SPOTLIGHT:  Draft is thrill of a lifetime, but it’s only a start

LIFE ALTERING:  Loyola graduate Jon Alston, shown playing for Stanford,  found the NFL Draft is much like life, requiring the ability to adjust and develop.

By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports

In his freshman religion class in high school at Loyola, Jon Alston had to write down his highest hopes for his life’s career. He wrote “NFL player” as his goal.

Nine years later, he was sitting at his grandmother’s house on Olive Street in Shreveport when that goal came true — he was chosen in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the then-St. Louis Rams.

“It’s such a big moment, not only for yourself but for your family who has watched you grow up playing football since you were a kid,” Alston says. “And now you have a life-changing opportunity. So you can’t really celebrate it by yourself. It’s good if it works out like you planned. Not so good if it doesn’t.”

In 2006, the draft was held over two days – three rounds on the first day and four on the second. The anticipation of waiting through the first day was tough enough for Alston, so he’s thankful he got picked before the first day was finished.

“You’re just sitting there and as they go by (with each pick), you have no idea where you are going,” he says. “That anticipation is tense. I knew I was going to be drafted, so I wasn’t really stressing on that, but I definitely didn’t want to wait around for that second day with all those people there.”

After an outstanding career at Stanford as a defensive end/linebacker – he had 10 quarterback sacks as a junior – Alston hit all of the usual post-college stops to prepare for the draft: East-West Shrine Game, Senior Bowl. NFL Combine. Then came the visits to meet with different clubs.

“I remember being on a plane a lot as soon as my senior season ended,” he says.

The Rams had met with him at the combine, but he wasn’t expecting St. Louis to take him.

“When I got called by the Rams, I remember thinking that was one of the last places I thought I’d go,” Alston says. “They told me ‘(head coach) Scott Linehan wants to talk to you’ and I didn’t even know who he was. I was like ‘Scott who?’”

“To be truthful, I really wanted to go in the second round to the (Oakland) Raiders,” he says. “But they took a better player – Thomas Howard.”

After spending a year with the Rams, Alston would play for the Raiders for three years and then a year with Tampa Bay before a series of concussions put an end to his career.

More than 15 years later, Alston has a different perspective of the draft.

“The draft is just a measurement of perceived potential.” he says. “That’s all it is. I don’t think a player should put any pressure on what happens in the draft. Have a five-year plan on what you want to be and how you want to get there. You don’t get to pick where you are going and that place might not be the right fit for you. You’re expected to succeed, but you don’t know what kind of politics within the team might be working against you that you don’t even know about.”

Alston was a three-year starter at Loyola and played just about everywhere for the Flyers – safety, linebacker, offensive tackle and running back, where he held the school record for rushing yards in a game (303) for 16 years. He was chosen as an All-State linebacker after 286 tackles in his junior and senior years.

The NFL Draft, he says, “is a lot like life. Getting in the right environment has a lot to do with your trajectory and how well you develop.”

Alston has certainly developed into a new career. He lives in Los Angeles and is an acclaimed writer, director and producer. His award-winning films include “Augustus” and “Red Butterfly.”

“I’ve been fortunate to be able to shift gears to another career that is also very competitive,” he says. “But my back story in sports really helps me stand out. Not a lot of people can transition from a lucrative, high-level occupation to the next.”


Mudbugs hope to stay alive vs. pesky Brahmas

BUGS TOUGH TO KILL: The Shreveport Mudbugs are perfect at home (4-0) while facing elimination during their time in the North American Hockey League.

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The challenge appears Mt. Everest-esque for Shreveport’s Mudbugs.

For starters, the Mudbugs trail the Lone Star Brahmas 2-0 in their best-of-five first-round playoff series entering tonight’s Game 3.

Add in the fact a No. 1 seed in the North American Hockey League’s South Division is 20-0 in first-round playoff series since the division was formed in 2003. The South’s regular-season champion is on a 12-0 run in any South playoff series since Amarillo lost in the 2014 South Final.

Not only are the Brahmas’ the South’s top seed, they are the top overall seed in the NAHL postseason.

However, don’t expect Shreveport to roll over when the teams take the ice on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum for the 7:11 p.m. faceoff.

“This is old news for us,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “We did this all during the regular season. We said we were playing for our season and we still had games to play. Now, our literal season is on the line and we need to respond like we did in the regular season.”

The first half of the Mudbugs’ season featured an eight-game losing streak during a stretch where they lost 11 of 12 games. Shreveport rallied from last place in the South to nab the No. 4 seed in the divisional round.

“We dug ourselves out (of that situation), so now the boys are still confident,” Mudbugs defenseman John Hallard said.

As was the case during the regular season, scoring opportunities were limited against Lone Star as Shreveport dropped a pair of one-goal games (1-0 in Game 1, 3-2 in Game 2) last weekend in North Richland Hills, Texas.

“(The Brahmas) work hard in the D-zone. They are well-connected and that’s hard to poke holes in,” Campbell said. “You just can’t give the puck away once you possess it. You can’t throw it away blind. You have to battle. You have to work extremely hard.”

The Mudbugs have faced an 0-2 deficit just once in their NAHL tenure — they lost Game 3 and were swept by Corpus Christi in their first NAHL playoff appearance (2017).

This season marks the fifth time Shreveport has qualified for the playoffs. So far, the Mudbugs have won a Robertson Cup title half the time (2018, 2021).

The Mudbugs have been stellar when they’ve faced elimination during their time in the NAHL. Shreveport is 7-2 with its season on the line, including a perfect 4-0 mark at The George.

“It’s about work ethic and not panicking — trusting in what you’re doing,” Campbell said. “You have to chip away at this — baby steps. You can’t think of the end result, because then you’re just hoping to win. You have to execute.”

Players like Lukas Sedlacek, who know this is their last season in Shreveport due to the league’s age limitations, have extra motivation entering tonight.

“This might be the last time I play in Shreveport, but at the same time I don’t want it to be the last time I play in Shreveport,” Sedlacek said.

What do they know about pressure?

The Shreveport Mudbugs’ record when facing elimination during their time in the NAHL:

(7-2 overall, 4-0 at home)

2017, down 0-2 in South semi, lost 2-1 at Corpus Christi

2018, tied 2-2 in South semi, won 2-1 vs. Corpus Christi

2018, tied 2-2 in South Final, won 3-2 vs. Lone Star

2018, Robertson Cup Final, won 2-1 vs. Minot in Blaine, Minn.

2019, down 2-1 in South semis, won 3-2 vs. Lone Star

2019, tied 2-2 in South semis, won 3-2 (3 OT) at Lone Star

2019, down 2-1 in South Final, won 2-0 vs. Amarillo

2019, down 2-0 in South Final, lost 6-0 at Amarillo

2021, Robertson Cup Final, won 4-2 vs. Aberdeen in Blaine, Minn.

