On October 9, 1960, Franklin’s Hanson Memorial Tigers played against New Iberia’s Catholic Panthers in a high school football game. The Franklin area was convinced that the Tigers would win despite the expected difficulty Catholic High posed. Indeed, the game was close—the Tigers beat the Panthers in a 19-16 win under the watchful eyes of a record 4,000 fans (1). Yet, the question remains: what fanfare played into this intensity between two rival Acadiana high schools? The answer can be found in New Iberia’s local radio station KANE.
KANE was founded in 1946 and named after the great amount of sugarcane that grew in the area. One of the station’s hallmarks that continues today is its coverage of high school sports, including football, basketball, and baseball (2). This legacy can be seen in the events surrounding the 1960 Hanson-Catholic football game. On October 1, Hanson High vowed in the St. Mary and Franklin Banner-Tribune that they were going to give the Panthers “an old-fashioned licking” when they would play each other on Sunday (3). Three days before the game, on October 6, members of the Hanson Booster Club stormed KANE and held station manager, Don Bonin, at gunpoint with muskets. The raiders proceeded to air pro-Hanson High messages and “a number of challenges” towards the Catholic Panthers (4).
The pre-game attack continued when, on the day of the game, Hanson staged a motorcade through New Iberia. Tiger fans waved flags and signs to show their support and rile up the Panthers on their own turf. Hanson’s antics culminated during the actual game with players like halfback Ronnie Hebert, who scored the two touchdowns for the Tigers and secured a victory for the team and gave the Panthers their first loss of the season (5).
This episode in KANE’s history, other than showing the ridiculous and potentially dangerous lengths that some schools may go to in showing support for their team, is a reminder of one of the ways people listen to sports: through the radio. Whether providing play-by-plays or rallying support for a team, both locally and nationally, media like the radio amplifies the connection that sports provide to a community.
1. "Ronnie Hebert's 95-yard jaunt gives Hanson Tigers 19-16 win," The St. Mary and Franklin Banner-Tribune, October 11, 1960, newspapers.com.
2. Jeff Boggs, interview by author, KANE, April 8, 2022.
3. The St. Mary and Franklin Banner-Tribune, October 1, 1960, newspapers.com.
4. The St. Mary and Franklin Banner-Tribune, October 8, 1960, newspapers.com.
5. "Ronnie Hebert's 95-yard jaunt gives Hanson Tigers 19-16 win," The St. Mary and Franklin Banner-Tribune, October 11, 1960, newspapers.com.