When Live Oak High baseball coach Greg Briggs finally had a chance to reflect on the spring season last week the one word that immediately came to mind was “special.”
Briggs, who coached the Eagles to a 30-10 record and a state runner-up finish, has now garnered a special honor — being selected as the Coach of the Year on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 5A All-State team.
“This is unexpected … very unexpected,” Briggs said. “There a lot of very good baseball coaches in 5A and a so many of those guys are so deserving too, so this means a lot.
“It all comes back to the kids and the team. We could see things coming together last summer. This was a group that genuinely liked each other and played for each other. They really bought into what we were doing and believed every step of the way. This was a special group and a special season.”
Two players who helped lead their teams to state titles, Ouachita pitcher Kat Lee and Barbe shortstop Kennon Fontenot, claimed two of the other top LSWA honors. Ouachita’s Tim Whitman was voted the Coach of the Year for softball. The teams were selected by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.
Barbe’s Fontenot was voted the Outstanding Player on the baseball squad after compiling a .489 batting average with 21 home runs and 69 RBIs while leading Barbe to the a baseball title.
Lee was selected as the Outstanding Player for softball after compiling a 24-3 record, including a 5-0 mark as Ouachita won its first state title in softball. She had a 2.25 earned run average and also batted .443 with 33 runs scored. Whitman, who previously won state titles in the 1990s at Pineville High, led Ouachita to a 25-5 record and its state title.
Six softball players and three baseball players from the Baton Rouge area were voted to the LSWA teams.
Live Oak’s Lenni Kunert, an LSU commitment, made the baseball squad as a utility player. So did St. Amant’s Brennan Grant. Zachary’s P.J. Cannon was selected as a second baseman.
Kunert hit .386 with 10 doubles and 40 runs scored. He also 4-1 with a 1.98 ERA. Grant helped St. Amant to the semifinals by compiling a 7-3 record with two saves and a 2.17 ERA to go along with a .308 batting average and 30 RBIs. Cannon batted .356 with 12 doubles, three triples, 24 runs scored and 23 RBIs for ZHS.
Top-seeded St. Amant, a quarterfinalist, and state runner-up Denham Springs each placed two players on the softball squad. Shortstop Kara Gremillion hit .548 with 62 runs scored, 38 RBIs and 29 stolen bases, while pitcher Skylar Cook was 21-3 with a 1.71 ERA and 133 strikeouts.
Denham Springs outfielder Brittany Case batted .606, scored 47 runs and had 25 RBIs. The Yellow Jackets’ Jaden Accardo, a catcher, made the team as a utility pick after batting .389 with 13 home runs and 38 RBIs.
Payton Gremillion played second base and helped Live Oak to the softball semifinals by hitting .495 as a leadoff hitter with 15 RBIs. East Ascension’s Carmisha Payton was voted the squad’s third baseman after hitting .491 with eight home runs and 54 RBIs.
Sam Houston’s Tanner Wright (20-2, 314 strikeouts) and Pineville’s Bailey Allen (16-7, 171 strikeouts) were the other softball pitchers chosen. The baseball pitching staff consisted of Ruston’s David Michael Burkhalter (7-3, 0.70 ERA), Barbe’s Gunner Leger (17-0, 1.55 ERA), Destrehan’s Kade Granier (9-0, 0.97 ERA) and Jesuit’s C.J. Avrard (9-2, 1.15 ERA).
Sulphur’s Becca Brooks (.405, 7 home runs, 49 RBIs) and Barbe’s Bryce Jordan (.476, 6 home runs, 39 RBIs) were selected as the catchers. Sulphur’s Alexis Mouton (first base, .432) was the other softball infielder picked. The baseball infield also included Sam Houston’s Peyton McLemore (first base, .475) and Brother Martin’s Owen Magee (third base, .422) along with Barbe’s Fontenot.
Barbe’s Beau Jordan (.420), Alexandria’s Kevin VanAsselberg (.388) and Northshore’s Parker Morris (.480) were picked for the baseball outfield, while Pineville’s Rebecca Martin (.450) and Fontainebleau’s Savannah Folse (.442) also made the softball team as outfielders.
Other utility players picked for the softball squad were Sam Houston’s Abby Jolie (.475), Northshore’s Sydney Bourg (.735), Ouachita’s Karlee Walker (.423) and Mount Carmel’s Sam Dares (.457). Jesuit’s Brandon Sequeira (10-1), Brother Martin’s Greg Deichmann (.354) and Sulphur’s Kale Breaux (14-3) also were utility choices for baseball.
