Little League Star Reece Roussel Earns August Athlete of the Month Honor
NEW ORLEANS (September 12, 2019) – Reece Roussel, the star of the Eastbank Little League World Series Champions, has been selected as the Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month for August. Monthly award-winners are chosen in voting by the Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Roussel, who played right field for the Eastbank team, batted .739 in the tournament. He was an other-worldly 17-for-23 at the plate with his 17 hits setting a Little League World Series record. He also recorded another Little League World Series record with seven doubles though he shares the doubles-mark with his Eastbank teammate Marshall Louque. Roussel had multiple hits in all seven games as his team became the first Louisiana team to win the Little League World Series championship.
“Whenever I walk into the batter’s box, I know I’m going to put the bat on the ball. No matter if it’s straight to the third baseman or a line drive in the gap,” Roussel told ESPN following one of his standout performances.
A student at St. Charles Borromeo Elementary School in Destrehan, the 12-year old Roussel is thought to be the youngest winner of the honor, which has been given since 1957. Thirteen-year old Stacey Flanagan, who led the JPRD East biddy basketball team to an international championship and won the honor in April of 1985, had been the youngest on record. NFL standout Leonard Fournette had been the previous youngest since 1985 when he earned the September 2010 honor as a high school freshman. (EDIT: This story was edited to include Flanagan).
Roussel earned the honor over five other exceptional athletes:
- Kayla Black, a star volleyball player for Xavier University, led her team in digs and kills through 12 matches in August, including a school-record 27 kills in a four-set victory vs. Point. She also had a career-high 26 digs in that match.
- Kayla Giardina keyed the Eastbank team’s run to the championship game of the Little League Softball World Series. She was a star on the mound with a 3-0 record, allowing just 13 hits and four earned runs in 27.1 innings of work for a 0.88 ERA. At the plate, she batted .389 (7-for-18) with six RBI and six runs scored in the seven games.
- Stephen Klein, a De La Salle standout who now plays for Delgado, earned MVP honors as the Pedal Valves Cardinals won the American Legion Baseball Southeast Regional in Tampa. He then keyed three Cardinals’ wins in the American Legion World Series before an injury kept him out of their semifinal loss.
- Grant Schulz led the New Orleans Boosters to the franchise’s 16th All-American Amateur Baseball Association national championship in August. Schulz batted .429 with twelve hits while scoring seven runs and driving in 13 with only one strikeout in his 30 plate appearances over the six games of the tournament.
- Michael Vocke, a 13-year old who is starting his first year at Jesuit, registered three personal records at the Junior Olympic National Championships in Greensboro, N.C. He placed second in the 1,500-meter run (4:28), fourth in the 3,000 (9:50) and 12th in the 800 (2:09).
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. Lorio will be the first of the 2019-20 monthly award winners to be honored next summer at the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Allstate Sugar Bowl.