Comets miss one goal

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 14, 2002


LAPLACE – At the beginning of the 2001-2002 season, four goals were set in the Comets’ camp. Last week’s quarterfinal loss in Baton Rouge to Parkview Baptist High School left them with all but one accomplished. The St. Charles Catholic High School team scratched a winning record, the district title and a playoff appearance off the want list and into the record books with this season’s 19-9-2 overall finish.

“The only one we didn’t accomplish was the state championship,” said Comets coach Paul Waguespack. “This is the first time to have one tie, much less two. Never in my life have I seen that.”

He said the final 6-2 loss was a disappointing ending to the successful season, but that he wasn’t disappointed by how his Comets played.

“I realize Parkview played well and took advantage of their opportunities. They got the bat on the ball and hit where we weren’t. They found spots,” explained Waguespack. “That’s the difference in the ball game.”

Parkview’s 10 precise hits mostly targeted the Comets’ infield and were dotted with deep hits and a final solo home run. Despite having double the hits as the Comets, 10-5, Waguespack said he felt pitcher Jason Waguespack (8-2) pitched a commendable complete game, which included seven strike outs.

Waguespack is the only Comet to play for his full four years and will graduate to Southeastern Louisiana University. Teammate Jeremy Triche is expected to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and walk on to the Ragin’ Cajuns team. On their heals, junior Chris Cancienne, who has made a name for himself with strong hitting through the season, is expected to return as a senior next season for his fourth year with the Comets.

From this season’s team, nine players are expected to carry over onto next year’s team, with slightly more than half of them holding previous game experience. The Comets will lose nine seniors from this group, eight of which were starters. This overwhelming scenario forces Waguespack to already label next year as a rebuilding season.

“We will be rebuilding, but I think we will still be competitive,” he continued. “That’s going to happen, you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt. Last year we started six juniors and did OK.”

Last year, the Comets advanced through the playoffs until being defeated in the semifinals.

For now, the Comets will have a break from the baseball field until May 20, when practice resumes for the upcoming American Legion games, two metro teams and summer bouts with local teams such as Hahnville, Lutcher and East St. John. The Legion games will be played by varsity players, for another chance at a state title.

Waguespack said the summer schedule combined with more practice is aimed largely toward giving all of the players more experience on the field. The Comets will finish their summer stint on the diamond one week before the team’s football players change hats, to helmets and football practice.