(The Daily Review/Mico Aloisio)
Hebert named Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year
Morgan City High School standout senior softball pitcher Kennedy Hebert was excited when she was nominated for the Gatorade Louisiana Softball Player of the Year Award this year.
She was honored to be named a finalist.
After anxiously waiting Sunday, assuming she would get a phone call if she won the award since the winner would be publicly announced Monday, Hebert got her answer a day later.
In addition to the many honors she has earned in her prep softball career, Hebert now joins an elite group of Louisiana softball players as the 2018 Gatorade Louisiana Softball Player of the Year.
“Whenever we found out today, he was running through the hall,” Hebert laughed, describing her father, Joe. “So excited. It’s awesome.”
Hebert, a Nicholls State signee, is the first Gatorade softball player award winner from Morgan City High School.
The award recognizes athletic, academic and character on and off the field.
As a state winner, Hebert is a finalist for the Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award, which will be announced this month.
On the field, the 5-foot, 8-inch right-handed pitcher had a 25-5 record with a 1.34 ERA with 274 strikeouts in 188 innings this season. She led the Lady Tigers (25-5) to the Class 4A state championship game.
Offensively, Hebert had a .591 batting average with 16 doubles, seven triples, six home runs, 37 runs and 58 RBIs. She stole 17 bases and compiled a .649 on-base percentage and a 1.086 slugging percentage.
A three-time District MVP, Hebert had a career .525 batting average with 44 doubles, 29 triples, 20 home runs and 169 RBIs. She scored 142 runs and struck out just 36 times in 360 at bats. She also stole 55 bases and had a .578 on-base percentage.
On the mound, she finished her career with a 65-16 mark with 20 shut outs, five no-hitters and one perfect game. She surrendered just 168 runs (77 earned) and struck out 750.
Off the field, Hebert has volunteered locally as part of multiple fundraising campaigns to benefit cancer research, and she has donated her time as a peer tutor in addition to serving as a youth softball and volleyball coach.
Hebert has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Hebert said there are numerous Louisiana softball players from this year’s senior class who were deserving of this honor.
“There’s so many good athletes that it’s such an honor to be …. named this,” she said.
Her high school softball coach, Tamara Keller, said it was in gathering her packet for submission for the award, it truly showed what kind of career she had.
“I think what makes her even more special is my ability to watch her grow from her freshman year to her senior year and see her blossom into not only a great athlete but a wonderful young lady,” Keller said. “She carries herself so well. With all these accolades and accomplishments, you would never know (it because) she is incredibly humble and incredibly thankful, and she speaks to everyone when asked to.
“She is 100 percent polite,” Keller added. “I’ve never heard a coach say a bad thing about her. In fact, almost all of them compliment on how gracious she is and how great of a kid she is.”
Hebert joins recent Gatorade Louisiana Softball Players of the Year Emma Callie (EC) Delafield (2016-17, North DeSoto High School), Jensen Howell (2015-16, Holy Savior Menard Central High School), Kara Gremillion (2014-15, St. Amant High School), Katie Brignac (2013-14, John Curtis Christian School), Baylee Corbello (2012-13 & 2011-12, Sam Houston High School), Sara Corbello (2010-11, Barbe High School), Meghan Patterson (2009-10 & 2008-09, Mount Carmel Academy), Kelee Grimes (2007–08, Pineville High School), and Ashley Brignac (2006-07, John Curtis Christian School) among the state’s list of former award winners.
As a Gatorade Player of the Year, Hebert will be able to select a national or local youth sports organization to receive a grant as part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program. Every Gatorade Player of the Year state winner receives a $1,000 grant to donate and can enter for an additional $10,000 spotlight grant by writing a brief essay explaining why their selected organization deserves additional support. Twelve spotlight grants – one for each sport – will be announced throughout the year.