As football winds down, the soccer season gets ready to open back up in Ascension Parish, and many of the area's teams are excited to get back to competing for district and state titles.

As football winds down, the soccer season gets ready to open back up in Ascension Parish, and many of the area's teams are excited to get back to competing for district and state titles.

The 2018 season was a highly-successful one for Ascension as all three Division-I boy's teams won at least one playoff game, two reached the state quarterfinals and one squad advanced to the semifinals.

That semifinal team was the St. Amant boys. It was their first appearance in the game in school history.

The Gators lost a 2-1 game to eventual state champion St. Paul's.

This great run was made despite losing their best offensive player in Angelo Fabricio and their best defensive player in Hector Rodriguez. Both standouts made All-State, and both were LSU-Eunice signees.

This season, the Gators will have to replace another key starter in Caleb Cretini. Cretini was the district's Defensive MVP last season. St. Amant also loses another first-team all-district star in David Barbera.

However, the Gators will return the district's reigning Offensive MVP and their leading scorer in junior forward Tyler Bridgewater. Bridgewater was also an All-State selection last season.

Two other all-district players will return with midfielders Ulrich Gaffney and Nick Goscha.

Another starter that will be back will be junior defender Josh Barbera. Head coach Adrian Garcia thinks first-time starters Holden David (midfielder) and Dillon Staal (goalkeeper) will also make a big impact.

"Our leading scorer is back, and we should be strong in the middle of the field," Garcia said. "We will be very young and inexperienced, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the new kids fit in."

St. Amant finished as the district runner-up last season. The district champion was parish foe Dutchtown. The Griffins also went on to reach the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2012, under first-year head coach Marcus Dyer.

Dyer was later named the district's Coach of the Year.

Leading the charge for the Griffins was Zayne Zezulka, who was named the district's Overall MVP. He also made All-State.

Dutchtown's most prolific scorer will be back for his senior season in 2019.

The Griffins will lose some key pieces from last year's team. This includes all-district standouts Michael Greer, Carter Roussell and Brendon Jackson.

But they will bring back a first-team selection in senior Cole Hattier, along with second-teamers Brayden Bortnick (senior), David Hopkins and Noah Teaford (both juniors).

East Ascension also had a solid season in 2018, as they went 13-5-2 and reached the second round of the playoffs. Their season ended with a 1-0 road loss to Northshore in the second round.

From that playoff squad, The Spartans will lose two first-team all-district players in Ben Leboeuf and Simon Leclerq. They'll also lose goalkeeper Casper Crehan and Albert Ontiveros.

Although, they will return junior Stephen Kline. Kline is East Ascension's most decorated returning player. He was a second-team all-district selection last season.

Other standouts that will return for the Spartans this season are senior Alex Phelps and junior Aleks Mondragon.

The Spartans are coached by Michael Zanco.