Bugs vs. Brahmas

Friday, 7:11 p.m., George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum

Game 3 of NAHL South semifinal (Lone Star leads best-of-5 series, 2-0)

Game 1, April, 22: Lone Star, 1-0

Game 2, April 23: Lone Star, 3-2

*Game 4, Saturday at George’s Pond

*Game 5, Monday at NYTEX Sports Centre

*if necessary 

Photo by CHRISTI LANG


Young triplets advance to semis at state tennis

TRIPLE THREAT: Bella Young (left) advanced to the semifinals in girls’ singles while her sisters Sydney (middle) and Morgan (at right) cruised into the semifinals in girls’ doubles at the LHSAA Division I state tennis championships in Monroe

JOURNAL STAFF

MONROE – Byrd’s Young triplets are two matches away from bringing state titles back home.

No. 1 seed Bella Young will face Ella Mancuso of St. Joseph’s Academy this morning in the semifinals of girls’ singles at the LHSAA Division I state tennis tournament at Heard Stadium at ULM. A victory will put her in this afternoon’s championship match against the winner of Mt. Carmel’s Iris Westmoreland and Mandeville’s Natalie Devraj.

Top-seeded Sydney and Morgan Young have dropped just three games on their way to the semifinals of girls’ doubles, where they will meet Anne Guglielmo and Sophia Manuel of St. Joseph’s Academy this morning. A win will put the Byrd team in this afternoon’s championship match against the winner of the second semifinal match between Lillian Cambias and Caroline Pousson of St. Joseph’s Academy and Megan Baker and Bailey Schexnaildre of Mt. Carmel.

The Youngs defeated Brianna Daigle and Claire Dean of Denham Springs 6-0, 6-0 in the first round; Hayden Hoffman and Allaire Benedetto of St. Joseph’s Academy 6-3, 6-0 in the second round; and Madelynn McFarland and Anna Claire Smith of West Monroe 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.

Bella Young cruised through the first three rounds, defeating Brenna Mackle of Slidell 6-0, 6-0 in the first round, Roma Kolluru of Lafayette 6-1, 6-0 in the second round, and Grayce Reynolds of St. Amant 6-1, 6-2 in the quarterfinals.

“It was so great to see the girls compete today,” said Byrd coach Stevie Schmidt. “I couldn’t be more proud of their play and sportsmanship.”

In Division I boys’ singles, top-seeded Drew Kolniak of Airline was a 6-0, 6-0 winner over David Zhong of Fontainebleau in the first round but was defeated by Ashton Ellis of Catholic-Baton Rouge 6-0, 6-0 in the second round.

In Division II boys’ singles, Haughton’s Zach Haley made it to the quarterfinals, where he was defeated by Assumption’s Drake Scoby 7-6, 6-1. Haley defeated St. Augustin’s Reginald Forstall 6-0, 6-2 in the first round and was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over St. Thomas More’s Carter Zembower in the second round.

In Division II girls’ singles, Natalie Sin of Caddo Magnet fell in the quarterfinals to Riley Fitzmorris of St. Scholastica 4-6, 6-3, 1-0. Sin defeated Reese Lambert of Archbishop 6-0, 6-0 in the first round and was a 6-0, 6-0 winner over Mia Stelly of Teurlings Catholic in the second round.

PHOTO: by STEVIE SCHMIDT


Byrd’s Moss takes title at regional tourney

YOU GOT MOSSED: Byrd’s Sydney Moss captured the individual title at the Division I-Region 1 golf tournament held Tuesday at The National Golf Club in Westlake and led the Lady Jackets to a second-place finish in team competition.

JOURNAL STAFF

Byrd’s Sydney Moss shot a 2-over 74 to capture the individual title at the LHSAA Division I-Region 1 golf tournament at The National Golf Club in Westlake and led the Lady Jackets to a second-place finish in the team competition.

Barbe captured the team title in Tuesday’s event with a score of 156, followed by Byrd (172), Sam Houston (178), and Benton (196). The top four teams advanced to the team competition at the Division I state tournament that will be held Monday and Tuesday at Les Vieux Chenes in Lafayette.

Benton’s Abigail Williams finished in a tie for 3rd individually with a 7-over 79, followed on the team card by  Mackinley Loyd (21st  at 45-over) and Zoey Anzaldua (31st at 58-over). Byrd’s Riley Walker shot a 26-over 98 to finish in 12th place.

The top four individual finishers who are not on a qualifying team advanced to the individual competition at state. Haughton’s Haylee Crowder tied for ninth overall with a 22-over 94 and qualified for a spot at state.

Other local golfers competing at regionals were Captain Shreve’s Margaret Shamburg (tied for 13th at 30-over, Haughton’s Morgan Davis (15th at 31-over) and Ainsley Thompson (26th at 50-over), and Caddo Magnet’s Anna George (tied for 29th at 56-over).

Haughton, Sulphur, Ruston, Minden, Natchitoches-Central, and Pineville also played in the team competition.

Photo by JOHN PENROD


Rogers no-hitter leads Calvary to playoff opening win

JOURNAL STAFF

Blaine Rogers tossed a five-inning no-hitter to help lead Calvary Baptist to a 13-0 defeat of St. Edmond in the first game of a best-of-3 regional series at Calvary Wednesday.

Rogers walked one and struck out six in the five innings of work for Calvary (21-14).

The Cavaliers were led at the plate by Kyzer Smith who was 3-for-3 with two doubles and four RBI. Blayne McFerren was 3-for-4 with a double and Cody VanNoppen contributed a double.

Calvary warmed up with three runs in the first inning, added five more in the second, one in the third and put the 10-run rule into effect with four more in the fourth.

Game two of the series is set for 5 p.m. today at Calvary with a game three to follow if necessary.


Football spring training has sprung (maybe a leak)

They used to say there are only two seasons in the South – football and spring football – but if that’s the case, one of those is a season of rampant speculation, endless message board postings and over analysis of player development.

Come to think of it … both seasons are actually like that.

Most college spring trainings have come and gone and most high school spring trainings are about to begin. Both are necessary, at least to some degree. But spring games? Not so much.

For college football, the 15 days of practice are probably more important than ever with the influx of early enrolling high school seniors and transfer portal pickups. Gone are the days when you just went back out there three months after the season was over with everybody who didn’t have “Sr.” written by their name in the program.

The problem isn’t the 15 days of practice; it’s the 1 day of game.

Granted, it does provide excitement for the fans, who haven’t had much to cheer about since a bowl game named for a fruit or a concept. Recruiting season fills the void for about 20 minutes, but fans love to turn these three spring game hours into an entire summer of speculation as to who might start at deep snapper.

To make matters worse, some coaches insist on these goofy five-points-for-solo-tackle spring games in which the offense “plays” the defense. There is no one worse at this than new LSU coach Brian Kelly, who has brought an idea that never caught on at Notre Dame down to LSU.

