By Ron Brocato, Clarion Herald Sports
Jalen Womble’s essay about the value of education in his life earned the Holy Cross senior and football captain a scholarship worth $20,000 at the recent Allstate Sugar Bowl National Football Foundation/College Football Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
In the essay, Womble, who will attend Rhodes College, wrote about his mother’s efforts to put herself through college, and his great-grandmother, who became a teacher during the height of the Civil Rights movement. He wrote that their achievements taught him that no matter what path he chooses to follow in the future, education will get him there.
The standout offensive lineman was also a member of the National Honor Society after earning honor roll recognition in every semester since the fifth grade.
The two-year letterman is a member of the school’s Leadership Council, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the National Society of High School Scholars.
Sugar Bowl Committee President Monique Morial presented commemorative checks to Womble and three other scholarship winners: Tyruss Gayden of West Jefferson, William Harper of Thomas Jefferson and Kenny-Khai Vo of Higgins high schools.
Archie Manning, the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, recognized 29 local high school football players for their achievements in the classroom, the community and on the football field.
Womble was one of eight seniors from schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
The others were Jacob Renton of Archbishop Rummel, Dawson Millen of Archbishop Hannan, Brady Faust of Brother Martin, Gabriel France of De La Salle, Michael Schmidt of Jesuit, Jack Mashburn of St. Paul’s and another St. Paul’s senior, Michael Phillipe.
Renton, Millen and Mashburn plan to attend Louisiana State University; Faust chose to attend Southern Mississippi; France will attend either Loyola or the College of Holy Cross; Phillipe will study at Louisiana-Lafayette; and Schmidt is undecided.