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Sports in the By David Butler ’77

LAST SPRING, Catholic High School was awarded a Golden

into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame, one of three Catholic High

Football from the NFL commemorating Warren Capone’s ’70

graduates to receive that honor. Professionally, Capone played with

participation in Super Bowl X. Playing for the Dallas Cowboys,

the Birmingham Americans of the World Football League, Dallas

Capone blocked a punt in the title game. In his journey to Super

Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.

Bowl Champion, Capone had to prove himself again and again.

While at Catholic High, Warren was the city wrestling champ in

After playing football at Our Lady of Mercy, he found himself

the heavyweight division and was state runner-up. “The wrestling

at Catholic High playing linebacker for coach Joel Smith and

blended in and I think it made a difference. It made me quicker,”

defensive coordinator Barrett Murphy ’55. The staunch defense,

recalled Capone. “I was not the greatest in the 40. I wasn’t slow,

led by Capone, allowed only 33 points in the 1969 regular season,

but I was not fast. I did what I needed to do to make plays and the

advancing to State playoffs.

wrestling helped.”

Capone forced himself into the middle of a recruiting battle

Capone attributes much of his success to coaches Smith and

between LSU’s Charlie McClendon and Alabama’s Paul “Bear”

Murphy. “My entire career as a player, there was a feeling I was

Bryant. “Alabama came on

not big enough, strong enough, or fast

really hard. I had a great visit to

enough to play the game. I never let that

Alabama,” said Capone. “I sat across

get into my mind and I was set to prove

the desk from Bear Bryant, talking

them wrong. Joel Smith and Barrett

30 minutes. It is one of my most

Murphy had tremendous faith in me and

cherished memories. My dad and

believed in me. Other people doubted

mom worked at the family service

my ability. They never did. I cherish

station and I knew it would be

them to this day,” said Capone.

a hardship for them if I went to Alabama. I chose LSU and have

When Coach “Bear” Bryant was

never regretted that decision.”

viewing film on Capone with Smith and Murphy, Alabama Coach Tommy

Capone quickly found success at

Tollison commented that Capone’s time

LSU where he was all SEC and a

in the 40 needed to be improved on.

two-time All American. When

Before his reply, coach Bryant thought

highly ranked Notre Dame came to

for a moment, took a long drag off his

town, Capone made eight tackles

Chesterfield, and noted, “As long as the

and intercepted two passes, one

football field is 53 yards – 10 ½ inches

of which he almost returned for a

wide, he can play football for anyone.

touchdown. He was named to LSU’s

You can recruit him but you won’t sign

All-Century Team and inducted

him.”

A Brothers of the Sacred Heart School Since 1894

Bear Facts - Fall 2016  
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