With the loss of several leading players from last year, the Destrehan Wildcats managed to complete their season taking second in the district. They entered into the playoffs tackling one game at a time.
In their bi-district against L.W. Higgins, the Wildcats slaughtered them 15-1. But their 6-2 loss to Thibodaux was disappointing because it was created by 5 errors.
In the end, Coach Marty Luquet was proud of his team and feels that the team played hard this year. "They did well," said coach Luquet. "Every player has an important role to play, it's important that each team member finds their fit." "I feel they did that this year."
"My seniors have done a tremendous job this year being leaders," reflects Luquet. Kyle Gardere was a returning all-district player who helped to stabilize the team. As well the only 4 year lettermen on the team, Kyle has been playing the game since the age of four. His passion for the game has been the catalyst for his determination to be the best and his commitment to his teammates.
Kyle’s parents Ed and Kay have been supportive throughout his journey and feel that their son has learned more than the game of baseball. Respect, self-discipline and true commitment are lessons learned through the program, the game and from the coach.
Len Matherne, also a returning all district player, turned out to be a leader who understood where his fit was on the team. "It is important that seniors find ways to calm down things on the field, and Len was good at doing that," said coach Luquet. Len has played the game since tee-ball and has developed over the years to become a confident and reliable player.
Overall, the program has given Len the opportunity to become more responsible as an athlete and more mature as an individual. Len has a strong support community which includes Iola and Freddie St. Pierre, his grandparents, who volunteered their time to run the concession stand at all home games for over 15 years. Mrs. Iola is an important part of the team because of her unconditional support and love she shows all players.
Kyle Banford a reserve outfielder for the Wildcats can be found to be the one who keeps a smile on faces of his teammates and coach. "He has a great sense of humor," said Luquet. "he collected 25 runs this year and is very dangerous on the base." Kyle has been playing since he was six years old.
His mom, Christine Banford, says that Kyle's faith has been a point of reference in his life. His determination and the true enjoyment he gets from playing the game has helped him remain committed to his team. "Being a part of this program has helped me get ready for the real world," said Banford.
Adam Gurry enjoys playing catcher and has played for the game since the age of four. He enjoys his teammates and feels that team as a whole is good. "We worked well and play well together." "Adam has played catcher and 3rd base for us, and was a major role player this year," said Luquet.
Gurry is looking forward to using his talents to coach a team this summer with the recreation department. He hopes that he can instill the love of the game to the youth he comes in contact with this summer. Adam's mother, Ainsley Richoux, an experienced pitcher, has been a member of the Wildcats for the past four years. "He is a good leader, who shows mature on and off the field," said Luquet. His parents Ralph and Karen Ainsley enjoy watching him play and has seen him grow more confident over the years. Ainsley's positive attitude and commitment has been an excellent asset to the team.
Coach has watched many of these young men grow up through the recreation department. "Coaching them has been a great experience," said Luquet. "I hope that the greatest lesson that I could have taught them would be the importance of being committed to a team." "The team is like a family where you build lasting relationships, trust in each other and learn that every small thing you have to give is important to the success of the team."
|Photo by Pat Smith|
|Destrehan Seniors pose with family as they celebrate the end of their high school baseball years.|