It came as no surprise that junior Courtney Julien, St. Amant’s outstanding point guard, made first team, all district in District 5-5A basketball. Julien also was named Most Valuable Player. He was joined on the first team by senior teammate Nick Griffin, East Ascension senior Josh Andrews and Dutchtown senior Cameron Burke. East Ascension’s Bilal Frank captured the Defensive MVP award.

Earning spots on the first team 5-5A girls basketball team were LaShon Reddit, Tyler Smith and Kelsie Baker, of Dutchtown. Ne’Kayla Williams and Kara Gremillion took two spots for the St. Amant Gators. Gremillion was awarded the MVP overall while Royelle Cobb was awarded Outstanding Defensive Player for the Dutchtown Griffins.

Junior Rae’Shaun Melancon, of Ascension Catholic High, earned a spot on the first team for 8-1A girls while Daija Harvey, Ascension Catholic, eighth grade; Allyson Cambre, Ascension Christian, senior; and Jamielyn Robinson, Ascension Christian, freshman, earned spots on the second team.

All-district soccer teams

Sophomore forward Briggs Bourgeois, of the St. Amant Gators, along with teammates Hector Rodriguez, a freshman defender, and senior forward Steven Saucier; junior Carter Marchand, from East Ascension; seniors Jeremy Thompson, midfielder/forward, and Matthew Watts, midfielder/forward/defender, of the Dutchtown Griffins, earned spots on the first team for all-district soccer in Division 1, District 5. St. Amant’s Bourgeois also won Overall Most Valuable Player.

Second team honorees were junior Trey Cutrer, St. Amant, defender; junior Seth Benoit, St. Amant, midfielder; sophomore Anthony Naya, St. Amant, midfielder; senior Ryan Redmond, Dutchtown, forward; senior Cameron Gautreau, Dutchtown, defender/midfielder; freshman Hayden Armstrong, Dutchtown, defender; senior Evan Leblanc, East Ascension, midfielder; senior Jonathon Vidrine, East Ascension, winger; junior Carter Marchand, East Ascension, forward; and sophomore Dylan Vidrine, East Ascension, defender.

Earning honors on the First team for Division I District 5 girls were junior Cameron Matherne, St. Amant; sophomore Lorelei Gaffney, St. Amant; junior Blaire Laiche, East Ascension; junior Caroline LeCoq, East Ascension; freshman Kelsey Richey, East Ascension; senior Sarah Patterson, Dutchtown; senior Molly Litten, Dutchtown; junior Madyson Bleakley, Dutchtown; and junior Sofia McNulty, Dutchtown, goalkeeper.

Earning honors on the second team were senior Lizzie Fellows, St. Amant; senior Claire Sheets, St. Amant; senior Stephanie Bernal, East Ascension; sophomore Emily Galindo, East Ascension; freshman Michaela Speligene, East Ascension; freshman Hannah Bernard, East Ascension; junior Hannah German, Dutchtown; junior Lauren Bercegeay, Dutchtown; junior Natalie Toups, Dutchtown; and sophomore Bailey Cyrowski, Dutchtown. Taking the Offensive MVP award was Sarah Patterson, of the Dutchtown Griffins.

Bowling playoffs

State playoffs for bowling are well underway.

Last weekend saw second seed Dutchtown handily advance with a 24-3 win in the Griffins’ match against St. Michael. Chad Conard posted a 617 series and Trey Kauffman followed with a 609 series for the win.

St. Amant plays on with a 16-11 win over Broadmoor with Prentiss Stanley posting a 624 series. If both teams come away with victories, they will advance to the state semifinals on April 10.

Bring out the boats

Well, Old Man Winter seems to have lost his grip on our weather. We’ve had some nice, warm days with lots of sun. This usually means that our waterways will begin to fill with boats of all kinds and sizes. Fishing is in full stride and boating is just getting warmed up.

If last weekend was any sign of things to come, one could expect a very full season of boating activity. The Diversion Canal seemed to be at a middle-of-the-summer weekend pace as folks were out enjoying the water on jet skis and in bateaus, surface drive boats, bass boats, bay boats, pleasure boats and the big boys, if you know what I mean.

The waterways fill as more people get out to experience one of the joys of living in south Louisiana. More people means more boats, and more boats means the possibility of a boating accident taking place will grow exponentially. Safety on the water is a must.

Lots of things contribute to the risks that you take on the water; inexperience is the first. There are no licensing requirements for purchasing a boat; all you need is good credit or lots of cash.

Everyone born after 1984 must take a boating safety course to legally drive a boat. The test at the end of the course does not require a driving test, just a written test.

Boats have no brakes nor do they have steering once the propeller stops turning. It’s easy to make a mistake, and mistakes on the water can lead to serious consequences.

Crowding is an issue, as well. Everyone is well aware of the traffic problems we have on our roads. The amount of traffic on our waterways increases every year. Low gasoline prices will add to the problem this summer.

Drinking and driving on the water usually contributes to the majority of accidents and fatalities year in and year out. Boating lends itself to drinking a beer or two on the water. Please use a designated driver on the water.

Unfortunately, we’ve had an accident with fatalities already. On Saturday, on the Pearl River Navigational Canal in St. Tammany Parish, an aluminum bateau with two adults and three children capsized. One adult died and as of press time, another is still missing. The children were rescued and were wearing personal flotation devices (life jackets). Authorities believe the adults weren’t.

Safety equipment can save lives, as well. Boats are equipped with a kill switch that should be attached to the driver by a clip. If the driver gets ejected or thrown away from the steering wheel, the clip breaks away and stops the engine. Life jackets are very important, as well, but they have to be used to be effective. Please, stay safe on the water.

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