Daily Archives: November 15, 2021

Dr. Richard Feldman: Flavorings lure young people to vaping – Courier & Press

Posted: November 15, 2021 at 11:59 pm

Dr. Richard Feldman| Special to the Courier & Press

We have made significant progress in the battle against tobacco use and nicotine addiction since the 1960s with tremendously falling rates of smoking among both adults and children.

Reducing the smoking rates and progressively making smoking socially unacceptable has been a comprehensive effort involving prevention and cessation programs, media campaigns, smoke-free air laws, increased cigarette taxation, and FDA oversight.

But all this progress is threatened with the introduction of e-cigarette use, commonly referred to as vaping," especially among youth; its nothing less than an epidemic among middle and high school students.

More: Dr. Richard Feldman: E-cigarettes have become a public nightmare

We are facing a public health crisis with the potential of new generations of youth risking lifelong nicotine addiction with eventual disease and premature death. Vaping has been demonstrated to be far from harmless and commonly also leads to tobacco use.

We are in a battle to reclaim our children from vaping.My last column focused on taxation to curtail e-cigarette use. Lets look at another crucial action to discourage vaping among children.

In recent years, renewed attention of the public and policymakers has considerably focused on sweet-flavored vaping products that entice youth to initiate and sustain their use. Examples include gummy bear, fruit, cotton candy, menthol, peanut butter cup, and cookies n cream.

Most flavorings were prohibited in cigarettes by federal regulation in 2009 but have been permitted in other tobacco products including smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, cigars, and most worrisome in e-cigarettes. The tobacco industry knows well that these flavorings lure children into use, and their marketing continues today by the vaping industry, largely controlled by tobacco companies. Eighty percent of youth who use tobacco products initiated with a flavored product. Seventy-two percent of youth tobacco users use a flavored tobacco product. Two-thirds of youth tobacco users report using tobacco products primarily because they come in flavors.

The Trump administration pushed for federal restrictions on flavored vaping products resulting in legislation signed into law. What started out as appearing as a substantial and meaningful prohibition eventually resulted in federal regulation with huge gaps, which will potentially result in relatively little effect. There are plenty of exemptions including disposable and refillable products and e-liquids found in vaping shops. The limited restrictions apply essentially only to self-contained closed pod cartridges in products like Juul. Menthol flavoring is also exempted. Over fifty percent of children initiate and maintain their use with menthol-flavored products.

Only five states currently have comprehensive flavoring bans in effect to bolster the current weak federal legislation. To the credit of a number of more public health-minded Indiana legislators, there has been genuine interest in placing a permanent ban on flavored products during past legislative sessions; it should be of no surprise that nothing was enacted.

The federal Food and Drug Administration finally stepped up to potentially restrict flavored vaping products. Recently, the FDA began to exercise its authority with the denials of applications by certain companies to market their flavored vaping products. The applications must include evidence that their products have overall public health benefits, which were lacking. How far reaching this prohibition will be is still unknown.

Dont assume that the recent federal legislation increasing the legal age of tobacco and vaping products to age 21 will solve the problem of youth vaping. Although an important action, just as with alcohol, youth will achieve access to these prohibited products.

Vaping products are todays candy cigarettes. Candy cigarettes didnt adversely affect childrens health, but vaping is a different story.

Dr. Richard Feldman is an Indianapolis family physician and the former Indiana state health commissioner. Email him atricharddfeldman@gmail.com.

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The Voices of Vapers Arrive at MEPs Front Door – PRNewswire

Posted: at 11:59 pm

Driving through Brussels in the iconic electric pink 'Vape Bus', the World Vapers' Alliance (WVA), representing vapers worldwide, displayed a powerful selection of quit stories from around Europe. The collection of stories from individual ex-smokers was gathered as part of the Back Vaping. Beat Smoking campaign, which travelled across Europe throughout 2021.

The demonstration brought these messages from across Europe directly to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who are currently debating the Beating Cancer plan which may set the direction for anti-smoking policies across Europe.

Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers' Alliance, said:

"The next few weeks will be crucial for smokers, vapers and public health in general with Europe's Beating Cancer Plan being finalised. We came here today to make sure that vapers' voices are heard and that the MEPs understand the real-life stories of people who have been able to quit smoking thanks to vaping.

