Farris uses journey to three Olympics to help community

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

It’s been six years since Kendrick Farris competed in his third and most-recent Olympics, the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Does Farris miss being America’s best and among the world’s best?SBJ BHM logo 250

That’s a trick question.

“I still feel I’m the best in the world,” Farris told The Journal. “I just have taken my focus and channeled it into other things, but from a competition standpoint I still love it. It’s just the bureaucracy and stuff behind the scenes that deters the competitive spirit.”

Farris, 35, prioritizes another longtime passion – to make communities (especially his hometown of Shreveport) better places.

“I’m just thankful for the opportunity to serve my community,” said Farris, whose “Bless the Gym” organization (BTGForever.com) aims to help “people seeking truth in and out of the gym.”

Farris believes some people just need to get out of their own way.

“Sometimes you can only see what you’re experiencing,” he said. “We’re right there for each other for a reason. We just have to be better. That’s why we have another day – to go over the things you’ve done well and correct things we could have done better. We just help people get better every day.”

Farris and his wife Brittany have a blended family of seven, including their daughter Oryah, who will soon be 2.

The star who grew up in Stoner Hill succeeded with his BTG philosophy on the weightlifting platform. He made his Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008 and boasts a sixth-place finish. He’s credited with a seventh-place effort at the London Games in 2012 and an 11th at the Rio Games in 2016.

He was also crowned a champion at the 2010 Pan American Weightlifting Championships. Just months before the Rio Games, the Byrd High product broke the U.S. record with an 831-point effort (370 pounds in the snatch and 461 in the clean and jerk).

“The thing I miss the most is meeting different people (at the Olympics),” Farris said. “I still do that, but it’s in a different arena.”

Farris’ multiple international appearances led him to be intrigued by archers and table tennis athletes.

“The archers, I was amazed by their ability to focus – they’re going all day,” Farris said.

“The table tennis athletes – they were some of the coolest people. The way they move you would think they were wiry, but I like the people who are chill. They definitely didn’t give the table tennis vibe to me.”

Ultimately, conversations with other Olympians had a common theme.

“People are people — no matter the sport,” Farris said. “I know the focus it takes to be elite — whether it’s an individual or a team sport — so I wanted to know how they did it. They are the best in the world at what they do. It would come up eventually.”

Farris admits a few gray hairs have emerged, but he loves when they mislead folks at seminars.

“Some of them know (my background), some of them don’t,” he said.

When Farris the Olympian is suddenly on display, their eyes light up.

“I can feel it in my body. I can tell how I move certain weights,” Farris said. “I feel really good. It’s not like I look at old pictures and wonder, ‘How did I used to hold that weight?’ ”

“It’s still in there. That’s the beautiful part. I’m fired up every day. The fire still burns.”

Now, others get to benefit from Farris’ drive to be the best in the world.

Photo courtesy BTGForever.com


Powered by senior duo, Calvary qualifies for Marsh Madness

NET GAIN: Calvary’s Konnor Cotton begins cutting down net celebrating the Cavaliers’ advance to Marsh Madness

By PRESTON EDWARDS, Journal Sports

There is just something about a team that has been through the playoff wars. The players on that team never seem to panic and they make winning plays when they are needed. On Saturday night, the Calvary Cavaliers were that team.

Led by its two senior starters, Labree Williams and Martin McDowell, Calvary punched its ticket to Marsh Madness in Lafayette. Even though the final score was 76-58, the outcome was decided in the first quarter of this quarterfinal matchup.

McDowell and Williams came out of the gate blazing. Williams started the onslaught by scoring the first six points of the game. He and McDowell, who scored eight points with two made 3s, supplied all of the Cavaliers’ first-period scoring as they raced to a 26-11 lead.

Ascension Catholic, out of Donaldsonville, applied a strategy that most teams have not used when it comes to defending Williams. The visitors attempted to guard him one-on-one with 6-foot-4 freshman Javoris Breaux. The outcome did not turn out the way that they hoped.

“I figured they would try and play him (Labree) straight up to start.,” said coach Vic Morris about the matchup. “That’s what they’ve done in the games I watched. So we were prepared to go to him from the jump.”

Ascension Catholic did little to deter Williams from catching the ball and scoring. Even though they did cut the second-quarter deficit to six, Williams, McDowell and Kameron Kennon thwarted the comeback. The three upperclassmen scored 19 of the 20 second-quarter points with the last two coming on a dazzling up-and-under layup by McDowell at the horn. That bucket helped Calvary build a 46-32 lead at the half.

From there, Calvary pretty much held the line. The Bulldogs did pull within single digits one more time with a made three by Gavin Richardson at the end of the third quarter. From there, Williams and crew took over again. Junior Malaki Thomas began the fourth with two layups of his own and Williams scored 13 of his game-high 41 points in the fourth quarter. The outcome was very much decided by then.

Coach Morris talked after the game about what he told his seniors to set the tone of the night.

“We just talked about how the team goes as they go,” said Morris. “When they are talking, playing hard and doing the little things it takes to win, the rest of the guys follow suit. I also talked about it being the last time they would play a meaningful game in this gym and they took it to heart.”

Took it to heart they did. Now, the Cavaliers will face Metairie Park Country Day on Wednesday in Lafayette with a chance to play for the Division IV state title. Tip for that semifinal game will be 4 p.m.

Seventh-seeded Ascension Catholic, who was led by Demarco Harry’s 15 points, finished its season at 19-12.

(Photo by PRESTON EDWARDS).


Kyron Reed sparks Gators to first-round victory

By PRESTON EDWARDS, Journal Sports

In a lot of first-round playoff games, there is a feeling-out process with unfamiliar foes. Some people would categorize Captain Shreve and Live Oak going through that in their Friday night 5A bi-district matchup. Coach Corey Deans called it something else.

“We seemed like we were disinterested until the third quarter,” said Shreve’s coach. “The defense was there all game, but the offense looked like we had never played basketball before. I will say this. We need to get ready for practice.”

While it took the rest of the squad some time to get it in gear, Kyron Reed was in go-mode from the jump. His two 3-pointers helped Shreve gain an 8-6 advantage at the end of the first. He spent the rest of the game on automatic as his 24-point night propelled Captain Shreve to a 63-41 victory over an inexperienced but tenacious Live Oak squad.

“He (Kyron) shot the lights out of the ball and saved us,” Deans stated. “What else can you say about Kyron Reed? He had an overall good game. His defense was good. I didn’t take him out of the game until it was decided.”

From the beginning of the game until the 5:40 mark in the first, the game looked as if it was going to be a slow grinder. Shreve did not score until a layup by Mekel Hart with 2:20 left in the first due to the Live Oak zone which caused the Captain Shreve offense to commit several turnovers. The Shreve defense was just as good but had allowed layups to Eagle guards Sammy Smith and Jamarion Thomas.

Live Oaks coach Tiras Magee was dismayed and actually verbalized it at one point. “We have six turnovers!” was his statement to is players, because the Shreve defense was so good.

While Davieon Coleman scored six of his 10 points in the second quarter to help widen the home team’s advantage, it was not until the third quarter when everything began clicking for the Gators.

Christan Ford nailed a three to begin the third quarter and the floodgates opened from there. Shreve outscored Live Oak 32-18 in that quarter and never looked back.

The Live Oak guards had trouble staying in contact with Reed and he made them pay for it with 13 points in the quarter. He also made three of his game-high 6 threes in the decisive third stanza.

“We have to come out and play the way we did in the third quarter,” was Deans’ assessment. “If we don’t, we will get blown out in our own gym.”

Live Oak was led in scoring by Sammy Smith who scored eight of his team-high 12 in the second half. The visitors finished the year with a record of 15-13.

