Harrell leaving, west bank trio notch hoop honors

Tryve Brackin
Tryve Brackin

Chris Harrell is leaving his alma mater to move up to another highly successful prep baseball program as a coach. 

Meanwhile, a trio of west bank high school hoopsters has notched area honors.

Harrell was one of the best catchers in Iberville Parish in relatively recent times, ranking up there with former St. John High standout backstops Tony Lamothe and Clint Ourso, both of whom went on to college diamond stints. Harrell was an outstanding defensive catcher and a clutch hitter during his times as an Eagle.

The former Eagle took over the baseball program at SJHS and kept it a contender in local District 6-1A competition, battling Ascension Catholic of Donaldsonville yearly for the league diamond title. This spring Harrell led the Eagles to an overall 18 victories and the 6-1A crown with an impressive 11-1 record. St. John has long been a local baseball power, notching a pair of state runner-up honors and numerous district crowns. This year’s diamond accomplishment was impressive, considering the fact the Eagle football and basketball boys struggled to win consistently this school year.

An opportunity opened up for Harrell to move up into the grander spotlight of Baton Rouge Class 4-A area baseball. The former Eagle decided to advance his coaching career. This was a good move for the Plaquemine fella, who loves the diamond game.

St. Michael has a high profile baseball program. And, like St. John, has been a consistent winner on the diamond for numerous springs. The BR Catholic school has been a consistent contender for 6-4A baseball crowns, despite a handful of outstanding campaigns for Livonia. Also, SMHS will tangle with the likes of crosstown city rival Plaquemine High for league honors, unless classification changes pull them apart.

"I am very excited to continue the growth of the baseball program at St. Michael," Harrell said.  "I look forward to the challenge.  I am truly blessed to have been able to coach at my Alma Mater and I have enjoyed my time at St. John and am appreciative of the support I had there."

Good luck to Chris. I remember him as a quiet and intense player, who was like a coach on the field as he held down the toughest position in the game…behind the plate, And brought that intensity to recent Eagle teams.

ALL METRO: A trio of west side prep basketball standouts notched All-Metro team hoop honors recently. The All-Metro teams are a product of area daily newspaper THE ADVOCATE. The program honors the top players from Baton Rouge high schools as well as those from surrounding areas, like Iberville Parish, West BR, the Feliciana area, and Livingston Parish.

Plaquemine High and White Castle placed a player each on the honors boys’ team. 

Keandre Randall, who led the PHS Green Devils to a state 4-A quarterfinal playoff and the 6-4A hoop title, earned a spot on the honors team by averaging 19.2 points a game to go with 3.4 steals a contest, and 2.3 assists as a 5-10 senior guard.

Ja’Tyre Carter went a step further, leading the White Castle High Bulldogs to their seventh state title over the last four decades. The 6-5, 230 lb. center averaged 17 points a game and 10 rebounds.  He was a standout for the Bulldogs in the state title game and earned Most Valuable Player honors in Class 1-A hoops and the title tournament.

And, neighboring Brusly High was honored with the selection of 6-1 senior guard Caitlyn Williams to the All-Metro girls’ team. Williams scored an average of 17 points a game, while grabbing 12 rebounds on average.

Next week: Remember the old Iberville prep baseball parks when I arrived at the POST SOUTH 40 years ago…a lot has changed since 1977.