Local team cherishes TPR crown

The 13-14-year old Mechanicville Panthers baseball team won its first TPR championship this year. (Photo by Submitted Photo)

The Mechanicville Panthers 13- and 14 year-old baseball team accomplished a rare feat this year.

The Panthers won their first-ever Terrebonne Parish Recreation (TPR) baseball title in any age group this season.

The Panthers finished their season with a 7-2-1 record, but they pulled off victories over longtime rivals Montegut (15-3), Dularge (8-3) and Little Caillou (15-9) to win the championship in their age group on May 25 at Lafayette Woods Park.

Mechanicville coach Russell Parker said the Panthers have won numerous parish championships in football and basketball over the years, but they could never clinch their first baseball trophy until this season.

"It was so amazing just to see the smiles on the kids faces," Parker said. "I'm so excited myself because I just won it in football, so I have football, basketball and now baseball to add to the trophy collection. It also means a lot back here. Now more kids are going to see how fun it is to be a part of the baseball team. Those kids are going to come up ready to play."

The members of the Mechanicville Panthers baseball team were Tyler Lapeyrouse, Tayler Lapeyrouse, Damian Naquin, Dominick Naquin, Brandon Anderson, Ridgelynn Tinmers, Jacob Francis, Micah Harding, Evan Gauthreaux, Phillip Ruffin, Sedrick Williams, Kaleb Voisin, Tyler Steward and Darrin Stewart. Assistant coaches were Eric Gauthreaux, Josh Wilcox and Gerald Harding Jr.

Parker said he had a feeling that the Panthers would have a competitive team.

"I've pretty much known from the first day of practice that I had a good group of guys," Parker said. "I knew if we pulled together, that we could do anything, as long as we played together. They worked hard in practice. They worked hard each day. Half of them even played sick at times. They really did what's best for the team."

Tyler Lapeyrouse, a 14-year-old South Terrebonne student, pitched in the semifinal win over Dularge and the finals win over Little Calliou.

Lapeyrouse said the Panthers felt honored to become the first team from Mechanicville to win a baseball title.

"I think it is great that we were the first team," Lapeyrouse said. "Our whole team was excited to do this, and we gave it our all. Hopefully next year and the years after that, we will win a few more titles."

Lapeyrouse said the Panthers worked hard all year to get to this point, but he mentioned how none of it would be possible without their supporters.

"All the parents that helped us out did a good job of helping us and supporting us this season," Lapeyrouse said. "We all stuck together all year as one. We played as a unit. We'll never forget winning this championship."