Crusader Collegians - 1

Patrick Swilling Jr. and Shane Rillieux
Patrick Swilling 2010
Pat Swilling Jr.
Brother Martin G Shane Rillieux
Shane Rillieux
Pat Swilling Jr. ('10) is a senior on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane 2013-14 basketball team.
  • He played 18 games as a freshman at St. Joseph's Uni­versity in Philadelphia.
  • Pat arrived at Tulsa after one year at the College of Southern Idaho where he averaged 12.1 ppg on a team that finished 31-5.
  • During the 2012-13 season, Pat played in 26 games with five starts after missing the first seven games with a wrist injury. He averaged 10.7 ppg with 65 three-pointers.

Brother Martin fans will always remember Pat's senior season on Elysian Fields Avenue.

  • Averaging 18.1 ppg, he led the Crusaders to a 29-10 re­cord and the Class 5A State Championship.
  • He made All-State for the third time and was named MVP of the finals, a 55-54 come-from-behind squeaker over Scot­landville.

One of Swilling's teammates on the 2010 titleist was G Shane Rillieux ('11).

  • Shane is a junior on the Nicholls State Colonels 2013-14 squad.
  • He started all but one game during his freshman and soph­omore seasons in Thibodaux. He missed the other game because of an injury.
  • He led the Colonels in minutes played both years.
  • Shane made All-District three years at Brother Martin and all-state his senior year, when the Crusaders made the LHSAA semifinals, losing to St. Augustine 62-54.

Tulsa G Pat Swilling
Pat Swilling

Shane Rillieux, Nicholls State
Shane Rillieux

Aloysians' Night to Excel

Harold Cervini, Tulane
Harold Cervini ('51)

 

Dick Brennan, Tulane
Dick Brennan ('51)

The Times-Picayune sports page of January 19, 1954, featured multiple Aloysius grads who had good nights on the hardwood.

The Tulane Green Wave met the Tennessee Vols in Knoxville before 2,000 spectators.

With two minutes and 45 seconds left in the game it was a "hung-jury," 61-61. Coach [Cliff] Wells called time and the Greenies went into their now familiar act.

Four Greenies went to the end of the court and Hal Cervini started dribbling around the mid-court stripe. He zigged and zagged for a minute. Then Bobby Delpit came out and did the same - the Vols couldn't even touch them. With five seconds left, Delpit drove, was fouled, sank both, and school was out.

Bobby hadn't started but had an immediate impact as soon as he entered with the Orange in front 19-15 at the end of the first quarter.

Wells injected Bobby Delpit into the game, who in turn injected some cool play from the Wave. Three goals in two minutes by Delpit and the Greenies were ahead. Hal Cervini stuck two long sets through the hoops and the Wave was in front 33-30.

Delpit and Cervini led the Greenies with 16 and 13 points respectively. Another former Crusader, Dick Brennan, was pulled shortly after the game began because of a knee injury.

That same evening in Hattiesburg MS, Mississippi Southern took on Gulf States Conference rival Loyola. The home team prevailed 96-86 before 3,200 fans. (One wonders whether Revon was the attraction that drew far more fans than saw the SEC game in Knoxville.)

Nick Revon, despite a fractured left wrist, was the Southern spark with 25 points. ... Revon bucketed 20 of his points in the first half as Southern piled up a 51-35 lead at the intermission. The little cager from New Orleans fell at the start of the third period and damaged his already fractured wrist, but played the game through.

Bobby Delpit, Tulane
Bobby Delpit ('52)

 

Nick Revon, USM
Nick Revon ('48)

Hal Cervini

Hal Cervini St. Aloysius

Hal Cervini Tulane

Harold (Hal) Cervini started at G for Johnny Altobello on three straight St. Aloysius state championship teams: 1949, 1950, and 1951. Hal wanted to go to Tulane, but Greenie coach Cliff Wells was recruiting a G in the Midwest. Altobello called Wells several times asking him to take a look at Cervini, who was holding off other schools waiting for TU. Finally, Cliff sent an assistant who raved about the Crusader. So Wells offered the scholarship and was not disappointed. Cliff called several times after games in which Cervini made the difference to thank Johnny for recommending him.

5'11" Cervini lettered four years for the Green Wave, scoring 1,013 points. He holds the records for the second most FTs and FTAs in a game in TU history with 17-of-20 against LSU on March 4, 1955. He's tied with himself for fourth in most FTs in a season (133 in both '53-4 and '54-5) and is third in FTA in a season (186 in '54-5). He led the team in scoring as a junior and a senior (14.7 and 16.4) and made all-SEC second team both years.

Here's an item from the Sports Illustrated "Vault" from the January 3, 1955, issue - "A Roundup of the Week's News."

