Though the football season may be over for the many great athletes in Ascension Parish, those standouts that went on to play at the college level were still competing over the holidays.
In all, there were seven former Ascension players that took part in bowl games.
The first guy to get a taste of the college football bowl season in 2017 was former Donaldsonville standout Percy Cargo, Jr.
Cargo is now a starting safety for Grambling State.
During the season, he helped lead the Tigers to an 11-1 record that yielded a SWAC championship and a victory over archrival Southern in the Bayou Classic.
For his contributions on and off of the field, he was a finalist for the 2017 STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award—which is awarded to the FCS player that excels in the classroom, community and beyond.
Cargo and Grambling made the trip to Atlanta to play North Carolina A&T State, undefeated champions of the MEAC, in the Celebration Bowl.
The Bulldogs remained unbeaten with a 21-14 victory. In the loss, Cargo recorded five tackles. For the season, he finished with 57 tackles, one sack and one interception.
There were two former Ascension greats that played in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport last week.
Both Ascension Catholic alum Delmond Landry and St. Amant alum Briggs Bourgeois play for Southern Miss.
It was Landry’s first season with the Golden Eagles after transferring from Southwest Mississippi Community College. On the defensive line, he played in 11 games and collected 14 tackles, which included 3.5 for losses.
Bourgeois became Southern Miss’ starting kickoff specialist as a true freshman. During the year, he put the ball into the end zone for touchbacks in 35 of his 69 kicks.
The Golden Eagles faced a talented Florida State squad in the Independence Bowl. The Seminoles struggled to a 6-6 season after losing starting quarterback Deondre Francois in the first game of the year, but they were ranked third in the pre-season.
Florida State rolled past Southern Miss, 42-13.
In the loss, Landry had one tackle and one quarterback hurry. Bourgeois kicked the ball off three times, one of which resulted in a touchback.
The Golden Eagles finished the year with an 8-5 record.
That night, two brothers from Dutchtown led their teams in bowl games.
Jared Sparks played in the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif., while his younger brother, Adam competed in the Texas Bowl in Houston.
Jared had a promising year as a redshirt freshman at Purdue. He was used as both a runner and a receiver in head coach Jeff Brohm’s offense. He finished the regular season with 212 yards receiving and 126 yards rushing.
His Purdue team made the postseason for the first time since 2012.
In the Foster Farms Bowl, the Boilermakers won a 38-35 thriller over Arizona to finish with the school’s first winning record in five years. It was only their second bowl victory over a Power Five team since 1998.
In the win, Jared had one catch for 10 yards.
Adam worked his way into the starting lineup as a true freshman at Missouri.
The Tigers won their final six regular season games after beginning the year in a 1-5 hole. This awarded them an invite to the Texas Bowl, where they played Texas.
Missouri was plagued with mistakes throughout the game. They eventually lost, 33-16. Adam had three tackles in defeat.
Another former Dutchtown star participating in the bowl season was Justin Reid.
Reid had a tremendous junior season for Stanford as the Cardinal went 9-4 during the regular season and finished as the Pac-12 runner-up.
He was one of Stanford’s top tackles and led the team with five interceptions on his way to first-team All-Pac-12 and All-American honors.
Stanford took on TCU in the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on Thursday night.
While Reid was in the game, Stanford was dominating, especially on defense. They were in total control, up 21-3.
However, Reid sustained an injury in the first half that sidelined him for the rest of the game. With him out of the secondary, TCU quarterback Kenny Hill finished the game with 314 yards passing and two touchdowns in a wild 39-37 comeback victory.
Before getting injured, Reid had two tackles and a pass breakup.
Both Dutchtown alum Lloyd Cushenberry and Donaldsonville alum Stephen Sullivan were a part of the LSU team that faced Notre Dame in the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day.
Sullivan had two catches for 24 yards.