Free, from 5-7 this evening: food, drinks, music, sports stars, Billy Cannon’s Heisman

There’s an extra guest this evening in downtown Natchitoches at the La Capitol Welcome Reception kicking off the 2022 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration .

You can be right there, free of charge — no need to dress fancy, just come comfy and enjoy food and refreshments and music and a world-class museum, mingling with sports stars from 5-7 today.

Adding to the excitement of the arrival of the nine living inductees and families representing three deceased 2022 honorees (LSU football’s Eric Andolsek, 1932 Olympic gold medal boxer Eddie Flynn and McNeese/UL baseball coach Tony Robichaux): you can see one of Louisiana’s most prized sports trophies, now on display inside the LSHOF museum at 800 Front Street (at the traffic circle).

Billy Cannon’s 1959 Heisman Trophy is here through the weekend festivities, courtesy of the Cannon Trust, as a preview of the museum’s soon to open Heisman Trophy exhibit that will showcase the state’s four winners: Cannon, John David Crow (1957), Joe Burrow (2019) and DeVonta Smith (2020).

But today’s focus falls on the Class of 2022, headlined by six-time Pro Bowl NFL stars Jahri Evans (Saints) and Kyle Williams (LSU, Bills).

On the 50th anniversary (today) of the adoption of Title IX, which has vastly improved opportunities for women in sports, two female LSU All-Americans are in this class: three-time national champion and 12-time AA gymnast Susan Jackson and four-time All-SEC, two-time AA softball pitcher Britni Sneed Williams.

Steve Duhon, who is in the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame and the Cowboy Hall of Fame, becomes the second rodeo cowboy to enter the Hall. The first – 97-year-old T. Berry Porter, a 2019 inductee – will be on hand Saturday evening at the Induction Ceremony amid a crowd approaching 700 people.

Claney Duplechin, whose teams at Episcopal High in Baton Rouge have won an amazing 64 state cross country and track state championships in his still-active 47-year career, is bringing a horde of supporters with him to the weekend festivities.

Administrator Jay Cicero, a Shreveport native, and sports journalists Teddy Allen and Garland Forman have won the contributor awards for 2022 and will be enshrined this weekend.

You’re invited to all the fun. Visit LaSportsHall.com to get more information and the schedule of events, and call 318-332-8539 for participation opportunities for ticketed events.


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