Sports

DCCS stopped in finals
The Downsville Demons’ quest for
a first state title in over 20 years came
against a familiar foe in the Allstate/
Sugar Bowl Louisiana High School
Athletic Association Baseball Tournament
at McMurry Park in Sulphur.
Claiborne Christian – who knocked
DCCS out in the semifinal round in
each of the last two seasons – ended
the Demons’ season with a 6-2 win in
the Class C championship game.
Getting to the title round may
have given the Demons a case of the
jitters. A hit batter and two passed
balls allowed the Crusaders to take
a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. They
added three more in the top of the
sixth before the Demons rallied for
two runs for the final score.
In his first year as coach, Blake
Wolfe helped lead the Demons to the
first title game since 1999. In a social
media post following the game, he
gave thanks to the team and community.
“I can honestly look back and say I
coached the best group of kids a coach
could ever ask for,” Wolfe posted on
Facebook. “I love all 13 of those kids.
I just want to say thank you so much
to all my players, their families, and
most of all the Downsville community.
Some coaches never get the chance
to bring home this trophy. At 24 years
old and first year as a coach, I can
truly say coaching was everything I »


Experience a factor for Demons’ run at title
When the Downsville
Community Charter School
Demons take the field
Thursday night against
Simpson, the Demons
will have experience that
schools at any level would
love to enjoy.
Seven seniors are on
the 13-man roster, making
their third straight
appearance in the Allstate/
Sugar Bowl Louisiana High
School Athletic Association
Baseball Tournament. And
the group – many of whom
have been playing with and
against each other their
entire lives – are making
their third straight trip to
the LHSAA’s version of the
Final Four.
Downsville advanced,
running its record to 14-8
on the season with a 7-3 win
against Maurpas on May 6.
They’ll face the Simpson
Broncos (17-8 / 6-0 in District
3C), who advanced
with a mercy-rule win over
Georgetown, 16-2.
The seven seniors on
this year’s team are:
Nicholas Clark – shortstop,
third base, pitcher
(co-captain);
Colby Gean – second
base, shortstop;
Tyler LaGrone – catcher,
shortstop, pitcher;
Cade Manning – left
field;
Daeshaun Miller – right
field, first base;
Erick Rodriguez – center
field; and
Jordan Walsworth – second
base, third base (cocaptain).
Talking with the seniors,
it quickly becomes apparent
they’re a close-knit group.
Having played with or against
each other for 10 years creates
a natural chemistry,
sense of unity and a closer
bond. They also cite the experience
of having been to the
Top 56 tournament in the past
two seasons. The talk about
having more “want to” and
heart for the game.
The Demons don’t buy
into the whole “third time’s
the charm” thing when talking
about their chances in
this year’s tournament. The
seniors say since dropping
three of their first four games
this season that the team has
become more connected and
drew closer to one another.
Coach Norman Tassin
says the team has taken a
different tact than in previous
trips to Sulphur. Rather
than looking at the tall trophy
awarded to the winner,
they’re focused on the
Broncos. Those beliefs are
reflected by the seniors,
who say collectively they
feel they will bring home
a championship. They talk
about leaving everything
they have on the field each
time they take to the diamond.
With such an experienced
corp of seniors, Tassin
adds the contribution
by underclassmen can’t be
overlooked. From the starting
pitcher in each game to
the guys who ride the pine
and don’t see the field of »


Season done for one, while the other continues
For the two Union Parish teams competing in the baseball
playoffs last week, one lived to keep their title hopes
alive, while the other saw its season end with a tough loss.
Downsville Community Charter School advanced with
a win over Reeves, while Union Parish fell to Iota in a
close-fought game.
For DCCS coach Norman Tassin, an 8-0 win against
the Reeves Raiders proved his early season confidence
that the team would make a deep run into the postseason
was well founded. They are now one win away from their
third straight trip to the Class C “Final Four.”
To advance, the second-seeded Demons (13-8) will need
to get by Maurpas in a home game at 4 p.m. on May 4.
With just 16 teams qualifying for the tournament in
Class C, each team had a first round bye. The seventhseeded
Wolves (10-17 overall/4-0 in District 8-C) advanced
with an 8-0 decision over 10 seed Harrisonburg last Friday.
Like Downsville, Maurpas has experience in the state
tournament. Playing last year in Class B, the Wolves fell 4-0
to Fairview in semifinal action. The 2015 season marked
the second straight year that Claiborne Christian ended
the Demons’ run for the Class C title, taking a 12-5 decision
in the semifinal round.
Downsville advanced in the tournament behind what
Tassin said was solid defense in the win over Reeves.
Erick Rodriguez was a key contributor offensively, with
two doubles and several RBI.
Tassin said the team has the proper attitude to win the
championship this season. He said the level of competition
the Demons faced this season is paying dividends.
Downsville played against 3A and 4A teams that qualified
for the playoffs of their classes, with several making deep
playoff runs.
“Out of all the games we played either 1A, 2A, 3A, or
4A we have never been out of the game and we’ve always
been competitive,” Tassin said.
Having played up, he believes, has helped the team.
Tassin said they come to the park each day ready to play.
He cannot cite a single player that wasn’t outstanding,
because all nine, even the players on the bench, contributed
to their success.
This year, Downsville will be losing seven seniors –
Nicholas Clark, Colby Gean, Tyler Lagrone, Cade Manning,
Daeshun Miller, Rodriguez and Jordan Walsworth.
Though the players next year will miss the seniors,
coach Tassin doesn’t know who all is coming back to the
team. With all the turmoil at Downsville during the current
school year, Tassin says there really is no way to know
who will and who won’t return next year.
Union Parish: A three-run second inning rally with
two outs by Iota signaled the end of the season April 26
for the Union Parish Farmers.
UPHS rallied with single runs in the third and fourth
innings but fell short in their comeback effort.
“We just have to learn how to close them with two outs
and to capitalize with two outs,” said Farmers’ assistant
coach Chris Reed.
Union Parish finished the season with a record of 19-8.
The loss was the final game for four seniors – outfielders/
pitchers Micah Beck and Ben Rosson, first baseman
Austin Ferrington and pitcher/shortstop Chase Spatafora.
“All four seniors will be missed,” Reed said. “We don’t
really know what we’re going to do about pitching, because
we had Chase, and he was a pretty good pitcher. Pitching
takes you a long way in a game. Fielding we might be able
to recover from, but some of the positions will be hard to
replace.”
In addition to the graduating seniors, three more players
won’t be back next season – second baseman/outfielder
Jesus Renteria, catcher Waylon Rosson and first baseman
Pablo Turrubiartes.
“We’ve seen maybe two catchers as good as Waylon all
year long,” Reed said. “What we are going to need next
year is some strong catching.” »


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