DENHAM SPRINGS – It’s not much of a secret to those in the baseball world of the immense ability of Denham Springs High School’s Cade Doughty.
The state’s top-ranked player according to Perfect Game and Prep Baseball Report, a scholarship to LSU and prospect garnering early round attention from Major League teams are glowing testaments.
However, when it came to winning the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year honor on Thursday, Doughty displayed some of his lesser knowns, albeit equally important, tools in claiming the prestigious honor.
Gatorade’s award is more of a reflection of a well-rounded student-athlete, one that’s rewards athletic accomplishment along with scholastic achievement and excellent character.
Doughty became the first baseball player from Denham Springs to win the award which began in 1985.
“This one definitely means a whole lot to me, given that it’s not all about athletics,” Doughty said. “This was a goal of mine. Since the beginning of the season I wanted to do this. It shows that hard work pays off and anything can be accomplished.”
Doughty, the centerpiece of a Denham Springs team that went 17-15 and lost to eventual state Class 5A runner-up Sam Houston in the regional round, enjoyed another superlative season.
The senior shortstop batted .505 with an .620 on-base percentage. The two-time Class 5A All-State selection homered six times with 11 doubles, 25 RBIs, scored 40 runs and stole 15 bases.
Doughty was also 2-1 on the mound with a pair of saves.
“The thing I like best about Cade Doughty is his versatility,” Denham Springs High School head coach Mark Carroll said. “I could play him at any position, and he would be an outstanding player there. He can hit for power, hit for average, is a ‘plus’ runner, and has a ‘plus’ arm. He knows the little things that increase your team’s chances of winning.”
Doughty also handled the award’s other two components, finishing with a 3.45 grade point average.
Moreover, Doughty has volunteered locally on the behalf of the REACH club and the Key Club, along with contributing to the relief efforts of his hometown during the flood of 2016.
Doughty said he also helped his parents deliver turkeys at Thanksgiving on the behalf of Healing Place Church.
By winning the honor, Doughty has the opportunity of donating a $1,000 grant to the organization of choice.
After seeing former John Curtis standout Cade Beloso, an LSU signee, win the Gatorade award last season Doughty was adamant about claiming the honor this year.
Gatorade previously honored Jacob Pearson of West Monroe, Logan Savoy of South Beauregard, Kale Breaux of Sulphur and Chase Vallot of St. Thomas More among the state’s former winners.
“I saw all these fantastic players win it like Cade Beloso,” Doughty said. “I thought it would be really cool if I happened to win it. When I saw that he won it, I wanted to work for this and hopefully get to that point.
“I wanted to put myself in a good position to win it,” Doughty said. “It’s quite an honor to be on a list with such great players. Being on a list like that is a crazy accomplishment and I’m proud to be able to represent Louisiana in this way.”