Apparently, the LSU offense covered the spread against the defense by winning 59-31 in a game so riveting that they ended it midway through the fourth quarter.

Here is the list of things you need to know about a spring game:

  1. Did anyone get hurt?
  2. See above.

Don’t try to read anything into a spring game. If a running back has a good quarter, it doesn’t mean he’s ready to start. Perhaps he stunk in all 15 practices, which is much more important in coaches’ evaluations.

As for high school spring training, there has been a movement that last few years to eliminate it. It wouldn’t be the worst idea except for this – it might be better to find out who really wants to play in the spring than having them go through the entire summer and then after the third August practice, he decides he’d rather be playing Fortnite. It’s better for him and better for the team to find that out in May.

High school spring training has been stripped down to almost nothing anyway. It’s not like anybody needs time to install the Houston Veer. Most offensive development can be done with 7-on-7 games these days; not a whole lot of bull-in-the-ring drills are being run.

Like Blockbuster, spring training could go away and nobody would miss it. Except the guy who wants to post his thoughts on the four-deep depth chart.


Mavericks home for two games in two nights

SMAVS MASTERMIND: Veteran coach Steve Tucker has guided Shreveport to championship seasons in the past and has the Mavericks on top of their division going into two home games this weekend.

JOURNAL SPORTS

After a road win Wednesday in The Basketball League, the Shreveport Mavericks minor league squad is home tonight and Saturday in the Gold Dome on the Centenary campus and will host a youth clinic Saturday afternoon.

The Mavericks thumped Beaumont on Wednesday night 127-117 at Ford Park Arena in the Golden Triangle of Texas. The visitors never trailed, leading by 16 most of the fourth quarter until Beaumont cut the lead by seven with 25 seconds to play in the game. Beaumont could not get closer. No other game information was available.

Shreveport will host the Sugar Land Imperials tonight and the Little Rock Lighting on Saturday evening, with tip times at 7:05 for both contests.

The leading scorer for the Imperials is Bradley George at 16.3 points per game and the leading scorer for the Lightning is Percell Washington with a 21.5 average. The top scorers for the Mavericks are Paul Parks with 24.8 points per game followed by Paul Harrison at 18.8.

The youth clinic is Saturday from 3:30-5:30 and carries a $60 fee. For additional information, contact coach Cedric Ellis at 318-840-4629.


WEEKEND SCHEDULE: Grambling St. hosts Southern U. in baseball series

Friday

Pro Basketball (The Basketball League)

Sugar Land Imperials at Shreveport Mavericks, Gold Dome, 7:05 p.m.

Hockey (NAHL Playoffs)

Lone Star Brahmas at Shreveport Mudbugs, Hirsch Coliseum, 7:11 p.m.

College Baseball

LSUS at LSUA, 4 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Old Dominion, 5 p.m.
Centenary at St. Thomas, 6 p.m.
Southern U. at Grambling St., 6 p.m.
ULM at Little Rock, 6 p.m.
Southeastern La. at Northwestern St., 6:30 p.m.
Georgia at LSU, 6:30 p.m.

College Softball

Trinity vs. Centenary, at U. of Dallas, Irving, Texas, 1:30 p.m.
Grambling St. at Prairie View, 3 p.m.
Northwestern St. at Southeastern, La., DH, 4 p.m.
ULM at Georgia St., 5 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee, 6 p.m.
Florida at LSU, 6 p.m.

High School Baseball

LHSAA Playoffs

Central-BR at Haughton, 6 p.m.
Cecilia at Northwood, 6 p.m.
Parkway at Zachary, 6:30 p.m.
St. Michael at Evangel, 6 p.m.
Loyola at University Lab, 4 p.m./6 p.m.
St. Edmund at Calvary, 5 p.m./7:30, if necessary

High Softball

LHSAA Playoffs

At St. Julien Complex, Broussard

Riverside Academy vs. Calvary, 1 p.m., Blue Field No. 5

Saturday

Pro Basketball (The Basketball League)

Little Rock Lightning at Shreveport Mavericks, Gold Dome, 7:05 p.m.

Hockey (NAHL Playoffs)

Lone Star Brahmas at Shreveport Mudbugs, Hirsch Coliseum, 7:11 p.m. (If necessary)

College Baseball

LSUS at LSUA, DH, noon
Northeast Texas at BPCC, DH, 1 p.m.
Centenary at St. Thomas, DH, 1 p.m.
Southeastern La. at Northwestern St., 2 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Old Dominion, 2 p.m.
Georgia at LSU, 2 p.m.
Southern U. at Grambling St., 3 p.m.
ULM at Little Rock, 4 p.m.

College Softball

Florida at LSU, 11 a.m.
Grambling St. at Prairie View, DH, noon
Navarro at BPCC, DH, 1 p.m.
ULM at Georgia St., 1 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee, 4 p.m.

High School Baseball

LHSAA Playoffs

Loyola at University Lab, 10 a.m., if necessary
Central-BR at Haughton, 1 p.m. / game 3 if necessary, 4 p.m.
Parkway at Zachary, 1 p.m. / game 3 if necessary, 4 p.m.
Cecilia at Northwood, noon / game 3 if necessary, 2:30 p.m.
St. Michael at Evangel, noon / game 3 if necessary, 3 p.m.

High School Softball

LHSAA Playoffs

At St. Julien Complex, Broussard

Calvary-Riverside Academy winner vs. Opelousas Catholic-St John winner, 3:30 p.m.

Sunday

College Baseball

Louisiana Tech at Old Dominion, 11 a.m.
LSUS at LSUA, DH, noon
Southeastern La. at Northwestern St., 1 p.m.
Southern U. at Grambling St., 1 p.m.
Georgia at LSU, 1 p.m.
ULM at Little Rock, 1 p.m.

