Ascension Catholic honors 'Bucky' Mistretta

Kyle Riviere
Ascension Catholic administrator John Beck (left) presented former head football coach Bucky Mistretta (right) with a plaque on Friday night. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

On a night in which the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs thrashed Houma Christian, 63-7, to punch their ticket to the state quarterfinals for the second straight season, the Bulldog faithful celebrated the man that paved the way for the program’s success.

At halftime, school administrator John Beck presented a congratulatory plaque to former Ascension Catholic head football coach G.J. “Bucky” Mistretta. This was to honor Mistretta for being named to the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Mistretta received a thunderous ovation from the Bulldog fans, which included many of his former players.

One person that was excited to see him on the sidelines was current Ascension Catholic head football coach Drey Trosclair.

“Obviously, he’s the best coach in school history, by far. He’s a Hall of Fame coach,” Trosclair said. “To have him honored as we hosted a first-round playoff game, I thought that was really big for our school. He’s done so much for this place. It was really special to be able to shake hands with him before I went into the locker room before halftime. It’s a tremendous honor for him, and it’s something that I one day aspire to be.”

Trosclair has been trying to build the program back up into what they were when Mistretta was leading the way. In his third year as head coach, Ascension Catholic went 8-2 during the regular season and entered the Division-IV playoffs as the No. 6 seed.

Mistretta had an amazing coaching career. He made successful stops at Lee High and Redemptorist, but his greatest success came during his two stints at Ascension Catholic.

After serving as an assistant coach for the Bulldogs for three years, he took over as head coach in 1964.

Mistretta led Ascension Catholic for 14 seasons, before moving on to Redemptorist. During that time, he led the program to a Class 1A state title in 1973. It was their first state championship since 1941.

After coaching at Redemptorist for eight years, Mistretta returned to Ascension Catholic in 1990.

The Bulldogs were already on the rise. They weren’t that far removed from reaching the state semifinals in 1987.

Mistretta led Ascension Catholic to the Superdome in 1991, as they finished as state runner-up.

The next season, they were back in the dome, and this time, they finished the job.

The Bulldogs crushed West St. John to claim their first state title since 1973. During that run, they outscored their opponents by a combined margin of 254-64.

Mistretta’s coaching days ended at Ascension Catholic in 2000. He then became an administrator at the school for four years.

In the 2017 Hall of Fame class, Mistretta was joined by former East Ascension basketball coach Kenny Almond, Roman Bates, Jr., Tim Detillier, Don Jones and Bob Stevens.