European policymakershave the opportunity to make history and save lives if they back vaping as a tool to beat smoking. Our message to them is clear: choose science and save lives," he added.

19 million smokers in Europe could switch to vaping, an alternative that is 95% less harmful, if the European Parliament would support harm reduction tools, such as vaping, in all their future legislation, including Europe's Beating Cancer Plan.

"There is a risk that European lawmakers - under pressure from anti-vaping activists - will introduce laws that would treat vaping the exact same as smoking. This would spell disaster for vapers, for smokers and for global public health. The best way we can beat smoking is to promote vaping as part of public health policies,"Michael Landl concluded.

Notes to editor:

Photo - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1688508/World_Vapers_Alliance_in_Brussels.jpgPhoto - https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1688507/World_Vapers_Alliance_in_Brussels.jpg

SOURCE World Vapers Alliance

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COP9 Live Streamed Its Final Session – Vaping Post

Posted: at 11:59 pm

Earlier this year, FCTC organizers had announced that there would be no discussions or decisions around Tobacco Harm Reduction (THR) products at COP9. They highlighted that any related documents should still be submitted for information to COP9. However, any substantive discussions related to smokeless tobacco and heated tobacco products and novel and emerging tobacco products, would be postponed until 2023s COP10.

Naturally many public health and tobacco control experts were outraged by the fact that not are such discussions postponed, but also by the fact that THR representatives were totally excluded from the event. Moreover, Executive Coordinator the Coalition of Asia Pacific Tobacco Harm Reduction Advocates (CAPHRA) Nancy Loucas, said she believes that that discussions and decisions on safer nicotine alternatives will still be taking place at COP9. Its now clear, however, that was a complete pretence aimed at minimizing a growing backlash against the WHOs anti-vaping agenda.

Meanwhile last Friday, the public was allowed a rare glimpse into the secret meeting that they were not allowed to participate in. Of course everything was set by then, such as the fact that the next COP meeting taking place in 2023, will be held in Panama.

Dr. Adriana Blanco Marquizo was re-elected as Head of the FCTC Secretariat and gave a speech which acknowledged that COP9 had experienced many technical issues. Ironically she boasted that COP9 had allowed journalists from around the world to sit in on their meetings, which as CopWatch rightly pointed out is something that should really go without saying. For the FCTC, it seems transparency is a privilege to be granted rather than a right.

CopWatch added that interestingly Marquizo affirmed that it is the parties who make the decisions. The EU spokesperson at the event announced that that the Italian Ministry of Health is donating 130k euros to fund work into the Expert Group on Articles 9 &10 and also for the knowledge hubs.

The article commended sCOPe for streaming brilliant content and giving vapers a seat at the table. The five-day livestream was simulcast via YouTube and Facebook. Presenters and panellists challenged and scrutinized COP9 including whos influencing and funding its efforts to demonise vaping, and why.

Read Further CopWatch

The WHO Cant Afford to Get Wrong Again Yet It Is!

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Vaping and Stroke Risk: New Study Hypes the Wrong Conclusion – American Council on Science and Health

Posted: at 11:59 pm

According to a slew of recent headlines, electronic cigarette users (vapers) are more likely than smokers to have a stroke earlier in life. Adults who vape could suffer a stroke at least a decade younger than those who smoke tobacco, MSN reported on Monday. E-cigarette users have a 15% higher risk of stroke at a younger age than traditional tobacco smokers, according to preliminary findings.

Relying on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2015 to 2018, the researchers identified 79,825 adults with a history of stroke who also smoke and/or vape: 7,756 (9.72%) used e-cigarettes; 48,625 (60.91%) used traditional cigarettes, and 23,444 (39.37%) used both.

The study found that vapers typically suffered a stroke around 48, participants who smokedand vaped (dual users) at 50, while plain ole' smokers experienced a stroke at 59. Thepaper's co-author and chair of the neurology department at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School, Dr. Karen Furie,suggested that e-cigarettes aren't as benign as first thought based on the results.