College Softball

Florida at LSU, 11 a.m.
ULM at Georgia St., 11 a.m.
Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee, noon

Note: The above schedule is subject to cancellations or reschedule

Photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT


Notice of Death – April 28, 2022

Bossier Parish

Georgia James
January 27, 1959 ~ April 18, 2022
Services: Saturday April 30, 2022 1:00 PM Bossier Baptist Church 809 Hamilton Road Bossier City

Huu Ngan Chu
March 15, 1962 – April 20, 2022
Services: A private funeral service will be held at Rose-Neath Funeral Home Bossier City

Caddo Parish

Barbara Lynch
April 19, 1943 ~ April 24, 2022
Services: Saturday April 30, 2022 11:00 AM Lincoln Cemetery

Willard Lindsey
January 9, 1971 ~ April 21, 2022
Visitation: Friday April 29, 2022 11:00 AM to 5:00 AM Heavenly Gates 1339 Jewell st Shreveport
Services: Saturday April 30, 2022 11:00 AM Walnut Hill St. Mary Cemetery, Simpson Road

Doulas McCall
January 21, 1945 ~ April 18, 2022
Visitation: Friday April 29, 2022 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM Heavenly Gates 1339 Jewell st Shreveport
Services: Saturday April 30, 2022 10:00 AM Heavenly Gates 1339 Jewell st Shreveport 

Larneva Clinton Williams
February 8, 1926 ~ April 19, 2022
Services: Friday April 29, 2022 9:00 AM Winnfield Funeral Home – Shreveport 3701 Hollywood Avenue

Margaret Donaldson Newton
October 16, 1943 – April 14, 2022
Visitation: 11:00 a.m., and services at 12:00 p.m
Services: Friday, April 29, 2022 at Kilpatrick’s Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 2500 Southside Dr., Shreveport


SPOTLIGHT: Page pitches his way into college baseball lore

PITCHER PERFECT: Grambling’s Shemar Page struck out a career-high 13 of 21 batters in a ‘pitcher perfect’ seven-inning 16-0 win over Alcorn State

By T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT, Journal Sports

GRAMBLING — Grambling State University graduate baseball player Shemar Page made a short shift west in Lincoln Parish this spring after spending the previous two seasons with the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

His intent was to showcase his ability as a dual threat player to boost his shot at pro ball. He had no idea he would be making history in the process.

A Laurel, Miss., native, Page began his college career as a standout pitcher near home at Pearl River Community College, then came to Tech, where he primarily served as a designated hitter for the Bulldogs for two seasons.

After being a role player on last spring’s dynamic Tech team and earning his bachelor’s degree in sociology last May, Page wanted to keep hitting, but also yearned to return to the mound and showcase his abilities on the bump.

Page did so, indelibly, last Friday night. He became only the 31st pitcher since 1959 in Division I college baseball to throw a perfect game as he led the Tigers to a 16-0 win over Alcorn State on Wilbert Ellis Field at R.W.E. Jones Park.

Page threw only 84 pitches in the seven-inning game, collecting a season- and career-high 13 strikeouts.

He became the first Division I player to toss a perfect game since March 17, 2019 when East Carolina’s Jake Kuchmaner did it. As a result, Page earned Southwestern Athletic Conference and several national Pitcher of the Week honors.

“To be honest, I don’t know if it’s all really hit me yet,” Page said Wednesday night. “But showing up at the field every day, my teammates are kind of reminding me about it. It’s cool to hear it, but I honestly can’t say that it’s sunk in yet. I just keep hearing more and more about it.”

“Going into my grad year at Tech and knowing that I only had one season of eligibility left, I wanted to be somewhere where I knew I would have the opportunity to showcase my talents on the offensive side and on the mound,” said Page. “After the fall quarter at Tech, I had a couple of conversations with people that I trust, and my parents. I felt it was the best fit for me at this point — to go somewhere that needed both a hitter and pitcher and a spot where I could fill those roles immediately.

“And that’s exactly what Grambling State was able to offer me.”

Getting to stay in Lincoln Parish and play against teams he already knew like Tech, Northwestern State and Louisiana-Monroe also played a part in Page’s decision. At GSU, he is working on a master’s degree in sports administration.

“It’s pretty cool,” Page said. “I still live in the same apartment with two Tech players (Adarius Myers and Kyle Hasler) that I did when going to school there. So I get to watch them play some midweek games at home and they came out and watched me play (Tuesday) against Northwestern. I still love those guys at Tech, too, and the ones that know me know that my decision was about trying to play baseball at the highest level in all phases of the game.

“I 100 percent want to play on the next level after college,” Page said. “I’m realistic about my talent and know that I wouldn’t have made it this far without sticking with it and working hard. If that’s enough to get me to the next level — great. And if it’s not, I’m having a helluva ride going out with Grambling State. That’s for sure.”

Perfection nearly didn’t happen near the end Friday. With one out, GSU catcher John Garcia dropped the ball after a strikeout, but calmly moved over, scooped it up and fired it to first base for the second out.

“I knew about the no-hitter, but I didn’t know about the perfect game,” said Page. “You never hear about perfect games. They just don’t happen. I wasn’t aware at all until we were in the huddle after the game. And that’s when I realized, ‘I guess I did do that.’ But I still don’t know if I can really wrap my mind around it all yet.”

Grambling’s interim head coach, Davin Pierre, fully realizes what the performance means for his program.

“All of us are still in awe about what happened,” Pierre said. “To have Grambling State University in the headlines and people talking about Page’s perfect game and the GSU baseball program — I’m ecstatic about it.”

Pierre also knows what Page’s performance as a DH — a .345 batting average with one home run and 19 runs batted in — means for the G-Men. Grambling swept Alcorn, winning three times by a combined score of 67-6. Ahead: a three-game home series this weekend against archrival Southern.

GSU is 18-22 overall, a solid 13-5 in the SWAC West Division. Page, one of the nation’s leaders in strikeouts, is a big reason.

“He should be up for the Golden Spikes Award,” Pierre said. “Whether he wins it or not I don’t know, but he should be one of the finalists. I believe he’s truly one of the best players in college baseball. He’s helping us on the mound. He’s helping us offensively. He’s one of the reasons why we’re ranked in the Top 10 in batting average in the country. I hope he gets the recognition he deserves.”

The living legend of GSU baseball — venerable College Baseball Hall of Fame coach Wilbert Ellis — admires the mark Page made in the record books.

“I coached some no-hitters and there have been a couple of others (for Grambling) after I retired,” Ellis said. “But a perfect game? That’s really something. That’s something remarkable and something I’ll never forget. It’s something truly special for the young man, for the Grambling baseball team and for the university itself. Truly something.

“It’s history.”

PHOTO: by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT


Calvary ace Anderson: junior high student, high school talent

STEPPING UP: Calvary pitcher Kynzee Anderson is an eighth-grader who has fulfilled a vital role for the powerful Lady Cavs softball team heading into the LHSAA semifinals Friday.

By HARRIET PROTHRO PENROD, Journal Sports

Sometimes, the more things stay the same, the more they change.

One year ago, the Calvary Baptist softball team faced Riverside Academy in the semifinals of the Division IV state championship. One year later, the same two teams face off in the semifinals again.

One year ago, the Lady Cavaliers run-ruled the Lady Rebels 13-3 in five innings on their way to the Division IV state championship.

On Friday at 1 p.m., the two teams will meet at the St. Julien Complex in Broussard to see which team will play for this year’s title.

If the result is the same, Calvary will face the winner of Opelousas Catholic and St. John in Saturday’s championship game at 3:30 p.m.

If the result is the same, however, things couldn’t be more different.

Last year, Calvary was led on the mound by Riley Walker. This year, the Cavs have relied on Kynzee Anderson to catapult them to a 22-12 record and another trip to the state tournament. Last year, Walker was a senior. This year, Anderson is an eighth grader.

