WATCH: Allstate Sugar Bowl and National Football Foundation honor local scholar-athletes

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2021 Allstate Sugar Bowl scholarship recipients

At the Audubon Tea Room in uptown New Orleans, 31 high school athletes were recognized for their outstanding achievements in academics by the Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee at the National Football Foundation 2021 Scholar Athlete Awards Luncheon.

Each of the young men excelled through their work in the classroom, production on the football field and multiple extracurriculars. Twenty-six high schools from across the metro area were represented at the event from all divisions of competition.

Also honored Wednesday at the annual luncheon were two legendary figures of the New Orleans community, Jay Roth and Rick Dickson.

Roth received the Contribution to Amateur Football Award for his tenure of 24 years as the head coach of Archbishop Rummel. He is the record holder for most wins in Catholic League history with 228, along with 12 Catholic League titles and two consecutive state championships (2012 and 2013).

During his acceptance speech, Roth reminisced on how he had been in the same shoes of the athletes in attendance as he himself had been a National Football Foundation scholar athlete forty years prior.

Dickson received the Distinguished American Award for his 16 years as Tulane’s Athletic Director. During his time with the Green Wave, Hurricane Katrina brought destruction and chaos to the city of New Orleans. Dickson shined in his ability to manage and lead during such a trying time. He helped Tulane successfully gain admission into the American Athletic Conference, open a brand-new football stadium and produce numerous renovations and constructions of other athletic facilities.

In his speech, Dickson highlighted two words by which he lives, “fearless and relentless.” He noted that he prides himself on striving to live those words as a professional and encouraged the young men in the room to do the same.

Former NFL quarterback Archie Manning called out the names of each athlete that was being honored, along with a list of the accomplishments they had in their high school careers. He emphasized to the young men honored that “the true game of life is about excellence off the field.”

Four student-athletes were awarded scholarship money from the Sugar Bowl Committee for their exemplary work ethic. The quartet honored were Brandon McGowen from Isidore Newman, Joshua Bailey from Fontainebleau, John Drake from John Curtis Christian, and Justin Perritt from Northlake Christian. Each received $10,000 to go towards their college tuition. These athletes were asked to write essays that explained why they deserved to be given a scholarship and what they have had to overcome in their lives to get to where they are now.

Brandon McGowen was born with a rare internal condition that caused him to experience shortness of breath constantly. When asked how he felt to receive a scholarship he noted that he was “blessed, honored and excited.” He also explained that he did not see his condition as a hindrance but as a motivator to keep pushing himself towards success.

The biggest award of the day went to Wyatt Coffey of Archbishop Hannan, who received the Oliver Delery Scholarship, which granted him $20,000 for tuition for his work on and off the field. “I’m excited, because basically my whole college just got paid for.” Coffey was born with Poland Anomaly, a condition that causes underdeveloped pectoral muscles.

“I’ve been told that I couldn’t do a lot of things my whole life, and now I am pound for pound the strongest player in the state,” said Coffey.

Watch the luncheon:

Annual Luncheon Recognizes 33 Individuals

NEW ORLEANS – The Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame held its 2021 Awards Luncheon on Wednesday afternoon at the Audubon Tea Room. The highlight of the event was the announcement of five winners of college scholarships from the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Thirty-one local high school football players were recognized for their achievements in the classroom, in the community and on the football field. The honorees were chosen from a group of nominated scholar athletes from the New Orleans area. Archie Manning, the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, recognized each of the 31 student athletes at the event. From that group of 31, five were selected to receive Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarships: four for $10,000 and one for $20,000 each. The scholarship winners were chosen based on essays submitted after being notified of their selection as scholar-athletes.

Wyatt Coffey from Archbishop Hannan High School was the recipient of the $20,000 Oliver Delery Scholarship, named for the Sugar Bowl Committee-member and past president who passed away two years ago. The $10,000 scholarships were awarded to Joshua Bailey (Fontainebleau High School), Brandon McGowan (Isidore Newman School), John Drake (John Curtis Christian School) and Justin Perritt (Northlake Christian School).

In addition to the high school honorees, two local leaders were recognized for their contributions to the community and the sport of football.

Jay Roth, the current director of athletics at Archbishop Rummel who was the Raiders’ head football coach for 24 years before retiring following the 2018 season, was presented with the Contributions to Amateur Football Award, which is given annually to an individual for his or her effort to promote the game, preserve its history and ensure its future. Roth compiled a career record of 228-62 at Rummel, directing the Raiders to two consecutive Class 5A state championships (2012 and 2013), two other trips to the finals and an unfathomable 12 Catholic League championships. Roth’s dozen Catholic League championships are the most by any coach in the 65-year history of the league that dates to 1955. He also had 10 trips to the state semifinals and seven undefeated regular seasons, including 1980, when he was the Raiders’ senior quarterback.

