The Baton Rouge area produced some of the strongest football teams in 2017, as Catholic, Zachary, University and West Feliciana all took home state titles.
And even though no teams in Ascension Parish were able to claim the top prize, they put together some of the strongest performances of the season.
St. Amant, East Ascension, Dutchtown and Donaldsonville all reached the second round of the playoffs. Ascension Catholic came one victory away from taking home their fourth state championship.
As a result of the parish’s strong play, nine of its standouts made the Baton Rouge area’s All-Metro football teams.
For the 3A and below squad, three players made the cut from the west bank. Donaldsonville had two of those selections.
The Tigers experienced a terrific turnaround in 2017, as they improved from 4-6 to 7-3 and won their first playoff game since 2014. The eight victories were the most for the program since 2010.
Second-year head coach Brian Richardson said that his team’s drastic improvement from last season had a lot to do with their great senior leadership. Two of those great senior leaders made the All-Metro squad in Tahj Brown and Davon Wright.
Brown made the team as a defensive lineman. The Houston signee had 73 tackles and four sacks this season, despite missing the latter half of the regular season due to an injury.
Davon Wright made the team from the offensive line. Wright is a Tulane signee.
Both players were also first-team all-district and All-Parish.
Ascension Catholic had their greatest season in nearly three decades as they won eight regular-season games and cruised through the playoffs to reach the state title game.
Though, a string of unfortunate injuries prevented them from winning their first championship in 25 years.
The lone Bulldog to make the All-Metro squad was senior offensive lineman Charlie Gianelloni. On the offensive line, Gianelloni was a first-team all-district and second-team All-Parish selection.
West Feliciana quarterback Derek Turner was the All-Metro Outstanding Offensive Player, while University linebacker Bryton Constantin was the Outstanding Defensive Player.
University’s Chad Mahaffey was the Coach of the Year.
Six Ascension players made the 4A & 5A All-Metro squad.
East Ascension had the most selections with three.
The Spartans had a terrific 2017, as they went 8-2 during the regular season and claimed a share of the District 5-5A championship. They also reached the second round of the playoffs.
Their defense was their backbone, and two players from that unit made the team.
Linebacker Adrian Johnson made the cut after he came up with 85 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. Johnson was the District 5-5A Defensive Player of the Year.
Jimel London wore many hats during the year. Not only was he a dangerous return man, but he was the leading rusher for the Spartans on offense. He was the district’s Co-Offensive Player of the Year.
Though, he made the All-Metro team as a defensive back. He came up with three interceptions during the season.
LSU signee Cameron Wire made the All-Metro team from the offensive line. He was also first-team all-district and All-Parish.
St. Amant had two selections after finishing the regular season 9-1, winning a share of the district and reaching the second round of the playoffs.
Running back Cade Nelson made it after rushing for a superb 1,657 yards and 26 touchdowns. Nelson was also the district and Parish Offensive MVP.
On the defensive line, Johnny Johnson made the All-Metro team after coming up with 73 tackles and 13 sacks this season. He was a first-team all-district and All-Parish selection.
Dutchtown got back to their winning ways under first-year head coach Guy Mistretta as they improved from 3-7 to 6-4 and won a playoff game.
One of their most impressive performers all season was defensive back VanShon Grayson. Grayson came up with six interceptions in 2017.
He was both a first-team all-district and All-Parish standout.
Zachary dominated the 4A & 5A All-Metro team. Quarterback Keilon Brown was Outstanding Offensive Player, and linebacker Wes Brady was Outstanding Defensive Player. David Brewerton was Coach of the Year.