Captain Shreve will host Class of 2024 top-5 guard Kohen Rowbatham and the 11th-seeded Northshore Panthers in the Swamp on Tuesday night in the regional round of the 5A playoffs. Tip will be at 6 o’clock.

Photo by PRESTON EDWARDS


Roberts, Matlock lead SBJ’s All-Metro girls soccer team

JOURNAL STAFF

Byrd goalkeeper Emerson Roberts and Loyola coach Mark Matlock are featured as the top honorees on the 2021-22 Shreveport-Bossier Journal’s All-Metro girls soccer team.

Roberts, who dominated in front of the goal for Byrd in leading the team to a district championship and a No. 8 seed in the Division I playoffs, was chosen as the All-Metro Player of the Year. Starting in early December, the Lady Jackets did not allow a goal for a month.

“Emerson is the most intense player I have ever coached,” said Byrd coach Lisa Leverman. “She came to me as a freshman with such drive and dedication. She always strived to be the best goal keeper she could be. Emerson is a coach’s dream.”

Roberts will continue her soccer career at UL-Monroe.

Loyola’s sophomore defender Mary Helen Burford and senior forward Kennedy Jarrett were also considered for Player of the Year.

Matlock became the first local coach to win a second state championship as the Flyers captured the Division III title with a 4-1 win over Archbishop Hannan.

Loyola played an incredibly tough schedule, going against both of the Division I finalists, a Division II state finalist, and five other quarterfinalists in either Division I or II.

Matlock has led the Flyers to the finals the last four years, including a title in 2019.

Loyola had five selections on the first team while Byrd had three, Captain Shreve with two and Caddo Magnet with one.

ALL-METRO FIRST TEAM

Goalkeeper – Emerson Roberts, Byrd (Sr.)
Defender – Mary Helen Burford, Loyola (Soph.)
Defender – Katie Smith, Byrd (Sr.)
Defender – Aidan Heard, Loyola (Sr.)
Midfielder – Kiley Rourke, Captain Shreve (Sr.)
Midfielder – Ellie Lawrence, Byrd (Jr.)
Midfielder – Madalyn Van Devender, Loyola (Jr.)
Midfielder – Erin Campbell, Loyola (Sr.)
Forward – Emma Bradford, Captain Shreve (Jr.)
Forward – Kennedy Jarrett, Loyola (Sr.)
Forward – Audrey Jordan, Caddo Magnet (Soph.)

The All-Metro team was chosen by the Shreveport-Bossier Journal staff in close consultation with local coaches. The first team was filled by positions with a 3-4-3-1 alignment.

A “Best of the Rest” was chosen based on those players who were given serious consideration for the first team.

Goalkeeper – Aubrie Dupre, Parkway
Defender – Ella Grace Davis, Captain Shreve; Skylar Burke, Byrd; Abby Beasley, Caddo Magnet.
Midfielder – Antonia Sapp, Caddo Magnet; Brooklyn Lattier, Captain Shreve; Landry Jones, Byrd; Cassie Campbell, Loyola.
Forward – Khiana Roraback, Byrd; Maya Jackson, Parkway; Carson Davis, Calvary.


Bugs Beat: Perfect weekend causes Mudbugs to look for Logans

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Sunday, Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell was scouring the waiver wire and list of 2022 draft eligibles for Logans. Logan who? It doesn’t matter.

“We’re trying to draft anybody with the first name Logan, a middle name Logan or maybe they go by Logan,” Campbell told The Journal. “We’ve used a lot of our tenders, so we’re looking at draft picks or free agents.”

This weekend at Corpus Christi, Mudbugs Logan Heroux, Logan Gotinsky, Logan Furstenau and Logan Valkama combined for six goals and 10 points in one of the most important series of the season. Behind Team Logan, Shreveport’s playoff hopes took a remarkable leap with a sweep of the Rays across the street from the shore of the Gulf of Mexico.

The Logans were four of nine different players to score in the 7-1 and 5-3 victories. A total of 17 Mudbugs collected at least one point during the weekend.

“(The wide-ranging production) is everything,” Campbell said. “You need that secondary scoring. You need all four lines chipping in; it’s exactly what we had. To get that over one weekend is great. We’ve really needed it.”

The sweep completed a seven-game road trip. Incredibly, as the Mudbugs move back to George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum for three games this week, they could move into a playoff position by Saturday night.

Shreveport is four points behind Wichita Falls and Odessa, teams tied for the final two playoff slots.

Given the Mudbugs’ troubling start to the season and the depth of the North American Hockey League’s South Division, the fact such an opportunity is present is a testament to the team’s perseverance.

“It feels great; we’ve experienced that this year,” Campbell said. “We could have quit a couple of times this season. Instead, we just did it. It says something about our

willingness to compete. I just like that about our group. It doesn’t take any pressure off, but we did our job.”

Former Mudbug suffers stroke

Jack Smiley, who played 35 games for Shreveport during the 2019-20 season, suffered a stroke on Feb. 21 at 22 years old. Smiley last played Jan. 28 for Endicott College.

A GoFundMe started by Jessica Leventry has already raised more than $16,000. Many Mudbugs teammates and fans are already on the list of donors.

“Jack will be undergoing intensive rehab and will likely be there for an extended period. We hope to help fund his rehab process and get him back to full recovery,” said a post on the page.

Last week’s 3 Stars

1, Logan Heroux, one of his two goals was biggest tally of the weekend – broke 3-3 tie in third-period Saturday

2, Timofei Khokhlachev, five-point weekend (G, 4A) for “Koko”

3, Lukas Sedlacek, collected three assists and a mind-numbing plus-6 rating for the two games

NAHL South Division standings

New Mexico (32-12-3), 67 points
Lone Star (28-10-8), 64
Wichita Falls (23-15-7), 53
Odessa (24-17-5), 53
Shreveport (22-17-5), 49
Corpus Christi (22-24-2), 46
Amarillo (21-22-3), 45
El Paso (13-29-4), 30

*top four make the playoffs

Team leaders

Goals: Austin Brimmer, Connor Gatto, 12
Assists: Brimmer, 23
Points: Brimmer, 35
Penalty Minutes: Davis Goukler, 131
Game-winning goals: Connor Gatto, 4
Goals-against average: Devon Bobak, 2.10
Save percentage: Bobak, .918

Up next

After three weeks on road, Shreveport stays home for a busy weekend at The George with two games against Odessa (Friday, Saturday) and a single game against division-leading New Mexico (makeup for Feb. 4 postponement).

Photo courtesy SHREVEPORT MUDBUGS


LSUS men, women advance in conference tournament

JOURNAL STAFF

LSUS defeated Our Lady of the Lake 97-88 Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Red River Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament held at the Rapides Coliseum In Alexandria.

The Pilots took a 27-24 lead on a Kevin Norman 3-point field goal just under 12 minutes left in the first half and never trailed from there. LSUS built as much as a 12-point margin (51-39) in the first half before settling for a 57-49 halftime lead.

The Saints pulled within two at 67-65 with a little more than 13 minutes left but couldn’t get any closer and the Pilots gradually pulled away. Their largest lead of the game grew to 14 at 84-70 with 8 ½ minutes left.

Leondre Washington led LSUS with 24 points and handed out five assists. Washington made just five field goals but was 12-of-16 from the free throw line. Norman and Akeem White both scored 17 and Quentin Jones 15.

The Pilots shot 53 percent from the field compared to Our Lady of the Lake’s 48 percent.

The Saints, who finished their season at 9-15, were led by Joseph Anderson’s 15 points.

The Pilots, now 21-7, will face LSUA in the East semifinals Monday at 5:30 p.m.

WOMEN

The Lady Pilots, the No. 3 seeded team in the East, advanced to the semifinals of the conference tournament as well with a 59-45 upset win over second-seeded Huston-Tillotson on Sunday.

