Six parish football players make All-State

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

We've seen plenty of Ascension football players honored this offseason. Whether it's all-district, All-Metro or All-Parish, they have garnered significant and much-deserved recognition.

But their time of recognition isn't over quite yet.

Recently, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association released its All-State teams, and six players from Ascension Parish made the cut. Three different schools from the area had two players make it.

The only two athletes to make the first team came from Ascension Catholic.

The Bulldogs had a terrific 2019 season. Despite having to replace a large portion of their roster from last season, and despite being led by a new head coach in Benny Saia, Ascension Catholic had one of their best regular seasons in school history,

The Bulldogs won the District 7-1A title, and in the process, they completed their first undefeated regular season in more than 50 years.

They went on to reach the state quarterfinals, before losing to Southern Lab.

Making the Class 1A All-State first team was running back Jai Williams.

Williams capped off a spectacular career by rushing for more than 1,400 yards for a third straight season.

Williams finished with a shade over 1,400 yards and 27 total touchdowns. In doing so, he set the new school record for most career touchdowns, which was previously held by his father, Germaine.

Williams was previously named the District 7-1A Offensive MVP and the All-Metro Outstanding Offensive Player for Class 3A and below.

Paving the way for Williams on the ground was offensive lineman Nick Hilliard. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior was also a first-team All-State selection.

Four parish players were honorable-mention selections on the LSWA Class 5A All-State team. Both East Ascension and Dutchtown had two selections apiece.

The Griffins had a great bounce-back season in 2019. After finishing just 5-5 during the previous year, Dutchtown went 7-3 this past regular season and hosted a first-round playoff game. Unfortunately for the Griffins, they were upset by Ruston.

One of Dutchtown's key contributors in 2019 was sophomore running back Dylan Sampson. Sampson had a superb season, rushing for 1,827 yards and 24 touchdowns. He averaged a ridiculous 11.6 yards per carry.

Sampson was previously named the Ascension Parish Offensive MVP.

Also making All-State honorable mention for Dutchtown was senior Cohen Parent. Parent served as both the Griffins' starting kicker and punter this season. He made first-team all-district and All-Parish in both capacities.

The East Ascension Spartans had the best season of the three parish squads in District 5-5A. East Ascension finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and ended the year as the league runner-up for the second straight season.

The Spartans again beat both Dutchtown and St. Amant and hosted a first-round playoff game. There, they defeated Terrebonne. It was their fourth straight first-round victory.

However, East Ascension’s season ended on the road with a 21-13 defeat against Ruston.

Making All-State honorable mention was senior wide receiver Steven McBride. McBride came up with 44 catches for just under 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

McBride is a Kansas signee.

On the defensive side of the ball, Spartan senior linebacker Javon Carter made All-State honorable mention. Carter was previously named both the District 5-5A Defensive MVP and the Ascension Parish Defensive MVP.

Carter piled up 57 tackles, 12 of which were for losses, and he recovered four fumbles.

He is a Grambling State signee.