Pope John Paul II Announces Sydney Gandy As Head Softball Coach

by Pope John Paul II High School

Pope John Paul II High School is thrilled to announce the latest addition to its softball program. Mrs. Sydney Loupe Gandy, a proud alumna from the class of 2014, will be assuming the role of head coach for the PJP girls’ softball program.

After four remarkable years of leading the team to newfound success, Coach Jeff Benedic has decided to step down. Under Coach Benedic’s guidance, the program flourished, boasting four playoff victories and securing a spot in the quarterfinals for three consecutive years. His dedication extended beyond the field, as he invested countless hours in enhancing the softball facilities and overseeing the completion of the Lady Jags Softball locker room. Coach Benedic’s impact on the program has been profound, and we express our heartfelt gratitude for his invaluable contributions. It was always Coach Benedic’s aspiration to pass the torch to Coach Gandy, and he eagerly anticipates the program’s continued growth under her leadership.

Coach Sydney Gandy is elated to return to her alma mater, where her own athletic journey began. During her time as a Lady Jag, Coach Gandy distinguished herself as a standout student-athlete, excelling as a talented catcher, earning three all-district honors, and culminating her high school career with prestigious all-metro and all-state recognitions in her senior year. Following her graduation, Coach Gandy continued her athletic pursuits at LSU, where she made three appearances in the Women’s College World Series, earned accolades as a two-time SEC honor roll recipient, and graduated with a degree in sports administration.

Transitioning into coaching, Coach Gandy commenced her career at Cabrini, where she led the team to district championships in 2019 and 2024, earning Coach of the Year honors in 2019. Additionally, Coach Gandy celebrated a personal milestone in 2020 by marrying her high school sweetheart, and they are now the proud parents of one-year-old twins. Assistant Coaches Marian Eades, Shane Rodriguez, and Shelby Wickersham will continue their roles, providing valuable support for the upcoming 2025 season. Coach Gandy eagerly anticipates collaborating with her esteemed colleagues, fostering a strong foundation for success. Her existing relationships with Coach Eades from her playing days and Coach Wickersham through their shared connection to LSU softball will undoubtedly enhance the team’s cohesion and performance.