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St. Charles Catholic unveils new gym as point of pride

LAPLACE — After nearly a year of being displaced to off-campus facilities, St. Charles Catholic High School athletic teams came home to a newly renovated gym.

Students, alumni, parents and staff were full of school spirit as they celebrated the unveiling of the gym and cheered on the boys and girls basketball teams Tuesday evening.

Sheriff Mike Tregre, from left, Campaign Co-Chairman Louis Authement, Campaign Co-Chairman Bobby Guidry (2nd row), Principal Drew Cupit, ELA Teacher Carly Flynn (2nd row), Supt. of Catholic Schools RaeNell Houston, SCC Board Member Terry Tyler, SCC Alumni Basketball Player, Jamie San Andres and Student Council President Claude Hill take part in the ribbon cutting.

With state-of-the-art grand wood flooring, versatile bleachers, a new ceiling, upgraded lighting, audio and video capabilities, new scoreboards and new basketball goals, the facility is prepped and ready to house basketball and volleyball teams.

Athletic Director Frank Monica said it’s important for athletes to have pride in their facilities, noting a well-maintained home gym attracts crowds of support and projects a positive impression to visiting schools.

“You look good, you play good,” Monica said. “Part of our mantra here is with everything we do, we want it to be nice. When you show the public something, you want it to be first class.”

According to Dr. Courtney Millet, director of admissions, instruction and institutional development, arrangements were made over the summer for sports teams to use facilities at Regala Gym, St. Joan of Arc and Sacred Heart while the gym was under construction.

SCC dance team members Breigh Peytavin, from left, Sara Guidry and Callie Henry perform on Tuesday.

Not having a home base tremendously impacted athletic teams this year, Monica said, necessitating off-campus travel, limited practice times and more road games.

“Now that we’re back here, we can get our school spirit back at basketball games and volleyball games and be a true athletic program,” Monica said.

Boys basketball coach Kemper Todd said not having a home gym was a learning experience.

“The whole process tested us as a team,” Todd said. “We figured what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.”

The gym unveiling coincided with the 67th anniversary of St. Charles Catholic’s basketball program.

With a crowd of cheering fans seated in new bleachers, the girls team secured its first District win against Lusher Charter by a score of 49-23, while the boys came up short in a non-District battle with Vandebilt Catholic.

The renovated gym will also impact areas outside of sports, now serving as a possible home to school-wide Masses, Living Rosaries, Mardi Gras balls, spring banquets and after-prom parties, functions that have previously taken place off campus.

Monica said the gym boasts the school’s perception and reflects its interior values.

“We’re one of the best schools in the River Parishes, even South Louisiana,” Monica said. “What we have had inside has been remarkable. Now we can show a good façade, too.”

Millet thanked parents, alumni, teachers and community leaders for their support.

School officials said the gym renovations were made possible by the generosity of the following benefactors: United Faith Campaign co-chairs Louis Authemont and Bubby Guidry; honorary chairs Jake Giardina, Richard and Suzanne Klibert, Danny and Sue Louque, Pat Sellars, Nolan Louque, Bubbie Anderson; and alumni chairs Todd Trosclair and Brock Anderson.