Three Hall of Fame Inductees Meet with Media

Britni Sneed, Esther Jones and Anthony McFarland
Britni Sneed, Esther Jones and Anthony McFarland (@LSUsports) (@LSUsports)
LSU Sports Interactive

BATON ROUGE -- The three living members of the 2009 LSU Athletic Hall of Fame class met with the media Tuesday afternoon at Walk-On’s prior to the induction ceremony Tuesday night at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Softball pitcher Britni Sneed, football star Anthony “Booger” McFarland and track standout Esther Jones will be inducted along with longtime trainer Dr. Marty Broussard and coaches Bernie Moore and Harry Rabenhorst, who will all be inducted posthumously. Here are some of the quotes from the media session with Sneed, McFarland and Jones:

LSU Hall of Fame Media Session
March 10, 2009

Opening Statement...
“You guys, I am so excited to be back. This campus has changed a bit since I’ve been here. Its beautiful, and it’s definitely warm and homey, so I’m so excited to be back. I’ll tell you what. The new Tiger Park, I was able to go yesterday when I got into town and check it out.  It’s a beautiful venue.  These girls are so lucky and fortunate.  I know they are excited to be able to play in a venue like the new Tiger Park. It’s beautiful. As far as me getting inducted, I am extremely excited and very humbled. This is an awesome opportunity, and I am looking forward to today and this evening. I am so thankful for Coach Girouard nominating me for this prestigious honor. I want to thank her so much.”

On if she ever envisioned being inducted into the Hall of Fame...
“You know, I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever thought about this at that time when I started as a freshman. Kind of like I was saying a while ago, this is truly an honor. The athletes that are in the Hall-of- Fame are just outstanding, and I am so honored and humbled to be in this category.

On what it will be like tomorrow night being in the other dugout...
“It’s something because, like Coach Girouard said, I’ll be wearing green tomorrow night, and I’ll be in the other dugout, but once a tiger, always a tiger. I’m looking forward to the competitiveness of LSU. They have a great team every year.  Coach Girouard coaches them well, and I’m looking forward to being in the venue tomorrow night and the game.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.”

On how far the softball program has grown...
“I was kind of around whenever the first softball team started, and I think the foundation was laid for this team. I’ve had a lot of awesome teammates, not just myself. I know I was a pitcher, so I stood out.  They drew a circle out there for me to stand in, so I stood out as a pitcher. I played with a lot of great teammates that helped lay the foundation for this program, and it’s an awesome opportunity for these young ladies to come back and get to play in the new Tiger Park. It’s beautiful. It’s definitely one of the finest ball parks in the nation. It’s not like any others that I’ve seen. I’ve been around softball for a long time. I have been able to travel to many different stadiums in the country, and this one is definitely one of the top ones in the country. I do admit it’s not like many others.” These girls are lucky, and I know that they know that they are fortunate to play in the new Tiger Park.”

On if thinks of herself as a pioneer for softball...
“A pioneer? Well, maybe not really a pioneer. Like I was saying, when I think of this opportunity, I think of the teammates that pushed me to be the athlete that I was.” I’m up here. I am “the first softball inductee,” but this is an award that goes to my teammates and the people that pushed me to be who I am.  I am thankful and I want to thank them as well.”


Opening statement...
“It’s always good to come back to Baton Rouge and be a part of such a great occasion. Every time I’m able to get a chance to get back here and to see the strides and accomplishments that have been made around here always brings joy to my heart. I tell people often that LSU had lost for six straight years, and I was very fortunate to be apart of the class of 1995 that was able to start the turnaround. To see how far the turnaround has come even after we left brings joy to my heart, not only for myself but for the guys that I played with – the Kevin Faulks, the Herb Tylers, the Todd McClures and those guys. I was just a part of a very special class to come through here. I’m even prouder than the football aspect that most of the guys in my class not only played football, but we earned our degrees. I think that was a very big part of changing the culture of football and changing the culture of athletics at LSU. It just so happened to see so many people continue to push that forward.

“As far as being inducted into the Hall of Fame, never in a million years did I ever think something like this would happen. Growing up in the small town of Winnsboro, La., which is a couple of hours north of here, I tell people often that my only goal was to get out and go farther and beyond things that I’d ever seen. To be able to have LSU be the most important figure in my journey because it got me started and headed in the right direction and on the right path is just an honor. I’ve had so many people to help me along the way. It’s very humbling and such an honor to be able to think that people think enough of me to be inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame. I truly am very thankful to all the people that have helped me and were a part of it, and I’m just going to enjoy and relish the moment.”

On his reaction when he first learned that he would be inducted...
“I was actually in Tampa, Fla., and the call came, and for me, it was a little bit of a shock. I was kind of lying back in the office, and it was one of those long days. I was kind of half-tired and half-sleeping, and I got the phone call, and I was like ‘OK,’ but I put the phone down, and after I had gotten off the call, it kind of hit me at that point. The more days that this builds up and the more time that we get to the day, the more significance I’ve seen how much it is. It didn’t really hit me early on, but as this day drew closer, it started to really hit me of what a great honor it is, and like I said, I’m just truly humble and truly appreciative to be in this position.”

On how special it is considering how many great players have come through LSU...
“It’s just a privilege and an honor to be mentioned amongst those guys, let alone to be put in a different category such as the Hall of Fame. I was very fortunate to play with a lot of guys who helped me, and we all helped each other get a lot of wins. Let’s not forget the name of the game; in most sports, it’s winning. When you win, everybody gets a lot of credit, so I didn’t win anything by myself. I was able to be a part of a tremendous group back in 1995 when we all got here, and it continued on. I think a lot of the credit has to go out to a lot of those guys that I played with, and we can sit up here and name them all day, but they all know who they are.”

