Holy Cross to Induct 15 into Sports Hall of Fame at Banquet Nov. 2

Holy Cross to Induct 15 into Sports Hall of Fame at Banquet Nov. 2

NEW ORLEANS—Holy Cross School will present 15 sports legends to be inducted into its Sports Hall of Fame this week. The 2018 Hall of Fame Class will be presented during halftime at the Holy Cross School vs. Live Oak football game on Thursday, Nov. 1 at Tad Gormley Stadium (game time 7 p.m.). The inductees will be honored at a banquet and induction ceremony on Friday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. in the Holy Cross School Student Center, 5500 Paris Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70122.

Inductees include:

Joseph Aillet was a five-sport athlete at Holy Cross School, playing football, basketball, baseball, track and tennis. He attended St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, and then went on to serve in a successful coaching career. At the collegiate level, his career began at Louisiana Normal, now Northwestern State University, where he assisted the Demons to their first perfect season. As Head Football Coach at Louisiana Tech, Aillet led the Bulldogs to a 151-86-8 record and nine conference championships over 26 years. He served as Tech’s Athletic Director from 1940 to 1970 and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.  Joe Aillet Stadium, known as “The Joe” and the Louisiana Tech home field, was dedicated in his honor in 1972, a year after his passing.  Aillet was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Louisiana Tech Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

Hillary Chollet was one of three brothers who attended Holy Cross and became a two-sport All-State athlete for the Tigers. While at Holy Cross, Chollet was a member and three-year letterman of the football, basketball, and baseball teams. Chollet played football and basketball at Cornell University, where he set a record for most points scored in a basketball game, 37.  In football, he was chosen All-Ivy League and Second Team AP All-American and was considered one of the finest athletes ever to play for Cornell. 

Bill Clements began his Holy Cross football coaching career in 1961 as defensive coordinator for the legendary John Kalbacher and was a member of the 1963 State Championship team staff.  He began his college coaching career in 1971 as an assistant to the first-ever football coach at Nicholls State University.  He became head coach in 1974, serving in that role until 1980. Under his direction, the Colonels won the Conference Championship in 1975, and Bill was honored as Louisiana Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Nicholls State Athletic Hall of Fame. 

Mark “Trippi” Delesdernier was a four-year Letterman in football and a two-year Letterman in wrestling.  He was selected to the All-District and All-State football teams and was awarded the Butch Duhe award by Coach Kalbacher in his junior and senior years.  Delesdernier was an All-District, All-City and All-State wrestling champion in 1974 and 1975.  At the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Delesdernier competed in football, wrestling and crew and was subsequently elected to their Athletic Hall of Fame. Following Hurricane Katrina, Delesdernier generously dedicated his time and talents to serve as an assistant coach to the 2006 Holy Cross wrestling team. 

Ed Heider was a four-sport Letterman in football, basketball, track and field, and baseball.  From 1946-1950, he attended Tulane University on a football scholarship, where he lettered two years in football and two years in baseball. In 1950, Heider became the assistant football, basketball and track coach at Holy Cross, but left to serve in the Army in Korea, returning to Holy Cross in 1956 as assistant football, basketball and head track coach. As head football, basketball and track coach at St. Bernard High School, Heider was named Coach of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers in football and basketball.  In 1995, Heider was inducted into the St. Bernard Parish Sports Hall of Fame. 

During the mid-to-late 1960s, after court rulings and state law changes permitted the desegregation of schools, Glenn Herbert was in the initial group of African-American students to attend Holy Cross and became the first recognized Holy Cross African-American athlete. Herbert and other African-American prep students courageously led the way for future African-American youth to receive a Holy Cross Catholic education.  While at Holy Cross, Herbert participated as a member of the football team in 1969 and 1970 and was a starting fullback his senior year. 

Ray Hester was an outstanding linebacker for the Tigers for three seasons. He was an All-District selection in 1965-1966 and served as co-captain of the 1966 football team.  Hester played linebacker at Tulane University and anchored the Green Wave defense for the Tulane 1970 Liberty Bowl Champion team, the first Tulane bowl game since 1940.  In 1971, Ray was signed as a free agent by the New Orleans Saints and played linebacker until 1973. He finished his professional career with Hawaii of the World Football League.  Ray was chosen as a member of the Tulane Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983. 

William “Billy” Kennedy, Jr. was an All-District basketball player in his two seasons at Holy Cross, as well as a team captain.  He continued his basketball career at Delgado Community College and was a student assistant coach at Southeastern Louisiana University. Kennedy is currently the head men’s basketball coach at Texas A&M University, a position he has held since 2011. He previously was head coach at Murray State University for five seasons, as well as at Centenary College and Southeastern Louisiana University. 

