Nelson tops All-District 6-2A team
By: LANCE REED
The boys’ All-District 6-2A basketball team was released recently after the annual Top 28 Tournament was completed in Lafayette. There were several basketball players from Evangeline Parish selected on the team. With four schools in the parish competing in that district, Evangeline Parish had an overwhelming presence.
Ville Platte High’s Ralensee Nelson had an outstanding season. For the majority of the season, Nelson was on top of the scoring list in the entire state of Louisiana and one of the top in the country. He finished the season with an average of 25 points per game. The junior not only scored points, but was huge on defense. His ability to steal the ball and create fast breaks, gave the Bulldogs the power to score in the blink of an eye. Earlier in the season, many of Nelson’s points went down with injuries. The young man took on a leadership role and did his best to help the team continue to pick up victories. Nelson’s ability and performance was vital in the Bulldog’s success this year. He was a unanimous choice for the District’s Most Valuable Player.
Ville Platte High Head Coach Lionel Anderson was selected as the Coach of the Year in District 6-2A. Anderson led his team to the quarter-finals in Class 2A, a district championship and another Evangeline Parish Championship. The long-time coach has set his legacy in stone and will leave some very large shoes to fill at VPHS when the day comes for him to retire.
Joining Nelson on the first team is VPHS teammate Jovan Freeman. Freeman, a senior, averaged over 17 points per game and was also big on defense. He was quick to make a steal and find a man down court to make the lay up. Freeman will leave a huge vacancy on the VPHS line-up next year. He has proven to be a leader on the team since his sophomore year, when the Bulldogs first made it to the Top 28. His senior year, the young man battled back through injuries and was a major part of his team’s success.
Also named to the first team is Mamou’s Zack Baty. The sophomore comes from a rich tradition of basketball success and he is filling his role nicely. The young man averaged over 12 points per game and was high in the assists category as well. Baty and his teammates played together and really gelled towards the end of the season. He was key in Mamou earning the 25th seed in the 2008 Class 2A playoffs. Look for Baty and the Demons to continue to get better and better and play as a team.
The AD second team had four players named to the team from Evangeline Parish. Sacred Heart’s Derek Fontenot was a team leader during his senior year. The senior helped the Trojans fight hard throughout district competition, despite being outmanned by some of the best teams in the entire state of Louisiana. Fontenot’s never quit attitude was an inspiration to all of his teammates. A pair of Bulldogs join Fontenot on the second team. Senior Jerry Joseph, who also made the All-Defensive team, was among the district’s top three in rebounds. Joseph led the team in rebounds in several games and managed to score in double digits in many contests. His size and strength under the goal will be hard to replace. However, if Coach Anderson has someone who can do it, junior Arthur Sampson III is the guy. The young man brings size and speed to the court for VPHS. He was one of the best rebounders in the district and may prove to be among the top in the state next season. His selection to the AD team was a no-brainer. Look for big things from Sampson in his senior year.
Keith Thomas joins Baty on the AD team in representing Mamou. The fellow sophomore played his heart out all year long and battled against injuries. Thomas was a total team player. He not only scored points, but was among the team’s tops in assists and rebounds. Issac Thomas, of Mamou, was selected to the All-Defensive team as well.
Pine Prairie’s David Lang was the sole representative for the Panthers. Lang played multiple roles for the PPHS team this year. From scoring to rebounds, he was one of the leaders of the team. Lang’s ability to pull down a rebound and then find a man down court was vital to the team’s push to try and make the playoffs in 2008. They didn’t miss their mark by much. Kendall Celestine, of PPHS, was named to the All-Defensive team as well.
Several players received Honorable Mentions. Cody Bellard, Taylor Scott and Tyson Freeman (VPHS), Brandon Freeman (PPHS), Issac Thomas (Mamou)