LeftAlign.3LeftAlign.31LeftAlign.123RightAlign.215RightAlign.259Pos. Player School Cl. Avg./Stats
P Kat Lee Ouachita Sr. 24-3
P Tanner Wright Sam Houston So. 20-2
P Bailey Allen Pineville Sr. 16-7
P Skylar Cook St. Amant Sr. 21-2
C Becca Brooks Sulphur Sr. .405
1B Alexis Mouton Sulphur Jr. .432
2B Payton Gremillion Live Oak Sr. .495
SS Kara Gremillion St. Amant Jr. .548
3B Carmisha Payton East Ascension Sr. .491
OF Rebecca Martin Pineville So. .450
OF Savannah Folse Fontainebleau Jr. .442
OF Brittany Case Denham Springs Jr. .606
UTL Jaden Accardo Denham Springs Fr. .389
UTL Abby Jolie Sam Houston Jr. .475
UTL Sydney Bourg Northshore Sr. .735
UTL Karlee Walker Ouachita Sr. .423
UTL Sam Dares Mount Carmel So. .457
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Kat Lee, Ouachita
COACH OF THE YEAR: Tim Whitman, Ouachita
Honorable mention: Brooke Overley, H.L. Bourgeois; Brenna Copes, H.L. Bourgeois; Devyn Knippers, Sulphur; Savannah Settle, Natchitoches Central; Shelby Rome, Fontainebleau; Sarah Long, Byrd; Addison Roark, Ouachita; Miranda Young, Airline; Lacey Dodson, Haughton; Haydn Parker, Parkway; Allie Williams, Pineville; Jessica Crum, Dutchtown; Lauren Simar, Hahnville; Casey Harrington, Ruston; Margeaux Smith, Ruston; Nikki Skerlong, Ouachita; Katie Smith, Airline; Anna Dunn, Captain Shreve; Carleigh Chaumont, Sam Houston; Madeline Poole, Alexandria; Alaina Guarino, Mount Carmel; Victoria Pederson, Ouachita; Ashlie Dubuy, West Monroe; Mary Kate Bozeman, Parkway; Miriam Trafford, Caddo Magnet; Shelby Spruiell, Byrd; Sarah Desselle, Pineville; Brister Curry, Ruston; Anna Dies, Haughton; Jessie Watts, East Ascension; Taylor Lockwood, Walker.
LeftAlign.3LeftAlign.31LeftAlign.123RightAlign.215RightAlign.259LSWA Class 5A All-State baseball, softball teams
LeftAlign.3LeftAlign.31LeftAlign.123RightAlign.215RightAlign.259Pos. Player School Cl Avg./Stats
P David Michael Burkhalter Ruston Sr. 7-3
P Gunner Leger Barbe Sr. 17-0
P Kade Granier Destrehan Sr. 9-0
P C.J. Avrard Jesuit Sr. 9-2
C Bryce Jordan Barbe Sr. .475
1B Peyton McLemore Sam Houston Sr. .475
2B P.J. Cannon Zachary So. .356
SS Kennon Fontenot Barbe Sr. .489
3B Owen Magee Brother Martin Sr. .422
OF Beau Jordan Barbe Sr. .420
OF Kevin VanAsselberg Alexandria Sr. .388
OF Parker Morris Northshore Sr. .480
UTL Brandon Sequeira Jesuit Sr. 10-1
UTL Lenni Kunert Live Oak Jr. .386
UTL Greg Deichmann Brother Martin Sr. .354
UTL Kale Breaux Sulphur Jr. 14-3 UTL Brennan Grant St. Amant Sr. 7-3
OUTSTANDING PLAYER: Kennon Fontenot, Barbe
COACH OF THE YEAR: Greg Briggs, Live Oak
Honorable mention: Eric Miller, Byrd. Cameron Taylor, Airline; Steven Arnold, Alexandria; BJ Edwards, Pineville; Reuben Edwards, Alexandria; Carlo Graffeo, St. Paul’s; Blake Baker, Jesuit; Bryce Dantin, Shaw; Ethan Elliott, Grace King; Alex Galy, Jesuit; Daniel Lahare, Brother Martin; Jace Nini, Shaw; Ryan Brewer, Destrehan; Tyler Lamers, Hahnville; Spencer Veit, Rummel; Doc Wilkerson, Ruston; Garrett Soileau, Ruston; Derek Boutin, Acadiana; Bryce Guidry, Central Lafourche; Austin Bollinger, Terrebonne; John Snyder, Byrd; Aaron Armstrong, Alexandria; Trace Carter, Alexandria; J.T. Moreau, Pineville; Corey Gaconi, Brother Martin; Mac Sceroler, Denham Springs; Ross Massey, Catholic; Handsome Monica, St. Paul’s; Nick Coomes, Catholic; Dylan Snowden, West Monroe; Braden Comeaux, Barbe; Dustin Mitchell, West Monroe; Cliff Reid, Sam Houston; Matthew Beck, Alexandria; Braedon Barrett, Barbe; Ben Leblanc, Ruston; Cade Richardson, Comeaux; Christian Volion, Holy Cross; Carl Guidry, Denham Springs; Cannon Brasuell, Ruston; Tyler Polk, Comeaux; Madison Livingston, Captain Shreve; Cody Cross, Grace King; Austin Bain, Dutchtown; Michael Claverie, Live Oak; Adam Goree, Barbe; Jarrett Gongora, Brother Martin.