Anderson has gone from pitching just 39 innings of relief last year (as a seventh grader) to 160 innings this year. In fact, Anderson has pitched all but 40.1 innings for Calvary this season. In those 160 innings, Anderson (17-9) has 171 strikeouts and just 70 walks.

“At the beginning of this season, I was really nervous,” says Anderson.” My mentality was, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m gonna get crushed.’”

Being the starting pitcher for your high school team as an eighth grader would be pressure enough. Add to that the grueling regular-season schedule that the Class 1A Cavs play, and Anderson’s success is even more amazing.

In their first 10 games, seven of those were against Class 5A teams. After starting 0-4 (with the first three to 5A teams), Calvary bounced back with back-to-back victories over 5A teams Ouachita Parish and West Ouachita.

“We opened up with a tough schedule,” says Calvary coach Tiffany Wood. “Part of the early struggle was a lack of confidence. But as we got better defensively, Kynzee got more confidence. Her work ethic is really good. She works really hard.”

If there was one point in the season when Wood noticed that boost in confidence, it would have to be the Cavs’ 3-0 victory over a strong 5A opponent, Natchitoches Central, on March 1. As the season progressed, Anderson’s confidence grew – and so did Calvary’s success.

In the first round of the playoffs, Anderson had eight strikeouts and allowed just one hit in the Cavs’ 15-0 victory over Ascension Catholic. Against Central Catholic in last weekend’s quarterfinals, she pitched a complete-game shutout, giving up just three hits and striking out four in Calvary’s 1-0 win over the Lady Eagles.

Anderson admits that she was more nervous than excited when she first took the mound for Calvary at the beginning of the season. So, how is she feeling going into the Cavs’ semifinal game against Riverside Academy (29-6)?

“I’m more excited than nervous,” she says.

My, how things have changed.

PHOTO: by JOHN PENROD


Championships elude local stars in LHSAA small school tennis

AMONG THE BEST: Loyola’s Mary Elberson (left) and Taylor Nash fell in the semifinals of girls’ doubles at the Division III state tennis tournament Wednesday in Monroe.

JOURNAL STAFF

MONROE — Calvary’s doubles team of Zach Hicks and Jake Brown came up just short in their quest for the LHSAA Division IV state title, falling to Dillon Burdett and Kai Harrison of Christ Episcopal School 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Wednesday afternoon’s championship match at Heard Stadium on the ULM campus.

“We fell a little short, but we’re proud of our performance,” Hicks said.

Hicks and Brown advanced to the championship match with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Pope John Paul II’s Lincoln and Henley Oertling in the semifinals Wednesday morning.

In Division III, Loyola’s Mary Elberson and Taylor Nash fell to Marilla Congeni and Olivia Boyd of Academy of Sacred Heart (New Orleans) 6-1, 6-3 in the semifinals of girls’ doubles.

Division III team winners were Isidore Newman (girls) and St. Louis Catholic (boys) while Division IV titles went to Ascension Catholic (girls) and Christ Episcopal School (boys).

The Division I and Division II state championships begin today and conclude on Friday.

Competing in girls’ singles in Division I are Byrd’s Bella Young (regional champ) and Elizabeth Hubble and Captain Shreve’s Faith Quarles. Regional champs Morgan and Sydney Young represent Byrd in girls’ doubles along with Captain Shreve’s Katherine Ferrier and Baylor Thornton.

Freshman Drew Kolniak, who won the regional title, will represent Airline in boys’ singles along with teammate Madden Sawrie and Captain Shreve’s Hayden McFarlain. Doubles teams competing at state will be Ronit Ahluwalia and Carter Priestley of Airline along with James Auer and Mark Quarles of Captain Shreve.

In Division II, girls’ singles players include Natalie Sin and Thuy Chau of Caddo Magnet, Haughton’s Addison Yarbrough, and Benton’s Raelee Craft. Girls’ doubles teams competing will be Tuyen Chau and Neelie Lim of Caddo Magnet and Haughton’s Mallory Benton and Shelby Haley.

Competing in boys’ singles are Haughton’s Zach Haley and Benton’s Alex Gonzalez. Caddo Magnet has two doubles teams competing – Thaeh Chau/Marshall O’Callaghan and Ethan Hood/Daniel Wright.

PHOTO: by MIKE MAWHINNEY


Seven locals collect gold at Region 1-5A track & field meet

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

NATCHITOCHES — No local teams challenged for the Region 1-5A track and field crowns Wednesday, but Captain Shreve’s Marquez Stevenson and Byrd’s Trent Wells were double winners and five other Caddo-Bossier competitors won event titles at Northwestern State’s Walter P. Ledet Track Complex.

Wells doubled in the 1600 (4:24.18) and 3200 (9:42.52), setting the pace and controlling both races.

“My strategy was to stay right on pace, then I ended up putting the hammer down at the end,” said Wells. “I was pleased with my performance today.”

Stevenson prevailed in an eagerly-anticipated showdown with two of the state’s top sprinters out of District 2-5A. The Captain Shreve senior had his district meet marred by cramps that derailed his plans to win four golds there, and he wasn’t confident at the start of the 100. Exactly 10.73 seconds later, concerns were allayed.

“I was kind of scared, because ever since my left leg cramped, it’s been real tight, but I stayed patient,” he said. “The leg recovered over time, and it was fun racing those guys today.”

He later outran the 400 field in 47.67.

Stevenson (21) and Wells (20) were 2-3 in boys individual scoring.

Three more local boys took gold: Southwood’s Travian Johnson in the 200 (21.55), Davis Sellers of Benton in the discus (146-0 ½) and Jeremiah Boudreaux of Airline in the high jump (6-4). Johnson was second (10.90) to Stevenson in the 100.

Highlighting local girls’ performances, Brianna Taylor scored 26 of Airline’s 40 points by winning the 100 (12.22) and running second in the 200 (24.99) and 400 (57.48). She was the second-highest scorer among all girls competing.

Benton’s Jamie Willis also qualified for next Saturday’s state meet in three events, winning the triple jump with a personal best 36-6 and taking third in the 100 meter hurdles (15.01) and the 300 hurdles (48.85), totaling 24 of Benton’s 38 points. Her triple jump mark was a highlight as her 24 points tied her for third in individual scoring.

“Everybody was yelling at me, so I went out there and did it,” she said about the win, before conceding that some technical adjustments helped. “They told me my steps in the second phase sucked, so I focused more on that, and I also focused on my ending, because I tend to flop into the pit. I decided maybe I ought to think a little more, and I did, and got a 36-6. I’ll take that.”

Ruston’s boys and girls ran away with team championships in both divisions.

