By Darlene Denstorff
Ascension Section editor
November 01, 2012
Gonzales — Ascension Cougars Youth Football founder Leon Blouin doesn’t mention statistics or win and loss records when he talks about the league’s biggest accomplishment in its first five years.
The conversation starts with academics, not football.
Blouin smiled as he announced that two of his players were nominated for the Sorrento Primary School Student of the Year award.
“That was our goal all along, to encourage academics and being good citizens,” Blouin said during halftime of one of four games Saturday against the Lake Titans.
“We accomplished more than I ever dreamed we would in just five years,” Blouin said. “Our goal has always been since day one to enhance the academics of our players.
“We award just as many academic trophies at the end of the season as we do athletic honors,” he said.
The coaches and volunteers provide tutoring for players in need of extra help in the classroom, he said.
“We stress that homework comes first,” he said.
Blouin said while academics come first, he is proud of the teams’ on-the-field accomplishments and was anxiously awaiting the results of Saturday’s games to see if the four teams would make it to the playoffs.
“I never imagined championships on the field in this short period of time,” Blouin said.
In the past four years, Cougar teams competed in the Tri-Parish Youth Football League’s playoffs.
A win by the B team would mean a repeat of that accomplishment, he said.
As the C team took the field for the second game of the day, Blouin was rushing to find volunteers to work the sideline chain crew.
“It takes a lot of dedicated volunteers to make this work week in and week out,” he said. “And we’ve got a great bunch.
“We can’t do this without the help of a lot of parents who come out here and do what it takes,” he said.
Saturday was homecoming and the last regular game of the season for the Cougars.
In between each game, players were escorted onto the field by their mothers, aunts, grandmothers or sisters.
An announcer introduced each player, reading a brief outline of the player’s hopes and accomplishments.
Michael Harris, 8, wants to be a lawyer, and many of his teammates have hopes of playing football in the National Football League.
Thanks to wins by all four teams, the Cougars are headed to the playoffs.
The D team captured the league championship in their age division with a 13-0 win over the Titans and will compete Sunday against the Gramercy Tigers.
The C team’s 28-0 win made it possible for the team to compete Saturday against the Westside Eagles.
The B team, with a 24-0 win over the Titans, ended the regular season in a five-way tie as league champs and will play the Bayou Lafourche Raiders on Saturday in the playoffs.
The A team ended the season as league champs and will play the Westside Eagles on Saturday.