Prep Baseball Report

2024 Team Preview: Catholic BR High School

Alex Armand
Louisiana Scouting Director

The 2024 high school baseball season is quickly approaching and as usual, excitement abounds throughout the state.  Players and coaches have been working in preparation for the upcoming season and, as is the case each year, there are some very talented players and teams across Louisiana.

Teams across the state have goals and aspirations to finish their seasons in Sulphur, LA, home of the LHSAA State Championships, but there is plenty of work to be done before that becomes reality.  We hope to familiarize our readers with many of the teams across the state as we preview individual teams across Louisiana.  We will take you right up to first pitch this season with these team previews, followed by our Power 25 Rankings release, and our popular Game of the Week segment. 

Please keep checking back throughout the season as we will be your one-stop shop for everything related to high school baseball across the bayou state.  Each week, we will be releasing our players of the week, updating our Power 25 Rankings, and many more pieces of content.  

*Please note that all information is based on team preview questionnaires that were sent out and returned by the participating high school coaches.


High School Name: Catholic (BR)

Head Coach: Brad Bass

Classification: Class 5A (Select D-I)

District: 4-5A

2023 Record: 36-3

2023 Playoff Finish: State Semifinalist

No. of Returning Positional Starters: 4

No. of Returning Pitchers: 7

Team Strengths: Experience and Front-Line Pitching

Top Returning Players: 2024 RHP William Schmidt (LSU signee), 2024 3B/RHP Trip Dobson (Houston signee), 2024 OF Brooks Wright (UL-Lafayette signee), 2025 SS Jack Ruckert (LSU commit), 2025 C/UTIL Andrew Clapinski, 2025 OF Noah Lewis (UL-Lafayette commit)

Top 2024 Prospects: 2024 RHP William Schmidt (LSU signee), 2024 3B/RHP Trip Dobson (Houston signee), 2024 OF Brooks Wright (UL-Lafayette signee), 2024 OF/LHP Wyatt Chenevert (Nicholls State signee), 2024 RHP Grant Breaux (LSU signee), 2024 RHP Ryder Loup (Loyola-New Orleans commit)

Top 2025 & 2026 Prospects: 2025 SS Jack Ruckert (LSU commit), 2025 OF Noah Lewis (UL-Lafayette commit), 2025 C/UTIL Andrew Clapinski, 2025 C/INF Edward Henriquez, 2025 OF/RHP Davis Emonet, 2025 OF Chase Harris, 2025 RHP Bennett Smith, 2026 RHP/INF Mills Richardson, 2026 LHP Lucas Lawrence, 2026 INF Turner Goldsmith

Team Outlook

Our staff was awfully bullish on the 2023 Bears, and for the most part, the team delivered on the high expectations that us and many others set forth for them, as they finished last spring with a 36-3 overall record.   The only goal that Catholic did not accomplish, was holidng up the state championship trophy for a second consecutive year, as the Bears were knocked out of the playoffs in the semifinal round by Rummel.  Head Coach Brad Bass and company will have to replace several key starters, both in their everday lineup and in their pitching staff, but the good news for the Bears is that they have a plethora of talent to do just that.  Catholic has become known as "Pitcher U" in the state of Louisiana, as they've produced high-level arms seemingly every season, with players like current MLB All-Star Aaron Nola.  This year's Bears team is once again loaded on the mound and they return the ace of their staff in senior RHP William Schmidt.  The LSU signee is the top ranked senior in the state and is one of the top prep draft prospects in the country.  Schmidt's repetoire includes a mid-90's FB that plays best up in the zone, but the real separator is his devastating "12-6" shaped 78-82 mph CB, that has been dubbed by many as the best prep secondary offering in the nation.  Catholic Pitching Coach Tyler Naquin has plenty of options at his disposal to round out the rest of the Bears staff.  2024 RHP Ryder Loup has been a steady riser over the last 12 months and for good reason.  The Loyola-New Orleans recruit has a mid-upper 80's FB that pairs well with a sharp, top to bottom CB, that he can land for strikes and swing & miss.  Senior RHP Grant Breaux is another LSU recruit who should see time on the mound for the Bears, and he also owns a good FB that can reach 90-91 mph.  Senior RHP Trip Dobson has been used primarily out of the bullpen so far during his high school career, but he may be relied upon as a starter this year.  The Houston signee has one of the best two-seam FB's in the state, to go along with a sweeping SL that is a true out-pitch.  Nicholls State recruit, Wyatt Chenevert, is a senior southpaw that will also see valuable time on the mound this spring.  The rest of the staff will be made up of a combination of guys such as Juniors Andrew Clapinski, Bennett Smith, Davis Emonet, Mitchell Davis, Jake Tompkins, Cohen Leblanc, and Jack Ruckert.  There's also a trio of sophomores to keep an eye on in Mills Richardson, Lucas Lawrence, and Kenneth Russell.  Richardson was terrific at our State Games event this past fall, particularly against left-handed hitters, with his late-fading CH that plays well off of his 81-84 mph FB.  Offensively, the Bears will have to fill some holes from last season, with the biggest being the void left behind the plate by three-year starter Clayton Pourciau, who is now at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.  Coach Bass feels confident in junior Andrew Clapinski and senior Grant Oubre, who will both likely see time behind the plate this spring.  The Bears also return the left side of their infield with Dobson and Ruckert, giving Catholic one of the best SS/3B duo's in the state.  Senior Andrew Hodges is a physical right-handed hitter who will likely play first base.  The second base position is still open and is being battled out by juniors Carter Guillory and Edward Henriquez, as well as sophomore Mills Richardson.  In the outfield, the Bears will have their own version of a "no fly zone" with two returning starters from last year in senior Brooks Wright (UL-Lafayette) and junior Noah Lewis (UL-Lafayette), who are both sub 6.50 runners.  The third outfield spot will likely be occupied by Chenevert with juniors Chase Harris and Davis Emonet factoring into the mix as well.  Catholic High's 2024 schedule is an absolute gauntlet, as the Bears have scheduled three-game sets with West Monroe and Live Oak, on top of out-of-state tournament trips to Alabama and Florida, to face off against some of the best teams in the country.  The Bears will definitely be battled tested this spring, and that is a challenge that Coach Bass and the staff are excited about for this year's team.  Once playoff time comes, we fully expect Catholic to be hitting on all cylinders and motivated to avenge their semifinal upset of a year ago.  



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