The amount of baseball talent in Louisiana is second-to-none, and a travel baseball program in Louisiana who is using those talents not only to create better ball players but also better men in life is Team Louisiana. Since its creation in 2011, Team Louisiana has moved on 96% of their players to the next level -- 250+ athletes. What contributes to their success? A #FAMILY culture built off the field.
After finishing playing Junior College ball in California, Jeremy Picard returned home to Erath, Louisiana to create a summer travel baseball team in Louisiana. Along with coaching at JUCO schools and Erath High School for the past 20+ years, Jeremy created Team Louisiana in 2011. "I started Team Louisiana to give players an avenue to showcase their talents and play at a high level. I also created Team Louisiana to help prepare kids for what comes after baseball," stated Jeremy.
Team Louisiana contributes it success in three different ways: First, they take pride in small details and how their players present themselves off the field. They believe the little things off the field done correctly is what separates them on the field. Second, Team Louisiana gives huge credit to the high school coaches that invest in their players. "Our success is also related to all the relationships with the high coaches in the state," exclaimed Jeremy. "These Louisiana high school baseball programs are a huge part in these players and how they are recruited and what they do on the field. The coaches and programs are second-to-none, and us as an organization are glad to be able to play a small part in these players' recruiting process." Lastly, Team Louisiana takes pride in their summer staff. Jeremy stated that it's an honor that high school coaches trust his program to allow their players to play summer travel baseball with them. Because of that, he has a great summer staff that works relentless to better their players not only for Team Louisiana but also for the high school programs.
Team Louisiana also values creating a family-first culture. The #FAMILY is seen all across social media by players, coaches, and parents, and this contributes to the culture Team Louisiana is building. "For me, I always believed of treating each other like family." "When a player or parent joins our organization, they can expect a staff who will work tirelessly to help their child reach their goals and dreams, but also they can expect a program who is there for their child far after they leave their program." This is the building of the #FAMILY culture that Jeremy points to their key success on the ball field.
A family culture has a lasting impact, and one Team Louisiana player in particular has created a bonding between players that is like none other. Ross Granger, an Erath High School alum, was passionate about baseball, played for Team Louisiana, and committed to play at LSU-Eunice. Shortly after graduation, however, Ross was diagnosed with astrocytoma in his brain stem, a form of cancer. After a 16 month battle for his life, Ross was called peacefully home on Friday, November 11, 2016. During his illness, Ross devoted his time to speak with many youth groups and sports teams about the love of God, and the fortitude, commitment and dedication it takes to succeed at anything you do. He devoted time speaking to athletic teams at ULL, LSUE, and St. Thomas More, among others. His unwavering faith, courage, and strength were an inspiration to all who knew him. #WUPKAR was his mantra for approaching and facing challenges: Wake Up, Pray, Kick A**, Repeat. Today, that mantra is seen on the back of Team Louisiana's hats and across players' social media platforms. "Ross had a special place on our team. We use #WUPKAR to remember him and the lasting effects on our team," quoted Jeremy, who coached Ross at Erath High School and on Team Louisiana.
(Pictured: Ross Granger pitching at Alex Box Stadium for Team Louisiana / Courtesy of https://www.rossgranger.org/)
The #FAMILY culture and #WUPKAR mantra has paid dividends in Team Louisiana's success of moving 250+ players since its creation. The success was no different during 2020, for Team Louisiana shined in 2Dsports showcase travel baseball tournaments. The program had a combined record of 117-62-11 and continue to prove they are one of the top travel baseball team in Louisiana.
Season Recap - @team_louisiana— 2Dsports Baseball (@2D_sports) August 31, 2020
With a combined record of 117-62-11 Team LA was a highlight reel squad lead by:
*Meisner- 23-7 (Most Wins)
*Mason- 22-11 (241 Runs Scored)
*Boudreaux- 13-1 (93% W pct)
*Abernathy- 12-3 (Avg 1.57 RA/Gm)
*Patin/Biondi- 11-3 (Avg 9.43 RS/Gm)#2Drecap pic.twitter.com/MKQy0T4nak
Team Louisiana continues to send their players on to the next level. Recent commits include Grant Fontenot, Kyle St. Pierre, Reed Eason, and Parker Coley. Some of the Top Uncommitted players at the release of this article that we're excited to cover in 2021 are Ian Montz (2021), Lane Felder (2022), Braden Trull (2022), Gage Trahan (2023), Michael Plummer (2023), Cale Latimer (2023), and Reid Baye (2024), and Mason Leblanc (2025).
Team Louisiana's mission to reach talent in the state of Louisiana is generating massive respect for their program, both at the high school level and youth level. "Since 2014 we've been fortunate to have several players from North Louisiana -- guys that went on to play college baseball helped start the trend in North Louisiana. Recently, we've expanded our youth travel baseball program into North LA. Chad Abernathy has done an incredible job with that program, creating 11 teams for the 2021 season. It's obvious the players and parents in that area respect our program and want to be a part of what we do," stated Jeremy. "The entire state of Louisiana has players that are second-to-none, and what we do as a program is to take care of guys first and do what we came to achieve their dreams on and off the ball field." Jeremy's vision for the youth program is to teach the fundamentals. He wants to create an avenue for young players to grow as a baseball player and young man to improve their chances of making their high school team. "As a former high school coach, it was amazing to see how much an incoming freshman had to learn. Every goal for a youth player should be to make their high school program, so for our youth program, we strive to teach them the game and provide them success when that opportunity comes."
After a successful 2020 travel baseball season, Team Louisiana is excited for what 2021 will bring. Continuing to care for and help players within their organization is their primary goal, and Team Louisiana knows by doing this, success will follow. 2Dsports is excited to cover Team Louisiana both on the youth and high school level. Follow 2Dsports and Team Louisiana on all social media platforms to stay up to date on player highlights, baseball news, and more!