Freshmen and athletes recognized at Tuesday’s Convocation

Louisiana Christian University welcomed the Class of 2026 in Freshmen Convocation Tuesday. 

“Christian education is about preparing you for life; we at LCU seek to prepare graduates and transform lives,” LCU President Rick Brewer told the packed Guinn Auditorium. “We believe that tranformed people transform communities, transform culture, transform families and other’s lives.” 

Freshmen attended in their major cohorts with their faculty mentors. 

Lindy Rachal, a business major from Baton Rouge, said her first week has been exhausting—but a lot of fun. Rachal follows in the footsteps of two older sisters and numerous other family members who for generations have attended LCU. 

“It took a couple of days to adjust to college life, but after attending my classes I was able to get into the swing of things,” she said. “It didn’t take as long as I thought to would to find my classes, but that is because of Welcome Weekend. During WW, I participated in a lot of fun things that led me to knowing where all the buildings are.” 

Camille Allgood, a freshman pre-law major from Denham Springs, said the transition to college has been easy at LCU. 

“Everybody’s been very welcoming,” she said. “All the professors and really everybody here really cares about the students.” 

President Rick Brewer and Kendall Ayers, the new women’s soccer coach, awarded the Lady Wildcats Soccer team with their championship rings for their 2021 Red River Athletic Conference Champions. 

“You all have set a standard for the other programs to live up to for all the positive attention you have brought this institution,” Brewer said. 

The Women’s Soccer team were the program’s first conference regular season and tournament champions and qualified for the national tournament. They went undefeated in conference play (10-0-1). The program had its first All-American named. Martina Terra Garcia received an honorable mention. 

Brewer recognized all athletic team accomplishments made during the first year of returning to compete in the NAIA athletic association. 

Among those accolades: 

    • • Football o Most wins in single season since 2018 
    • o Upset undefeated #14-ranked team 
    • o Player D’Mario Weathersby named second team All-Conference 
    • • Men’s Soccer o First post-season appearance since 2013 
    • o First 10-win season in program history 
    • o Player named second team All-Conference 
    • o Player named to Champions of Character Team 
    • • Volleyball o Most wins in a single season in program history 
    • o Two plays named to second team All-Conference and All-Conference Honorable Mention 
    • • Men’s Basketball 
    • o Advanced to postseason conference tournament finals for second straight season 
    • o Kae-ron Baker named All-American Honorable Mention and Conference Player of the Year 
    • o Baker led nation in scoring average (24.6 PPG) 
    • o One player eacy on first team, second team and All-Conference Honorable Mention and play on Conference Champion of Character 
    • • Women’s Basketball 
    • o Finished with most wins overall and in conference since 2016-17 
    • o Picked up first postseason win since 2017 
    • o Nykki Benally named Conference Newcomer of the Year 
    • o One player each named to First Team, Second Team and All-Conference Honorable Mention 
    • • Baseball 
    • o Advanced to Conference Tournament Semifinals after third place finish in regular season 
    • o Keelyn Johnson had nation’s second highest batting average (.481) 
  • o Ju-Juan Franklin set modern era record for most home runs in a single season 
  • o Five players name All-Conference, four on First Team 
  • • Softball 
  • o Advanced to post-season for first time since 2019 
  • o Two players named First Team All-Conference, one Second-Team, one Champion of Character 
  • o 16 players named NFCA Academic All-Americans 
  • • Golf 
  • o Finished top 3 at Conference Championship Meet, highest finish at a conference event 
  • o Had Top 10 finisher, three in Top 15 at Conference Championship Tournament 
  • o Ryan Palmer had a runner-up finish individually at Tyler JC Spring Invitational, also earned three Conference Golfer of the Week Awards 

As football season gets under way, Brewer took time to recognize the LCU Pillars of Football—former Wildcats quarterbacks, Ben McLaughlin, Wes Cooper, Easton Melancon, along with current quarterback Sal Palermo III. 

In addition to numerous awards during their football days at LCU, Cooper (2003-05) threw for more than 7,000 years in three seasons at LCU and had 60 career passing touchdowns. McLaughlin (2006-7, 2009-10) made 111 career touchdowns and holds the majority of LCU quarterback records. Melancon, who was not in attendance, was recognized for 10,025 career passing yards and 96 career passing touchdowns. 

“These young men helped revitalize football when it returned in 2000,” Brewer said. “We stand on the shoulders of them and the people who came before us.” 

Finally, Brewer recognized Palermo (2019-present) for his career thus far as quarterback and added an additional honor. 

“If Sal continues playing like he has, he may surpass some of the records and be that fourth pillar,” Brewer said. 

Palermo was named this year’s ‘President For a Day.’ A story about ‘President Palermo’ and this annual tradition will be released separately. 

Brewer also named Athletic Director Reni Mason Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and recognized three former alums with athletic awards in their honor. More details are in a separate story. 


Media Release | Aug. 26, 2022 | Pineville, Louisiana
Contact: Dr. Elizabeth B. Clarke, Director of University Communications |