There will be new head coaches next season for the Eunice High softball and St. Edmund baseball programs.
Scott Deshotel stepped down this month after 19 seasons as the Lady Bobcats head coach to focus on his new duties as head football coach and athletic director Eunice Junior High.
Tre Brown rolled up a 106-59 overall record in five years as the Blue Jays head coach, but is searching for a new team to coach after his St. Edmund teaching contract was not renewed.
The Lady Cats made it to the playoffs 18-of-19 years under Deshotel’s leadership and EHS made it to the state tournament four times.
Eunice High won eight St. Landry Parish softball titles and six district championships with Deshotel.
“When I took over the program they hadn’t won a playoff game or been to the state tournament,” Deshotel reflected. “We finally broke through in 1992 when we beat Tioga 1-0 in 12 innings."
The Lady Cats went to state quarterfinals in 1992, 2000, 2005 and advanced to the semifinals in 1997.
“We had some terrific girls to play for us and some outstanding teams,” Deshotel said. “I am thankful for all the players I coached and all the assistant coaches, athletic directors and administrators who helped me over the years.”
Several of Deshotel’s former players advanced to the next level as All-Staters Tricia Fruge and Kerri Courville played college ball at Texarkana, while Jessica Ortego and Lauri Neely went to Chipola Junior College. Kellie Jo Soileau spent two years in the LSU Eunice softball program.
Of the hundreds of players to pass through his program, many earned all-district, all-parish and all-state honors.
EHS catcher Tara Fruge was the first All-State selection in Lady Cat history in 1991. Lisa Savoy was three-time St. Landry Parish and district MVP (1991-94) as well as a two time All-Stater. Gina Fontenot was a two-time All-State pitcher in 1998-99.
Robbie Courville, Heather Lavergne and Emily Deshotel all played in the All-Star games, while Savoy was named West MVP in 1994.
Amy Thibodeaux (1999, 2000) and Deshotel (2002, 2003) were two-time All-State selections.
Catcher Emily Turner and pitcher Jori Lejuene were the last two Lady Cats to earn All-State honors in 2009.
“It was a fun run,” Deshotel said of his years with the Lady Cat program. “We had a good time.”
“Every day with the kids was a special day,” Brown said of his time with the Blue Jay teams. “We had such special groups each season. It was such a pleasure to work with such good kids in my first head coaching job.
Brown said he understood the pressure of continuing the success of the Blue Jay baseball program with six state titles when he took over after Scott Rider left the St. Edmund program.
St. Edmund went to the semifinals twice and made it to the playoffs each season under Brown, winning a share or outright district champions each year.
“We helped keep the strong tradition alive as we were very competitive,” Brown said. “I am proud that the kids were successful student and athletes.
“They battled against bigger schools and we gained a lot of respect as the kids gave a great effort no matter how tough the schedule was.”
Brown said he was proud his players who had the opportunity to play college baseball including Wesley Chachere (LSUS), Dillion Brown (LSUA), Edward Turk and Wesley Richard (LSUE).
The Jays produced 32 All-District Players, a District Co-MVP & 2 MVP's, seven All-State players in his time as the head coach.
Tyler McGee was a three-time All-State selection (2007, 2008, 2009), while pitcher Mac Manuel was named twice (2008, 2009). Tyler Rodriguez was selected in 2009, while Dillion Brown was named to the 2010 team as a pitcher.
“I would love to stay local where we can still live in Eunice,” Brown of the coaching openings he is pursuing with the support of his wife Lauren, daughter Ava Grace and son Beaux. “But we will have to wait and see what happens.
“I think I am a better coach than I was when I first arrived at St. Ed’s,” he said. “Experience it the best educator – I am grateful for my time with the program.”