Wrestler Alex Yokubaitis is KPLC’s Sportsperson of the Week

Wrestler Alex Yokubaitis is KPLC’s Sportsperson of the Week

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – Four years— four titles.

Alex Yokubaitis’ decorated wrestling career at St. Louis Catholic came to an end with him once again winning a state championship. Despite the trophies and individual honors, he deflects the credit to everyone that has helped him along the way.

“The people that have surrounded me and made me a better wrestler, I think all of the credit should go to them,” Saints wrestler Alex Yokubaitis said of his support system. “Ever since my freshman year, I’ve had older wrestlers telling me how I can improve and my teammates wrestling with me have made me a better wrestler every day.”

With his high school career now in the rear view, he can say that he’s accomplished something that had never been done before at St. Louis Catholic.

“In the 8th grade my coach Terry Gage said that I have the potential to be a four-time state champion and at that point, I set a goal that I was going to be St. Louis’ first four-time state champion, so everything I’ve done in practice and in the season has all built up to that and accomplishing that was just incredible,” Yokubaitis admitted.

While his time as a Saints comes to a close, his story continues at the next level. Yokubaitis will wrestle at Oklahoma State where he’ll join forces with elite company. The Cowboys have landed arguably the top recruiting class in the country.

“There’s nowhere I can go but up,” Yokubaitis said of going to Oklahoma State. “I’m only going to be able to improve with the skill of the people that are going to be surrounding me and the coaching that I’m going to have. I think it’s going to up my game by so much.”

Sweethearts Dominate at Showtime International Contest

Sweethearts Dominate at Showtime International Contest

St. Louis Catholic’s Sweethearts dance line competed in the Showtime International Contest in Magnolia, Texas, this past weekend and continued their tradition of excellence by receiving several awards.

The Sweethearts received a Sweepstakes Award and the Award for Excellence for their high scores, and they placed 1st with their lyrical, jazz & modern dance routines.  They also earned the highest score of all participants in the modern category.

Their three 1st-place routines earned them a Circle of Champions Award at their annual competition. In addition to the team honors, Sweethearts Molli Miller and Hallie Marie Kleckley were named solo finalists.  Congratulations, ladies!

St. Louis Catholic Lady Saints Track & Field Wins Division II State Indoor Title

St. Louis Catholic Lady Saints Track & Field Wins Division II State Indoor Title
It was a record-setting day in Baton Rouge Saturday for the St. Louis Catholic indoor track teams.

 

As the youthful Lady Saints embarked on their run to the Division II state championship, their 4×800 meter relay team (Kendal Touchet-Kylie Hebert-Emma Karam-Kenzie Touchet) set a new school record of 10:18.16.  Saturday’s girls team indoor title was the first in St. Louis Catholic history.  The Lady Saints edged Brusly for the championship, 42-30.

 

On the boys’ side, several more school records were set.  The Saints won the 4×200 meter relay (1:31.62) with Wesley Maze, Pierce Bilbo, Gabe Meyer and Josh Orsot, and they were state runners-up in both the 4×400 meters (Luke Benoit- Josh Orsot-Gabe Meyer-Pierce Bilbo, 3:29.56) and 4×800 meters (Matthew Aleshire-Christian Tabor-John Savoy- Ivan Appleton, 8:47.22).  Wesley Maze also set school records in the shot put (45-7.5), 200 meters (23.30) and 60 meters (7.20), and three Saints new marks in jump events – long jump by Luke Benoit (20-8.5), triple jump by Logan Trahan (36-11) and high jump by Jaden Gallien (5-6).

 

The Saints placed 5th overall as a team with 27 points.

St. Louis Catholic Seniors Hebert, Obluda Are National Merit Finalists

St. Louis Catholic Seniors Hebert, Obluda Are National Merit Finalists

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 27, 2020 – Lake Charles, La. – St. Louis Catholic seniors Ethan Hebert and Caroline Obluda both achieved perfect ACT scores earlier in their high school careers, and now as graduation approaches, they are also National Merit Finalists.

Only about 1% (15,000 out of 1.5 million) of the U.S. high school students who took the PSAT/NMSQT® in October 2018 and met other program participation requirements reach National Merit Finalist standing.  All Merit Scholarship® winners (Merit Scholar® awardees) will be chosen from this elite group of finalists based on their abilities, skills and accomplishments.  Hebert and Obluda were named among the 16,000 National Merit semifinalists in September 2019.

Hebert said being a National Merit Finalist will enable him to attend Louisiana Tech University and major in Cyber Engineering.

“When I first took the PSAT, I didn’t know what National Merit was at all,” Hebert said.  “I didn’t think scholarships like this actually happened to people – it seemed just like a movie thing.  This will help a tremendous amount with college financially.”