Tulane broke 60-60 tie in final three minutes, went on to hand Stanford first loss 67-62. Jim Nowakowski and Hal Cervini each scored 17 to top Green Wave.

He was chosen in the ninth round of the 1954 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Hawks but did not play for them. (The Hawks took another Louisiana player, Bob Pettit, in the first round that year.) Hal coached with Altobello at De La Salle during the 1957-8 season that featured the seven game "World Series" between the Cavs and Crusaders.

Hal is a member of the Tulane Athletic Hall of Fame (1982) and the Louisiana American Italian Sports Hall of Fame (1991).

Foret Brothers

The Foret brothers, Teddy ('55) and Bobby ('58), starred in football for the Crusaders to earn scholarships to Auburn.

Teddy lettered at tackle all three years he played varsity ball for "Shug" Jordan at Auburn. In that era of limited substitution, starters played both offense and defense. The '57 Tigers finished 10-0 to finish #1 in the AP Poll. The '58 team went 9-0-1, and the '59 slate showed 7-3. Ted was drafted by the Baltimore Colts of the NFL (15th round) and the Denver Broncos of the brand new American Football League. However, he did not sign with either team. Instead, he played Canadian football for one year for the Montreal Alouettes and the Calgary Stampeders.
Bobby Foret
Bobby Foret
The Aloysian proclaimed: Bobby Foret, 6'2' 180 pound senior at St. Aloysius, has been selected by Teen Magazine to fill the end position on its All-Southwest Honorable Mention team. ... Bobby is one of the tri-captains of the football team. He has been named Player of the Week and chosen for the All-Catholic Team by the Times Picayune, the All-Catholic and All-City team by the States, and the W.D.S.U. Team. His absence from the Times-Picayune All-Prep Team is one reason why the selections of that paper have been highly criticized.

Bobby lettered at end in 1960 and 1961 at Auburn, both winning seasons (8-2 and 6-4).

Both brothers coached at St. Aloysius during the 1962 season under Andy Douglass.
Sprint Football CB

St. Aloysius QB Ronald Hebert
Ronald Hebert (SA '65)

Mike Krzyzewski & Bob Knight, West Point
Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight

Ronald Hebert ('65) played football for four years at West Point.
  • At a time when freshmen were not eligible for varsity competition, he played on the freshman team when Paul Dietzel was the varsity coach.
  • For the next three years, he played on what is today called the Sprint Football team. They competed in a league with a weight limit of 165 lbs.
  • A QB as a St. Aloysius Red Knight, Ron earned three letters as a 5'4" 145 lb CB for the Black Knights.
  • Tom Cahill served as varsity coach Hebert's last three years after Dietzel moved to South Carolina.
  • The lightweight team played their games on Fridays against opponents like Penn, Columbia, Cornell, and Rutgers. If they had a home game the same weekend as the varsity, some of them dressed out with the "big guys" on Saturday.

In addition to Dietzel, other big names in three different sports were at Army during Ron's four years there.

  • The offensive line coach was Bill Parcells, who would go on to win two Super Bowls as head coach of the New York Giants and lose another with the New England Patriots.
  • Arthur Ashe, serving two years in the military, was the tennis coach.
  • One of Hebert's classmates and good friends was Mike Krzyzewski, known today as "Coach K" for his many years of excellence as Duke basketball coach.
  • The Army basketball coach was Bob Knight, who would forge a Hall of Fame career at Indiana. Knight was known for his tough practices, as Ron recalls.
When the football team went to practice, we walked through the arena where the basketball team was already practicing. When we'd be done with practice and come back in, they were still practicing. And they were bleeding more than we were. Mike broke his nose one year.

Hebert graduated in 1969 as a first lieutenant and served his five year commit­ment in the army.

  • Included was a combat tour in Vietnam as a field artillery officer.
  • His main assignment was as an advisor to the South Vietnam artillery.
I learned enough Vietnamese to tell the driver to turn left, turn right, go straight, or get the heck out of here.

Ron finished his army career as a captain.

NCAA Tennis Champion
Riehl & Leaycraft
Junior Donni Leaycraft receives the MVP award from BM coach Dr. Winston Riehl.

When he signed Donni Leaycraft for LSU in 1986, coach Jerry Simmons called him "the most heralded player in Louisiana junior tennis history, and he will have a big impact here." Three years later, Leaycraft became the first player in LSU history to win the NCAA singles title. The following year, as a senior, Leaycraft played in the main draw at the U.S. Open.

While at Brother Martin, Leaycraft played on the U.S. Junior Davis Cup Team along with teammates Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, and Jim Courier. He was chosen as a Parade High School All American while compiling a 62-2 singles record. Two of his biggest accomplishments were a top 10 national ranking in the Boys 18 and under division and a victory over Sampras. When Leaycraft won the LHSAA singles championship his sophomore year, he became the first BM player to do so. He defended his title as a junior and senior.

