Plaquemine boxing teams honored

Staff Writer
Plaquemine Post South
Former members of Plaquemine High School’s boxing teams were honored at halftime of the Green Devils’ football game with Belaire on Friday night. Attending in no particular order were coach T.E. Bickham, Don Gascon, Don Alberado, Dudley Nicolosi, Jack Franklin, Gerald Orney Hebert, Bobby Freeman, Wilson Banta, Merlin Banta, David Boudreaux, Leo Canova, Lillie Distefano, widow of Sam Distefano, and Plaquemine football coach Paul Distefano. 
POST SOUTH PHOTO/Peter Silas Pasqua

Former members of Plaquemine High School’s boxing teams were honored at halftime of the Green Devils’ football game with Belaire on Friday night.

Plaquemine began boxing in 1931 and brought down the curtain on it in 1955.

Two of the more famous boxing coaches of the Green Devils were Albert Dupont and Sam Distefano Sr., with Dupont’s teams winning four straight state championships and Distefano’s teams winning five straight.

In all, Plaquemine teams won a total of nine state championships. No other team in Louisiana had ever accomplished that honor.

Boxing was big in Louisiana high schools at the time but none quite as famous as the Green Devils.

Many good boxers fought for Plaquemine. Shelby Dupont and Tommy Gascon were four-year state champions. Edwin Ourso and Gerald Boudreaux were three-year state champions and Donald Fourroux, Heston Daniels and Jerry Besson were two-year state champions.

Plaquemine took second place in the national tournament in Virginia in 1947 and placed three boxers as national champions. They were Donald Gascon, Firmin Tullier and Donald Fourroux. Fourroux was selected the most outstanding boxer and was presented his trophy by Admiral William F. “Bull” Halsey of World War II fame. Joe Calcagno and Tommy Gascon were runner-up national champions in the same tournament.

Other Plaquemine coaches of boxing were Tom Bickham, Toby Orillion and Sam Allgood.

Sam Distefano Sr. was inducted into the LHSAA Hall of Fame as well as boxers Shelby Dupont and Tommy Gascon.

Attending Friday night were coach T.E. Bickham, Don Gascon, Don Alberado, Dudley Nicolosi, Jack Franklin, Gerald Orney Hebert, Bobby Freeman, Wilson Banta, Merlin Banta, David Boudreaux, Leo Canova and Lillie Distefano, widow of Sam Distefano.