By Kevin Shannahan
Several hundred sports enthusiasts and area residents were joined by Louisiana’s Lt. Govenor, Billy Nunguesser, at the welcome reception for the 2019 inductees into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame held Thursday, June 6 at the museum. The event was free and open to the public and was an excellent opportunity to meet some of our state’s sports legends.
This year’s reception featured a unique sports trophy from our neighbors to the north. Matt Dunigan, a former quarterback for LA Tech and one of the 2019 inductees, played in the Canadian Football League for 14 seasons after his career as a Bulldog. As a quarterback, he led 4 different teams to the Grey Cup, a record that still stands in the CFL. He played in 6 Grey Cup games. The Grey cup is the Canadian equivalent of the Lombardi Trophy awarded at the Super Bowl. The trophy is named after Earl Albert Grey, the 9th General Governor of Canada. The trophy dates from 1909 and, in fact, predates the CFL which was founded in 1958. The Canadian Football League sent a representative to Natchitoches with the Grey Trophy to help honor a man who led two teams to victory in his six appearances.
Northwestern State University students and alumni were also an integral part of the event. There are 4 NSU students serving internships at the Sports Hall of Fame. Carley McCord, a 2011 NSU alumna, is an announcer for Cox Sports TV and was there covering the event. It is wonderful to see NSU students and alumni pursuing their dreams and succeeding.
The festivities are far from finished. Friday will feature a concert along the riverbank complete with fireworks. Saturday morning will feature the Saints’ & Pelican’s Junior Training Camp at NSU in which young people will be able to test their abilities, win prizes and learn what it takes to succeed on-and off-the playing field. The weekend will culminate at the induction dinner Saturday evening at the Natchitoches Events Center.