Catholic High School Grizzly Greats Class of 2019-2020 Announcement
On August 17, 2019, Catholic High School will formally induct four new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame, the Grizzly Greats. Catholic High School is proud to announce its 2019-2020 class: Mr. David DiVincenti ‘70, Mr. Gerry Garidel, Mr. Peter Couhig ‘90, and Mr. Brad Hernandez ‘96.
Described as a “fierce competitor” by his teammates, Mr. David DiVincenti led the Bear football program both as a stout defensive lineman and a special team standout. Lettering all four years, David’s CHS football team comprised a 30-14-2 record between 1966 and 1969, and secured the school’s first district title in 30 years in 1967. As the place kicker, DiVincenti amassed 92 total points in his sophomore through senior seasons and had game-winning kicks against Baker in 1967 and Baton Rouge High in both 1967 and 1968. His senior season culminated in a City Championship and a 10-2 record behind a DiVincenti-led defense that only allowed 3.8 points per game and featured eight shut-outs. For his efforts, David was named to All-Parish, All-State and All-Southern Prep teams at both defensive tackle and place kicker, and earned All-American as well as the All-Scholastic team honors at defensive tackle. At the 1969 CHS Sports Convocation, David was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman. His incredible high school career earned David a football scholarship to Louisiana State University in 1970. David currently resides in Baton Rouge with his wife, Maria. He has two children, David Jr. ’01 and Christina DiVincenti O’Brien, eight grandchildren and is a long-time member of the CHS and Sacred Heart Men’s Clubs.
For three decades, Coach Gerry Garidel epitomized leadership and competitiveness in both the Catholic High School football and baseball programs. Garidel served as defensive coordinator under Coach Dale Weiner for 27 seasons and established the physical and intense style of play that earned the moniker the “Black Hat Defense.” Under his control, the Black Hat Defense set school records in 2006 for fewest rushing yards allowed per game at 53.7, fewest yards per rush allowed at 1.6, and had the lowest single game passing yards allowed at 48 in 1987. As fall turned to spring, Gerry turned his attention to the baseball diamond where he led the Bears as Head Coach for 28 seasons. By the end of his run in 2007, Garidel amassed 500 victories, 15 district titles (including four in a row from 1982-1985) and three State Runner-Ups. His CHS baseball teams made the playoffs 25 out of 28 seasons and Gerry sent 66 CHS baseball players on to play college baseball. Off the field, Garidel started the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at CHS in the 1980s. Gerry personified compassion, patience and unconditional love to all of his athletes and, most notably, his son, Jody, who was a permanent fixture at Catholic High School in the 1990s and 2000s. He makes his home in Baton Rouge with his wife Sharon and son, Jody, and is father to two other CHS graduates, Jamin ’96 and Jeffery ’05 and four grandchildren: Kaitlyn (9), Berkley (4), Charlotte (3), and Briggs (1). Beloved by his athletes, coworkers and fellow coaches, Coach Garidel is the most nominated candidate in history for Catholic High School’s Grizzly Greats Athletic Hall of Fame.
At the conclusion of his high school career in the spring of 1996, Mr. Brad Hernandez left Catholic High School as one of its most decorated two-sport athletes. Hernandez earned seven letters (four in baseball and three in football) in his career at CHS. An outstanding team player, Brad was a member of the first CHS football team to start 9-0 in the regular season in 1993. Under Brad’s leadership, the CHS baseball team went 13-1 in the district and earned the district title his junior year. During his senior football season, the Bears secured their first ever undefeated regular season and won the district title. Hernandez’s dedication to weight training garnered him the distinction of being a “Top Bear” in both his Junior and Senior years. Individually, Hernandez was named to the All-District baseball team in 1994, 1995 and 1996, and to the All-State baseball team in 1995 and 1996. He earned the Highest Batting Average title at both the 1995 and 1996 CHS Sports Convocations. In his senior football season, Brad earned All-District, All-Metro and All-State honors as linebacker and was named the District’s Most Valuable Defensive Player. Following his career in athletics, Brad went on to graduate from LSU and is currently employed as an engineer. He makes his home in Dallas, TX, with his wife, Ann, and two children, Corbin and Blakely.
A 1990 graduate of Catholic High School, Peter Couhig led the Bears to their first soccer state title in 1990 and is one of the most decorated soccer players in program history. As a freshman, Couhig was cut from the Bears’ soccer team, but his tenacity, competitiveness and love for the game would not accept that result. After working to develop in the offseason, Couhig made the 1988 Bears’ soccer squad and helped the team to a 13-3-1 record, the regular season District Runner-Up, and the District Tournament Championship. Amazingly, after being cut a year earlier, Peter was named All-District and 2nd Team All-State as a sophomore. His junior season, Couhig’s team continued to find success with a 9-1-1 record, a District Runner-Up, and a District Tournament Championship. Again, Couhig was named to the All-District team and this time earned All-State honors. Couhig’s senior season was not only a great success individually, but was also one of the strongest seasons in CHS Soccer history. Couhig, the team captain, led the Bears to a 14-0 season with district titles in both the regular season and the post-season tournament. The Bears finished the 1990 season by securing their first ever Soccer State Title. For his efforts, Couhig was named to the All-District and All-State teams and was awarded the District’s Most Valuable Player as well as the State’s Most Valuable Player honors. He left CHS as the all-time leader in both goals and assists. He received an athletic scholarship to Georgetown University where he started over 50 games for the Hoyas and was named Freshman of the Year in 1990. After completing college, Peter moved back to Baton Rouge and was one of the founders of Resource Environmental Solutions, a company that has restored more than 50,000 acres of wetland and streams in Southern Louisiana. He is married to Finney Heidel Couhig, and the couple has three children, Anna Reese, James, and Mac.
The Grizzly Greats Induction Ceremony will be held on August 17, at L’auberge Hotel and Casino in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. All are welcome to attend.