PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Sports

May 30, 2013

Former Leader sports editor, Big 33 guru Cervelli dies at 79

PORT ARTHUR — Former Leader sports editor,

Big 33 guru Cervelli dies at 79

       

    Fred Cervelli, former sports editor of the Orange Leader, died Wednesday at 79 at his home in Austin.          Besides being an award-winning writer, Fred was the genius who assembled the Texas all-star teams which won three straight games against Pennsylvania's best to end a "bragging rights" Big 33 series.  

    Participants in the games included Lamar coach Bill Bradley, who QB'd a 26-10 Texas victory in 1965; and Southeast Texans Jerry Levias, Steve Worster, Cotton Speyrer, Steve Stuart, Paul Robichau, Tody Smith and Robert Hall.

    Cervelli left the area in the late 60s to become press secretary for

the state AFL-CIO. He retired after losing his sight to a rare retina

disease, but remained active in labor and political issues.

    Though he lost his eyesight in 1979, tapes and audio CDs enabled him to keep up with sports.  He also listened to the narration of 9,000 books.

    Fred was a close colleague of The Port Arthur News while at the Leader, often

sitting alongside John or Russ DeVillier at a high school press box,

or at Lamar. The staffs then worked together to select consensus

all-district teams.

    A Baylor grad, Cervelli remained a sports enthusiast his entire life.

He chronicled the exploits of Worster, then happily watched the

Bridge City fullback run roughshod when Texas bashed Pennsylvania in

the final Big 33 game in 1967.

    News contributor John DeVillier, who made a couple trips to the

Big 33 games in Hershey, penned a story on these pages last fall, telling of

Fred's role in helping assemble the teams.

    “Those Big 33 games between Texas and Pennsylvania

all-stars returned the national spotlight to Longhorn Bobby Layne’s offense and a staff of

luminaries that included Doak Walker, Harley Sewell and Rooster Andrews, but

Fred was the genius behind their success,” said John DeVillier.

    “He combed the state not only for great players but the kind demanded for his

offense. He was in charge of getting the team to Hershey and back to Texas -- no

small responsibility."

    "Fred lost his sight, but his zest for life never dimmed,” added Russ DeVillier. “His wife

Marie, daughter Risa, and son Rhett came first, and Fred also stayed

close with a multitude of friends he knew as a sports writer, and

later as spokesman for the state AFL-CIO.

    “All around the house knew to stay hushed when Fred tuned in to the

Horns, Aggies, Bears, Texans or Cowboys. And Marie kept him updated

on high school sports every Saturday morning. A lot of athletes, coaches and working people have lost a loyal friend in Fred Cervelli."

    Funeral arrangements are for Saturday visitation at l p.m, and

service at 2 p.m., both at Claybar Funeral Home in Orange.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)

    July 23, 2014

  • Mid County knocked out of tournament

    The Mid County 16-18 Babe Ruth squad’s run to the World Series is over.

    July 22, 2014

  • West golf notepad: West duo claims title in Texas Father-Son

    July 22, 2014

  • Mid County sets up championship series with Tri County

    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

    July 21, 2014

  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

    July 19, 2014

  • West column: Pacers hiring Pat Knight didn't help Lamar

    July 19, 2014

  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

    July 15, 2014

From the Fieldhouse blog