It was a memorable year for Ascension Parish sports
What an amazing year it was for Ascension Parish high-school sports. Without question, it was the most successful the parish has seen in a long, long time.
In 2018, three Ascension squads brought home state championships. Another team finished as state runner-up, and there were three other squads that reached the state semifinals.
The year got off to a sensational start for female athletics.
First, the East Ascension girl's basketball team made history as they won the program's first ever state championship.
What a great team they were. The year before, they were upset in the second round of the playoffs, after heading into the postseason as the second seed in Class 5A. They weren't about to let that happen again.
The Lady Spartans lost just two games during the regular season, and once the playoffs began, they rolled. They won four playoff game to reach the state championship. They won those games by an average margin of 18 points per contest.
In the state title game, they came from behind to beat Natchitoches Central and claim the school's first ever championship in basketball.
It wasn't long after their run of excellence that the Ascension Catholic girl's powerlifting team went back to dominating.
The Lady Bulldogs soared to their fourth straight state championship.
Then it was the softball team's turn. They went undefeated during the district season, which yielded them the league title.
They made the state tournament for a ninth straight season, and reached as far as the state semifinals before their year finally came to a close.
They weren't quite able to finish in Sulphur, but the Ascension Catholic baseball team did.
The Bulldogs had a superb second half of the season, winning 23 of their final 24 games.
The year before, Ascension Catholic lost a heartbreaker in the state semifinals. This time around, they finally got over the hump.
As if it was the screenplay of some upcoming Hollywood film, the Bulldogs made the title game, where district foe St. John was waiting.
The Eagles were the top seed in Division-IV, and they had beaten the Bulldogs in four consecutive meetings--including two encounters during the regular season.
In the championship game, it appeared they would beat Ascension Catholic a fifth straight time as they jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. However, the Bulldogs kept chipping away until they roared back to pull off a 4-3 victory.
In doing so, the Bulldogs won their first baseball state championship in 24 years.
Ascension Catholic athletics continued to impress during the fall when the football team went 9-1 during the regular season and reached the Division-IV state title game for a second straight season. It was the first time that had happened since 1991 and 1992.
There were other very successful teams throughout the parish that may not have won the top prize, but they put forth tremendous seasons that will be remembered for years to come.
The St. Amant boy's soccer team reached the state quarterfinals for a second straight season. The East Ascension football team reached the round of eight for the first time in nearly two decades.
Both the St. Amant and Dutchtown baseball teams reached the quarterfinals as well. It was the Griffins' first trip in five years.
The Dutchtown volleyball squad made the state tournament for the first time in eight years. They went on to reach the semifinals.
The St. Amant girl's soccer team also reached the semifinals. That was the first time they accomplished that feat since 2004.
And let's not forget about the accomplishments of Ascension's Gauthier & Amedee baseball team over the summer.
The Wombats had one of their most successful seasons in franchise history.
They went 44-7 overall for the summer. This included their first state championship in five years.
They then went on to win the Mid-South Regional to punch their ticket to the World Series. Again, it was their first trip since 2013.
The Wombats ended up performing very well in Shelby, N.C. They reached the semifinals, before finally being eliminated.
What a year for Ascension athletics.