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Five questions for the 2020 parish football season

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

The high-school football season is now rapidly approaching. We’re only about a month and half away from week one.

With the impending season, here are five questions that will loom in 2020:

What will high-school football look like?

Due to the Coronavirus, there is tremendous uncertainty heading into the season. As of right now, the season is on track to begin on time. However, with the recent surge of new cases of the virus, the start of the season could be delayed. Full-contact practices can't begin until the state enters Phase III, and it will take at least five weeks of preparation for the players to be ready for the first game. And if the season is played, there are serious questions regarding fans. There could be limits on how many fans attend the games, and there is a chance no fans will be allowed to attend.

Will Ascension Catholic continue to dominate the district?

Last season, Ascension Catholic completed an undefeated regular season for the first time in more than 50 years. In that run, they steamrolled district opponents by a combined score of 198-19, en route to winning the District 7-1A crown. The Bulldogs will lose Nicholls signee and two-time All-State running back Jai Williams, along with All-State offensive lineman Nick Hilliard. But they will return quarterbacks Bryce Leonard and Jacob Dunn. Running back Khai Prean returns after making all-district as a freshman, and so does first-team all-district tight end and defensive lineman J'Mond Tapp.

Will East Ascension continue to dominate their parish counterparts?

East Ascension has had a great run in the past three years. In that time, they've gone 25-5 during the regular season. In the past two seasons, they've had the upper hand over parish and district counterparts Dutchtown and St. Amant. They've beaten them both two years in a row. In fact, their 34-7 win over St. Amant was their most lopsided victory over the Gators since 2015. The Spartans haven't lost to St. Amant since 2017, and they haven't dropped a game against Dutchtown since 2015. Although, the Griffins pushed East Ascension to the limit last season. The Spartans pulled it out, 29-24. East Ascension ended up going 8-2 and reaching the second round of the playoffs.

How will Dylan Sampson follow up 2019?

Dutchtown's Dylan Sampson exploded onto the scene last season as a sophomore first-year starter. The track star used his blazing speed to shred defenses on his way to being named All-State honorable mention and Ascension Parish Offensive MVP. Sampson rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns. He averaged an absurd 11.6 yards per carry. Dutchtown went 7-3 and was knocked off in the first round of the playoffs, but it certainly wasn't because of Sampson. In defeat, he piled up 280 total yards and four touchdowns. But he will be without his top offensive lineman in 2020. The Griffins lose Riley Lawrence, a first-team all-district selection.

Can St. Amant bounce back?

St. Amant uncharacteristically struggled in 2020. They finished 5-5 and missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2011. They finished just 2-3 in district play, and they lost to both Dutchtown and East Ascension for the first time since 2013. Their defeat to archrival East Ascension came by 27 points. The Gators will try to turn things around this season, but it won't be easy. They lost running back Lathan Vaughn and the receiver duo of Javin Augillard and Austin Bascom. However, they will return quarterbacks Cole Poirrier and Slade Zeppuhar, running back Reggie Sims and first-team all-district defensive back Evan Bourgeois.