You Are Here: Catholic High School Field House and Weight Room
Every Place Has a Story
Catholic High School in New Iberia has a long-standing tradition of superior athletics. Champions of all kinds have walked the halls and played in the facilities. Many of this small town’s heroes have come out of the Catholic High School athletic program. Some of these heroes include college football stars who have attended major colleges in the area. Some of these schools include Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Tulane. Although football is a major part of Catholic High life, there have also been stars emerge from various other sports as well. Morgan Leleux, a 2011 graduate, broke the national high school pole vaulting record, was a four-time state champion, and is a current member of the University of Georgia track team. Talented athletes trained on the CHS campus and used the facilities including this weight room and field house.
The Catholic High Field House was first constructed in 2003 to serve as a locker room for the football team as well as an office for the coaching staff. The locker room in the gym had been split in half when the school switched to co-ed and could no longer accommodate the large number of athletes of CHS. The field house was later dedicated in 2009 to Coach Rodney Louque for his humble service to the football program here at CHS. He was a religion teacher and head football coach in the 1970s. He made an everlasting impression on the students and athletes of this school through his strong love for his students, the football program, and God. He suffered from a re-occurrence of cancer, and his players wanted to ensure that he was present for the dedication of the field house. Therefore, the group sped up the process so he could attend and see the great legacy that he has left behind. This dedication has even been called the “most appropriate naming here at CHS.”
The Catholic High Quinlan Weight Building was a later addition that was constructed in 2004. The weight room had originally been located between the gym and the present-day cafeteria. However, this building was very small and could not fit the large number of athletes at Catholic High. The old weight room was transformed into an office for the maintenance supervisor here at CHS. The new weight room was dedicated to the Quinlan family for their very generous donations to the athletic program. Mr. William Quinlan has been a longtime supporter Catholic High. He is a 1958 graduate of St. Peter’s College, and many of his children and grandchildren have walked the halls of this school and have expressed serious devotion to the athletic program at CHS. Today, countless athletes train here all months of the year. Having a modern weight room on campus has definitely benefited the athletic program.
A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words
The Old Weight Room
Inside the Old Weight Room in 1982
View of the Field House and Weight Room
Inside the modern facility in 2012
Voices from the Past and Present
Emily Halphen Reflects
My own father, Michael Halphen, is a 1982 graduate of Catholic High. My father was also a football player when he was in high school, quarterback I might add! He used the old weight room on countless occasions in his time here at CHS. In my interview with him, he described it as a “terribly hot and smelly place.” Of course, air conditioning was unheard of at this time, and with a room full of sweaty teenage boys, there was no doubt a foul smell.
As a current student athlete of CHS, I work out very often in the current weight room. I am sure that my experiences are very much like my father’s. Although the new building is much larger than the old one and air conditioned, there is still the ever- present smell of the sweat and dedication of the CHS athletes. The weight building has been a great addition for all athletes here. It allows us to train year-round and gain the strength we need, athletically and mentally to be successful athletes and members of society.
Halphen, Emily. The CHS Field House and Weight Room. 2012. Photographs. Personal Collection.
Halphen, Michael. Personal Interview. 30 March 2012.
Nelson-Hebert, Jamie. Email to author. 14 May 2012
Panther 1892. Print. Catholic High School, New Iberia, LA
The Top Ten Panther 2005. Print. Catholic High School, New Iberia, LA.