Parish well-represented on District 5-5A football team
It was another competitive football season in District 5-5A between Ascension Parish schools Dutchtown, East Ascension and St. Amant.
Catholic took home another district crown, but East Ascension was close behind with a superb 9-1 record. St. Amant finished at a solid 7-3, and Dutchtown ended the year at 5-5.
With such great play between the three schools, a grand total of 36 parish athletes were named to the All-District 5-5A first and second teams.
Leading the charge was East Ascension.
The Spartans had one of their best seasons in recent memory as they went 9-1. This included wins over parish foes St. Amant and Dutchtown. Their lone loss was to eventual district champion and Division-I runner-up Catholic.
East Ascension went on to reach the state quarterfinals for the first time in nearly two decades. There, they fell just short against fourth-seeded John Ehret.
A parish-leading 13 Spartans made the all-district team.
Four players from their defense made the first team. They were senior defensive linemen Deshon Hall and Stanford Knockum, senior linebacker Derrick Smith and senior defensive back Jaqunn Mitchell.
Offensively, East Ascension's dynamic one-two punch at wide receiver was represented on the first team.
Senior Shaivonn Robinson was a first-team selection for the third straight season. He was joined by junior Steven McBride.
Junior Falepule Alo made the first team for a second straight season after making the transition from guard to center on the offensive line.
The Spartans' final first-team selection came on special teams. In his first year as a starter, senior Alberto Ontiveros made all-district as a kicker.
East Ascension had five players make the second team. They were: senior quarterback Jason Wakefield, senior running back Evan Copland, senior offensive linemen Cooper Ducote and Isaac Redditt and junior linebacker Dajon Jones.
The parish team with the second-most All-District 5-5A selections was Dutchtown with 12.
The Griffins lost many of their top players from last year, and to make things even tougher, Nicholls signee Jordan Jackson was sidelined with a season-ending injury midway through the year.
Jackson was not only their best defensive back, but he was also a big-play threat as a return specialist and a running back.
Still, Dutchtown managed to finish the regular season with a 5-5 record. They were eliminated in the opening round of the playoffs by John Ehret.
The Griffins had two first-team selections.
On defense, junior linebacker Johmel Jolla, Jr. made the first team. He was joined by special teams selection Terry Matthews. The senior made it as a kick returner.
Ten Griffins made the second team. They were: junior running back Blayden Louis, junior tight end Jadyn McKinney, junior offensive linemen Riley Lawrence and Carter Landry, senior defensive lineman Hayden Willis, senior linebacker Reggie Spears, senior defensive back Brayden Caskey, junior defensive back Logan Scott, junior kicker Hayden Sosa and senior punter Devon Teer.
Although St. Amant didn't have as many overall all-district selections as Dutchtown, they had more players make the first team. Six Gators made the first unit.
St. Amant finished the season with a 7-3 record and reached the playoffs once again. However, their streak of three straight second-round appearances ended with a close loss on the road against Captain Shreve.
Senior KJ Franklin made first-team all-district.
The Nicholls commit was a full-time cornerback and part-time running back during his sophomore and junior seasons, but with the departure of Cade Nelson, he had to step up as full-time tailback. He performed well, totaling more than 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Senior offensive lineman Beau Gremillion made the first team for the second straight season. So did defensive lineman Johnny Johnson.
Senior linebacker Aaron Delaune also made the first team, along with senior defensive backs Darius Smith and Jacob Mathews.
Smith also made the second team as a wide receiver.
He was joined on the second team by junior receiver Austin Bascom, senior linebacker Noah Hebert, junior linebacker Reece Nelson and junior defensive lineman Jamir Baptiste.