The in and out of prep baseball warmups is no longer routine

The Loyola baseball team had just finished taking infield practice before the 1999 Class 2A state championship game in Baton Rouge and the Flyers were coming off the field as Teurlings Catholic was preparing for its turn.

“Have a seat, guys,” said Flyers’ assistant coach Glen Hunt. “It’s time to watch the circus.”

And it was. Teurlings put every single player on the field – not just the starters – and proceeded to have an infield-outfield session that had to be seen to be believed. (Loyola had seen it the previous day in the semifinals.)

There were always at least three live baseballs in play at one time and nobody ever stopped moving. There was enough choreography going on to make a Broadway producer jealous.

It’s hard to know exactly what kind impact it had on the Flyers as they watched from the first base dugout. It may be too much to say that the Flyers had lost before the game even started, but it sure didn’t take long. Loyola lost 12-1. It only took five innings.

There’s a lot more going on in pre-game practice in baseball than just take a few ground balls. Or even for those who don’t take any.

The popular term for taking pre-game infield and outfield practice is “in and out” but while some teams are still “in,” there are a growing number who are “out.” Put it this way – don’t be surprised if at least one of the teams doesn’t trot out there for a few grounders before the game starts.

“I’ve got a philosophy on that,” says veteran Haughton coach Glenn Maynor. “If the team we are playing doesn’t want to take infield or outfield before a game, that team shouldn’t beat us.”

Imagine going to a football game and the place kickers didn’t come out early and practice some kicks. Not a care in the world about the wind conditions.

How about a basketball game in which the players didn’t take a few layups or practice a few free throws just to get a feel for the tightness of the rims or the depth perception of the goal?

But it happens in baseball – and a lot more than you’d think.

At the Class 5A level, almost all continue to take in-and-out before the game, but the lower you go in classification, the more likely it is that they might not.

“We take it (on the road) so that we can get used to the field and get settled in before the game starts,” said Byrd coach Greg Williams. “On the road, you are looking to see how the grass plays and how the ball reacts. At home, you already know that, but baseball coaches like routine and that’s just what we like to do.”

You probably won’t see the “circus,” but most teams that do take it like to send more than just the starters on the field. “It’s not really a game, but it feels like one to the younger players,” Northwood’s Austin Alexander said. “It’s a free chance to get some game experience for some of those guys.”

Early-season tournaments or weather conditions can be a reason to not take infield, but for teams that don’t take it before a game, there’s a simple reason why: They don’t want to give the opposition a free scouting report.

At least, that’s the thought process.

Maynor says he really doesn’t pay much attention to what the opposition is doing. “I might ask my assistant coach about how the outfield arms are,” he says. “But for most part, I’ve got my own team to worry about before a game starts.”

“I check to see about the outfield arms,” Williams said. “A lot of times I’ll look and see if a guy pitched a few nights before, how he’s throwing the ball.”

Alexander says he didn’t take in-and-out his first two years, but does it now and his players look forward to it.

“They love it,” the fourth-year coach said. “It’s a big deal to them and they take a lot of pride in it.”

So what if the pre-game session doesn’t go so well, with dropped fly balls and through-the-wickets grounders?

“Better to get that out of the way before the game,” Alexander says, “than during it.” 

Contact JJ at

Airline rebounds with non-district softball win

 BIG BATS: Airline’s bats came up big Thursday in a 12-11 defeat of Many. (Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


A couple of days after dropping a tough pitchers’ duel for the district championship to Natchitoches Central, Airline had to hold off a rally by defending small school state champion Many for a 12-11 non-district win at home Thursday.

The Lady Vikings picked up their 20tn win in 27 games with a six-run second inning to take a 7-2 lead into the fourth inning. Lindsey Marcinkus broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run single and Natalie Sutton later made it 7-2 with a two-run double.

Many came back and tied the game 8-8 with two runs in the fifth. Airline leadoff hitter Elena Heng hit a two-run home run to break the tie in the bottom of the inning and Sutton added a run-scoring single to stake the Lady Vikes to an 11-8 bulge.

Heng had an RBI groundout in the sixth for a 12-10 advantage that proved to be the cushion Airline needed.

