Gators looking to compete in District 5-5A in 2021

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
St. Amant will be led by two-year starting quarterback Cole Poirrier in 2021.

The St. Amant Gators will have to replace numerous starters in 2021, but one position they won’t have to restock is quarterback.

The Gators will return a two-year starter in Cole Poirrier, and they’re hoping that the experience and skill they bring back under center in 2021 is enough to spark the rest of the team into making a run in District 5-5A.

St. Amant made big improvements in 2020, despite the chaos of the season due to the pandemic.

Just a season earlier, the Gators missed out on the playoffs for the first time in eight years. But in 2020, St. Amant went 4-2 and made a return to the postseason.

But there were some negatives along the way. Due to COVID-19, two of the Gators’ regular-season games were cancelled. And they did end the year with back-to-back losses.

St. Amant lost an overtime thriller against archrival East Ascension in the regular-season finale. They were then eliminated by fourth-seeded Ponchatoula in the first round of the playoffs.

Now, many starters from last year’s team are gone. But fortunately for the Gators, they’ll bring back their most important starter.

Poirrier was both first-team all district and first-team All Parish a year ago. He heads into 2021 as arguably the best quarterback in Ascension.

Poirrier also handles the Gators’ kicking and punting duties.

Although, he did lose some valuable weapons around him on offense. The Gators will be without first-team all-district wideout Remy Rizzuto, as well as All-Parish receiver Justin Storks and running back Reggie Sims.

The offensive line will be without Kaleb Rock.

But the cupboard isn’t completely empty for the Gators offensively. St. Amant will return wide receiver Noah Louque, along with tight end Tanner Oliver. On the offensive line, the Gators will return both Layton Smart and Cullen DeArmand.

Defensively, St. Amant lost three first-team all-district performers in defensive lineman Tyler Legendre, linebacker Sam McCorkle and defensive back Evan Bourgeois.

Other defensive players the Gators lost include defensive linemen Aiden Borne and Brant Billingsley and defensive backs Zack Gonzales, Kevin Domino and Rantrell Gordon.

The St. Amant defense should still be solid up front. The Gators bring back 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior defensive lineman Dylan Carpenter, who already has a scholarship offer from Tulane.

Carpenter very well could be in for a breakout season, along with returning starter at linebacker, senior Lee Amedee. Jax Melancon will also be one of St. Amant’s top backers.

Track star Tre’Shawn Dunn will be one of the Gators’ top cornerbacks that returns in 2021.

“We’re excited about the upcoming season,” St. Amant head coach David Oliver said. “We’ve been working hard in our offseason program, and really focusing in the weight room with our strength and conditioning.”

St. Amant is also excited about playing on a brand-new turf field at The Pit this upcoming season.

“This is going to be a huge thing for us,” Oliver said. “We’re planning on practicing there at least once a week so that we’ll be able to get a feel for the turf before our game on Friday night. And with the turf, we always know that we’ll have great conditions.

“We have a lot of trouble practicing when there’s a lot of rain—not just because of lightning, but also because the field is so muddy and torn up. Now if that happens, we can bus our guys over to The Pit and practice on the new turf.”