The 2008 South Lake Charles Little League team. (Special to the American Press).
Last Modified: Thursday, August 02, 2012 8:35 PM
In the midst of preparations for football season, junior quarterback Kennon Fontenot and wide receiver Trey Quinn took some time to flash back on a proud baseball moment.
Four years ago, the Barbe High teammates journeyed to Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series as players on the South Lake Charles team. This year’s SLC squad has a chance to reach that pinnacle if it wins the Southwest Regional tournament that begins at 5 p.m. today in Waco, Texas.
Fontenot and Quinn helped propel SLC to the U.S. championship game against the Waipio (Hawaii) Little Leaguers, the eventual World Series champions. Quinn pitched five innings in the team’s 7-5 loss, allowing one run on four hits, and Fontenot hit a solo home run, but fellow Barbe wide receiver Gunner Leger allowed six runs in the top of the sixth to send SLC packing.
Fontenot said playing on the stage of the LLWS — attendance was 22,700 at the championship game on ABC — was the experience of a lifetime.
“It was great playing against some of the best ball players in the world,” Fontenot said. “Playing in front of all those people on national television, you don’t get nervous playing out here (on football Fridays) in front of all these people. It just brought us all together and shaped us up to be the men we are today.”
Quinn described their SLC team as “a bunch of brothers,” led by a coaching staff who instilled character in their players, including fellow Barbe baseball players Leger and twins Beau and Bryce Jordan.
Quinn said this year’s Little League team has some promise as their postseason run continues. SLC features 11 pitchers, and Quinn offered some advice to the players as they head to Waco.
“Just go out there and play ball; it’s just another game,” Quinn said. “You’re going to be going up against the best each state has to offer. At the end of the day if you look at yourself and you did your best, you’ll have confidence.”
Despite their heartbreaking defeat so close to the World Series title, Fontenot said the tournament taught him and Quinn about more than just winning.
“We’ve been playing together since we were 5 and 6 years old,” Fontenot said. “To (play in Williamsport) together and now be here together is special.”
Quinn agreed. This football season they hope to build on setting school single-game passing and receiving records against St. Thomas More last September.
“Now me and Kennon just have this thing on the field I guess you could say,” Quinn said. “It just comes natural for us.”
Sharing the experience of an international baseball championship stage isn’t something too many people can claim, let alone two football stars.