It was an early morning tipoff (8 a.m.) and both teams got off to a slow start but the Lady Pilots took the early lead and extended their advantage as the game progressed. They went from shooting 31 percent in each of the first two quarters to 58 percent in the fourth quarter and finished the game shooting 38 percent. H-T shot 40 percent for the game but made five fewer field goals and were forced into 21 turnovers.

DeAuja Thompson scored 11 of her team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Pilots pulled away, outscoring the Rams 18-12. Thompson added six steals, five rebounds and four assists to her scoring. Ciera Daniels added 11 points and a team-best 7 rebounds and Kiara Collins scored 10.

LSUS, the No. 3 seed from the East, is now 16-12 and will play top-seeded Xavier at 1 p.m. today at the Rapides Coliseum in Alexandria.


Demons topple Sooners, but drop series; Tech tumbles twice Sunday

BIG LEAGUE DIGS: Northwestern State and Oklahoma tangled in a tight three-game series at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

JOURNAL STAFF

ARLINGTON, Texas – Oklahoma’s pitching staff proved too talented for Northwestern State in a taut three-game college baseball series ending Sunday night, after the Demons mounted a winning rally in the first contest.

Northwestern prevailed 4-2 Friday opening a series shifted from the OU campus to Globe Life Field, the Texas Rangers’ sparkling home (with a retractable roof that provided much-needed cover and comfort for the first two games). The Sooners won a pitching duel 2-1 Saturday night and then shackled NSU hitters again Sunday night in a 5-1 series-clincher.

The Demons (3-3) won on a two-out, two-run base hit by Broch Holmes in a three-run eighth that fueled their Friday afternoon triumph.

Benton’s Cole Horton singled and scored NSU’s go-ahead run in the fourth Saturday night. Oklahoma got the difference-maker in the sixth on a sacrifice fly after tying it an inning earlier.

The Sooners (5-2) rode 14 strikeouts Sunday from lefty Chazz Martinez, who allowed only three hits in seven scoreless innings. The OU bullpen worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the Demons’ eighth, surrendering just one run on Gray Rowlett’s sac fly.

LOUISIANA TECH: The 15th-ranked Bulldogs kept their early record perfect Friday night at Ruston behind Byrd High’s Jonathan Fincher, but after a rainout Saturday, Tulane swept a pair of seven-inning matchups Sunday at J.C. Love Field.

Tech (5-2) won the opener 6-1 as Fincher struck out eight in six innings, but dropped Sunday’s twinbill 4-1 and 13-6. Adarius Myers

lashed a two-run homer in the win.

After a day off, Tulane left-handler Dylan Carmouche tossed a complete game four-hitter, getting nicked by a Jorge Corona RBI single in the fourth, when Tech collected all of its hits. Carmouche retired the first 10 batters.

In Sunday’s second game, the Green Wave (6-1) quickly erupted into a tsunami, scoring 12 times in the first three innings, getting eight runs with two outs.

“We are not defined by three or four bad innings, and that is what it was today,” said Bulldogs coach Lane Burroughs. “It’s still early.”

LSU: In Baton Rouge, the Tigers took full advantage of tune-up opposition over the weekend to rebound from their sloppy 11-6 loss Wednesday night at Louisiana Tech, and outscored its foes 41-3.

Second-ranked LSU (7-1) topped Towson 6-0 Friday night, smacked Southern 9-2 Saturday and jolted the Jags 15-0 Sunday after blasting Towson by 11-1.

“The thing I’m most pleased with is the pitching. The pitchers commanded the zone throughout the weekend,” said first-year Tigers’ coach Jay Johnson.

GRAMBLING: The Tigers (2-4) were swept in a three-game, neutral site series with Florida A&M Friday and Saturday in Lawrenceville, Ga., in the Lucas-Garr Classic.

The Rattlers (5-3) won 7-3 Friday, and swept a doubleheader 7-5 and 6-2 Saturday in the Bill Lucas-Ralph Garr HBCU Classic hosted by the Atlanta Braves.

ULM: The Warhawks (1-4) battled Missouri (6-1) but couldn’t mount enough offense in chilly Columbia, Mo., while falling 4-3 Friday and 4-2 Sunday, with the middle game Saturday cancelled by weather.

Photo: by PATRICK NETHERTON


Barbier’s Demons serve notice they’re pretty salty, again

Once is a nice surprise, twice in a row maybe a happy coincidence. Three straight? That’s more than respectable, it’s remarkable for David, vs. Goliath.

With its 4-2 win Friday night on very neutral ground – the Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field in Arlington – the Northwestern State baseball team topped the Oklahoma Sooners. Worth noting, yes. A fluke? Not hardly.

Especially when you consider it was the third straight Power 5 win for the Demons of coach Bobby Barbier. They beat LSU in Baton Rouge last year, denying Paul Maineiri his 1,500th career win in his final home game as the Tigers’ coach, and put down the top 10-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville in 2019.

OU, LSU and Arkansas have decimal-point budgets. The Demons get by on decimals, mostly.

There’s a huge difference in resources when Barbier and his boys line up against a brand-name foe, but between the foul lines, you can’t tell it.

It was three years ago in Corvallis, Ore., that LSU had to pull off a miraculous ninth-inning rally to escape the Demons’ guillotine in the NCAA Regionals. That came one day after Northwestern blanked one of the top 40 winningest programs in college baseball this century, San Diego State. In its opener, NSU played eventual College World Series champ Oregon State more competitively than LSU did twice afterward in that regional.

Barbier, married to Bossier City native Kody Sprout, was an Academic All-America first baseman and a first-team All-Southland pick a year later in 2005, when he helped Mitch Gaspard’s Demons reach the Baton Rouge Regional. He began his coaching career for Gaspard, first at NSU and then at Alabama when Gaspard succeeded another former NSU coach, Jim Wells, when the Bossier City native retired after 13 seasons steering the Crimson Tide.

With a 192-89 record from 1990-94 at his alma mater, assisted at times by both Gaspard and current Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco, Wells jumpstarted an amazing run of nine Southland Conference titles in 17 seasons (1991-2005) by the Demons. Contributing to that were current Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn (106-65 from 1995-97), current Mississippi State AD and former head coach John Cohen (146-84 from 1998-2001) and Gaspard (210-138 from 2002-07).

Barbier came back to Natchitoches as pitching coach for Lane Burroughs in 2015-16, when the Demons surged to a 40-18 Southland mark in two seasons, a span good enough for Louisiana Tech to tap Burroughs as its head coach. That’s worked out pretty well. So has the in-house promotion of Barbier.

Along with his team’s repeated dents inflicted on Power 5s, and the 2018 Corvallis Regional trip earned by the Demons’s first-ever Southland Tournament title, Barbier and his associate head coach, former LSUS pitching coach Chris Bertrand, have a salty collection of credentials.

Since 2018, NSU has had six MLB Draft picks, including the Southland’s highest in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The Demons have had an All-American in 2020 (rising Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Logan Hofmann), and Freshmen All-Americans Johnathan Harmon (2020) and Dante Stuart (2021).

Most impressively, Barbier’s bunch has posted the Southland’s top winning percentage since 2018, better even than the perennially strong Southeastern Louisiana Lions. They own wins in three of their last four against Burroughs and the Bulldogs, and have captured their last two against LSU.

NSU nearly won the series against the Sooners Saturday night, falling 2-1 in Arlington at Globe Life Park. Sunday evening, Oklahoma (5-2) got a shutdown pitching outing and chipped away for a 5-1 victory.

Not anyone in the Demon dugout was proud. But going toe-to-toe with the Sooners in a three-game series signals Barbier’s Battlers are capable of big things again this spring.