Sutton was 3-for-4 with four RBI, Heng was 2-for-5 with three RBI and Haley Whiteside went 2-for-4 with a double.

CALVARY 9, OUACHITA CHRISTIAN 3: The Lady Cavaliers picked up win No. 20 on the season in taking the non-district game at home. DJ Lynch homered and was 3-for-4 and Carlie Guile and Elana Franks both had a double and home run.  Tavia Leadon had two hits in three at bats and Ramsey Walker also hit a home run for Calvary (20-8).

CEDAR CREEK 17, BENTON 9: In Ruston, the Lady Tigers couldn’t keep up with the Lady Cougars. Sophia Livers was 4-for-5 with a double. Olivia Burns had a home run and was 2-for-4, while Ashley Promes drove in three runs and had a single and double for Benton (14-13). 

CAPTAIN SHREVE 12-17, CASTOR 0-7: The host Lady Gators got the doubleheader sweep as Meagan Hill hit a three-run home run and finished with a team-high four RBI in the 12-0 win. Lauren Simpkins was 2-for-3 with a double and Ella Hendrick got the win in the circle with 10 strikeouts. Hendrick was 3-for-3 with a double and home run in the second game.  Jayda Martin had two doubles and a single along with Aubry Townsend, who was 3-for-4 with three RBI. 

ST. MARY’S 2, NORTHWOOD 1: The Lady Tigers scored a pair of runs in the first inning and made them hold up for the non-district win at home. Cameron Clark was the hard-luck loser in the circle working six innings, allowing five hits, two runs, and striking out four. She also had a double at the plate for Northwood (12-7).

LAKESIDE 7, EVANGEL 1: Brooklyn Horton and Gabbi Olague were both 2-for-4 for the host Lady Eagles, who stayed close until a four-run seventh inning by the Lady Warriors. Evangel dropped to 7-18 on the season, while Lakeside improved to 15-10.

Bedgood, Hermes continue to lead Calvary to wins

(Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Cade Bedgood and Aubrey Hermes had plenty of big plays on the gridiron in the fall for Calvary and are now coming up with big plays on the diamond for the Cavaliers as they defeated Lakeside 11-8 Thursday in a District 1-2A game at home.

Bedgood had a pair of doubles in going 3-for-4 with three RBI and Hermes was 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored to highlight a 13-hit attack. Jackson Legg and Judson Funderburk both had a pair of singles for Calvary (11-8, 4-0).

Kyzer Smith got the win on the mound working five innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs and striking out three.

The three-game series continues today with a doubleheader in Minden.

PARKWAY 7, HAUGHTON 6: The Panthers held on for the 1-5A win and  moved back into sole possession of first place coupled with an Airline loss.  Trent Lape homered and along with Barrett Newman drove in two runs for Parkway (17-4, 6-1). Shawn Driggers was 2-for-4 at the plate and got the win on the mound.

BENTON 14, AIRLINE 3: The Tiger bats were hot with 15 hits as Gavin Jacobs led the way with three hits and drove in two. Benton (13-12, 5-2) moved into a second-place tie with Airline as Brady Blaylock (2-for-4), Cale Latimer (2-for-4), Kenner Lauterbach (2-for-3) and Jackson Jones (2-for-4) all contributed multiple hits and Hunter Brignac drove in three runs, two on a third-inning double. 

Collin Wiggins and Logan Scripture (2-for-3) drove in runs with back-to-back doubles for Airline (11-11, 5-2).

BYRD 9, CAPTAIN SHREVE 3: At Captain Shreve, the Yellow Jackets scored three runs in each the third and fourth innings to knock off their rivals in a 1-5A game. Kevin Robinson (2-for-4) doubled in two runs in the third inning and finished with three RBI and Hayden Hoffpauir was 2-for-4 for Byrd (16-10, 3-4).  Dawson Meeks got the win with six innings of work, allowing four hits and three runs (two earned), as he walked one and struck out four.

Walker Wicklund doubled and tripled in three at bats for Captain Shreve (13-9, 4-3). 