While a Tiger, Leaycraft was a four-time All-SEC selection, a two-time singles All-American (1988 and 1989), and played a key role in LSU's NCAA runner-up team in 1988. In all, he was ranked among the top 50 in the nation in singles for four years, which included a No. 3 final ranking in 1989. His 1989 singles mark of 42-10 still stands as a school record for most victories in a season, and his career mark of 135-38 also ranks No. 1 in school history. He was inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.

Leaycraft is the head tennis professional at the Country Club of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.

Dale Valdery
Dale Valdery 1970
Then ...

The September 12, 2008, Picayune included a story "SUNO hires veteran Valdery." "Valdery," of course, is Dale Valdery, PG of the 1970 and 1971 Brother Martin state championship teams. As a freshman at St. Aloysius in 1967-8, Dale became the first African-American to enter a game in the LHSAA Top 28 Tournament.

Valdery fulfilled the role of defensive specialist on the best Xavier University team ever, the '72-3 squad that went 21-6 and knocked off #1-ranked Sam Houston State at the NAIA tournament only to be upset themselves the next day by Maryland-Eastern Shore. The other G on Coach Bob Hopkins' Gold Rush team was bald Don "Slick" Watts who became an All-Pro with the Seattle SuperSonics. One F was Bruce Seals from B. T. Washington.

After coaching the Xavier women's team for six years, Dale directed the Gold Rush men from 1990 to 2002, compiling a 234-136 record. He won at least 20 games for his first six seasons and totaled 10 winning seasons. His teams won three Gulf Coast Athletic Confer­ence tournament championships and had three NAIA tournament appearances. He was chosen 2001 GCAC Coach of the Year and 2001 Louisiana Small College Coach of the Year. (One of Dale's ball boys at Xavier was Avery Johnson, future NBA player and coach.)

Dale also served as an assistant coach at Southern and Grambling State. While he was at Grambling, the Tigers won the Southwest­ern Athletic Conference in '87 and '88. Southern won the SWAC championship in '03 when he was an assistant.

Read more about Dale.

Dale Valdery 2008
... and now
Football Foes
Six Crusaders, three for each squad, played in the 1987 LSU-Tulane game in the Superdome.

Jay Rink
Jay Rink

Pat Stant
Pat Stant

  • For Mack Brown's Tulane Green Wave:
    • DB Tookie Spann (BM '84), who lettered in 1985-6-7, was a captain in '86 and '87, and intercepted a pass in the '87 LSU game;
    • DE Jay Rink (BM '86), who earned four letters (1987-8-9-90)
    • LB Pat Stant (BM '87), who also lettered four times (1987-8-9-90)
  • For Mike Archer's LSU Tigers:
    • DL Tommy Clapp (BM '83), who lettered four years (1984-5-6-7);
    • LB Mike Hebert (BM '84), who lettered in 1985-6-7;
    • DL George Henriquez (BM '83), who earned letters in 1984-6-7.

LSU scored in the last minute to take an exciting 41-36 victory over Tulane in the regular season finale for both clubs. The 9-1-1 Tigers defeated South Carolina 30-13 in the Gator Bowl. The 6-5 Green Wave also went bowling. They lost to Washington 24-12 in the Independence Bowl.

Tookie Spann
QB Tookie Spann against St. Augustine in the Superdome 1983

Mike Hebert
Mike Hebert

DE Tommy Clapp, LSU
Tommy Clapp

George Henriquez, LSU
George Henriquez

Darwyn Alexander
Darwyn Alexander
Darwyn Alexander
6'0 G Darwyn Alexander was a key player for several years for Coach Milton Rohm's Crusaders. After leading his squad to a 23-10 record his senior year, Darwyn participated in the McDonald's High School All American Game.

He then played point guard for Oklahoma State, the first two years under coach Leonard Hamilton and the last two for Eddie Sutton. Alexander made All-Big Eight as a sophomore and junior for the Cowboys, who made the post-season all four years he played.

  • 1989: 17-13, NIT (1-1)
  • 1990: 17-14, NIT (1-1)
  • 1991: 24-8, NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2-1)
  • 1992: 28-8, NCAA Sweet Sixteen (2-1)
    Total: 86-43 (66.7%) record with Darwyn leading the offense

Alexander is one of the finest guards in OSU history. He ranks in the school's Top Five in numerous categories.

  • 104 assists ties for first and 51% 3-point shooting is the best ever among Cowboy freshman.
  • Fifth in school history in career assists and third in career steals.
  • One of only three Cowboys with over 1,000 points and 400 assists and one of three with three 100-assist seasons.
  • Finished third in the NCAA in 1990-1 in FT% (89.7).
  • First Cowboy to record 100 assists both his freshman and sophomore years.
  • 88 straight starts set a school record.

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