Hebert also strongly advises his fellow classmates to take the PSAT seriously.

“Everybody gives so much attention to the ACT, which does have its rewards, but a high score on the PSAT can directly give students scholarships, something the ACT doesn’t do,” said Hebert, a graduate of Our Lady Queen of Heaven School.  “Students need to be advised of the amount of opportunity that is in this test and scholarship.  From freshman year, I was always hoping for some miraculous scholarship that would be the culmination of all my hard work in high school, and that’s exactly what National Merit Finalist turned out to be.”

Obluda is an alumna of ICCS in Lake Charles whose dream job is to work at NASA some day.  She credited her parents and St. Louis Catholic teachers for reaching Finalist status.

“I am honored to be named as a Finalist,” Obluda said.  “I am very grateful for the opportunity to earn a scholarship, and I appreciate the recognition for the work I’ve done the past four years.  I’m currently deciding between studying at Colorado School of Mines or Louisiana Tech, majoring in mechanical engineering and possibly astrophysics.  Either way, I’d like to work at NASA someday and discover new things in the universe.”

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St. Louis Catholic Creative Writing Students Win Accolades

St. Louis Catholic Creative Writing Students Win Accolades

Three St. Louis Catholic creative writing students will be honored at the South Lake Charles Optimist Club banquet April 20 for their stellar performance in the annual essay contest.

Junior Reem Husein won first place, and her essay will be submitted to the state essay chairman for competition!  She will be joined at the banquet by fellow junior and second-place winner Matthew Aleshire and senior Charles Drost, who placed third in the contest.

The topic for the Optimist Club essay competition was “Is optimism the key to achieving the dream you imagine?”  All three students’ essays clearly created a renewed optimism for writing and positive recognition for their dedication to writing, and we salute them for their efforts!

Congratulations again to Husein, Aleshire and Drost for their achievement and continued work in mastering the art of writing!

Lady Saints Basketball to Host De La Salle Wednesday to Open Playoffs

Lady Saints Basketball to Host De La Salle Wednesday to Open Playoffs
St. Louis Catholic girls basketball (26-3, 10-0) has continued its momentum this season after last year’s state runner-up finish, securing the District 4-3A title outright and the No. 2 seed in the Division II playoffs.  (View the full 2020 bracket here).
Now the Lady Saints will march toward the state championship once again, and first on the journey is No. 15 De La Salle Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Krajicek Gym.  Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m.  **Admission is $8.**
Coach Tony Johnson, who earned his 400th victory earlier this season and currently has an overall record of 424-221 in 21 seasons, said strength on defense has been a key factor in the Lady Saints erupting on an 11-game winning streak, and 13 wins in the past 14 games down the stretch.  This is Johnson’s tenth 20-win season, including five in a row from 2006-2010.
“My team is very hardworking and passionate about the game,” Johnson said. “You can tell that they love what they do.”
Johnson has reached the playoffs every season at St. Louis Catholic, highlighted by five district championships (’06, ’07, ’11, ’13, ’20) and two state runners-up (’09, ’19), one semifinal (’08), four quarterfinals (’10, ’11, ’17, ’18) and seven regional appearances (’03, ’04, 06, ’07, ’12, 13, 15).
“I think what has kept me here are the relationships I obtain with the girls,” he said.  “Teaching them, coaching them and watching them mature into young adults is really the highlight of my job.”

St. Louis Catholic Wrestling Places 3rd in Division III State Tournament

St. Louis Catholic Wrestling Places 3rd in Division III State Tournament

Battling for its first wrestling state championship since 2018, St. Louis Catholic finished in third place as a team, but the Saints brought home two individual titles from Bossier City as seniors Alex Yokubaitis and Bud McMichael won their events.  Fellow senior Joseph Belcher also earned LHSAA Wrestling All-Academic Team honors at the state meet.

Yokubaitis, a four-time state champion, scored 29 points for his team in the 126-pound Division III event, and McMichael (113 pounds) scored 27 points.  Yokubaitis (54-1) will graduate as one of the most dominant wrestlers in Saints history, as he has not lost to a wrestler from Louisiana this season.

“(Yokubaitis) has worked hard,” Gage told the American Press. “Oklahoma State thought he was good enough to earn a Division I scholarship, so that shows you how good his work ethic is.”

St. Louis Catholic’s second-place finishers Saturday were Belcher, Keyshawn Jones and Kemal Robertson.  John Reina placed third, JP Broussard placed fourth, and Patrick Collins placed sixth.

Basile won the team title again with 245 points, followed by Brusly (203) and St. Louis Catholic (176.5).  View the full Division III standings here.

