Brother Martin football named state winner, finalist for academic excellence award
Brother Martin’s football team was one of 60 programs across the country selected as a state winner of the 2022-23 National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame’s National High School Academic Excellence Awards.
The awards recognize excellence in the classroom, on the field and in the community.
Brother Martin is one of six schools from Louisiana on the list but the only one from the metro area. The other Louisiana schools named in Thursday’s NFF announcement are Benton, Dutchtown, Iowa, Ouachita Christian and St. Thomas More.
The national winner will be announced next week and receive the NFF Hatchell Cup, presented by “The Original” Bob’s Steak & Chop House.
“Academic and athletic success go hand-in-hand,” said NFF Chairman Archie Manning. “We are proud to recognize these 60 outstanding high school football teams as the top academic performers in their states. These schools, coaches, players and their families should all be incredibly pleased with their accomplishments, and we look forward to announcing the overall winner of the Hatchell Cup on Feb. 8. We hope by inspiring teams to compete in the classroom with the same competitive spirit that it takes to win on the field, we will better prepare high school football players for success later in life.”
The NFF announced the creation of the award in February 2021. Cypress Woods High School (Texas) claimed the inaugural Hatchell Cup. This season marks the second season the awards are being presented. The initiative is designed to inspire and foster a culture of academic excellence on high school football teams throughout the nation.
Eligibility requirements for the NFF National High School Academic Excellence Awards include a minimum cumulative team GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale; superior academic application and performance, and a successful football season.
The 60 winners from each division of play were selected by the individual states’ high school coaches associations from a pool of nominees submitted by each school’s head coach. A selection committee, compiled and led by the NFF, will be responsible for choosing one school as the recipient of the Hatchell Cup as the best team in the nation.
The NFF Hatchell Cup is named in honor of NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. Since taking over the helm of the NFF in 2005, Hatchell has overseen numerous programs expanding the NFF’s reach and impact as it continues to promote the scholar-athlete ideal. His career in athletics administration spans more than five decades and includes countless accomplishments, including serving as the first commissioner of the Big 12 Conference and holding the top jobs at the Southwest Conference and the Orange Bowl.
This past December, “The Original” Bob’s Steak & Chop House became the presenting sponsor of the Hatchell Cup. Since its 1993 opening in Dallas, Texas, Bob’s Steak & Chop House has proudly offered the best cuts of meat available to guests, making the name “Bob’s” synonymous with a best-in-class steakhouse experience. Over the years, the restaurant has built upon the reputation that it earned at the original Dallas location by opening restaurants across the nation, providing guests a first-class experience no matter where they call home.
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…