This year, we are taking our athletes of the week coverage — and celebrations — to a whole new level.
Instead of featuring one athlete each week, we are featuring three talented students — a male athlete, a female athlete, and what we are calling our “high achiever.” The high achiever is a male or female athlete who accomplished something special, on or off the field.
Athlete of the Week: Pate Broussard, Crowley
Credentials: Broussard led his team to a classic win against Cecilia in Week 3, with the Gents taking a 50-49 win on the road. Broussard threw for 385 yards and four touchdowns in the win. One of his touchdowns included a 50-yard touchdown strike to receiver Xavier Johnson in the waning seconds of the first half to tie the game.
Background: Broussard has been a starter for the Gents since his sophomore year and had developed into a team leader for coach Josh Fontenot’s squad. Broussard is also a member of the Gents baseball team, and was a highly effective pitcher for Crowley in his junior season.
Lagniappe: Fontenot has praised Broussard’s maturity and leadership for the Gents and has called him an extra coach on the field. Broussard hasn’t received attention from the media or college scouts, but Fontenot said it doesn’t bother his quarterback.
“It’s nobody’s fault, the media and everyone gets caught up with those guys that are signing all over the place,” Fontenot said. “And they deserve it, they are good players too.
“But I think that sometimes we lose the fact that high schools sports or high school players like Pate Broussard are just as good as or better than a lot of these other guys who have better measurements. It doesn’t make them any less of a player.”
Fontenot said Broussard consistently makes the right decisions with the ball during games.
“He just has a calming presence about him. We had five receivers catch passes, he spread the ball around,” Fontenot said. “It speaks a lot of him, to know what the play dictates and know where the ball needs to go. He was phenomenal, he really was.”
Ascension Episcopal’s High Achiever: Jillian Barczyk
The Athlete: Ascension Episcopal’s freshman swimmer was certainly as accomplished as any other female athlete in the area this past week. In her first high school meet of the season, she took first place in both races and also participated in two first-place relays to lead the Blue Gators to the overall girls and overall combined team victories. Her time in the 200 freestyle broke a local league record.
Jillian won the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:56.57 and then the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:23.47. Ascension Episcopal also won three relay events. The Blue Gators girls were first in the 200 medley with a time of 2:04.02, beating out Notre Dame and Westminster Christian, the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:53.30, beating out the same two teams, and then had a winning time of 4:20.99 in the 400 freestyle to beat ESA and Sam Houston.
Jillian helped Ascension Episcopal post the winning combined point total of 135 to beat second-place Sam Houston and a winning girls overall team point total of 108 to beat out runner-up Westminster Christian.
The Other Side: In addition to being a dynamic young athlete, Jillian is a member of the school’s Beta Club, Student Council and owns a 3.5 grade-point average. She also volunteers in the community as part of the Water Safety Awareness Campaign, with Special Olympics and the Children’s Mardi Gras Krewe of Oberon.
Background: Despite being a freshman, Jillian is still a 2014 Division IV All-State swimmer and was the member of the Southwest Louisiana All-District team, the Southwest Louisiana All-League team and the Southwest Louisiana All-Star team.
Female Athlete of the Week: Lexi Hebert
Credentials: In a week that included mid-week wins over Notre Dame and Breaux Bridge, as well as a weekend tournament, junior outside hitter Lexi Hebert delivered in a huge way for the two-time defending state champion Teurlings Catholic Lady Rebels volleyball squad. For the week, Hebert collected 57 kills, three blocks, 77 digs, six aces and five assists.
“She performed well all week long,” TCHS coach Terry Hebert said. “We keep serve-receive stats and her chart was all full. She had an outstanding week.”
Background: Teurlings Catholic’s coach always knew Hebert had talent, but it seemed like each time he gave her a chance to shine during her sophomore season a year ago, it didn’t happen. “I think she was trying to do too much.” But once the calendar turned to his junior season, Hebert has shined, fulfilling the team’s need for a consistent outside hitter.
The Lady Rebels have continued to show their dominance so far this season as the program tries to defend its state championship for the second straight season. After starting the season with a five-game marathon loss to two-time Division II state champion St. Thomas More, Teurlings has beaten powerhouses Notre Dame and Dominican.
Lagniappe: In addition to all the offensive numbers Hebert posted last week, she also paced Teurlings Catholic’s effort on the other side as well.
“Her defense really stood out during the week,” coach Hebert said. “She really kept the ball in play.”