St. Louis athletes recognized for academic excellence

St. Louis Catholic High School recognized two student athletes Wednesday for being named to the 2018-19 LHSAA Academic All-State Boys’ Basketball Composite Team. Preston “Trey” Blanchard and Benji Chatters have maintained perfect 4.0 GPAs throughout high school and have been named to the prestigious team, which recognizes academic excellence in athletics.

On the court, the two ultimately helped lead the Saints to the Final Four, Coach Rick LeBato said. Describing the season’s slow start, he said, “They had a lot of obstacles and it was very hard; but this team was led by Benji, Trey and two other seniors who kept it positive and we were able to turn it around.”

Blanchard said keeping the end in mind has been his lifelong motivation for prioritizing his studies. “I always knew, one day, eventually basketball was going to end. So, I needed something to fall back on, and grades is the way to go.”

Balance has been a major key to his success, he said. “It takes a lot of sacrifice. You don’t get as much free time as you want. You’re not going to get to go out on the weekends like you want. So, it comes with a price.”

Chatters said if young people will dedicate to academics and sports with equal tenacity, they will find the two serve each other in positive ways. “Focus on school as well as your sports. They go hand in hand. Doing well in school helps you on the court to learn how to do things and be a smart player.”

In addition to athletic skill, LeBato said each young man’s unselfish nature went far in serving the team in pursuit of a winning season. “They have the ability to give of themselves. That’s rare — something only few teams can do to become a true team. These two were definitely our leaders in that.”

Blanchard has been accepted into McNeese State University in the fall and plans to study accounting. Chatters has been accepted into the University of Missouri at Kansas City, where he will study pre-medicine.

‘They have the ability to give of themselves. That’s rare — something only few teams can do to become a true team. These two were definitely our leaders in that.’

Coach Rick LeBato

St. Louis High School

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St. Louis Catholic seniors Benji Chatters and Preston “Trey” Blanchard were recognized Wednesday at the school for the distinguished honor of being named to the 2018-19 LHSAA Academic All-State Boys’ Basketball Composite Team.

Special to the American Press