Alumni Honored as Part of Great American Rivalry with Holy Cross
Friday’s matchup against Holy Cross, while always thrilling, held special meaning for several alumni who were recognized as part of the gameday festivities.
For Bill Barrois and Keefe Hecker, both of the Class of 1964, the revelry started several hours before the rivalry game kicked off. Hecker spoke to Blue Jays at Morning Assembly Friday and recounted memories from when he was captain of the football team and played in the 1963 state championship game against Holy Cross at Sugar Bowl Stadium. Barrois spoke to the players following Thursday’s football practice. He told them about how the 1963 season started 0-2, but they were able to fight on and ended up winning two games in the playoffs that year.
At Friday’s pre-game ceremony, Jesuit honored Lt. Colonel Brandon Gregoire ’91 for his distinguished military service. He was presented with a special plaque by Great American Rivalry Series representatives and Marine Corps sergeants. Holy Cross also honored an alumnus veteran, Staff Sgt. Timothy Clark. Gregoire and Clark were recognized at mid-field prior to kickoff.
Bill Barrios ’64 joined the current team captains and Holy Cross’ Brian Scarangos to participate in the coin toss. As a generous sponsor of Louisiana high school athletics and, specifically, the Jesuit-Holy Cross rivalry game, First NBC Bank senior vice-president Jeff Arnold also assisted with the coin toss.
At halftime, the 1963 Holy Cross and Jesuit teams were honored as the 2013 Legends of the Game in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the only state championship contest between Holy Cross and Jesuit. Team captain Keefe Hecker ’64 accepted the Great American Rivalry Legend of the Game trophy on behalf of the 1963 Jesuit team. Several members of the team were present on the field as Hecker accepted the honor.
Legends of the Game
The 1963 Jesuit team touted one of the state’s top defenses. Of the Blue Jays’ seven victories, six were shutouts. The Jays’ defense allowed only 67 points in the 12-game season. That year was the first time district runner-up teams entered the playoffs and immediately the strength of the Catholic League became evident when its top two teams met for the state title. After beginning the season with two losses, the Blue Jays rebounded with five shutout victories sandwiched around one loss. Victories over Baton Rouge and Lafayette in the first two rounds of the playoffs set up the classic showdown with Holy Cross. The Blue Jays finished the season with a 7-5 record and the great respect of prep football fans in Louisiana.
Honored Alumnus Veteran
Lt. Col. Brandon Gregoire is a 1991 graduate of Jesuit. In 1995 he received a degree in Classical Latin from Harvard University, where, as a senior, he was vice-president of the student body. In the Marine Corps he has served as an executive officer training officer candidates; a senior writer and policy maker for the Commandant of the Marine Corps; an adviser to Congress, attached to the Office of Senator Claire McCaskill; and an intelligence adviser on counter-terrorism to the FBI and CIA. His meritorious performance in numerous deployments and combat missions in the Middle East have earned him several commendations including the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Lt. Col. Gregoire and his wife Kristie have one son, Brandon, Jr.
More information and trivia can be found on the Holy Cross Rivalry Game page and on the Jesuit-Holy Cross Football Rivalry Web Site.
2013 Rivalry Game Honorees Photo Gallery
The New Orleans Advocate: Holy Cross, Jesuit remember the title game