John Lynch was named Holy Cross School’s third head football coach in 1926, and remained through 1932, with an overall record of 24-24-3. He went on to help form the Louisiana High School Officials Association in 1935.  At the college level, he became the top-ranking referee in the Southeastern Conference and remained so until he retired in 1962.  He served as president and vice-president of the Southeastern Football Officials in 1953 and was Chief Referee in 1953 and conducted rules clinics for referees. He had the distinction of being the only referee to officiate in all four major bowl games (Sugar, Rose, Orange, Cotton). Lynch was inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.

Don Maestri was the head basketball coach at Holy Cross from 1970-1979 and the junior varsity coach from 1969-1970. In 1973 the Tigers made their first state playoff after a 15-year absence. During the 1974 season, the team had a 35-6 record and finished as the state runner-up. The 1976 team won the Catholic League, defeating St. Augustine in the Superdome. The 1976 team finished with a 32-3 record and ranked 11th in the nation.  Maestri spent one year as an assistant at Mississippi State and then two years at Alabama. He was named head coach at Troy University in 1982. Troy holds the record for most points ever scored by one team in the NCAA history (any division) at 258 points. Maestri spent the last two seasons as an assistant at Texas A&M under Billy Kennedy.

Allan Rappold was a star running back on the 1962-1964 football teams, including the legendary 1963 State Champions. He earned a football scholarship to Mississippi State, where he played running back for two seasons. Trading in his cleats and helmet for picks and drills, Rappold looked to his future by attending LSU Dental School and building a thriving practice. 

Glenn Smith was an outstanding running back and fullback for the Tigers from 1962-1964 and was a member of the highly-regarded 1963 State Championship team.  He attended LSU on a football scholarship, lettering for two years.  In 1968, Smith garnered the distinct honor of being the first sophomore ever to be named the Miller-Digby Award recipient as Sugar Bowl Most Valuable Player.  Trailing throughout the game, in the second half, Smith was inserted into the lineup and helped turn the game into a 20-13 victory for the Tigers over the Wyoming Cowboys, whose team included Jim Kiick, a later member of the Miami Dolphins’ Super Bowl Champions team.  

Dalton Truax, Jr. was a four-sport Lettermen in football, basketball, baseball and wrestling. He was All-Prep and All-Legion in baseball and was the State Wrestling Heavyweight Champ. He attended Tulane University on a football scholarship, where he lettered for three years. He was drafted in the third round by the Green Bay Packers, and before the start of the season, he was traded to the New York Giants and spent all of ’57 and part of ’58 with the Giants at the guard position. Truax missed the 1959 season because of injuries but moved to the Oakland Raiders for the 1960 season and was the starting left tackle. He played under Vince Lombardi at New York and on the same team as Tom Flores and Jim Otto at Oakland.  In 1981, he was inducted into the Tulane Hall of Fame and is also a member of the St. Bernard Hall of Fame.

August Vegas was a five-year Letterman for the Holy Cross Tiger Wrestling Team.  As an eighth grader in 1962 weighing 95 pounds, Vegas placed second in the State Tournament.  He captured his first State title the following year as a 112-pound freshman.  Vegas would go on to win three more State titles in three different weight classes:  120, 127 and 138, earning “Most Improved Wrestler” and “Most Valuable Wrestler” awards. 

Bobby Wattigny’s Holy Cross football career began as the backup quarterback for the famed Herman “Butch” Duhe.  As a senior Letterman and co-captain, he led the league in passing and received the “Outstanding Back Award.” Wattigny helped lead the Tigers to the 1967 State Championship game versus the Airline Vikings. In a game played in rain and sleet, the Tigers lost 20-7. He was selected to the All-District/All-State teams as a senior, before going on to quarterback two years at University of Southern Mississippi and two at Northwestern State University. 

About Holy Cross School

Holy Cross School is an independent, Catholic, college preparatory school founded in 1849 by the Congregation of Holy Cross School to educate young men from metropolitan New Orleans. Serving students grades Pre-Kindergarten through 12, Holy Cross School is fully accredited by the Louisiana State Department of Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and holds memberships in the National Catholic Educational Association, the National Middle School Association and the National High School Association. A Holy Cross School education engages the whole man – mind and heart, body and soul – and is rooted in the teachings of Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross. For more information about Holy Cross School visit www.holycrosstigers.com or call 504.942.3100.

For more information about the Holy Cross Sports Hall of Fame, including full bios and photos, visit:


For media interviews before, during or after the game on November 1, contact:

Ken Berthelot, Committee Chair

Holy Cross Sports Hall of Fame

Cell: 504-715-9872

kenberthelot@gmail.com or ksbert@bellsouth.net

On-site media contact: Hall of Fame Game, Nov. 1


For media interviews at the Hall of Fame Banquet, contact:

Amy D. Nolan, APR

Public Information Officer

Office: 504-942-1881| Cell: 225-328-0608


On-site media contact: Hall of Fame Banquet, Nov. 2