2010 SWLA HS Hall of Fame class

By Tom Annino - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - It's a tough group to get into.

Five local high school athletes will be inducted into the SWLA High School Sports Hall of Fame this summer.

Jenna Diakos from South Beauregard High School, Shelby Willis and Ross Rowland from South Cameron High School, along with Quiana Griffin and Garin Cecchini from Barbe High School have all made it in.

The induction ceremony will be held on June 24th at Reeve's Uptown Catering.

Here is the complete press release from the United Way:


SWLA High School Sports Hall

Of Fame Inductees Announced

Lake Charles, LA – Five area students have been named as inductees to the Southwest Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame. They are: Garin Cecchini and Quiana Griffin, Barbe High School; Shelby Willis and Ross Rowland, South Cameron High School; and Jenna Diakos, South Beauregard High School. The students will be honored at the Hall of Fame banquet, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 24, at Reeve's Uptown Catering. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased at the United Way offices.

Nomination forms were sent to all high schools in Southwest Louisiana. To qualify for the honor, students must have at least a 2.5 grade point average and be a high school senior athlete. These five students distinguished themselves in various sports, including baseball, football, basketball, softball, track, volleyball, and cheerleading. Some of them played multiple sports.

Cecchini was a baseball standout with the second-highest batting average for a freshman varsity starter in Barbe High School's history. He broke several records at the school for runs scored, hits for a freshman varsity starter, and RBI's, all records previously held by player Austin Nagle. He was named Scholar Athlete of the Year and was a former team captain. On Barbe's all-time career list, he ranks first in stolen bases with 144; second in runs scored with 180; and second in hits, with 174. He carried a 4.0 GPA. Cecchini has signed a baseball scholarship to LSU.

Griffin excelled in the sports of track & field, and volleyball. She was chosen as Athlete of the Year for each year of her high school career. She was awarded the MVP Award at several track meets during the 2009-10 season, including LaGrange High School, St. Louis High School, Sam Houston High School, and the district and regional track meets. In volleyball, she was All-District for each year of high school. In track, she was the indoor 5A state champion in the 400 meters, 2008-09 season; indoor 5A state champion in the 4x200 relay and in the 4x400 relay, 2007-08 season. She also won multiple awards for outdoor track. Griffin carried a 3.5 GPA.

Willis distinguished herself in the sports of softball, basketball, track, and cheerleading throughout her four years at South Cameron High School. When her school's track and softball fields were destroyed by two hurricanes, she traveled to other school facilities to participate in events or competitions. She was named to All-District several years and in several sports, including basketball, track, and softball. In track, she placed in many meets all four years and throughout the district. Her senior year, she was named among the Southwest Louisiana basketball scoring leaders throughout district games with 159 points. She was also named an NCA All-American cheerleader and was homecoming queen her senior year. Willis maintained a 3.4 GPA.

Rowland was a standout in football, basketball, baseball, and track during his high school years at South Cameron High School and was captain as well as quarterback for his football team. After the school's field and courts were destroyed by two hurricanes, he traveled each day to practice at another school. He was named to All-District in football and basketball his senior year. In basketball, he was named the 5-1A-District leading scorer his senior year by scoring 170 points. He will be a member of the McNeese State University Cowboy baseball team for the fall of 2010. Rowland carried a 3.9 GPA.

Diakos distinguished herself in the sports of varsity girls' basketball, cross country, and track. She was a four-time individual district cross country champion and state qualifier. In basketball, among small schools, she was named the "Most Valuable Player." She led the South Beauregard Lady K's to the LHSAA Ladies Top 28 for the past two years. She accepted a basketball scholarship to LSU-Shreveport where she plans to pursue a degree in physical therapy. Diakos maintained a 4.0 GPA.

A program of the United Way of Southwest Louisiana, the SWLA High School Sports Hall of Fame was formed to recognize Southwest Louisiana high school seniors who have distinguished themselves in the field of athletics either by virtue of their accomplishments on athletic teams or by meritorious effort on behalf of athletics.

The program is guided by a committee with longtime ties to the sporting community and representing a cross section of the area. Shady Patton is chairman of the SWLA High School Sports Hall of Fame Inc. The selection committee for this year's Hall of Fame was: Ron Hayes, chair; Tom Annino, Dentrick Chretien, Glenn Duhon, Morris LeBleu, Tommy McClelland, George McInnis, Brad Puckett, Bruce Rigney, Lilly Vincent, Ralph Wright, and Joe Hill.

For more information, please contact Ayanna Dixon of United Way, at (337) 433-1088.

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