Crusader Collegians - 5

Ken Leithman

Rarely does an athlete excel in college without participating in sports in high school. However, that's exactly what Ken Leithman ('47) did. He could not join any teams at St. Aloysius because he worked after school. With the help of Brother Martin, S.C., he entered Loyola. In the spring semester of his first year, Ken borrowed a pair of track shoes and ran the 100y dash in 10 flat during intramural tryouts. As a result, he received a full scholarship from Coach Jim McCafferty, who was organizing the school's first track team.

Ken fashioned a sterling record for the Wolfpack.

  • Running the sprints and relays, he was Loyola's top point-maker for four years.
  • The highlight of his career was winning the 100y dash at the Florida Relays, which attracted the top runners from around the country. Loyola also won the 440y relay and finished second in the sprint medley.
  • The Maroon and Gold won the Gulf States Conference championship in both 1951 and 1952.
  • Ken was inducted into the Loyola Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. Also, the entire 1951-2 squad, with Ken as their captain, entered the Hall in 1999.

Leithman continued his involvement in track and field after serving in the Army during the Korean Conflict.

  • He helped stage the Sugar Bowl, West Bank Relays, and other track meets in New Orleans.
  • From 1983-8, Ken served as the first track coach at UNO. The first two years he still served in the state legislature where he began his tenure in 1968. He drove back and forth from Baton Rouge every week day during the legislative sessions.

Active in the Brothers of the Sacred Heart Alumni Association, Ken chairs the Plus 50 Committee.

Ken Leithman, Loyola

Ken Leithman Today

Crusader Collegian: Mario Lopez

Mario Lopez
Mario Lopez

Mario Lopez ('96) became the first freshman to start for the Crusaders since former All-State Darwyn Alexander did so in 1985. Lopez forged a stellar four-year career for Coach Barry Dotson.

A 6'1 170 lb PG, Lopez lettered four years at Samford University in Birmingham. Mario was recruited by Coach John Brady who moved to LSU after leading the Bulldogs to the Trans-American Athletic Conference (TAAC) Western Division championship in Mario's freshman year. Jimmy Tillette (SA '68) then took over the program and won the TAAC championship and an NCAA berth in Mario's junior year and the TAAC Tournament Championship and a second NCAA berth his senior year.

Along the way, Mario put his mark in the Samford record book.

  • Mario scored 1,026 points from 1996-2000.
  • He led the team in assists his sophomore, junior, and senior years.
  • His senior year, Lopez led the Bulldogs in FG% with 55.3%.

A New York Times article about Samford's 68-60 upset of St. John's in the 1999 Cosida Classic includes this statement:

St. John's guard Erick Barkley was hounded by Samford's Mario Lopez and could not find the range with his jumper, hitting only 4 of 21 shots and only 1 of 12 from 3-point territory, finishing with 9 points.

Al Nastasi
Al Nastasi
Al Nastasi

Al Nastasi (SA '60) ran track for the University of Southwestern Louisiana (as it was known in those days). Al set two school records.

  • 220y dash mark which was also a Gulf States Conference record. He still ranks fifth on the school's all-time list in this event.
  • 100y dash
  • Member of two record-breaking relay teams.

Nastasi played RB for the Crusaders in addition to running track. He returned to his alma mater to teach/coach from 1965-7. He then coached for many years in the Jefferson Parish Public School system.

Benedetto & Son
Ben Benedetto
Ben Benedetto

Ben Benedetto (�€™06) lettered in football for Ole Miss at TE for the 2008 season. That makes Ben the first Crusader to win a football letter for the Rebels.

  • Ben lettered three years at Brother Martin and made All-District. He also played soccer and baseball.
  • He redshirted in 2006 but saw action in 2007 against Arkansas. As a sophomore in 2008 under new coach Houston Nutt, Ben played on special teams in all 13 games to earn his letter. He was moved to FB for spring practice in 2009.
  • Majoring in geological engineering, Ben made the Chancellor's Honor Roll in Spring 2008 and the Dean's Honor Roll in Fall 2006, Fall 2007 and Fall 2008; and U.M.A.A. Honor Roll in Spring 2007. He was named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll in 2008-09.

Ben followed in the footsteps of his father, Mark Benedetto ('77), who earned two letters as a D lineman at Tulane (1979-80). Mark has coached football, track, and wrestling at Martin since 2001.

Mark Benedetto
Mark Benedetto
First UNO Track Team Members

UNO's First Track Team
First UNO Track Team

Brother Martin contributed six members of the new track team at the University of New Orleans for its inaugural NCAA season in 1984.

