It's been a superb run for the Bulldogs

Kyle Riviere
Photo by Chuck Montero.

Ascension Catholic didn't accomplish their ultimate goal. They weren't able to capture a second straight Division-IV state championship.

It was a heartbreaking way to end the careers of 10 seniors. It's tough to come up short when you're so close to achieving greatness.

Still, those 10 seniors and the rest of the Ascension Catholic squad shouldn't dwell on the disappointment of last Wednesday. They may have lost that game, but what they have been able to accomplish in these last three years has been spectacular and incredibly memorable.

This has been one of the most successful three-year stretches in school history, and they made it happen. What a ride it has been.

This 2019 senior class is legendary at Ascension Catholic. They are responsible for 97 wins, four state quarterfinal appearances, three semifinal appearances, one District 6-1A title and one Division-IV state championship.

The seniors are: Rodney Blanchard, JB Broussard, William Dunn, Parker Hales, Alex Hebert, Andrew Landry, Tre' Medine, John Mire, Hunter Walker and Mason Zeringue.

Head coach Todd Landry said that this Ascension Catholic squad "finds a way to win," and he's right. Over the years, they have been able to win and win often.

In 2017, the Bulldogs finally got over the hump, after getting dropped in the quarterfinals for three straight seasons. Ascension Catholic reached the semifinals in Sulphur, where they fell just short to Central Catholic in a 5-4 eleven-inning marathon.

They vowed to make it back to Sulphur and finish what they started, and that's exactly what they did.

Last year, they came into the season with the motto of "Unfinished Business."

The Bulldogs reached Sulphur once again, but this time, they defeated Ouachita Christian to reach the Division-IV state title game against top-seeded St. John.

On paper, it looked like a bad matchup for the Bulldogs. They had lost four straight games to the Eagles, including two district matchups that season by a combined score of 17-8.

It certainly didn't help that Ascension Catholic fell down 2-0 in the first inning. But as Coach Landry said, the team finds ways to win.

The Bulldogs kept fighting until they pulled off a thrilling, come-from-behind victory, 4-3. That win captured Ascension Catholic its first state championship since 1994.

The Bulldogs wanted to defend their crown this season and win back-to-back state titles for only the second time in program history. They couldn't do it, but make no mistake about it, the season was not a failure. It was a resounding success.

Ascension Catholic played one of the most brutal schedules I've ever seen a Class 1A baseball team play this season, and the way they performed against that schedule was outstanding.

Coach Landry purposely stacked the competition against his team to make them battle tested. He purposely bombard them with constant adversity.

When you win a state championship, you can get overconfident. You can get satisfied. You can get complacent.

And when you're facing a bunch of cupcakes, those things become even more likely. But when you're forced to battle 4A and 5A teams each game, you don't have time to be complacent. If you do, you're going to get 10-run ruled.

The Bulldogs won a phenomenal 16 games against upper-classification schools this season.

Those victories included teams like: Berwick (3A semifinalist), South Terrebonne (4A quarterfinalist), Dutchtown (5A playoff team that won more than 20 games) and Dunham (top seed in Division-III playoffs).

Of their six regular-season losses, five were against bigger schools. Those included University (playing in the Division-III title game), St. Michael (Division-II playoff team) and Live Oak (reached second round of 5A playoffs).

To finish 24-6 against that schedule was a testament of just how good this team was. You couldn't just say they were a great 1A team. Their wins proved that they were a great team period, regardless of their classification.

It's one thing to have one great season where everything falls into place for you. It's quite another to do it at a high level consistently.

That's exactly what this Bulldog squad did. These seniors made it look routine to have this caliber of success, but it's not. It's special.

In all, Ascension Catholic has reached at least the quarterfinals for six straight seasons. They have reached the state tournament for three straights years.

I think it's safe to say that this senior class will be remembered for a long time in Donaldsonville.