We should always be open to new evidence, and vaping may indeed be more harmful than the existing data show. For now, though, there are several crucial reasons we should be skeptical of this conclusion.

Highlighting the wrong result

First problem: these preliminary findings haven't been published in a journal yet. The authors are scheduled to present their research next week at the American Heart Association's annual meeting, so the data haven't even been released to the public. That prohibits us (as well as the media) from drawing any firm conclusions about the study, though we can make some tentative observations based on the abstract.

While news reports focused on the alleged stroke risk of vaping, here's the most striking conclusion from the study:

Stroke was far more common among traditional cigarette smokers than e-cigarette users or people who used both, 6.75% compared to 1.09% and 3.72%, respectively.

So although vapers and dual-users who suffer strokes tend to have them earlier than smokers, their overall stroke risk is much lower. This makes sense in light of earlier research on vaping and tobacco use. Many studies have showna strong dose-response relationship between smoking and stroke; the fewer cigarettes you smoke, the lower your risk.

Several clinical trials have found that vaping helps smokers cut their cigarette consumption, and smokers who replace some or all of their tobacco use with vaping appear to experience reduced stroke risk. [1] One 2019 clinical trial involving 114 individuals who smoked 15 or more cigarettes daily for at least two years found that switching to vaping (with or without nicotine) led to significant improvement in vascular health within one month ...

Considered alongside these earlier studies, the new AHA presentation, again assuming its results are valid,actually suggests that vaping, while not entirely harmless, reduces stroke risk for smokers. As this August 2017 review noted:

Although Ecs [electronic cigarettes] might pose some cardiovascular risk to users, particularly those with existing cardiovascular disease, the risk is thought to be less than that of cigarette smoking based on qualitative and quantitative comparisons of EC aerosol versus cigarette smoke constituents. The adoption of ECs rather than cigarette smoking might, therefore, result in an overall benefit for public health.

The AHA presenters rightly noted that more research is needed to better evaluate the long-term effects of e-cigarettes and their role in heart and stroke health. But as I've argued previously, many tobacco researchers don't seem to actually believe that statement. Instead of objectively reporting what the data show or don't show, they tend to minimize evidence indicating that vaping offers a public health benefit while trying to link electronic cigarettes to adverse outcomes, however tenuous the association may be.

With a presentation titled E-cigarette users face 15% higher risk of stroke at a younger age than traditional smokers, I think Dr. Furie and her colleagues have unfortunately fallen into that trap.

[Editor's note: The AHA recently announced that the researchers will not present their results.]

[1] Nicotine-containing electronic cigarettes are often defined as tobacco products. That's an erroneous definition because it would also includenicotine gums and patches, which nobody defines as tobacco products.

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Growth Drivers of E-cigarette and Vaping Market 2020-2026 based on Key Players (JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, Blu, Logic, Comp Lyfe, etc.), Types and…

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Growth Drivers of E-cigarette and Vaping Market 2020-2026 based on Key Players (JUUL, Vuse, MarkTen, Blu, Logic, Comp Lyfe, etc.), Types and...

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Meidl elevated at Ascension – Captive International

Posted: at 11:58 pm

Holly Meidl has been promoted to senior vice president and chief risk officer at faith-based healthcare organisation Ascension, the largest not-for-profit health system in the US.

A former Sedgwick SVP and managing director for Marshs US healthcare practice, Meidl has been with Accession for over three years. Prior to the promotion, she was its vice president for risk services, responsible for its risk financing and clinical risk management functions.

Immediately before that, she was a senior vice president for Bermuda re/insurance group Allied World, responsible for its North American healthcare business.

Ascension uses self-insurance trusts and captives to achieve a risk-financing model that it says is more cost-effective than commercial insurance. It achieves cost savings in professional general liability (PGL) and workers compensation programs by collaborating with Ascension Care Excellence and risk management, occupational health and safety colleagues to promote patient and associate safety.

In addition to healthcare delivery, its subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions, including clinical and network services, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, risk management, and contracting through Ascensions own group purchasing organisation.

