Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 1998

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / May 6, 1998

Congratulations to the St. Charles Catholic and Lutcher high schoolsoftball teams for winning their state championships.

The Lady Comets of St. Charles Catholic defeated the Lady Rebels ofRiverside Academy for the crown. Having two teams from the samedistrict play in the championship game is a credit to the athletic programs in the River Parishes area. The Comets proved that if you nevergive up, victory could be close at hand.

Riverside had beaten the St. Charles team twice in the regular season bythe scores of 3-0 and 6-0. Tanya Teague, the Lady Rebel pitcher, again wason the mound in the championship game, leading 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Including the two previous games against theComets, and six innings of the championship game, she had pitched 20 scoreless innings.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the heroics of Kristin Oberschmidt and Alisha Reine turned what looked like defeat into an exciting victory.

When we talk about heroes, I think we have to mention a humble Marci Martin, who pitched excellent throughout the tournament. I was especiallyhappy for my buddy, Jessie Zeringue. She’s one of my favorite people.To coaches Teri Hrusksa, Anne Marie Burgard, the Comet team and fans, I say: A job well done! To Tanya Teague, Missy Martin (a great athlete), their teammates and coaches, I say: Hold your heads high. You had a great season!The state champions from Class 3A, the Lady Bulldogs of Lutcher High, won a little easier by the score of 15-4. They defeated Catholic High ofNew Iberia.

I don’t know head coach John Bentivegna personally, but my son, Matt, went to college with him and said that he’s a great guy! (Whoever said nice guys finish last!) On the other hand, I know Coach Denise Riley and was excited and happy for her success. She’s a class lady.I don’t know many of the young girls on the team, but I do know some of the parents, and when their children do well, I am happy for them.

When Brandy Neal does well, I can rejoice in her success. The same withErin Hymel, Katie Cashio and Toni Riley, to name a few.

My congratulations to the Lady Bulldogs, the school and the loyal fans! Winning trophies and losing close games are a part of life. It’s notwhether you win or lose, but how you handle success and failure that counts.

Real winners are people who can handle either equally well, remembering that the real crown to be won is in the game of life. Philippians 3:13-14says: “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur.

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