Weekend Sports Scoreboard

Friday

College Baseball

Northwestern St. 4, Oklahoma 2
Louisiana Tech 6, Tulane 1
Missouri 4, La-Monroe 3
LSU 6, Towson 0
Florida A&M 7, Grambling St. 3

College Basketball

Georgia Southern 81, La-Monroe 75, OT

College Softball

Northwestern St. 2, Lipscomb 0
Louisiana Tech. 10, St. Thomas 2
Northwestern St. 7, Eastern Illinois 5
Portland State 4, Louisiana Tech 1
Grambling St. 2, Alabama State 1

High School Basketball

LHSAA Boys Playoffs
Captain Shreve 63, Live Oak 41
Mandeville 52, Airline 40
West Monroe 59, Southwood 53
Huntington 72, Tioga 45
Woodlawn 77, Livonia 60
BTW 56, Breaux Bridge 52
Karr 60, Northwood 21

CLASS 3A

Bossier 89, Green Oaks 20

CLASS 2A

Franklin 69, North Caddo 57

CLASS A

Plain Dealing 56, Block 52

High School Baseball

Benton 2, Carthage, Texas 2
Benton 3, Atlanta, Texas 3
Byrd 21, Ouachita 0
Captain Shreve 5, Ruston 4
Evangel 12, Loyola 4
North Webster 18, Huntington 2
North Webster 18, Southwood 3
North Caddo 22, Bossier 2
Northwood 11-17, Franklin Parish 2-1
Parkway 9, Minden 6
St. Louis Catholic 1, Calvary 0
West Monroe 15, Haughton 5

High School Softball

Beau Chene 7, North Caddo 0
Calvary 17, Sterlington 12
Evangel 8, Forest 7
Loyola 32, Lakeside 14
Northwood 12, Oak Hill 4

Saturday

College Baseball

Claremont-M-S 12, Centenary 5
LSU 9, Southern U. 2
Tulane at Louisiana Tech, ppd.
Florida A&M 7-6, Grambling St. 5-2
Oklahoma 2, Northwestern St. 1
Missouri at La-Monroe, ppd.

College Basketball

Women

Bossier 69, Angelina 66
Georgia State 76, La-Monroe 65
Grambling St. 84, Florida A&M 59
Louisiana Tech 62, North Texas 54
New Orleans 74, Northwestern St. 62

Men

Bossier Parish 85, Tyler 82
LSU 75, Missouri 55
Florida A&M 79, Grambling St. 73
North Texas 56, Louisiana Tech 49
Northwestern St. 87, New Orleans 77
St. Thomas 75, Centenary 56

College Softball

Grambling St. 3, Florida A&M 1
Alabama 8, Northwestern St. 3
Louisiana Tech. 10, Eastern Illinois 3
Northwestern St. 5, St. Thomas 3
Alabama 2, Louisiana Tech 0
Alabama A&M 6, Grambling St. 4

High School Basketball

Boys Division IV Quarterfinal

Calvary 76, Ascension Catholic 58

High School Baseball

Sulphur 2, Calvary 1
Barbe 11, Calvary 1

High School Softball

Byrd 22, Peabody 5

Sunday

College Baseball

LSUS 11, Our Lady of the Lake 3
Missouri 4, La-Monroe 2
LSU 11, Towson 1
Tulane 4-13, Louisiana Tech 1-5 (both games 7 innings)
Oklahoma 5, Northwestern St. 1
LSU 15, Southern U. 0

College Basketball

Women

LSU 57, Tennessee 54
LSUS 59, Huston-Tillotson 45

Men

LSUS 97, Our Lady of the Lake 88

College Softball

Portland State 9, Northwestern St. 7
Louisiana Tech. 3, Lipscomb 0
Florida A&M 5, Grambling St. 4


LSUS baseball hosts Our Lady of the Lake; Panola at BPCC

Monday

College Baseball

Panola at Bossier Parish, 1 p.m.
Our Lady of the Lake at LSUS, DH, TBD
Centenary at Claremont-M-S, 4:30 p.m.

College Basketball

LSUS women vs. Xavier, at Alexandria, La., 1 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman at Grambling St. women, 5:30 p.m.
Bethune-Cookman at Grambling St. men, 7:30 p.m.

College Lacrosse

Centenary at Mount Vernon Nazarene, 5 p.m.

High School Baseball

Parkway at Glenbrook 6 p.m.
Huntington at Homer, 5 p.m.
Natchitoches Central at Northwood, 6 p.m.
Plain Dealing at Stanley

High School Softball

Byrd at Logansport, 5 p.m.
Southwood at Grace Christian, 4 p.m.
BTW at Caddo Magnet, DH, 4:30 p.m.
Calvary at Evangel, 5:30 p.m.
Woodlawn at North DeSoto, 3:30 p.m.
Plain Dealing at Green Oaks, 5 p.m.

Tuesday

College Baseball

Texas Wesleyan at LSUS, 2:30 p.m.
La-Lafayette at Northwestern St., 6 p.m.
Nicholls St. at Louisiana Tech, 6:30 p.m.
Grambling St. at Miss. State, 6:30 p.m.
La-Monroe at Ole Miss, 6:30 p.m.

College Basketball

Bossier Parish men vs. Angelina, at Jacksonville, Texas, 1 p.m.

College Softball

La-Monroe at Alabama State, 2 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at McNeese, 3 p.m.
Arlington Baptist at Centenary, DH, 5 p.m.
Grambling St. at Northwestern St., 5 p.m.

High School Basketball

Boys Non-Select Playoffs

Northshore at Captain Shreve, 6 p.m.
Richwood at Bossier, 6 p.m.
Woodlawn at Neville , 7 p.m.
BTW at McMain, 7 p.m.
Plain Dealing at White Castle, 7 p.m.
Washington-Marion at Huntington

High School Baseball

Ruston at Airline, 5:30 p.m.
Texas High at Captain Shreve, 6 p.m.
Southwood at Bossier, 6 p.m.
Huntington at Glenbrook, 6 p.m.
Minden at North Caddo, 5 p.m.
Mansfield at Loyola, DH, 5 p.m.

High School Softball

Ruston at Airline, 5:30 p.m.
Captain Shreve at Northwood, 6:30 p.m.
Calvary at Natchitoches Central, 5:30 p.m.
Southwood at Minden, 6 p.m.
Parkway at North Caddo, 6:30 p.m.
Evangel at Montgomery, 5 p.m.
St. Mary’s at Loyola, 5 p.m.
Arcadia at Plain Dealing, 4:30 p.m.

Note: The above schedule is subject to cancellations or reschedule


Notice of Death – February 27, 2022

Bossier Parish

Sue L. Grant
October 13, 1942 – February 25, 2022
Visitation: 10:00 a.m. until the time of service
Services: 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2201 Airline Drive, Bossier City

Caddo Parish

Quillian “Pete” Ehrhard
February 8, 1936 – February 26, 2022
Visitation: Tuesday, March 1, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the chapel
Services:  Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Southside Chapel in Shreveport

Agnes Salandra Merello
December 20, 1925 – February 18, 2022
Services:  Friday, March 4, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. at St. Mary of the Pines Catholic Church, 1050 Bert Kouns Ind. Loop, Shreveport

William “Jake” “Skeeter” Jennings Sherman, Jr.
August 12, 1936 – February 16, 2022
Visitation:  1:00 p.m. until time of service
Services:  3:00 p.m. Monday, February 28, 2022 at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall St., Shreveport


Fate derailed James Speed’s sensational talent

By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports

The best local basketball player you’ve never heard of was the first in Louisiana to make the first orSBJ BHM logo 250 second team Parade All-America roster, the most significant recognition of its time for high school basketball.

The best local basketball player you’ve never heard of didn’t play a single minute of Division I college basketball.

The best local basketball player you’ve never of died 10 years ago with hardly any notice in his hometown.

You probably don’t know the story of James Speed.

