Dominican’s Kate Baker earns New Orleans Athlete of the Month Honor

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Dominican’s Kate Baker

NEW ORLEANS – Kate Baker, the volleyball star from St. Mary’s Dominican High School, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for November. Monthly award-winners are selected by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Baker capped an outstanding season for Dominican by earning Outstanding Player honors in the LHSAA Division I state championship match on November 13. In the championship match, Baker, a setter, tallied 52 assists and 38 digs as Dominican captured its second straight title. After St. Joseph’s Academy won the opening set of the match, Dominican rallied for two set wins before the Redstickers knotted the match at 2-2 to force a decisive fifth set. Dominican edged SJA 15-13 in the clinching set to finish the year with a 48-2 record. In the semifinals on November 11, Dominican posted a 3-0 win over Southside as Baker tallied 32 assists and three aces. “Never give up,” Baker said after the 21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 21-25, 15-13 victory. “We’re always in it. Don’t turn your back on this team.” Baker, who was the Louisiana Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year for Louisiana last year, has signed with the LSU beach volleyball program for next year.

Baker earned the honor over three other outstanding local athletes.

• Collin Guggenheim, a graduate of John Curtis Christian School, led Nicholls State football to a 2-1 month of November. In three games, the 5-11, 205-pound freshman totaled 532 yards rushing with six touchdowns and a 5.7 yard per carry average. His top performance of the season came in a 45-42 upset win over nationally-ranked rival Southeastern Louisiana in the River Bell Classic (11/18) as he tallied 266 yards rushing and three touchdowns, averaging an impressive 9.2 yards per carry, leading the Colonels to a 45-42 win. He also ran for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-14 win over McNeese State (11/6) and 141 yards and a TD in a 27-23 loss to nationally-ranked Incarnate Word. Guggenheim completed the regular season with 930 rushing yards (6.4 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns. His 103.3 yards per game set the Nicholls State record for a season and paced the Southland Conference. A four-year starter at QB at John Curtis, he was named a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award for the most outstanding freshman in the FCS.

• Montrell Johnson, a graduate of De La Salle High School, was the key running back for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in a perfect 4-0 month which saw them clinch the Sun Belt West Championship and climb into the top 25. In four games, Johnson had 49 carries for 264 yards (5.4 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. On November 4, the 5-11, 210-pound freshman had 17 carries for 98 yards and two scores, including the go-ahead touchdown with 2:32 to go in the Cajuns’ 21-17 victory. He clinched a 35-21 win over Troy (11/13) with a six-yard TD run with 5:15 to go to cap a 67-yard day. The freshman also added a TD run against Liberty.

• Kennedy Wade led the Xavier University women’s volleyball team to the championship of the Red River Athletic Conference Tournament in its first year competing in the league. Wade, who was the MVP of the tournament, produced 14 kills, two aces and 16 digs in the RRAC championship match, a five-set victory at Our Lady of the Lake. In a semifinal victory against Wiley, she hit .389 with a season-high 16 kills in three sets. For the month (four matches) Wade led Xavier with 54 kills, 52 digs and 4 aces. She had three kill-dig double-doubles during the month. On Nov. 11, the sophomore outside hitter was named first-team all-conference. Although this was Xavier’s 11th consecutive conference tournament championship — the previous 10 were in the Gulf Coast Athletic — this was the first time Xavier won the final on an opponent’s floor.

The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1957. The athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region in order to be eligible.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 99 Hall of Fame players, 51 Hall of Fame coaches and 19 Heisman Trophy winners in its 87-year history. The 88th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will feature top teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2022. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards, scholarships and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors thousands of student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade. For more information, visit www.AllstateSugarBowl.org.

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