What you need to know about the American Legion baseball teams in District 7

Phil Kaplan
Opelousas Daily World
The American Legion Baseball season begins Tuesday night in Opelousas as the Indians play the Warriors at Westminster Christian Academy. From left, St. Landry Bank will be coached by Jack Brown and Jessie Roy, while Iggy Castille State Farm Insurance will have John Guilbeaux as coach.

The District 7 American Legion baseball season begins with a three-parish arrangement of teams who have participated in the annual state tournament for the last four seasons.

District commissioner Ken Thibodeaux has again secured Westminster Christian Academy as the home field for the St. Landry Bank Indians and Iggy Castille State Farm Insurance Warriors, based in Opelousas.

Regular season games begin Tuesday at 7 p.m. with the Warriors and Indians at WCA.

The new team this season is the Lafayette Drillers, comprised of players from several of the city’s high school teams. The Drillers are scheduled to play home games at Lafayette Christian Academy.

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Once again the district includes the Crowley Millers, who like the Indians have participated in the state tournament since 2018.

Lafayette and Crowley also play Tuesday in another season opener.

Although the four district legion teams are scheduled to play primarily on Tuesday and Thursday nights, the clubs are free to play in weekend tournaments statewide.

St. Landry Bank Indians

The Indians might have the state’s youngest American Legion coaching staff.

Coach Jack Brown is 22, while assistant Jessie Roy, 19,  played for the Indians the past three seasons under Matt Standiford, who is coaching the Drillers.

Last year the Indians had perhaps the most experience of any District 7 team, but this season, SLB is quite a bit younger, according to Roy.

“You are going to see a lot of new faces on this team, but the players that we are going to have on the roster are pretty talented. Looking at us at this point, we have a number of good pitchers and our overall depth is good. We are going to be all right,” Roy said.

The roster includes players from Opelousas Catholic, Westminster and Eunice High.

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Iggy Castille State Farm Warriors

John Guilbeaux is coaching the Warriors for a third straight year.

Guilbeaux took over the Warriors which had been dormant for several years and since 2019 has attempted to revive the program which started Opelousas American Legion baseball following World War II.

Guilbeaux likes the Warriors’ experience, especially the pitching staff.

“A lot of our players will have three years of legion experience now and we feel pretty good about where we are,” Guilbeaux said.

The Warriors have no field in Opelousas to practice, so Guilbeaux said that he and many of his players have traveled to Northside High in Lafayette in order to prepare for the season.

“It’s been kind of tough to practice and it’s ashamed when your hometown doesn’t have a field where your players can work out,” Guilbeaux said.

Opelousas High, Beau Chene, Lafayette Christian and New Iberia will serve as the base schools for the Warriors.

Blaine Arceneaux and Greg Jacobs are Guilbeaux’s assistant coaches.

Crowley Millers

Chris Quebedeaux returns for a sixth season as the Millers’ coach.

Crowley, Quebedeaux said, will have a mixture of youth which is supported by several starters who played a first season of college baseball in 2021.

“It’s hard to tell right now exactly what type of team we have. We’ve played one game and we hit well. We are just waiting for all of our players to come back from college and finish their high school responsibilities,” Quebedeaux said.

The Millers will include players from Jennings, Crowley High, Notre Dame-Crowley, Rayne and Lake Arthur, said Quebedeaux, who is assisted by Jude Reiners.

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Lafayette Drillers

Standiford admits that he has a lot of talent, since the Drillers will include players from five high schools that are normally state baseball championship contenders.

“We have a good mixture of kids. Right now there is no one on the team that is college age, but otherwise I think we should have a good offense in addition to maybe three pitchers who are excellent,” said Standiford.

This is the first time since 2016 that Lafayette has ventured into the American Legion baseball program.

“The city (Lafayette) has a lot of baseball talent and getting back into legion gives Lafayette a chance to showcase what it has,” added Standiford.

Lafayette will draw from St. Thomas More, Acadiana High, Southside-Lafayette, Carencro and Lafayette High. The Drillers play their home legion games at Lafayette Christian.