On Friday evening, Oct. 17, at pre-homecoming game ceremonies, the Leesville High School Alumni Association inducted two outstanding athletes into the Sports Hall of Fame: the late Ted Paris, who played football at LHS from 1948-52 and at LSU from 1952-57; and Richard Reese, who played basketball at LHS and Louisiana College.

On Friday evening, Oct. 17, at pre-homecoming game ceremonies, the Leesville High School Alumni Association inducted two outstanding athletes into the Sports Hall of Fame: the late Ted Paris, who played football at LHS from 1948-52 and at LSU from 1952-57; and Richard Reese, who played basketball at LHS and Louisiana College.

Paris, who played both offense and defense in high school, along with being the kick-off specialist, scored 102 points his senior year and was the first athlete in LHS history to earn all-state honors and to play at the college level. Five different colleges offered him scholarships, but he chose LSU, where he was a three-year letterman, playing linebacker, guard and center, and playing on special teams. His first varsity year, he earned a spot on the all-SEC sophomore team. During his three years as a varsity player, he racked up an average of 57 minutes per game, the second-highest in LSU history.

After graduating from LSU in 1957, Paris returned to Leesville, where he served as a math teacher and football coach at Leesville High School. In 1963, as head football coach, he led the Wampus Cats to their first district championship and earned the honor of district Coach of the Year. In 1972, Paris returned to LSU to pursue additional degrees.

After his coaching career, Paris served as principal of Leesville High School and of East Leesville Elementary School, Director of Vernon Career Center, member of Vernon Parish School Board, member of Vernon Parish Police Jury and Commissioner of Vernon Parish Summer Baseball.

Paris married his high school sweetheart, Sherry Hardwick Paris, and they became the parents of two children, Mike and Nita.

Paris died on December 25, 2010.

Reese, a 1961 graduate of Leesville High School, is the first basketball honoree to be inducted into the Alumni Association’s Sports Hall of Fame.

Reese’s outstanding high school career led to his being named an All-State Player for two years (1960 and '61) and Class AA Player of the Year in 1961, and the only LHS athlete in any sport to receive this honor, along with being the first LHS athlete to be named to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame.

Additionally, Reese earned several more district, regional, and state honors, being named 3AA all-district for two years, 3AA Outstanding Player in 1961, Southwest Louisiana Outstanding Player-All Classes in 1961 and ClassAA scoring champion for two years, 1960 and 1961. He was also the first LHS athlete in any sport to be selected to play in the Louisiana Coaches’ All-Star Game for all classifications.

After graduating from LHS, Reese continued his commendable career at Louisiana College, where he lettered for three years and set a scoring record, 1,360 points his senior year, 1965, a record that stood for more than 30 years. Also, during his senior year he was named the Wildcats’ Most Valuable Player. Additionally, he was ranked 10th nationally for free-throws made: 88 percent.

The Wildcat Athletic Association inducted Reese as a charter member of the Louisiana College Sports Hall of Fame in 1992.

Reese graduated from Louisiana College with a Bachelor of Science in 1965 and returned to teach in Vernon Parish. He earned his Master’s+30 in Administration and Supervision from McNeese State University in 1976. Reese has served as basketball coach, head basketball coach and principal in Vernon Parish public schools. As head basketball coach, he took teams to the state quarterfinals five times and was named district Coach of the Year three times. He is now the Executive Director of Faith Training Christian Academy.

He is married to Marjorie Wagner Reese and they have three sons, Ricky, Edwin and Tracy.

Any LHS alumni wishing to nominate an LHS alumnus for the Sports Hall of Fame can email tab2416@aol.com for information.