Jeff Donnes '73
Jeffrey James Donnes (E. D. White Class of 1973) is a 2017 selection for induction into the E. D. White Catholic High Cardinal Greats. Jeff Donnes was born in January 1955 to Joe and Frankie Donnes (a 1994 “Hall of Fame Inductee” and a long time faculty member and librarian). Donnes had an outstanding high school career as a Cardinal student-athlete, and his continual commitment to his Alma Mater and to the betterment of the Thibodaux Community have earned him this selection.
Donnes was a multi-sport athlete for the Cardinal athletic program, competing in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, and track during his five years. He lettered five-years as an outfielder in baseball for the Cardinals, where he started for 3 years and was named to the All-District Team in his junior and senior years. In the basketball arena, Donnes lettered for 3 years and started for 2 years at the guard/forward position. In track he lettered for 2 years in sprints and relays.
In varsity football Donnes, a 3-year starter as a linebacker and a tight end, garnered numerous accolades. Not often is a player selected to the All-District team for two different positions, yet Donnes was an exception. Twice named All-District as a linebacker and once as a tight end, as well as, being selected as the Defensive Most Valuable Player for the district, Donnes displayed uncanny defensive intuition and prowess. His stellar defensive ability brought him recognition as an All-State linebacker. He is characterized as an exceptional defensive player, but more importantly, as a supportive team player committed to doing his best for his teammates.
After finishing at E. D. White, Donnes pursued a degree in economics. He attended Nicholls State University, transferring and graduating from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1978. He began his career in Thibodaux with his father and earned licensing to sell both insurance and real estate. Donnes would focus on the real estate area and eventually opened Donnes Real Estate in 1981. His friendly disposition, ease in communicating, and facility in encouraging the exploration of ideas have contributed to Jeff’s prominence in the Real Estate profession as well as in the Thibodaux community. He has been active in the local Bayou Board of Realtors, serving as Bayou Board President and 5-time Multi-Listing Chairman. Presently, he serves on the Louisiana Real Estate Commission, having been appointed by Governor Bobby Jindal. Honored for his service, Donnes has received the Realtor of the Year Award, the Life Time Achievement Award, and the American Business Women’s Club “Boss of the Year” Award.
Donnes did not put all his talents into the real estate world but has employed them to advocate for his Alma Mater in numerous ventures. The E. D. White Cardinal Club benefitted from his membership and service on numerous committees as well as his support in fundraising efforts for the athletic department. Donnes served on the Alumni Board and numerous fundraising committees for the building of our student union and the present library.
The Thibodaux area has benefitted from Donnes’ willingness to serve and improve the community in many facets. He has been a member of the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce and has served on the Chamber Board. He dedicated time to coach and build the city’s recreational teams and serve on the boards of the Dixie Baseball Association and Biddy Basketball. Concerned about the well-being of Thibodaux’s residents, Donnes served on the Lafourche Parish Planning and Zoning Board and is currently serving on the 5th Ward Drainage Board. Even the families in his own subdivision gave him the name of “Mayor” for their subdivision because of all the many hats he wears.
He married his high school sweetheart, Margot Kerne(’73), and they have raised their family in Thibodaux, where they have been faithful parishioners of St. Genevieve Parish for over 37 years. There children are Alaine D. Lafaso (’98) and her husband Tony(‘93) who have 4 future E. D. White graduates JJ, Eli, Leo and Amelie; Jacob(’00) and his wife Amber with boys Maxwell and Miles; and Ross(’03) and his wife Gretchen(‘03 ) with Baby boy Donnes due in December.
It is a privilege to honor Jeff Donnes as a Cardinal Great and to have him join his mother as an E. D. White Hall of Famer.
David Duplantis '82
David Lee Duplantis, a graduate of the E. D. White Class of 1982, has been named a 2017 inductee into the E. D. White Catholic High Cardinal Greats. Duplantis’ outstanding high school career as a three-sport student-athlete at E. D. White Catholic High School and his continual commitment to his Alma Mater, evident in his support and development of our school, its athletic facilities, and teams, are the reasons for his selection.
While at E. D. White, Duplantis competed in football, baseball and basketball. In football he was a 3-year letterman, playing as a two way starter full back and defensive end on the 1981 State Runner-up Football Team. He garnered All-District Honors in both his junior and senior years and was selected as one of the team captains his senior year. For the Cardinal Basketball Team, he played a guard/forward position and was a two year lettermen. On the baseball diamond Duplantis played 2nd base and lettered all 3 years. In baseball, too, he was selected for All-District honors in both his junior and senior years.
Duplantis did not simply leave his mark on the venues of competition, but also in the classroom and in the community. He was a member of the Key Club, FCA, Student Council, and National Honor Society. His leadership skills and desire to help others were learned early in his life and were fostered by the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and the Sisters of Mt. Carmel. Serving as vice-president of Key Club in his senior year, he performed numerous hours of service to school, Church, and community, and his life since has clearly been a testament to that commitment to service. Crowning his high school achievements, the title of 1982 Outstanding Student Athlete acknowledged his accomplishments in athletics, academics, and leadership.
