Parish football teams prepare for jamborees

Kyle Riviere
Donaldsonville will face St. James in their jamboree on Thursday night. Photo by Kyle Riviere.

Before Ascension’s high-school teams officially began their seasons next week, they will get their first taste of real game action Thursday and Friday night as they compete in their jamborees.

The Ascension Catholic Bulldogs are looking to continue the momentum that they built last season when they finished 6-4 during the regular season, hosted a first-round playoff game and reached the state quarterfinals.

In head coach Drey Trosclair’s third season, the Bulldogs bring back a talented roster that includes 1,300-yard rusher Jamar Barber and a defense that returns all-district players in defensive lineman Dillion Davis, linebacker Bubba Gautreau and safety Mason Zeringue.

For their jamboree, Ascension Catholic will hit the road on Friday night, making the trip to Catholic of Pointe Coupee. There, the Bulldogs will face False River.

False River went 5-5 last season and was dropped in the opening round of the Division IV playoffs.

Ascension Christian is trying to follow up their greatest season in school history. They won a record high eight games in 2016.

However, they lost three huge pieces of the puzzle with the graduation of quarterback Peyton Bahlinger, receiver and kicker Ian Carter and running back Brye Templet.

Head coach Josh Puryear is hoping players like wideout K’von Delone, athlete Derrick Varnado and linebackers Brennan Tramonte and Landon Ortego can keep the program on an upward trajectory.

For their jamboree, the Lions will host Houma Christian on Friday night. They finished just 2-7 in 2016, and they’re set to play Ascension Christian again on Sept. 15.

Donaldsonville begins its second season under head coach Brian Richardson. The first year was a successful one as they made a return to the playoffs.

The Tigers will head into 2017 with many returning starters—including quarterback Jaylin Williams, running back Jemon Pleasant, linebacker Tahj Brown and defensive lineman Davon Wright.

Donaldsonville will be on the road Thursday night as they face off against West St. John in the St. James jamboree.

West St. John went just 3-7 during last year's regular season, but once in the playoffs, they played well, reaching the state quarterfinals.

Dutchtown begins the Guy Mistretta era as he takes over for Benny Saia. Saia stepped down back in the spring after serving as the school’s head coach for 15 years.

The Griffins will try to rebound from a rough 3-7 season that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time in over a decade.

They’ll return quarterback Ben Mays, receiver Noah Gray and a talented secondary that includes cornerback Jordan Jackson.

The Griffins will travel to Denham Springs on Thursday night for their jamboree.

After a season greatly impacted by the August flood, the Yellow Jackets went just 3-6 in 2016.

In Darnell Lee’s first season as the East Ascension head coach, the Spartans struggled right out of the gates, losing six straight. However, they won their final three regular season games and upset sixth-seeded Ruston in the first round of the playoffs.

The Spartans will bring back many talented players in 2017, including LSU commit Cameron Wire at tackle, running back Ralph Williams, receiver Shaivonn Robinson and two-way threat Jimel London.

East Ascension will host a jamboree on Friday night against former District 5-5A rival Woodlawn.

Now in 4A, the Panthers went just 3-7 last season.

Despite the harsh aftermath of the flood, St. Amant went 9-1 and reached the state quarterfinals in 2016.

Though they’ve lost a plethora of starters from that team, they bring back all-district running back Cade Nelson and experienced defensive players like Jacolby Landry, Nick Furlow and Ben Parker.

The Gators will hit the road for their jamboree on Friday night.

They’ll play Central, a team that also rebounded well after the flood devastated their community. The Wildcats went 6-4 and reached the second round of the playoffs last season.