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Story Archives: State Hall needs Fugler
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|State Hall needs Fugler|
The 2010 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame class was one of the most unique and one of the best in recent years.
Several of the inductees were also stars in other sports growing up.
Former LSU pitcher Ben McDonald loved basketball and played for LSU coaching legend Dale Brown.
McDonald was an all-State baseball and basketball player at Denham Springs High School and played forward on the 1986-87 LSU hoops squad that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Former Louisiana Tech basketball player and current Lady Techster coach Teresa Weatherspoon loved softball.
Former Nicholls State and Tampa Bay wide receiver Mark Carrier averaged 22 points per game in basketball his senior year at Church Point High.
Prep football coaching legend Lee Hedges played football and baseball at LSU and played with the Baton Rouge Red Sticks of the Evangeline League.
Former ULM head men's basketball coach Mike Vining had a standout prep career at Forest High School. Vining played basketball for Coach Lenny Fant and pitched for the baseball team, which he helped lead to the Gulf States Conference Championships in 1964 and 1966.
Basketball standouts Larry Wilson and Orlando Woolridge excelled in other sports, as well.
But this class was still missing something. The same thing as the past 30 or so years — Max Fugler.
Fugler was part of the Ferriday High football teams of the 1950s that lost only four games over four years and won four state championships.
Fugler and Frank Brocato were the lone Bulldogs to letter five years as both played as eighth-graders.
Fugler was part of a 54-game streak without a loss, which still stands today as the longest in the state. Fugler was also a big part of LSU's 1958 national championship team, earning the Iron Man Award in the 1958 championship season as he led the team in minutes played, averaging more than 35 minutes of playing time a game.
Fugler played on high school and college teams that combined to go 68-8-0 while he was a member of those teams.
Fugler was the first high school All-American at Ferriday High. He had the fortune of playing under Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Johnny "Red" Robertson, who was deservedly inducted in 2003.
Fugler was the 10th pick in the eighth round, being selected by the San Francisco 49ers as the 94th overall player taken in the 1960 Draft. He was also drafted by the Boston Patriots of the AFL.
Fugler's NFL career ended in his rookie year when he tore cartilage in his knee while making a block against Cleveland. That was a much more serious injury back in the 1960s. The New Orleans Saints began their franchise in 1968 and Saint head coach Tom Fears offered Fugler a contract four different times. Fugler turned him down because he didn't want to take the chance of injuring his knee permanently.
Since 1958, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame has honored the elite figures in state sports history. Only 277 men and women have been chosen for induction in the Hall of Fame.
Here's hoping Max Fugler will be included in the new numbers next year.
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