Best parish teams of 2019-2020 athletic year

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The 2019-2020 sports season has unfortunately come to an abrupt end.

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, all of the prep spring sports seasons were cancelled, and the conclusion of some winter sports were also scrapped.

So, Ascension Parish won’t have a chance to bolster a state champion softball team—like last year, when St. Amant won the Class 5A title. They also won’t have a chance to bolster a state champion baseball team—like in 2018, when Ascension Catholic claimed the Division-IV title.

But from the sports that were able to have complete seasons, here were Ascension Parish’s best teams this 2019-2020 athletic year.

Ascension Catholic Football

In their first season under head coach Benny Saia, the Bulldogs won the District 7-1A championship and completed their first undefeated regular season in more than 50 years. Ascension Catholic went on to reach the state quarterfinals for the fourth straight season, however, they were eliminated by Southern Lab. The Bulldogs were led by senior running back Jai Williams, who was named the district’s Offensive MVP.

Dutchtown Volleyball

Dutchtown shared the district title in 2019. It was the third year in a row they had won at least a share of the league championship. The Lady Griffins had the best record in the parish at 34-8 as they made the state tournament for a second straight season. In the quarterfinals, they were eliminated by fifth-seeded Fontainebleau. Head coach Patrick Ricks was named the district’s Co-Coach of the Year.

East Ascension Volleyball

East Ascension won a share of the district championship as well. The Lady Spartans went 31-12 and reached the state tournament for the first time in two years. There, they lost to second-seeded Mandeville in the quarterfinals. Senior Truli Joseph was the team’s catalyst. She was named the district’s Offensive MVP.

St. Amant Volleyball

St. Amant was part of a three-way tie with East Ascension and Dutchtown for the district championship. The Lady Gators went 21-15 and reached the state tournament for the 10th straight year. There, they were eliminated by eventual state champion Mount Carmel in the quarterfinals. Mount Carmel has won six straight. Junior Gracie Duplechein was named the district’s Defensive MVP.

Ascension Catholic Volleyball

Ascension Catholic won their district championship, and they made a run to the state tournament for the first time in four years, before losing to top seed and three-time defending state champion Metairie Park Country Day in the state quarterfinals. Catherine Rome took top honors in the district.

St. Amant Wrestling

The St. Amant wrestling squad earned a sixth-place finish at the state meet. They were led by Corey Brownell and Conrad Mitchell. Both earned third-place finishes at state—Brownell at 138 and Mitchell at 160. Brownell also took home a city title. Jacob Cardwell and Alex Newman both finished fourth at the state meet.

East Ascension Wrestling

The Spartans earned a seventh-place finish at the state meet. They were led by senior Trent Mahoney, who won the 170-pound championship, his third straight state title. He also went undefeated during the season. Gavin Soniat was runner-up at 285, and Brad Mahoney and Josiah Wakefield each finished fourth at the state meet.

Dutchtown Boy’s Soccer

The best team in the parish this year turned out to be the Dutchtown boy’s soccer squad. The Griffins went 18-5-1 during the regular season and made a memorable run to the state semifinals for only the second time in their program’s history. There, they lost a 4-3 overtime contest to eventual champion St. Paul’s. Dutchtown was led by senior forward Zayne Zezulka. Zezulka was named the district’s MVP, the Ascension Parish MVP and the state’ Offensive MVP.