(The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
Bravata takes over Berwick High baseball program
F o l l o w i n g t h e school’s best baseball season in a decade, Berwick High School had to replace its baseball coach as first-year coach John Menard moved on to a position as an assistant coach at New Iberia High School following the season.
H o w e v e r, t h e Berwick High School search committee didn’t have to look far to find Menard’s replacement.
B e r w i c k H i g h P r i n c i p a l B u f f y Fegenbush announced Tuesday that Brandon Bravata, a first-year assistant on Menard’s staff a year ago, has been named Menard’s replacement.
Bravata said he thought hiring from within the baseball program was beneficial for the players.
“First of all, I think it means a world to the players that they’re not having to go through a whole lot of change," he said. "I think if you bring somebody completely new in, you’re looking at three new coaches in three years, so at least there’s some familiarity in the staff with John staying last year and now me coming this year, so I think the kids are happy. I’m excited. It means a lot to me. This is a great program. It’s always been, and I’m hoping that it continues to be so.”
Bravata coached the team’s hitters and offense as Berwick finished its season with a 25-11 mark and advanced to the Class 3A semifinals for the first time since the 2007 season. Berwick fell to eventual state champion South Beauregard in the 3A semifinals.
While Bravata hasn’t been a coach at Berwick long, this will be his third head coaching job as he previously was head coach at Christian Life Academy in Baton Rouge for a year and Catholic High of Pointe Coupee for approximately two years where he led the team to the Class 1A semifinals. The ex-Delta State University and LSU Shreveport baseball player also has experience as an assistant c o a c h a t L S U Alexandria for two-plus years where he was the recruiting coordinator and hitting coach.
While there obviously will be some changes personality wise with a new coach leading the program, Bravata said there won’t be much of a change in philosophy. He and his players will get to adjust to those changes this summer while also looking to find players to replace the departed seniors from a season ago.
“The biggest thing is for us is to replace nine seniors and to figure out where people might fit in and getting some guys some at-bats that haven’t gotten some or some innings on the mound that haven’t gotten some,” Bravata said.
And for his early thoughts on next year’s season?
“I think we’ve got some pitching depth coming back,” Bravata said. “I’m interested to see how we will replace a lot of our lineup, but we have kids that are going to be in the second year of a system, and I think they’re developed. I think they’re going to continue to develop as we get in the weight room.”
He said the players believe in the system that has been implemented.
“I think we’re going to have a good year next year, also,” Bravata said.