Kaplan High to create Athletic Hall of Fame; Inaugural class to be inducted around late ‘14

KAPLAN — The athletic tradition at Kaplan High School goes back many, many years.
The school will soon have a way to honor those who helped lay that foundation. The newly formed Kaplan High School Athletic Hall of Fame will induct an inaugural class in late 2014 or early ‘15.
“We’re going back as far as records are kept,” said Murphy Guilbeaux, a member of the committee organizing the Hall. “That goes back to the 1940s.
“The first year we do it, there will probably be a few inducted.”
That will include several posthumous inductees.
“We are going to honor them,” Guilbeaux said. “Their families and people they know are still around.
“We want to honor those who have done so much for the school and the programs.”
The Hall of Fame program itself has been a few years in the making.
“This has been going on for about three or four years,” Guilbeaux said of discussions to form the hall of fame. “It’s taken us that long go to get to the extent of where we are.
“We wanted to make sure we had everything in order.”
Those steps have been taking during the last year.
“We have an L.L.C. and everything legally that we have to have done,” Guilbeaux explained. “We also have the blessing of the (Vermilion Parish) school board. Once we formed the group, we got our by-laws written.
“We got it off the ground and we actually have it on solid, solid footing.”
That came with the help of similar organizations in the parish. Abbeville High and Erath High each have long-established Halls of Fame.
“We took things from both of those programs,” Guilbeaux said. “They were both so gracious giving us their by-laws and other things. We looked at the information and we modeled it. We put some of our own things because when they began, there were not some things like social media that they have now.”
As for who will enter the Kaplan Hall, that will be up to the committee. That group will include Burton Guidry, Craig Meaux, Boyd Girouard, Richard Abshire, Anna Guidry, Dr. Joseph Kite, Dr. Dexter Gary, Jerry Paul Vincent, John Loicey Hebert, and Stan Hardee, as well as Guilbeaux. The late Jeb Guidry was also a part of the committee from its inception.
“Qualifications will be stiff,” Guilbeaux said of gaining entry to the Hall. “We have a nominating committee and a selection committee.”
Obviously, what the athlete accomplished while at Kaplan High will play a key role. Just as important will be what he or she did after leaving the school.
“We want to make sure you have been a solid citizen after you left,” Guilbeaux said. “We have something in the by-laws stating that things you do after leaving can disqualify you. Some of the committee members were adamant about that.
“Your life after (school) makes a big difference.”
While it will include those who have long left the halls of Kaplan, the Hall of Fame will have a positive effect on those still attending the school.
“We are really wanting to do some scholarships and endowments,” Guilbeaux said of those at KHS going to college. “We really want to help the youth.
“To do that you have to have money.”
Guilbeaux said a major fundraiser will be part of making that possible. That will be placing a monument at the school. The group plans to request approval on the project from the Vermilion Parish School Board.
“People can donate to put their name or put a name in honor of someone,” Guilbeaux said. “It will be on display all the time and it will continue to grow.”
That project, along with the Hall of Fame itself, will simply help grow the connection between Kaplan’s past and present.
“It is going to recognize the people who have done extremely well,” Guilbeaux said. “We also want to kids now to strive to be a part of that.”

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