Holden hadn’t been a top contender for a state softball title since 2011. A lineup that featured four eighth-graders made the Livingston Parish-based Rockets look more like a team of the future.
Why wait for the future when your team can seize the moment? Coach David Knight’s 32-4 team did just that, finishing as the Class B runner-up to traditional power Florien.
As a result, Knight and the Rockets staked their claim to some impressive honors on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class B All-State softball team. Knight was voted the Coach of the Year for softball.
Three Holden players, eighth-graders Olivia Lackie, Emma Hutchinson and Ashley Fogg, made the squad selected by a panel of sportswriters from across the state.
“I’m really speechless,” Knight said. “This is not something I expected. It is a huge honor for me, but more than anything else, it speaks to the amount of work these girls have put in.
“This is my third year, and the goal all along has been to build a program that can hopefully be a contender for a state title every year like Florien has. When I came in, we changed the way we approached practices and games. These girls have bought into that.”
There were top honors for state champions Florien (softball) and Fairview (baseball) on the LSWA teams.
Florien senior pitcher Abbey McMillian was selected as the Outstanding Player on the softball squad for the fourth straight year. Fairview’s Brennan Maddox was voted the Outstanding Player in baseball after leading his team to a state title.
McMillian, a Troy signee, went 21-4 with a 1.30 ERA for the Blackcats, leading them to a fourth straight state title. She also batted nearly .531 on the season with nine home runs and 40 RBIs.
Maddox, who is headed to LSU-Eunice, capped his high school career by earning a fourth straight all-state honor. Maddox batted .464 with seven home runs, including a home run in the title game as Fairview won its second state championship in three years. Fairview’s Brent Dowies won Coach of the Year honors for baseball.
The numbers for the Holden trio on the softball squad also were impressive.
Lackie was 21-4 with a 0.97 ERA and 157 strikeouts. She also hit .323 with 14 RBIs.
Hutchinson was 10-0 as a pitcher and batted .450 with six home runs and 29 RBIs.
Fogg finished with a .477 batting average, hit five home runs and also contributed 29 RBIs.