By T. Scott Boatright
As Choudrant High School principal and former baseball coach Tony Antley prepares to ride off into the sunset, there was one shining award still awaiting him.
That award came Friday night as Antley was inducted into the Louisiana Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Lake Charles.
Antley, who stepped down as Choudrant’s baseball coach last summer and will retire after his last day as principal at Choudrant High School on Feb. 3, admitted the honor felt a little surreal at points.
“I was honored to be there no doubt with some of the people being put into the Hall of Fame,” Antley said. “I’m not sure that I really belonged there. But it was an incredible honor to be part of it.”
“Feb. 3 is my last day. That’s the last day I’ll be at work. I’ve put in 32 1/2 years, and I’ll come out of Drop (retirement program) that day. So that will be the last day.”
Fellow LBCA Hall of Famer Wilbert Ellis was on hand to honor Antley during the induction ceremony.
“You can’t argue with what he did as a baseball coach at Choudrant,” Ellis said. “Not many coaches can say they won one championship, but to do what he did, year in and year out, says a lot about his character and what he means to his players.”
Antley leaves as a Choudrant legend with the high school’s baseball field named in his honor as six-time state champion after guiding Choudrant to Class B state titles in 1996, 2002, 2005, 2017, 2021 and 2022. He won 679 games over his career and was also the three-time Class B state runner-up (2006, 2010, 2011).
His resume also includes 23 district titles. He was was named the district Coach of the Year 23 times and the state coach of the year five times.
Joining Antley on his ride into the sunset as a state champion is wife Alyssa, who he says was with him every step of the way.
His wife retired from teaching after 21 years, and Antley said she has always been the rock standing by her husband’s side.
“We’ve been married for 29 years,” Antley said. “We had met at Tech and were together several years before we got married. She’s been the foundation of all of this. She’s the calming force — the one that gives me sound advice when I am stirred up and don’t know which way to go. She always leads me in the right direction.”
And that direction will always include Choudrant baseball.
“I’ll be there. I’ll watch some ball games,” Antley said. “I really love watching those guys compete and I’ve got connections with so many of them. Strong connections. So I’ll still go watch them and enjoy every game.
“I’m also going to catch (Louisiana) Tech games this year. We’ve got some tickets for those so we’re really looking forward to that.”