High school all-district football teams were selected.

DISTRICT 5-5A FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE: quarterback Jared Sparks, Dutchtown; running back Josh Bates, East Ascension; running back Fitell Bolding, Dutchtown; running back Nathan Taylor, St. Amant; tight end Chris Falgoust, Dutchtown; wide receiver Briggs Bourgeois, St. Amant; wide receiver Cornelius Washington, Dutchtown; offensive tackle Lloyd Cushenberry, Dutchtown; offensive tackle Gus Gutierrez, East Ascension; and placekicker Briggs Bourgeois, St. Amant.

The all-around athlete is Kyran Irvin, East Ascension, a 6-foot, 205-pound senior.

DISTRICT 5-5A FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE: defensive lineman Jayvin Johnson, East Ascension; defensive lineman Elliot Turner, St. Amant; linebacker Marshaud Melancon, East Ascension; linebacker Sean Pruet, Dutchtown; linebacker Cade Roddy, St. Amant; defensive back Johnny Baker, East Ascension; defensive back Coney Durr, Dutchtown; defensive back Patrick Wolfe, St. Amant; and punter Beau Trabeau, St. Amant.

DISTRICT 5-5A OFFENSIVE MVP: Briggs Bourgeois, St. Amant.

DISTRICT 5-5A DEFENSIVE MVP: Coney Durr, Dutchtown.

The Coach of the Year award went to Benny Saia, of the Dutchtown Griffins.

“I was very proud of this year’s team; they were a fun bunch to coach. I thought that the way this team stuck together through the good times and the bad times is what you look for as a coach,” Saia said. “We will lose 35 seniors who did a great job of providing leadership and leave some big shoes for the next year’s team to fill.”

As far as the award is concerned, Saia said it’s always great to be recognized, “but I think any head coach will tell you that they are only as good as their assistant coaches.

“I am blessed to have great coaches and great people around me. I would like to thank them for all the hard work they put in day after day,” Saia said. “My hat’s off to Jason Brown, John Talley, Jonathan Walker, Eddie Hahn, Blake Kling, Kent Legendre, Elmo Stienert, Chris Schexnaydre, Dr. Ronnie Harper and Piper Oubre.”

DISTRICT 5-5A SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE: quarterback Hayden Mallory, St. Amant; running back Chucky Davis, Dutchtown; tight end Ira Washington, East Ascension; wide receivers Kennan Dunn, East Ascension, Averee York, Dutchtown, and Jacob Cheatwood, St. Amant; center Prentiss Stanley, St. Amant; offensive guards Mylik McWilliams, Dutchtown, and Trevor Fleming, East Ascension; placekicker Parker Fontenot, Catholic High; and punter Cadon Story, Dutchtown.

DISTRICT 5-5A SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE: defensive linemen Devon Sherman, East Ascension, and Garret Stephens, St. Amant; linebackers Terrence Lymon, Dutchtown, Xavier Anderson, St. Amant, and Jamien Sampson, East Ascension; defensive backs Jamie LeBlanc, St. Amant, Jonathan Bryant, East Ascension, and Rickey Thomas, Dutchtown; kick returner Mark Darby, St. Amant.

DISTRICT 6-3A FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE: wide receiver Stephen Sullivan, Donaldsonville, 6-foot-6, 230-pound senior.

DISTRICT 6-3A FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE: defensive lineman Tyarise Stevenson, Donaldsonville, 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior.

DISTRICT 6-3A SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE: offensive lineman Devon Wright, wide receiver Jaylin Williams and kick returner Aaron Julien, all of Donaldsonville.

DISTRICT 6-3A SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE: linebackers Depore Rosemond and Tahj Brown, Donaldsonville.

DISTRICT 6-1A FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE: running back Kaleb Winchester, offensive lineman D.J. Giroir and placekicker Collin Landry, all of Ascension Catholic.

DISTRICT 6-1A FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE: Winchester, defensive back, and Nick Bellina, punter, both of Ascension Catholic.

DISTRICT 6-1A SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE: fullback Jacob Lagrange, Ascension Catholic.

DISTRICT 6-1A SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE: defensive lineman D.J. Girior and linebackers Jacob Landry and Cole Amedee, all of Ascension Catholic.

Preparing for battle

One of the challenges for a small school is having enough folks come out for your team. Ascension Christian Lions coach Tyler Turner faced that problem in spades for this basketball season. But you can hardly tell by his attitude.

“With this being my first year, first year at the school and short on numbers of players, what I’d like to accomplish is to help the kids work hard, play together, never give up and constantly compete, day in and day out,” Turner said.

Numbers of players are not the only challenge coach Turner and the Lions will face this season as the tallest member of the team is 6 feet.

“Man, we have all guards on the team. The only forward we have, if you want to call it that is Jake Antie at 5-5,” Turner said.

The Lions have two other players at 6 feet: seniors Paxton Paige and Remi Hayes.

Returning starters who will figure in helping the 1-11 Lions improve on the court are Hayes, guard/forward Paige and junior guard Antie. With such a small amount of players, performance on the offensive side of the ball is distributed around with Paige being the most consistent player, averaging 12.8 points per game.

On the defensive side of the ball, Antie and 5-foot-6 eighth-grader Derrick Varnado lead the pack of seven. Another young player who will contribute to the effort is freshman Tyler Cambre.

Ascension Christian High competes in District 6-1A against Southern Lab, Kentwood, White Castle, St. John, Ascension Catholic and East Iberville.

District play will begin with Southern Lab on Tuesday. Ascension Christian is averaging 44 points per game and the Kittens average 58, so this game will be a challenge for the Lions. ACH will travel to Baton Rouge to face the (8-4) Kittens with tipoff slated for 7 p.m.

Girls basketball schedules

With the season well underway, our girls basketball teams will start district play in the New Year. Here’s a list of upcoming games.

The Ascension Catholic High School Lady Bulldogs will kick off district play Tuesday against Kentwood in an away game starting at 5:30 p.m., then host White Castle at home Jan. 5 at 5:30 p.m. and host East Iberville on Jan. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

Ascension Christian High’s Lady Lions will face the Southern Lab Kittens in district play Jan. 4 in an away game with tipoff at 6 p.m., followed by Madison Prep on Jan. 5 at home at 5 p.m. and Kentwood on Jan. 8 at 6 p.m. in an away game.

Donaldsonville High’s Lady Tigers (8-4) will face the Brusly Panthers in their district opener on Monday with tipoff slated for 6 p.m. at home. They will face Port Allen at home on Wednesday at 6 p.m., remain at home for a contest with Baker on Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. and take on Glen Oaks at home Jan. 8 at 6 p.m.

Dutchtown’s Lady Griffins (4-10) will open up district play with a contest against St. Joseph’s Academy in an away game Jan. 12 with the tipoff time slated for 5:30 p.m., then take on the Lady Gators on Jan. 14 in St. Amant with tipoff at 5:30 p.m.

East Ascension’s Lady Spartans (7-3) will open up district play with a contest Tuesday against Covington at 6:30 p.m., then play Madison Prep in a nondistrict game at home Jan. 31 and take on the McKinley Panthers at home with tipoff at 5:30 p.m.

St. Amant’s Lady Gators will start district play after wrapping up tournament play over the holidays Jan. 11 facing the Broadmoor Lady Buccaneers at home beginning at 7 p.m., then travel to Dutchtown and face the Lady Griffins on Jan. 14 with the JV game starting at 5:30 p.m.

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