By the end of the 2017 baseball season, the prospect of playing any opponent from District 4-5A wasn’t all that appealing to Class 5A teams from around Louisiana.
Central claimed the state championship, having to grind past Live Oak and Denham Springs High in the playoffs to reach the top. Zachary was also in Sulphur as a state semifinalist. Walker stunned 5A by advancing to the state quarterfinals. And Scotlandville even rose up and made some noise throughout the season and qualified for the Division I playoffs.
So when the district coaches gathered to select the 2017 all-district team, there was plenty to discuss.
The result was a 21-player first team loaded with talent, and a second team that might just stack up with any other district’s first team in the state.
The Livingston Parish teams were well-represented when the dust settled: Five players from Denham Springs High, four from Live Oak and two from Walker were on the first team.
One of the Eagles’ first-teamers, catcher Preston Faulkner, was tabbed by 4-5A coaches as the Gold Glove winner.
Heading up Denham’s contingent on the first unit were four seniors, as well as a player who has secured a spot as one of the best players in the state in his first two high school seasons.
Veteran pitcher Taylor Higgins, catcher Braden Doughty, first baseman/pitcher Brock Batty and outfielder Dillon Boyle were the four Yellow Jacket seniors honored. Sophomore shortstop Cade Doughty was also a first-team selection and got a second-team nod as a pitcher.
Joining Faulkner from Live Oak were fellow seniors Brendon Baker at pitcher, Garrett Barrilleaux as a DH and Nick Cacioppo on the five-man utility player crew.
Walker junior pitcher Lane Thomas was also one of the utility players named after a solid season on the mound and as the Wildcats’ cleanup batter. The other Walker player who landed on the first team was steady third baseman Bailey Gautreaux, his team’s top hitter and run producer all season.
DSHS junior Dawson Albin, a versatile infielder who will be counted on as a leader next season, was a second-team pick at utility.
Eagles on the second team are pitchers Tristin Cosby and Bailey Simoneaux, Ryan Morris at shortstop and freshman outfielder Rhett Rosevear.
Walker helped fill out the second team with pitcher Chase Jeansonne, outfielder Tristan Taylor, DH Rush Azlin and senior pitcher/infielder Kyle Guidry.
Zachary swept MVP and Coach of the Year honors. Anthony Fidanza was picked by league coaches as the top player, while Jacob Fisher got the nod from his peers in his first season.
P Robert Burke, Zachary | SR
P Nathan Keller, Zachary | JR
P Ma’Khail Hilliard, Central | SR
P Taylor Higgins, DSHS | SR
P Brendon Baker, Live Oak | SR
C Preston Faulkner, Live Oak | SR
C Braden Doughty, DSHS | SR
1B Grant Quinn, Zachary | SR
2B Joseph Schopp, Central | SR
3B Bailey Gautreaux, Walker | SR
SS Cade Doughty, DSHS | SO
OF River Town, Zachary | JR
OF Keilon Brown, Zachary | FR
OF Brant Husser, Central | JR
OF Dillon Boyle, DSHS | SR
DH Garrett Barrilleaux, Live Oak | SR
UT Anthony Fidanza, Zachary | SR
UT Joey Blanchard, Zachary | JR
UT Brock Batty, DSHS | SR
UT Nick Cacioppo, Live Oak | SR
UT Lane Thomas, Walker | JR
Most Valuable Player
Anthony Fidanza, Zachary | SR
Gold Glove Award
Preston Faulkner, Live Oak | SR
Coach of the Year
Jacob Fisher, Zachary
P Tristin Cosby, Live Oak | SR
P Bailey Simoneaux, Live Oak | JR
P Grant Mayers, Central | SR
P Chase Jeansonne, Walker | JR
P Jarien Green, Scotlandville | SR
P Cade Doughty, DSHS | SO
C Alex Milazzo, Zachary | SO
1B Destin Dotson, Scotlandville | JR
2B Jacouri Hicks, Scotlandville | SR
3B Cade Kimbrell, Central | SR
SS Ryan Morris, Live Oak | SR
OF Tristan Taylor, Walker | JR
OF Jalen Hicks, Scotlandville | SR
OF Rhett Rosevear, Live Oak | FR
OF Quint Guerin, Central | JR
OF Cameron Balthazar, Central | JR
DH R.J. Coffee, Central | JR
DH Rush Azlin, Walker | SR
UT Rhett Hebert, Zachary | JR
UT Kyle Guidry, Walker | SR
UT Darrin Bedell, Scotlandville | SO
UT Dawson Albin, DSHS | JR
DSHS – IF Layne Didier (SR), P Kaleb Slayton (SR)
Live Oak – IF Lane Hutchinson (SO), IF Gabe Schenk (JR)
Scotlandville – Robert Brown (SR), Chris Brinson (SR), Tyler Harrison (SO)
Walker – Don Paul Smith (SR), Hunter Murray (SR), Mason Inman (SR)
Zachary – Easton Adams (SR), Greg Thompson (SR), Kade Schober (SR), Garrett Breeden (SR)