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2024 Legend

Homer Iron Men

The Louisiana Legends Council is honored to announce as this year’s Legend the 1957 Homer High School Football Team. 

The 1957 Homer High Pelicans were one of the greatest football teams to ever play in Louisiana. This small-town team only fielded 19 players, yet they defeated teams from much larger schools all over Louisiana. Renowned sportswriter Jerry Byrd gave the team its nickname- The Homer Iron Men. The 1957 Louisiana State Championship game ended in a 6-6 tie with the Homer Iron Men standing toe to toe with a much larger Bossier High School. The 19 Iron Men scored a winning touchdown, but it was overturned by a penalty.

Twelve team members made All-District, five made All-State, one made All-Southern and two made High School All Americans. Following their semifinal win over Ruston, LSU football coach Paul Dietzel told Homer Coach Glenn Gossett that he would offer every player on that team a football scholarship to LSU. At least eight players played college football, four at LSU, one at Tulane, and three at Northwestern.

This team’s history continues to bring great memories and recognition to Claiborne Parish. The Iron Men’s legacy is one of skill, determination and grit, attributes that make them perfect candidates to be honored as the Louisiana Legends Festival 2024 Legend.

This team legacy continues to bring great memories to Claiborne Parish. The skill, determination, and grit are the things that attributes that keep this team recognized in Claiborne Parish history and make them the perfect recognition as 2024 Louisiana Legends Fest Legend.

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Front Row: Buddy Pixley, B. Barker, D. Ackley, Derwood Thomas, Jimmy Andrews, R. Perry Middle Row: 84, Charles Lewis, Kenneth Hood, 74, Gladney Davidson, G. W. Zachary Top Row: Ray Wilkins, John Wayne Odom, Ray Weaver, Fred Miller, Herman Coleman, Bobby Flurry, Sammy Camp Not Pictured: Bill Thomas, Coach Glenn Gossett, Coach Jimmy Bradshaw, Coach Don Johnson

2024 Legacy Legend

Geoffrey Beene.

The first Legacy Legend is one of America’s true fashion design pioneers, Geoffrey Beene was known for his timeless designs and iconic sense of style.

He was born on August 30, 1927, in Haynesville, La. into a family of doctors and was encouraged to follow in their footsteps. He studied medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans, but dropped out in 1946, following three years of study. Beene moved to Los Angeles, where he studied fashion design at the University of Southern California and began his career in the fashion industry. Geoffrey also attended the Traphagen School of Fashion in New York, the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne (ECSCP) in Paris and the couture house of Molyneux in Paris.

Beene founded his firm, Geoffrey Beene, Inc., in New York City in 1963, in partnership with Teal Traina's Leo Orlandi in a Seventh Avenue Showroom. In 1976, Beene became the first American designer to show a collection in Milan, Italy. This international success in the fashion industry led to his sixth Coty Award in 1977, giving impetus to American fashion abroad. In 1982, Beene received his eighth Coty Award; the most awarded to any one designer. He went on from there to receive three CFDA awards, and a honorary doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Mr. Beene challenged the American fashion establishment by creating haute couture for women and classic, superbly tailored styles for men that married comfort and luxury. Geoffrey Beene has become synonymous with impeccable styling, superb tailoring, comfort and quality. Beene's clients included Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Nancy Reagan, Faye Dunaway and Glenn Close.

Mr. Beene was widely regarded as “America’s Greatest Designer” at the time of his death in 2005. Mr. Beene is buried in Haynesville, La.

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2023 Legend

Coach Alton "Red" Franklin

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Coach Alton “Red” Franklin.  Coach Franklin is one of the winningest high school football coaches in Louisiana and the country.  As head Coach of Haynesville’s Golden Tornado for 35 years he won 11 state titles, 4 runner-up titles, reached the state playoffs in 31 of his 35 years, had 8 perfect seasons and compiled a record of 366-76-8.  He was twice named National High School Athletic Association Region 5 Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the Ark-La-Tex Sports Museum of Champions and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. 

 

In addition to his impressive coaching skills, Coach Franklin is generally credited with easing the transition of school integration which occurred during his first years as head coach, reassuring his athletes by posting a quote in the locker room stating, “Those who stay will be champions.”

2022 Legend

Dr. James Andrews

Homer native Dr. James Andrews, a nationally and internationally known orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Andrews is renowned in the field of sports medicine. He is a past president of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine and has served on the Board of Directors for the Arthroscopy Association of North America and the International Knee Society.

A graduate of Homer High School, Dr. Andrews played on the legendary Iron Man Team of 1957. He was the SEC pole vault champion while at LSU. He's been inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Hall of Fame. He has been a Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at medical schools in Alabama, Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina and at Tulane in Louisiana. In 2020 he was named Tulane Medical School's Alumni of the year.

2021 Legend

Bobby Rush

Born November 10, 1933, in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana, Bobby Rush (Emmett Ellis, Jr.) is an American blues musician, composer, singer, and entertainer.  

Rush is the son of Emmett and Mattie Ellis and he grew up on a farm in the community of Colquit, Louisiana. Emmett Sr. was a respected church pastor and farmer in the Claiborne Parish community. Bobby reflects on his days working with his father in the sugar cane fields. Bobby recalls the hard work cutting sugar cane resulted in the wonderful syrup for the biscuits his mother made. Emmett, Sr. had a love for the guitar and harmonica and his playing had a huge influence on young Bobby’s love of music. Bobby tells of hanging around the back of Mr. Beer’s store looking for an old empty tub. He soon found an old syrup bucket, a stick, and hay bailing wire, he made his first “didley bow” and his love for music grew. 

When Bobby was 14 years old, he and his family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas as his father moved to a new church. Over the next seven decades, Bobby Rush has been a consistent force in American Blues Music. Bobby has traveled the world entertaining, noted as the first American Blues Artist to play in China.  Bobby’s dozens of albums and thousands of shows have resulted in great recognition of his talent, his influence, and his impact on the world. 

 

Bobby Rush is a two-time Grammy Award winner, Best Male Soul Blues Artist, B. B. King Entertainer of the Year, a member of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame and a member of the Blues Hall of Fame. At each step, Bobby has worked to honor his mother and father and has remained proud of his heritage and has supported worthy causes in his native Claiborne Parish.  

In recognition of his talent, perseverance, his patience, and his influence, the Louisiana Legends Festival is recognizing Mr. Bobby Rush, as the inaugural Louisiana Legend. 

“I was born in a shotgun house in Carquit (Colquit), Louisiana. Carquit (Colquit), smack-dab between Haynesville and the county (Parish) seat of Homer, was like a million other tiny towns in the South. It was just a road with a sign.” 

 

Bobby Rush, I Ain’t Studdin’ Ya; My American Blues Story.

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