Cenla natives headline 2019 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame class

NATCHITOCHES, La. (KALB) - Several familiar faces from around Central Louisiana are being inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame at an upcoming ceremony this weekend in Natchitoches.

Photo Source: KALB

Those being honored include Marie Gagnard, Philip Timothy and Charles Smith. Former LSU Head football coach Les Miles will also be inducted.

Marie Gagnard's roots started at Louisiana College, where she grabbed the first tennis scholarship at the school. The love for the game would lead her to becoming a tennis official. As a former teacher, Gagnard never saw herself in this position.

"It’s an amazing honor," she said. "I never thought I’d receive anything like this before. I didn't do it by myself. I had people help me with my technique.”

Philip Timothy started his career as a sportswriter at Tioga High School and made his way to NSU covering the Demons in the late 70s.

"I never went to work, never in my life did I go to work," he said. "Every day was a new experience."

Peabody’s Charles Smith, a 33-year vet, has seen every level of success in high school basketball. From ESPN's National Coach of the Year in 2010 to winning seven state titles. But for him, going in the Hall of Fame has made him reflect on what got him to this point.

“I think back to the times that I traveled a gravel road picking cotton working in a sawmill," he said. "Today, I traveled a paved road to receive this great honor.”

Finally, Les Miles' journey to the Hall of Fame is one that has been on the center stage for years. His long-time career at LSU allowed him to coach some of the greatest games in LSU's history. Miles said that he owes it all to the players themselves.

“Any time that you take the field with a guy that's willing to give you great effort at risk of injury, you're in their debt,” he said.

News Channel 5 will have more on this story this weekend.

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