After sharing what we expect to see in ’23 in Wednesday’s edition, your Shreveport-Bossier Journal team is back today with what we’d like to see this year. Before Christmas, ideally.
LOCALLY, ladies tees at Querbes, please. It would be easy – just get the red balls out of the equipment shack and put them back out on the golf course. Just think, the ladies’ leagues may start playing there again.
In PREP sports, NO high school football games affected by bad weather (as in delayed, postponed or cancelled). Oh, and I’d love to see them start at 6:30.
In COLLEGE sports, a full stadium at the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl. The staff does such an amazing job putting on a great event year-in and year-out that the stands should be full (and I’d like to see more stadiums full during all college bowl games).
In the PROS, see the NFL change its overtime rules (it’s ridiculous that a team can win the game in OT without the other team having a possession) and NO games end in a tie (this is football, not futbol).
- Harriet Prothro Penrod
In HIGH SCHOOLS, football players wearing regular pants not cut off above the knee.
In COLLEGES, Bossier Parish Community College’s softball team make it to the NJCAA national tournament and win.
In the PROS, MLB batters that don’t step out of the box after EVERY pitch.
- Lee Hiller
In PREPS, the football hydration rule during games adjusted to go by temperature, not time. If it’s a rare cool September night, keep playing; no break.
In COLLEGE, baseball teams stop using walk-up music. Please please please make it stop. Think about what homeboy is about to throw you and not about whether or not fans like your song. Walk-up music is embarrassing for everybody. Hit a home run? Drive in a run? Stand-up triple? Take an extra base? OK — NOW you can have music. But not just for making it from the dugout to the plate.
In PROS, every team in the NFL to finish the regular season 8-8-1. Yay for parity! So awesome. (Yawn … )
- Teddy Allen
In COLLEGES, Northwestern State football returning to its winning ways — which hasn’t happened since 2008. Good, hard-working people who deserve success.
LOCALLY, Shreveport hosting more mainstream sporting events to enhance our quality of life. Cornhole and dart-throwing tournaments don’t do it for me.
In the PROS, Louisiana Downs promote more horse racing and less bounce houses and outdoor concerts in 100-degree heat.
- Tony Taglavore
In PREPS, an All-District team that actually has some merit to it.
In COLLEGE, coaches to stop putting up the stupid screens on the sidelines so they can act like the second coming of Bear Bryant who, by the way, never put up a screen and hardly ever wore a headset.
LOCALLY, something actually comes from the bizarre minor league baseball stadium announcement that was made in October. Just throw us a bone.
In the PROS, the Saints hire Sean Payton back and bring Tom Brady with him.
- John James Marshall
I covered many wishes in my Tuesday Journal column, but let’s get greedy and ask for more.
In PREPS, recognizing the big-time calls for a big box. Northwood provides one of the best game-day atmospheres in the area and the Falcons are dang good, too – they had one of the best post-season runs of any team. The press box screams Class 1A, and it’s not the school’s fault. It’s time for Caddo Parish to give the school and that program a press box it deserves.
In PROS, “Musky” to get Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame love. Scott Muscutt was the first player the Shreveport Mudbugs signed 25 years ago. He’s since won multiple championships as a player, a coach and a general manager. He’s a major reason why hockey has thrived in Northwest Louisiana — the Mudbugs perennially lead their league in attendance — and no job is too small. You are as likely to see a unicorn as to spot “Musky” somewhere other than George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum.
He cuts the ice, replaces glass, cleans the aisles – and does whatever it takes to make this community a better place. He’s also helped establish healthy youth hockey and high school hockey programs.
The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame honors the best of the best. It’s time to bring this man into the discussion for future, but hopefully not way-down-the-road enshrinement. Hockey in Louisiana’s Hall may sound strange, but this is a no-brainer.
- Roy Lang III
In PREPS, more high school coaches organizing clinics on their own — like Green Oaks’ Chad Lewis, with the help of his friend, North DeSoto’s Christopher Wilson, did over the holidays. It started with a post on Facebook and ended up with a full-fledged clinic at the Hamilton Branch of the Shreve Memorial Library. Kudos to Lewis and Wilson for spearheading that effort.
I’d like to see our school districts in Northwest Louisiana catch up to school systems in Northeast Louisiana. Strength and conditioning coaches working at every school, tasked with the athletic development of all teams. It’s overdue to see certified athletic trainers on each campus, who teach in the classroom and look for young people who want to go into that vital field.
I’d like to see us identify high school athletes who demonstrate an ambition of going into the coaching profession. Lewis and Wilson were once student-athletes at Byrd High School. Why can’t we “grow our own” next generation of outstanding coaches in this area? Let’s give them a head start by mentoring them right now.
- Jerry Byrd Jr.
In PREPS, at the coin flip before kickoff, along with the team captains, bring out a couple seniors from the band, cheerleaders, dance line, and National Honor Society, and a teacher. Efficiently and sufficiently recognize all of them on the PA system, not as an afterthought at halftime, but when the energy level in the stadium is peaking. Celebrate their efforts and realize they are representative of their peers.
In COLLEGES, home-and-home competition in every sport between our four nearby Division I schools. I’ll grant that Tech and ULM aren’t playing football at Grambling or NSU, or against them at the I-Bowl. It’s absurd the Bulldogs and Warhawks don’t square off annually, and also host the Tigers or Demons. Common sense. Uncommon gate receipts.
LOCALLY, more neighborhood pick-up games. Less travel ball. Didn’t we find ways to play, no charge, instead of adults organizing everything – and then soiling too much of it with egos and selfishness? The best homefield is at home, somebody’s home, in a yard or driveway or even the street. Somebody’s mom will make lemonade after the game.
- Doug Ireland