FOOTBALL

Adjourn: Range of emotions experienced in 2012

PETER SILAS PASQUA news@postsouth.com
Left, former White Castle basketball coach Ronald Johnson addresses his team in the Top 28 Tournament against Louisiana New Tech at Plain Dealing in Lake Charles in March. The Bulldogs advanced to the state championship game for the second consecutive season. Right, St. John volleyball players meet on the court before a regional playoff game with First Baptist this season. The Lady Eagles won the district title unblemished and advanced to the state tournament, both for the second straight year, while compiling a 38-6 record. 
FILE PHOTOS

Through the course of a career, athletes experience the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

Iberville Parish sports fans could relate in 2012. The year in athletics took local athletes, coaches and supporters on a roller coaster ride of emotion, from the pain of tough losses to the indescribable joy of championships.

1. Brees breaks Unitas' record as Saints suffer through Bountygate

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass on a 40-yard scoring strike to Devery Henderson pass against the San Diego Chargers on Oct. 7.

Brees' 48th straight game with a touchdown pass broke former Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas' record set in 1960.

However, after an offseason that saw the team disgraced by a bounty scandal that cost head coach Sean Payton an entire season suspension, the Saints could never recover from an 0-4 start and could only hope to finish .500 on the season.

2. LSU overcomes shutout, dismissals, suspensions to stay in Top 10

LSU opened the season with a humiliating shutout loss to Alabama in the BCS Championship before dismissing Heisman Memorial Trophy Finalist Tyrann Mathieu at the beginning of the season.

The Tigers were ranked as high as No. 2 to start the season that saw more suspensions before falling to Florida and Alabama.

Despite the losses, coach Les Miles and LSU found themselves still in the Top 10 before their New Year's Eve date with Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

3. White Castle boys' basketball team returns to state title game

White Castle returned to the LHSAA Class 1A state championship game for the second consecutive season with victories over St. Martin's Episcopal, Arcadia, North Central and Plain Dealing but fell to Christian Life in the final.

East Iberville also advanced to the regionals over Cedar Creek before falling to North Central, while Plaquemine fell to Ellender in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

4. Lady Green Devils place third at state track meet

Plaquemine's girls track team placed third at the LHSAA State Track Meet in Class 4A with 50 points after winning the 4X100 meter relay and placing second in three other events.

White Castle's boys team finished 11th in team standings after garnering top three finishes in the short relays and another event.

5. Lady Eagles volleyball team garners return trip to state tournament

St. John advanced to the LHSAA State Volleyball Tournament for the second consecutive season over First Baptist before falling to Ascension Episcopal in the quarterfinals. Along the way, the Lady Eagles captured the district title with an unblemished mark and set a school record with 38 wins.

White Castle also advanced to the regionals over Patrick Taylor before falling to Episcopal of Acadiana in the regionals.

6. White Castle, Plaquemine advance to football postseason

White Castle advanced to the LHSAA Class 1A regionals over Archbishop Hannan before falling to semifinalist and district champion West St. John. The Bulldogs were runners-up in league play scoring 40 points or more in seven of their nine victories.

Plaquemine also advanced to the postseason as district runners-up before falling to Breaux Bridge in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Green Devils won six straight games after starting out 0-3.

7. St. John advances to the Top 56 State Softball Tournament

St. John advanced to the LHSAA Top 56 State Softball Tournament in Sulphur after defeating Logansport and Vermilion Catholic before falling to Opelousas Catholic in the Class 1A quarterfinals.

Plaquemine also advanced to the postseason falling to Leesville in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

8. Lady Tigers, Bulldogs, Green Devils advance to basketball playoffs

East Iberville advanced to the Class 1A regionals over St. Edmund before falling to Vermilion Catholic. White Castle and Plaquemine also advanced to the postseason falling to Tensas in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs and Wossman in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

9. St. John, Plaquemine, White Castle advance to baseball playoffs

St. John advanced to the Class 1A regionals over Ascension Christian before falling to Central Catholic. Plaquemine and White Castle also advanced to the postseason falling to Belle Chasse in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs and Ouachita Christian in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs.

10. Phelps, Bolt rule London Olympics

Michael Phelps retired from swimming after setting an Olympic record with his 22nd medal at the Summer Games and Usain Bolt became the first man to successfully defend both the 100- and 200-meter dash.