. The 6'3" 170 lb F would attend Aloysius for his senior year.
  • Adding John to an already talented roster enabled the Saints to reach the state finals, where they lost to De La Salle in the seventh time the teams faced each other that year.
  • Giblaint and teammate Gasper Cardinale, a 5'9" senior G, made the AAA all-state cage team and were chosen for the Coaches' All-Star Game July 29 at Tulane Gym.

The coach for the South team was none other than Ernie Smith.

  • Giblaint traveled to New Orleans for the game from Dallas, where his family had moved during the summer.
  • The two Aloysians scored almost half the points for Smith's team, which defeated the North All-Stars 63-43.
  • Gasper led the South in scoring with 16 (7 FG, 2-2 FT) while Giblaint added 14 (5 FG, 6-12 FT), including 10 in the first half when the Southerners forged a 30-14 lead.
  • The coaches in attendance voted Johnny the MVP of the game, which earned him the "Mr. Basketball" designation.

John Giblaint played for Auburn in the 1959-60 season. He died November 13, 2012, in Leesburg TX.

Gasper Cardinale
First Interracial Game
John Joly's "Prep Parade" column in the Times-Picayune November 25, 1965, included this item:

Even before we get the state playoffs in football out of the way, the bas­ketball season jumps up and hits us in the face.

Area high schools began playing last week and this week's slate of games will be headed by the first official game between an all-white and an all­Negro high school team when St. Aloysius meets St. Augustine at Loy­ola Field House Sunday.

Tap-off for this game is 2 p.m., and there will be many fans from both schools on hand to root for their teams.

This is the start of what may develop into a fine basketball program for all schools, and many followers are looking forward to the annual CYO tourna­ment in which both St. Augustine and Xavier Prep will participate.

  • Joly probably used the term "first official game" because Jesuit and St. Au­gustine were rumored to have played a secret game with no spectators at the Jesuit gym the previous spring. First "public" game would have been a more accurate phrase.
  • The rumor was confirmed by the 1999 film "Passing Glory" directed by one of the Purple Knights who participated in the game, Harold Sylvester.
  • Even though the 1956 state law banning interracial athletic events had been invalidated by the Federal District Court two years later, the LHSAA still had admitted no black schools as members as of 1965.

Led by three seniors, Aloysius won the November 28 game 67-55 before 3,000 fans.

  • Johnny Vitrano hit for 18 points to lead Nick Revon's Crusaders.
  • Kerry Marler added 14, and Ted Meade 10.
  • No untoward incidents were reported.
Johnny Vitrano listens to Nick Revon.
Johnny Vitrano, far left, listens to Coach Revon


Kerry Marler
Kerry Marler

Ted Meade
Ted Meade

Gulfport Three Times in One Season

O. J. Lacour

The 1960-61 St. Aloysius basketball team played Gulfport three times. The contests illustrated the depth and versatility of the Crusader squad.

  • Ernie Smith's fourth Crusader squad hosted the Commodores December 3.
  • Junior O. J. Lacour joined senior co-captains Henry Arceneaux and Al Seichsnaydre in scoring 14 points to lead the 66-56 victory.
  • Arceneaux sank 10 of 14 FTs while Seichsnaydre went a perfect 4 for 4.

The teams met again in the finals of the Gulfport Tournament December 9.

  • This time, the Com­modores prevailed 46-39.
  • Junior Arnaud France led Aloysius with 10 points.

The Crusaders to the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast December 20.

  • The closest of the three meetings was decided when Art Shellhaas sank a jump shot to give the Knights a 47-45 triumph.
  • Lacour led the scoring with 15 while Gerry Brewer threw in 12.

Henry Arceneaux
1960-61 St. Aloysius Crusaders with Coach Ernie Smith
Bounce Back
The 1972-3 Brother Martin cagers were rolling toward the District 6-AAAA title as they hosted Holy Cross in the last game of the second round.
  • The Crusaders had defeated the Tigers 54-46 at their gym January 16 to capture the first round with a 7-1 record.
  • BM's 6'9" junior C Rick Robey had outscored his HC counterpart, Felton Young, 14-7. Rick also worked the offensive board like a master, blocked shots, and even came out high to help combat a Q4 Tiger press.
  • But the high man for Andy Russo's quintet was Tommy Cronin, who zeroed in from all sections of the key for 19.
First round Brother Martin-Holy Cross action 1973
Rick Robey, Felton Young, Tom CroninJimmy McCulla, Felton Young
L: Rick Robey, Felton Young, and Tom Cronin await a rebound. R: Jimmy McCulla tries to get a pass around Young.
The Crusaders swept the first six games of the second round to extend their winning streak to eleven.
  • Included was a 84-70 defeat of St. Augustine to avenge the Purple Knights' 65-63 first round upset.
  • Since Holy Cross had lost to St. Aug. in the second round, the best the Tigers could do was tie for the second round crown.
  • And that's exactly they did, stunning the Crusaders 64-50.
  • Robey, hobbling with an ankle injury, contributed no points while Young threw in 15. First round hero Cronin canned only one basket.
  • HC coach Don Maestri credited his assistant, Johnny Vitrano (SA '66), for preparing his offense. Against the 1-3-1 zone of Martin, we attacked from the corner. Coach Vitrano set it up for us, and we had great success beating their 5'9" man with our 6'3" shooter.

So the teams met two nights later at Jesuit for the second round crown. A Tiger victory would force a third straight meeting of the squads to determine the district champion.

  • 2,300 fans watched both teams start in zone defenses that muzzled the offenses. Despite Robey sitting out all of Q2, the Crusaders led 27-22 at the half.
  • Led by G Jimmy McCulla who imitated what Cronin did in the first round game, Martin began finding the range in Q3, which ended with a 49-35 lead. The Crusaders shot a sizzling 61.9% in the second half to win 69-53.
  • F Joel Hron, taking up some slack for a still subpar Robey, led all scorers with 19 while McCulla ended with 18.

With just one day to prepare anything new, Russo had hit on a way to confuse the Tigers.

We didn't do anything different offensively. We changed our stacks and sets somewhat, and this gave Holy Cross a new look at our attack, but we still went with the same things we have been doing all season.
If you think Robey doesn't help us, look at what he did tonight. He grabbed nine rebounds and got seven points more than he did Tuesday night. Just his presence on the floor ... means something to us. And he played hurt again. Leroy Oliver was also not up to par, playing with an abscessed tooth, but our subs did a good job out there.

The Crusaders defeated O. P. Walker and Terrebonne to make the Top 28 for the third time in four years. But Bastrop nipped BM at the buzzer 54-52 in Russo's last game at Brother Martin.

Crusader F Joel Hron
Joel Hron