50 and counting: Saints’ tennis title sets milestone

Rodrick Anderson

Even with all the destruction from hurricanes and restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, St. Louis Catholic keeps winning championships.

The St. Louis boys’ tennis team won their first state championship Friday at the LSHAA state tournament at Louisiana-Monroe and 50th team title in school history.

“I think it is a really a testimony to the school, faculty, and the kids that go there,” St. Louis tennis head coach Robert Piper said. “The faculty has been incredible, they have been there every day teaching these kids.

“They come for the kids and the love of teaching. I think it shows in the classroom and on the sports field.”

Title No. 48 came in February when the girl’ indoor track team won its second consecutive state championship followed by the girls’ basketball team claiming the 49th in March.

And the Saints athletic teams aren’t done yet with a chance at three more titles before the school year wraps up. The boys’ golf team trails Teurlings Catholic by six shots after the first round of the Division II tournament at The Wetlands Golf Course in Lafayette Monday. The girls’ track team will be the top contender Friday for the Class 3A track and field title at LSU, while the baseball team is seeded No. 2 in Division II and needs two wins over St. Michael’s this weekend to advance to the state tournament in Sulphur next week.

St. Louis trailed Isidore Newman heading into the finals and was tied for second with University High and one point ahead of Loyola Prep. The Saints ended up beating Newman by 1.5 points, 14-12.5.

“It was awesome,” Piper said. “I thought we had a good chance, and we were able to pull it off.

“It was very competitive to the last day. We came into the semifinals a couple of points behind Newman and we had to perform well in the big matches and we did. It is an impressive group on and off the court.”

Sophomore Kai Reinaur won the boys’ singles title. He didn’t give up a game point until the finals. He lost the first set to Loyola Prep’s Stafford Yerger 6-7 but rallied to win the second 6-3 and won the tiebreaker 10-6.

Eli Crawford and Ben Reinauer brought home the doubles title, beating Newman’s Allister Cunningham and Cole Cahn 6-4, 6-3.

The Saints doubles teams of Camden Watkins/Dillan Darby and Logan Bertrand/ Grant Couste reached the quarterfinals and second-round respectively. Both teams lost on tiebreakers.

“All the matches mattered because we needed every point we got,” Piper said. “Even some of the early matches were big for us. All seven kids we brought up there won a match.”

Piper also credited assistant coach Charlotte Roan in helping the team.

“Coach Roan has been a big help with this program,” Piper said. “She is quite a tennis player, instructor, and teacher. She has been such a big part of what we have done.”

””

St. Louis Catholic’s Eli Crawford along with teammate Ben Reinauer (not pictured) won the Division III state doubles tennis title last week at Louisiana-Monroe.

Rick Hickman / American Press

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