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The 30's: Cradle of Future Coaches

Reprinted from the Clarion Herald Oct. 2, 1997

Copyright 1997 The Clarion Herald

 

By RON BROCATO

 

From the decade of the 1930's came an invitation to Catholic schools to join the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.

 

The 30's also produced more prominent future coaches that any other era.  During that period, the city's fourth public school, Fortier, opened.

 

The 30's ere also highlighted by an arch rivalry for the ages between a pair of coaches who had little in common but a burning desire to beat each other's team and philosophy.  It pitted Jesuit's G. Gernon Brown against the flamboyant thespian of Warren Easton, Johnny Brechtel.

 

PREVIOUSLY denied the right to compete for championship honors, Catholic schools were accepted into the state association in 1931.  And under coach Doc Erskine, the Jays made the playoffs in 1931 and in 1932.  They lost to Byrd in the '31 finals, 14-0 and lost to Lake Charles in the 1932 semis, 12-6.

 

In 1933, Jesuit had two historical figures lead the school to its first of seven LHSAA titles: Coach Brown and a senior tailback named Eddie Toribio, who would also become a coaching legend.

 

What is so amazing about the 1933 season is that Jesuit shut out 12 of 13 opponents, including Burd (0-0) in the state championship game.  They Jays won on penetrations, 2-0.

 

The only points Jesuit allowed came in a 7-6 win over Fortier, a school that began play in 1931.  Jesuit outpointed their opponents, 271-6

 

IRONICALLY, Fortier also blanked seven of eight opponents; the only points allowed for he season came in that game against Jesuit.  The Tarpons outpointed their opposition, 183-7.

 

Meanwhile, Brechtel was building a reputation at Class B Behrman.  In three years at the Algiers school, Brechtel's teams shut out 19 of 25 opponents.  In 1935 he was named head coach at Easton.

 

ARGUABLY the greatest Easton team emerged in 1936.  The Eagles won nine regular-season games without yielding a point.  They beat Jennings on first downs, 4-3, after their playoff game ended in a scoreless tie.  But they lost to Haynesville in the title game, 6-0.

 

From those Eagle teams that played for three titles under Brechtel came five future coaching legends: Joe Galliano (Redemptorist and Rummel), Milt "Mook" Clavier (Fortier), Johnny Altobello ((De La Salle), Harold "Hoss" Memtsas (Easton and West Jefferson), and Billy Brinkman (Easton).  From the Brechtel school also came coach Cy Hickey (Peters), who had a notable career.

 

Warren Easton also produced a future NFL Hall of Fame running back, Steve Van Buren, who was passed over for all-league honors at end.

 

But Van Buren was moved to tailback at LSU and he went on to star with the Philadelphia Eagles for many years.

 

TWO OTHER outstanding players from that decade were Jesuit back Connie Ryan, who went on to a long major league baseball career as a player and then coach, mostly in the Braves organization, and Easton All-State guard Jimmy Moreau, whose future field of battle was the political arena of City Hall as a councilman.

 

Commercial High, lovingly known as Commy High, was renamed Peters in 1938.

 

Jesuit opened the era with Erskine as its coach.  His coaching career ended following the 1932 season, but in those three years in the '30's he coached, the Jays had a 27-4-1 record.

 

Brown's teams of the 30's posted a 50-12-6 record, while Brechtel's Eagles had 38 wins, seven losses and three ties.

 

More importantly to Easton and Jesuit fans, Brechtel's teams beat Brown's in four out of five meetings.  At that time, only one team from the city qualified for the state playoffs, a situation that made the rivalry even more hotly contested until it ended following the 1955 season.

 

BROWN dressed his Blue Jays in sharp, silk uniforms.  Brechtel countered with silk garb as well.  But he went one step further by designing a gold eagle on the chest of the purple jersey.  The Eagles' wings extended into the sleeves.

 

So when Easton's backfield shifted into its box offense, the players flapped their arms, emulating a flight of eagles.

 

Toribio was probably the best back of the era.  He was named to the all-prep team for three years.  Toribio , who would later become a great coach at Jesuit and St. Aloysius, scored 38 regular season touchdowns.

