For the second year in a row, a St. Amant athlete took home The Advocate’s Athlete of the Year award.

One year after Toni Rodriguez claimed the honor, Kara Gremillion was named the area’s best female high school athlete last week by this newspaper.

Gremillion captured the award by shining in three sports: softball, basketball and volleyball.

In volleyball, Gremillion won all-state and all-metro honors and was the Division I, District 3 defensive most valuable player. She helped the basketball Gators sweep through district play without a loss and was District 5-5A MVP for the St. Amant softball team that went 30-2.

Gremillion’s stellar season followed up the banner campaign that Rodriguez notched to win the 2012-13 Athlete of the Year honor. Rodriguez may have been in the running again for the top award had she not suffered a season-ending injury early in the volleyball schedule.

Ascension Parish’s other performers who have won Athlete of the Year Awards since the first one was introduced in 1986 include St. Amant’s Kellie Eubanks, 2004, and Dutchtown’s Landon Collins, 2012.

Other 2013-14 Ascension Parish athletes who were named tops in their sports by The Advocate include Ascension Christian’s Kennan Johnson and Dutchtown’s Austin Bain and Tyler Hughes.

Johnson won state singles tennis titles in her two seasons at Ascension Christian.

Bain, an LSU baseball signee, starred at the plate and on the mound in helping the Griffins reach the quarterfinals.

Hughes won a state title in the 110-meter hurdles and was second nationally in that category.

District 5-5A softball teams announced

In addition to Gremillion, there were several other Ascension-area players who were selected to the District 5-5A softball teams that were announced last week.

As expected, St. Amant, East Ascension and Dutchtown dominated the squads. Twenty of the 23 first-team spots belonged to those three teams.

The Gators and Spartans reached the state tournament before both teams lost in the quarterfinals, and the Griffins were bounced in the regionals.

St. Amant’s Scott Nielson was named the district’s coach of the year. His players that were selected on the first team included pitcher Skylar Cook, catcher Carlie Whittington, infielders Ali Delany and Jordan Hartman, outfielders Kayla Braud and Madison Edmonston, designated hitter Rachel Gatureaux, and utility players Kourtney Gremillion and Jaci Lavigne.

EA players recognized on the first team included pitcher Jessie Watts, infielders Carmisha Payton and Claire Weinberger, and outfielder Verlencia Jackson.

Dutchtown’s first-teamers included pitcher Ali McCoy, catcher Jessica Crum, infielder Hope Vezinat, outfielders Royelle Cobb and Bria White, and utility player Bailey Gilleon.

Delany contributes in East’s all-star sweep

Delany, Edmonston and Crum were all scheduled to play in Louisiana High School Coaches Association All-Star Softball games last week in Pineville.

Delany was a solid contributor for the East in their two-game sweep. She knocked in a run in a 3-1 victory the first game Friday. In the second game Saturday, she scored a run in a 5-2 win.

Rich Loup covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be reached at or at