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Parish football players make All-District 7-1A team

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Ascension Catholic sophomore running back Khai Prean was named the district's Co-Offensive MVP.

The two Class 1A football teams in the parish were polar opposites during the regular season.

While Ascension Catholic flourished and won seven straight games, Ascension Christian faced its share of struggles. The Lions won the first game of the season, and then lost six straight to end the year.

But despite the stark differences in team success, both squads saw many great individual performances from their players. As a result, both Ascension Catholic and Ascension Christian had multiple players named to the All-District 7-1A team.

The Bulldogs had a whopping 18 players make the team.

It makes sense for Ascension Catholic to be so well-represented. The Bulldogs dominated the district for the second straight season. They went undefeated and took home the District 7-1A championship.

And the Bulldogs weren't just perfect in league play, the Bulldogs also won their non-district games as well.

Ascension Catholic went a perfect 7-0. It was the second straight season in which the Bulldogs completed an undefeated regular season.

The Bulldogs have now won 19 straight regular-season contests, dating back to 2018.

Ascension Catholic beat its district opponents by a combined margin of 188-48. This included a 30-13 win over eventual Class 1A state semifinalist East Iberville.

After the Bulldogs clinched the district title, second-year head coach Benny Saia said, "It's a tremendous accomplishment. Winning 16 in a row is hard to do when you're playing air. To not have a bad game in there and not slip up is pretty special."

Unfortunately for Ascension Catholic, its regular-season success did not translate to the postseason. The Bulldogs were knocked out in the opening round by Cedar Creek.

Ascension Catholic had eight first-team all-district selections on offense. That was headlined by sophomore running back Khai Prean, who was named the district's Co-Offensive MVP, along with East Iberville's Roderique Valentine

Joining Prean on the first team was sophomore quarterback Bryce Leonard and his twin bother and wide receiver Brooks Leonard. Junior wideout Troy Cole also made the first team.

Offensive linemen Owen Smith (senior) and Devin Pedescleaux also made the first unit, along with senior kicker Jacob Dunn and sophomore kick returner Casey Mays.

Mays made the second team at running back, and Prean was a second-team selection at kick returner.

Three Bulldog offensive linemen made the second team in Jacques Husers, LaShawn Bell and Travis Cedatol.

Ascension Catholic's final second-team offensive selection was wide receiver Joel Landry, who also made the second team at linebacker.

Defensively, junior defensive lineman J'Mond Tapp led the first-team selections for the Bulldogs. He was also named the district's Defensive MVP.

Freshman defensive lineman Tre' Williams also made the first team, along with Dunn at linebacker and senior Brayden Duhon.

Defensive backs Lex Melancon (junior) and Matthew Lafleur (senior) also the first team as well. Lafleur was also a first-team selection at punter.

Finally, Bulldog defensive lineman Grant Richard made the all-district second team.

Ascension Christian had five players make the All-District 7-1A squad.

The Lions beat Houma Christian, 35-18, in their season opener, but then lost six straight to end the season.

Ascension Christian had one first-team all-district selection. That was senior defensive lineman Nick Davis. It was Davis' second year in a row making the first unit.

On offense, linemen Collin Peterson and Chris Moore made the second team. Peterson also made the second unit at linebacker.

Running back Brady Gueho was a second-team selection, as well as kicker Guermo Ortego.