Ascension Athletics: D’ville Tigers look for a playoff repeat

Coach Benny Guilbeaux’s Donaldsonville Tigers’ early practices are going good.

“Things are very positive and I have every reason to believe that things are improving, but it is a work in progress,” Gilbeaux said.

The young Tigers are looking for a return to the playoffs again this year.

“We got into the playoffs last year even with a losing record due to strength of schedule,” Guilbeaux said, “along with the LHSAA decision to divide our high school teams into select and nonselect teams.”

An issue that generally affects all sports teams is losing key players due to graduation, and this year is no exception for this football team. The Tigers really took a hit on the offensive side of the ball as senior wide receiver Leondre James left to join the Tulane Green Wave. On the defensive side of the ball, middle linebacker Michael Favorite graduated as well.

Both players earned all-district honors and provided leadership to the team.

“These two guys brought great physical abilities to the game but the cerebral aspect is what brought it over the top. I think we might have some young folks that can step up but we won’t know until we play a game,” the coach said.

Guilbeaux does have some returners to work with. Returning starter and first team all-district strong safety Percy Cargo along with second team all-district linebacker Renee Gibson will bring some needed experience to the defense.

On the offensive side of the ball, first team all-district and standout wide receiver Stephen Sullivan will anchor the ball-catching contingent. Second team all-district tailback Tahj Gillard will not only carry the ball but assume the task of leading the running back corps.

The Tigers’ running game was the weak spot on the field last year, Guilbeaux said.

“We didn’t run the ball too well, and that’s what we’ve spent the most of our time working on, a legitimate ground attack. We will run the ball much better and with more consistency. The defense was solid last year and will be really good this year, but running the ball will be the key to our improvement.”

One somewhat surprising change will be that Guilbeaux will be running the offense this year.

“I’ve taken on the offensive coordinator’s duties, so people don’t know what to expect from me and our offense. From my defensive perspective, when you don’t know what an offense is tied to, you don’t know how to prepare for it. We have a couple of things up our sleeve.”

Something old … something new; football fans on the west side will have some consistency on defense and something new and exciting on offense as the Donaldsonville Tigers navigate the road to the Dome.

St. Amant honors Lambert

Every once in a while, somebody comes along who leaves a lasting mark in the way he lives his life. Clark Lambert is one of those folks.

Lambert was honored recently at the St. Amant High School Softball Banquet for his years of service to the softball team. Lambert’s honorary jersey was retired as well.

Lambert’s service at St. Amant High School started long before the softball team was in existence. The day the new school was opened on La. 431 was the day his service to the student body and faculty began.

A career that spanned over three decades started with his responsibility as custodian. But his responsibilities and value soon increased. The grounds-keeping of the football, baseball and softball fields soon were added. The painting of the stripes and logos were his pride and joy. Lambert drove the bus for the softball team for 20 years.

Not only was Lambert’s jersey retired, but Clark Lambert retired from his career at St. Amant High School.

Lambert will be missed in Gatorland but his memory will never fade.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reel man@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.