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Rebels Baseball looks to build upon 1st win of the season

RESERVE — After retiring from Destrehan High School, Coach Marty Luquet missed the thrill of game day and the steady day in and day out work that went into building a team. It didn’t take long for him to get back into the swing of baseball at Riverside Academy.

“It’s just something that’s in your blood, and you hate to see it go. I’m thrilled to be back at Riverside and coaching the team. It’s an exciting time for us,” Luquet said.

Luquet’s 2020 season with the Rebels was cut short when the COVID-19 pandemic brought athletics to a halt in last spring. The Rebels were 3-7 at the time, and Luquet feels the abbreviated season limited the team’s progression.

“We really could have used the experience of a full season since we had a lot of young players on the field,” he said.

The Rebels are still young this time around. With four consecutive losses, the 2021 season didn’t start out the way Luquet hoped. Regardless, the boys are working hard and making great strides, evidenced by the first win of the season against New Orleans Military and Maritime on Wednesday, March 3.

The Rebels earned a 12-2 win with hits from Nick Washington and Andrew Jung, as well as a solid pitching performance by Thomas Mazzella, who struck out nine batters.

Washington and Colby Wilson are the only two seniors on the team this year.

“We’re still very, very young. We’re looking for senior leadership. Nick was one of our top football players, and he brings that competitive edge to the baseball team,” Luquet said. “Same with Colby; he’s an offensive lineman, and he’s one of our top pitchers.”

Jung is another key contributor in the outfield and at first base, while sophomore Luke Hymel is doing a great job at catcher.

The major goals for the season are to win a district championship and earn a spot in the playoffs. Riverside Academy will face a lot of strong competition from across the state in Division One, including West St. John, Ecole Classique, St. Martin’s Episcopal and Metairie Park Country Day.

Though young, the Rebels have the potential to be successful if they continue to progress.

“The things we have to change are learning how to compete day-to-day, how to practice, how to work hard every day, believe in the process and let it work for us,” Luquet said. “We’re trying to change the culture over here. We want them to become a lot more competitive. We want them to enjoy learning the game as well as winning the game.”