Destrehan nearly shocked the world in February, when its boys soccer team came close to upending second-seeded Mandeville in round two of the Division I soccer playoffs. Mandeville was nationally ranked and dominated most of its competition this season, but the Wildcats nearly came away with the road win to advance.
Two players who anchored a Wildcats defense that pitched a first half shutout in that game were seniors Bryson Marretta and Will Sirmon, and coaches around the state took notice of their tremendous seasons.
The two were named to the Louisiana High School Coaches Association’s All-State team, marking the first time in the history of the Destrehan soccer program that two Wildcat players had earned All-State honors.
Destrehan began the season 0-2 but caught fire from there, going 14-7-5 overall.
Marretta, a senior defender who played the sweeper role, was as strong an influence off the field as on it, according to Destrehan coach Jhovanny Santamaria.
“He’s been a guy I knew I could trust when it comes to not just the games, but also at practice,” Santamaria said. “He brought us great discipline. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him get a yellow card.”
Santamaria said that Marretta’s never say die attitude served him extremely well in games.
“He never gave up,” Santamaria said. “Whether we were winning by a lot or we were behind, he continued to work hard and push. He always brought a great attitude and he was a tremendous leader.”
Sirmon, the team’s goalkeeper, also brought strong leadership traits to the table to go along with quick reflexes and a penchant for making key stops.
“I don’t know that anyone in the states had more saves than Will,” Santamaria said.
“He’s another real disciplined guy. If he made a mistake, he didn’t fight criticism, he accepted it and fixed it. Most of the time you didn’t have to say anything and he’d fix the problem.
Sirmon was a great facilitator of communication for the defense as well.
“He talked a lot on the field and kept everyone on the same page,” Santamaria said. “Our defense made great strides this season and we accomplished a lot of our goals, Will and Bryson both being big reasons for that.”