Acadiana’ Triple Champions
May 24, 2018 11:56AM
● By Staff Writer
“You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better area, especially with the fact that we were so well-represented in so many divisions and that so many state championship trophies were brought home from this area,” says Teurlings Catholic High Baseball Coach Mike Thibodeaux. “I think the proof’s in the pudding if you count how many teams were in the state tournament in all classes.
Teurlings. Notre Dame. Loreauville. Three state champions on the diamond, and further evidence that Sulphur’s McMurray Park had a strong presence. Take Division-III’s Notre Dame Pioneers, for example, winners of nine-inning games in both the semi-finals and finals. “Cardiac?” laughs Pios’ coach Chris Stevens. “A few years ago, I wouldn’t have handled it as well. But it was enjoyable, this wild and crazy ride, and with my son on the team, well, it was special to share it with some amazing kids and families.”
Loreauville High may have been the number-five seed in Class 2A, but in the final three rounds of the playoffs, the Tigers upended #4 DeQuincy, #1 Kinder, and then finished things off with a decisive 12-5 thumping of the three-seed, Welsh. That final game, though, was a nail-biter: Down 5-0 in the third, the Tigers refused to fade down the stretch. “The kids never blinked,” Coach Rob Segura said after the game. “They kept believing that nothing was impossible, and when you do that, you give yourself a chance to win.”
Mike Thibodeaux’s Teurlings Rebels, meanwhile, had become quite comfortable in their relationship with Sulphur: TCH was back in the state tourney for the fourth straight season, and had won the past two. Their task? Merely to beat #2 Parkview Baptist in the semis, and top-seed University Lab in the championship. “And U-High had just crushed St. Thomas More 10-1 in the semis, and I felt STM was the best team in the state. But our guys had matured to a point where none of that mattered. It didn’t matter who we were going to play; we were on a mission.” The Rebels won the final game—and its third straight crown—10-3.
The Tigers, Pioneers and Rebels had company in three other Acadiana schools who just missed out bringing home their own trophies. Hats off, says Thibodeaux, to the Iota Bulldogs, Catholic High-New Iberia Panthers, Northside Christian Warriors, Westgate Tigers and the powerhouse St. Thomas More Cougars. In terms of phenomenal baseball teams, the Lafayette area, it seems, was well represented.
“I think it’s a testament to the quality of coaches in the area, to the families and to the ballplayers,” reflects Thibodeaux. “It’s in our nature, our culture—we’re a hard-working blue collar people and I think that translates into the game of baseball.”
Cover Photo: Notre Dame Celebrates Victory
Trophy Photo: Teurlings Pitcher Hayden Judice Voted Title-Game MVP
Photo Credits: Jason & Christelle Faul, Scott Brazda
Article By: Scott Brazda