The 2017-18 high-school athletic year came to a close recently, and what a year it was for Ascension Parish sports.
Many teams in the area strived for greatness and earned district and state championships. Here were 10 squads that had memorable seasons:
East Ascension Girl’s Basketball
The Lady Spartans finished up the greatest season in their program’s history in 2018, as they went 19-2 during the regular season and captured a share of the District 5-5A championship. East Ascension went on to the playoffs, where they won all but one game by double-digits. The one single-digit victory was the state championship. Their 37-31 win over Natchitoches Central gave the program its first-ever state title.
Ascension Catholic Baseball
At one point this year, Ascension Catholic was just 6-8. They quickly turned things around as they ended the regular season on a 17-game winning streak. From there, they went 5-1 in postseason play, punching their ticket to the state championship game against district rival St. John. In their third meeting of the season, the Bulldogs came back from two runs down to earn a thrilling 4-3 victory. It was the program’s first state title since 1994.
St. Amant Girl’s Soccer
The St. Amant Lady Gators fell short in repeating as district champions, but they were able to secure the No. 4 seeding come playoff time. St. Amant put together a tremendous postseason run that saw them reach the state semifinals for the first time since 2004. They were led by Adelaide Gaffney, the district’s Overall MVP, and Mya Guillory, the district’s Offensive MVP.
Ascension Catholic Girl’s Powerlifting
Ascension Catholic continued to set the standard in girl’s powerlifting. The team dominated the state meet in Alexandria to take home its fourth straight Division-V state championship. The Lady Bulldogs earned twice as many points as runner-up Runnels. There were six Ascension Catholic lifters that took home individual state titles.
East Ascension Girl’s Bowling
The East Ascension girl’s bowling program continued to make huge strides this season. They went undefeated during the regular season and earned a district championship. The Lady Spartans then made a run to the state championship matchup, where they finished as runners-up. They were led by senior Bailee Chapman, who finished third in the individual state championships.
The Dutchtown Griffins experienced serious struggles at the end of the regular season as they suffered through an eight-game losing streak. But when Dutchtown reached the playoffs, they quickly righted the ship. The Griffins blanked 10th-seeded Mandeville, 6-0, in the opening round. In the regional series, they swept No. 7 Northshore. It was their first trip to the state quarterfinals in four years.
Ascension Catholic Football
Ascension Catholic football had its best season in more than two decades as it went 8-2 during the regular season and then dominated the competition in the playoffs. They reached the state title game for the first time since 1992. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, multiple injuries to key starters led to a 10-0 loss to Lafayette Christian. Bulldog running backs Jamar Barber and Jai Williams each had more than 1,500 yards rushing.
St. Amant Boy’s Soccer
The St. Amant Gators won their third straight district championship in 2017-18. That was the first time the program had ever achieved such a feat. The Gators went on to make their second straight trip to the state quarterfinals, before losing to Lafayette. They were led by the district’s Overall MVP Angelo Fabricio and Defensive MVP Hector Rodriguez.
Ascension Catholic Softball
Ascension Catholic was the only softball team to make it to Sulpur this season. The Lady Bulldogs finished off a fourth straight undefeated season in district play, and then reached the state tournament for a sixth straight year. Once in Sulphur, Ascension Catholic made a run to their second state semifinal appearance in three seasons. They were led by District 6-1A MVP Alicia Canatella.
St. Amant Volleyball
St. Amant went through a rough patch midway through the year. They stumbled out to just 9-11 overall, but they found a way to win their final five matches of the regular season. In the playoffs, they beat Destrehan and upset East Ascension to reach the state tournament for the eighth straight year. Senior Baylee Rambin was the district’s Defensive MVP.