Wrestlers selected to All-Metro team

St. Amant High School senior Clint Brownell was selected to the All-Metro wrestling team compiled by local coaches and also was named the outstanding wrestler in Division I this past weekend.

Brownell made his mark by competing in the 152-pound weight class for the Gators and had an outstanding senior year. He won a city title, finished second in Division I at state and was first-team all-metro. Brownell had an impressive 48-3 season and compiled a 131-37 record for his career.

Brownell was joined on the first-team selections by teammates Sage Nugent, a junior, and senior Jordan Averett. Nugent competed in the 182-pound class. He picked up an Outstanding Wrestler award after his city tourney win, finishing second at state, and compiled a 51-3 record this year.

Averett competed in the 182-pound class for the Gators. Averett finished a very successful senior year, compiling a 42-2 record and earning a city tournament title as well.

Selected on the second team in the 120-pound class were junior Brier Babin, of St. Amant, who finished with a 50-11 record; in the 132-pound class, senior Landon Wheat, of East Ascension Spartans; and from the Dutchtown Griffins, senior Brendan Warner was selected in the 138-pound class and finished his season at 22-16. In the 285-pound class, sophomore Jordan Cambell, of the East Ascension Spartans, was selected to the second team with a 36-16 record.

Coach Whittington honored

Two years ago, Barry Whittington came back to the school where he spent his high school days on the basketball court playing for the East Ascension Spartans. This time around, his role is head coach for that same basketball team.

In his second year at the helm, Whittington led his 13th-seeded Spartan basketball team to the state semifinals in Class 5-A while finishing the year with a 30-7 record. To add a little whipped cream to the top of the sundae, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association named Whittington as Coach of the Year in Class 5A basketball.

“Being selected the class 5A coach of the year by the LSWA is a tremendous honor. God has blessed me with an opportunity to work and coach at a school that I love dearly. This recognition isn’t about me, though. Yes, my name is on the award, but this award represents the spirit of EA and Gonzales,” Whittington said.

All year long, Whittington focused on a team effort that encompassed each of his players’ talents.

“We work our butts off to ensure that all of our kids get the most out of their potential. We love these kids as if they were our own; they bought into and believed in what we asked them to do. We are glad to be able to make our parents, wives, administrators, co-workers and community proud,” he said.

Whittington instilled confidence in his players. “Our focus was to be the best team we could be. We felt were good enough to compete with anyone. It’s rewarding to see the fruits of our labor have been recognized,” he said.

Junior guard Le’Aaron Cain was selected to the boys’ second team. “Lee,” as he’s known by his fellow teammates, is a 6-foot-2 guard who led the team in scoring.

St. Amant Gators break Bears’ winning streak

The St. Amant Gators used an early 6-1 lead over the Catholic High Bears after four innings and hung on for an 8-6 win in District 5-5A baseball on Saturday. The win for the Gators (14-10, 4-1) ended the Bears’ 16-game win streak that pulled the two teams into a tie for second place in district standings as Dutchtown stands on top with a 5-0 district record.

Ivan Prejean led the way for the Gators using a hot stick, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a sacrifice fly and four RBIs.

Hayden Mallory kept the offensive output by scoring a run in the second inning and then drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in another in the third. Prejean added to his barrage by driving in two more runs in the fourth and scored another when Zane Zeppuhar initiated an intentional rundown while at first that allowed Prejean to cross the plate with another run.

Blayne Enlow pitched a solid game as the Gators’ starter, allowing only one hit through five innings. Dwain Guice replaced Enlow in the sixth inning but quickly got into a jam by hitting Tristan Welch and Daniel Guilbeau. Brian Fairbanks came through with a single, and the bases were loaded with no outs.

Guice got help from his infield with a 6-4-3 double play that allowed Welch to score. Shortstop Adam Sevario then made the defensive play of the day as Brennan Lambert hit a screaming ground ball to third that ricocheted off Prejean’s glove. Sevario grabbed the ball out of the air and made a great throw to first that Davin Cummings picked out of the dirt.

Catholic put three more runs on the scoreboard in the seventh off closer Collin Bourgeois that started out a little rocky, as well. A wild pitch was followed by an RBI single by Welch and a double by Guilbeau, but Bourgeois got Peyton Alexander to fly out to end the game.

Kids Fishing for a Cause

On April 23, in conjunction with the 2016 Extreme Ranch Rodeo to be held at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, a morning kids’ fishing rodeo will be held at the two ponds behind the main arenas. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and fishing takes place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. At noon, the awards and door prizes will be awarded.

There is no entry fee, so bring all the kids you can through 12 years of age. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 300 kids who register. Trophies will be awarded to the top three winners in each age class (0-5, 6-9 and 10-12). Door prizes of bikes, scooters and gift cards will be awarded to the participants.

The kids’ rodeo is just part of the day’s event. The Extreme Ranch Rodeo started six years ago with offering Louisiana its first free admission Professional Bull Riding at Lamar-Dixon and over 5,000 people attended. Since 2010, EXRR has produced more than 30 rodeos across the state, reaching over 40,000 folks.

In 2015, with the help of local sponsors and folks in attendance, EXRR raised over $100,000 to provide tuition for 22 children from low-income families. That’s what this two-day event is all about. The 2016 EXRR is expected to generate even more funds to send even more kids to private school.

In addition to the rodeos, a car and truck show will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a 5K and Kids Fun Run at 8 a.m., a Kids Fun Zone with pony rides, a petting zoo, a hot-air balloon display, train rides, inflatables and more.

For more info, visit extremerodeo.org, send an email to info@extremerodeo.org or call Scott Hymel at (225) 715-0108. Come and say hello to me as I will be the master of ceremonies at the kids’ rodeo.

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