By Bonnie Culverhouse
His name is L’Jarius Sneed. He also goes by L-Jay. His closest friends call him J.J.
Now, he is known as Super Bowl champion and Hometown Hero.
Sneed, a Minden High School and Louisiana Tech graduate was Grand Marshal of a parade through downtown Minden Saturday. Sneed then signed autographs for a huge crowd of fans in the parking lot of the Webster Parish Courthouse where he was joined by his parents and brother.
Event coordinator Michael Walker said he is unsure the number of people who attended Saturday.
“We had 1,000 hot dogs to sell, and we ran out,” Walker said. “Some people said they didn’t get one.”
District 11 state Representative Patrick Jefferson of Gibsland read a proclamation signed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.
“You are an inspiration to throngs of young people who aspire to reach and conquer the grandest of stages,” Jefferson said.
Minden Mayor Nick Cox proclaimed Saturday, March 4, 2023 L’Jarius Sneed Day before presenting Sneed with a key to the city.
“We reflect on his many accomplishments, to have made a positive impact on this community,” Cox said.
All of the speakers lauded Sneed’s ability to come back from adversity to make a name for himself and his roots.
“Never give up on your children,” his mother Jane said. “Just pray to God every day and cover them with Him.”
Spencer Heard, Sneed’s coach at Minden High School, said he always knew his player would be something special.
“Life is not a straight line,” Heard said. “It’s got curves, it’s got hills and it’s got valleys, but L’Jarius is about perseverance.”
Following the Super Bowl, Sneed was the recipient of the NFL Way to Play for his tackle on Philadelphia Eagles running back Miles Sanders during the game. Sneed chose the Minden Crimson Tide to donate his $5,000 award.
A representative from Louisiana Tech University spoke about Sneed’s time in college. His mother said there was a time when Sneed wanted to leave college, but he stayed with it.
Sneed seemed humble during the program. He applauded for everyone except himself.
A police contingency surrounded Sneed throughout the parade and during his time with fans and signing autographs. There were many excited children and young people pushing their way to the front to see a hero, and he interacted with them, tossing a football with a couple of them.
“I appreciate you giving me this honor, and the police staff that is with me,” Sneed said to cheers from the crowd. “Y’all could’ve been somewhere else doing anything else, man.”
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