Natchitoches resident named to Mount Pleasant High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Steve Graf graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1979 where he was a standout athlete in football, baseball, and track. Graf was the 1978 Recipient of the W.L. Means Outstanding Offensive Back award, the Edward Milam Award for Outstanding Football Player, and one of the Tri-Captains for the 1978 Football Team. He was a two-time 1st Team All-District Punter, a 3-time All-District Third Baseman/Pitcher and the District runner-up in the long jump to fellow inductee, Willie Houston. In addition to athletics, Graf was named All-School Boy by the faculty in 1979, was President of the VICA Club, and a member of the Key Club.
After graduation, Graf was a two-sport athlete at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, playing both baseball and football for the Demons. He was a three-year starter in football at safety and a four-year starter in baseball, earning All-Conference in baseball. Graf was voted into the Northwestern State Hall of Fame in 2009 for both football and baseball. He is the only athlete in NSU history to sign pro contracts in two separate sports. He earned a B.S. degree in Industrial Education Technology Engineering.
Graf was drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1983 as an outfielder and signed with the Houston Gamblers of the USFL as a free safety after his baseball career.
Graf’s favorite memory from participating in MPHS athletics was winning the 1978 State Baseball Championship, the first State Championship in school history for a team sport.
“I owe a lot of my successes to the faculty and staff of Mt. Pleasant High School along with my parents, Laverne and Loyd Graf, Jr., all who did an excellent job of raising and preparing me for college, both athletically and academically,” said Graf. “I want to thank my former coaches and especially Coach Mike Fields who always believed in me, Coach Donnie Laurence, Marion Giesecke and Steve Rippee…coaches who pushed me to be the best I could be. I also want to thank former MPHS teacher, Mike McCallum, who helped me mature as a person in so many ways, believed in me, and gave me the confidence to be successful. I also want to thank a few guys that I looked up to growing up. Players like ’73 State Football Runner-up and Tiger HOF Quarterback, Craig Carney, and multisport HOF athlete, Ashley Walker; guys who inspired me at a young age to be the best I could be. And of course, some great teammates like MP HOF Maury Buford, Powell Bowers, Ricky Wright, Stan Garrett, Doug Galloway, and the late Kevin Owsley, all who pushed me to be the best player/teammate possible. From the bottom of my heart…thank you MPHS for the best four years of my life and thank you for this tremendous honor! What a ride it was!”
When asked what the MPISD Hall of Fame induction meant to him, Graf said, “There’s no other honor greater than being recognized for your accomplishments by the school you came from. As an alumnus, I’m so proud to be a former student/athlete at MPHS. I’m Tiger proud and Tiger strong because of the great experience I had here at MPHS. Growing up in a community like Mt. Pleasant was truly a blessing. This was a special place to go to high school in the 1970’s, and the entire city of Mt. Pleasant supported us with great enthusiasm and gave 100% support to all student athletes of this era.”
Graf continued, “To those student/athletes of today…enjoy your time in high school and dedicate yourself to be great in whatever you pursue as an athlete or as a student. Focus on making good grades and getting the most out of your education because no matter how great you are today, one day your athletic career will end and you’ll need that education to fall back on. Good luck and best wishes to all my Tiger brothers and sisters.”
Graf has been married to his wife, Sherrie, for 42 years and they have three children, Brittany, Meredith, and Brandon. He lives in Natchitoches and retired from Holloway Sportswear as the Louisiana Director of Manufacturing in 2004. Now self-employed, he is the owner of the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Outdoor Radio Show, the co-host of an internet show called Tackle Talk Live and an outdoor column journalist for the Natchitoches Parish Journal.
Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees will be recognized prior to kick off of the Homecoming game against Whitehouse on Friday, Oct. 20 starting at 6:50 p.m. A private, pre-game ceremony will also be held for the honorees, their families, and close friends. The inductees will serve as honorary captains and participate in the pre-game coin toss. In recognition of their selections, each inductee will wear a commemorative gold jacket during the pre-game ceremony. Portraits of each inductee will later be displayed in the hallway of the Willie Williams Gymnasium.