Reem Husein, Taylor Myers Nominated for Congress of Future Medical Leaders

Reem Husein, Taylor Myers Nominated for Congress of Future Medical Leaders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Reem Husein

Lake Charles, LA – Feb. 13, 2020 – Reem Husein and Taylor Myers, juniors at St. Louis Catholic High School, are Delegates to the Congress of Future of Medical Leaders in Lowell, Mass., from June 24-26, 2020.  The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields.  The purpose of this event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country interested in these careers, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

Husein’s nomination was signed by Dr. Mario Capecchi, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine and the Science Director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, to represent St. Louis Catholic High School based on academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

During the three-day Congress, Husein and Myers will join students from across the country and hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research; be given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school; witness stories told by patients who are living medical miracles; be inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies; and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future in medicine and medical technology.

Taylor Myers

“It is a true honor to be nominated to represent St. Louis Catholic at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders,” Myers said.  “I will use this opportunity to gain knowledge and guidance from top medical school deans and national award winners.  I will represent my school and community with integrity and diligence as I start to pursue my dream of becoming a physician.”

The Academy offers free services and programs to students who want to become physicians or go into medical science.  Some of the services and programs the Academy offers are online social networks through which future doctors and medical scientists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by physicians and medical students; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance and much more.

About the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists:

The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists was founded on the belief that we must identify prospective medical talent at the earliest possible age and help these students acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of this vital career.  Based in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Boston, the Academy was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address this crisis by working to identity, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to the service of humanity as physicians or medical scientists.  For more information, visit www.FutureDocs.com, or call 617-307-7425.

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St. Louis Catholic’s New ESports Club is More Than Games

St. Louis Catholic’s New ESports Club is More Than Games

What started as a dream for a group of students at St. Louis Catholic High School has become a reality with the Winter 2020 launch of the ESports Club, sponsored by Library Media Specialist Melanie LeJeune.

Now with close to 40 club members total, the Saints are fielding a talented team at the 8-week Louisiana High School Varsity Overwatch tournament by Scion Esports at Lake Charles Boston.  Six middle school and 10 high schools are competing, and St. Louis Catholic won its first match, 2-0 against Grand Lake on Feb. 6.  Many St. Louis students came to support the Esports club in their quest for victory!

Round 2 starts Thursday, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m. against Barbe.  Click here to watch live and follow live results.

Saints ESports captain Andrew Landry said the key to success at Overwatch is communication with their shot-caller, senior J-Allen Manuel.

“If you don’t have communication, you cannot play the game,” Landry said.  “If one person falls off, the whole team loses.  Every person has to be at their top peak.  That’s why we have our shot-caller (J-Allen).  Without a dedicated shot-caller, it’s kind of a mess.”

Junior Christian Wise, whose twin brother William is also active in ESports, said he’s excited to be a part of a new tradition at St. Louis Catholic.

“It’s about leadership,” said Christian Wise.  “It brings a whole lot more fun in a more relatable way.  Not all of us play sports, but we all play video games, so we can find some way to be competitive in that form.  We’re paving the way and starting something that can carry on for generations to come.”

Landry, a junior, said his motivation for starting the club this year was about planning for the future – for college scholarship opportunities.  In fact, ESports members have utilized the expertise of St. Louis Catholic graduates Adam Kimball ’16, an ESports team member at LSU, and his brother Andrew, to earn tips for improvement individually and as a team.

“Being on this team really increases our chance of finding scholarships,” Landry said.  “It gets us an early start into the realm of competitive gaming.  And there’s a lot of colleges in Louisiana that offer it, like UL-Lafayette and LSU.”

LeJeune said she’s been touched by how supportive the local community has been of ESports development.

“Lake Charles Toyota/the Tarver Brothers are running the Scion Esports League that we’re doing, and they have made a practice site at Lake Charles Toyota for non-CPSB schools,” LeJeune said.  “So we, Hamilton Christian and Grand Lake are able to use their facility with their equipment, which is really nice.”

Clearly, Esports is more than just video games.  And it’s just getting started at St. Louis Catholic.

St. Louis Catholic Powerlifting’s Molly Inman Places 1st at Abbeville Raw Invitational

St. Louis Catholic Powerlifting’s Molly Inman Places 1st at Abbeville Raw Invitational
St. Louis Catholic powerlifting had a great team showing at the Abbeville Raw Invitational Saturday, including a first-place finish by junior Molly Inman.

Junior Connor Mills placed second, and the Saints had four fourth-place finishers – senior Emma Faul, junior Jack Spann, and sophomores Cody Lebato & Darren Metoyer.  St. Louis Catholic will keep working hard leading up to the West Regional (Feb. 28-29) at Blackham Coliseum in Lafayette and the State Championship (March 19-20) at ULM.  At the 2019 regionals, Inman was a podium finisher (3rd place) and qualified for state, where she placed 4th.