Rensuke Higashihama was living in Okinawa, Japan, this time a year ago.
But in his first year in the United States, the exchange student at Riverdale High School made his mark.
Higashihama was selected to the LSWA Class 4A all-state baseball team.
The senior left-hander went 7-2 on the mound with 105 strikeouts in 732⁄3 innings. He had a 2.73 ERA. He batted .348 with 21 RBIs and 18 stolen bases on his way to earning Most Valuable Player honors in District 10-4A.
He threw a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a victory over Ben Franklin during the regular season.
“Rensuke is just a great kid,” Riverdale coach Sean Temple told The New Orleans Advocate in April. “He’s our No. 1 all-around player. He loves the game. He works hard every single day. I’ve said to other coaches, ‘If I had 10 more players like him, we’d win the state title. I don’t know how I got so lucky.’ ”
Riverdale reached the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Higashihama was the only player from the Greater New Orleans area to be named to the 4A all-state team.
Peyton Lejeune of Teurlings Catholic was voted Most Valuable Player after compiling an 11-3 record and helping lead Teurlings Catholic to the Division II state title.
Benton’s J.D. Stephens was chosen as Coach of the Year. Stephens led the No. 9 Tigers to the Class 4A state championship, beating No. 1 Breaux Bridge, No. 5 West Ouachita and No. 3 seed DeRidder during the playoffs.
Alexis Wadsworth, a freshman at Pearl River, was the only area player selected to the 4A all-state softball team. Wadsworth, selected as a utility player, batted .567.
Shortstop Annemarie Peavy of Parkview Baptist was voted Most Valuable Player. Peavy batted .521 with 10 home runs to help lead her school to the Division II championship.
Todd Schulz of Deridder was voted Coach of the Year. Schultz led DeRidder to its first softball championship in school history, beating the top two seeds (West Ouachita and Morgan City) on its road to the title.
2018 Class 4A All-State Charts
Pos Player School Class Stats
P Luke Honeycutt West Ouachita Sr. 9-2
P Blake Ougel South Lafourche Sr. 11-2
P Cole Mouton Breaux Bridge Jr. 9-0
P Peyton Lejeune Teurlings Jr. 11-3
C Julian Leon Breaux Bridge Sr. .366
IF Peyton Parker West Ouachita Jr. .357
IF Kanin Dodge Teurlings Jr. .342
IF M.D. Talley Neville Jr. .417
IF Christian Gonzalez Breaux Bridge Jr. .464
OF Wes Toups E.D. White Jr. .475
OF Cameron LeJeune DeRidder Jr. .392
OF Connor Joffrion Parkview Baptist Sr. .361
UTL Chipper Menard DeRidder So. 11-2
UTL Rensuke Higashihama Riverdale Sr. 7-2
UTL Andrew McPherson Benton Sr.
UTL Mason Pesson St. Thomas More Sr. 9-1
UTL Hayden Judice Teurlings Sr. 10-0
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: PEYTON LEJEUNE, TEURLINGS CATHOLIC
COACH OF THE YEAR: J.D. STEPHENS, BENTON
Honorable mention: Larry Barabino, Warren Easton; Collin DeSandro, E.D. White Catholic; Austin Cantrelle, South Lafourche; Davis Arceneaux, South Lafourche; Kaleb Blanchard, Assumption; Chandler Breaux, Assumption; John Theriot, Vandebilt Catholic; Cameron Folse, E.D. White Catholic; Dylan Talbot, Vandebilt Catholic; Jack Blanchard, South Lafourche; Morrquis Charles, Morgan City; Logan Tingle, Morgan City; William LaRocca, Morgan City; Landon Credeur, Cecilia; Connor Robin, Cecilia ; Nick Talamo, Salmen; Peyton Callendar, Parkview Baptist; Thomas Wilhite, West Ouachita; Luke Cagle, Neville; Dylan Coburn, Tioga; Josh Humphries, Buckeye; Johnathan Harmon, Leesville; Dakota Courtney, DeRidder; Devin DeSandro, E.D. White; Tanner Dalfrey, Breaux Bridge; Darian Charles, Westgate; Drew McDaniel, St. Thomas More; Cody Morgan, Cecilia; Garrett Hable, Benton; Carson Curtis, North DeSoto; Hunter Gaston, North DeSoto; Sebastian Jenkins, Westgate; Dain Turner, Teurlings Catholic; Dustin Phillippe, Parkview Baptist; Cole Horton, Benton; Will Cryer, St. Thomas More; Damarcus James, Rayne; Alex Savoy, Rayne; Cullan Hartzog, Parkview Baptist; Issac Williams, Tioga; Tristan Doyle, Leesville; Darian Richard, Rayne; Cayden Meeks, West Ouachita; Alex Bland, Lutcher; Blake McGehee, Tioga; Wallace Davis, Cecilia; Andre Beaudoin, Salmen; Michael Haynes, Neville; Kolby Bourgeois, Lutcher; Preston Matlock, Northwood; Drew Hudson, Northwood; Gerardo Velazquez, North DeSoto; Hunter Wilkes, Minden.
Pos Player School Class Stats
P Kennedy Hebert Morgan City Sr. 25-5
P Shelby Carlson West Ouachita Jr. 12-5
P Anna Bordelon Parkview Baptist Sr. 13-1
P Lauren Parson DeRidder Sr. 17-7
P Myka Lester Westlake Jr. 18-8
C Kelsey Mobley Grant Sr. .404
IF Madison Prejean St. Thomas More Fr. .409
IF Mackenzi David Teurlings Jr. .500
IF Jana Boudreaux Cecilia Jr. .458
IF Annemarie Peavy Parkview Baptist Sr. .521
OF Ashlyn Roach West Ouachita So. .538
OF Audrey Greely Parkview Baptist Jr. .579
OF Kailey LeFrere DeRidder Sr. .368
UTL Paitlyn Desormeaux St. Thomas More Jr. .402
UTL Alexis Wadsworth Pearl River Fr. .567
UTL Haily Ebey North DeSoto Sr. .408
UTL Allie Vincent Morgan City Sr. .505
UTL Katylon Ward Grant Sr. 18-14
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: ANNEMARIE PEAVY, PARKVIEW BAPTIST
COACH OF THE YEAR: TODD SCHULZ, DERIDDER
Honorable mention: Haylie Crappell, Morgan City; Gracie Verrett, Morgan City; Abbey Aysen, Assumption; Scout Blades, E.D. White Catholic; Maddie Gros, E.D. White Catholic; Mattie Boudreaux, Assumption; Alexis Clifton, Assumption; Emily John, Assumption; Brookelyn Sweeney, Belle Chasse.; Alara Taylor, Lakeshore; Riley DeLaval, St. Scholastica; Lauren Bloomer, Neville; Lacey Bonvillain, Beau Chene; Shelby Blaine, Northwood; Maddie Dauzart, Buckeye; Amanda Shelby, Neville; Taylor Cobb, DeRidder; Maicey Spillers, West Ouachita; Lauren Kreyenbuhl, Leesville; Bella Houck, Leesville; Zakayla Collins, Leesville; Keyana Poteat, Leesville; Layni Smith, Buckeye; Cami Courville, Cecilia; Madison Watson, Parkview Baptist; Brooklyn Green, DeRidder; Kaylea Godron, Grant; Bailey Pentz, Buckeye; Molli Perry, St. Thomas More; Jordie Wilhite, West Ouachita; Aubrey Joslin, DeRidder; Sydney Webster, North DeSoto; Alexis Dennis, Buckeye; Ashley Hunter, Benton.