Soccer soon grew on Chatters, who would eventually help St. Louis to two state championships while becoming an all-state star in two sports. Trahan never lost his love of baseball, and eventually developed into an all-state football player as well at Kinder.
The two multisport stars are the winners of the American Press Outstanding Athlete of the Year awards.
Chatters earned all-state honors in soccer and volleyball. Trahan helped Kinder win district championships in baseball and football.
Chatters started playing in second grade after her parents signed her up with sisters Cydney and Drew.
“Drew wanted to play so they signed us all up,” she said. “I wasn’t interested, but then once I started to play, I never wanted to stop. I loved scoring goals.”
By the time Jodi arrived at St. Louis, Cydney had already helped the Saints win a state championship. Jodi helped the team win two more.
“The two state championship teams demanded a lot out of our freshman class,” Chatters said. “I started on those two teams and scored in both the championship games.”
Chatters earned all-state honors in soccer as a junior and senior. In volleyball, she was an all-state setter last school year and helped the Saints reach their first championship game in five years.
“It was more of a struggle than soccer,” she said. “Volleyball is more technical and trying to fit how I played into how the team played, and trying to run an offense with six players I had not played with for as long, was a different approach.
“My freshman year we lost in the quarterfinals. The next two years we made the semifinals. We grew a lot to become the first team in five years to make it to the championship game as seniors.”
Chatters said she learned how to be a leader from her older sister and Natalie Ieyoub, who plays soccer at LSU.
“Natalie lived right across the street from us,” Chatters said. “I saw her every night with the light on in her garage kicking the ball against the fence trying to get better. Her and Cydney were both leaders on and off the field. I learned a lot from both of them, not only in terms of taking care of your business, but stopping to help others. Everything Natalie did, she told me I was going to do it, too. She has been a role model since when I got to play with her my freshman year, and it was always fun watching Cydney before I got there.”
Chatters said she was determined to match Cydney’s achievements.
“We are always looking to do as well as the other sister,” she said. “Cydney set it when she won a championship as a sophomore. So, when I got there the next year I was expected to go in and follow the trend. When Drew got here, she had a big weight on her shoulders. We were known for soccer, but then Drew came in and won a championship in the javelin.
“We each found our own thing. Cydney was one of the best defenders to play here, Drew is already a champion and I was the best at volleyball.”
Chatters said she plans on playing college volleyball at Xavier-New Orleans.
“I have an academic scholarship there already and I’m about to commit to play there. Hopefully when we get the deal done I won’t have to pay for anything. I went to their team tryout and watched how different they play. Everything is much faster and they can all jump really high. I am looking forward to setting for them. I will study biology/pre-med.”
Unlike Chatters, no one had to force Trahan into sports.
“I used to have a small bat and would hit the ball inside my grandmother’s house,” he recalled. “I started playing football when I was 9. Everyone else had started playing a year before me. I played running back for a year then moved to quarterback and have played there since.”
Trahan said he always strived to be the best.
“I wanted to do anything to get ahead, like lifting weights,” he said.” I always wanted to play for Kinder and would go back and play there any day. We have great coaches and it was fun playing with all the friends I grew up with.”
Trahan had some early growing pains once he became a Yellow Jacket.
“As a freshman in football, I was on the sideline for three weeks, but then we had some seniors quit and I started in Week 4. That year was rough, I struggled for the first time. I just took all the criticism and used it to motivate myself. I knew I had to get better myself for the team to win. We went 1-7 that year. We won the first game I started, but then none after that.
“I learned that sometimes in sports, it is going to take you on a rough ride, but you have to believe in yourself and keep working. The seniors that stuck around were real supportive and did their best to help me out, guys like Rodney Prosper and Josh Kingrey.
“I did well in baseball that first year and we reached the quarterfinals. I started at shortstop and it was fun being on a winning team; it was a season I will never forget. We had great seniors, including Kirby Buck and Rusty Bell. They taught me the work ethic and how to be a leader.
“Kirby was a great leader; we still keep in touch and I have always looked up to him. He wanted to win and it did not matter to him what other people thought. He ran the team.”
Trahan kept progressing and made all-state as a defensive back as a junior.
He saved his best for last this season, leading Kinder to an 11-2 season and trip to the state quarterfinals.
“This year was everything me and the other seniors wanted,” he said. “We knew we had a special team and worked hard to keep everybody together. We came out ready to go at practice every day, we stayed on each other. It was a four-year process. Seth Langley, Taylor Donaldson and Chris Keyes had all started since they were freshmen, too. Seth was the leader of the defense; he directed things.
“Coach (Jeff) Wainwright is a great coach, very smart. We had a lot of fun this season, something I will never forget. Even the John Curtis game was fun, playing such a great team with great athletes all over the field. It was a challenge.”
Trahan said he grew physically and mentally throughout his career.
“I think I got better athletically in terms of being faster and stronger and was 10 times smarter this year than I was as a freshman when it came to understanding the offense and being able to read defenses,” he said.
“I liked offense and defense but think I am naturally a defensive back. I enjoyed tackling, hitting people and taking the ball away when it was in the air. In baseball, I improved the most on the mental side. Baseball is hard sometimes, but that’s just the sport and you have to work through that. (Kinder head baseball coach Kenney) Courville has always taken care of me.”
Trahan said he hopes he has left a legacy at the school.
“I hope people remember me as a leader, someone that always gave his all, strived to get better and did his best for the team. I am going to miss my friends and the Friday night lights.”
Trahan will play baseball next season at Louisiana-Lafayette.
“I am excited,” he said. “I hope I can get into the program and help the team next year. I will be fighting for the shortstop position or anything that comes open. Coach (Tony) Robichaux doesn’t just teach baseball, he teaches the game of life.”