The Turning Point of Our Season


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Coach Joe Ryan, Head Powerlifting Coach of Ascension Catholic High School in Donaldsonville, LA, and his Girl's team just won the State Championship.

He and his athletes wrote testimonials about their season and how the SportsLeader pillars were the turning point in their season.

Virtue, Mentoring, Ceremony and Catholic Identity builds champions.

Coach Ryan will be attending our conference next week.

Please take on the SportsLeader Stations of the Cross this Holy Week. Click here for all the information.

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd

Brandi Landry 1

Brandi Landry 1st place in her weight class and Light Weight Outstanding Lifter


The SportsLeader Stations of the Cross workout with my team allowed me to grow in my faith while doing something I have truly enjoyed for the past 4 years of my life, lift weights. The Letters to the Parents also helped me form a closer relationship with my parents through powerlifting. It made me realize that none of progress and achievements would have been possible without them there pushing me to do my best. The team did a lot of team bonding activities that help us grow closer to each other and God. We were given the opportunity to eat with the entire team the night before every meet, go to church as a whole team, and eat crawfish after church the week before State. The team has always been close, but this year it went to new extremes. The team has grown in size and skill. It has gone from being just another team to being a major competitor. We pushed each other, especially to finish the Stations of the Cross workout, and it eventually paid off by the end of the season. Winning state surely wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for our amazing and dedicated coaches, the amount of time Coach Joe put into this team has formed us to be who we are. He is the main source for all of our achievements and I couldn’t ask for a better coach. He is the reason that I was allowed to be offered the best experience at state for my senior year. Coach Joe is the reason for me being able to win first in the 114 lbs. weight class at regionals and state, set all the division records at state, and get named Outstanding Lightweight Lifter at state. Without my amazing coaches, my senior year definitely would not have been as memorable. Powerlifting has always been my favorite sport and the reason for that isn’t just because of the success I’ve had in. The main reason it is my favorite sport because it is like a home away from home with a really big family. The sport and team has shaped me to be who I am today and I am very appreciative for it. I could not have spent the past 4 years any better way than being on the Ascension Catholic Powerlifting Team.

-Brandi Landry 1st place in her weight class and Light Weight Outstanding Lifter

Lauren Landry

Lauren Landry 3rd place in her weight class


My faith is the most important thing in my life. Sports are also very important to me, and to connect my faith to sports is really meaningful to me. When us powerlifters came together to do the Stations of the Cross work out, it really pulled us together. I feel each and every one of us got a little bit closer to God not just as a team but as individuals. I think, personally, doing those little things for God, he will always give us something in return, and that’s where winning state comes in. Winning the championship was honestly the best moment in my life and something I will never forget. I’m sure my teammates will agree with me when I say we have worked extremely hard for this title, but couldn’t have came nearly this far without the help of God. We may have had bad days or bad meets, but as said in the bible, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

-Lauren Landry 3rd place in her weight class

Eizabeth Latino

Elizabeth Latino 1st place in her weight class and Heavy Weight Outstanding Lifter


Doing the Stations of the Cross workout was probably one of the main things that brought our team closer to God. Not only did we get a glimpse of what it was like for Jesus while he was on his journey to be crucified but we also got in a tough workout which helped each individual on the team to become stronger physically and in their faith. We also served as a strong and honorable image to teams all over the country as being the first girls team to participate in this with SportsLeader. By doing "Letters to Mom and Dad" we showed our parents how much we appreciated them and how much their support at every meet means to us. Without God on our side and the support of our coach and our parents, we would not have been able to pull off yet another State Championship.

Elizabeth Latino 1st place in her weight class and Heavy Weight Outstanding Lifter

Micahlyn Daigle

Micahlyn Daigle 1st place in her weight class


This powerlifting season was great. As a team, we have gotten a whole lot closer to God. We did the Stations of the Cross workout, wrote Letters to Mom and Dad, and even went to church together. We did many things together as a team, which is good because we have gotten closer as a team also. I honestly like the Letters to Mom and Dad the most. It gave us a chance to openly thank our parents for everything they have done for us. The Stations of the Cross workout gave us a chance to get closer to God, by doing what we love, working out. Our relationship with God has gotten a lot stronger within the team. Besides the hard work, I think these things had a part in helping us reach our ultimate goal, winning state.

-Micahlyn Daigle 1st place in her weight class

Paige Joseph

Paige Joseph 2nd place in her weight class


Doing the Stations of the Cross workout for Sports Leader grew my team and me closer to God. The workout was tough and not only made me strong physically but mentally also. A workout with breaks only seconds long makes a person want to quit, but the readings in between the stations made me push me. Jesus suffered for our sins so putting hard work into a workout in honor of him is a great way to say thank you. Our team also did "Letters to Mom and Dad" and this was one thing that bonded the team and their families closer. The letters told our parents how much we appreciate their unconditional love and there endless support. This power lifting season I have thrived on, Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I believe going the extra mile and incorporating God in workouts and staying humble was the key to us winning another State Championship