 

Holy Cross' 1934 team had its best season of the decade.  The Micks won the city title with a 6-0-1 record, defeated Jennings, 12-0, in the playoffs, then lost to Byrd, 14-0. in the finals.  Chuck Jaskwhich coached that Holy Cross squad.

 

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS'   

BEST OF THE THIRTIES   

Pos.   

Name   

School   

Sr. Season

End   

Dave Loker   

Jesuit   

'33

Tackle   

Cy Hickey   

Holy Cross   

'34

Guard   

Ut Winters   

Jesuit   

'30

Center   

Connie Miller   

Jesuit   

'36

Guard   

George Young   

Holy Cross   

 '38

Tackle   

John Egan   

Jesuit   

'32

End   

Harold Hooper   

Jesuit   

'36

Quarterback   

L. G. Friedrichs   

Jesuit   

'35

Back   

Tom Daigle   

Jesuit   

'30

Back   

Barrett Booth   

Holy Cross   

'34

Back   

Eddie Toribio   

Jesuit   

'33

Kicker   

St. John Smith   

Jesuit   

'35

 

Coaches of the Decade   

 

Doc Erskine   

Jesuit   

1930-32

G. Gernon Brown   

Jesuit   

1933-39

 

 

HONORABLE MENTION   

BACKS   

LINEMEN   

George Joint   

Jesuit   

'31   

Al Suberville   

 St. Aloysius   

'39   

Jimmy Thibaut   

St. Aloysius   

'37   

Ed Guizerix   

Holy Cross   

'32   

Pershing Cashen   

Jesuit   

'38   

Red Berner   

Jesuit   

'30   

Connie Ryan   

Jesuit   

'37   

Paul Daly   

Holy Cross   

'35   

Eddie Daigle   

St. Aloysius   

'32   

Andy Cuccia   

Holy Cross   

'39   

Joe Beach   

Holy Cross   

'30   

Nolan Delatte   

St. Aloysius   

'39   

 

Bill Kirn   

Jesuit   

'35   

Dunk Beter   

Jesuit   

'30   

PUBLIC SCHOOLS BEST   

BACKS   

LINEMEN   

Doug Johnson   

Fortier   

 '32   

Moon Mullins   

Easton   

'30   

Jimmy Cajoles   

Easton   

'35   

Hoss Memtsas   

Easton   

'31   

Lenny Fresh   

Easton   

'36   

Jimmy Moreau   

Easton   

'32   

Joe Galliano   

Easton   

'46   

Carl Goll   

Fortier   

'33   

Mook Clavier   

Easton   

'38   

Cameron Gamble   

Fortier   

'33   

Johnny Altobello   

Easton   

'37   

Eddie Gatto   

Commy   

'34   

Vernon Gersanich   

Easton   

'39   

Billy Brinkman   

Easton   

'36   

Eddie Fischer   

Fortier   

'39   

Billy Martinez   

Easton   

'36   

Bernie Mire   

Behrman   

'39   

John Marshall   

Easton   

'36   

 

Bernard Lipkis   

Fortier   

'37   

Lou Thomas   

Easton   

'38   

Louis Chateau   

Easton   

'39   

Steve Van Buren   

Easton   

'39   

 

 

 

JESUIT HIGH SCHOOL ALL-DECADE TEAM FOR THE 1930'S   

Reprinted from the Times-Picayune August 25, 1982   

Copyright 1982 The Times-Picayune

End   

Dave Loker   

1933-34

Tackle   

Bill Kern*   

1935

Guard   

Dave Brennan   

 1939

Center   

Connie Miller*   

1934-35-36

Guard   

Albert "Ut" Winters   

1930

Tackle   

John Egan   

1932-33

End   

Harold Hooper*   

1935-36-37

Back   

L. G. Friedrichs*   

1934-35  

Back   

George Antonini   

1935

Back   

Eddie Toribio*   

1931-32-33

Back   

Dick Eberhardt*   

1936

Kicker   

St. John Smith   

1935

Player of the decade Eddie Toribio  

* - All-State selection

 

 

 

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