SWLA Baseball Players Return to Lake Charles with LSU

Published: Nov. 10, 2023 at 11:31 AM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Lake Charles, and Southwest Louisiana as a whole, has become somewhat of a breeding ground for baseball at all levels, so much so that five players from Southwest Louisiana now wear the purple and gold for the reigning National Champion LSU baseball team, and this past week they returned to Lake Charles with the Tigers for a fall exhibition game against McNeese.

Gavin Guidry of Barbe, Jake Brown of Sulphur, Ethan Frey of Rosepine, Dylan Thompson of Sam Houston, and Griffin Cooley of Kinder now represent Southwest Louisiana with the Tigers in Baton Rouge, and their trip back to Lake Charles was special.

“It’s awesome, I’ve been dreaming of playing in the purple and gold my whole life and then now that I’m here, my family is here to watch, and you know, Lake Charles has always had a good fan base for baseball, so it’s nice to be back home, see some guys that I know play against some guys that I know but also be repping the purple and gold, it’s amazing,” said former Sulphur Golden Tor Jake Brown.

“It’s amazing, I mean you can ask my parents, I go home every chance I get, I love being back in Rosepine and that’s really kind of my crowd, you know, and I’ve just seen a bunch of the familiar faces here including my parents. To come right back and this time I’m in a college uniform, it just feels like home again, and it feels like playing baseball as a kid, which I enjoy,” said former Rosepine Eagle Ethan Frey.

“It feels good to be home, I got to go home last night, and eat dinner with my parents which is always nice, and watched the Alabama vs. LSU game at my house, so it’s nice to be home, and it just feels like the old days, so it was definitely really nice,” said former Barbe Buccaneer Gavin Guidry.

“It’s awesome, I never really knew how big this community is with baseball until now, but now I can really see it, and it’s such a blessing to have everybody come out here to watch us, and support us, it’s a blessing,” said former Sam Houston Bronco Dylan Thompson.

“It’s really awesome, this whole area, and especially the baseball community is so tight, and I’m truly blessed to be a part of it,” said former Kinder Yellow Jacket Griffin Cooley.

Former Southwest Louisiana players make up more than 10% of the current LSU baseball roster, and for them, it’s special to be able to call their former high school rivals teammates with the purple and gold.

“It’s a blast, just from going from competing at lower levels against them, and now all having reached our goals and being able to just play with each other on the same team is pretty awesome,” said Cooley.

“It’s really, really special, to have all my friends especially growing up, I’ve known pretty much every single one of these guys that’s from around this area, so playing against them my whole life now changed to us being on the same team and competing against other people, it really is just a blessing,” said Thompson.

“It’s been really good, I competed against a lot of these guys in high school, so it’s been fun to wear the same colors and kind of go to competition with them on my side. They’re all a bunch of good players so it’s a lot of fun to go to work with them every day to help us win games,” said Guidry.

“It’s awesome because at Sulphur you grow up playing against Sam Houston, you grow up playing against Barbe, against Kinder, and these guys were enemies, I played summer ball with some of them but I never really got close to them, and now that I’m here it’s awesome,” said Brown.

“I competed against every single one of them growing up, playing summer ball and high school ball, and now just to see them in my locker room is really cool, and it just shows you how one area can be really loaded with talent. We still might not see each other as much as we’d like, but it’s awesome to have so many guys from the same region in the same locker room, I really enjoy it” said Frey.