Josh Taylor (Teurlings Catholic, Sr.)
Josh Taylor and the rest of his Teurlings Catholic teammates were not just disappointed about losing to archrival St. Thomas More in the 2015 Class 4A state championship game.
All of the returning Rebels were angry about the defeat.
“To be honest with you, all of us on the team were pissed off about losing in the finals,” Taylor said. “And the fact that we lost to our crosstown rivals made it worse. We thought about that for an entire year. We all knew that we had to get the job done this time around.”
That is exactly what Taylor and his teammates did in 2016 as Teurlings Catholic went 34-5 and won the school’s first state championship since 2012, and its sixth overall.
The senior right-hander was a big reason why that happened as the LSU-Eunice signee went 11-1 overall, earned first-team all-state honors and pitched a complete-game victory in the team’s 3-2 win over West Ouachita in the Class 4A state championship game.
For those accomplishments, Taylor is The Acadiana Advocate’s outstanding player for 2016.
“It wasn’t difficult for myself or my teammates to step up in that moment because we had been playing together forever,” Taylor said. “I had a blast this season because I got to do this with my friends and teammates. We may never play with each other again, so this was special.”
Coach of the Year
Matt McCullough (Acadiana)
McCullough returned home, taking over the program that he not only once played for but also the one coached by his father, Scott, for decades. The former Comeaux High coach also took over a team that had lost several starters from 2015. But McCullough made his mark in his first season.
Acadiana finished fifth in District 3-5A and earned the No. 15 seed in the playoffs. After edging Dutchtown 2-1 in the opening round, Acadiana upset archrival and No. 2 seed Lafayette High in the second round, then defeated Ruston in the quarterfinals.
The run ended with a 2-1 loss to Byrd in the semifinals, but the season was still impressive as McCullough guided the Rams to a 21-16 record and its first trip to state since 2012.
All-metro first team
Josh Taylor/Teurlings Catholic, Sr.
The Most Outstanding Player of the Class 4A title game went 11-1 overall, with a no-hitter against St. Martinville in the playoffs.
Bo Hardin/Lafayette, Jr.
The District 3-5A MVP went 8-1 overall and helped the Mighty Lions to a 23-10 record and the No. 2 seed in the Class 5A bracket.
Brett Weber/Teurlings Catholic, Sr.
The LSU-Alexandria commitment was the District 4-4A MVP and earned all-state honors after going 10-0 for the Rebels.
Luke Young/Erath, Sr.
The Bobcats ace earned District 8-3A honors as he went 7-2 with a 1.25 ERA and 58 strikeouts as his team reached the Class 3A quarterfinals.
Cain Castille/Lafayette, Sr.
Earned first-team District 3-5A honors after hitting .323 with 18 RBIs while also throwing out 15 of 30 runners on steal attempts.
Mason Templet/St. Thomas More, Sr.
The Cougars first baseman hit .457 with nine home runs, 27 RBIs and an .889 slugging percentage. He was first-team all-district.
Landon Roberts/Cecilia, Sr.
The shortstop and four-year starter wrapped up his career by hitting .431 with 22 stolen bases as he set the tone as the leadoff hitter.
Spencer Gardner/Opelousas Catholic, Jr.
The slugging first baseman hit .393 with six homers and 34 RBIs to help his team to the Class 2A semifinals. He was first-team all-state.
Julian Leon/Breaux Bridge, So.
The second baseman was first-team all-district after hitting .388 with six doubles and 17 RBIs as his team reached the Class 4A semifinals.
Nick Webre/Teurlings Catholic, Jr.
The LSWA Mr. Baseball and LSU commitment hit .444 with six homers, 11 doubles, six triples, 41 RBIs and 42 runs. He also was Class 4A MVP.
Wesley Hebert/Eunice, Sr.
The Bobcats starting left fielder and LSU-Eunice signee hit .412 to earn first-team all-state honors as his team won 26 games.
Brian Sibley/Carencro, Sr.
The Bears star batted .407 with a .495 slugging percentage with 30 RBIs, 25 runs, six doubles and six stolen bases for his playoff team.
Broc Romero/Catholic-New Iberia, So.
The District 7-2A MVP played center field, pitcher and catcher, batting .329 with 29 runs and 16 stolen bases. He also went 5-3 with 36 strikeouts.
Brandon Duhon/Acadiana, Sr.
The Wrecking Rams pitcher/shortstop went 7-4 on the mound with a 1.99 ERA for the Class 5A semifinalist while also hitting .403.
Austin Kirkpatrick/Teurlings Catholic, Sr.
The Rebels catcher and LSU-Eunice signee earned all-state honors. He batted .340 and helped the team win its sixth state title.
All-metro second team
Joe Faulk, Notre Dame, Sr.
Chuck Kovach, Westminster Christian, Sr.
Bren Faulk, Erath, Jr.
Caleb Taylor, Eunice, Sr.
Tyler Thibodeaux, Breaux Bridge, Jr.
Hayden Cantrelle, Teurlings Catholic, Jr.
Aaron Whipp, Opelousas Catholic, Sr.
Will Bellamy, St. Thomas More, Sr.
Hudson Laborde, Lafayette High, Sr.
Alec Laviolette, Breaux Bridge, Jr.
Josh Fontenot, Pine Prairie, Sr.
Caleb Theriot, Opelousas Catholic, Sr.
Chad Romero, Acadiana, Sr.
Bo Barrilleaux, Hanson Memorial, Sr.
Pate Broussard, Crowley, Sr.