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From the Desk of the EHS Athletic Director

2010 Hall of Fame Inductees
Induction  into the EHS Hall of Fame will be held October 21st @ 7:00 at the Erath Community Center.
See 2010 Video Tribute and Past Hall of Fame Members

Tommie Pillette

Jacob Byler Leslie Dronet Mencacci

 The Erath Backers Club is proud to announce the induction of Tommie Pillette as a 2010 inductee of the Erath High School Hall of Fame.  Pillette is a 1974 graduate of Erath High School, and a longtime coach at the school.  While a student at Erath High, he was a member of the football, basketball, and track teams. 

Pillette was a three year letterman in both football and basketball.  He was also a two year letterman in track.  In his junior year, he was named to the All District and All Parish in basketball.  He averaged 16.4 points per game and 12 rebounds per game.  For his efforts, he was selected as Most Valuable Player at Erath High School.

In his senior year, Pillette was named to the 1st Team All District and All Parish for football and basketball.  He averaged 18.6 points per game and 12 rebounds per game for basketball.  He was awarded the Bobcat Award for Leadership.  His teammates voted him co-captain for the football team and captain of the basketball team.  Pillette led the basketball team in points for both his junior and senior years.  He still holds the school record for shooting percentage in a single game with 100%.  He was 11 for 11 in the Erath game against Catholic High School.

Upon graduation, Pillette signed a four year baseball scholarship with Whitworth College in Brookhaven, Mississippi.  This was an amazing feat due to the fact that Erath High School did not have a baseball team during his high school years.  In his sophomore year, Pillette followed Coach Dwaine Roark to John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas when Coach Roark left Whitworth College.  During his college career, he played centerfield.  Pillette was honored to have played in the Small College World Series in Rangeley, Colorado and the NAIA National Tournament at David Lipscomb College in Nashville, Tennessee.  He also tried out for the Los Angeles Dodgers Farm Club.  Pillette graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education.

Pillette returned to Erath after graduating from John Brown University.  He was hired as a middle school and high school coach in August 1978.  He is now in his 32 year at Erath High School.  During his time at Erath, he has coached in almost every sport.  He is currently in his 17th year as head boys basketball coach.  He has served as head baseball coach on three separate occasions, serving as head coach for 21 years.  Pillette was also the head girls basketball coach for four years. He has served as an assistant coach in football his entire time at Erath.  During his career, he has been named Vermilion Parish Coach of the Year twice in baseball and basketball.  He was also named District Basketball Coach of the Year twice.    

 Pillette’s dedication to Erath High School is unparallel.  He is often the first coach to arrive at school and the last to leave.  He always had the time to stop and talk with anyone, and this has resulted in many long time friendships with many of his former student athletes. 

Pillette is the proud father of 5 children: Jamie Ryan Pillette, Joni Rochelle Broussard, Jessica Rene’ Pillette, Jeremy Ross Pillette, and Joshua Randall Pillette.  He is also the grandfather of two: Jakyla and Jalen. 

The Erath Backers Club is proud to announce the induction of Jacob Byler as a 2010 inductee of the Erath High School Hall of Fame.  Byler was a longtime coach and athletic director at Erath High School.

Byler, a native of Kaplan, was born in 1940 to Jules and Lelia Byler.  He graduated from Kaplan High in 1958.  Upon graduation, he enrolled at Southwest Louisiana Institute (now UL Lafayette).  Byler graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1964.  He continued his education by obtaining a Master Degree in Administration and Supervision from McNeese State University in 1975.

Byler began his coaching and teaching career in 1965 at Crowley Junior High.  Later, he worked at St. Paul’s High School in Covington from 1966-1967.  In 1967, he moved to Cathedral High School in Lafayette.  Byler coached at Cathedral High for 14 years.  In 1981, Cathedral High School and Our Lady of Fatima High School were consolidated to form St. Thomas More Catholic High School.  Byler became the first head coach of the St. Thomas More football team.  He held that position until 1985. 

In January 1987, Byler began his tenure at Erath High School as head football coach and athletic director.  Byler took over a football program that had four different head coaches in the previous seven years.  The combined record for those years was 20-50, with no playoff appearances.  Byler began rebuilding the Erath football program, producing a winning record in his first season as head coach.  In 1990, he led the Bobcats to their first playoff appearance in 17 years.  This was the first of 10 playoff appearances for the Bobcats under Byler’s helm, more than any other football coach at Erath.  He is also only one of Erath two football coaches to win a District Championship.  The Bobcats won the District Championship in 1998.  When Byler retired as head coach in 2009, he retired as the coach with the most wins in history with 113.  During his time at Erath High, he was selected as Vermilion Parish Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2002, and District Coach of the Year in 1998.  In 1993, he was honored by be chosen the Louisiana High School Athletic Association All Star Coach. 

