Season sweep: State champion Bucs take home state’s top awards

Warren Arceneaux

Barbe swept the baseball and softball Class 5A state championships and completed another double play by producing the Most Valuable Player on the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A All-State teams.

Pitchers Halie Pappion and Jack Walker are the softball and baseball MVPs, respectively.

Papillon, a junior, was a two-way star, leading the Bucs to a 31-2 season with a 1.49 ERA and 192 strikeouts in 131 innings while batting .406 with nine home runs.

Walker, a senior and Mississippi State signee, was perfect on the mound, going 13-0 with a 0.48 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 84 innings.

Coaches of the Year are Jerry Godfrey of John Curtis Christian (softball) and Barbe’s Glenn Cecchini (baseball).

Godfrey led the Patriots to the Division I state championship. John Curtis finished its 24-4 season with a 7-0 win over Mount Carmel in the state final, earning its 11th softball championship.

Patriots outfielder Seirra Sacco (.589) is a first-team selection.

Joining Pappion from Barbe on the first team is outfielder Nyjah Fontenot (.535 Avg., 11 HRs, 61 RBIs, 53 runs, 32 steals).

Sam Houston had a pair of selections in shortstop Brylie Fontenot (.456, 13 HR, 43 RBIs) and utility player Lexi Dibbley (20-5, 143 Ks, .443 Avg., 7 HR).

Cecchini, who won his sixth LSWA Coach of the Year award, led Barbe to its 11th title, matching its best season at 39-2. Barbe beat West Monroe 5-0 in the state final, capping a playoff run that featured seven consecutive wins in which the Bucs allowed a total of five runs. In a 1-0 semifinal win over District 3-5A rival Sam Houston, Walker and fellow first team selection Gavin Guidry combined on an 11-inning no-hitter.

J.C. Vanek (.384, 18 RBIs, 7 SBs) is the third Barbe first-team player.

Division I champion Jesuit produced a trio of first-team picks in pitcher Holden Hess (6-1, 0.92 ERA), catcher Zach Casebonne (.391, 2 HR, 35 RBIs and outfielder Tripp Haddad (.431, 3 HR, 46 RBIs).

Sam Houston pitcher Alex Norris (10-3, 0.74 ERA), who threw 10 shutout innings against Barbe in the semifinal game, was voted to the first team.

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Halie Pappion, Barbe High School

LSWA Class 5A Softball outstanding player

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Jack Walker, Barbe High School

LSWA Class 5A Baseball outstanding player

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Glenn Cecchini

Six-time LSWA Class 5A baseball Coach of the Year

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