SIBLEY – The Gray family is sending yet another baseball star onto the college ranks.
Lakeside enjoyed an improbable 30-win season and subsequent run to the state championship game in 2017, keyed by the loud bat and leadership skills of their all-state backstop, Jake Gray.
On July 7, Gray took the next step, choosing to continue his playing days at the collegiate level for the LSU-Shreveport Pilots and head coach Brent Lavallee.
“It just came down to, at the end of the day, where I was going to be the happiest,” Gray said Thursday over the phone. “I had a couple of other schools I could have gone to, but LSUS just really made me feel more comfortable, and coach Lavallee always made it feel like home when I was over there visiting. I feel like I made the right decision.”
Gray joins his two brothers, Wesley and Will Gray, as Warriors who have gone on to play at LSUS. Fellow Lakeside alumni Cole Reynolds and Garrett Lambert have also signed and played for the Pilots, establishing what could be considered by some a Warrior-Pilot pipeline.
Gray wrapped up his senior season for Lakeside hitting .454 at the plate. He blasted three home runs and drove in 49 RBIs and crossed home plate 36 times; he struck out just three times on the season.
He showed his pitching prowess as well, compiling a 4-2 record on the bump with one save and a 3.32 ERA.
At the next level, Gray will come in as a catcher/first baseman for the LSUS.
Gray chose the Pilots over a preferred walk-on spot at LSU-Eunice and a scholarship from Bossier Parish Community College.
Gray leaned heavily on the advice of his parents and brother-head coach, Will Gray.
Throughout the process, Gray said he felt like LSU-Shreveport would give him an honest shake, something he credits to the Pilots’ head coach.
“Coach Lavallee said he was going to give me a fair shot,” Gray said. “That’s really all I was looking for. I’ve been going through some of the enrollment stuff, having a bunch of questions, and he’s gotten back to me as fast as he possibly could. I saw that, and that let’s me know anything I need for the next four years, he’s going to be there to help me out.
Gray has not decided on a major just yet, but said he is leaning towards something in the field of engineering.