You should.

* * *

The late 1960s was an interesting time for high school basketball in Shreveport. Integration was still in place and there were great teams in both the LHSAA and the LIALO (for African-American schools).

Woodlawn and Captain Shreve (LHSAA) and Union (LIALO) were among the state’s best programs. (NBA great Robert Parish played as a freshman and sophomore at Union, then finished at Woodlawn.)

But at Valencia High School in Shreveport, the 6-foot-6 James Speed was the show. In 1967-68, he averaged 31.2 points and 19 rebounds per game for the Vikings. “In terms of what he can do,” coach John Crockett said during Speed’s senior year, “he’s the best in the area.”

“He could do it all,” remembers Billy Grisham, who has been around local basketball since the mid 1960s. “He could shoot it, he could put it on the floor, run, jump, everything. He was a complete player.”

Remember, this was the late 1960s and Southern schools, for the most part, did not recruit black athletes. Speed entertained 85 offers from all over and enrolled at Imperial Valley Junior College in California, where he starred for two years. He was then signed by the University of Iowa and enrolled in the fall of 1970.

A promising career awaited.

“There is no doubt,” said Dick Schultz, Iowa’s coach, in a 1984 interview, “that he would have been a first-round draft choice after two years.”

But on the day after Thanksgiving, with the season opener a few days away, Speed began to complain of a headache and toothache and went to Iowa’s University Hospital. Two teeth were extracted, but the pain persisted and he came back the next day. He was given a prescription for painkillers and released.

Remember, this was Thanksgiving weekend, so a scaled-down crew of physicians were available. These were on-call residents at Iowa’s medical school.

By Monday, Speed was admitted to the hospital as the pain and swelling continued. What had been an undiagnosed sinus infection had made its way back behind his eyes and developed into a condition known cavernous sinus thrombosis. The infection was shutting off the blood supply to the optic nerve.

“He was begging them to help him with his eyes,” said Jim Hayes, now 83, who was a friend of Speed’s (they lived in the same residential complex) and later, his lawyer.

With his eyesight worsening, Speed asked the nurse to take him to the bathroom so he could see the swelling he was now feeling. He looked in the mirror and saw the halo of the bathroom light above the sink.

It was the last vision he ever had.

“The nurse put him back in bed and told the doctor that Speed had sore eyes,” Hayes said.

By the end of that Tuesday, James Speed was permanently blind.

* * *

What do you do when you are forced to come to grips with the fact that the rest of your life is changed forever? This wasn’t a random event or an act of God, as was later argued in the courts.

Weeks before that Thanksgiving weekend, Hayes said Speed had been treated poorly by the Iowa team physician with over-the-counter medication for his sinus condition “when he should have been given antibiotic therapy.” In fact, Hayes was with Speed on Thanksgiving night and saw the basketball star holding his head in pain.

No one could imagine what would happen within a few days’ time.

“As long as James could see light of any kind, it could have been reversed with proper antibiotics,” Hayes said. “Right up until the time he saw that light in the bathroom.”

In early 1971, Speed entered the Iowa Commission for the Blind, learning to cope with his blindness. One day, he had a conversation with Hayes. “Why didn’t they help me?” Speed said.

“That’s when I knew we had to look into this,” Hayes said.

Speed filed suit against the state of Iowa in 1972 seeking $3.5 million for negligence on the part of University Hospital. In a landmark decision, Speed won a $750,000 judgment – at the time, the largest ever against the state. It was upheld by the state’s Supreme Court as Hayes had argued against the “Locality Rule” in Iowa (and many other states) at the time.

“In medical malpractice cases at that time, you had to get a local doctor to testify against another local doctor,” Hayes said. “Our belief was that we would expand that rule and be entitled to similarly trained and experienced doctors across the nation from similar research institutions as the University of Iowa.”

The Locality Rule is no longer on the books in almost every state.

“With little doubt, this is the most impactful case I’ve had in my law career,” said Hayes, who is in his sixth decade practicing law. “This was the thing that changed by professional life. And my personal life as well.”

Speed persevered. He went back to college, earned his degree and later a masters in counseling. He was actually an assistant coach at the College of the Ozarks under Jack Holley, a former high school coach in northwest Louisiana who had been Speed’s coach at Imperial Valley.

Speed moved to Las Vegas where he specialized in counseling. He would often come back to Iowa City and Hayes would visit him in Nevada.

“He never complained. Ever,” Hayes said. “He was never bitter about what happened to him. Never bitter toward the university or the doctors.”

On Sept. 14, 2011, James Speed died of liver and pancreatic cancer under hospice care. The disease came on very quickly. He was 61 years old and had been blind for almost 40 years.

“It was a life of courage and determination,” Hayes said. “Such a generous soul. What a guy. What a talent. We went through a lot together … he’s always been such a big part of my life.

Photos: courtesy IOWA ATHLETICS


Marsh Madness bound: Larry, WIlliams power Parkway past Northshore

By PRESTON EDWARDS, Journal Sports

Three hundred and sixty-five days ago the Parkway Lady Panthers were in the same position. They had a home quarterfinal game against a double-digit seed, expected to go to Marsh Madness in Hammond. While they had the consolation of playing one of the best games of the year, the overtime loss to eventual 2021 5A runner-up Benton left a deep hurt within the Lady Panthers program.

“It’s been with us,” said coach Gloria Williams about last season’s loss to Benton. “It’s like an Achilles injury. We did not want that feeling again. To be that close and lose it the way we did. This year’s team is different, however.”

These Lady Panthers are definitely different. As a matter of fact, it looked like they took their game to another level that Northshore could not remotely match. Paced by the Chloe (Larry) and (Mi)Kaylah (Williams) Show, the Lady Panthers throttled 10th seed Northshore 82-41 before a packed house Thursday night at PHS.

Larry played the role of closer as she scored 31 points, finishing the middle two quarters with 3-point bombs. She downed a total of five treys during the game. Williams, ranked as the country’s top recruit in the Class of 2023, was not too shabby, either. The point guard posted 26 points as she found herself in the paint several times making short jumpers or layups almost at will.

“Both of them performed phenomenally,” was coach Williams’ assessment. “They feed off of one another and they play well off of one another as they did tonight.”

Northshore seemed to frustrate Parkway early on as the Lady Panthers had a tough go of it. Coach Williams credited Northshore’s coaching staff for switching up things from the film the Panthers watched. While the Northshore defense might have been a contributing factor to Williams being a little off in the first stanza, Larry picked up the slack. She scored 12 of Parkway’s 14 points in the first quarter.

From there, the Lady Panthers increased their point production in each quarter. They were up 20 at the half and finished the night with a 28-point fourth quarter.

Northshore was led by senior point guard Tiarra Tillison as she scored a team-high 18. Tierra Sylvas contributed 10 points as well in the losing effort. The visitors finished their season with a record of 22-10.

“This moment is surreal,” said the winning coach. “We will celebrate tonight. However, we are not going (to Marsh Madness) just to be there.”

Now that Parkway has exorcized their ghosts from last year’s playoff disappointment, the Lady Panthers will take their 32-1 record to Hammond to face the third-seeded Lafayette Mighty Lions who punched their ticket to Hammond by defeating Southwood by 23.

The day and time of the semifinal at Southeastern’s University Center will be set later by the LHSAA (LHSAA.org)..

Photo by PRESTON EDWARDS


Huntington returns to Marsh Madness with win

JOURNAL STAFF

Huntington’s girls basketball team will be returning to the LHSAA state tournament following its convincing victory at South Lafourche 69-42 in the Class 4A quarterfinals Thursday night.

The Lady Raiders will be making a third consecutive trip to Marsh Madness thanks to a smothering defense that resulted in a dominating win. The Raiders have lost in the semifinals and finals the previous two trips, so maybe the third time can be the charm.

