Notre Dame's Goss to play for Team Louisiana
CROWLEY – Notre Dame linebacker Connor Goss began the week in August football camp with his Pios teammates, doing what football players do in preseason drills at this time of year- going over various schemes and getting in conditioning work for the upcoming season.
This weekend, however, the two-sport athlete will do a major shift in gears when he heads back to the baseball diamond, where he was a Class AAA All-State performer last spring, and play for the 18-and-under Team Louisiana in the National Team Identification Series Event at New Iberia’s Acadian Ballpark.
The event, which is hosted by Team USA Baseball in coordination with the Global Scouting Bureau and Nation’s Baseball, pits the top talent from Louisiana against a squad from South Texas in a two-game series Saturday and Sunday.
“This is truly an honor to be selected to play in these games,” said Goss. “When I got the call, I was actually kind of shocked. I really didn’t expect this at all. But I am excited about the opportunity.”
Goss, who has been a starter for the Pioneers’ baseball team since he was a freshman in 2009, had a breakout year as a sophomore, hitting .449 with 46 RBI while helping lead his squad to the Class AAA state championship. In the final two games of the season that year, Goss went 6-for-6 with one home run and eight RBI.
He followed up that performance last spring with a .391 average. He also had a .652 slugging percentage to go along with 40 RBI, 12 doubles, three triples and four home runs.
“I think they tried to get the better players from the surrounding areas and I think it is a good thing for him to get picked,” said Notre Dame baseball coach Timmy Robichaux. “He is definitely one of the better players and is well deserving of this honor.”
Goss was a designated hitter as a freshman at ND, and since then has been the regular starting third baseman for the Pios.
“You know, Connor was a hitter first and he’s come along as a third baseman and really contributed defensively,” said Robichaux. “He has become more rounded on the hitting and defensive side.
“He’s been a very good, productive player for us and a good player to coach.”
One difference for Goss, as well as all the players from both squads, will be the fact that the two games will be played with wooden bats instead of the traditional aluminum bats.
“I don’t think it will be a problem,” said Goss of the change in bats. “I’ve been swinging a wooden a lot lately to prepare for this; a lot more than I normally would.”
Goss will be joined on Team Louisiana by Class 5A All-State selection Troy Lewis of Byrd as well as Class AAA All-Staters Brennan Bozeman and Russell Reynolds of Parkview Baptist and Brandon Armand of Livonia.
Also on the team are Ryan Leone, and AA All-State honorable mention from Calvary Baptist, Fielding Matkins and Peyton Attaway of Captain Shreve, Evan Hebert of Catholic High of New Iberia, Harrison Spruiel of Byrd, Ben LeBlanc of Jewel Sumner, Zach Dugas of Mandeville, Hez Randolph of Parkview, Kolby Copeland of Parkway, Adam Cagnina and John Thomas Mauldin of St. Michael, Handsome Monica of St. Paul, Andrew Stevenson of St. Thomas More and Justin Williams of Terrebone.
The South Texas roster wasn’t available as of press time.
The weekend series will consist of four games (two on Saturday and two on Sunday).
Saturday’s action begins with a 16-and-under game between Louisiana and South Texas at 4 p.m. The two 18-and-under teams will take the field at 7 p.m.
The youngsters will take the field at 1 p.m. Sunday with the older group to follow at 4.
Independent talent evaluators will be on hand to select players for the national Team USA NTIS tournament in North Carolina that will be played in September.
Tickets for this weekend’s event are just $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 12 and under.
You can find out more information online at www.gsbsports.com, including a live broadcast of the weekend’s events.