Five parish boy's soccer players make All-State

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Throughout the season, Ascension Parish was home to some of the best soccer players in the state of Louisiana.

That was proven just recently when the Louisiana High School Soccer Coaches Association released its All-State teams. For the boys, five players from the parish were honored.

In Division-IV, there was only one player that made All-State, and that distinction went to Ascension Christian senior Bodhi Linton. Linton made the first team.

He had a tremendous senior campaign as he also made first-team all-district and second-team All-Parish.

Linton and the Lions had a bit of a rough season as they finished with a 4-7-6 record and missed the playoffs.

The Division-IV All-State Offensive MVP was Newman’s Emmett Morrison, and the Defensive MVP was Episcopal’s Tochi Mbagwu.

The Coach of the Year was Episcopal’s Kiran Booluck.

The LHSSCA’s Division-I All-State squad had much more of an Ascension Parish feel as four of the area’s players made the first team.

Two players from Dutchtown were represented.

Most notably, senior forward Zayne Zezulka made the first team and was also named the state’s Offensive MVP.

In addition to that accomplishment, Zezulka was named the District 5 MVP and the Ascension Parish MVP this offseason.

His Griffin teammate Cole Hattier joined him on the All-State first team. The senior was also a first-team all-district and All-Parish selection.

Dutchtown finished the regular season with an 18-5-1 record. They were also the District 5 runners-up.

They earned the highest playoff seeding in the parish at No. 4. This awarded them a first-round bye.

In the second round, they cruised past Acadiana, 5-3--pushing them through to the state quarterfinals for a second straight season.

In the quarterfinal round, they squeezed by fifth-seeded Jesuit, 2-1. This punched their ticket to the state semifinals for only the second time in the program's history.

It was there that they lost a 4-3 overtime thriller against top-seeded and eventual state champion St. Paul's.

St. Amant also had two players make the LHSSCA’s All-State first team.

Junior Tyler Bridgewater was one of the selections. Bridgewater was also the District 5 Offensive MVP and a first-team All-Parish selection.

His junior teammate Ulrich Gaffney joined him on the All-State first team. Gaffney also made both the all-district and All-Parish first teams.

St. Amant battled injuries to key starters throughout the season, but the Gators were still able to finish the regular season with a 13-5-1 record, which culminated in a district championship. They made the playoffs as the No. 7 seed in Division I.

This high seeding awarded them a first-round bye. In the second round, they hosted No. 23 Captain Shreve. St. Amant was upset in overtime by a score of 2-1, ending their season earlier than expected.

As for the rest of the LHSSCA’s Division-I All-State squad, St. Paul’s Ben Schwing was named the Defensive MVP as he helped lead his team to a state championship.

Altogether, seven St. Paul’s players made the All-State team.

Also, Catholic of Baton Rouge’s Jonathan “JB” Brunet was named the Division-I Coach of the Year.