  • David Alciatore ('82) - distance
    (2nd row, second from right)
  • Dennis Bouvier ('81) - middle distance
    (2nd row, far left)
  • Rene Chopin ('83) - middle distance
    (last row, fourth from right)
  • Patrick Craven ('83) - distance
    (3rd row, far left)
  • Michael Hall ('80) - jumps/javelin
    (3rd row, far right)
  • Mike Webster ('83) - steeplechase
    (last row, middle)

The team was organized and coached by Ken Leithman (SA '47), who had been an outstanding sprinter at Loyola. UNO was undoubtedly the only school in the nation whose track coach was a member of the state legislature.

Ray Staub

Ray Staub 1931

Ray Staub - 1932
Ray Staub

New Orleans Item 9/6/45 by Hap Glaudi:

Raymond Edward Staub, born and reared in the Ninth [Ward], ... takes over for Buck Seeber as head football coach at Nicholls, newest school in the prep league. ...[Staub] weights 220 and stands over six feet.

Staub is a product of the Prep ranks, an All-Prepper in basketball and baseball and a fine end in football while at St. Aloysius in 1929-'33. He was also an excellent athlete at Loyola University, lettering in grid and cage for four years. In addition, Ray was a professional baseball catcher with the Florida State champions, Gainesville, in 1937 and '38. At Aloysius Staub played under Kip Kessler and "Motorcycle" Jones. At Loyola he learned his football from Eddie Reed and 'Doc' Erskine. Staub has been in the Public School system since 1938. He has served at White, Peters and Nicholls, coming to the ninth ward school in 1941 when he broke in as Seeber's assistant. He was head cage coach for two years and in baseball for one.

He is married and the father of two boys - Raymond III, three years, and Danny, one and a half years.

Danny, better known as "Rusty," would play 23 seasons in the major leagues. Also Ray's older brother was Brother Eugene, S.C., who taught at St. Aloysius and Brother Martin until his death in 1979.

UNO Club Football Team
Madison Fredericks
Madison Fredericks
David Dalmado
David Dalmado

UNO's new club football team lists four Crusaders on its 2009 roster.

  • Madison Fredericks - junior WR/CB from New Orleans
  • David Dalmado - freshman CB/S from New Orleans
  • Adam Bayer - freshman K/RB from Metairie
  • Chris Guidry - senior TE/WR from Kenner

These students follow in the footsteps of longtime Brother Martin faculty member Bob Masson (CJ '63) who played on the UNO Club Football team in the 1960s.

Adam Bayer
Adam Bayer
Chris Guidry
Chris Guidry
Loyola Diamondmen

Boogie MurretButler Powell
John Murret and Butler Powell

When "Rags" Scheuermann became the Loyola baseball coach in 1958, he started a lineup that included four St. Aloysius graduates.

  • John "Boogie" Murret ('53) patrolled CF.
  • Ronnie Abel ('54) manned 2B.
  • Butler Powell ('56) held down the C spot.
  • Tom Schwaner ('57) anchored the infield at SS.

The '58 Wolfpack finished 14-5 in the Gulf States Conference.

Ronnie AbelTom Schwaner
Ronnie Abel and Tom Schwaner
First Crusader College Footballer?

Raymond Drouilhet
Raymond Drouilhet

One of the first, if not the first, St. Aloysius graduates to play college football was Raymond "Tiny" Drouilhet ('22) who played for Loyola in 1926.

  • Drouilhet was the star of the very first St. Aloysius football team in 1921. The rampaging FB led the Saints to a surprising 4-2 prep record in their maiden campaign.
  • Raymond is listed as a 21-year-old first-year player on the 1926 Loyola roster. What happened to him in the four years since high school is unknown.
  • Drouilhet started every game at T as Coach Eddie Reed's Wolfpack went 10-0 in 1926 and scored more points than any other team in the nation.
  • Loyola played every game but one that year at its own campus stadium on Freret Street.
Loyola Wolfpack Football 1926
Sun., Sep.26 Jefferson College 39-0
Sat., Oct. 2 @ Baylor 13-10
Sat., Oct. 9 Tennessee Doctors (Memphis) 14-6
Sat., Oct. 16 Detroit 38-0
Sun., Oct.24 Fort Benning Doughboys 46-0
Sun., Oct.31 Catholic U. 6-0
Sun., Nov. 7 Spring Hill 39-0
Sun., Nov.14 Little Rock College 44-0
Sat., Nov.20 Lincoln Memorial 74-0
Sat., Nov.27 Loyola of Chicago 40-14

Drouilhet played through 1928 when the Wolfpack traveled to South Bend IN to open the season against Notre Dame. The "Micks" (as they, like Holy Cross in New Orleans, were often dubbed in those days) prevailed 12-6.

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Ken Leithman

Mario Lopez

Al Nastasi

Benedetto & Son

First UNO Track Team

Ray Staub

UNO Club Football Team

Loyola Diamondmen

First Footballer?

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