Girls take their passion for the game on the road
In an effort to give girls a chance to play competitive softball outside of school and the recreation department, Kenneth Vial, head girls softball coach at Hahnville High School, gathered a handful of local girls and created a competitive softball team called the St. Charles Hurricanes. His goal in creating the team was to get these talented players to go through grammar school and high school together so that they could mature together and learn the value of being a team.
Later in 2002, Nolan Louque and William deBruler, created a team, Louisiana Hurricanes. “We wanted to do pretty much the same thing has the St. Charles Hurricanes but allow other girls from other parishes to join the team. We have girls from across the lake, Houma, Metairie and other surrounding parishes and made a true travel team,” said Coach Louque.
Hill Heights Country Club in Destrehan allowed the team to use their ball fields and from there the traveling softball team was born. Today, they have a 14 year-old team, 12 year-old team, and a 10-year old team.
Over the years, the girls have played over 100 games and traveled to Florida, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee just to name a few. “When we started in 2002 we just wanted our girls to have more time on the field and more games. Now the organization has added more teams,” said Coach Louque.
In 2003, the ten year-old team came out third in the USFA World Series in Panama City. In 2004, the 12 year-old team went into the semi-finals in the SEAA World Series at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and in 2005, ISA World Series 12 -year old Semi-finals in Atlanta Georgia. Later in 2005, the team was a runner-up in the NFSA National World Series in Gulfport, Mississippi. In 2005, the team scored big by becoming the NSA World Champions. The team just competed and won a tournament this past weekend in Alexander, Louisiana.
“We have some great players. Our pitcher, St. Charles Catholic High School’s Courtney Western, is probably one of the best players around, period. We also have some local talent from the parish that are very good. All 12 players which include, Elise deBruler, Megan Louque, Ashley Landry, Brittney Schexnayder, Dominique DiCarlo, Meg Gustafson, Mindi Robichaux, Jacey Mouton, Bailey Flores, Amelie Greco and Heather Barber are exceptional players. It is hard for me to put one player above the rest. It is a team effort,” said the coach.
“The girls have played over 100 games. By participating with the team, they can compete at an early level so that when they enter into middle school or high school, they are prepared to play and play well,” concluded Coach Louque.