Nominations of elite senior prep football scholar-athletes sought for preseason NFF Watch List

FOOTBALL ROYALTY:  Ten area 2022 senior scholar-athletes and four accomplished adults were honored by the local S.M. McNaughton Chapter of the National Football Foundation at the organization’s annual dinner in March at East Ridge Country Club. (Photo by ROBERT FREDERICK, for the McNaughton NFF Chapter)


Before the 2023 high school football season kicks off with regular-season games, some of the elite senior football scholar-athletes in Bossier and Caddo parishes will begin a season in a very special spotlight. 

The National Football Foundation, S.M. McNaughton Chapter Preseason Scholar-Athlete Watch List will be released just before the kickoff to the 2023 regular season. It will include remarkable high school seniors in the Ark-La-Tex who have been nominated by their coaches. These young men will have at least a 3.2 grade point average, have won all-district honors, and are involved in extracurricular activities. 

Nominations – a maximum of two seniors per school —  can be submitted by head coaches via email to or by text to 318-471-2086. No transcripts or recommendation letters are needed; it’s a very simple process. 

Nominations are due by midnight Sunday, Aug. 27 in order to make the Preseason Scholar-Athlete Watch List.

This Watch List will be updated throughout the season as more nominations are received.  

Following each season since 1980, the NFF’s S.M. McNaughton Chapter solicits nominations for its scholarship program, and as many as eight senior scholar-athletes are honored in the spring at a banquet in Shreveport.

This Watch List is designed to provide in-season recognition for not just the ultimate scholarship winners, but all of the young men in the Ark-La-Tex, including Louisiana’s entire 318 area code and Vernon Parish, who are high-achieving senior football players. 

The NFF McNaughton Chapter is led by president Leo Sanford, a Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame member and former All-Pro linebacker for the Chicago Cardinals, and a center on the 1958 NFL champion Baltimore Colts.  Other board members are Dennis Bamburg, Jerry Byrd Jr., Toni Goodin, Doug Ireland, Curt Joiner, Bill McConathy, Tag Rome and Terry Slack. 

Additionally, KTBS Channel 3 in Shreveport continues honoring the memory and legacy of former NFF Board member Bob Griffin, the iconic sportscaster at KSLA and then KTBS for over 50 years, by weekly presentations of a Griffin’s Game Ball to one of the players on the NFF Scholar-Athlete Watch List. The winners will be featured weekly in  KTBS’s Tuesday sportscasts and the station’s Friday Night Fever scoreboard show, and will be eligible for a separate Griffin’s Game Ball Scholar-Athlete Scholarship at the close of the 2023 season, presented by KTBS. 

Griffin, a 2009 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductee as a sports journalist, covered Ark-La-Tex high school football in an incredible six decades before he passed away early in 2020. That fall, Griffin’s family members traveled around the area throughout the season presenting Griffin’s Game Balls to winning teams in the “Griffin’s Game of the Week” as he did for years. Because of Griffin’s commitment to the NFF Scholar-Athlete program, the S.M. McNaughton Chapter of the NFF and KTBS have created this partnership to celebrate these outstanding seniors.