Central High’s 4-Time State Champion Baseball Team Inducted into Hall of Fame

Central High’s 4-Time State Champion Baseball Team Inducted into Hall of Fame

by Woody Jenkins

CENTRAL — There aren’t many schools that win four straight State Championships in any sport.  But Central High School won the State Baseball Championship in 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 — a string of remarkable accomplishments.

Two weeks ago, Central High School inducted the entire 1992, 1993, and 1995 teams into the school’s Fall of Hame.  The 1994 team was previously inducted.

For Coach Randy Blanchard, who coached all four championship teams, it was a time to remember these young men.

Blanchard said, “They were winners — whether in the classroom or on the baseball field.  They wouldn’t back down to anyone. These young men never missed practice.  They had a great work ethic. They would work out late to get more cage time.  They loved to compete,” he said.

“They were good people, and you could challenge them.”

“I remember I came to practice and announced to the team that they were now District Champions.  It meant nothing to them.  All they cared about was being the best in the state,” he said.

“After we would win a state title, people would always ask us if we could win again next year.  Then every year, a new group of seniors would step up and answer the challenge.”

Player Corey Artieta agreed.  “When I was a freshman, I looked up to the seniors, and this leadership carried over from year to year.”

Assistant coach Vince Dileo said when the 9th graders came to Central, he could tell they loved the game.  “They grew up playing with each other, and they knew how to work hard.  They made our job easy.”

Artieta said, “Many of us played all three sports.  We were out there before practice and after practice.”

The quality of the athletes benefited all Central High’s athletic teams, including football.  The football team had been 0-10 in 1990 but they developed into winners during the years of the school’s baseball dominance.

Some of the athletes on those team went on to success in college and the pros.

One member of the championship teams — Todd McClure —  played football at LSU and has been the starting center for the Atlanta Falcons for 12 years.

His brother Trey, who played on three of the teams, was a star baseball player for LSU and played professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization.  Artieta played for University of Louisiana at Monroe and the Braves organization.  Brian Weiss played for Mississippi State and the Red Sox organization.

Coach Randy Blanchard coached football and baseball for 20 years, including 10 years at Central High.  He still teaches physical science at the school.

Blanchard said he loves teaching as much as coaching.

Today he is one of the longest serving teachers at Central High School, having served under the East Baton Rouge and now the Central school systems.

“Central High is one of the very best schools in the state for a person to teach.  We have great leadership under Mr. Bob Wales and a great Central school system under Mr. Faulk,” he said.

What worries him?  “The work habits of students.  They need more self discipline.”

What can be done about it?  “That’s the million dollar question!  But I do believe we rely too much on technology.  Today, a company that used to employ 16 now employs four.  You have to be able to compete, if you want to win in life.”

Today the champions of 1992, 1993, 1994, and 1995 remain role models for Central athletes and proof that hard work separates champions from all others.


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