After his high school years, Duplantis attended Nicholls State University before transferring to the University of Southwestern Louisiana, today the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He graduated with a B. S. Degree in Civil Engineering in 1987, and was named as the Outstanding Civil Engineering Student his senior year.
For the first 10 years of his professional career Duplantis worked for 3 Civil Engineering firms in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, and Thibodaux. In 1997, he founded Duplantis Design Group, PC in Thibodaux, LA. Today, DDG is registered to practice in 15 states primarily in the Southeast. DDG is a multidisciplinary firm offering professional services in the areas of Civil Engineering, Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Coastal Engineering. DDG has roughly 75 employees with offices located in Thibodaux, Covington and Baton Rouge, LA, as well as, in Houston, TX. DDG has been recognized as the 2003 Outstanding Business of the Year, the 2006 Chamber Member of the Year by the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce, the 2016 BIG Achiever Award by the Bayou Industrial Group, and the 2016 Corporate Mark of Honor by the Nicholls State University Alumni Association. DDG is proud to have 17 E. D. White graduates as members of their staff, four of whom are partners.
Duplantis has continued to be instrumental with the Cardinal Family. He was a member of the E. D. White Cardinal Club and was the 1st Chairman for our Cardinal Clay Shoot, one of the fundraisers for the athletic program.
He is the married to Mary Babin Duplantis and they have four children. Three are graduates of E. D. White Catholic High: Tyler (’09), Kaley (’12), Ryan (’14) and Jacob is presently a junior.
Sandra Diez Trosclair '79
As Amelia Earhart was a pioneer to the field of aviation, so too has our 2017 Cardinal Great, Sandra Diez Trosclair, been a pioneer to the women’s athletic program at E. D. White Catholic High and to the Thibodaux area. Trosclair is a 1979 graduate and the only daughter of the late Mr. Alfred and Mrs. Amy Diez. Who would have foretold that she -- the first and only girl in her family -- would continue her pioneering legacy!
Trosclair, affectionately known as “Diez,” entered E. D. White Catholic High as an 8th grader and kicked off her journey by becoming a member of the very first athletic teams for girls at E. D. White in the 1974 – 1975 school year. She played five years for the Lady Cardinal volleyball, basketball, softball, and track teams. She earned 16 varsity letters and garnered numerous All-District Honors. In her freshman year, the Lady Cardinal basketball team won the school’s 1st District Championship in that sport. Trosclair finished her high school career by being named the I.A.C. (Independent Athletic Club) Student Athlete of the Year.
Upon graduating she embarked on another first by playing college softball as a pitcher on the 1st Nicholls State University Softball Team. In only their second year as a team, the Nicholls State Lady Colonels won their 1st N.I.T. Championship with Trosclair on board as pitcher.
With athletics close to her heart and college behind her, she took on another adventure and began officiating high school athletic events. Often a thankless job, officiating is not for every former athlete, but her love for sports runs deep. Trosclair, like Amelia Earhart, modeled professionalism in her work and exacted excellence from herself, earning her respect and distinction throughout the state. She has officiated volleyball and softball at all levels of adolescent sports to include recreational leagues, AAU-club sports, and high school sports. At the National Federation of High School (NFHS) level, Sandra has officiated volleyball for 38 years and softball for 32 years. She became the first female assignment secretary for the Kasey Kozminski Volleyball Officials Association and the Kasey Kozminski Softball Officials Association, holding those positions for 27 years.
Her pioneering efforts did not go unnoticed by the state. The LHSAA selected Trosclair to serve as the representative for volleyball officials on the first Louisiana High School Officials Association Board. Throughout her years of officiating, she was honored with her selection to officiate at many of the LHSAA State Volleyball and State Softball Tournaments. Sharing her vast experience in officiating, she served on LHSAA and LHSOA committees for the improvement in the areas of officials’ education and certification to promote a higher standard of excellence and professionalism in officiating.
Trosclair has a genuine love for her hometown of Thibodaux and advocates the importance of recreational and organized sports for Thibodaux’s youth. Though her name may not bear the notoriety of Earhart, many do know the face of the official up on the stand or the face behind the umpire’s mask. For many the face is that of a well-loved volunteer coach for the city and Dixie Baseball or the face behind the counter at the family business, Pope’s for Parts. Countless are the ways in which she has shared the gifts the Lord has given her with her community and the E. D. White Family.
She has been married to her husband Danny Trosclair for 35 years, and they are the proud parents of two E. D. White graduates -- Wendy T. Adams (’02) and Brent (’06) -- and a future graduate, Hunter – class of 2021.
Trosclair’s pioneering spirit and tireless work ethic earns her the title of Cardinal Great!
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