Maum looking to change culture of DHS baseball

Kyle Riviere
First-year head coach Garrett Maum and Donaldsonville will try to turn things around after a 1-7 season in 2016. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Donaldsonville has never been a baseball school, but under first-year head coach Garrett Maum, the Tigers are hoping to change that.

Maum takes over for Jay Dykes.

In addition to being the head baseball coach, Dykes was also an assistant on the football team. During he summer, he decided to make the move to St. Amant and join their football and baseball coaching staffs.

Now, Maum inherits a Tiger baseball program that has had its share of difficulties throughout the years.

Just last season, Donaldsonville barely had enough players to field a team. Because of the low numbers, the Tigers ended up playing just an eight-game schedule. They won just one game.

Things have been quite different this year.

Coach Maum said that over 30 kids showed up for their first practice. In fact, there were so many that they had to actually cut players—something they never had to do in the past.

Depth should not be a factor for Donaldsonville this season. Their preseason roster features 17 players.

This is the kind of positive change that has gotten Coach Maum excited about this season and beyond for the program.

“This team is young and constantly improving,” Maum said. “We have a great core of sophomores and freshmen that are eager to turn the program around. There’s a new energy at practice that has been missing for many seasons.”

Before changing what happens in the games, the first-year coach said that there has to be a change in the Tigers’ preparation and approach, and he said that, that change has been there for his team thus far.

“We want to change the culture. We want these kids to be excited about baseball, and they have been,” Maum said. “We’re not like Dutchtown, St. Amant or EA, but that’s where we want to be. We’ve had great turnouts to our practices, the guys have been excited and they’ve been working hard. We’re just going to try to keep building.”

Coach Maum is thrilled about his roster heading into 2017.

Returning for the Tigers will be sophomore Tre’von Mitchell—whom Maum said is the vocal leader of the team.

Mitchell led the team with a .478 batting average last season as a freshman. In addition to him being a dangerous hitter, Maum said that he has the potential to be one of the best catchers in the parish.

Mitchell even pitched last season and had a team-best 3.50 ERA.

Donaldsonville will need someone to step up on the mound after losing both Dalton Marchand and Tynari LeBlanc.

Dalton had a 3.94 ERA in 2016. He also hit .478 from the plate.

Another talented sophomore Maum thinks will do big things in 2017 will be Timothy Campbell. Campbell was also solid from the mound last season as he accumulated a 4.94 ERA.

Sophomore Ladarius Jackson is still playing basketball, but once he returns to the team, Coach Maum is excited about what he can do after hitting .364 as a freshman.

Junior Jaylin Williams has also caught the eye of Coach Maum.

Williams is the starting quarterback on the football team, and this will be his first year playing baseball.

Though he’s green, Coach Maum said that he was blown away by how naturally he has taken to the sport. He thinks he can emerge as one of their best players in 2017.

Kaleb Phillips will return as one of Donaldsonville’s senior leaders. The Tiger offensive lineman will be one of Donaldsonville’s most powerful hitters.

Once again, the Tigers will not play a district schedule this season, but they well play 17 games. Eleven of those games will be at home.

The team is excited about the home matchups after the recent renovations to the Tigers’ baseball stadium.

“Besides the team’s energy level and practice habits changing, our field has received many changes as well,” Maum said. “We have upgraded our fences, dugouts and playing surface to be on par with every school in the parish.”

Donaldsonville will officially begin their season with a home Feb. 22 matchup with White Castle. On March 4, they’ll host Tara.