ST. AMANT — Two years ago, when he was trying define his athletic pursuits, it would have been logical for St. Amant’s Briggs Bourgeois to gravitate toward soccer.
Given his love for the game that spawned at an early age and developed into a full-fledged passion Bourgeois was torn. Would he chose the soccer-only path blazed to college by his older brother or continue juggling three sports that also included football and baseball?
“I didn’t know what to do,” Bourgeois said. “I decided to go with all three and see how it went my freshman year. I liked it, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.”
During an era, when specialization among young athletes has become increasingly common, Bourgeois — a 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior — remains an exception and for the Gators, he’s been exceptional in all three sports.
Bourgeois recorded a rare athletic hat trick, earning first team All-District 5-5A honors in soccer and baseball and second-team honors in football.
Moreover, Bourgeois was selected the Division I-District 5 soccer MVP, first-team Division I All-State by the Louisiana Soccer Coaches and All-Metro by The Advocate after compiling 23 goals and 16 assists.
“That’s probably my best sport,” Bourgeois said. “I’ve been playing it my whole life and with my brother’s help, he’s pushed me to be better. (St. Amant soccer) coach Adrian (Garcia) has also pushed me to be good.”
Bourgeois has also discovered a measure of excellence in football as a wide receiver-kicking specialist and center fielder in baseball.
“Playing those other sports, especially soccer, have really helped him in football,” St. Amant football coach David Oliver said. “He really understands spacing and how to get open. Besides being a good athlete, the lessons he’s learned from the other sports like soccer really helps in our scheme.”
Each sport has seemingly held a certain relationship with the other. The strength and endurance of football had carried over to soccer, the hand-eye coordination and athleticism required to play wide receiver translating into the split-second decisions Bourgeois needs to make at the plate and in the outfield.
Bourgeois said soccer was always at the forefront of his athletic endeavors, trying to keep pace with his brother Rantz, but he was introduced to football and baseball in the family’s backyard and the thrill of those competitions never left him.
“I’ve always loved playing every sport,” he said. “I grew up loving soccer but started liking football more. I guess I liked the (bigger) crowds.”
Whatever the stage Bourgeois found himself contributing in a variety of ways to the success of his teams, which all reached postseason play last season.
Bourgeois became one of the few sophomores to crack St. Amant’s senior-laden starting lineup, giving the Gators a solid option at receiver with 30 catches for 605 yards (19.5 yards per catch) and ix touchdowns. He utilized his powerful right leg on kickoffs and all placements, making all 36 of his extra points and hitting 4-of-5 on field goals, with a long of 42 yards.
Without the benefit of offseason or preseason training for either soccer or baseball, Bourgeois quickly transitioned into both sports after short breaks recommended by school trainer Scott Arceneaux to try recover from injury and the toll the previous sport may have had.
Bourgeois was the centerpiece for St. Amant’s soccer team at forward, increasing his career goal total to 45, and followed that with a .350 batting average and sterling play in center field.
Bourgeois, who has a 3.2 grade-point average, has also become involved in guru Chris Sailer’s nationwide kicking program that’s helped launch the career of many college kickers.
Bourgeois has already taken part in a competition conducted by Sailer in California for the top 12 kickers in his classification. He plans to participate in four or five more outings with an eye toward kicking in college.
“I’ve been playing all three sports since I was little,” Bourgeois said. “It’s going to be hard to pick one. It’s going to be different because I’m used to going straight from sport to sport, year round.”