Holly Meidl, Promotion, Sedgwick SVP, Insurance, Reinsurance, North America, risk financing, Ascension, healthcare

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Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford, Air Evac to base medical helicopter to Rutherford County – WSMV Nashville

Posted: at 11:58 pm

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Ascension Catholic advances to quarterfinals with road win over Central Catholic – The Advocate

Posted: at 11:58 pm

The Ascension Catholic Bulldogs had a year to think about their surprising opening-round playoff loss to Cedar Creek last season, it certainly has fueled them for the 2021 season.

The Bulldogs will move on to face top-seeded Ouachita Christian in Monroe on Friday after advancing with a 41-36 win over Central Catholic of Morgan City on the road. The Bulldogs moved to 8-1 on the season.

The kids certainly did not want to end their season like last year, they were locked in, and we knew it would be a tough game against a good program, coach Chris Schexnayder said.

The teams were tied at 20 at the half, as neither team had much success stopping the other team. Central Catholic scored on their first play from scrimmage as running back Damondrick Blackburn went untouched for 70 yards and a 6-0 lead.

We didnt blink as a team after the score, you could see that we were determined to match the score and intensity, Schexnayder said.

ACHS went on a nice drive ending with a 22-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bryce Leonard to slotback Calvin Delone for a 7-6 lead. The Bulldogs did get a stop on the next possession by CCMC as defensive back Layton Melancon picked off a Caleb OCon pass and returned into Eagle territory.

ACHS wasted no time to score as Leonard hooked up with his brother, Brooks, for a 38-yard touchdown. The play was a fake reverse and Leonard got behind the secondary for one of the most exciting plays of the night.

Leonard added a 13-yard touchdown run before the half. The third quarter went very fast as both teams forced punts on consecutive possessions. The fourth quarter was full of fireworks as the Bulldogs and Eagles combined for 37 points. ACHS took a 34-20 lead with back-to-back touchdown passes from Leonard to Delone.

Delone finished the night with six catches for 168 yards and four touchdowns. CCMC rallied with passing touchdowns from OCon to Drew Rock to get within six points. CCMC attempted an onside kick, and it was recovered by the Bulldogs, they took a knee and advanced to the quarter-final round.

Bryce Leonard finished with 276 yards passing and 5 touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. Linebacker Landon Szubinski had 16 tackles for ACHS and defensive linemen, Jacques Husers had 10 tackles and a sack. Linebacker Patrick Cancienne had 13 tackles, followed by Noah Robichaux with 10 and Travis Cedatol with 9 tackles. Lex Melancon had 6 tackles and was 5/6 on extra points. Brooks Leonard had five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. It was a total team effort by the Bulldogs on the road.

Several guys had big nights including Bryce (Leonard), Brooks (Leonard) and Calvin (Delone), our offensive and defensive lines played well, our linebackers were active, and the secondary made some plays. We are excited about moving on, Schexnayder said.

ACHS will face a team in Ouachita Christian that is a regular in the D4 finals, something the Bulldogs are aware of. We fully respect our opponent, they are a really good team that is well-coached, they will be at home, it will be a long road trip for us, but with all that being said, I am confident our guys will prepare hard this week and be ready to play, we look forward to having our fans support us,, said. Schexnayder.

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East Ascension 42-26 beat Southside and will play top-seeded East Ascension in the next round of playoffs.

Dutchtown lost to Acadiana 14-43.

St. Amant toppled H.L. Bourgeois 27-13 and will travel to play Acadiana High.


Donaldsonville defeated Patterson 48-14 and will host Church Point.

Division 4

Ascension Catholic won over Central Catholic of Morgan City 41-36 and will travel to face Ouachita Christian.


The Dutchtown Lady Griffins ended a successful season with a 3-1 quarterfinal loss to Southside at the State tournament in Lafayette. The Lady Griffins won 30 games this season.

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Ascension Is a Fascinating Look Inside the China That Wants To Be Like America – PRIMETIMER

Posted: at 11:58 pm

Paramount+ explores the Chinese Dream in Ascension, a mesmerizing documentary by first-time director Jessica Kingdon. (Photo: MTV Documentary Films)

Its my privilege to be Primetimers voting representative in the Critics Choice Association, a group of about 500 full-time pros, mostly from the broadcast and print industries. This weekend theCCA whosetelevisedgala kicks off awards seasonin early January handedout its annual documentary awards, which will serve as a cheat sheet for Oscar judges when they draw up their shortlist for best documentary film. As a voter who watched nearly all of the nominated films, I marvel at the technical and narrative advances that have transformed docmaking in the past two decades. What a time to be telling your stories to the world.

