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Athletic programs on the lookout for future student-athletes

By Nikhilesh Chhetri
On December 13, 2017

The coaches of athletic programs at the university are busy this time of year trying to add prospective students into the university’s athletic program.  

The early signing period has been the most fruitful to the softball team with nine new players added to their team. There are eight freshmen and one junior in the 2019 softball signing class. Outfielder Caroline Manzer from Alexandria, Louisiana, middle infielder Hannah Blackford from Des Moines, Iowa, utility player Amberlyn Alfano from Covington, Louisiana, infielder/pitcher Briahna Bennett from Alexandria, Louisiana, middle infielder Adriana Chavez from Vacaville, California, pitcher Sophie Hannabas from Mansfield, Texas, pitcher/utility player Karlee Kraft from Ponchatoula, Louisiana and middle infielder Lindsey Rizzo from Watson, Louisiana are the eight freshman to-be, and outfielder Emily Henderson from Stonewall, Louisiana is the transfer student who will be in LSU Eunice for her sophomore year in 2018. 

Manzer and Blackford will be reunited with their older sisters, freshman catcher Ella Manzer and freshman catcher/outfielder Madisen Blackford respectively. 

Caroline Manzer explained how she came to the university’s attention and noted her plans for her upcoming season.

“I was discovered by university coaches by playing with an organization out of Baton Rouge, which helped get coaches to watch me,” said Caroline Manzer. “My goals for this upcoming season are to have an even higher batting average than last year and to play a big role for the team. I plan to help the team by being a leader on and off the field and executing whatever my coach needs me to do.”

The Lady Lion basketball team also had a noticeable shopping window earlier last month with the addition of a 5’6” wing guard Kania Lasker-Rouse from Little Rock, Arkansas and 5’4” point guard Jada Marone from Cleveland, Ohio.

“Both Kania and Jada fit the mold of the type of student-athlete we want to add to our program,” said Head women’s basketball Coach Ayla Guzzardo in a press release. “With our first class, we were focused more on solidifying our post. We felt we needed to add some athleticism to our backcourt, and we were able to do that with these two signings. We were able to broaden our recruiting base by adding two talented young women from out-of-state.”

Marone explained how she was scouted for the Lady Lions team. 

“Actually I had a tournament, the Runs 4 Roses tournament in Kentucky, and Coach Kenneth Lee and Coach Butler were there, and they watched me play,” said Marone. “And they told coach Ayla about me. I talked to coach Ayla on the phone before even watching me play. She offered me a full scholarship, and I am very grateful and thankful for it. She then came to every single game from my next tournament.”

Guzzardo also commented on Marone’s signing in the press release.

“Jada comes to us as a great high school player and is a 5’4” point guard who plays like she’s 6’0,” said Guzzardo. “She’s going to be a playmaker for us with her scoring and passing ability. Like Kania, she’s a consistent outside shooter. Jada’s extremely athletic and plays with a lot of energy on the defensive end. She’s going to be a great addition to our program, and we’re excited to have her as a Lady Lion for the next four years.”

She explained how she wanted to contribute to the Lady Lion’s game.

“Just being the program changer,” said Marone. “I wanna really help with the little things, and I know the new coaching staff is working in improving the program. And I know I just kind of want to contribute to that as well.”

Marone shared her plans for the upcoming season. 

“This season, I want to be first team in the conference and first team in the district and first team of state,” said Marone. “I actually wanna get the all-time leading scorer, and I also wanna win the state championship with my team.”

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