Veteran softball coach Ty Monica shifts gears to baseball

Published 8:36 am Saturday, July 15, 2023

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LAPLACE — After 17 years on the softball field, Coach Ty Monica is taking the reins of St. Charles Catholic’s Division III championship baseball program.

Monica’s transition to baseball is just one of the coaching shifts announced for the upcoming school year. Wayne Stein, who coached baseball for the past 10 years and led the program to three championships in the past five years, has decided to focus solely on coaching football. Zach Weber, who also coaches boys basketball, will take over the softball program.

It’s not a whole new ballgame for Monica. He spent four years as an assistant baseball coach prior to coaching softball, and he’s served as an assistant coach on the football field from day one. He’s familiar with all of the kids in the baseball program; if he hasn’t coached them in football, he’s taught them in the classroom, and the relationships he’s built with each of the team members has eased the transition.

He also has two sons on the baseball team, rising senior Jackson Monica and incoming sophomore Brooks Monica.

“I’m no stranger to baseball, but it’s been a long time. It’s definitely been a change, one that I’m looking forward to. At the same time, I was reluctant to leave the girls that I was coaching,” Monica said. “That was a tough situation to step away, but I’ve got two boys that are playing baseball, so it became a family decision. I haven’t had a chance to watch them play much, being a softball coach.”

Monica got a first look at the baseball program during a productive summer schedule as the boys competed against teams across the region.

“The camaraderie that we had amongst the team and the coaching staff was second to none. We’re not losing anything in that aspect,” Monica said.

He anticipates the baseball program will be well-polished in 2024 as a strong senior class returns to the plate. The two aces will be Brady St. Pierre and Brandon Kragle, who each pitched in the state tournament to secure the Comets’ most recent championship win. This summer, St. Pierre and Kragle were selected by high school coaches to play in an underclassman game at Southeastern Louisiana University. They were also selected to represent Louisiana in a larger-scale competition hosted in Troy, Alabama.

Brayden Bertucci will serve as the lead-off batter in 2024.

“He’s a .400+ hitter, and we are looking for big things from him in the offensive line-up as well as playing shortstop for us,” Monica said.

Jackson Monica is a returning starter who will be a major weapon in the offensive lineup. Another key player, Hudson Heltz, will be returning behind the plate at catcher.

As Monica jumps over the fence to baseball, he knows he is leaving the softball team in good hands with Zach Weber.

“He’s a hard worker. He’s very dedicated to the sports that he coaches. I know he’s going to take the program and listen to new heights that maybe it hasn’t seen before,” Monica said. “I’m leaning on him to help with the baseball program, and I’m sure he’s going to lean on me to help with building the softball program.”

Since graduating from SCC in 2016, Weber has served as an assistant baseball and basketball coach and a head basketball coach. He received the LHSCA Assistant Coach of the Year Award in 2019.

“I’m very blessed and honored to take over a program that has had such a rich tradition of success,” Weber said. “I look forward to getting to work with our players, staff and parents to continue the success on and off the field.”