NORTHWOOD 9, MINDEN 4: The Falcons stayed undefeated (5-0) and atop the District 1-4A standings with the home win. Tucker McCabe (3-for-4) and Jaxon Bentzler (4-for-4) combined for seven of Northwood’s 11 hits and both had doubles. Cayne Little and Brendan Burns added doubles and Luke Bloxom drove in two runs for Northwood (19-5, 5-0). Jakobe Jackson was 2-for-3 with a double for Minden (14-8, 2-1).

NORTH DESOTO 9, EVANGEL 5: The Griffins scored six runs in the first inning to cruise past the Eagles and stayed on the heels of the Falcons with a 4-0 District 1-4A record. Evangel (7-17, 3-1) got multiple hits from Garrett Burns and Kody Jackson who were 2-for-4 and Brody Turnipseed was 2-for-3.

LOYOLA 11, D’ARBONNE WOODS 3: At Farmerville, the Flyers pounded out 14 hits with Hayden Horton and Cain Feibel leading the way with three each and both had doubles. Konnor O’Neal and Gray Deason were both 2-for-4 with a double. Jake Black was 2-for-3 and along with O’Neal drove in two runs for Loyola (5-18, 4-6). 

Thursday’s baseball, softball scoreboard; upcoming schedule

(Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)

College Baseball

Thursday’s score

LSU 5, Tennessee 2

Today’s games

Tennessee at LSU, 6 p.m.

Dallas Baptist at Louisiana Tech, 3 p.m.

Centenary at Trinity, 6 p.m.

Northwestern State at New Orleans, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Louisiana Christian at LSUS, DH, 2 p.m.

Centenary at Trinity, DH, 1 p.m.

BPCC at Navarro, DH, 1 p.m.

Tennessee at LSU, 1 p.m.

Northwestern State at New Orleans, 2 p.m.

Dallas Baptist at Louisiana Tech, 2 p.m.

Sunday’s games

Louisiana Christian at LSUS, noon

Northwestern State at New Orleans, 1 p.m.

Dallas Baptist at Louisiana Tech, 1 p.m.

College Softball

Thursday’s scores

No games scheduled

Today’s games

N.C. State vs. Louisiana Tech, at LSU, 11:30 a.m.

BYU vs. Louisiana Tech, at LSU, 2 p.m.

Houston Christian at Northwestern State, DH, 4 p.m.

Southern U. at Grambling, 3 p.m.

Saturday’s games

Centenary at Trinity, DH, noon

Houston Christian at Northwestern State, noon

Southern U. at Grambling, DH, noon

BPCC at Paris, DH, 1 p.m.

N.C. State vs. Louisiana Tech, at LSU, 1:30 p.m.

Louisiana Tech at LSU, 4 p.m.

Sunday’s game

Centenary at Trinity, noon

High School Baseball

Thursday’s scores 

District 1-5A

Benton 14, Airline 3
Byrd 9, Captain Shreve 3
Parkway 7, Haughton 6

District 1-4A

Northwood 9, Minden 4
North DeSoto 9, Evangel 5

District 1-2A

Calvary 11, Lakeside 8
Loyola 11, D’Arbonne Woods 3


Converse 15, North Caddo 0

Today’s games

District 1-4A

North DeSoto at Evangel

District 1-2A

Calvary at Lakeside, DH

D’Arbonne Woods at Loyola, DH


Captain Shreve at Converse

St. Mary’s at Parkway

Saline at Huntington

Franklin Parish at Northwood

North Caddo at Logansport

Plain Dealing at Ringgold

Saturday’s games

District 1-5A

Airline at Benton

Captain Shreve at Byrd

Parkway at Haughton

Southwood at Natchitoches Central, DH


Red River at North Caddo

High School Softball

Thursday’s scores

District 1-4A

Minden 15, BTW 0


Airline 12, Many 11
Captain Shreve 12-17, Castor 0-7
Cedar Creek 17, Benton 9
North DeSoto 7, Natchitoches Central 1
Montgomery 2, Parkway 0
St. Mary’s 2, Northwood 1
D’Arbonne Woods 16, Byrd 1
Saline 20, Southwood 10
Lakeside 7, Evangel 1
Calvary 9, Ouachita Christian 3
Loyola 10, River Oaks 0
Haynesville 19-15, Bossier 1-0

Today’s games

District 1-4A

Woodlawn at Evangel

Caddo Magnet vs. Woodlawn, Cargill 5 p.m.