Huntington’s pressure resulted in a 22-7 first-quarter lead that sparked the visitors. The Tarpons used free throws in the second quarter to cut into that lead and trailed by just 28-19 at halftime.

An even bigger second half for Huntington resulted in a 42-29 lead after three quarters and the margin grew to more than 20 points in the final period.

Kalea Dean scored 19 points for Huntington (20-6). Jayla Allen added 13 and Nijeh Grant scored 12.

The fifth-seeded Raiders will be matched up with a familiar foe in No. 1 Warren Easton (22-9) in the semifinals. Huntington fell to the Eagles in the 2020 semifinals.

LAFAYETTE 65, SOUTHWOOD 42: The Lady Cowboys couldn’t pull off a second consecutive road upset, dropping the Class 5A quarterfinal game to the No. 3 Lady Lions (29-4). Southwood finished its year 24-11.

Baseball

TEXAS HIGH 6, CAPTAIN SHREVE 4: At CS, the Tigers used a 3-run sixth inning to rally past the Gators (2-1). Shreve got all of its runs in the second inning on an error, an RBI double from Bryce Powell, and RBI singles by Cole Criswell and Hunter Willis. Willis suffered the defeat in relief of Sutton Oathout who pitched the first five innings, allowing three earned runs of four allowed on 7 hits.

EVANGEL 6, LOYOLA 5: At Evangel, the Eagles used a 2-run sixth inning to take a 6-3 lead and held on for the win. Peyton Fulghum was 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs for ECA. Tristan Beaty got the win in relief for the Eagles. He gave up one run on two hits in 2 1-3 innings. Parker Fulghum worked the final inning to get the save. Peyton Thomas led Loyola with two hits in four at bats.

BENTON 8, PLEASANT GROVE (Texas) 2: At Marshall, Texas, the Tigers used a 6-run fourth inning to defeat the defending Class 4A state champions in Texas. Brady Blaylock had the big hit for the Tigers in the fourth with a 2-run double.

Softball

CALVARY 5, WEST OUACHITA 4: The Cavs were led by Molly Woodle who was 2-for-3 and an home run and D.J. Lynch with a double. Kynzee Anderson picked up the win in the circle.

STANLEY 8, CAPTAIN SHREVE 3: The Gators’ Mikel-Ann Ricardo was 3-for-3 with a double and Addison Smith tripled in the first two runs in the sixth inning. Shreve drops to 3-2 on the season.


Three 1-4A teams host first-round playoff games

By LEE HILLER, Journal Sports

District 1-4A placed four teams in the non-select LHSAA boys basketball playoffs and three of those teams will host first-round games tonight.

District champion Huntington (19-5) is a four seed and will host Tioga (14-20,) the 29th seed. The Raiders have made the playoffs 21 straight years and are riding a five-game win streak into this one.

Woodlawn (26-9) finished second in the district and is a nine seed with a 26-9 record. This is the Knights’ seventh straight playoff appearance and they have been to Marsh Madness three of the last four years,\. losing in the 2018 finals in their only finals appearance in that span.

Donavan Seamster has been key to the recent success for the Knights with 64 points in Woodlawn’s last two wins. Teammate Andri Lewis led the way with 22 points in the final regular-season win at home against Carroll of Monroe.

The Knights are an 11 seed and host 22nd seed Livonia (16-16) at 6:30 p.m.

Booker T. Washington is the third team from 1-4A that will host a first-round game. The Lions are a 14 seed and will face 19 seed Breaux Bridge (15-12). Seniors Nick Dyer and Jacobee Jackson have been key players for the Lions all season.

Northwood (15-15) is the fourth team from the district with a first-round game. The Falcons are a 31st seed and will travel to second seed Edna Karr (29-4).

In the Select bracket, sixth-seeded Evangel will travel to play Archbishop Hannan on Saturday.

District champion Captain Shreve and runner-up Natchitoches Central are the only home teams of the five 1-5A schools that made the non-select bracket.

Captain Shreve (25-5) is a six seed and will host 27 seed Live Oak (14-12). The Gators ride a nine-game win streak into the first round game.

Natchitoches Central (22-6) is the eight seed and faces 25th seed Denham Springs (20-12) at home.

Other 1-5A teams with road games include 17 seed Airline (16-9) at 16 seed Mandeville (20-10) and 23rd seed Southwood (16-16) at 10th seeded West Monroe (18-9).

Class 3A second-seeded Bossier (24-7) will host district rival Green Oaks (11-18), the 31st seed. The Bearkats will be looking to get back to the state finals after being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Carroll last year. Bossier won the 3A title in 2019 and was runner-up in 4A in 2018.

North Caddo won its district title playoff game with Jonesboro-Hodge, but got the No. 26 seed in Class 2A will take a 12-14 record to face seventh-seeded Franklin (19-7).

In the select playoffs, Byrd is the ninth seed in Division I and will play at No. 1 St. Paul’s. The Yellow Jackets knocked off St. Augustine in the first round 58-57 to even their record at 14-14. St. Paul’s had a first-round bye and sports a 25-4 record.

A Division IV select matchup will have No. 2 seed Calvary (22-7) hosting seventh-seeded Ascension Catholic on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL


Thursday Sports Scoreboard

College Basketball

Women

Georgia Southern 83, La-Monroe 68
LSU 58, Alabama 50
Louisiana Tech 90, Rice 80, 2OT
Northwestern St. 73, Nicholls St. 60

Men

Louisiana Tech 83, Rice 79
Nicholls St. 80, Northwestern St. 62

High School

Baseball

Benton 8, Pleasant Grove (Texas) 2
Evangel 6, Loyola 5
Texas High 6, Captain Shreve 4

High School Basketball

Girls Playoffs

CLASS 5A Quarterfinals

Parkway 82, Northshore 41
Lafayette 65, Southwood 42

CLASS 4A Quarterfinals

Huntington 69, South Lafourche 42


Be nice, or be gone; not baseball in my book

One of the last bastions of insensitivity is apparently collapsing before our very eyes. And while I fully understand the world we live in, this makes me a little sad.

Conservatively, I’ve probably been involved in some capacity in at least a thousand high school baseball games. As this season began, I’ve come to find out the players are not allowed to say anything that even resembles derision of the opposition.

Basically, it’s “cheer for your own team but don’t say a word about anybody on the other team.” Until this season, when the opposing pitcher tried a lame pickoff move, you could count on hearing a sarcastic “he’s got a better one!”

You might hear it again, but not for long. That harmless remark will now bring out a warning from an umpire.

High school baseball coaches have received a directive that anything directed at another team will not be tolerated.

That’s too bad.

One of the things to love about the sport is all of the things that are best described as “that’s just a part of baseball.” Maybe not all of them are so great – i.e. throwing at a batter’s head – but catcalls from the dugout have been around since Babe Ruth was skinny.

I hesitate to call it “the art of bench jockeying” because it’s not really an art any more. These days, quite frankly, they’ve gotten a little lame.

But a creative bench jockey? That guy has almost disappeared. For years, even the opposing team would appreciate the creativity of a pointed barb.

Once again, I am fully aware of self-esteem concerns, but when you play baseball, you accept that (almost) all bets are off when it comes to sticking it to the other team. There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed, but now the high school rule book editors have even eliminated the line.

You sailed one off the first baseman’s head on a routine ground ball with runners on second and third with two outs to give up a one-run lead? (I did that!) You better believe you were going to hear about it. AND YOU SHOULD. Don’t like it? Make a better throw.

“Have a seat!” or “seeya!” on strike three? I promise they’ll get over it without counseling.

“I’ve seen better swings on a porch!” after a flailing hitter swings wildly on a curveball? Admire the creative genius.

“You eat with those hands?” after a dropped infield popup? Nobody is going to lose sleep over that.