The local athletes and relays that finished 1-2-3 Wednesday to become meet qualifiers, along with their teams’ scoring totals and places:

GIRLS

Parkway (41 points, 5th in team standings): Jayla James, shot put, 2nd, 35-9; Mikaylah Williams, discus, 2nd, 120-5 ½; 4×100 relay (Jillian Walton, Maya Jackson, Kyla Williams, Kaiden Taylor, 2nd, 48.11; 4×200 relay (Walton, Kenndi Lee, Williams, Taylor), 3rd, 1:42.61.

Airline (40 points, 6th): Brianna Taylor, 100 dash, 1st, 12.22; Taylor, 400 dash, 2nd, 57.48; Taylor, 200 dash, 2nd, 24.99; Arriana Hill, high jump, 3rd, 5-2; Jessie Frank, pole vault, 3rd, 9-0.

Benton (38 points, 7th): Jamie Willis, triple jump, 1st, 36-6; Willis, 100m hurdles, 3rd, 15.01; Willis, 300m hurdles, 3rd, 48.85.

Byrd (21 points, 8th): Jenna Key, 3200, 2nd, 11:49.22; 4×800 relay (Laila Wells, Hudson Roberts, Jenna Key, Arden Brainis), 3rd, 10:19.62.

Southwood (21 points, 8th): Rondisia Williams, 100 dash, 2nd, 12.28.

BOYS

Parkway (49 points, 3rd): 4×800 relay (Gabriel Falting, Adrian Orellana, Gary Smith, Noah Fox), 2nd, 8:19.54; 4×400 relay (Falting, Williams, Edward Moses, Will Achee), 2nd, 3:28.58; Jaylan White, 100 dash, 3rd, 10.92; 4×100 relay (White, Demontayvius Blackwell, Greg Chitman, Jayson Williams), 3rd, 42.46; Jake Morton, shot put, 3rd, 47-2 ½; Devon Oliver, discus, 3rd, 139-3.

Captain Shreve (34 points, 4th): Marquez Stevenson, 100 dash, 1st, 10.73; Stevenson, 400 dash, 1st, 47.67; Kaleb McHenry, shot put, 2nd, 47-11 1/2.

Byrd (32 points, 5th): Trent Wells, 1600, 1st, 4:24.18; Wells, 3200, 1st, 9:42.52.

Benton (31 points, 6th): Davis Sellers, discus, 1st, 146-0 ½; Mason Haley, 2nd, 4:25.09; Mark Perry, high jump, 3rd, 6-2.

Airline (28.5 points, 8th): Jeremiah Boudreaux, high jump, 1st, 6-4; 4×200 relay (Boudreaux, Cameron Jefferson, Daxton Chavez, Justin Washington), 3rd, 1:28.45.

Southwood (18 points, 12th): Travian Johnson, 200 dash, 1st, 21.55; Johnson, 100 dash, 2nd, 10.90.

Haughton (15 points, 14th): Kenneth Smith, 800, 3rd, 1:56.53; John Ecot, 200 dash, 3rd, 21.86.

PHOTO: by DOUG IRELAND


Local prep golfers book trips to next week’s state championships

GIVING IT A SHOT: Calvary’s Bryce Carpenter competed in the Division IV, Region 1 tournament at OakWing Golf Club in Alexandria.

JOURNAL STAFF

While the Calvary boys’ golf team fell just short of making it to the state tournament, the Cavs will be represented at the Division IV tournament at Farm d’Allie in Lafayette Monday and Tuesday.

At the Division IV, Region 1 tournament at OakWing Golf Club in Alexandria on Wednesday, Calvary’s Kannon Savage advanced to the state tournament after shooting an 83 to finish in eighth place in individual stroke play.

The top four individuals not on a qualifying team advance to state.

The top four teams advancing to state were Ouachita Christian School, followed by Cedar Creek, Quitman, and Anacoco. Calvary finished in fifth place with a team total of 388.

Also representing Calvary at the regional tournament were Hunter Harris (who shot 94 to finish in a tie for 17th), Bryce Carpenter (tied for 22nd with 96), and Ezra Smith (tied for 36th with 115).

In the Division I-Region 1 tournament held at Huntington Wednesday, the Byrd boys shot a 286 to capture the team title, followed by Benton (299), Sulphur (304), and Barbe (308).

Leading Byrd to the title were Duke Bowen (70), Peyton Johnson (71), Grant Reagan (72), James Holtsclaw (73), and Brown Snyder (77). Noah McWilliams (72) led Benton, followed by teammates Cason Toms (74), Miller Davis (75), Kade Bryant (78), and Cade Robinson (82).

Sulphur’s Landon East shot a team-low 71, followed by Hayden Boyett (76), Garrett Trahan (78), Drake German (79), and Miller James (85). Barbe was led by Zach Robertson (69), followed by Daniel Benoit and Landon Beier (77), Alex Augustine (85), and Leland Hawkins (93).

The top four teams qualify for the Division I state tournament that will be held at The Wetlands in Lafayette Monday and Tuesday. Also qualifying for individual competition are Airline’s Eli Hill (71) and Ruston’s Reeves Pullin (71).

PHOTO: by JOHN PENROD


LHSAA non-select baseball regional schedule

Here is the regional schedule of LHSAA non-select schools from Shreveport Bossier in the LHSAA state baseball playoffs. The host school will be the home team in the first game and third game if it is necessary.

Regionals

(Best-of-3 series)

CLASS 5A

No. 12-Parkway (22-13) at No. 5-Zachary (23-12)
Game 1: Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday, 4 p.m. (if necessary)

No. 11-Central-BR (26-7) at No. 6-Haughton (27-6)
Game 1: Friday, 6 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday, 4 p.m. (if necessary)

CLASS 4A

Best-of-3 series

No. 20-Cecilia (15-15) at No. 4-Northwood (27-8)
Game 1: Friday, 6 p.m.
Game 2: Saturday, Noon
Game 3: Saturday, 2:30 p.m. (if necessary)

PHOTO: by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL


Mocks no more, it’s Draft Day, not a moment too soon

News flash — the 2022 NFL Draft begins tonight.

Which means, I suppose, the first Mock Draft for 2023 will pop out next week. Seriously.

If you’re somebody who is immersed in the Mock World, this real draft is the realization of football prophecy. What a weekend! All these months of speculation play out and we see if Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock draft had more on the money picks than Todd McShay or Daniel Jeremiah or … Billy Bob Bivens from Biloxi.

I think he has one. There is no shortage. Looking at the ole w-w-w, there are even sites that track how “draft analysts” have performed over the last few years to give observers (bettors, right?) guidance on who’s the boss.

There were well over 100 listed, and graded, over the past five years on one site. Somewhere near 30th place, I noticed one name I recognized as a somewhat prominent NFL analyst – none of those mentioned above, except perhaps Billy Bob from Biloxi, cracked the top 100. This list could’ve been an off-Broadway collection. I did not scan it long enough to know.

