Donaldsonville’s Stephen Sullivan picks LSU

After re-evaluating his choices, Donaldsonville Tigers’ star wide receiver Stephen Sullivan made a commitment to play for another Tiger team — the LSU Tigers. Sullivan declared his choice Dec. 26 during a news conference at the school that was attended by family, friends, coaches and teammates.

LSU got its Christmas present a day late. A four-star recruit, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound Sullivan is listed as Louisiana’s No. 8 player in the Class of 2016 by 247 Sports. He is ranked 17th nationally among wide receivers and 101st overall.

His decision was based on how it affected his family and where he’d fit in as a player, he said. He hopes to join a very large stable of premier wide receivers from the past as well as present gridiron greats.

Sullivan’s choice was not an easy one as he committed to LSU before his junior season. He pulled his commitment from the Tigers early last fall and relegated his final list to LSU, TCU and Mississippi State.

Sullivan ended the 2015-2016 season catching 57 passes for 1,158 yards (20.3 per catch) and 10 touchdowns for the Class 3A Donaldsonville Tigers.

The Advocate selects All-Metro football teams

Two area players were selected for the Advocate’s 5A-4A All-Metro football team on defense. Senior defensive back Coney Durr was chosen. The District 5-5A MVP led the Griffins defense with 55 tackles, 28 assists and 1 fumble recovery for a TD.

Senior defensive back Johnny Baker, of the East Ascension Spartans, also made the list. The All-District 5-5A pick led the Spartans in the secondary with 29 tackles, 25 assists, 4 interceptions and 10 pass break-ups.

On the offensive side of the ball, Briggs Bourgeois, of the St. Amant Gators, was chosen as a wide receiver and kicker. One of the area’s top receivers all season, Bourgeois led the 5A Gators with 45 catches for 815 yards and 16 TDs. Bourgeois scored 158 points with 16 TDs and was the area’s most prolific kicker with 7 field goals — the longest being a 51-yarder.

Senior offensive lineman Lloyd Cushenberry, of the Dutchtown Griffins, made the team. Cushenberry showed a lot of versatility as the 5A Griffins passed more often while maintaining their traditional running attack.

In the 3A-2A-1A division, Sullivan, of the Donaldsonville Tigers, received the honor.

The Advocate selects All-Metro volleyball teams

More than a handful of Ascension Parish volleyball players were selected to the Advocate’s All-Metro team in Divisions I and II. Junior Maggie Duplechein, from St. Amant, was selected to the team despite missing half the season because of injury. The Lady Gator finished the season with 240 kills, 167 digs and 226 assists.

She was joined by her teammate senior Kourtney Gremillion. Besides being named All-District for the Division I, District 4 champions and signing on with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns in softball, she compiled 565 assists, 312 kills and 277 digs for the season.

Dutchtown’s Kristen Thompson, a junior, was selected as well to the First-team Division I, District 4 with a .321 hitting percentage, 473 kills, 87 blocks and 392 assists. Also on the list was junior Emily Venable, a setter who helped the Spartans reach the Division I regional’s with 708 assists, 316 digs and 87 aces. Receiving Honorable Mention were Jessie Watts, of East Ascension, and Taylor Tidwell, of St. Amant.

In Divisions III and below, senior Michayla Spano, of the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs, was selected. Spano is a setter who earned All-District honors in Division V, District 3 and finished the season with 927 assists and 236 digs. Honorable Mention selections went to Grace Villa and teammate Rae’ Shaun Malancon, of the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs.

The teams were selected by area coaches.

Advocate selects All-Metro cross country teams

The ladies from the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs cross country team dominated the Advocate’s All-Metro Team selections. Junior Breanna Bernard was the fourth-place finisher in the Class 1A competition with a time of 19:43.49 and placed seventh at the Metro meet with a time of 19:12.34. She was joined by teammate sophomore Stephanie Breaux. She repeated as the Class 1A champion, this time in 19:00.45, and was fifth at Metro in 19:01.18.

Junior teammate Sophie Daigle finished fourth at the Metro meet in 18:55.41 and was third in Class 1A in 19:23.19. Haley Dupre’s season highlights included placing 14th at Metro in 20:03.06 and fifth in 1A in 20:31.98. Junior Tara Stunts, from the Dutchtown Griffins, rounded out the parish selections. Stunts placed 11th in Class 5A in 20:27.51 and also was 11th at Metro in 19:45.84 for the Griffins.

Rocky Capello, head coach of the Bulldogs was selected as coach of the year. Capello’s Lady Bulldogs girls’ team hit on all cylinders again in 2015. Ascension Catholic won its second Class 1A state title in three seasons. The Bulldogs scored 26 points in the state meet and held four of the top five spots among the finishers. ACHS finished second to St. Joseph’s Academy at Metro with 72 points. The team had three runners in the top seven positions.

The Dutchtown Griffins placed two runners on the All-Metro team. Junior Parker McBride led the way at Metro, finishing 13th in 16:26.62 and took 28th in Class 5A in 17:30.16. Teammate senior Ben Vasterling led the Griffins by placing fourth at Metro in 16:01.28 and 32nd in Class 5A in 17:32.01.

Thomas Daigle, from the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs, made the Honorable Mention list. The teams were selected by area coaches.

A personal treat for me

My passion for the outdoors is no secret, but this past Saturday, I was blessed with a very personal treat that included an invitation to deer hunt on a friend’s property in Angie near the Mississippi line.

This invitation was actually made to my wife, Deborah, and it included me as well. We headed up La. 21 from Covington for the two-hour ride to the 530-acre piece of property. This was our first time to this part of our state and the ride was enjoyable, to say the least.

We were guests of Rick and Jeanine Kogler. They gave us a grand tour of the place and fed us lunch before we headed out to the stand for an afternoon hunt. The weather was pretty much perfect. Not too cold to be uncomfortable, sort of like the little bears’ porridge — just right.

The box stand was near a feeder so our anticipation was high in our expectation of seeing some deer and hopefully to get a shot. After about five minutes on the stand, a doe with her nearly grown yearling came out and began to nibble on the corn already on the ground. That activity went on for the next 2½ hours as we ended up seeing about 15 deer. Three were bucks but none of them were shooters, so we never got a shot.

There were lots of really cool things about this trip, but the best part was the time in the stand with my wife. She has a love for the outdoors, and we got to spend some quality time in conversation as well as the excitement when another deer came out. This will be a hunting trip that I will never forget and hopefully repeat many times in the future.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at or