The year 2020 brought many headaches, heartaches and a lot of crumpled up schedules, but it also brought so much success for area athletes and teams. You don't have to look any further than the four Acadiana area high schools who won state football championships in Natchitoches this week. It was a historic end to a year that started with one of Louisiana's most celebrated wins.
In January, yes this January (I know), LSU football trounced Clemson in front of home fans during the National Championship game played in New Orleans. LSU's success led to a mass "draft" exodus in April when the team saw a record-tying 14 players selected during the NFL draft. That played a big role into the team's struggles this fall.
While canceled spring sports will be bemoaned for years, 14 Acadiana area teams won titles. The final games of the 2020 spring season were state basketball games. Both the North Central boys and girls won titles, along with St. Thomas More boys basketball. The Cougars were one of the most successful schools during the calendar year with a girls basketball title, too. In February, Teurlings and Basile wrestling also won championships. In the fall, Teurlings volleyball extended its championship streak, while Episcopal School of Acadiana won boys and girls cross-country championships. In swimming, Ascension Episcopal won a title. Then just days ago, four Acadiana schools, St. Thomas More, Lafayette Christian, Carencro and Acadiana won football titles.
On the gridiron Louisiana completed a second consecutive 10-win season. A full reflection on the historic season for Louisiana athletics can be read here.
Perhaps the biggest achievement for an Acadiana athlete came thousands of miles away where Lafayette native Mondo Duplantis was named the World Male Athlete of the Year. In a year where he expected to compete for an Olympic Gold, Mondo broke vaulting record after vaulting record to become the youngest athlete to win the award. Mondo, a former LHS and LSU star, will represent team Sweden in the 2021 Olympics.
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