In addition to serving as football coach, Byler was also the head girls track coach for many years.  He was head coach from 1989 to 1993 and from 1998 to 2009.  Under his direction, the Erath Girls Track team became a dominate force.  His teams won the district championship six times, claiming the title in 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 2006, and 2008.  The 1991 team also won the regional championship, set six new school records, and placed third at the state track meet.  In recognition of this, Byler was selected as the All Acadiana Girls Track Coach in 1991. 

Byler was successful in bringing back pride to Erath Athletics through his efforts as coach at Erath High for 22 years.  He took over an athletic program that had been dejected in recent years and restored its respectability.  Byler also served as a mentor to many young adults that passed through the halls of Erath High.  He took the time to inquire how his athletes were getting along, and how well they were doing in school.  More than producing great athletes, his greatest accomplishment was turning these young athletes into successful young men and women.  That, more than his coaching accomplishments, will be his lasting legacy in Erath.

Byler was married to the late Betty Broussard for 43 years.  He has two children, Tracy and Tommy.  Tommy is married to Stacy, and they have three children: Grace, Britt, and Lily. 

The Erath Backers Club is proud to announce the induction of Leslie D. Mencacci as a 2010 inductee of the Erath High School Hall of Fame.  Mencacci is being inducted as an honorary member of the Hall of Fame.

 Leslie is a 1977 graduate of Erath High School.  Throughout her life, she has given countless hours of her time to different civic organization in her community.  One of the first organizations in Erath that she became involved with was the Erath Jaycees.  She was a member of the Erath Jaycees and Jaycee Women in the mid-1980’s, where she served as an officer.  Her work with the Erath Jaycees led Leslie to become involved with the Erath 4th of July Association.

She joined the Erath 4th of July Association in 1984 and is still actively working with this organization.  She served as Vice President in 1986.  Presently, she has been serving as Secretary for the past 10 years.  Leslie also has the task of staging the annual parade that takes place every July 4th.  All of the money Erath 4thof July Association raised by the festival is given back to the community.  One of the largest donations made to the community was the funding of the construction of the Erath Community Building in Erath City Park.  The Erath Community Building Association was formed in order to plan and oversee the construction of the building.  Leslie was chosen as President of the Erath Community Building Association in 1986, a position in which she still serves.

When Leslie’s children began getting involved with school or community events, Leslie would join in and volunteer her time.  Leslie became active with youthsports organizations when both of her children began participating in sports.  She did whatever job needed to be done, whether it was collecting at the gate, working the concession stand, or helping with fundraisers.  She also served as an officer with Erath Youth Baseball for several years.

When her son, Taylor, became a student at Erath Middle School, Leslie became the PTO Co-President.  She served in this position from 1991 until 1998.  Her daughter, Lindsay, was honored to be a member of the 2001 Babe Ruth World Series team.  Leslie served as the Public Relations Chairman of the organization that sponsored the 2001 World Series in Abbeville, and helped to plan and stage the large event.  When Taylor was deployed to Iraq with the 256th Infantry in the National Guard, Leslie was actively involved in the family support group.

Leslie’s involvement with the Erath Backers Club began in the early 1990’s.  She became Secretary of this organization in 2000.  She also served as Co-Treasurer and chairman of the Erath Century Club and the Crawfish Blowout fundraiser for several years. She participated in the planning and working the Annual Barbecue and Jambalaya Fundraiser and Golf Tournament.   While in the Backers Club, Leslie became the “go to” person for anything involving the organization.  If there were any questions that needed to be answered or something that needed to be done, everyone went to Leslie because they knew it would be done.

Leslie is the daughter of Curney and Irene Dronet. She is married to Mark Mencacci.  They have two children, Taylor and Lindsay. Taylor is married to the former Amy Landry.  Leslie and Mark are also the proud grandparents of Elise Mencacci.

Photo of Leslie Dronet Mencacci courtesy of Bryan Broussard Photography
 

Entries submitted and written by Robert B. Vincent, Erath Backers Club Treasurer.

Photo of Leslie Dronet Mencacci courtesy of Bryan Broussard Photography

Erath High School 808 S. Broadway Erath, La. 70533

 Office 337-937-8451

Athletics Phone (337-937-5221)

 Basketball
(937-4933)

 

Join the 2009-2010 Century Club (MS Word or PDF)
Print the form and return the form and money to:

  

Erath Backers Club

P.O. Box 24

Erath, LA 70533.

 

Erath High School

808 S. Broadway Street

Erath, LA 70533

Phone - 337-937-8451

School Fax - 937-5109

 

Email Athletic Director

 

Athletic Director / Gym - 937-5221

Football Stadium - 937-5917

Basketball Office - 937-4933

Website - www.vrml.k12.la.us/ehsathletics

 

 

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