Like most everything else, the things that pass for “bench jockeying” have recently been kindergarten stuff compared to what it once was. Try saying “he’s got a better one” more than a few years ago and you would have been laughed out of your OWN dugout.

A creative bench jockey can be as effective as a sign stealer – and both roles are filled from the dugout by those not playing. Which is the point. It’s a way to keep bench players involved and “in” the game instead of worrying if Mom will go get a blue Powerade from the concession stand and bring it to the dugout.

Look, I get it – no one wants snarky digs to get out of control and ignite trouble. Parents don’t want to hear someone “making fun” of their little Jimmy. But it has gotten so harmless these days anyway that there’s no reason to put the clamps down completely.

First of all, Little Jimmy will get over it. Secondly, he’s probably got a few stored up himself, just waiting for that perfect moment.

Too bad that moment has left us.


‘Desperation’ hockey nothing new for Shreveport

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The past couple of weekends haven’t been kind to the Shreveport Mudbugs. Consequently, the work from a 14-wins-in-18-games stretch has nearly been nullified. The Mudbugs, eight points off the final playoff spot in the North American Hockey League’s South Division, aren’t quite to must-win mode with 18 games remaining in the regular season, but there is no denying desperation is the name of the game until the finish in early April.

“The numbers don’t lie,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell told The Journal.

As Shreveport kicks off a two-game series at scenic Corpus Christi on Friday, don’t expect the Mudbugs to act much differently.

“We’ve been (in desperation mode) for a while now,” Campbell said. “We should probably just call it playoff hockey. Hopefully we can learn how to win some hockey games.”

Wins are much needed. Shreveport (20-17-5) rests in sixth place in the South. They trail Wichita Falls and Odessa, the teams tied for third and fourth (the final qualifying position) place, by eight points.

Corpus Christi (22-22-2) is in a similar position. Although the Rays are one point ahead of the Mudbugs, they are more desperate for points as they have just 14 games remaining in their regular season.

Make no mistake, Shreveport’s position in the South is perilous. However, the franchise that hasn’t missed a postseason since entering the NAHL in 2016 has something on its side.

Games in hand.

Shreveport has four more games to play than Odessa and the Rays, and three more than Wichita Falls. Wins equal two points, so it doesn’t take a mathematician to unlock the formula for success.

“We have to win all those four games in hand and maybe get some help from the rest of the league,” Campbell said.

Shreveport has enjoyed success against Corpus Christi this season. After the Rays took the initial meeting, the Mudbugs have rattled off three straight wins in the series while outscoring Corpus Christi 13-2 in those contests.

This weekend ends Shreveport’s three-week, seven-game road trip. The Mudbugs will be at home next weekend to face Odessa.

Former Mudbug celebrates 1,000th game

The first stop for Derek Nesbitt following his college hockey career at Ferris State was Shreveport-Bossier City, where he was reunited with then-Mudbugs head coach Scott Muscutt, an instructor at a hockey school organized by Nesbitt’s father and former NHLer, Dave McIlwain.

Nesbitt played seven games for the Mudbugs as an “amateur signee.”

Those playoffs capped the 2004-05 season.

Nesbitt, 39, is still playing.

Friday, the Atlanta Gladiators of the ECHL will honor Nesbitt, who recently broke the 1,000-game plateau.

Seventeen years ago, Nesbitt racked up five assists (he was the team’s fourth-highest point total) during a seven-game series against the Wichita Thunder (Bossier-Shreveport lost 4-3).

“If you could model yourself after anyone outside of your own family (Muscutt) is a guy, one of the best human beings I’ve ever met,” Nesbitt told Scott Burnside of Daily Faceoff.

Mudbugs at Corpus Christi
Friday, Saturday, (7:05 p.m.)
American Bank Center

Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs


Dart hopes to fly in 5K today at SEC Indoors

CUTLINE – DASHING DART: Shreveport’s Will Dart (1) competes today at the SEC Indoor Championships.

By JERRY BYRD JR., Journal Sports

Time management. Discipline. Overcoming adversity.

LSU distance runner Will Dart is, quite literally, learning on the run as he begins his second year competing for the LSU track and field program.

Today in College Station, Texas, the Shreveport native runs the 5K in the SEC Indoor Championships, where he is hoping to be able to score points for the Tigers.

He’s shaving seconds off his best times. He’s also mastering time off the track, a necessity for a collegiate student-athlete, especially one with a demanding chemical engineering major.

“I’ve gotten pretty good at it,” Dart said.

If Dart’s 20th birthday, on Tuesday of this week, is any indication, Dart’s assessment of his time management skills is spot on. He woke up at 7:30 and studied for an organic chemistry exam for several hours before squeezing in an interview prior to practice.

“It’s not like I have an easy major,” Dart said.

True.

It’s that kind of discipline which has paid off for Dart, who won the LSU Twilight 3,000 meters a week ago in 8:29.72, edging teammate Jackson Martingayle (8:30.03) and a host of other Tigers.

“I knew my workouts leading up to the race were going well,” he said. “It was a good start for the season.”

Two years ago, in the same building, Dart had a banner day for Loyola Prep, scoring 30 points in the 2020 LHSAA State Indoor Championships. He won the 1600 (4:25.59), 800 (2:01.24), and 3200 (9:39.26) – in that order. The latter, Dart won by 20 seconds.

Not a bad way to celebrate his 18th birthday.

What made it extra special was the fact that Dart sat out his junior year after transferring from Airline to Loyola.

There was one man in the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse on that day who stood out like a sore thumb. He was an elderly man and walked through the crowded arena wearing a face mask. It foreshadowed what was to come in three short weeks as the Coronavirus pandemic came out of the blocks and sent the world into shutdown.

“I was heartbroken,” Dart said. “I felt like I was robbed of two years of competition. I remember being at the North DeSoto meet and finding out from my coach.”

Most high school athletes took off weeks or months. Dart took off three days before emailing LSU distance coach Houston Franks, who sent a training plan so he could go ahead and start getting ready to compete for LSU.

The plan when Dart arrived in Baton Rouge was for the 2019 Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year to focus on the 10K, but when Dart hit a milestone in a time trial last year, Franks decided to take Dart in a different direction.

“After that time trial, he put me in the steeple chase and was pleased with the outcome,” Dart, who recorded a win in the new event on his first time out, said. “Afterward, he said ‘you’re a steeplechaser now.’ ”

The steeple chase is more demanding than a regular distance race. It requires the competitor to jump over obstacles, and even includes a hurdle with a water hazard on the other side.

“The first two laps of the steeple are the easiest of any race in the sport,” Dart said. “The last two laps are the hardest of any race. It’s tough physically, and it’s tough mentally.”

Dart’s mental toughness and discipline have served him well in his new event.

Will more gold medals be placed around the LSU sophomore’s neck in 2022? Like most everything else in competitive track and field, only time will tell.
Photo:  courtesy of LSU ATHLETICS


Calvary soccer trio top All-District honors

TOP EAGLE: Evangel Eagle sophomore Grace Shurley, heading upfield, was named the Overall MVP for District 1, Division IV girls soccer team.

JOURNAL STAFF

Calvary Baptist took three of the top four honors on the All-District 1, Division IV girls soccer team released by the league coaches.

Carson Davis was named the leagues Offensive Player of the Year and Kelsey Coburn the top defensive player. Both girls are seniors and led their team to the district championship and state playoffs. Davis was rewarded by scoring 15 goals on the season and adding in three assists.

Grace Shurley of Evangel was named the Overall Most Valuable Player. She is just a sophomore.

Calvary coach Adam Hester was named the Coach of the Year after leading his squad to an 11-7-3 mark.

