Louisiana College in Pineville was the scene of the 2016 LHSCA All-Star Softball Games this past weekend. The West Squad took the first game on Friday night 4-1 in a somewhat low-scoring contest as the West team scored one run in the first inning, two in the fourth and added an insurance run in the fifth inning. The East scored its only run in the sixth inning.

Game two started off even slower as the two teams with the best players in the state couldn’t score for the first 3½ innings. The teams made up for the slow start, however, as they went on to score 18 runs during the final 3½ innings as the East defeated the West 10-8 on Saturday.

Ascension Parish players on both squads made their mark. St. Amant’s Kourtney Gremillion (East Squad’s MVP) gave the East a 6-2 lead with a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, St. Thomas More’s Bailey Hemphill hit a two-run homer. Then Ascension Catholic High School’s Rae’Shaun Malancon followed with a three-run blast that put the West back on top with a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the inning.

But Gremillion had the last say in the fray. After Mount Carmel’s Samantha Dares drove in East Ascension’s Claire Weinberger to tie the game in the top of the seventh, Gremillion drove in the game-winning RBI with a single. Then, East Ascension’s Jessie Watts brought home an insurance run with a double. The West wasn’t done as North DeSoto’s Sami Walters drove in Brusly’s David to make it 10-8, which was the final score.

The West MVP was Rae’Shaun Malancon of Ascension Catholic. Both MVPs hit three-run homers. Gremillion finished 2-for-2 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Dutchtown’s Ali McCoy was the winning pitcher. Jessie Watts had two RBI hits, and East Ascension’s Claire Weinberger scored the tying run in game two.

Dutchtown head coach Nancy Ensminger led the East Squad and got the opportunity to coach a family member for the first time. Gremillion is her niece.

All-District baseball, softball teams are announced

Boys selected from Ascension Parish on the 5-5A first team were pitchers Blayne Enlow, St. Amant, and Austin McInnis, East Ascension; catchers Ethan Baldwin, Dutchtown, and Jacob Thompson, East Ascension; infielders Adam Sevario, St. Amant, Ivan Prejean, St. Amant, Caleb Ricca, Dutchtown and Payton Stafford, Dutchtown.

Outfielders were Cullen Ballard, Dutchtown; Zane Zeppuhar, St. Amant; Ryan Williams, East Ascension. Utility: Patrick Dane Anderson, Dutchtown.

Pitchers selected on the second team were: Jacob Spell, St. Amant; Tyler Tidwell, St. Amant; and Cade Blanchard, Dutchtown. Infielders: Davin Cummings, St. Amant; and Brandt Fairchild, East Ascension. Outfield: Noah Fontenot, East Ascension; and Reese Hebert, East Ascension. Utility: Connor Tregre, Dutchtown; Gage Bourgeois, East Ascension; and Dustin Decoteau, Dutchtown. Selected as a Co-MVP was Blayne Enlow, St. Amant High.

Boys selected on the All-District 6-1A first team from Ascension Parish were pitchers: Landon Clifton, Ascension Catholic; Josh Diaz, Ascension Christian; David Girior, Ascension Catholic. Catcher: Dillon Vice, Ascension Catholic. Infielders: Nick Bellina, Ascension Catholic; Garrett Hales, Ascension Catholic. Outfielders: Collin Landry, Ascension Catholic; Kvon Delore, Ascension Christian. Utility: Ross Ponville, Ascension Catholic; Mason Zeringue, Ascension Catholic; Peyton Bahlinger, Ascension Christian.

Pitchers selected on the second team were: Nick Montalbano, Ascension Christian; infielders: Josh Porrier, Ascension Christian; William Dunn, Ascension Catholic. Outfielders: Brendan Tramonte, Ascension Christian. Utility: Charlie Genaloni, Ascension Catholic; Mason Braud, Ascension Christian. MVP: Landon Clifton, Ascension Catholic. Coach of the Year is Todd Landry, Ascension Catholic.

