Special shine to Captain Shreve’s headgear this fall

 (Submitted photo)


No matter which local high school football team you root for, this fall there will be widespread admiration for Captain Shreve’s new helmet design.

Wednesday, Gators’ coach Adam Kirby unveiled a look paying tribute to the 2010 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach, Lee Hedges, who passed away earlier this month at age 93.

Hedges is the only prep football coach in state history to lead three different teams to a state championship game. The Gators’ 1973 state title is the last one claimed by a public school from Caddo or Bossier Parishes.

He was a local fixture, beginning with his standout playing career as a running back at Fair Park, which earned him a scholarship to play at LSU from 1948-51.

His 216 career wins at Byrd (1956-59), Woodlawn (1960-65) and Captain Shreve (1967-84) is the best total by any local coach. His overall mark was 216-92-9 as his teams had losing records only three times in 27 seasons.

Hedges led the Yellow Jackets to the state finals in 1956, then started the program at Woodlawn and in 1965 his Knights suffered a 12-9 state finals loss to Sulphur. The Gators went unbeaten (14-0) in 1973, giving him a state championship in the same year he served as president of the Louisiana High School Coaches’ Association.

He spent the last 18 years of his head coaching career with the Gators, starting the program from scratch as the school opened in 1967. Shreve won 24 consecutive games in 1973-74 as part of a 146-52-4 worksheet with the program.

Shreve’s home stadium was renamed for him in 2002, and along with hosting Gators’ home contests in football, soccer and track, is also a homefield for several other local schools. The track is also utilized by many Caddo Parish schools.

Hedges also helped Shreve win 15 state tennis team titles, and remained active as a junior tennis coach long after he retired from teaching and coaching football. He was also named Caddo Parish Teacher of the Year in 1963.

He was elected to the Louisiana High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1987.