It’s astounding that real people have real time to devour dozens of mocks and their reshuffles, and I am happy for you people who do. No shame in that; glory to you and your insight on the tight end from Northern Idaho State who could be a great third-day sleeper.

Is my pal Mel (fact! More in a sec) and his 2.0 Mock graded against the real results, or is it just his final version? Or is his 2.0 compared to McShay’s 2.0 and all the rest, and their 3.0’s, and … I’d rather revisit my 12th grade trig class. Same level of understanding. I got a B. It was my favorite graduation gift.

More on Mel: 40 years ago, I was just out of college and working at UL Lafayette in the sports information office. He was the same age, and had already begun analyzing prospects as a teenager and sent his breakdowns to the GM of his hometown team, the Baltimore Colts. Ernie Accorsi was impressed enough to suggest Mel sell his reports to fans (no small feat before the internet) and eventually offered Kiper a job in the Colts organization – just before they bolted for Indianapolis, which took that option off Mel’s board.

Kiper called to check on a Cajuns’ prospect. A few months later, I noticed a story in a Football Gazette newsletter explaining why he insisted on being called Mel Kiper Jr., to honor his dad. Next time he called, I told him I enjoyed it. More than a decade before Al Gore invented the internet, Mel had never seen the story. I mailed the clipping (remember those?) and we were BOYS.

When we spoke through the years, either with him calling to gather info or me calling to glean insight on the draft potential for a Northwestern State player, his photographic memory was everything you’ve seen on air, and more. He could instantly narrate the draft bio and outlook for the young man that was desperate to hear an objective take on his prospects. He was blunt – passionate, charming, but he did not put icing on the cupcake. The players might cringe at what he said, but they appreciated it.

So I like Mel Kiper Jr. He is the John Glenn of the Mock Draft industry. I admire him.

But tonight will be the first time I’ll watch his analysis of the 2022 NFL Draft. I guess starting next week, ESPN will be treating us to coverage of drone racing and cornhole competitions.

Those, like Mock Drafts, have their place. Just not on my TV or computer screen.


Wednesday’s Sports Scoreboard

Wednesday

College Baseball

BPCC 10-9, Navarro 1-3
Little Rock 8, Louisiana Tech 7
Northwestern St. at LSUA, cancelled

College Softball

BPCC 1-3, Trinity Valley 0-4
McNeese St. 3, ULM 0

High School Baseball

LHSAA Playoffs – Class 1A
Slaughter Charter 14, Plain Dealing 4, 5 innings


Aholelei fans 17 in BPCC softball shutout victory

JOURNAL STAFF

Primrose Aholelei struck out 17 in a 2-hit, eight-inning shutout that opened a Region XIV softball doubleheader split with Trinity Valley as the Lady Cavaliers won 1-0 before dropping the second game 4-3 Wednesday at BPCC.

Aholelei (23-2) struck out 17 for the second time in less than a week to tie a season high. It gives her 280 strikeouts in 158 1/3 innings on the season and was her 13th game with 10 or more.

Kennedy Cox walked it off with a two-out single that scored Frances Robinson. BPCC had six hits in the game with Dylan Sanay getting the only extra-base hit with a double.

Trinity Valley (20-34, 7-15) got the split with a solo home run in the seventh inning for the game two winner.

Haylee Ladner tie the game for the Lady Cavs with a fifth-inning solo home run. It was her only hit of the game and ninth blast of the season.

Cox was 2-for-3 with a double and Alohilani Napalapalai also had a double for BPCC (34-10, 16-2,) who was limited to five hits in the second game.

MCNEESE 3, ULM 0: The Warhawks couldn’t solve the Cowgirls’ Ashley Vallejo in a non-conference game in Monroe. Kennedy Johnson had two of the hosts four hits as ULM fell to 25-21 on the season. Vallejo (12-7) walked none and struck out four in the complete-game win for McNeese (30-18).

BASEBALL

UALR 8, LA TECH 7: At Little Rock, Byrd High’s Steele Netterville singled, doubled and hit a 3-run home run to drive in five runs but the Bulldogs came up a run short. The Trojans scored seven in the fifth and the game-winning run in the eighth after Netterville’s 3-run blast tied it in the sixth. Phillip Matulia was 2-for-3, Adarius Myers 2-for-4 and Cole McConnell 2-for-5 for Tech (28-14).

BOSSIER PARISH 10-8, NAVARRO 1-3: The Cavaliers swept the Region XIV doubleheader at Corsicana, Texas as Caden Griffin shut down the Bulldogs in the first game and Connor Crowson had four hits and three RBI in the game two win. Griffin shut out Navarro over six innings allowing two hits, walked none and struck out eight. The Cavs scored nine runs in the seventh inning to blow the game open. Justin Breen singled in a run, Cole Ketzner had a bases-clearing double and Simon Grinberg had a 3-run home run for BPCC (36-15-1, 24-12).

Mason Hammonds and Luke Bogan both had three hits and Breen two in the 16-hit second game win for BPCC. Navarro drops to 20-31-1 overall and 14-22 in the region.


New turkey hunting book tops them all

Those of you who know me know of my passion for wild turkeys. I began my quest in 1992, not because I wanted to but because my good friend, fellow outdoor writer John Phillips, asked me to as he had me set up for a hunt in Alabama.

It was a tough choice to make. The bream were bedded and big sway-bellied bass were in the shallows practically calling my name. However, he dangled a carrot in front of me in the form of an airplane ticket, a guide, all sorts of hunting attire and equipment, including a shotgun, I decided the fishing could wait so I accepted his invitation.

Cutting to the chase, when the big old strutting gobbler came drifting in front of my gun and my aim was true, I forgot all about bedded bream and big bass. It hooked me in that moment with a more potent appeal than any you could get from campfire aroma.

Over the years, I have been enthralled by the sport of hunting wild turkey gobblers. I have hunted around the country and have been fortunate to collect the coveted Grand Slam of wild turkeys having taken the four sub-species – Eastern, Rio Grande, Osceola and Merriams.

Having gotten older with nagging ailments has just about put a halt to my love of chasing gobblers. However, there is one thing I love to do nearly as much and that is to get my hands on top-notch pieces of literature having to do with wild turkeys.

Last week, I found one in my mailbox that just about tops them all. St. Tom’s Cathedral, written by outdoor writer friend Bryan Hendricks, is a masterpiece, not just by his telling of heart-stopping hunts, some successful and some that flopped, but because Hendricks is a brilliant writer. As someone said about Hendricks at the end of his book, “He is a gifted storyteller with a unique ability to transport readers into the scene and fill their senses with sights, sounds, scents and emotions of the moment.”

Sid Dobrin, professor and chair of the Department of English at the University of Florida, offered this comment; “Hendricks St. Tom’s Cathedral will sit on the dais alongside books by the likes of Tom Kelly, Henry Edwards Davis, Archibald Rutledge and Gene Nunnery. It is, frankly, a remarkable read.”

