Talent rampant at local university
Cajuns outfielder Jam Williams joins football team
Ragin’ Cajun baseball player Jam Williams became a two-sport athlete by officially joining the Ragin’ Cajuns football team in mid-June.
On the baseball diamond, the 6-foot-3 outfielder is known for his speed, which is essential to play defensive back for a division I college football program. Head football coach Mark Hudspeth said he was excited about having Williams join the football team.
“We had recruited Jam out of high school and had always thought he was an extraordinary athlete,” Hudspeth said. “It’s great that our coaching staff at UL works so well together. We all want to do whatever it takes to help our university be successful.”
Williams, a senior, has played in 71 games for the Cajuns and went 3-for-15 (.200) at-bat in 2017 with seven runs scored and three stolen bases. He joined Elijah McGuire and Jeryl Brazil as the Cajuns’ most recent two-sport athletes.
Four Cajuns selected in MLB Draft
Four Ragin’ Cajuns baseball players were selected on the final day of the 2017 MLB Draft: Steven Sensley, Wyatt Marks, Evan Guillory and Gunner Leger.
Sensley started 53 of the Cajuns 57 games in 2017 and posted a .314 batting average and scored 41 runs and 46 RBIs. In his two seasons with the Cajuns, Sensley has hit 17 home runs. He was drafted in the 12th round by the New York Yankees.
One round later, pitcher Wyatt Marks was selected by the Oakland Athletics. Marks pitched in 59 innings and garnered a 2.28 ERA with the Cajuns.
In the 23rd round, pitcher Evan Guillory was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals. Guillory pitched in 63 innings with a 3.57 ERA.
Gunner Leger was the final Cajun selected in the 26th round by the Miami Marlins. Leger was named the Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year in 2017 and had a 1.97 ERA in 91 innings pitched.
One of the Cajuns’ signees, shortstop Hayden Cantrelle from Teurlings Catholic High School, was also selected in the 40th round by the New York Yankees.
Two Cajuns nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year award
Two Ragin’ Cajun athletes were nominated for the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award for distinguishing themselves throughout their collegiate and academic career.
Softball senior outfielder Haley Hayden and soccer senior midfielder Yazmin Montoya were among the 543 graduating female college athletes nominated for the award.
From here, Hayden and Montoya will be considered to be one of up to two conference nominees by the Sun Belt Conference. Ten players will then be selected to represent division I sports, 10 from division II and 10 from division III.
A selection committee will determine the top three nominees from each division and announce the nine finalists in September and lastly, the 2017 NCAA Woman of the year will be chosen from those nine.
During the 2017 softball season, Hayden became the Cajuns all-time runs scored leader, having finished with 251 runs. In 2017 she posted her career-best .382 batting average, making her career batting average .365. Hayden graduated in May in kinesiology, exercise science, and has been accepted to Palmer College chiropractic school in Florida.
Montoya was selected to be UL’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year and graduated in kinesiology, exercise science, in December 2016. Montoya was a four-year letterwinner and captain of the soccer team for three years. She finished her career as the Cajuns’ all-time leader in goals with 26, assists with 15, points with 67, shots with 227 and shots on goal with 98.
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McGuire rushed for 4301 yards and 42 touchdowns and caught 130 passes for 1394 yards and 10 touchdowns as a four-year starter for the Ragin’ Cajuns.