St. Joseph’s Academy cross country coach Sam Young has announced his retirement, at least for now, after spending 20 years coaching girls teams at two Baton Rouge schools.

Mark LaHaye,will take over as head coach in the fall with Redstickers track coach Charlie Daigle serving as an assistant, the school announced.

“I’ve enjoyed coaching these girls so much,” Young said. “But I’ve gotten to a point where I feel like I need to take some time away from this.

“I gave up (the) fall speckled trout season to start following cross country when my daughters were in school and fell in love with the sport,” he said. “Maybe I’ll get the chance to check out those trout again.”

Young started his career after his daughter, Tracy, concluded her cross country career at Baton Rouge High by winning two state titles. He spent six seasons at Parkview Baptist, coaching the Eagles to the Class 3A state title in 1998.

During his 14-year stint at SJA, Young’s teams won Class 5A state titles in 2008 and 2010. The Redstickers placed fifth in 5A last fall.

Alumni notes

Former Central baseball standout Justin Creel, a Coastal Carolina University player, has received the Big South Conference’s George A. Christenberry Award for academic excellence.

Creel, who has a 4.0 grade point average in biology, has been accepted into the LSU medical school. He also is Coastal Carolina’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He started 79 of 88 games for the Chanticleers as an infielder.

  • Former St. Joseph’s Academy basketball and track standout SiMon Franklin of Xavier in New Orleans has been nominated for the HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) Athlete of the Year. The awards ceremony is set for June 28 at Jackson State.

Franklin was an honorable mention All-American and an All-Gulf Coast Athletic Conference pick. She ended her career as one of nine XU players to finish with 1,000 career points, 300 rebounds and 200 steals,

  • Former Zachary standout Phillip Carey was voted the MVP for the Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College basketball squad. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 20 points per game.

Carey was instrumental in the Saints’ upset win over top-seeded Ozark Christian in the National Christian College Athletic Association’s Division II Southwest Regional by scoring 25 points with seven rebounds and three steals. Carey netted all-tournament team honors for Hillsdale, which is in Moore, Okla.

Coaching transitions

Vandebilt Catholic of Houma has hired basketball coaches who previously worked in Baton Rouge.

Former Catholic High coach Mike Toups is the new Vandebilt boys coach, while ex-Capitol boys coach Katrell Dixon is set to be the new VCHS girls coach.

The move is a homecoming of sorts for Dixon, the son of longtime Ellender coach girls basketball coach Kenneth Dixon.

Signees, etc.

A number of Baton Rouge area athletes were recognized for signing scholarships last week.

Southern Lab guard Trent Flowers, an All-District 7-1A choice, signed with Dillard. Meanwhile, Brusly’s Dimario Jackson, a two-time All-Metro selection in basketball and a football standout, signed to play basketball at Northeast Mississippi Community College. ... Walker’s Mi’ca Lowe, an All-Metro and Class 5A all-state choice in basketball and a participant in the Class 5A state track meet, signed a track scholarship with ULM. ... White Castle’s Erica Jones, an All-District 9-1A selection in basketball, is the latest BR girls player to sign with Baton Rouge Community College. ... Runnels recognized twin brothers Matthew and Andrew Brouillette, who have committed to run cross country at Southeastern Louisiana University, along with baseball player Josh Morris, who signed with Northwestern State last fall. ... Central forward/midfielder Sarah Leblanc has committed to play soccer at Louisiana College. Leblanc is Central’s all-time leader in goals.

Job opening

H.L. Bourgeois seeks applicants for its head football coach position. Those interested should contact HLB Athletic Director Andrew Caillouet by email at or HLB Principal Matthew Hodson at

Caillouet and Hodson can also be contact by phone at (985) 872-3277.

Open dates

East Iberville has volleyball open dates on Sept. 9, Sept. 16, Sept. 18, Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 21.

Contact EIHS coach Cormanda Grace-Green at (225) 642-5410 or email