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Ascension Catholic names longtime defensive coordinator as new head football coach



DONALDSONVILLE, La. – Longtime defensive coordinator Chris Schexnayder has been named the 24th head football coach of the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs, the school announced Wednesday, May 19.

Schexnayder, who has served as a teacher and a coach during his nine-year tenure with Ascension Catholic High School (ACHS), replaces outgoing head coach Benny Saia.

Saia went 17-2 with Bulldogs over the last two seasons. The Bulldogs, a Louisiana High School Athletic Association Division IV school, went undefeated in the regular season in both 2019 and 2020. Ascension Catholic played a shorter-than-normal schedule during the 2020 season.

The Bulldogs were eliminated in the Quarterfinals round of the LHSAA playoffs in 2019 under Saia. The most recent playoff defeat was a one-point loss during the first round of the LHSAA playoffs to Cedar Creek (Ruston) in the final seconds of the fourth quarter on the rainy night of Nov. 27, 2020, at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium in Donaldsonville.

Schexnayder has also worked as an assistant coach for Ascension Catholic baseball and girl’s basketball.

“We are elated to announce coach Chris [Schexnayder,] as our next head football coach, and look forward to great things from him in the upcoming season,” school officials said Wednesday.

Nine seniors from the 2020 squad graduated from ACHS on May 8. However, Schexnayder will have 15 veteran players returning to the roster to in his join him in his quest to return the Bulldogs to the LHSAA Playoffs and pursue another undefeated regular season.

That list includes junior running back/quarterback duo Khai Prean and Bryce Leonard.

Veteran Bulldogs Jacques Husers, Jackson Landry, Bryce Leonard, Brooks Leonard, and Lex Melancon, were on the 2021 Bulldogs baseball team that went 22-7 and advanced to the Division IV Quarterfinals of the LHSAA Baseball State Tournament.

Football summer camp for the Ascension Catholic Bulldogs begins on June 7 with weight training and conditioning.