DENHAM SPRINGS – Cade Doughty estimated that he’s waited longer than three years for the moment to finally arrive.
When the Denham Springs senior shortstop signed his name on scholarship papers to play collegiately for LSU, Doughty was overcome by a flood of emotions dating to his childhood, when he attended games to watch the Tigers play.
“Ever since I’ve grown up, I’ve had an LSU hat,” Doughty said. “It’s been one of those things that’s a given when you’re 15 minutes away from LSU. It wasn’t a hard decision. I didn’t question it for one second.
“It’s a big day for me and my family,” Doughty said. “We’ve been looking forward to this day for a while now. Being committed for long so (since the end of his freshman year), it’s been building up and the excitement of this day. It means a lot that it’s happened here at Denham.”
Considering his ties to the LSU program, you could say it’s in Doughty’s DNA, right down to the purple and gold stripes.
For Wednesday’s signing day at the Grady Hornsby Gym on the campus of Denham Springs, Doughty was neatly attired in a purple sweater, purple and gold tie and white shirt.
Doughty’s father Richard was a catcher on LSU’s World Series team in 1989, while his brother Braden is currently a sophomore catcher for the Tigers.
“That would be the biggest deal to my mom (Jennifer),” Doughty said of being teammates again with his brother. “I’d love to have the same jersey on as my brother. Just keep that relationship because it’s really strong. It would be a great feeling to be on the same field as him again.”
Doughty appears set to do just that, saying he doesn’t expect the lure of next June’s First-Year Major League Player Draft to interfere with his desire to attend college.
“LSU’s the goal,” he said “I’m not planning on skipping a step. A lot can happen until June, both good and bad. I’m just looking forward to this journey and my senior season. LSU’s where I want to be. LSU is where I’m planning on being on in June.”
Doughty’s compiled an impressive resume’, both on the local and national levels, that’s certain to attract Major League scouts to Denham Springs High’s games next spring in droves.
Long-time Yellow Jackets coach Mark Carroll is prepared for it.
“It’s going to get crazy in the spring,” he said. “I imagine we’re going to get a lot of guys coming in to see Cade play. That’s really good for him and some other guys playing too.”
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Doughty, who spent three years as part of the Team USA program, brings a wealth of ability as a player that serves him to play anywhere on a field.
Doughty said LSU projects him to play his natural position – shortstop – where he earned first-team All-District, All-State and All-America honors over the course of his sterling career.
“That’s a lot of good talent that God blessed him with,” Carroll said. “There’s been a lot of hours of work. He’s super versatile and can play any position on the field. He’s a good kid with good grades. It’s all the stuff you want a kid to have in your program.”
Said Doughty, “I’m going to try and do my best and compete every day. The first day there (at LSU), I’m not going to take it easy or anything. I’m going to try and earn my spot and get out and play my freshman season.”
Doughty was selected to the Class 5A All-State team for a second straight year and All-Parish MVP in 2018 after a season in which he helped Denham Springs to a 21-15 record and Class 5A state regionals.
Doughty batted .327 with a homer, 8 doubles, 20 walks, 32 RBIs and stole 15 bases. He also had three wins on the mound and 0.26 ERA, filling a huge role out of the bullpen with eight saves to go with 37 strikeouts in 27.1 innings.
“It’s always been a dream of mine,” Doughty said, “and today gets me one step closer to it.”