Barbe and Sam Houston dominated the diamonds this year, with the baseball teams earning national rankings and playing each other for the Class 5A state championship, while the softball teams each earned a top-three seed in the state playoffs with the Broncos earning the No. 1 seed and the Bucs finishing as state runner-up.
The Broncos and Bucs are featured prominently on the American Press All-Southwest Louisiana teams, combining for 13 selections and four awards.
Broncos ace Cameron Meeks is the baseball most valuable player, while Barbe counterpart Halie Pappion is softball MVP. Barbe swept the Coach of the Year honors with Glenn Cecchini winning in baseball and Candyce Carter in softball.
Meeks, a senior, was a 10-0 with one save and a 0.68 ERA. He hit .405 with five home runs and 51 RBIs. He signed to play at McNeese State.
Pappion, a freshman, was also a two-way star, going 21-6 in the circle with a 2.23 ERA while hitting .423 with nine home runs, including a winning three-run shot in the state semifinals. She has committed to play at Louisiana-Lafayette.
Cecchini led the Bucs to a 38-3 record in route to the 10th state championship in school history. Carter, in her second year at Barbe, led the Bucs to a 29-6 record and first appearance in the championship game since 2009.
Fellow Broncos joining Meeks on the baseball team are catcher Silas Ardoin (.417, 36 RBIs, 3 HR) and outfielder Braden Duhon (.485, 43 stolen bases). Barbe representatives are pitcher Jack Walker (9-1, 1.14 ERA), infielders Davis Meche (.354, 39 RBIs) and Kyle Debarge (.388, 26 RBIs) and outfielder/pitcher Brody Drost (8-0, 7 HR).
Rounding out the pitchers are Iowa’s Brendan Jeane-Moody (9-4, 1.58 ERA) and South Beauregard’s Avery Davis (8-2, 1.55), who led their teams to the Class 3A state tournament.
A pair of Golden Knights, Dylan Jiminez (4-19, 35 RBIs) and Chase Fisher (.382, 5 HR), take the final two infield spots. Blaise Theriot (.417) of Iowa is the third outfielder.
Utility players are Iota’s Hunter Wriborg (9-1, 2.54 ERA), DeRidder’s Cameron LeJeune (.404, 4 HR), Leesville’s John Harmon (10 wins, 74 Ks), Jennings’ Kole Myers (.571) and St. Louis’ J.T. Peloquin (2.42 ERA, 28 runs).
Sam Houston placed an area-high four players on the softball team, with pitcher Jenny Griggers (28-4, 6 HR), catcher Kimber Hamilton (.408, 9 HR) and infielders Jordan LaFosse (.473, 5 HR) and Jil Poullard (.522, 29 RBI) earning selections. Barbe has a trio of players with infielder Ka’le Guillory (.442, 15 HR) and outfielder Kylie DeHart (.514, 53 SB) joining Pappion.
St. Louis’ Hannah Derouen (1.98 ERA, .498 BA) and South Beauregard’s Karina Simpkins (20-4, 40 RBIs) round out the pitching choices. Leesville’s Bella Houck (.518, 10 HR) is the fourth infielder while South Beauregard’s Jaclyn Deason and Iowa’s Karagan Howard (13 HR, 52 RBIs) are outfield selections.
Utility players include Westlake’s Myka Lester (.520, 12 HR), Leesville’s Madelyn Phillips (20-2, 1.37 ERA), DeRidder’s Aubrey Joslin (.406, 32 runs), Sulphur’s Abbi Massey (10 HR) and Iowa’s Lesley Lebleu (.519, 41 runs).