Vernon Parish is best known for its football and basketball.

Vernon Parish is best known for its football and basketball.

But four athletes from Leesville High School may very well be turning the tide of what Vernon Parish is known for.

And that sport is soccer.

Lady Cat senior Victoria Doctolero, along with Wampus Cat seniors Kyle Collins, Daniel Torres and Joshua Shelton, made it official early last week, committing to play collegiate soccer after leading their respective teams to new heights over the past couple of years.

Doctolero is taking her talents as a goalkeeper to LSU-Alexandria, while Collins and Torres will be playing on the pitch at Louisiana College. Shelton is headed to northwest Louisiana to play for Centenary College.

In 24 games this past season for the Lady Cats, Doctolero allowed just 17 goals, an impressive 0.708 goals per contest. She recorded 17 shutouts and saved a total of 139 shots en route to winning the Most Valuable Player award on the all-district team. She was also the Defensive Player of the Year on the all-Cenla team, while also competing the LHSSCA All-Star game.

Oh, and she also scored a couple of goals this year for the Lady Cats, who were the district champions in District 3-II.

According to Lady Cat head coach Joe Saverino, Doctolero works harder than just about anyone he has ever coached.

“Easily, Victoria is one of the most dedicated and hardest-working soccer players I have known,” he said. “Her desire to be the best at her position is unparalleled. She will not settle for anything less as she understands she will have to earn everything she is given.”

While Doctolero will be plying her trade at LSU-Alexandria, just across the Red River in Pineville, Collins and Torres will be joining forces as members of the Louisiana College Wildcat soccer team.

Collins, a defender, and Torres, a midfielder, saw great success in leading the Wampus Cats to the second round of the playoffs in 2015, claiming second-team all-district honors along the way.

Torres accounted for two goals and seven assists for Leesville, while Collins was good for three assists, helping the Wampus Cat defense record 10 shutouts.

According to Wampus Cat head coach Joseph Saverino, both Collins and Torres should perform well for the Wildcats.

“Kyle is a very strong leader. Intangibles like that can’t be taught,” Saverino said. “He is very strong in the air and is also very useful on set pieces. If Kyle fits into the coach’s defensive system at LC, he could find playing time fairly consistently.

“Daniel is a tenacious defender with a very high work rate,” Saverino continued. “His field vision and his ability to play bigger than his body will help him succeed at the next level. Yes, players will be bigger and faster than him, but that will not matter with the way he uses his body.”

Shelton will also be at a school near the Red River, but up in Shreveport at Centenary. Shelton will face his former teammates as both schools are in the same conference.

Joseph Saverino believes Shelton will step right in and be a leader for the Gents.

“Josh was a strong leader in our program,” Saverino said. “He presents a combination of size and speed that will translate well at the next level. He has the ability to plan any position on the field, having great offensive skills as a defender coming forward. He really excelled when he was moved to the wing back position due to his speed, ability in the air and his ability to quickly transition into the offense.”

Doctolero is the daughter of Julie Pruitt and Alvin Doctolero and the granddaughter of Randy and Margaret Pruitt. Torres is the son of Carmelita and Marco Torres, while Collins is the son of Marsha Collins. Shelton is the son of Tammy and Willie Shelton.