Warriors make it two straight

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 3, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / April 3, 1999

LAPLACE – One year and a higher classification proved to be no problem for the St. John Parish Warriors.The Warriors, who won the 10-year-old National Champ-ionship in 1998, made it back-to-back titles by capturing the 11-year-old title this week in Plaquemine.

The Warriors defeated New Orleans in the championship game. The gamewas close but St. John pulled away at the end, according to Warriors coachEric Rogers.

“The key to our success was hard work,” Rogers said. “We practiced themhard and they played hard for 24 minutes. They played hard-nosedbasketball.”The Warriors went 3-0 in pool play at the tournament, defeating Mandeville, Vermilion and Plaquemine. St. John then defeated Kenner, NewOrleans and Jefferson Parish Recreation Department West to advance to the championship game.

The team was put together at the end of January. St. John went to theDestrehan High School earlier this month and captured first place at the All-Stars District Tournament. From there, the Warriors went to the statetournament in Morgan City where they placed second, falling to New Orleans in the title game.

It was that same New Orleans team that St. John defeated for the nationalchampionship. Rogers said the difference between the game was that theWarriors were more patient on offense and made defensive adjustments to neutralize the New Orleans guards that had caused them trouble in the state tournament.

Last year, the Warriors won the championship playing in the Single A division. This year, the Warriors played at Double A, competing againstteams that had a larger number of players to choose from.

“They are a great group of kids,” Rogers said of his team. “I have enjoyedworking with them the last two years. They see a goal and really go forit.”Rogers also gave credit to the parents that supported the team and to his assistant coaches – Deidre Johnson, Lowel Gauff and Raphael Neal.

The national champion 11-year-old Warriors are Kendall Diggs, Demond Carter, Ryan Stipe, Lecardio Joseph, Dana Stipe, Darryl Morris, Juan Joseph, Jarvis Sanders, Ryan Perrilloux, Jamal Breaux, Denarold Anderson and Ricardo Porter.

Return To Sports Stories

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

Internet services provided by NeoSoft.

Best viewed with 3.0 or higher