A local player with a list of accolades and a second-year head coach who piloted a Cinderella team to a runner-up finish help headline the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State teams for baseball and softball.
Catholic High pitcher Aaron Nola was selected as the Outstanding Player on the baseball squad after leading the Bears to the 5A semifinals. Coach David Bourque led Denham Springs High to a 5A runner-up finish in softball.
“I worked a lot on my velocity and my changeup,” Nola said. “Really, I worked on all my pitches. I took the throwing program my seriously. This is a really huge honor.”
Nola, a returning all-stater and the District 5-5A MVP, finished with a 7-1 record and a 1.00 earned run average with 55 strikeouts in 38 innings. He also hit .364 with 29 runs batted in.
Bourque coached the 14th-seeded Yellow Jackets (20-11) to victories over three higher seeded opponents on the way to a runner-up finish.
“Wow, what an honor,” Bourque said. “The big thing for me as a coach coming in was getting everybody to buy into the system, and these girls really did that this year. And I think that’s why we were able to win close games when it counted.
“My goal is to just pattern what we do after the other top programs out there. To win this really is special for that reason.”
Baseball champion Jesuit-New Orleans and the softball champion Hahnville each had three players chosen to their respective teams.
Hahnville first baseman Elise deBruler is the 5A Outstanding Player for softball. Jesuit’s Joey Latino is the 5A Coach of the Year for baseball.
Hahnville’s deBruler hit .480 with 29 RBIs and four home runs. Jesuit’s Latino had spent three years out of coaching after previous stints as a head coach at De La Salle and Archbishop Shaw. He guided Jesuit to 29-5 record and a season-ending 16-game winning streak.
Other local players on the baseball squad were Dutchtown’s Troy Lewis, Catholic’s Chris Sciambra and Almann Snowden of Zachary.
Lewis, the District 6-5A MVP, hit .447 with six home runs and 36 RBIs, sparking the Griffins on a 21-game winning streak. Lewis went 6-1 on the mound.
Sciambra hit .433 for the Bears with eight home runs, 40 runs and 34 RBIs. Snowden batted .505 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs for semifinalist Zachary.
Metro area players on the 5A softball squad were pitchers Caroline Sagrera of St. Joseph’s Academy and Chelsea LeBlanc of East Ascension, catcher Tiffany Robinson of EAHS, infielder Whitney Troxclair of St. Amant, DSHS outfielder Natalie Landry, and two utility players, catchers Jade Bourgeois of Dutchtown and Katie Browne of Zachary.
LeBlanc helped lead EAHS with a 26-3 record, a 1.23 ERA and 281 strikeouts in 176 innings. Robinson hit .484 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs.
Sagrera led St. Joseph’s to its first appearance in the LHSAA State Tournament by compiling a 21-8 record with 281 strikeouts. She also hit .387 and was the District 5-5A MVP.
Troxclair batted .446 with 30 RBIs and six home runs for St. Amant. Landry hit .478 with four home runs and 34 RBIs.
Dutchtown’s Bourgeois hit .479 with 44 RBIs as her team advanced to the state tournament for the first time in 5A. Brown hit .473 with 15 home runs and 40 RBIs for ZHS.
Baseball champ Jesuit had 13 seniors, including two all-staters: shortstop Tony Fortier-Benson and outfielder Bubby Riley.
Fortier-Benson, the District 10-5A Player of the Year, hit .481 with 27 RBIs and 40 runs scored. Riley hit .364 with 30 RBIs and 38 runs scored. He was the MVP of the Jays’ 5-4 victory against Lafayette in the championship game.
The third Jesuit all-stater is junior pitcher Emerson Gibbs, who was 6-0 with a 1.38 ERA in the regular season. He had playoff victories over Pineville and Barbe plus saves against Destrehan and Lafayette.
Acadiana is represented by battery mates Cord Cockrell and Stryker Trahan. Cockrell was 10-0 with a 1.91 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 69 innings and hit .308. Trahan, a repeat all-stater at catcher, hit .460 with 31 RBIs, 39 runs and five home runs.
Rounding out the pitchers is St. Paul’s Christian Trent, who went 8-2 with a 1.42 ERA.
Gavin Cecchini of Barbe and Jake Guidry of Carencro are the other baseball infielders. Cecchini hit .533 with 11 home runs, 45 RBIs and 32 stolen bases. Guidry hit .470 with seven homers and 41 RBIs.
Utility players are Timmy Broussard of Mandeville, Peter Pizarro of Byrd, Layton Tromba of Airline, Jace Conrad of Lafayette and Zach Schexnaydre of Destrehan.
Broussard was 9-1 with a 1.15 ERA and hit .364. Pizarro led Byrd to the quarterfinal, hitting .402 with eight home runs. Tromba was 8-0 in the regular season with 79 strikeouts in 77 innings and a 1.55 ERA.
Conrad, the only player selected from two-time state runner-up Lafayette, hit .479 with 39 RBIs and 40 runs. As a pitcher, he was 5-2 with a 3.62 ERA.
On the softball side of things, deBruler is joined by fellow Tigers Hannah Haydel and Courtney Dutreix. Haydel, a junior, threw every inning for her team, striking out 187 in 189 innings with a 1.18 ERA. Dutreix, a senior, batted a team-high .484 with 38 runs and 17 RBIs.