Byrd at Stanley

Parkway at North Webster

Arcadia at Green Oaks

Loyola at North Caddo

Saturday’s game

North DeSoto at Calvary, 1 p.m.

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.

Mudbugs look to solve NAHL-best Oklahoma

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

One look at the standings would make it seem as if it’s easy to identify the focus for the Shreveport Mudbugs entering the penultimate road series of the 2022-23 regular season.

The Mudbugs need just a single point to clinch a playoff spot in the South Division. However, with six games remaining, the odds of missing the postseason are astronomical. The biggest obstacle in front of Shreveport is Oklahoma, the team with the best record (42-11-1) in the North American Hockey League and winners in five of six games against the Mudbugs this season.

This weekend’s trip to Oklahoma City gives Shreveport (32-15-7) an opportunity grab momentum against a squad it will likely have to run through to clinch another trip to the Robertson Cup semifinals.

“It’s a good weekend for us to see where we’re at,” said Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell, whose team opens the two-game series tonight. “They are one of the top teams in the league. Hopefully we’re right there.”

The Mudbugs had a seven-game win streak snapped at Odessa on Saturday and haven’t had an issue competing with the Warriors. Closing the deal is another story.

The season series has been rather remarkable.

Shreveport scored the first three goals Oct. 29 at the Blazers Ice Centre and led 3-0 with less than 8 minutes left in the game before losing 4-3.

On Jan. 13, Shreveport wasted a 3-1 lead.

The next night, the Mudbugs blew a 3-0 lead when Oklahoma scored six unanswered goals on George’s Pond. 

“That’s been a while ago,” Campbell said of the meltdowns.

The Warriors are stacked at the top of their lineup. They boast two of the top-five point-getters in the league (Joey Delgreco, 65 points; Drew Sutton, 61).

“They are pretty loaded up front,” Mudbugs forward Jaden Goldie said. “They have a lot of speed and they like to spread the ice. They attack off the rush really well — we have to play the best defensive game we can and hope we bury a few.”

Campbell gave his team an extra day off after the return from Odessa. At this point of the season, managing the health of a team can be as important as acquiring points.

“Guys have been really working hard lately,” Campbell said. “We thought the extra day might be the best thing to rejuvenate and get ready for a big weekend.”

Another big weekend it is — time to prove the Mudbugs can not only hang with the best, but they can finish them off, too.

“If not, we better get back to the drawing board quick,” Campbell said. 

Mudbugs at Oklahoma

Tonight, Saturday (both 7:15 p.m.)

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @roylangiii  

NSU’s new basketball coach reflects on his ‘dream job’

REUNITED: Northwestern State athletics director Kevin Bostian (left) and new Demons’ basketball coach Rick Cabrera first met when both worked at Tennessee Tech a decade ago. Cabrera becomes the 11th coach in NSU history. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

By JASON PUGH, Special to the Journal

NATCHITOCHES – Rick Cabrera’s introduction as Northwestern State’s new basketball coach Thursday afternoon was just another part of a longtime dream.

“My dream job is being here as your head coach,” Cabrera told NSU supporters in an afternoon event on campus. “When I decided to get into coaching, I laid down at night and said, ‘I want to be a Division I head basketball coach.’ This is my first opportunity, so this is my dream job. I’m so greatly appreciative of having this opportunity. There are only 363 (Division-I head coaching jobs). I had people believe in me that I was the next man to win an NCAA Tournament game.

“Just watching a Fairleigh Dickinson, Florida Atlantic, I say, ‘Why not us?’ That’s the attitude you’ve got to have.”

Cabrera, 47, said he wants to instill a “tough” team for the 2023-24 season and beyond, but Thursday was a chance for the first-time Division I head coach to show the other side of his emotional spectrum.

He fought back tears when speaking about his wife, Danielle, and had to compose himself when his thoughts turned to his late father Hugo Sr., saying out loud through a raspy voice, “I’m not going to talk about Dad,” to which his sister sitting in the front row responded, “He’s here.”

A six-year head coach at Lackawanna College (2004-08) and Tallahassee Community College (2021-23), Cabrera compiled a record of 152-45. He guided TCC to the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Final Four and a 31-6 record this winter, earning’s NJCAA national Coach of the Year honor.

