(COVINGTON, La.) — Last year, St. Paul’s showcased a great baseball team, led by talented seniors in an impressive season. Unfortunately, the season abruptly ended in a disappointing first-round playoff loss to 2014 State Champions Brother Martin.
Up-and-coming juniors meshed with the seniors to produce one of the finest teams in Louisiana. Three of last season’s seniors signed to play Division 1 Baseball: ZJ Buster (LA Tech), Tyler St. Phillip (ULL), and Handsome Monica (Arizona). All three players were major contributors to the team’s success last year, but the juniors were ready to take control of the team in the following season.
There are four seniors this year that have already signed with a college program, and there are more strong talents who have yet to sign. Just to give you a taste of the senior talent, here’s a rundown of the seniors who will contribute greatly to the upcoming season.
Behind the plate, senior Nick Chaisson looks to be a weapon with his quick bat and glove after having a promising season last year which led him to sign with Spring Hill College. Last year, Chaisson started crushing the ball at bat. He played in the outfield to make room for Monica behind the plate, but this season Chaisson will likely play his natural position at catcher. It will be interesting to see if Chaisson can carry his hot bat into the upcoming season, and if he will be able to fill Monica’s cleats.
Returning starting first baseman senior Kyle Schimpf will look to contribute as a power hitter and defensive weapon this year. Schimpf hit in the clean-up spot last year and impressively showcased his power throughout the season. His stellar defensive play at first base will surely come in handy as it did last season. Look to see the same great power hitter as you did last year. Schimpf has recently signed with University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Senior Carlo Graffeo, who recently signed with Southeastern University, looks to be as much of weapon as he was last year on the mound, but stronger, faster, and more determined. He was the Wolves’ ace pitcher last year as a junior, and will likely hold that title again this year. His velocity is extremely impressive and has opened the eyes of coaches ever since he was a freshman. What Graffeo lacks in height he has in velocity.
Recently having signed with University of Washington, third baseman Peyton Lacoste has been showcasing his power ever since he first started out at St. Paul’s. His defensive play at third base has been outstanding, almost as if he were a human wall in the infield. His best attribute, although, is not behind the plate or in the infield, but rather his leadership among his fellow Wolves. Look for big things from Lacoste this year.
Three seniors have not signed with a college program at this point, but their talents will certainly be showcased in this upcoming season. Harrison Gitz looks to be a weapon with his quick bat and solid outfielding play. Austin Barrios looks to be a weapon on the mound with his acute accuracy and persistence. Also, Hunter Romero looks to bring his powerful bat to the Wolves batting line up.
Even though the seniors look to be the leaders of the baseball squad this year, there are some juniors and even sophomores looking to be a factor in the upcoming season. The junior class has a large array of pitching threats that already add to the powerful pitching squad, along with some powerful bats.
One sophomore, in particular, is certainly going to raise the eyebrows of spectators, coaches, and other players this season. Sophomore William Huertin will be playing at shortstop this coming year, and is a spectacular fielder, especially as an underclassman. He brings a batting threat to the lineup, as well. Huertin is a smart, well-rounded, and talented player, and is sure to contribute much to the team.
The Wolves’ season opener is on February 23 against Miller McCoy Academy at home in Heap Field. SPS is already locked in a tough district, year in and year out. But this season, the Wolves have a tough pre-district schedule as well, including powerhouses such as Dutchtown, John Curtis, and Brother Martin. Despite the tough schedule, the seniors have only one goal for their last season: State Champs and nothing less.
Click here for the upcoming varsity season schedule.