One of the wonderful things about living in Jackson Parish is the way those who move on to other areas thinks about the folks back home. Thanks to former resident Seine Liles, the daughter of Jonesboro residents Tommy and Linda Liles, the Jackson Parish Library (JPL) currently is home to one of the more treasured sports memorabilia items of Louisiana lore.
Available for viewing at the Jonesboro Branch of the JPL is the autographed jersey of legendary LSU football star, Billy Cannon, that normally hangs in the hallowed hall of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in Natchitoches. His jersey number 20 was retired by LSU football in 1960, and he was inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1975, the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
Considered by many the greatest football player in Louisiana history, Cannon led LSU to a national championship in 1958 and received the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding college player in 1959. Each year he was unanimously named an All-American. His famous punt return against Ole Miss on Halloween night in 1959 is still considered by many fans and sportswriters to be one of the most famous plays in college football history.
As a professional, the two-time, American Football League (AFL) All-Star, led the league in rushing and all-purpose yards in 1961 and was named the most valuable player of the first two AFL championship games, which were won by his Houston Oilers. Later in his ten year career (1967) while playing for the Oakland Raiders he played in Super Bowl II.
The ability to reconnect with one of Louisiana’s greatest sports legends is due to the thoughtfulness of Seine, who is a 1992 JHHS graduate. Currently a Madisonville, LA resident, which is situated on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain above New Orleans, Seine has been with the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame (LSHOF) Foundation Board from 2019-2021.
“Seine is a dynamic member of our team,|” said Doug Ireland, another JHHS graduate, who is the Chairman of the LSHOF in Natchitoches.