St. Amant’s wrestling team finished in 11th place with 99.12 points in the AllState/LHSAA State Wrestling Tournament on Saturday in Kenner.

Two Gator wrestlers made it to the medal podium as Clint Brownell took fourth place in the 145-pound class and Jordan Averett finished in fifth place.

The Dutchtown team finished in 15th place with 73.5 points while the East Ascension Spartans finished in 17th place with 57.5 points.

Batters take the field

Baseball season is off to an early beginning with jamborees at two locations over the weekend. Dunham played host at one of them and defeated the Ascension Christian Lions 10-0. The Lions lost to Christian Life 3-0 then defeated West Feliciana 5-2 and lost to Dunham again 7-4.

The St. Amant team hosted the second jamboree last weekend. The Gators lost to Thibodaux 2-0. The Dutchtown Griffins beat Assumption High 7-0 then downed the East Ascension Spartans 10-7. East Ascension then beat the host team 8-0.

In softball jamboree action, the Dutchtown Lady Griffins took Brusly out by the score of 5-4 and the Ascension Christian Lion ladies walloped St. Michael 18-2. Christian Life beat Ascension Christian 6-5, while Ascension Catholic played to a 0-0 tie with Dutchtown and played to their second tie with Walker 2-2.

Saturday brings more early season action in baseball at Don’s Sportsman’s Classic in Brusly as Terrebonne takes on Ascension Catholic at 3:30 p.m. St. John plays Brusly at 5:45 p.m. and Dunham finishes up with Ascension Catholic at 8 p.m.

The East Ascension Spartans will host a tournament on Saturday with Destrehan taking on Vandebilt Catholic at 4 p.m. and the Spartans taking on Hahnville in the nightcap at 6:30 p.m.

The Dutchtown Griffins also host a tournament Saturday. The St. Amant Gators take on Parkview Baptist at 4 p.m. in the early game and the Griffins finish things up by taking on Hammond in the nightcap at 6:30 p.m.

Basketball season wraps up

The boys regular basketball season is complete and our parish teams finished as follows.

In District 5-5A, St. Amant finished third at 19-12, 6-4; the East Ascension Spartans finished fourth at 13-16, 5-5 while the Dutchtown Griffins ended the season in the fifth spot at 4-25, 2-8.

In District 9-3A, the Donaldsonville Tigers finished with a 20-8, 6-2 record that earned them a second-place finish, and in District 8-1A, the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs finished 16-11, 4-6 and the Ascension Christian Lions finished 8-16, 2-8.

In girls basketball Class 1A bidistrict playoffs, the No. 16-seeded Ascension Catholic Lady Lions took on 17-seeded Hanson Memorial and came away with an impressive 46-35 victory, while West St. John defeated the Ascension Christian Lady Lions 58-35. This was the Lady Lions’ second consecutive state playoff appearance.

The lowly goo

The biological name for the gaspergou is freshwater drum. There are four other fish that are its close cousins and are sought after by Louisiana anglers. The family is called drum because the males vibrate strong muscles by the float bladder to make a “croaking” sound.

Speckled trout are the most sought after in our coastal waters, and if you’re not aware of it, the males croak, especially during the spawn. Red drum, or redfish, are in the same family and are highly sought after from brackish to our coastal waters and occupy game fish status.

Third in the popularity chain but rising fast is the black drum. The black drum is actually better table fare than redfish, but the reds hold the reputation for their fight after being hooked. The croaker would be next on the list and is usually caught while fishing for other species. They make great table fare, as well.

Ah, the goo; not considered much for sport or table fare in most anglers’ books. They are usually a side catch, as well. They will hit an artificial bait, so bass anglers tangle with the line, stripping runs on occasion as they put up a great fight. Anglers will catch gaspergou while fishing for catfish, as well.

This is where I come in. I love to tight-line for catfish, and my favorite bait in late winter/early spring is small crawfish. This is the lowly goo’s top item on its menu, so I catch my fair share of this lowly member of the drum family. As a rule, I’d enjoy the fight and release them.

When I was a kid, mom would make courtbuillon, which was made with tomato gravy and served over rice. It was OK, but I wasn’t a fan of red gravy and rice; I’m still not. This is the way they were eaten back in the day, and it was pretty popular. Daddy would tell us of folks from west Louisiana who would flock to the Amite River in the springtime to take advantage of the goo run upriver during the spawn.

I sort of just gave up on eating them until a couple of years ago. The meat is very white and clean; it just doesn’t have any flavor. Frying it or broiling it sort of makes it rubbery and unpleasant to eat, but I got tired of throwing back all that good-looking meat and set out to figure this thing out. There must be a way to cook them that is flavorful and pleasant to eat.

I enlisted a five-star chef, my wife, Deborah, to help in the quest. I have to thank her for her patience as I came up with what seemed to be some whacky ideas, but she pulled it off. The first recipe I asked her to try was a “goo stew.”

She was assigned to make it like a crawfish stew to serve over rice. It was incredible. It cooks more like meat and is perfect for cooking in liquid. It doesn’t fall apart but is tender as can be while absorbing the flavor of the gravy.

We tried fish cakes (like crab cakes) and cooked it with andouille and shrimp in an Alfredo sauce with angel hair pasta; the possibilities are endless.

While fishing for bream with small crawfish on the pier, I caught a 4-pound goo and went inside to inform my wife. After telling her, she exclaimed, “Oh no, what now?” I informed her I’d like to try it in a gumbo.

After shaking her head, she agreed to take the task on. She added shrimp and some smoked sausage to knock it out of the park!

The lowly goo has been elevated to a pretty high position in our home, no longer to be looked down on. You should try it, too.

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