Barbe and West Monroe also placed two players on the team. Barbe junior pitcher Sara Corbello was 26-2 with 186 strikeouts and a 1.15 ERA. Selected as a utility player, Barbe senior catcher Brooke David hit .667 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs.
West Monroe senior outfielder Mollie Sims batted .495 with 28 RBIs with 37 runs scored. Rebels pitcher Savannah Dollar, selected as a utility player, was the District 2-5A MVP, going 25-6 with a 2.15 ERA and 156 strikeouts.
Meagan Thomas of New Iberia was the other infielder and hit .500 with 13 stolen bases. Shellie Landry of St. Thomas More was the other outfielder, hitting .422 with 31 RBIs.
Michelle Lagarde of Academy of Our Lady, a shortstop who hit .451 with 22 RBIs, was the other softball utility player.
Class 5A All-State
Pos. Player School Cl. Avg.
P Hannah Haydel Hahnville Jr. 27-3
P Sara Corbello Barbe Jr. 26-2
P Caroline Sagrera St. Joseph’s Acad. Jr. 21-8
P Chelsea LeBlanc East Ascension Sr. 26-3
C Tiffany Robinson East Ascension Sr. .484
IF Elise deBruler Hahnville Sr. .480
IF Courtney Dutreix Hahnville Jr. .484
IF Meagan Thomas New Iberia Sr. .500
IF Whitney Troxclair St. Amant Jr. .446
OF Shellie Landry St. Thomas More Jr. .422
OF Mollie Sims West Monroe Sr. .495
OF Natalie Landry Denham Springs Jr. .478
UTL Jade Bourgeois Dutchtown Sr. .479
UTL Katie Brown Zachary Jr. .473
UTL Brooke David Barbe Sr. .667
UTL Michelle Lagarde Acad. Our Lady Sr. .451
UTL Savannah Dollar West Monroe Sr. 25-6
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Elise Debruler, Hahnville
COACH OF THE YEAR: David Bourque, Denham Springs
HONORABLE MENTION: Rachel Smith, Covington; Nicole Habetz, St. Thomas More; Taylor Goree, Barbe; Sarah Arceneaux, St. Thomas More; Haley Hayden, West Monroe; Caitlin Hebert, West Monroe; Kayla Tullos, Pineville; Kiley Ray, West Monroe; Jessica Moreau, Pineville; Bailey Landry, East Ascension; Alexi Reynolds, Dutchtown; Kourtney Hererra, John Ehret; Amye Barre, Hahnville; Kasey Becnel, Mouny Carmel; Chelsea Nette, Northshore; Alli Beth Blanchard, Assumption; Christian Shoemaker, Lafayette.
Pos. Player School Cl. Avg.
P Emerson Gibbs Jesuit Jr. 6-0
P Aaron Nola Catholic Sr. 7-1
P Christian Trent St. Paul’s Sr. 6-1
P Cord Cockrell Acadiana Sr. 10-0
C Stryker Trahan Acadiana Jr. .460
IF Gavin Cecchini Barbe Jr. .533
IF Jake Guidry Carencro Sr. .470
IF Tony Fortier-Bensen Jesuit Sr. .471
IF Troy Lewis Dutchtown Jr. .447
OF Bubby Riley Jesuit Sr. .364
OF Almann Snowden Zachary Sr. .505
OF Chris Sciambra Catholic Sr. .433
UTL Layton Tromba Airline Sr. 8-0
UTL Peter Pizarro Byrd Jr. .402
UTL Jace Conrad Lafayette Sr. .479
UTL Zach Schexnaydre Destrehan Sr. .392
UTL Timmy Broussard Mandeville Jr. 9-1
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Aaron Nola, Catholic
COACH OF THE YEAR: Joey Latino, Jesuit
HONORABLE MENTION: Teddy Henderson, West Monroe; Alex Massey, Catholic; Matt Sharp, Byrd; Dylan Frey, Lafayette; Sam Scofield, St. Thomas More; Cade Butler, Denham Springs; Taylor Stagg, Airline; Jered Hedges, Captain Shreve; Tanner Rainey, St. Paul’s; Blake Butera, Mandeville; Breck Kline, Northshore; Jared Foster, Barbe; Ryan Bergeron, Acadiana; Brenn Conrad, Lafayette; Dart Deloach, Pineville; Josh Sandoval, Pineville; Josh Faciane, Jesuit; C.J. Womack, Denham Springs; Blake Johnson, Acadiana; Andrew Stevenson, St. Thomas More; Colton Strickland, Pineville; Tyler Guillory, St. Amant; Bryce Jordan, Barbe; Jacob Williams, Dutchtown; Jacob Knox, Catholic; Payden Lynch, Covington; Bo Ockman, Thibodaux; Nick Ber, Thibodaux; Trent Granier, Thibodaux; Jonathan Coco, Shaw; Casey Rodrigue, Brother Martin; Blair Thornton, Ehret; Ray Veit, Archbishop Rummel; Taylor Guilbeau, Zachary; Cody Stone, West Monroe; Cade Stone, West Monroe; Dylan Meyers, Ponchatoula; Caleb King, Comeaux.