Public invited to event featuring former Saints
By PRESTON GILL
PATTERSON — Former New Orleans Saints players will “meet old friends and tell old lies that get bigger and bigger each year about how they used to do it back in the day” at the sixth annual celebrity golf tournament Friday according to former Saint, LSU and Patterson High running back Dalton Hilliard. The scramble golf tournament will be held at the Atchafalaya Golf Course at Idlewild in Patterson.
The public is invited to attend the event without charge to meet and get autographs as gridiron stars from the past reminisce and network with marine and oilfield-related businessmen in the tournament. Hilliard and Patterson Police Chief Patrick LaSalle have hosted the event each year.
Hilliard rattled off the names of former NFL players he expects to be a part of the event. Among them were Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers, former LSU Tiger Hokie Gajan, 2010 NFL Hall of Fame inductee Ricky Jackson, John Fourcade, Stan Brock and other former Saints, as well as players from other NFL teams.
“This isn’t a tournament about competition,” explained Hilliard. “A lot of former players are successful businessmen. This is an opportunity for them to renew old ties while networking with each other and with other businesses. It is also an opportunity for the public to come out and talk with them and enjoy some good food at the same time.”
For instance Hilliard owns Southland Energy Services, a contract labor company in Houma that supplies welders, fitters and electricians for fabricators and shipyards throughout the Gulf region. He sees the yearly golf tournament as an opportunity to mix pleasure and business.
“This is an opportunity for us to have a good time with customers and future clients throughout the oilfield, fabrication and shipyard business,” said Hilliard.
Tee-off time for the event is scheduled for 7:45 a.m. and it is expected to wrap up in the late afternoon or early evening.