Holy Cross Rivalry Game
Since 1922 Jesuit and Holy Cross have met on the gridiron. This Great American Rivalry is the fifth oldest continuously played prep rivalry in the country. The Blue Jays lead the series, 56-40-1.
Legends of the Game
|2017||Rick Chanove ’89|
|2016||1948 State Championship Football Team|
|2015||The 2005 “Katrina” Football Teams of Jesuit and Holy Cross|
|2014||Frank Massa ’54||Billy Truax ’60|
|2013||The 1963 Jesuit and Holy Cross teams|
|2012||Chris Markey ’04||Joe Heap (honored posthumously)|
|2011||Al Widmer ’43||Charlie DiGange ’64|
|2010||Pat Screen ’61 (honored posthumously)||Butch Duhe (honored posthumously)|
|2009||Mickey LaNasa ’54||Earl Schneider ’55|
|2008*||Ray Coates ’44||Barry Wilson ’64|
* Inaugural year honoring Legends of the Game
Honored Alumni Veteran
|2017||Capt Ronald Drez ’58, USMC|
|2016||Lt. Col. Justin J. Ansel, Jr. ’91, USMC||LCDR Coleman Ruiz ’93, USN (ret.)|
|2015||LTC William Furlong ’52, USAR||Rear Adm. Victor Guillory ’73, USN|
|2014||Col. Beau Higgins ’85, USMC||Lt. Col. Sean Conroy ’86, USAF|
|2013||Lt. Colonel Brandon Gregoire ’91, USMC||Staff Sgt. Timothy Clark ’99, USMC|
|2012||Lt. Colonel Tim Huete ’76, USMC||Major William Schehr ’86, USA|
|2011*||Benigno Martinez ’35, USA||Major Paul Vorenkamp ’80, USA|
* Inaugural year honoring alumni veterans
Game Day Festivities
In 2006, Jesuit and Holy Cross took the game to another level with the creation of a traveling trophy called The Golden Football. The trophy is the idea of Holy Cross alumnus Steve Donnes ’76, whose father and three brothers attended Jesuit. Holy Cross created the trophy, which resides at the winning school until the following year. After being showcased at Holy Cross’s tailgate party outside Tad Gormley Stadium, Ronnie Gravois ’56 (creator of BlueJaysTigers.com, a website dedicated to the rivalry) represents Jesuit at the tailgate party and presents Holy Cross with a print of the 1940 stadium photo.
In 2008, a committee of officials from each school was created to organize the expanding event and for the first time, The Great American Rivalry Series includes the Jesuit vs. Holy Cross game on their schedule.
The inclusion of GARS introduced several new elements to the game:
- Recognition of a Legend of the Game from each school
- Presentation of $500 check to home team’s school
- Presentation of $500 scholarship to each team’s scholar athlete (senior letterman with highest GPA)
- Recognition of the game’s Most Valuable Player
- Presentation of championship trophy to winning team
- Presentation of GARS championship caps to players on winning team
- Marine Corps sponsored chin-up contest for students of each school. Trophy presented to cheerleaders of winning school at the end of the third quarter
- Showing of championship trophy to each school at pep rally or student assembly
- Marine Corps events during game: throwing of GARS t-shirts and footballs into crowd, etc.
- GARS and Marine Corps signage and blowups in stadium
- Scholar Athletes recognized at midfield by stadium announcer (represented by school principals due to LHSAA restrictions)
- Legends of the Game serve as honorary team captains and participate in coin-toss. (Home team Legend tosses the coin.)
The event continued to grow and in 2009, Holy Cross created a game-day T-shirt and both teams came together to host a parade, or entrance of bands. The school bands assembled on Marconi and entered the stadium through the main gates.
In 2010, Jesuit joined Holy Cross in creating a game-day T-shirt. The schools agree to use the same design with each school using its own colors. Jesuit also hosted its first school-sponsored pre-game tailgate party. The party features Big Brother/Little Brother events, complimentary food and refreshments, and complimentary game tickets for parents of new students. The parade was enhanced to include the bands stopping, facing the fans, and playing their fight songs.
In 2011, the parade grew to include a float bearing each school’s mascot and head cheerleader displaying the game trophies. The parade is dubbed the Krewe of Rivalry. The float is the lead unit in the parade. The pre-game ceremonies were also enhanced to include the honoring of a military veteran alumnus from each school.
A Game Coin bearing the logos of both schools was a new improvement to the game day festivities in 2012. The coin was given to special guests, award winners, and seniors on the football team. The parade was enhanced to include the Legends of the Game riding in convertibles as well as a performance from hometown favorites, the 610 Stompers perform three numbers. Due to the effects of Hurricane Isaac, the parade did not include a float.
In 2014, Jesuit Marine Corps ROTC cadets presented a 40-by-60 foot American flag in front of a crowd of approximately 15,000 during the National Anthem. It took about 40 Blue Jay cadets to display the flag, which was on loan from the U.S. Navy VR-54 Naval Air Station in Belle Chasse.
In 2015, the Community Service Award was created. The award recognizes a senior football letterman from each school for his exemplary and inspirational service to his school and the greater community of New Orleans.