Vacherie, located midway between New Orleans and Baton Rouge in Louisiana is a rural town (pop. 3,500) surrounded by antebellum plantation homes, sprawling moss-covered live oak trees, and "lots of sugar cane fields," says Frank Smith, who serves as a Sorrento Pacific Financial advisor at First America Bank & Trust, the town's local bank.

It's also a place, Smith says, "where sports is a religion." Smith, who played basketball at Loyola University in New Orleans in 1992-96, knows that religion well. In fact, you might say he is part of its priesthood, serving as a coach to teams of young athletes in and around Vacherie in baseball, basketball, "and a little football."

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