The New Orleans Saints, in partnership with the NFL ,announced Wednesday their selection of the 2011 Week 1 High School Coach of the Week: Robert Valdez of West St. John High School.
Valdez and his Rams defeated St. James High School in overtime amidst Tropical Storm Lee last Friday night.
"The win was special for us," said Valdez. "Playing in a storm, coming from behind and especially to win in overtime against our crosstown rival made this victory very sweet."
Members of the Saints staff visited Valdez at practice on Wednesday awarding the coach with a plaque, commemorative hat and $1000 check towards his football program.
"This is a tremendous honor not only for me, but for our entire school community, we are a very small school and to be honored by the NFL and the Saints is something very special to us," said Valdez.
Coaches are not only selected for their performance on the field, but for their role as a coach in the community.
"It is great to use football as tool to prepare my kids for life," noted Valdez. "You have to work hard in order to be successful, and we carry that motto in everything we do on the field and in the classroom."
Valdez is a native of New Orleans, having played football for O.P. Walker, and later a four year letterman at Southern University in Baton Rouge. Valdez begins his fourth year at West St. John this season.
The New Orleans Saints will continue to select one coach each week for this award during the high school football regular season. You can catch more on the Saints High School Coach of the Week during Cox Sports Television's, "Outside the Huddle" every Thursday night at 6 and 11 pm.