Carolon Craft to  ll late husband's term on St. Bernard School Board

By Jason Browne

Fall always brings a swirl of memories for Gus Riess of St. Bernard. But this year, he added a few new ones. Riess, a successful banker and lifelong St. Bernard resident, was a player on LSU’s 1958 national championship football team. That team returned to

Tiger Stadium Sept. 29 to be recognized at halftime of the Tigers’ game against Ole Miss. But there was a conspicuous absence on the field at halftime. Billy Cannon, LSU’s only Heisman Trophy winner and the man Riess invited to speak at the St. Bernard Sports Hall of Fame banquet two years ago, had passed away in May. Cannon was a star on the 1958 championship squad, but is best remembered for his punt return touchdown against Ole Miss on Halloween night in 1959, a play that still gets news coverage 60 years later. LSU unveiled a statue of Cannon at Tiger Stadium Sept. 28, the night before the Ole Miss game and another new memory for Riess among many from that weekend.

“That night the governor came and thanked us. The president of the university was there. A lot of guests,” Riess remembers of the night the ’58 team was honored. “We were all sitting there and a guy walked up and asked if he could sit next to me. He said his name was Fred Biletnikoff (former Oakland Raiders star wide receiver and the inspiration for the NCAA’s most outstanding receiver award). He was there because Billy played for Oakland with him

 

 

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