Rick Dickson, who served as the director of athletics at Tulane University from 2000-16, was presented with the Distinguished American Award, which is presented each year to an individual who has set the standard for a life of service to the community and has made a significant contribution to the betterment of amateur football. Dickson guided the Green Wave through some of the most tumultuous periods in its history, including the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which nearly destroyed the university’s athletics facilities. Despite the Katrina chaos, Dickson provided leadership and coordinated the effort to rebuild the athletics program to a full complement of 16 programs. He also keyed the program’s admission to the American Athletic Conference, opened Yulman Stadium and built or renovated numerous other facilities. Under Dickson’s watch, Tulane teams won 41 C-USA titles and advanced to NCAA postseason play 36 times. This includes two bowl games, two College World Series trips and four runs to the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships. He is currently the Director of Athletics at the University of Tulsa.

The New Orleans Chapter of the National Football Foundation was established in 1971. The Sugar Bowl took over sponsorship of the chapter in 2000 and since then it has recognized nearly 500 student-athletes while distributing over $500,000 in scholarship money.

2021 National Football Foundation Scholar Athletes (alphabetical by high school):

Wyatt Coffey (Archbishop Hannan High School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society, Principal’s Honor Roll (five years), Crimson Honor Roll, English II Award. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman in football and track; five years in wrestling; three-time all-district in football; all-parish; all-state; All-South Louisiana; Team Captain; Christian Leadership Award. Extracurricular Activities: Student Ambassador; Homecoming Court; Vacation Bible School Leader; Habitat for Humanity; FCA. Will play football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Chase Tollin (Archbishop Rummel High School)
Academic Achievements: Alpha Honor Roll, National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta; President of the Latin Club.. Athletic Achievements: Team Captain; 2020 state football champion for undefeated Raiders; three-year letterman; three-year starter. Extracurricular Activities: Student Council, SALT Club, Ultimate Frisbee, Student Ambassadors. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

Dawson Guidry (Archbishop Shaw High School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll every Semester. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; school captain. Extracurricular Activities: Student Government President, Cheerleading, Peer Ministry. Will play football at Ouachita Baptist this fall.

Maximillian Morrell (Benjamin Franklin High School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; team captain; all-district; starter on offense and defense; Most Improved. Plans to attend LSU in the fall.

William Fineran (Benjamin Franklin High School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Team captain; three-year letterman; all-district; Most Improved. Plans to attend LSU this fall.

Tayler Tate (Bonnabel High School)
Academic Achievements: Entourage Boys Club, volunteer work. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; three-year starter; team captain; two-time all-district; team offensive MVP .. Extracurricular Activities: FCA. Plans to play football at Mississippi College in the fall.

Logan Farrell (Brother Martin High School)
Academic Achievements: National Junior Honor Society; Alpha Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; all-district; all-metro; all-state honorable mention; Brother Martin Bob Conlin Award; also lettered in track. Extracurricular Activities: Youth sports referee. Plans to attend Louisiana Tech in the fall.

John Martin (De La Salle High School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Honor Roll for five years; Merit Scholarship; De La Salle Gold & Silver Torch award winner. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; led team to three state championship games; four-time all-district; all-metro; All-Clarion Herald First Team; first-team all-state; All-South. Extracurricular Activities: Big Brother, Video Game Club. Will attend Columbia University.

Joshua Kovacic (Ecole Classique High School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society. Athletic Achievements: Two-year starter on both offense and defense; team captain; Coaches Award & Most Improved in 2019; Overall Team MVP in 2020. Extracurricular Activities: Key Club. Plans to attend UNO or Southeastern Louisiana.

Joshua Bailey (Fontainebleau High School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Honor Roll all four years; St. Tammany Parish Superintendent Student Advisory Panel. Athletic Achievements: Team captain; three-year varsity starter and letterman; two-time all-district; four-year letterman in track and field; all-district in basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Lifeguard. Will play football at Rice University.

Charles Dean (Frederick A. Douglass High School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Four-year starter; four-time all-district; also a four-year starter in baseball. Extracurricular Activities: Youth ministry. Plans to attend UL-Lafayette.

Lawrence Lambert (George Washington Carver High School)
Academic Achievements: Scholar of the Year 2020, Principal’s Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; two-year team captain; all-district; also captain of the baseball and track & field teams; all-state in track and won the Louisiana 4A championship in the long jump earlier this month. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

Barryn Sorrell (Holy Cross School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll; All-State Academic; American Rivalry Series Scholarship; Highest GPA on football team. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; all-district, all-state; Butch Duke Award. Will play football at the University of Texas.

Brandon McGowan (Isidore Newman School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, Kenneth A Kirschmann Scholarship. Athletic Achievements: Two-year starter at linebacker; captain of the track team. Extracurricular Activities: Social Justice club, admissions ambassador, homecoming king, peer leader, Relay for life volunteer. Plans to attend the University of Southern California.

