Cabrera Earns Athlete of the Month Recognition park
Daniel Cabrera, the sophomore ace of the John Curtis baseball staff, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for May. The monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Award Selection Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Cabrera turned in a sensational state-tournament performance as he led the Patriots to the Louisiana Class 3A State Championship – the first state title in eight years for the Patriots and the first for a New Orleans school since 2011. In five playoff games, all in the month of May, the sophomore posted a 4-0 record while adding a save in the only game he didn't start (in the state semifinals). He pitched 25 innings, striking out 41 batters while walking just one. He was also a star with the bat, compiling a .643 average (9-for-14), including a perfect 5-for-5 in the final two games (3-for-3 in semifinals and 2-for-2 in the title game).
In the quarterfinals, he tossed a much-needed no-hitter in a 1-0 victory over North Vermilion. His solo home run in the third inning of the state championship game made the score 3-2 and proved to be the game-winner in the eventual 4-2 victory over Parkview Baptist. To round out his performance, in his only game not starting on the mound (in the semifinals), he threw a runner out at third from right field to complete an inning-ending double play to keep the score tied 1-1 (the Patriots went on to win that game 3-2 as Cabrera came on in relief in the final inning, ending a one-out, bases-loaded jam by striking out a batter on a suicide squeeze attempt leading to a double play).
Needless to say, he was the MVP of the state championship; when he was announced as the MVP, he insisted that his teammate, Dorian Rodrigue, join him in accepting the honor – Rodrigue was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma in mid-season and became the team's inspiration for the season.
John Curtis finished the year 26-3 overall, closing the season with a 17-game winning streak. Cabrera finished the season with a .579 batting average and a 1.43 ERA, including 60 strikeouts in 39 innings of work.
Cabrera earned the award over another standout baseball player and a pair of track stars.
Delgado's Cody Ducote posted another stellar month for the Dolphins, posting a .387 batting average over seven post-season games to lead Delgado to a second consecutive JUCO World Series appearance. Gabrielle Jennings, from First Baptist Academy, won three titles at the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Class C state meet in Baton Rouge. The junior captured titles in the 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter races, breaking her own state meet records in two of those races. She also ran the anchor leg for the school's winning 4×400 relay squad. Meanwhile, John Curtis' Devyn Keith nearly single-handedly led the Patriots to the Class 3A Outdoor Track state title. The junior repeated as a triple champion, winning the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 while also anchoring the 4×400 relay team, whose third-place finish combined with his win in the 3,200 enabled Curtis to pull away from Franklin to win its sixth straight outdoor title.
The Greater New Orleans Sports Selection Committee has been selecting an Amateur Athlete of the Month each month since 1958. 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. Each of the monthly award winners will be honored in the summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.