He has also accumulated 13 years as a Division I assistant at Chattanooga, Tennessee Tech, Austin Peay and Arkansas State.

“As we went through the search process, it was clear coach Cabrera possessed all the qualities we desired in a head coach,” NSU director of athletics Kevin Bostian said. “We wanted somebody who was an elite recruiter and a developer of young men, not only on the court but off it as well. We wanted someone to fit the culture of Northwestern State. His enthusiasm, passion, energy and hands-in-the-dirt approach and grind-it out work ethic were a perfect match.”

Cabrera’s biggest takeaways from his journey? Patience and the value of family.

Throughout his remarks, Cabrera referenced a handful of quotes. One related to the Cabrera family as a whole.

“A quote that has always stuck in my head is, ‘A good coach needs a patient wife or husband, a loyal dog and a great post player, but not necessarily in that order,’” he said. “I definitely have two of the three in a patient wife and a loyal dog. I have a great post player coming, just wait and see.”

For Cabrera, Thursday’s introduction was the culmination of a two-decade journey that began as a graduate assistant at Tennessee Tech where he played basketball and baseball. It wound through Miami Killian High School and Keystone College before taking him to Lackawanna College in his wife’s hometown of Scranton, Pa.

It was during his time at Keystone that Cabrera had a bit of an epiphany and discovered just how much he wanted to coach basketball.

“I was a dorm director and an assistant coach at Keystone College,” Cabrera said. “I wish I had kept my first pay stub from Keystone College. I remember it. With taxes taken out, it was $159.38 just for the coaching stipend. That was every two weeks. I’ll never forget it. I’m out of college, and I have a master’s degree. I’m thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ It’s all about patience. It has paid off. It has allowed me to take care of myself and my family.”

It also led Cabrera to a place that helped him develop as a New York City high school basketball player.

“Dale Brown is a great friend, not a good friend,” Cabrera said of LSU’s legendary former coach. “I talked to him this morning for 20 minutes. He’s 87 years old and kicking like he did when he was 45. When I was (growing up) in New York City, Dale Brown was great friends with my dad, and my dad got him a player by the name of Jose Vargas from the Dominican Republic. Dale said, ‘Bring your son to our camp.’ I went my freshman year, sophomore year, junior year and senior year. Dale is a mentor of mine. He’s always been good to me.”

Brown wasn’t the only iconic Louisiana coach Cabrera referenced Thursday. He paid respects to longtime Demon head coach Mike McConathy.

“Mike McConathy is a guy I followed in my Division I career,” Cabrera said. “He was a heck of a coach. One of my assistant coaches came up to me in my first year at Tallahassee in the middle of the season. We were struggling on getting some offense early in the shot clock. He came up to me and said, ‘Coach, listen, I was at Southeastern Louisiana. That coach at Northwestern State had an unbelievable secondary break. They scored really quickly. At some point, they led the country in scoring (2014-15).’

“I don’t have an ego. I steal from everybody in the coaching community. I said, ‘OK, let’s try it. As a head coach, I’m going to allow you to put it in.’ He put it in and our offense was like, ‘Pop.’ It changed in a day.

“Thank you, coach McConathy. I appreciate that. Your legacy is still here. As an assistant coach, I watched you win a lot. I look forward to talking to you in the near future.”

Contact Jason at

Preparing for a national championship event

Bass fishermen are always dreaming of participating in a national championship. The ultimate event and goal of all anglers from the day they’re born is to be in the Bassmaster Classic, the Super Bowl of bass fishing, the crown jewel, an event that draws anglers from all over the world.

There are so many tournament trails of all levels, and most have a path by which you can qualify for either a regional or a national championship event. Today you’ll get to hear how I, and so many other anglers, prepare for a championship event. 

Coming up next week on beautiful Red River out of Red River South Marina just south of Bossier City, one such event will be taking place — the ABA Ray Scott National Championship. This is a tournament that an angler must qualify for by finishing in the top five in the Angler of the Year standings in one of 16 divisions nationwide from New York down to Florida over to Texas and all points in between. It truly is a national circuit with some great anglers.                                                        

For the last month, anglers including myself have been on the unpredictable and ever-changing Red River despite the high, cold, and muddy water. Now why would anglers be looking for fish two months in advance when the tournament doesn’t start until April 1?