On what LSU did to prepare him as a student-athlete and his years after college...
“People often say that your college years are the best years of your life. I tend to disagree with that because I think the college years are your most important years. For me, it’s been the most important because it continued the foundation that I learned back in Winnsboro, La., and it’s the most important because it’s the first time that you are out from underneath your parents’ wings. You’re on your own. You’re starting to make your own decisions, so now, who you are as a person really starts to form. LSU really prepared me athletically and academically with the people and the support staff around me to be able to use these important years and continue to push me forward to where I am today. I think that reason among many was probably why I’m here today just because of the people who have helped me. When you’re a 17-year-old kid coming to university, you have no idea what to expect. You have an idea what you want to do, but you have no idea what to expect as far as what’s expected of you because everything is so new. Everything is so different, but to have people in place to guide you, give you direction and give you an opportunity to go far beyond where you’d ever thought you’d go is just a great opportunity.

“Not many people get that. You’d be surprised how many when you talk to a lot of other young people from different universities across the country and to see the direction and the support that they’ve gotten, and you compare it to some of the things that you’ve gotten, you see that LSU is a special place with a lot of special people who really start to prepare young men and women for the rest of their lives.”

On what sold him into coming to LSU as a high school recruit...
“I think everybody kind of caught the same little trend. Here we are. We all live in Louisiana. When I say we I’m talking about some of the bigger recruits that year in Louisiana, and the school that everybody recognizes is with us is down. Most of us are probably like me. We were home bodies; we were used to staying around the house, so when you look at all the factors that pointed toward LSU, everybody started to feel the same thing. We could go to a program where No. 1, we could play. No. 2, we could be fairly close to home, and No. 3, last but definitely not least, we could start something athletically special, not necessarily going just to be a piece of the puzzle, but we could make our own puzzle. Over the course of recruiting, we all kind of got that fire. Kevin (Faulk) started it off because he was the first to commit, and it really made a statement to everybody else throughout the state. The class of ’95 came in with really no expectations but expectations from ourselves. I think what we were able to do between 1995-98 still has been the kind of second rebirth. LSU has won for a long time, but we just hit a rough stretch in the previous six years, and since 1995, you could argue that LSU has been if not the best, one of the best programs in America, academically an d especially athletically if you compare wins and losses in the football realm. I think it all started back then. It’s just good to be a par t of that. Guys just took a chance, and guys just took an opportunity because they believed in themselves more than anything. LSU believed in us, and it was a good match.”

On the number of players in the NFL from his time at LSU...
“That was just part of the great work ethic we had. I think that’s the biggest thing we did. Gerry Dinardo can be called a lot things in this era, but one of the things he can always be called is a guy that really worked hard. He drove us a lot that first year in ’95. We were already on the bottom. LSU was on the bottom, and we just lined up on the practice field and worked hard. We used to just grind it out everyday, and slowly the atmosphere turned around. I’m sure it can be the same in any other sport. When the atmosphere and the culture start to turn around, everybody starts to feel it. The work ethic picks up. The attention to detail starts to pick up. Your concentration picks up. Those are the things that nobody ever gets to see because they take place during the week. Everybody gets to see them on Saturday night, but all those things start Monday through Friday, and in the sport of football, you get to see them on Saturday night. I think that was a big deal. He started that, and Coach Saban took it over, and Coach Miles is now continuing that. We’ve always won not because we were more talented but because we worked harder and we had talent. I think once we understood that, we were able to go further. LSU has always had talent. They’ve had talent since the program started. The state of Louisiana produces great football players, but when great talent works harder than everyone else, it’s hard to beat.”

On the recognition from fans...
“I just try to be myself. Most people that know me know that I’m a very outgoing person who is very easy to get along with. I enjoy a conversation or two. I’ve always tried to keep myself as very approachable, very easy to talk to and very likable just because when you take off the pads and the helmet and you step out from behind the microphone, I’m no different than anybody else. I’ve always tried to be just like everybody else because often times there is a separation between an athlete and the public or a celebrity and the public, and that’s where a lot of the stereotypes come from. You have to realize that we’re all just people. My job is a little different from yours, but we’re all just people. I’ve tried to keep it that way. That’s the reason why some people relate a little bit more, but I’ve also had people who have liked to ruffle some feathers as well.”


Opening Statement...
“I’m really thrilled to be back in Baton Rouge. I was sitting a the table reminiscing with my brother, and I got really choked up. I had to leave, dry my eyes and come back. I’m just thrilled. I don’t want to get very emotional, but I’m really thrilled.”

On her reaction when she learned she was going to be in the Hall of Fame...
“When I first heard about it, I knew that they had been trying to track me down. I knew that they had inducted me into one Hall of Fame before and were just trying to find me. I told (LSU Senior Associate Athletic Director) Herb (Vincent) that I was just going to start keeping in contact with them. I was just thrilled. It is a joyous occasion for us. I have family coming in from five different states, so we’re just going to have a good time. We just appreciate it. I appreciate the people who are set up to induct us. I’m just honored and glad to be here.”

On if she considers herself a pioneer for women’s track and field...
“We were a part of the teams that started the legacy. We were the early group, and what we did was start the foundation. As we would grow we would just pass the baton back and coach the younger girls. The way our coach trained us was so that we could coach in the future if we wanted to, so as we learned we helped teach. It just started a legacy.”

On if any one moment from her LSU career sticks out in her mind...
“In 1991, I won the individual championship, so that was really nice, but we clinched so many titles, so it’s hard to say. I would say the one moment was in 1991, winning both the national championships in the 100-meters and 200-meters and winning the relay as well. That was my most memorable moment. What I did at LSU allowed me to go to the Olympic games, and when I went to the Olympics, I wasn’t just representing my country, I was also representing this state.”





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