A very wise woman once told her husband, “I married you for life but not for lunch!” That was the prevailing sentiment of Kathy Miles and her fellow coaches’ wives when asked if they were glad their husbands were back at work on the football field.

Bengal Belles

Emcee Gordy Rush posed the question to coach Les Miles’ wife at the kickoff Bengal Belles luncheon the Thursday before LSU’s abbreviated season opener against McNeese State in Tiger Stadium. “We’re (coaches’ wives) used to being pretty independent so I’m glad Les is back at work,” said Kathy.

The River Center ballroom was awash in purple and gold and everything tiger for the luncheon. Welcoming everyone was Belle No. 1, Aimée Simon. Belle No. 2, Carolyn Hebert, was in charge of pulling the winning tickets for door prizes. Former LSU coach and player Jerry Stovall opened the official part of the program with a prayer.

A video starring former Tiger Justin Vincent looked back on Hurricane Katrina, which hit Louisiana 10 years ago. Also sharing her memories was Kathy Miles, who said she witnessed first-hand the determination and kindness of Louisianians.

She was then joined on stage by Tigers Colby “the Cajun Kicker” Delahoussaye, Reid Ferguson and Leonard Fournette. They all agreed they were ready to face someone other than their teammates on their field. Rush asked the three to do their best impression of new defensive line coach Ed Ogeron, and the 1,000 or so fans, predominantly women, proclaimed Delahoussaye as the winner of the famous, “NCAA-approved” Bengal Belle cookies. He also endeared himself to the crowd with his Boudreaux and Thibodeaux joke; apparently he’s the team comedian.

Next to the podium was the Mad Hatter himself, arriving to a rousing rendition of “Callin’ Baton Rouge” that had everyone on their feet clapping and shaking purple and gold pom-poms. In a serious moment, Miles recalled his first season as coach — he and his family arrived a few months prior to Hurricane Katrina’s arrival.

“The prevailing thought among the team was that the best thing we could do for the state was to play the best we could; that’s what the team decided on,” said Miles. “We’d play for team over ourselves.”

Then the team corrected the coach and said, no, they’d play for Louisiana first, the team second and themselves last.

Talk soon turned to the game against McNeese and the start of the 2015 season. “This is an unusual group of men,” said Miles, “They have great character … they want to do their best … they’re looking to compete. We will handle business.”

Rush’s last question for the coach went back to the question he asked Kathy and the other coaches’ wives. The correct answer would earn him a batch of the Bengal Belle cookies. Grinning from ear to ear, Miles replied he felt sure that every wife missed her husband and wanted him back “in the house, in the car, in bed.” While not exactly correct, the answer was too priceless not to give coach the cookies.

Rites of Passage

Attired in native African dress, 19 high school seniors were introduced at the Nu Gamma Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority’s annual Rites of Passage Ceremony Aug. 23 at the Greater King David Education & Cultural Center. This year’s theme was “Inspiring Greatness Through Cultural Enlightenment.”

Welcoming guests and introducing the debutantes were chapter President Chandra Stacie and emcee Deidre Deculus Robert. Featured speakers included the Rev. Sheila Brock, youth minister at S t. John Baptist Church in Alsen, and state Sen. Sharon Weston Broome.

The debs included Mia Elisse Age, daughter of Brendetta S. and Huey Age Jr.; Hanna Ruth Baham, daughter of Tanya W. Baham and the late Scott A. Baham; Breona Leshae Barnes, daughter of Allison M. and Kevin C. Barnes, of Zachary; Amora Nadiyah Bonius, daughter of Keegel E. and Roderick Sterling, and Clarence Bonius; Sundae Marie Brumfield, daughter of John E. Brumfield; Jordyn Brianne Carmouche, daughter of Malinda F. and John Carmouche; Jade Elizabeth Maria Flint, daughter of Dr. Maxine Campbell and Errol Flint, of New Orleans; Lauren Elizabeth Gaines, daughter of Angela S. and Leonard K. Gaines; and Tia Monet Godfrey, daughter of Tamara and Melvin Godfrey, of Prairieville.

Also, Amber Nicole Harmon, daughter of Carla and André Harmon, of Geismar; Chloë Jeveneh Horton, daughter of Shannon H. and Chad Robertson Sr.; Morgan Arnell Hughes, daughter of Jona M. and Mark A. Hughes; Natalie Decola Johnson, daughter of Nancy D. Weeden, and Ronald R. and Andrea L. Johnson; Raven Elise Lindsey, daughter of Carol L. and Melvin Edwards, of Zachary, and Avian Burris, of Houston; Genesis Marissa Ranel, daughter of JoAn F. and Jeffrey Ranel Sr., of Zachary; Breanna Nicole Robertson, daughter of Linda and the Rev. Donald Robertson; Sariah Lauren Rogers, daughter of Johnell and Christopher J. Rogers; Marnise Irianna Stewart, daughter of Clonise and the Rev. Mark Stewart, of Port Allen, and Amber DeShay Wright, daughter of Reatha Wright, of Baker.

Errin Gaines is the general debutante chairwoman. Brandy Johnson and Mia Kleinpeter are co-chairwomen.

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