Kyle Cannon from St. Charles Catholic earns New Orleans Athlete of the Month honor

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Kyle Cannon

NEW ORLEANS – Kyle Cannon, a sophomore football standout from St. Charles Catholic High School, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for December. Monthly award-winners are selected by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Greater New Orleans Amateur Athletes of the Month

Cannon was superb as he led third-seeded St. Charles Catholic to the LHSAA Division III state championship to cap an undefeated season despite the school being in the heart of one of the many areas of the region devastated by Hurricane Ida. In the state championship game on December 4 at Tulane’s Yulman Stadium, Cannon dominated the game defensively as the Comets shocked top seed and four-time defending state champion Lafayette Christian, 32-27. Cannon finished the game with 11 tackles, including nine solo tackles and three tackles for loss, and an interception. His biggest play of the game came with 2:26 to play and the Comets trailing – an errant snap slipped away from the Lafayette Christian punter and Cannon recovered the loose ball for the game-winning touchdown as he earned the game’s Most Outstanding Player honor.

“Before the game, I really was thinking that we really made it to the championship, all of our hard work and dedication was fixing to be put to work. I had to keep it up for the seniors because I know it was going to be their last ride and I just had to hold up my end of the bargain for them,” said Cannon.

“Kyle started the season as a role player and every week, we felt he grew up,” head coach Wayne Stein said. “We think he has a bright, bright future and will be a big prospect. We had some injuries and he stepped in. He played every single snap and played great. He just did a great job for us in all phases of the game. The sky is the limit for him. He fit right in for our team which played for one another; and he is tough and hard-nosed like our entire team.”

Cannon earned the honor over three standout college basketball players who had abbreviated months of action.

• Jalen Cook, a freshman guard for the Tulane men’s basketball team, averaged 16 points per game in two games for the Green Wave in a COVID-shortened December schedule. In a big 85-84 win over Memphis on Dec. 29, Cook scored 25 points on 9-of-16 shooting to open American Athletic Conference play on a high note. The victory snapped a 12-game losing streak against Memphis. Cook followed that performance with a 20-point effort in a Jan. 1 win over Cincinnati as he was selected as the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Player of the Week. For the season, the six-foot product of Walker (La.) leads the Green Wave and ranks second in the American with 19.7 points per game. He also averages 3.3 assists per outing.

• Lance Williams, a 6-1 freshman guard; scored a career- and game-high 23 points in 27 minutes in an 84-57 win over William Carey in the Gold Rush’s only December game. The Baton Rouge product made five consecutive three-pointers in a first-half span of 5:38 to help XULA increase its lead from 17-12 to 34-22. He finished with seven made threes, most in a game by a XULA freshman since 1989 and one less than the XULA overall record. Williams was named Red River Athletic Conference Player of the Week as a result of this performance.

• Zach Wrightsil and the No. 1 ranked Loyola Wolf Pack played two games during the month of December, defeating conference rival William Carey and in-state foe LSU Shreveport in a pair of road games as they maintained their perfect record for the season. In the 78-71 win over Carey in Hattiesburg on Dec. 2, Wrightsil scored 20 points and pulled down six rebounds to go with a game-high five steals and four assists. A week later, Wrightsil’s 21 points, six steals and six rebounds led the Wolf Pack to a 76-69 win over LSUS. As of Jan. 4, Wrightsil leads the Wolf Pack with 16.3 points per game while shooting 58.3 percent from the field. He also has 8.2 rebounds and 2.6 steals per game. Loyola, which claimed the No. 1 ranking in the nation for the first time in school history on Dec. 15, remains perfect at 16-0.

The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1957. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 99 Hall of Fame players, 51 Hall of Fame coaches and 20 Heisman Trophy winners in its 88-year history. The 89th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will feature top teams from the SEC and the Big 12, is scheduled to be played on January 2, 2023. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information, visit www.AllstateSugarBowl.org.

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