-Paige Joseph 2nd place in her weight class

Jordan Diez

Jordan Diez 2nd place in her weight class


“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). These ten little words have a huge meaning to the Ascension Catholic powerlifting team. Going back to last year’s powerlifting season, we were faced with many adversities. A huge difficulty was the miscalculations at state and not finding out we were really the state champions until a few days later. Coming into this season, the whole team was determined to win state again without any miscalculations. The road to winning state didn’t just involve hard work and dedication in the workout room, but becoming closer as a team, as a family, and most importantly to God. The team participated in the Stations of the Cross workout which allowed us to reflect on our faith while doing something that we all love. It was a great feeling to see all of your teammates participate in an intense workout without giving up. This showed me that even through tough times; my team won’t give up on me. Hopefully we also inspired other teams to become closer as a team through their faith. The team also took part in “Letters to Mom and Dad,” which made us contemplate all of the things that God has given us to be thankful for. By writing letters to our parents we realized how fortunate we all are to have one another and great parents and coaches to support us. Throughout these activities we began to see process as a whole team. The team soon realized that we had reached our goal and were becoming closer as a team, as a family, and most importantly, becoming closer to God.

-Jordan Diez 2nd place in her weight class


Camille Lemann 5th place in her weight class


The Stations of the Cross workout and the letters to Mom and Dad truly helped our team to become very close this season. By doing the workout, we pushed each other to make that sacrifice for God. The letters to Mom and Dad activity made us come together and show how extremely thankful we are for everything our parents do for us. Looking back on everything, I think the new friends I have made and old friends I have grown closer to means more to me than the wins we have. Once we get older and move on with our lives, the friends are the things we are going to have to take with us; the trophies and medals are going to be left behind as just a piece of our lives.

-Camille Lemann 5th place in her weight class

Dakota Bonadona

Dakota Bonadona 4th place in her weight class


First thing first, without the help of the team getting closer to God, this win would not have been possible. By us going to church together, doing the Stations of the Cross work out, and the letters to Mom and Dad all played a BIG role in winning state. Like they say, “With God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).” By the team winning state, this really shows with God all things are possible.

-Dakota Bonadona 4th place in her weight class

Megan Brooks

Megan Brooks 2nd place in her weight class


Being close to God is something huge in my life. Participating in the "Letters to Mom and Dad" brought me even closer to God, my parents, and my teammates. Without God none of this is possible. Praying as a team before we get on the road to wherever we were going gave God the opportunity to be with us on our journey. Before regionals and the letters, I was at a tough time. I forgot God for a minute and only thought about how my problems were going to be fixed and didn't think to include God in them. I forgot how powerful God was and the miracles he could work. After the letters, I realize that God plays a huge role & every day we should thank him for watching us. Getting closer to God lead us into a huge success. Winning the 2016 State Championship for the 2nd consecutive year. We kept God first and kept faith & love for God strong

-Megan Brooks 2nd place in her weight class

Isabelle Abadie

Isabelle Abadie 3rd place in her weight class


During the season we incorporated the Stations of the Cross into our workout. It helped us come together and become one. I truly believe that it helped us out with winning the title for state champions, because with God you can do anything!

-Isabelle Abadie 3rd place in her weight class

Coach Joe

Coach Joe Ryan


For me this season was so much more than what most people see on the outside looking in. Unless you were a part of what we went through day in and day out week after week, month after month then you will never truly understand the sacrifice each one of these young ladies made. When I was approached by Lou in December about the Stations of the Cross workout I was still lost in where I belonged in life and my religion but since that moment I have started to find my purpose and my religion all in one. I agreed to help Lou with this movement and little did I know it would turn into a miracle for my team. We did the Stations of the Cross workout January 29th and the team has never looked back since. I can honestly say that was the turning point of our season, we went through the sacrifice of a tough workout for a more meaningful purpose than competing for a state championship we did it for the glory of God. On that day I knew that it truly affected my team because they were more focused than ever and they finally started to realize what it meant to be a team, what it meant to be a Christian, and what it meant to give it all to God and that made me more proud as a coach than 100 state titles could. After this a few weeks went by and I was once again approached by Lou to do a “letter to mom & dad” ceremony, my athletes stood at the front of the room and read their letters out loud to their moms and dads in front of their teammates and their teammates parents some of which these kids have never met but they did it proudly and with confidence because they knew there was a higher purpose behind it. Throughout the year we were still focused on winning our second consecutive state title in 1A and staying together as a team while giving all glory to God. As the year went on we did more and more as a team including dinners, crawfish boils, and attending church together. As we left for state we all had a good feeling that we could once again become state champions, so we set out on our 5 hour journey to Monroe Louisiana to bring a title back home to Ascension Catholic. After everything was said and done this past Friday night, when the weights stopped clanking, and the fans stopped cheering we were once again named state champions for the second year in a row. After the meet all I could hear from the girls was how happy they were to be a part of this team and how happy they were to go to Ascension Catholic and no state title can replace hearing that. My team became more than the word team could every describe this year, we became a FAMILY and none of this would’ve or could’ve been possible without believing in the Stations of the Cross workout, believing in the “Letters to mom & dad” and most of all believing in the power that God can have on your team if you give all glory to him. Thank you Lou and Sports Leader for everything you’ve done for Ascension Catholic and the Girls Powerlifting Team.

-Coach Joe Ryan