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Mr. Jerry J. Streva
333 Worth Ave.
Lafayette, La 70508
|Jerry's Living Memorial for the Russ Faulkinberry Tribute was submitted on 4/7/2017 and posted by Dr. Ed Dugas on that day.
Russ Faulkinberry’s Living Memorial, Jerry Streva – Football 1961-63
I graduated from Sacred Heart High School of Morgan City (now Central Catholic High School) in 1959, along with my sweetheart since seventh grade and my favorite cheerleader in high school, Rosalie Guarisco.
Before graduation I was lucky enough to sign a football scholarship with S.L.I. and Hinds Junior College in Raymond, MS. I also had visits to Tulane University and McNeese State College.
Being excited about playing both ways right away, I went to Hinds Junior College. Not realizing how much I would miss Rosalie (she’s been my wife for 55 years) was I correct or what in following her?
In order to get closer to her, as she was getting a college education also, I transferred to Tulane University. She was in New Orleans at Southern Baptist Hospital, then she went back to Morgan City.
Wanting to move closer and remembering S.L.I., which was now U.S.L., I heard they had a new head coach, Russ Faulkinberry and he was tough as nails.
I called my lifelong-friend from Morgan City, J.Y. Mula and first team quarterback at U.S.L. and co-captain with Bubby Falgout, to introduce me to Coach Faulkinberry to see if I could get a football scholarship even though I would not be eligible to play for one year.
J.Y. told me to come down and so I did. I met Coach Faulkinberry and he called a Tulane coach and then gave me a work-aid football scholarship right away. Six weeks later he gave me a full grant-in-aid scholarship.
He was tough, but he was fair. He motivated me more than any other coach I ever had. I respected him and worked hard at whatever position he put me.
In the spring I worked up to second team quarterback and also moved up on defense. He was happy with me. I was happy and my girlfriend and I made plans to be married in early summer. As luck would have it, I tore-up my knee in a scrimmage.
We got married. They did surgery on my knee. Coach Faulkinberry helped us obtain lodging in the married student housing and things could not have been better.
After surgery I worked hard to get ready for August practice and the new football season. As fate would have it, my knee did not come around like it should have in order to play college football.
I realized this before practice started and I went to Coach Faulkinberry. I told him that I would not be able to cut it, that I was very sorry but I did not progress enough in healing to be able to play.
I thanked him for everything and I turned in my scholarship to him. He could use it for another recruit or cut his expenses by not using it. Either way I owed it to him to give it back to him, as he was first class with me and all players that stayed.
He verified I could get my degree in one year by completing my requirements by August 1963. There was only one graduation ceremony in those days and it was in May. So in May, 1964 I could go back and get my diploma at my graduation.
He then informed me I could keep my scholarship and the married student apartment. He went on to say that for this year I would have to work for him and he didn’t want me more than ten yards from him because he didn’t want to yell for me when he wanted me. This was fantastic and I told him I’d do it. He then told me he didn’t want me too close either.
He was very tough, compassionate, a great coach and a fine man.
He told me I worked hard, was loyal to the team, and he wanted me to get my degree. I thanked him and it was a fine year. I went on to graduate as we planned, Rosalie and I had a baby girl in September, 1963 and 50 years later I went back to get my 50 year degree and attend graduation at my 50 year reunion. It was wonderful!
Those players who stayed with Coach Faulkinberry and it was hard to do, because he was so tough, were really ready and prepared for life. I’m proud to say that he was my coach and he taught us all the meaning of character.
|Football:|| 1961, 1962, 1963|
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