Our Tigers got off to a good start last weekend. LSU thrilled its fans with a successful passing game, defeating Georgia Southern in an impressive win, and my Auburn Tigers had the comeback of the night to beat the Oregon Ducks for the second time — the 2011 National Championship game was the first.
Coach Ed Orgeron promised the Bengal Belles they were in for an exciting opener at the group’s 23rd kickoff luncheon Aug. 29 at a packed L’Auberge Event Center. He and the Tigers lived up to the billing.
“We’re finally bringing the spread offense to LSU,” he said to thunderous applause. “I have a good-looking team but not as good looking as you all are today,” he flattered the crowd in his signature gravelly voice, adding birthday wishes for his mom, Coco, who also was in the audience.
He told the story of how she woke him up one year on the morning of a big game. Wearing his Tarpons helmet and holding a pompom in one hand and a shrimp po-boy in the other, his mother admonished him to get out of bed: “Come on boy, let’s go! It’s Friday night game time!”
Coach O didn't talk long, heading back to campus for a team meeting. Too bad he wasn’t around for all the fun and pageantry that is the Bengal Belles.
It all started with the blood-stirring entrance of the Golden Girls squad, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this fall, and the Tiger Band. Check out the video at theadvocate.com. Founder and President Aimée Simon looked on proudly from the podium.
She then introduced new Athletic Director Scott Woodward, who talked about the good things taking place in the world of LSU sports, and Kelly Orgeron, Coach O’s better half. Kelly introduced the wives of the coaching staff attending — Dione Aranda, Amy Ensminger, Latisha Faulk, Dayna Cregg, Linda McMahon, Jill Moffitt, Ann Nader, Leanne Pomansky and Tonya Robinson.
The Belles aren’t just about today’s Tigers either. Former player and coach Jerry Stovall offered up a prayer. Guaranty Broadcasting’s Gordy Rush pointed out his sister, Lynn, who underwent a kidney and pancreas transplant last year in the middle of the LSU vs. Auburn game, and then did a fun Q&A with former Tiger greats Greg Bowser, Eddie Fuller, Jacob Hester, J.D. Moore and Ruffin Rodrigue. They shared tales from their gridiron days, predictions for the season and what it meant to be a Tiger. Oh, and Moore won the karaoke competition between him and Rodrigue. His "Louisiana Saturday Night" got the crowd roaring, even though Rodrigue sang, shall we say, above and beyond in his rendition of "Calling Baton Rouge."
In the Pink
Pink hard hats, pink workman’s gloves, pink tool belts and pink T-shirts that read “As girls we played house … as women we build them” were all for sale at Habitat for Humanity’s annual Pink Tool Belt Bash benefiting this year’s Women’s Build. Red Stick Social was a virtual sea of pink for the Aug. 27 celebration.
Women Build kicks off Oct. 19 and continues every Wednesday and Saturday for the next eight weeks.
If you’re not real sure about wielding a hammer, drill or screwdriver, never fear. Professionals are at the sites to show you how. So, get a group of girlfriends together and flex your muscles for a very good cause!
Rites of Passage
The Nu Gamma Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority introduced its debutante coterie on Aug. 18 at its Rites of Passage Ceremony at the Greater King David Baptist Church John Montgomery II Center. Welcoming alumnae, family and friends to “Celebrating the Past: Embracing the Future” was chapter President Jacqueline Nash Grant. Felesha Jett served as mistress of ceremonies.
Adorned in African attire, the debs made their entrance. They included Bria Alise Coleman, daughter of Kimberlee and Brian Keith Coleman; Pashunti Lashae Hall, daughter of Gwendolyn Harris and Carlos Hall; Whitney Lenis James, daughter of Vanessa and Wendell James; Sydney Alexandra LaFleur, daughter of Vanessa and Brian J. LaFleur; A’niya Arlyse Lagarde, daughter of Leviticus Sterling and Amos and Ashly Lagarde, of Richmond, Texas; Bailey Simone Lewis, daughter of Alisha and Ulysses “Bones” Addison Jr. and Kenneth and Nefertari Lewis Jr., of Walnut Creek, California; Kaelyn Cachay Lipscomb, daughter of Kelli Collins and William Lipscomb III; Courtney Danielle Scott, daughter of Chakesha and Eric Scott; Mykara Arié Taylor, daughter of Tonia Taylor, of Clinton, and the late Robert Taylor; Jaysia Unique Thomas, daughter of Shancer and Jesse Thomas Jr.; Ney’Chelle Avette Thomas, daughter of Nancy Thomas and Richard Wesley Thomas, of Tacoma, Washington; Ralyn Wynee Ricks, daughter of Sonia T. Ricks and the late Wyndell Ricks; and Shamarí Tramease Wilson, daughter of Andrea and Sherbaston Wilson.
Entertainment was by vocalist Linda Kelley and the Greater Mount Olive Baptist Church liturgical dancers.
Words of spiritual uplift came from Linda Piper, co-chaplain of the south central region of Alpha Kappa Alpha. The young women also heard from Tamiara Wade, president of 100 Black Women of Metro Baton Rouge. The celebration was chaired by Cynthia Reed. Danielle Staten serves as the general debutante committee chairwoman.
On Aug. 17, Henry Stremlau and Laura Barbre Stokes were crowned King and Queen Orion XXII at the Krewe of Orion’s coronation social at the St. Amant home of Angie and Darren Coates. Darren is krewe captain. Stremlau is a graduate of LSU and a civil engineer with Cheron, specializing in environmental mediation. After receiving her undergraduate degree from LSU, Stokes earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Houston. She is the assistant director of pharmacy at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Along with their royal court, they will reign over Orion’s parade and masquerade ball on Feb. 15
Emcee Larry Rosendahl introduced the court, which includes maids Katherine Nicole Denham, daughter of Leslie and David Denham; and Elaine Cecile Stremlau, daughter of the king and wife Kristen. Pages to the queen are Ainsley Glynn Battle, daughter of Lisa and Michael Battle; Demi Marie Lockhart, daughter of Angela and Brady Lockhart; and Lillian Grace Morris, daughter of Jason and Sonya Morris.
The king’s pages are Lane Joseph Leger, son of Jessica and David Leger; Devon Michael Rosendahl, son of Angele and Christopher Rosendahl; and James Ancil Wilkinson, son of Alexis and Josh Wilkinson.
Making their final promenade were King and Queen Orion XXI, Ronald J. Leboeuf and Laura Klatter Hill. They were presented their commemorative royalty medallions by Coates.