Below is the full list of the team:

Division IV-District I

FIRST TEAM

Forward – Jaedan Lee, Calvary So.
Forward – Pamela Lee, Calvary Fr.
Midfielder – Sydnei Henson, Evangel Sr.
Midfielder – Caroline Tew, Evangel Fr.
Midfielder – Maggie Moore, Jr.
Midfielder – Ava Colvin, Calvary Fr.
Defender – Anna Milam, Calvary Sr.
Defender – Emmaline Shurley, Evangel So.
Defender – Molly McDowell, Calvary Jr.
Defender – Brooklyn Goff, Evangel Fr.
Goalkeeper – Peyton Lewis, Calvary 8th
Overall MVP – Gracie Shurley, Evangel So.
Offensive Player of the Year – Carson Davis, Calvary Sr.
Defensive Player of the Year – Kelsey Coburn, Calvary Sr.
Coach of the Year – Adam Hester, Calvary

SECOND TEAM

Forwards – Peyshance Peek, North Caddo So.; Landry Naquin, Evangel Fr; Madison Willis, North Caddo Fr.; Midfielders – Isabella Whiteman, Evangel So.; Lexie Rathbun, Evangel Fr.; Bailey Barber, Calvary Jr.; Addison Stevenson, Calvary 8th. Defenders – Ryleigh Willcutt, Calvary 8th; Madeline Triplet, North Caddo So.; Emilee Bean, Evangel So.; Goalkeeper – Isabel Ericson, Evangel Fr.

Honorable Mention: North Caddo – GK, Allison Woodell, So. Defender, Addison Martin, Jr., Defender, Cara Johnson Fr., Forward,Olivia Stringham, Sr., Forward, Lauren Kavanaugh, Jr. Evangel – Midfielder, Kennedy Haviland; Calvary – Midfielder, Gabby Smothers, So.


Evangel boys soccer players, coach top All-District team

JOURNAL STAFF

District 1, Division IV champion Evangel was rewarded for their in-season feat with two players nabbing top player awards and its coach named the top coach.

Alex Lopez, a senior, was selected as the district’s Overall Most Valuable Player and Chris Stafford, also a senior, getting the Defensive Player of the Year honor. Their coach, Matt Cluderay, was named the Coach of the Year for leading the Eagles to the top spot in the league and a 7-15-0 record.

Junior Ashton Hester of league runner-up Calvary was selected as the Offensive Most Valuable Player. Hester finished the season with 12 goals and three assists.

Below is a complete list of the 2021-22 team:

District 1, Division IV

FIRST TEAM

Forward – Miles Williams, Calvary Sr.
Forward – Whit Johnson, Evangel So.
Forward – Brayden Boyd, Evangel So.
Midfielder – Christian Lopez, Evangel Fr.
Midfielder – Kaegan Kent, Evangel Fr.
Midfielder – Maddux Lyddy, Calvary Fr.
Midfielder – Deshawn Johnson, Evangel So.
Defender – Braden Tew, Evangel So.
Defender – Adam Parker, Calvary So.
Defender – Jimmy Wright, Calvary So.
Goalkeeper – Larry Moore, North Caddo Jr.
Overall MVP – Alex Lopez, Evangel Sr.
Offensive Player of the Year – Ashton Hester, Calvary Jr.
Defensive Player of the Year – Chris Stafford, Evangel Sr.
Coach of the Year – Matt Cluderay, Evangel

SECOND TEAM

GK – Dillon Creech, Calvary Sr. Defenders – Ethan Sands, Calvary Fr., Clay Mulford, Calvary Jr., Caid Kendrick, North Caddo Sr., James Jabellana, Evangel Fr. Midfielders – Alfredo Holquin, North Caddo Sr., Tyler Ramirez, Evangel So., Sam Davis, Calvary Jr. Forwards – Traven Matthews, North Caddo Sr., Landry Whiteman, Evangel 7th, Daniel Sanchez, Evangel 8th.

Honorable Mention: North Caddo – D Daniel Gallagher, So., D Rashid Matthews, Jr., M Traymond Thomas, Sr., M Trent Morgan, Sr. Evangel – GK Kyle Bryant, So., D John Jabellana, Jr., D Westin Johnson, 7th. Calvary – M Seneca Lee, Sr., F Davis

 


Huge nights by Roberson, Walker give Tech 2-OT triumph

EPIC OUTING: Anna Larr Roberson’s 44 points keyed a double OT win for the Lady Techsters.

JOURNAL STAFF

RUSTON — Louisiana Tech outlasted Rice 90-80 in a double-overtime thriller Thursday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center behind historic performances from Anna Larr Roberson and Keiunna Walker, whose feats were the first of their kind by teammates in the same game in 20 years of Division I women’s basketball.

Roberson poured in a career-best 44 points. Walker turned in only the fourth triple-double in the Techsters’ history with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists.

It had been two decades since D-1 women’s teammates produced a 40-point outing and a 20-point triple-double in the same contest, a combo that warranted game highlights featured on Scott Van Pelt’s ESPN SportsCenter.

Roberson piled up her scoring on 20-28 shooting to go along with nine rebounds.

Tech (16-10, 8-7 C-USA) led by 10 midway through the third quarter. Rice’s Ashlee Austin scored 14 straight of her team-high 27 to close the gap to 54-51 entering the fourth.

The Owls (10-12, 5-9) went on a 9-0 run to take a 58-52 lead with just three minutes remaining, but eight points from Roberson, including the game-tying basket with 42 seconds left, helped force overtime.

In the first extra period, teams traded the lead five times including Tech taking a 78-76 edge off two Walker free throws. With 10 seconds to go, Austin connected on a pair that extended the game for five more minutes. Roberson and Walker produced the final 12 points for Tech.

WOMEN

LSU 58, ALABAMA 50: In the regular-season home finale for the No. 8 Tigers (24-4, 12-3), senior Khayla Porter had 23 points, 8 rebounds and 9 assists to clinch second in the SEC after winning just nine times last season.

NORTHWESTERN STATE 73, NICHOLLS 60: The Lady Demons (11-12, 4-8 Southland) shot over 50 percent and had five players in double figures for the first time in Anna Nimz’ two seasons as head coach. Candice Parramore matched her career high with 23 points for NSU, which held a 42-24 halftime lead. Visiting Nicholls (4-18, 2-9) got a game-best 25 points from Chelsea Cain.

GEORGIA SOUTHERN 83, ULM 68: In Monroe, the Warhawks’ winless Sun Belt season continued. ULM (4-23, 0-13) fell behind by 31 in the third quarter after 17 unanswered points by the Eagles (17-8, 8-5).

MEN

LOUISIANA TECH 83, RICE 79: In Houston, the Bulldogs (20-7, 11-4 C-USA) led for all but three minutes but couldn’t extend its advantage as the Owls (14-13, 6-9), one of the country’s better 3-point shooting teams, nailed 11 treys. Tech sank 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch and shot 52 percent overall from the floor as Kenneth Lofton Jr. scored 16 and Amorie Archibald notched 14 to lead five double-digit scorers. Rice’s Carl Pierre led everybody with 20 points but the Bulldogs won on Autrey Court for the first time since 2016, reaching 20 wins for the ninth time in 10 seasons.

NICHOLLS 80, NORTHWESTERN STATE 62: In Prather Coliseum, Captain Shreve product Kendal Coleman recorded his 15th double double with 19 points and 13 rebounds, but miserable aim from the backcourt and explosive scoring by Nicholls’ Ty Gordon doomed the Demons (8-21, 4-8 Southland). Gordon had 21 of his 30 points by halftime, draining 5 treys as the Colonels (19-9, 9-2) erased an early 7-point hole midway through the half and zoomed up 49-31 at the break, moving into a tie for the league lead with UNO, who visits NSU Saturday afternoon.

Photo by SADIE PATTON/Louisiana Tech