Round horn in near springtime sports

Tryve Brackin Contributing Writer

All four Iberville Parish boys’ hoop clubs notched first-round playoff victories on the hardwood late last week. That is a good sign. Each of the four teams are ranked from fourth to 14th in power rankings. That is a good sign.

However of special note is the fact St. John’s advancement to the regional hoop playoffs. It has been years that the SJHS basketball program has advanced over the achievements of the Eagle football program, but it was accomplished this season.

Meanwhile, St. John baseball has long been the frontrunner among the four parish diamond programs. The Eagles have been consistently outstanding on the prep diamond since the 1970s. That is a very long time. Both Plaquemine and White Castle have had seasons of standout completive play. The PHS Green Devils over the last 40 years have a state runner-up title in baseball to go with many winning seasons. SJHS holds the top finishes, however, with two state runner-up efforts. Meanwhile, WCHS had some solid recent diamond seasons when Issac O’Bear (a current Grambling state pitching ace) led the way.

Last weekend the St. John baseball club took a big step toward finding out their level of top play. The Eagles did not slack off in pre-district competition last week when they tangled with upper classification foes St Michael, Cecilia, and Episcopal in the annual Brian Hess Classic.

…A pair of parish girl hoop clubs fell from the state playoffs with season-ending losses. WCHS (10th seed) fell to 7th seed Tensas by a 56-40 score in Class 1A regionals. Plaquemine High loss to top-seeded Warren Easton by a 62-33 tally in the 4-A regionals.

…And, finally, how about the outstanding effort of next-door neighbor 3-A Brusly High’s girl track team!

The Lady Panthers won the State La. High School Indoor Track championship at LSU last week behind the efforts of veteran sprinter Taylor Shaw. She anchored the BHS 4X200 meter relay to victory and later claimed the 60-meter dash. She also placed fourth in the 400-meters. Adding a strong effort was Ta’la Spates, winner of the 400-meter dash and helping on the relays. 

Hoping for continued track and field consistency in Iberville are the members of the 2017 PHS Lady Green Devil team. WCHS and EIHS should be competitive this spring.

…The LSU baseball team is quite fortunate to have top-level talent five miles away from the campus. Skip Bertman began recruiting Catholic High BR diamond talent fairly consistently since his tenure. LSU mentor Paul Manieri has carried then on in more recent diamond seasons. He has two former Bears in first-year position players. Freshman Josh Smith (3rd base) and catcher Nick Coomes (LSU Eunice product) are former CHS Bears seeing playing time in the early season. Smith is expected to alternate at third base with sophomore Chris Reid (.287 average last year) and they are a potent duo. Coomes has seen relief time behind the plate for starter Michael Papierski, because yet another former Catholic High standout and Tiger veteran Jordan Romero (C-1B-DH) is currently nursing injury.

Watched LSU beat Maryland the other night and Atlanta Freshman Rankin Woley (DH-C-INF) looked very impressive at the bat with his power. Frosh first baseman Jake Slaughter also made an impression on me. And I have watched a lot of Tiger baseball in recent years…Love the game…only sport where you can be safe at home!

Manieri and great fan support continue to lure in top-notch talent to the LSU diamond program. Along with first season position standouts, the Tiger frosh pitching addition to the roster is outstanding, and already performing very well overall.