The documentary field has steadily improved in both quantity and quality thanks to two key drivers: one, cheaper, better and smaller equipment;and two, cable TV. Cable channels like HBO and Showtime figured out a long time ago that top-drawer documentaries add prestige to their libraries for not a lot of money. Buyers from premium and basic cablewould descend every year on theSundance Film Festival, signing the directors of the most buzz-generating docs. TV money, in turn, has allowed docmakers to do more and better work.

When streaming came along, all that got turned up to 11. Last year Apple TV+ paid an eye-popping $10 millionto acquire the rights to Boys State, a documentary film that, in my opinion, was worth every penny. This year the Questlove doc Summer of Soul broke that record when Hulu shelled out $12 million for that thrilling find, which won in every CriticsChoice category it was nominated for.

If it were me, these docs, upon being acquired, would go to streaming as quickly as possible, before the Sundance effect evaporated and awards season passed. But I realize that theres a lively commerce in community film festivals, like the True/False festival Ive attended over the years in Columbia, Mo. And I get that filmmakers want their lifework to be seen in the cinema by small congregations of appreciative filmgoers. But these are stories the whole world needs to see and hear, and thanks to streaming TV, getting these stories in front of millions of viewers in cinema-like settings (i.e., home theaters) is possible for the first time ever.

Which is why Im pleased that today Paramount+ is making its Oscar frontrunner Ascension available on the streaming channel. From first-time director Jessica Kingdon, Ascension, along with Summer of Soul, led all other films with six Critics Choice Documentary Award nominations. And much like Questloves musical ode to 1960s Harlem, Ascension reveals a previously unseen side of American life before our astonished eyes.

The side of America we see in Ascension, however, isnt actually filmed in America, but in China specifically the factories where trillions of dollars in manufactured goods are built and shipped to consumers around the world. It is inside these mills of cheap and efficient labor where so many of the goodies that we associate with the American way of life actually get made.

Kingdon and her co-cinematographer Nathan Truesdel gained access to 51 sites across China that make everything from smartphones to bottled water. Unabashedly channeling the greatFrederick Wiseman, director and shooter lovingly observe the employees, their repetitive tasks, their mundane chitchat and just the sheer fascinating process of stuff getting made. A significant chunk of time is spent inside a factory that makes custom life-size silicone-mold sex dolls, an editorial decision that I fully endorse for its amusing and disturbing weirdness.

The title, Ascension, is a tell as to the films propulsive narrative arc. Starting at the lower rungs of the Chinese labor market the open-air markets where young unemployed people gather to be wooed by megaphone-toting factory recruiters, who bark out their offers ofgood pay and free wifi to anyone who boards theirbus the viewereffortlessly ascendsthe prosperity ladder all the way tothe top tier of Chinese society, to the massive entertainment venues, upscale shopping centers and luxury lifestyles that are the spoils of those made rich by their countrys capitalist experiment. (Chinas dictatorial regime is now clamping down on private enterprise, so the word experiment is key.)

The films throughline is that a generation of young Chinese wanta better life and associate this almost entirely with the wealthy West. Has anyone seen Downton Abbey? asks a teacher in a school for training butlers. In another scene, bodyguards learn how to protect Westerners with money. Later, a group of young professionals talk in admiring tones about the United States, though they are careful (or maybe just respectful) to express their love for China and, touchingly, their desire to improve the way of life for their countrymen, many of whom have not even laid a hand on thisnew economys ladder.

Ascension is the first major pickup for MTV Documentary Films since Sheila Nevins took the helm. Nevins, a national treasure, spent 30 years building HBOs documentary division from the ground up, taking in a haul of Oscars, Emmys, Peabodys and whatever else you can award brilliant nonfiction filmmaking. MTV is a division of ViacomCBS, which means any films Nevins develops will likely land on Paramount+. Im delighted that this one has come to streaming so quickly. And how ironic that with millions of Americans quitting their jobs to chase their dreams, we should have such a compelling look into another societywhere the jobs that we wouldnt be caught dead taking have given an entire society the chance to chase their dreams.