Dan Kibler, editor of Carolina Sportsman Magazine adds, “If St. Tom’s Cathedral does anything, it places author Bryan Hendricks at the top of a list of the nation’s finest outdoor writers. No. Make that writers, period.”

Todd Masson, host of Marsh Man Masson on You Tube says about St. Tom’s Cathedral “It’s an instant classic that grizzled veterans of the sport will pass to their prodigy with admonitions to pore over its pages before stepping boots in the spring woods.”

On Feb. 23, 2009, Hendricks was diagnosed with advanced stage III cancer. The way he described what lay ahead is indicative of the skill with which he writes. “The day was a maelstrom of emotional body blows in which my oncologist, surgical oncologist and radiologist explained the details of my imminent demise. It’s like listening to your mechanic describe the procedure to rebuild a worn-out transmission.”

Hendricks’ chemotherapy infusions required an intravenous port to be surgically implanted in his shoulder.

“Does it matter which shoulder the port goes in?” asked Hendricks. “No,” the doctor replied. “Put it in my left shoulder. Turkey season starts in April and I don’t want it to interfere with shooting a shotgun.”

After a long silence, the doctor said resolutely, “I think YOU are going to be okay.” He survived cancer and 13 years later, he still chases gobblers and has written a book turkey hunters will love.

For an inscribed copy of St.Tom’s Cathedral, send a check for $20 to Bryan Hendricks at 301 Kingsrow Dr.,Apt 609, Little Rock, AR 72207. It could be some of the best $20 you ever spent.


TODAY’S SCHEDULE: Calvary hosts St. Edmund in baseball playoffs

Thursday

High School Baseball

LHSAA Playoffs – Division IV

St. Edmund at Calvary, 7 p.m.

Friday

College Baseball

LSUS at LSUA, 4 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Old Dominion, 5 p.m.
Centenary at St. Thomas, 6 p.m.
Southern U. at Grambling St., 6 p.m.
ULM at Little Rock, 6 p.m.
Southeastern La. at Northwestern St., 6:30 p.m.
Georgia at LSU, 6:30 p.m.

College Softball

Trinity at Centenary, 1:30 p.m.
Grambling St. at Prairie View, 3 p.m.
Northwestern St. at Southeastern, La., DH, 4 p.m.
ULM at Georgia St., 5 p.m.
Louisiana Tech at Middle Tennessee, 6 p.m.
Florida at LSU, 6 p.m.

High School Baseball

LHSAA Playoffs

Central-BR at Haughton, 6 p.m.
Cecilia at Northwood, 6 p.m.
Parkway at Zachary, 6:30 p.m.
St. Michael at Evangel, 6 p.m.
Loyola at University Lab, 4 p.m./6 p.m.

High School Softball

LHSAA Playoffs

At Sulphur

Riverside Academy vs. Calvary, 1 p.m., Blue Field No. 5

Note: The above schedule is subject to cancellations or reschedule

Photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL


SHREVE MEMORIAL LIBRARY CHILDREN’S BOOK FESTIVAL SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

Goosebumps Author R.L. Stine to Headline Festival on May 7

SHREVEPORT, LA – The Shreve Memorial Library Annual Children’s Book Festival returns Saturday, May 7 on the beautiful campus of LSU Shreveport. The festival, last held in 2019, is a family-friendly, daylong literary event that features children’s book authors and illustrators, costumed characters, and interactive games and activities for children of all ages. R.L. Stine, author of the internationally bestselling Goosebumps series, will headline this year’s event that is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission to the festival is free and open to the public.

The festival will feature award-winning author R.L. Stine as headliner. R.L. Stine, best known for his Goosebumps and Fear Street series, has been writing horror stories for young readers for over thirty years. His books came to define horror for a generation of avid young readers, and his bestselling Goosebumps series quickly became a publishing phenomenon, selling more than 400 million copies in the United States. Stine will greet festival attendees and sign autographs at the Children’s Book Festival from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. Autographs are available on a first come, first serve basis. Later in the day, Stine will lead a book talk and author chat at 2:30 p.m. in the LSU Shreveport University Center auditorium.

In addition to headliner R.L. Stine, the festival will also feature nationally award-winning authors Jennifer L. Holm, Kwame Mbalia and Brenda Maier, as well as more than 20 local authors and illustrators, including fan favorite Jasper Price, author Zombie Asockalypse. Festival attendees will be able to meet these children’s authors at festival tents throughout the day, have their books autographed, see the featured authors bring their stories to life on stage, and meet some of their favorite children’s book characters. Costumed characters such as Pete the Cat, Biscuit, Winnie the Pooh, Elephant and Piggie, Bad Kitty, Cookie Mouse, and Curious George will make appearances at the festival, providing children an opportunity to have their pictures taken with these and other popular characters.

Community organizations and local businesses have also partnered with Shreve Memorial Library to present Literacy Lane, an interactive area of the festival that celebrate childhood literacy. Literacy Lane is a special area of the Children’s Book Festival where community partners come together to promote a love of reading and lifelong learning in fun, interactive ways. At Literacy Lane, children can play games to improve literacy skills while learning about the valuable services offered by these organizations. All activities taking place in Literacy Lane are free of charge.

Concessions for the festival will be provided by LSU Shreveport Auxiliary Services. Festival attendees will have delicious food options such as hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, pizza, wraps, fruit bowls, pretzels, strawberry shortcake and drinks. Food booths will be available throughout the festival area, including inside of the LSU Shreveport University Center. To purchase food, festival attendees will need to purchase food tickets, valued at $1 each, prior to making their selections. Ticket booths will be located at the entrance of the festival area and inside of the University Center. Tickets can be purchased with cash.

 A schedule of events for the Shreve Memorial Library Children’s Book Festival is included below:

Shreve Memorial Library Children’s Book Festival Event Schedule

10:00 a.m.  Festival Opens (Featured & Local Author Tents, Literacy Lane, Activities,
Concessions)

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  R.L. Stine Meet & Greet and Book Signing (Author Tent)

10:30 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.  Author Performance – Jasper Price, Zombie Asockalypse (Auditorium)

11:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.  Author Performance – Brenda Maier, Little Red Fort, Peeping Beauty and Little Blue Bridge (Auditorium)

12:30 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.  Author Performance – Kwame Mbalia, Tristan Strong series, Last Gate of the Emperor, and Black Boy Joy (Auditorium)

1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.  Author Performance – Jennifer L. Holm, Our Only May Amelia, Penny from Heaven, Turtle in Paradise, Babymouse series, Sunny series, and the Squish series (Auditorium)

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Author Performance – R.L. Stine, Goosebumps series and Fear Street series (Auditorium)

4:00 p.m.  Festival closes.