From the very beginning of his time with the university, Billy Napier, the head Football coach for the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, approached the Ragin’ Cajuns intending to instill the values of a championship winning team into every part of the program.
Recently, Napier has seen significant accomplishments from athletes like senior RB Raymond Calais, senior OL Kevin Dotson, senior OL Robert Hunt, and junior RB Trey Ragas, all of whom have earned spots on Athlon’s Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference First Team.
With 15 total selections to Athlon’s preseason all-conference team, the Ragin’ Cajuns prove that there is much to be excited about in this upcoming season.
Other exciting and honorable news is the special recognition that was granted to Redshirt sophomore OL Shane Vallot for his hard work and dedication to the UL Lafayette Football team.
“This guy has got it done. He’s gotten it done in the classroom. He’s gotten it done on the field,” Napier said, “This guy has worked his way into position on the team.”
Napier awarded Vallot with a Full Ride scholarship announcing that he is a well-trusted player who has proven himself valuable to the entire team.
Vallot said via Twitter that receiving this award has been one of his greatest achievements in life.
According to Vallot, Napier strives to teach his team what it means to be successful on and off the field. Vallot’s personal philosophy and outlook on life reiterates the values of Napier’s crew.
“I’m gonna do what I can to help get this team where they need to be,” Vallot said, “Whether I’m starting or on back up, I’m gonna lead them to success.”
When he’s not on the field for the Ragin’ Cajuns, Vallot is a helpful hand for his athletic community serving as a coach for a local baseball team and the Comeaux High School Spartans football team. As a retired Spartan himself, Vallot said he’s a natural leader whether he’s leading his teammates, or coaching the future generation of athletes.
Most importantly, Vallot hopes to pass on the life lessons he’s learned from playing sports for so many years.
Vallot’s favorite thing about being a part of Ragin’ Cajuns Football is the brotherhood.
“Football brings everyone close. If you didn’t have this family bond, you wouldn’t have a good team,” said Vallot.
One of his greatest drives and inspirations is exactly that: family.
“Family inspires me to work hard. Family and all those that look up to me. Adults, children, even the athletes I coach; I can’t let them down,” Vallot said.
Although Vallot has received an award of great honor, he said he’s not done. He has proven himself as a hardworking individual, but he wants to take it a step further with a specific end goal in mind.
“I want to be the best person,” Vallot said, “The best dad, the best leader. Eventually, the best head college football coach … I’m gonna make a name for myself.”
Winning this award has been “an opportunity of a lifetime” for Vallot and although college has been expensive, he said that he now has no worries because he’s doing what he loves and couldn’t be happier.
His plan for the immediate future is to become a starter and continue to build his reputation at UL Lafayette.
“This is just the beginning,” Vallot said.