Bullinger, Liotta, Calccote, St. Germain inducted into Rummel Hall of Fame
It was a tough act to follow.
His cousin, Matt, was a star at Archbishop Rummel and played professional baseball, reaching as high as Triple A baseball.
His older brother, Jimmy, was a star at Archbishop Rummel, earning induction into the Rummel Hall of Fame in 2007. Jimmy played on a College World Series team at the University of New Orleans before reaching the majors with the Chicago Cubs, Montreal Expos and Seattle Mariners for seven seasons.
Kirk Bullinger kept the family tradition alive and well, starring on a state championship team at Rummel before playing at Southeastern Louisiana.
Kirk would reach the highest level as well, pitching five seasons in the majors with Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia and Houston.
At Rummel, Kirk was a slick fielding shortstop and part of a great team that captured both the prep and legion state championships in 1987, his senior season.
Bullinger’s son, Brock, is a star pitcher in his senior season at Rummel while daughter Brooklyn is now a Rummel cheerleader.
“Our team in 1987 was special,” Bullinger said. “Glenn Scheuermann, Scott Hebert, Earl Kilbride and our coach, Larry Schneider are all in the Rummel Hall of Fame. It is an honor to be in their company. We had 10 guys who went on to play at the next level. Rummel has meant so much to our family.”
The number 25 bears significance.
Bullinger highlights the 25th Archbishop Rummel Athletic Hall of Fame Class inducted Thursday night at the Metairie school, a special feat for a student-athlete who was a member of the 25th graduating class at Rummel.
The other three inductees are no less accomplished.
That includes anther former Raider baseball star in Ray Liotta.
A graduate of the Class of 2001, Liotta was a tall, lanky, hard-throwing left-hander who formed a dynamic duo of the hardest throwing combination in the state in his junior and senior season, along with Thomas Diamond, a right-handed pitcher who was inducted into the Rummel Hall of Fame in 2017.
Liotta and Diamond pitched the Raiders to the state final in 2000 and to the semifinals in 2001.
As a junior, Liotta fashioned a 1.05 ERA with 109 strikeouts while batting .346 at the plate.
As a senior, Liotta went 14-4 with a 1.62 ERA.
Liotta signed with Tulane, pitched one season with the Green Wave and transferred to Gulf Coast Community College, earning Panhandle Conference Pitcher of the Year honors.
Liotta was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 2004 draft and was a Minor League All-Star. Liotta reached as high as Triple A.
Liotta, who now lives in North Carolina, flew back with his entire family to be part of the festivities.
“It’s just such a great honor and it’s really amazing to share it with my friend, Thomas (Diamond),” Liotta said. “We had a lot of fun, Thomas and me. I had a really good junior year and he had a really good senior year. My senior year at Parkview Baptist, we were losing and I pinch-hit and homered to keep Thomas from getting a loss. Rummel is a special place to me.”
Part of a tremendous wrestling family, Johnny Calcote was a star the minute he began competing for the Raider varsity wrestling squad.
As a freshman, Calcote finished third in the state at 119 pounds before finishing fourth at 125 pounds as a sophomore.
Then, Calcote ripped off consecutive state titles as a junior and senior at 130 pounds in helping lead Rummel to a state runner-up finish in his senior year of 2009.
Calcote earned the prestigious Rufus Award in his senior year, chosen as the top athlete in any sport at Archbishop Rummel. He is especially fond of winning an individual state title the same year as Bernie Dupuy, Tony Wood and Rhett Ernst, all of whom were close friends and training partners.
“There are plenty of great wrestlers from Rummel and there will be many more to come in the program and in this Hall of Fame,” Calcote said. “My brother (Matt) got two (state titles) right behind me. We’re hoping to make it a family name here at Rummel. When Rummel won it all in 2011, I felt like I was there and a part of it.”
A graduate of the Class of 1981, James St. Germain was a picture of dedication and a tribute to perseverance.
St. Germain dealt with a broken arm for much of his first year and into his second year at Rummel. He did not catch the attention of coaches to earn real playing time through the end of his junior season.
Then came his senior season.
St. Germain was given an opportunity and he seized the moment, the day and the season with a simply brilliant performance.
In 1980, Rummel had the best season in its young existence, posting a perfect 10-0 record, reaching No. 1 in the state rankings and winning the prestigious Catholic League championship.
St. Germain was terrific, in on 85 solo tackles, including a simply amazing number of sacks with 19 which accounted for 171 yards in losses for opponents. He also forced three fumbles and blocked a punt.
St. Germain was very humble in accepting the honor.
“We won a couple of games that maybe we shouldn’t have my senior season,” St. Germain said. “We were undefeated, had a terrific season. When you are given your opportunity, you have to make the best of it. I certainly wasn’t the best on the team.”
In the days prior to the seeding system being instituted in the LHSAA state playoffs, Rummel had to face another top four team in the state in the round of 16 in a massively talented John Ehret squad.
In an epic battle in the Superdome in a game which I have the privilege of broadcasting, the Patriots outlasted the Raiders 17-10 in overtime.
“The Ehret game was one of the best games ever,” St. Germain said. “It was tough to lose. We had a great coaching staff and they were terrific people.”
For his efforts, St. Germain earned All-East Bank, All-District, All-Metro and All-State honors, the MVP of every one of those teams.
To cap it off, St. Germain was named the Defensive Most Valuable Player in the state of Louisiana.
Bullinger, Liotta, Calcote and St. Germain bring the number of inductees into the Archbishop Rummel Athletic Hall of Fame to 103, dating to the first induction class of 1997.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…