With the announcement of Doug Moreau’s retirement as football coach and athletic director at Ascension Catholic High, it brought on the search for a replacement. Moreau turned things around during his tenure, with the team finishing the 2014-15 season (8-3, 4-1) by making the state playoffs.

Drey Trosclair, of Houma, was selected April 2 as the new coach and athletic director. This will be the former Vandebilt Catholic coach’s first head coaching opportunity.

“It’s always been one of my goals to become a head coach, but to reach that at 25 years old, man, I’m really blessed,” Trosclair said.

Trosclair said he knows many believe 25 is kind of young to be a head coach.

“Man, I get that all the time,” he said when I pointed out the obvious age question. “I’m going to use that to my advantage, though. I have a lot of energy and a staff with tons of energy, and we’re ready just to get to work.”

Along with his youth, Trosclair has another advantage under his belt. Fresh from his graduation from Nicholls State University, he took on the job of assistant football coach under Moreau at Ascension Catholic High School and served as wide receiver and defensive back coach along with special teams coordinator duties.

But the new head coach will have a challenge, as only seven starters will return for the 2015-16 season — three on offense and four on defense.

“We were pretty much emptied out at the end of last season,” he said. “We only have one starter returning on the offensive line, so we’ll need some work there. Actually, 21 of our 41 players are freshmen, so we really have a young team.”

That would be an understatement.

Leading the offense this year will be returning senior quarterback D.C. Mattingly. His role will be magnified as the offense has changed from the triple option to a spread offense. Junior Ashton Bourgeois is the returning starter that will anchor the offensive line at left tackle. Returning junior Nick Bellina will shore up the receiving group and start at the wide receiver position.

The defense will remain the same 3-3-5 stack and be led by returning All-District senior linebacker Cole Amedee. Bourgeois will play both sides of the ball and take on defensive end duties. Bellina will play both sides, as well, in his role as a defensive back. Junior Collin Landry will play defensive end and help solidify the defensive line.

Just how will the Bulldogs fill all the gaps left from last year’s team?

“We have a lot of seniors that will get their opportunity to step up and start for the first time on Friday nights,” he said. “But a lot of our young players will take a big role as well. Junior Jacob LaGrange will see lots of playing time, as he’ll serve double duties as a running back on offense and linebacker on defense.”

A couple of other new starters who will be impact players from the beginning are junior Javon Yarbrough, who will double as a safety on defense and running back on offense, along with senior Kaleb Winchester, who will play slot receiver on offense and cornerback on defense.

And what about those 21 freshmen who signed up for action?

“Well, we actually got to do a lot of work with those guys as all of them came out for spring practice,” Trosclair said. “Our baseball team was making a good playoff run, so we got to work with mostly the freshmen for the whole spring session. Some of them will actually have to be ready to help at the start.”

Dillon Davis will be one of the new players who will certainly see playing time from the start at the tight end and outside linebacker positions.

What some might see as a lack of age and experience, Trosclair certainly makes up for with enthusiasm and energy. Some of those intangibles will make it to the football field this season as the Bulldogs take on new challenges.

State of the Pier address

The president of the United States gives a State of the Union address. Our governor gives a State of the State report on occasion, and I’ve even heard the mayor of New Orleans give a State of the City report, as well. So, today, I thought I’d give a State of the Pier address and let you know how things are going on the pier.

In my opinion, the State of the Union is not nearly as good as one might hope. The State of the State — not as bad as the union and very grateful for what we have. State of the City of New Orleans — no words needed. State of the Pier — dog days of summer, yuck.

As hot as the temperature is, the fishing off my pier in the Diversion Canal is not so hot. We’ve reached the summertime doldrums as far as the catfish go. The bigger fish seem to leave this time of the year, and the little ones seem to be out there by the thousands. On the good side of this circumstance is if one likes to eat small fried catfish (my personal favorite), this is the time to capitalize. Downsize your hooks and bait for a good chance to catch a very tasty lunch or dinner.

The panfish (bluegill, chinquapin and sac-a-lait) seem to have hit the summertime doldrums, as well. The smaller versions are dominating my catches in the heat, and that action probably won’t pick up until cooler temperatures return in the fall.

The water has cleared up since the frequent rains we had a few weeks ago, and that means the bass fishing is back on the roll. The summertime heat is on, but the bass will continue to feed and are catchable even when others won’t bite.

Early in the morning and late afternoon are the best times both for catching bass and for the fisherman, as well. It’s as cool as it’s going to get; the boat traffic is not as bad. Lots of shad are in schools, which mean lots of food for the bass to eat, so fishing points with a crank bait or plastic worm should work well.

So the State of the Pier? In my opinion, it’s about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest rating. Most of the downside is due to the hot temperatures. But hang on, fall is coming, and the State of the Pier will return to its usual productive levels.

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