LaGrange joins SEH softball
By Tom Dodge
The St. Edmund Lady Jays have a new head softball coach as Lacy LaGrange has been appointed to lead the program.
“I first saw the Lady Jays play when Centerville faced them in a softball tournament in 2018,” she said. “I saw the talent these girls had and they carried themselves as a team.
“When they offered me the job a month or two ago, it was easy to say yes,” she said.
St. Edmund won back-to-back district titles in 2018 and 2019.
The Lady Jays were 11-1 and ranked fifth in the Division IV power rankings this season before COVID-19 stopped all spring sport on March 13.
“Over the summer practices I have seen that these girls put in the hard work and want to succeed.
“They want to be better and do what it takes to win another district championship.”
A 2014 graduate of Centerville, LaGrange played for head coach Kathleen Crochet who help built the Lady Bulldogs program.
“I went there from Pre-K to 12th grade,” she said. “I played basketball, softball, track and cross county in junior high.
“When I got to high school I really just focused on softball because I played it year round.”
LaGrange spent most of her time as a Lady Bulldog at third base but also saw action as a pitcher.
“We were district champs my sophomore, junior and senior seasons,” she said. “My senior year we were ranked seventh in the state – the highest we had ever been ranked.”
LaGrange earned first team All-District honors from seventh grade on to her senior season.
“My high school coach helped shape my future,” LaGrange said of Crochet.
“They didn’t have a varsity program when I was in sixth grade,’ she said. “We won just two games my first year in varsity when I started in seventh grade.
“When I graduated we went 21-4 as she built the program into winners and that motivated me to want to be a coach like her.
“I want to hold our players to a higher standard than the rest of the student body,” she said. “That’s how I was taught and that’s what they expect from you as a college athlete.”
LaGrange played one season at Bossier Parish Community College as a pitcher/infielder.
“I decided after one season there I wanted to focus more on my education because I wanted to start coaching.”
After a summer at SLCC, LaGrange moved down to Nicholls State University,
She was an assistant coach two seasons at Centerville before she graduated from Nicholls State University in 2018.
Her first head softball coaching and teaching position was at Morgan City in 2019 before she stepped away for the birth of her son Beau.
She is married to St. Edmund head boys basketball coach Nick Trosclair.
LaGrange spent the 2020 season as an assistant softball coach at Patterson.
The new Lady Jay head coach said she is excited about the 2021 season.
“We have a great group of seniors and they will have a huge impact on the season,” LaGrange said.
“They want to do well their final season, we are hoping for a phenomenal year and make it to the state tournament.”
The senior group expected to lead the way next season are Mary Beth Lafleur, Jacee Cobb, Anna Belle Fontenot and Sarah Duplechin along with twin sisters Rebecca and Hannah Benoit.
“We also have a wonderful group of freshmen, sophomores and juniors,” she said. “I was impressed with the eight graders we included in our practices.”
“We are working our a varsity and junior varsity schedule for next season,” LaGrange said. “I expect it to be a tough schedule, but that should prepare the girls for the teams they would face in the playoffs.
If District 5-1A remains the same after the LSHAA re-classification process in January, the Lady Jays will compete against Westminster Christian Academy, Catholic High of Pointe Coupee, Sacred Heart of Ville Platte and Opelousas Catholic.
CHPC was the Division IV state runners-up in 2019.
LaGrange said she wants to play as many area teams as possible to draw local interest to the Lady Jay softball program.
St. Edmund Athletic Director James Shiver said he is excited to have a female physical education teacher on staff.
“It’s important to us that our coaches be on campus,” he said. “She can watch her athletes and be more involved with the day-to-day activities.
“She can see about all softball needs and help the program run smoothly both for home and road games.”
Shiver said her experience as a high school coach was an important part of the hiring process but her time as college athlete was an added benefit.
“We hope some of our student-athletes can earn scholarships to college,” Shiver said. “Being involved with sports in college helps our coaches prepare the students for what to expect in college.”
Shiver said LaGrange will teach P.E. and Fine Arts at St. Edmund.