Eagles look to continue winning tradition

Andrew Green agreen@postsouth.com
Landon LeBlanc

St. John Eagles and head coach Christ Harrell return to the field with a new look and fresh young squad.

It goes without saying that the Eagles have lost a lot of key players to graduation this year, but SJHS will look to repeat their performance of last season and earn a postseason berth.

A few key seniors lost last year include standouts Gavin Landry, Dylan Tempanaro, Mason Young, Colby Sadden, Andrew Gulotta, Joseph Zito and Jace Cedotal.

St. John is only returning four starters, but that will not stop the Eagles from making a splash in 6-1A play.

This season’s line-up is lead by two returning three-year starters in senior Dylan Hurst and junior Landon LeBlanc.  Hurst will take over at utility and LeBlanc will pitch and play shortstop.  The other two returning starters include Ben Bucher at catcher and Tre Dupont at center field.

“We had a great offseason and I like the character of our team,” head coach Chris Harrell said.  “Our pre-district schedule is full of winning programs that will challenge us to improve as a club throughout the year.  Our players are excited to start the season and continue the winning tradition of St. John baseball.”

SJHS finished their regular season last year with a 13-11 overall record and an 8-2 record in district play.  The Eagles finished second overall in 6-1A behind leader Ascension Catholic at 10-0.

At the close of last year’s regular season, SJHS earned the No. 11 seed in the LHSAA 1A bracket and took on No. 22 Varnado.

SJHS earned a playoff victory in round one (11-1) but fell in the second round to No. 6 seed Vermilion Catholic in a 0-2 thriller. St. John has a history of earning a top 10 spot in recent playoff years and even advanced as far as the semi-final round on multiple occasions.  

They will look to continue that tradition in 2017.