Joseph Pleasant (Isidore Newman School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Team captain; two-year starter; all-district; track and field captain; district champion in the shotput. Extracurricular Activities: Secretary of the young independents club; Newman choir; volunteer at learning and daycare center. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

Giovanni Licciardi (Jesuit High School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Honor Roll, four years. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; two-year starter in the secondary; team’s leading tackler in 2020; also an all-district state champion in baseball. Extracurricular Activities: Campus ministry; peer support; Thanksgiving Drive volunteer. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

Win Schibler (Jesuit High School)
Academic Achievements: Jesuit Honor Roll, five years; top score on National Latin Exam. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; two-year starter; also played rugby. Extracurricular Activities: Represented Jesuit at Unity Day at Loyola University; Sodality Club; Fishing Club. Plans to attend Tulane University.

John Drake (John Curtis Christian School)
Academic Achievements: Honors Scholar; National Honor Society; All-Academic for football and wrestling. Athletic Achievements: Three-year starter and four-year letterman; two-time all-district; also a five-year letterman in wrestling; the Louisiana Division III heavyweight wrestling champion. Extracurricular Activities: FCA; STEM Club; Physics Club; Spirit Club. Will attend LSU.

Devin Weilbaecher (Lakeshore High School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll – 4 Years. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman and three-year starter for football team that went 43-8 during his career; honorable mention all-state; two-time all-district; District Defensive MVP; all-parish; team leadership council. Extracurricular Activities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes; flag football referee. Plans to attend Baton Rouge Community College.

Jared Albert (Lusher High School)
Athletic Achievements: Team captain, four-year starter on offense and defense; also lettered in track & field. Extracurricular Activities: Clothing drive volunteer; church volunteer. Plans to attend LSU or Rice University.

Caden Costa (Mandeville High School)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll. Athletic Achievements: Two-time all-parish and all-district; All-South Louisiana; all-metro; rated as the seventh-best kicker in the country; made 30-of-42 total field goal attempts with a long of 51; converted 178-of-181 PAT attempts; also lettered in soccer and baseball. Will play football at Ole Miss.

Jyron Parker (McDonogh 35 High School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Honor Roll; 24 Plus Club. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; two-year starter; all-district. Extracurricular Activities: Church volunteer. Plans to attend Hamline College in Minnesota.

Douglas Heebe (Metairie Park Country Day School)
Academic Achievements: Rhodes Book Award; Frederick Douglass & Susan B. Anthony Award. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; all-district. Extracurricular Activities: Student Body President; Relay for Life. Plans to attend Washington and Lee University.

Jackson Picone (Northlake Christian High School)
Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; all-parish; all-district; District Defensive MVP. Extracurricular Activities: Mission work in the Amazon; youth group volunteer. Plans to attend Southeastern Louisiana University.

Justin Perritt (Northlake Christian High School)
Academic Achievements: A Honor Roll, three years; National Honor Society; All-State Academic. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; two-time all-district. Extracurricular Activities: Disaster Relief Response Team for First Baptist Covington; Covid 19 Test Kit assembly volunteer. Plans to attend Samford University.

Brady Pisciotta (Pope John Paul II High School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; Principals Honor Roll; Student Ambassador; Student Council; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – Student of the Year. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; two-time all-district; also a five-year baseball letterman; all-district baseball for three years. Extracurricular Activities: Hurricane Relief volunteer in Lafayette; Future Health Professionals. Will attend LSU in the fall.

Darren Labit (Riverdale High School)
Athletic Achievements: Two-year letterman; team captain; starting safety as a junior; starting quarterback as a senior; broke his collarbone but still returned to finish the season and earn all-district; also lettered in track, baseball and basketball; three-year starter in basketball. Extracurricular Activities: Middle school volunteer; playground official/coach. Plans to play football at Millsaps College.

Dylan Porche (St. Paul’s School)
Academic Achievements: Taylor Award Scholar; Honor Roll all four years; Academic All-State. Athletic Achievements: Four-year lettermen; team captain; all- district; all-parish. Extracurricular Activities: Offensive and Defensive Line Camp; Teacher Assistant; Annual Roux Ga Roux Race Volunteer. Plans to attend LSU in the fall.

Jacob Frolich (St. Paul’s School)
Academic Achievements: National Honor Society; “A” Honor Roll, four years; academic all-state. Athletic Achievements: Four-year starter; team captain; three-time all-district; all-parish; all-metro; honorable mention all-state; also lettered in track & field and powerlifting. Extracurricular Activities: Key Club; Special Olympics volunteer, Cooking for a Cause. Name of College Attending: Undecided.

Braeden Carr (Thomas Jefferson Academy)
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, four years; multiple scholarship offers; Superintendent Breakfast of Champions. Athletic Achievements: Four-year letterman; team captain; three-time all-district; also lettered in soccer, baseball and track & field; district champion in the javelin. Extracurricular Activities: School play volunteer; YoungLife officer. Plans to attend Nicholls State.

Khalil Jebreel (West Jefferson High School
Academic Achievements: Honor Roll, three years. Athletic Achievements: Three-year letterman; two-time team captain. Extracurricular Activities: Volunteer at car dealership. Plans to attend the University of New Orleans.

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 19 Heisman Trophy winners in its 87-year history. The 88th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will feature top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2022. 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

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