St. Augustine standouts McGill, Edwards, Jolla sign college scholarships for baseball, track
When the topic of student-athletes of St. Augustine High School signing college scholarships, the conversation always surrounds football or basketball.
As Bob Dylan once sang, “The times, they are a changin’.”
An annual doormat in the powerful Catholic League, the Purple Knights established themselves on the baseball diamond in 2018 as a force to be reckoned with, scoring district victories over Jesuit, Shaw and Rummel and beating the Raiders in the Division I state playoffs to reach the quarterfinals as St. Aug won its first-ever postseason baseball game and the Purple Knights finished 21-17 overall.
The future is bright, with nine sophomores and three promising freshmen returning for the 2019 season.
A pair of players who helped establish a solid foundation received their just reward Thursday, officially signing baseball scholarships.
Dwayne McGill and Kedrick Edwards are heading to Tyler to play for Texas College.
McGill was a versatile star for the Purple Knights as a catcher, first baseman, third baseman and pitcher for head coach Al Robinson. He batted .380 with seven doubles, one home run and 33 RBI this past season. On the mound, McGill was 3-3 with a 5.20 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 43 innings pitched.
“It’s been a great pleasure building stuff, starting out as a freshman and losing every game, coming out and working hard every day,” McGill said.
The Purple Knights ousted traditional baseball power and District 9-5A rival Archbishop Rummel in three games in the regional round of the playoffs, including a shocking 21-1 demolition in game one of the series.
“It felt great,” McGill said. “We always used to lose to them. They used to beat us by a lot of runs. To come out and beat them by a lot of runs felt pretty amazing.”
A pitcher, Edwards posted a 4-2 mark with a 3.30 ERA. In 46 and two-thirds innings, he allowed 38 hits, walked 28 and struck out 43 batters.
“It was amazing,” Edwards said. “As we built from our freshman year to our senior year, we were just trying to get the job done.”
How did Edwards and McGill end up at Texas College?
“My coach made a few calls and they wanted us to come on a visit,” Edwards said. “We just went there and me and Dwayne talked about it, we slept on it and we liked it.”
McGill is happy to be heading to Texas with a friend and teammate.
“It just felt like home,” McGill said. “I always wanted to play at the next level.”
Perseverance and belief was key to the St. Augustine success.
“We were always the underdog in baseball,” Edwards said. “Nobody ever really believed in us but we believed in ourselves. We just got it done.”
Edwards feels great things are in store for St. Augustine baseball.
“We’re coming up,” Edwards said. “It’s going to be a great program next year. We’ve got a lot of returning players. They’re going to be good.”
St. Augustine head coach Al Robinson is thrilled for both McGill and Edwards.
“Dwayne is dedicated and has always left it on the field for us,” Robinson said. “Kedrick has stayed true to the process and it has paid off for him. Both guys have been good for our program and have been good for our young guys.”
Also signing a scholarship was track star Trent Jolla, who officially inked with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
A two-sport star, Jolla was an excellent defensive back for the Purple Knights in football. On the track, he finished second in the state in the 100-meter dash in Class 5A in a time of 10.73. In the 200 meters, Jolla had a best time of 21.83 in 2018.
“I was hoping to stay close to home so my family could come and watch me,” Jolla said. “The facilities are good and it’s like family there.
While Jolla has run the 55, 60, 100, 200 and 400-meter runs, he is open to anything in Lafayette.
“I will do everything, I’m going to do everything that they tell me to do,” Jolla said. If they say they want me to run the 400, I’ll run the 400, the hurdles, I’ll do hurdles, too!”
Jolla says he feels equally good about running the 100, 200 and 400-meter events. He is forever gratefully for his experience at St. Aug.
“Words can’t really describe what they’ve done for me, but I’ll be able to come back, huge these people and they will be my family forever,” Jolla said.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…