Byrd golfers reign supreme again in state tournament

CHAMPS AGAIN:  Byrd’s boys won the LHSAA Division I golf championship for a second straight year on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)


For the second straight year, and seventh time since 2014, the Byrd Yellow Jackets boys’ golf team has won a state championship.

The Jackets brought home the 15th LHSAA golf championship in school history Tuesday, holding off hard-charging Benton, which shot the day’s best Division I team score, 294. Byrd followed its opening 289 with a 304 Tuesday for a 593 total, three shots ahead of the Tigers. Catholic of Baton Rouge was third at 602.

Byrd’s four scorecards were tightly packed. Ethan Dial (148, 71-77) and Grant Reagan (148, 71-77) tied for eighth individually. One shot back in ninth was Duke Bowen (149, 71-78) and Shep Smith (150, 76-74) was tied for 12th.  James Holtsclaw (155, 79-76) wasn’t far back.

Benton’s Noah McWilliams finished fourth for the second straight year, carding 143 (71-72) and by teammate Miller Davis (73-70), whose Tuesday round at Farm d’Allie was the second-lowest of the day. Other scoring Tigers were Kade Bryant (153, 77-76) and Cason Toms (158, 82-76), just ahead of Colton Halverson (160, 81-79).

McWilliams wrapped up a spectacular prep career. He tied for medalist honors as a sophomore in 2021, but was edged in a playoff, then took fourth in his last two state tournaments.

Benton won six state titles in Division II from 2012-18 and was runner-up to St. Paul’s in 2021.

Drew Silman of Zachary won medalist honors by one stroke with a 140 (70-70) total. Airline’s Madden Sawrie finished at 153 (77-76).

FLYERS SECOND AGAIN:  Loyola’s boys finished second in Division III for the fourth straight time. Ascension Episcopal was in a league of its own, posting a 567 to win by 35 strokes, and claimed its fifth consecutive state title. Calvary Baptist was seventh at 786.

The Flyers improved their team score by 10 shots with a 296 Tuesday at Cane Row Golf & Turf Club in New Iberia, led by Connor Cassano. The junior, an LSU commit, shaved seven strokes off his opening round by carding a 70 for a 147 total, good for third. His two-under round Tuesday was the third-lowest of the day.

Charlie Bell cut eight shots from his first-day total with an even-par 72. He and teammate Jack Gilmer tied for fifth individually at 152, with Gilmer shooting a 77 Tuesday. Ross Alford was the fourth scorer for Loyola at 154 (76-78) to give the Flyers a fourth top 10 finisher, while Chrles Valiulis was just behind at 157 (80-77).

Ezra Smith was Calvary’s low man at 187 (95-92).

LADY GATORS FIFTH: Captain Shreve improved by four shots Tuesday with a closing 187 for a two-day 378 total, fifth in the Division I girls’ tournament at Les Vieux Chenes Golf Club in Youngsville. Addison Montoya finished in a ninth-place tie at 175 (88-87).

Haughton took eighth at 197-195 (392), led by Haylee Crowder (182, 94-88).

LADY FLYERS SIXTH IN DIVISION II:  Loyola’s girls settled for sixth in the Division II competition at Les Vieux Chenes, posting a final 424 (216-208). April Williams was the Lady Flyers’ low scorer at 195 (101-94).