District 5-5A has long been one of the most competitive districts in all of Louisiana, and there was no exception in 2018.

District 5-5A has long been one of the most competitive districts in all of Louisiana, and there was no exception in 2018.

Three of the teams in the league went on to reach at least the state quarterfinals.

The teams from Ascension Parish were as evenly-matched as they’ve been in years. In the six games played between the three, the average score was 5-3.

As a result, many of the area’s best players were named to the All-District 5-5A team. Once again, the numbers were very similar.

East Ascension was the surprise team in the district this season, and they finished with the most all-district selections in the parish with 10.

The Spartans didn’t garner many expectations outside of their dugout in 2018.

They brought in new head coach Kade Keowen, who had an impressive resume, but he had a tall task ahead of him. He took over a team that was replacing a bevy of all-district stars.

There were times early in the season when the young and inexperienced East Ascension squad suffered through growing pains, but they made huge strides at the end of the season.

“We played lots of inexperienced people at the beginning of the year, and they got more and more reps,” Keowen said. “For us to finish 7-3 in this district is awesome for our guys. We started the season 5-11 and finished the back half 12-5.”

They went 17-16 overall and reached the playoffs, but they were eliminated by No. 7 Northshore in the opening round.

East Ascension had four first-team all-district selections. Three of those selections were seniors in pitcher Chad Kennedy, infielder Preston Thrash and utility player Cameron Schexnaildre.

The final first-team selection was junior Blaise Foote, who was one of their top pitchers and hitters.

Another Spartan pitcher to make all-district was Christian Garner. Joining him on the second team were catcher Stephen Alexander, infielder Blake Peterson, outfielders Carson Dabadie and Grant Griffin and utility player Kagan Wheat.

Dutchtown was right behind East Ascension with nine all-district selections.

The Griffins had a streaky season.

They got off to a good start at 7-3, but midway through the year, they hit a wall. They suffered through an eight-game losing streak—four of those losses being district games against East Ascension and St. Amant.

They responded by winning five of their final seven regular-season games, and in the playoffs, they pulled off upsets over No. 10 Mandeville and seventh-ranked Northshore to reach the quarterfinals.

Three Griffins made the all-district first team.

Senior pitcher Jack Merrifield was among them. He didn’t always get the run support, but Merrifield was the most consistent hurler in the parish all season.

Also making the first team were junior infielder Brayden Caskey and senior outfielder Jordan Badame.

Making the second team for Dutchtown was catcher Grey Dyason—who did a terrific job of filling in for injured starter Reid Bouchereau, an all-district selection last season.

Also on the second team were infielder and pitcher Frank Miller, outfielder Cohen Parent and utility players Cole Morrison, Layton Lee and Will Reed.

The St. Amant Gators had to deal with adversity this season as ace and Southeastern signee Dwain Guice was forced to miss most of the year with a shoulder injury.

With him out of the lineup, it took them a while to regain their footing. They struggled through a stretch of eight losses in 10 games.

However, the pitching rotation clicked at the end of the year, in time for the return of Guice.

St. Amant won eight of their final nine regular-season games, and followed it up with playoff victories over Destrehan and H.L. Bourgeois to reach the state quarterfinals for the fourth time in five years.

The Gators had seven players make the All-District 5-5A team.

Senior catcher Reed Babin was a first-team selection, along with senior infielder Landen Lieux and outfielder Ayden Phillips.

In Guice’s absence, Teddy Webb emerged as one of the Gators’ most reliable pitchers. He made the second team, along with Guice.

Rounding out the rest of St. Amant’s second-team selections was infielder Myles Murray and outfielder Zane Zeppuhar. The Southeastern signee was also one of their top pitchers and hitters.