The first annual L’Observateur Sports Awards

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 30, 2005

Okay, after going over my top moments of the prep season (by the way, the Jordan Poirrier fan club seems to be continuing to grow), it is time for me to announce my individual awards for the year.

Remember, there is a big HOLDUP AND PAY ATTENTION in these awards. I can only give out awards for the sports that I saw and since I did not start at L’Observateur until December 13.

We are going to have basketball, baseball, softball and male and female athletes of the year.

So, hold on to your seats, because away we goŠŠ.

Let’s start with the Boy’s Basketball Player of the Year.

There were several great choices throughout the area, ranging from Michael Troglen at St. Charles Catholic to Josh Labiche at Riverside Academy to practically the entire West St. John or East St. John team.

Your winner is, however, Demond “Tweetie” Carter of Reserve Christian Academy. One of the most highly recruited guards in the country next season, Carter averaged over 30 points a game and helped the Eagles to yet another State Championship.

Now it is time for the Girl’s Basketball Player of the Year.

We all know about the Smith twins at Reserve Christian. Throw in Perkins at St. Charles Catholic and Elfer at Riverside and you have a foursome that could challenge any team in the area.

My winner is a bit of a surprise. It’s Nikkita Hutchinson from East St. John.

The consummate team player, Hutchinson battled through an injury-plagued season to help the Lady Wildcats once again make it to the state playoffs. A “system” player, Hutchinson played four years for Head Coach Troy Giordano and was one of the best point guards and one of the best defensive players in all of Class 5A and that is saying something.

Okay, now it is time to get to the two toughest choices that I had, baseball and softball.

Known for its ability to produce a seemingly endless supply of football talent, the River Region is quickly becoming known for its baseball exploits as well. Alex McCollum of East St. John was one of the best pitchers in the area; Ryan Perrilloux hit anything that moved, Casey Robottom hit everything that moved really far, Jordan Poirrier sometimes didn’t even allow a hit at all.

So who is my winner? It is actually a tie.

Poirrier and Robottom split my vote so I, in turn, chose both of them.

What an easy pick to make. Both juniors, Robottom had an unbelievable season for the Comets as he was one of the main reasons for St. Charles Catholic winning yet another district championship. Robottom is a five-tool player for the Comets. He can hit the ball out of the ballpark, hit for average, runs like he was shot out of a cannon, nothing gets by him in the field and can throw out anyone on the base paths.

From what I have received in e-mails the last couple of weeks at least, Poirrier is the most popular baseball player in the area. The ace of Steve Stropolo’s staff, the junior right-hander will forever be known for the no-hitter against Loranger to send the Rebels to the state semi-finals.

Now, it is time for the ladies.

Softball Player of the Year; it’s got a nice ring to it. How do I decide, how do I decide? Do I take the easy way out and go with the pitcher who led her team to the state championship game and pick Mary Clement of St. Charles Catholic. Or do I go with the best softball game of the year, the Riverside-South Beauregard game and chose Riverside right-hander Nicole Poirrier?

The answer is actually secret answer number three: Jenna St. Amant of Riverside Academy. The story on St. Amant is pretty amazing when you think about it. She was not one of those girls who played softball her entire life. She just relied on an outstanding work ethic and great God-given ability to help the Rebels to an unbelievable season.

A big name to watch out for next season in addition to Clement and Poirrier is Riverside centerfielder Lisa Lambert. A lot of people are expecting big things out of the left-handed hitter.

While the baseball and softball Players of the Year were the toughest choices to make, perhaps the two easiest choices were the Male and Female Athletes of the Year. To make this decision, I allowed myself to take into consideration the fall sports and got the input of several coaches throughout the area.

Male Athlete of the Year is Ryan Perrilloux of East St. John.

Duh! What an easy choice to make with this one. The most-highly decorated athlete perhaps in the history of the area, Perrilloux was the nation’s top football player. The LSU signee also helped East St. John make it to the Top 28 basketball tournament for the first time in school history and was one of the best outfielders in the area as well.

The reason I chose Perrilloux is simple. The East St. John senior could have gone on to a major Division I school to play in any of the three sports that he excelled in at East St. John.

Female Athlete of the Year goes to junior Mary Clement of St. Charles Catholic. A three-sport star for the Lady Comets, Clement excelled in volleyball, was the shooting guard for the basketball team and nearly single-handily led the Comets to the state championship in softball. I’d say that was a pretty good sports season.

One more thing. This is being written on Monday for Wednesday’s paper. Please let th e Hornets draft Chris Paul if he is there!!!!!!!!!!