Burke Broussard is used to making adjustments. That’s what life as a high school baseball coach is all about. With injuries, illnesses and rain-related issues, baseball season can become adjustment season.
That formula remains the same as Broussard closes his career as the East squad coach for the Louisiana High School Coaches Association Baseball All-Star games as roster shuffles and weather issues abound.
“The biggest thing you want to do in an all-star game is make sure the players have the best experience possible,” Broussard said. “Obviously, you want to win but making sure everybody plays their nine innings and has fun doing it comes first.
“We had to replace eight or nine guys who couldn’t play. To me, it’s no different than the regular season. When you have an injury, somebody else gets the chance to step up. We expect the guys who are coming in to step up.”
There also are weather issues for Broussard and the East squad that also includes assistants Johnny Bernhard of St. Michael the Archangel and Greg Briggs of Live Oak.
The two-game series is set begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday at North Park’s Netterville Field in Denham Springs with the second game scheduled for 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
Denham Springs coach Mark Carroll worked to clear the field of excess water Wednesday and also stopped by Thursday morning and then visited it again on Thursday night.
“It keeps trying to rain on my parade,” Carroll said with a laugh. “We just got another little shower not long ago. It depends on what happens between now and tomorrow. If we don’t get a lot of rain and we get some sun and wind, we can make it work. It all depends on what Mother Nature does tonight.”
If the field is not playable on Friday, Carroll said a Saturday doubleheader starting at 12:15 p.m. would likely be the plan. Carroll said there are no plans to carry the games over to Sunday.
For Broussard, there’s yet another roster wrinkle. Broussard said Holy Cross pitcher Logan Taravella has a job-related conflict that can’t be resolved and won’t be replaced because the conflict came to light this week.
“All the changes probably affected us more in terms of pitching,” Broussard said. “But we still have a number of guys, even some of the position players, who can pitch. Again, we’ll adjust to this and whatever happens with the weather.”
Broussard is retiring as a baseball coach but will remain at the school as a teacher and assistant football coach. He coached baseball for 26 seasons, including 16 at UHS where he led the Cubs to two runner-up finishes. U-High was a semifinalist this spring. Broussard’s son Brandt is a second baseman for the East. Another Cub, pitcher John Lewis, also is on the squad that features 13 players from the Baton Rouge area.
The West squad coached by Erath’s David Jordan includes Livonia pitcher Jacob Gabor and second baseman Ty Gurr along with Brusly outfielder Kwanstan Adkins.
Brandt Broussard is not the only son of an ex-LSU player who is now a head coach set to compete for the East. Runnels’ Bobby Johnson is the son of Runnels coach, who like Burke Broussard is a former LSU infielder.
The West squad’s Scottie Sanders of E.D. White Catholic, a Southeastern Louisiana University signee, is the son of former major league pitcher Scott Sanders.