Girls selected on the All-District 5-5A team from Ascension Parish first team were pitchers: Renee Firmin, St. Amant; Ali McCoy, Dutchtown; Jessie Watts, East Ascension. Catchers: Taylor Trabeaux, St. Amant. Infielders: Kourtney Gremillion, St. Amant; Hannah Martin, Dutchtown; Taylor Tidwell, St. Amant; Claire Weinberger, East Ascension. Outfielders: Verlencia Jackson, East Ascension; Abby McKey, St. Amant; Jadyn Rumfellow, St. Amant. Utility: McKenzie King, St. Amant; Taja Landry, East Ascension; Kennedy Page, Dutchtown; Blayne Pence, Dutchtown. Designated player: Darcas Deverteuil, St. Amant.

Catchers selected on the second team were: Whitney Hall, Dutchtown; Molly Moran, East Ascension. Infielders: Bria Aikens, East Ascension; Brooke Romano, St. Amant. Outfielders: Bailey Gilleon, Dutchtown; Kaylee Sharp, Dutchtown. Utility: Baylee Bourgeois, Dutchtown; Rylee Langlois, St. Amant; MVP: Kourtney Gremillion, St. Amant. Coach of the Year is Scott Nielson, St. Amant.

My Dad

With Father’s Day just around the corner, memories of my dad never fail to come to mind. I’m the oldest of eight kids (six boys, two girls) so we had a large family. He loved the outdoors, especially fishing, and with six boys, his time was divided among us in order to take us fishing.

Jerry Lyle, as he’s affectionately known among the old-timers in Ascension Parish, was a very good angler who taught us all to fish. Now, he thought teaching and bringing us fishing was what we enjoyed the most. But what we really enjoyed the most was spending time with him.

There was lots of well-earned fussing going on as he tried to keep us straight, keep the lines untangled and give us the finer points of his experience. But his smile and laughter at the funny things that happened (and believe me there were lots) is what I remember the most.

He loved to bass fish, but as he got a little older, catching catfish became his passion. Just about every time I reel a catfish, I think of him and the good times we had together. Those times didn’t end when I grew up and even when I got married and started a family. We spent many a day catching bait and running trot lines in Blind River and the Diversion Canal trying to make a living.

Following suit with my own son, Wesley, and two daughters, Kaycee and Gabrielle, lots of time was spent on the water teaching them to fish and just enjoy creating memories. Laughter, fish catching, hooks in the hands and head was on the menu for the third generation’s plate as well.

Now, the fourth generation is well on its way to enjoying the outdoors and I’ve been very blessed to be able to take part in their fishing experience. They live away but when they return home, school takes place on the pier and we often get a chance to fish where they live.

This past weekend, my third grandchild, Enoch, was fishing with his dad, Brandon, in Maggie’s Pond where the Blue River runs through it just outside of Breckenridge, Colorado. Quite a bit of excitement and shouting went on as he caught his first brown trout on a rod and reel using Gulp salmon eggs.

So the fourth generation is taking its place as fathers and grandfathers introduce them to the outdoors. Happy Father’s Day to you dads and remember to spent time with your kids. It’s all they want!

Two Gators honored at The Advocate’s Athlete of the Year banquet

St. Amant High School’s Briggs Bourgeois and Kourtney Gremillion were honored as finalists during The Advocate’s 31st Athlete of the Year/Star of Stars banquet Monday night.

Six finalist were named from a field of 15 Star of Stars honorees.

Nicky Dawson, of Parkview Baptist, and Colin Bone, of Catholic High, were named the top winners.

Bourgeois was the lone junior among the boys selected as finalists. Bourgeois used his talents to earn All-Metro honors in football and soccer. The same foot that made him a soccer star also has made him one of the nation’s top kicker prospects for 2017 as well as earning him a spot among the area’s leading wide receiver prospects.

Gremillion is a Lady Gator whose softball talents have earned her a University of Louisiana at Lafayette softball scholarship and is the sister of UL-Louisiana softball player Kara Gremillion, who won The Advocate’s Girls Athlete of the Year award for the past two years.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.