Ascension is now streaming on Paramount+.

Aaron Barnharthas written about television since 1994, including 15 years as TV critic for theKansas City Star.

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Ascension Blue Gators secure season sweep over Catholic-NI – The Advocate

Posted: at 11:58 pm

The Ascension Episcopal Blue Gators began their 2021 postseason march on a high note on Friday night, defeating the Catholic-New Iberia Panthers 34-6.

After taking an early 7-6 lead, Ascension Episcopal scored the game's final points, cruising to an opening-round win in the Division III state playoffs.

The win was the second this season for the Blue Gators over Catholic-New Iberia, a fellow District 7-2A foe, after downing the Panthers earlier this season 29-0.

Let's take a look at five reasons Ascension Episcopal was victorious on Friday night.

Ascension Episcopal is blessed with two outstanding specialists, in placekicker Peyton Woodring and punter Badger Hargett.

Woodring was especially phenomenal on Friday night, kicking through a 44-yard field goal, before nailing one from 56 yards away, while also being credited with seven touchbacks, giving the opposition no chance to return most kicks, while Hargett has consistently flipped field position most of the year.

"He was just spectacular tonight," Ascension Episcopal head coach Matt Desormeaux said of Woodring. "Kicking a 56-yard field goal, in high school football is almost unheard of. We get the ball to their 40, and he kicks a field goal. That's pretty special.

"It helps so much when he kicks it into the end zone almost every time on his kickoff," Desormeaux said. "Them having one less chance to make a play, and starting deep in their own territory, is so critical to winning the game."

The Blue Gators have as good of special teams as anybody in the state, which means a lot in the playoffs.

The Ascension Episcopal junior quarterback was outstanding on Friday night, throwing for over 200 yards and three touchdowns, getting back on track, and playing at the level he was mid-season.

"I think he (Dardar) kind of took a step back late in the year," said Desormeaux. "He was just trying to do too much and forcing a few things. We talked about that; worked on it this week, and he got back to where he was.

"We have a lot of confidence in him" Desormeaux continued on Dardar. "When he lets the game come to him is when he's at his best, and he played at a high-level tonight."

Ascension Episcopal held Catholic-New Iberia to six points on Friday night, and only six points over eight quarters this season. That's tough to do against any playoff team, especially one as talented as the Panthers.

"I think holding them (Cat

holic-New Iberia) tonight is a bigger accomplishment than shutting them out in the first game," Desormeaux said. "They had a couple of key players out in the first game, and playing them a second time is so tough. I'm very proud of the way our defense rose to the occasion tonight."

Ascension Episcopal has had a lot of playoff success, winning a state title in 2016, before advancing into the second round in two of the last three seasons.

"You have to go into a game thinking you're going to win, and that's something I think our kids have developed over the years," said Desormeaux. "To have that mindset; not being cocky, but just believing that things are going to go your way, is so important to a winning program."

"We had a great week of practice, one of our best weeks of the year," said Desormeaux. "I was pleased with our mindset all week, and the way we came out focused tonight."

With the win, the Blue Gators will now have to travel next week to face the top-seeded LCA Knights.

"They (LCA) are as good of a team that you're going to find in any classification," Desormeaux said. "But our guys are going to embrace the challenge and not back down. This group is going to fight to the very end, no matter who they're playing against.

"We like the fact that it will be a relatively short road trip," Desormeaux said of the upcoming drive from Youngsville to Upper Lafayette next week. "Having a 20-30 minute drive doesn't upset a player's preparation like a three-hour trip up to north Louisiana would."

Ascension Episcopal, which is now 6-3 on the season, will certainly have their hands full against LCA next week, but if they play well in all facets of the game like they did in their impressive win over Catholic-New Iberia, then they'll have at least a fighting chance, which is all most teams ask for anyway.

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Ascension Blue Gators secure season sweep over Catholic-NI - The Advocate

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