By RODRICK ANDERSON
Several local senior athletes wasted no time signing a national letter of intent Wednesday, the first day of the fall signing period.
At Sulphur High School, two Tor pitchers chose their future college teams.
Right-hander Cameron LeJeune signed with McNeese State. He was one of three who signed with the Cowboys along with DeQuincy outfielder Cooper Hext and Barbe catcher Ben David
“It is right across the river, so it is like home,” Lejeune said. “It has been the place I wanted to go to. When they called, I definitely knew that was where I wanted to go.”
As a junior last spring, LeJeune led the Tors’ pitching staff with a 1.20 earned run average. Over 46 2/3 innings, he struck out 57 batters to 16 walks, went 3-4 and recorded up a pair of saves.
He had three 11-strikeout games and three complete games. In the first round of the playoffs, he combined with teammate Tripp Tyree to pitch a one-hitter in a 2-0 loss to Central-Baton Rouge.
Fellow Tor pitcher Kainin Marrow signed with Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas.
“It is an honor to be able to continue my baseball career and my education,” Marrow said. “It (Paris JC) is a very positive environment.
“Coach Cox is an amazing guy. They were always kind and offered to show me around.”
Marrow lowered his earned run average by .22 points as a junior to 2.78 over 40 1/3 innings. He struck out 34 and finished with a 2-4 record.
“I love it here (Sulphur),” Marrow said. “I have a good coaching staff, and they taught me a lot and stayed behind me.
“I have amazing teammates that have supported me all the way through and an amazing family.”
Hext said he always dreamed of playing at the college level.
“It doesn’t feel real,” Hext said. “It’s all I ever wanted growing up as a kid to play college baseball and to continue having fun playing the game I love.
“I chose McNeese because when I went on my visit Coach Hill and the rest of the coaches made it feel like home. Also, it’s close to my family.”
Batting leadoff and playing center field, Hext helped lead the Tigers the District 5-2A champions and the Class 2A regional round last season. Hext earned 5-2A all-district first-team honors.
Westlake’s Jada Gasaway was the only basketball player to sign Wednesday. She signed with Southern Arkansas in Magnolia, Arkansas.
Gasaway started her career at Westlake as a shooting guard and has transitioned to point guard. Last season, Gasaway helped lead the Lady Rams to their best record (17-10) and first playoff win since 2016.
“She was a spot shooter, and her game over the years has developed into a point guard/shooter,” Westlake head coach Gloria Fontenot said. “She is a triple threat. I have been really impressed.
“She has picked up her defense too and she is quick on the floor.”
At Sam Houston, Andie Edwards signed to play softball at Louisiana-Monroe while baseball player Kyle Bartley signed with Southeastern Louisiana. Both are infielders, with Bartley was also part of the Broncos’ pitching rotation. He helped Sam Houston reach the Class 5A championship game last season.
“It is really amazing to know that you put all this hard work in,” Edwards said. “It is real relaxing to know that now I have somewhere to go and all the hard work is paying off.
“I like the coaches there and being around the girls and the campus. It is a place I could call home.”
Edwards helped lead Sam Houston to the District 3-5A championship and the 5A quarterfinals while batting .357 with seven doubles, five home runs, 31 runs scored and 26 RBIs.
Bartley said a trip to Hammond sold him on the Lions.
“It’s what I’ve always worked for, ever since I was a kid I wanted to play college ball,” he said. “When I went to Southeastern, it felt like home. I liked the coaching staff and the players.”
On the mound last season, Bartley went 6-3 with a 1.92 earned run average. He struck out 54 and walked 14 in 54 2/3 innings. Offensively, he batted .292 with 27 RBIs.