Eight from River Parishes earn All-State

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Eight River Parish athletes earned spots on the Louisiana Sports Writers Associations Class 2A and 3A baseball and softball teams that were announced this week.

The Class 2A softball squad saw a familiar representative in Riverside outfielder Heidi Garcich, who secured All-State honors for the third consecutive season, making a little school history in the process.

It makes her the first softball player to make the All-State team three times in Rebels history.

“It’s obviously a huge accomplishment,” said Riverside coach Kristy Hebert. “She’s a kid that works extremely hard, and is obviously very deserving. It’s really an awesome thing…hopefully we see more like her here in the future.”

Garcich hit .474 and scored 36 runs this past season, while providing tremendous range and defensive prowess in center field. She was named District 10-2A’s co-MVP (with teammate Bridget Petit) after leading the Rebels to an undefeated district crown.

St. Charles’ tremendous season and trip to the Class 3A state championship baseball game was noted by voters, and three Comets adorn the All-State squad for the first time — senior shortstop Alex Marse, sophomore outfielder Brady Hitt and sophomore pitcher Jared Keating.

“They deserve it,” said St. Charles baseball coach Paul Waguespack. “When you look at what Marse did for us, he most definitely deserved it. Brady Hitt had a great year for us. And Jared Keating — we don’t get to the championship game but for him.

“Looking at two more years (of Keating and Hitt), it’s exciting.”

Marse hit .441 with 12 doubles and three triples as a senior. The Southeastern signee scored 49 runs, knocked in 26 RBIs and stole 28 bases. He was named co-MVP of District 9-3A.

Hitt was tremendous offensively, batting .416 and scoring 36 runs. He added 26 stolen bases in what was a breakout season.

Keating also enjoyed a breakout campaign, earning his first All-State berth by compiling an 8-2 record on the mound with a 1.97 ERA.

Marse split the district MVP honor with another River Parishes star, and now the two also share All-State recognition — Lutcher junior outfielder/pitcher Gavin Webster had a monster season, batting .518 and finishing the regular season with 37 runs, and 27 RBIs.

Webster also stood out on the mound with a 2.54 ERA and a 3-2 record.

“The improvement from last year to this year…we knew he was a great athlete. He just put it all together this season,” said Lutcher baseball coach Davey Clement. “You expect a guy to get hot once in a while, but he started hot and finished hot.

“When you consider the tough slate of games we play, to bat that average for a full season is pretty impressive.”

Lutcher’s Jordan Hymel was recognized as honorable mention on the team.

Bulldogs and Comets alike also adorn the Class 3A softball All-State squad.

Lutcher’s state championship season came backed by stellar performances by senior outfielder Katie Ocmand and sophomore pitcher Sara Schexnayder.

A feared base stealer, Ocmand hit .434 for the Bulldogs in 2009, and delivered several clutch hits at the state softball tournament.

“Katie put in a lot of time and energy developing her skills,” said Lutcher softball coach Blake Orgeron. “She made herself into a dangerous weapon offensively, with the bat and as a baserunner. And she just covers a tremendous amount of ground in the outfield.”

Schexnayder was 17-7-1 this past season, including wins in all three of the Bulldogs’ state tourney victories at Sulphur.

Orgeron said Schexnayder’s berth on the team came as something of a surprise — not because of her skill, but because of her style.

“She doesn’t get as much recognition as some other pitchers because she’s not a strikeout pitcher. But she goes out and battles.

”When you look at her losses, they were to Mount Carmel, and Vandebilt, and St. Charles, and St. Thomas More…all elite programs. It’s more than deserved for her.”

St. Charles junior pitcher Courtney Western makes the team for the second straight year, and her numbers make it easy to understand why. She finished with an ERA of 0.74 and struck out 194 hitters on her way to a 14-7 record. At the plate, she hit .375.

“She worked hard, and pushed through several things this season,” said St. Charles coach Ty Monica. “To be honored in that aspect…it’s the highest individual honor a high school athlete can achieve. To do it twice, with one more season to go it a really tremendous accomplishment.”