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ESJ REMEMBERS HISTORICAL YEAR AT SPORTS BANQUET

Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / April 29, 1998

RESERVE – East St. John honored its athletes for making the 1997-98sports year a memorable one at its sports banquet Friday night.

“It has been a historical year,” East St. John athletic director and headfootball coach Lou Valdin said in opening the festivities.

“Every year gets more and more historical. It was great year and there area lot of athletes who are very deserving of these awards. We are here tohonor the young ladies and men who have represented their school honorably this year.”First to receive their awards was the cross country team that Valdin said has been told gets better and better and that in a year or two will be the premier program in the district and in the River Parishes.

Coach Charity Mack introduced her first and second-year runners and presented Milton Leonard with the outstanding leadership award. Therunners in turn presented Mack with a plaque and flowers.

Coach Perry DiCarlo introduced his volleyball team that is coming off its first ever district title, finishing undefeated in district, and a trip to the state playoffs.

DiCarlo announced the players who made all-district – Maria Lainez, Jennifer Wright and Kiri Ridley (first team); Christina Cambre (second team); and Tammy Gunter (honorable mention). Gunter was presented withthe scholastic ward, given to the player with the highest grade point average in the first half of the year. Cambre received the team award,voted on by her teammates.

The football team also had a special year, winning 10 games and advancing to the state playoffs. The team’s defensive most valuable player awardwent to Samson Monica, who led the team and district in tackles. JuanReese, the leading Class 5A rusher in the state, was selected as the offensive MVP. Greg Gathers was named the team’s most valuable player.”In my 20 years of coaching, I have never been around a finer young man,” Valdin said of Gathers.

Jaques Montz received the coach’s award, while Corey Sewell received the Wildcat award, given to “the one player that exemplifies everything anybody at East St. John would want in a student-athlete,” according toValdin.

District 6-5A coach of the year Troy Giordano presented his varsity squad that led the Lady Cats to a second-straight district title and set five school records.

“It was a once in a lifetime season,” Giordano said.

Boys’ basketball coach James Smith presented his coach’s award to Henry Campbell while the Wildcat award went to Robert Joseph.

Wrestling coach Dan Erwin announced his team that placed three wrestlers (Sewell, Jeremy Berthelot and Nick Peppo) in the top 16 in the state.

Peppo won nine tournaments, including regionals, and placed second in the state. The wrestlers in turn gave gifts to Erwin and coach Scott Murphy.Head soccer coach Eric Stuart honored his players who made first and second team all-district.

Gymnastics coach Lorraine Pyne recognized her eight gymnasts – Helen Beard, Amber Beber, Angela Fabre, Jennie Debowes, Julie Bates, Kiri Ridley, Jayson Denham and Jason Deloach.

Head coach Percy Williams presented the awards for girls’ track. YoshikoTaylor and Tiffany McDonald received most valuable player awards for the indoor season. The outstanding distance runner award went to AleshaSnyder, while Reiande Rousseau and Kiana Gautreaux shared outstanding track honors.

Kalone Bailey was named the squad’s most improved player while McDonald received the coach’s award. Taylor and Anastasia Deloney sharedthe most valuable track award with Melisa Ledet and Natalie Hargrave the track and field MVPs. Deloney also received a coach’s award while seniorplaques were given to McDoanld, Gautreaux and Carolyn Joseph.

In softball, coach Toni Robinette presented the team’s most valuable award to Crystal Loupe and named Heidi Schum as its most improved player.

Holly Froeba received the most valuable player award from the Sugarette’s dance team coach Karen Miller.

In baseball, coach David Guillot awarded the coach’s award to Samson Monica while Brandon Mason received the academic award.

Corey Sewell and Chris Bush received the most improved award for boys’ track. Cornell Watkins was selected outstanding track performer whileJuan Reese received outstanding field honors. Alex Edwards was selectedas the squad’s most valuable player.

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