After an exciting weekend of fall sports here are the results.
The Episcopal cross country team is ready for competition. The group has been working out since June in preparation for the upcoming season which gets underway Saturday, September 7th at 7 am with the West Feliciana Relays. The Knights are coming off of another big year after they brought home state titles in both the boys and girls division last year. Head Coach Claney Duplechin says after several seniors graduated in May, other athletes will have an opportunity to shine. So far that is exactly what they are doing as Coach Dupe says the students are making the most of the opportunity and practices have been quite productive. “Now is their time,” says Coach Dupe. “If practices are any indication, I’ll be very pleased this season,” he says.
As the team works toward another state title, Coach Dupe is as enthusiastic as ever. “My first year in cross country I fell in love with the kids,” he says. “It’s rewarding. I maybe making a difference in their lives, but they’re making a difference in mine. They keep me young and healthy.”
This year’s distance runners are led by seniors James Christian and Ella Kimbrough. Coach Dupe is joined by assistant coaches Amy Claire Whitehurst, Clayton Counts, John Harris and Alison Seals. As he looks to the future, Coach Dupe says the program is positioned well with several talented Middle School runners. He says there is even a chance that members of the Middle School boys and girls teams may run with the varsity squad this season. To see upcoming cross country dates click here.
Knights fans have five opportunities to catch the football team in action at home this year. That first opportunity is set for tonight versus St. Michael. In addition to the home field contests, Head Coach Travis Bourgeois hopes Knights fans will travel with the team and take in a few away games. “This is the biggest senior/junior class combination in a long time,” says Bourgeois. He says the team’s experience will give them some depth that will no doubt be a factor in games down the road. “Competition will bring out the best in the team,” he says.
When the Knights take the field, they will be led by senior captains Ethan Amedee, Kolin Bilbrew, Lane Grisby and Griff Strain. Fans can also expect senior leaders Jamieson Bell and Alex Wilson to be factors in the game.
Bourgeois says the Knights are in a good position going forward with 22 eighth grade players who are playing well and having a positive Middle School football experience. This bodes well for the program’s future. Bourgeois says his coaching staff including Bill Jones, Charlie O’Brien, Wally Stevens and Jimmy Williams are another key to the program’s success. “We have different strengths and philosophies,” he says. “We feed off of each other.”
The Knights certainly feed off of crowd support, so don’t miss your opportunity to cheer them on this season. Mark your calendar for the following important contests:
Friday, September 6th St. Michael
Friday, September 13th St. Thomas Aquinas
Friday, October 4th Catholic Pointe Coupee Homecoming Game
Thursday, October 17th at Dunham
Friday, October 25th Northeast
Friday, November 8th Port Allen Senior Knight
Episcopal begins the swimming season with a new head coach. Kate Cramer returns to the Knights after previously coaching the swim team from 2007 to 2010. Kate describes herself as high energy. She can often be found on the deck whistling and coaching the students on their strokes. She says as a coach she uses a lot of speed training and interval and aerobics training to help swimmers build their endurance and boost their speed. Her goal is simple. “We want to qualify as many swimmers as we can and the rest will take care of itself,” she says.
This year’s team hopes to build on their third place finish in last year’s state championship meet. The group will be led by seniors Maia Adams, Sara Be, Valerie Beggs, Nick Johannessen and Megan Nguyen.
Don’t miss your opportunity to catch the Episcopal swimmers in action this season. Click here for upcoming swimming dates. The team enters the pool for competition for the first time on Saturday, September 7th at the LHSCA All Star Swim Meet in Lutcher. All lanes will lead to the varsity swimming city championship finals on Sunday, November 3rd at Crawfish Aquatics. City championship preliminaries will take place Saturday, November 2nd. Athletes will cap off the year at the varsity swimming state championship meet on Thursday, November 21st in Sulphur.
There is excitement in Head Coach Madeline Gugich’s voice as she discusses the upcoming volleyball season. “We’re a young team,” she says of her squad that includes four seniors. “Our bench is engaged and our kids have found a love of the game.” That love of the game is evident from the support that team members provide each other as they enter or exit the court. “We have nothing to fear,” says Gugich. She expects the team to have a few good losses in which they gain experience and learn to respond to the tempo of the game. She also expects the team to give area competitors a run for their money.
This year’s team is led by seniors Grace Cullens, Makenzie Daughtery, Celia Kiesel and Halle Roman. The group will serve up their first game during the annual Episcopal Invitational on Saturday, September 7th. Don’t miss your opportunity to catch the team in action. Click here to see upcoming volleyball dates. September home contests include games against McKinley, Woodlawn, Walker and Denham Springs. In October, Port Allen, Dunham, Capital and Northeast come to Woodland Ridge for district games.
Lower and Middle School
In addition to the Upper School action underway, Knights fans don’t want to miss the Lower and Middle School excitement. Members of the fifth/sixth grade flag football and seventh/eighth grade football teams are preparing for the season with regular practice. The sixth grade and seventh/eighth grade softball teams and sixth through eighth grade swimming teams are also gearing up. Click here to view the Middle School sports calendar.
All fall sports participants, including cross country, swimming, Middle School softball, football and flag football, will be recognized at this Friday’s football home opener. We hope to see you there. Go Knights!