“It’s All About the Z” — 2018 The Year of the Broncos

As 2019 begins one would be remiss not to acknowledge that prep sports in 2018 were “All about the Z!” Zachary athletes dominated district and state competition in many sports through 2018. Putting the Bronco athletes in a position to do great things were a special group of coaches and support staff that worked tireless hours that yielded championship results.

The year of the Bronco began in February as coach Chris Carrier’s Zachary girls Indoor Track Team notched a State Championship, the first of two, with the boys track team finishing a close second. A week later coach Tammy McClure’s District Champion Lady Broncos basketball team reached the Class 5A semifinals in one of the most exciting playoff runs in Zachary Lady Broncos history. The Broncos powerlifting team finished second in the East Regional Powerlifting meet where Caleb Johnson broke a 15-year record in the squat.

March saw first-year wrestling coach J.P. Pierre’s grapplers finish with their highest Division I place in school history and Copper Mill student Abby Dunford named Louisiana 12 and under swimmer of the year.

April saw the Zachary baseball team destroy District 4-5A foes going 10-0 with strong pitching and defense that only allowed 17 runs in district play, and strong hitting that resulted in the Broncos scoring 90 runs in district action. Coach Jacob Fisher’s Broncos, who advanced to the 5A quarterfinals, had nine starters named first team all-district 4-5A and finished the season with the best record in Zachary baseball history. Also in April, coach Kenny Langlois’ girls golf team won the Metro Golf Championship. Zachary alumnus Boston Scott was drafted by the New Orleans Saints to close out the month.

In May, the girls golf team finished fourth in state and the boys would finish seventh. Coach Carrier’s boys and girls finished what they started during the indoor season by both winning District, Regional, and State 5A outdoor track championships to place an explanation point on the 2017-2018 school year.

The summer months saw Zachary high school athletes introduced to new strength and condition coach Jason Little’s offseason program for increased strength, speed and agility. The offseason program produced tremendous results in the fall. The summer also saw Zachary baseball players Alex Milazzo, Collier Cranford and Tanner Hall excel at tournaments competing against and with a who's who of the nation’s top high school talent.

The Northwestern Middle School cross-country team under the direction of coach David Onellion finished third in the state with Rhen Langley placing first overall for the boys to crank the championship spirit up in the fall.

December was a coming-out party for the Zachary boys basketball team as coach Jon McClinton’s group finished runner-up in the EBR-Bob Pettit/Coca-Cola boys basketball tournament.

What most folks in Zachary will remember about the fall and December 2018 was the epic and unprecedented run of the Zachary High Football team as they repeated as state champions in Class 5A. After going undefeated in district, the Broncos defeated traditional power Sulphur for what would be their only home playoff game. Road victories over 5A powerhouse Hahnville, 3 seed Acadiana, and 2 seed Destrehan earned the Broncos a final in the Superdome against undefeated and 1 seed West Monroe.

West Monroe came into the championship game unscored on in the playoffs. The Broncos offense was up to the challenge scoring on the first three possessions and the rest is repeat history. Coach David Brewerton and his staff have led the Broncos to three State Championship in four years, which is impressive considering that the two years they were not state champions they were in the semifinals. Senior on this team played, in essence, another season and a half (14 games) from 2016 to 2018 with these deep playoff and championship runs.

A special thanks to Troy LeBoeuf for covering Zachary sports during the fall, which allowed me to follow the magical 2018 football season not as a reporter, but as a Broncos fan and parent.

Warren Brady covers high school football for the Zachary Plainsman. He can be reached at zachary@theadvocate.com.