With most major national championships, there’s what’s called a dead water period. This rule states that no angler can be on the Red River nor receive any information starting at sunset on March 1 until sunrise on April 1. This rule is in place so that local anglers don’t have an unfair advantage over those coming from all parts of the country. So, before this dead water period begins, anglers are looking for good backwater areas that have some fairly clean water that might still be holding bass at the start of the tournament. 

After the dead water period is over (sunrise April 1), it’s tournament time. For this event we’ll have four official practice days followed by four competition days.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to practice. Some anglers go out and fish just like they would in a tournament by hooking all the fish they can and seeing how big they are. Then there are anglers like me who refuse to hook a bass and will put some form of plastic tubing over their hooks to make sure they do not hook fish that they might catch during the actual tournament.

There’s also a thing called “sore mouthing” fish which is when you hook fish a day or two before the tournament.  These fish probably will not bite for another three or four days unless it’s during the spawn when bass will bite multiple times in one day. It all depends on the time of year.                                                            

For this angler, I’ll be looking for areas holding several schools of bass while looking for quality. Having multiple schools in an area is great, but only if they are bass with good size that allows me to be competitive. Small bass, known as “dinks,” will not put you in the winner’s circle in any event.

My tournament history on the Red River has shown that you need several areas that you can rotate to, especially with this event being four days. With over 100 anglers participating, there’s a lot of pressure on the fish and a lot of anglers will find the same schools. That’s why it’s important to find as many schools of bass as possible, in multiple locations, so that you don’t burn all your fish on the first or second day of competition.                             

After four days of practice, it’s time to go to work. This is when all those long days on the water hopefully pay off. Bass fishing tends to reward those anglers who put in the long hours of practice and preparation; long days starting at 5 a.m., fishing hard until the sun goes down.

There’s a saying among all anglers, “There’s no substitute for time on the water.” Anglers that follow this golden rule tend to be the most successful.

The final challenge for any angler that has a major tournament on his home water is the mental side. The problem is that you have so much history and know too many places to go and catch fish. For example, if the spot you start on does not pay off, you start to second-guess your game plan. It’s hard to win on your home water. There’s more self-inflicted pressure to contend with for the win because you’re the local favorite.

My goal is to try and take it one day and one fish at a time and hopefully be in contention on the final day. Fish the moment!

If you get the chance, come out to the daily weigh-in April 5-8 starting at 3 p.m. at Red River South Marina located off U.S. 71 just south of Bossier City. I’m looking forward to seeing you there and hopefully you’ll see me standing in the winner’s circle. Good luck, good fishing, and wear your sunscreen! 

Contact Steve at

Deal to renew Tech-ULM football series is done, but kickoff will wait seven years

POPULAR DEMAND:  Fans on both sides of the Louisiana Tech-ULM rivalry are expected to fill Aillet Stadium in Ruston when the Bulldogs and Warhawks kick off seven years from now. (Photo courtesy Louisiana Tech)


The Louisiana Tech-ULM neighborhood football rivalry is back on, albeit several years away from kicking off.

Wednesday, the schools announced a two-game, home-and-home scheduling agreement to meet in 2030 and 2031.

The renewal of the rivalry is Sept. 21, 2030 at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston and the following season on Sept. 13, 2031, at Malone Stadium in Monroe.

The two programs were scheduled to face one another in 2020 at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, but the game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the ULM football program.

The programs have met a total of 43 times with Louisiana Tech leading the all-time series, 30-13. The Bulldogs have won eight straight over the Warhawks, including the last meeting which was a 42-19 victory on Nov. 11, 2000, in Monroe.

At its peak in the 1980s, the annual contests filled both stadiums and generated intense interest. Tech shifted to the FBS ranks (then Division I-A) in 1987 and exited the Southland Conference, just before ULM (then Northeast Louisiana, led by Shreveport-Southwood quarterback Stan Humphries) soared to the NCAA Division I-AA championship, with former Tech player and assistant coach Pat Collins as head coach. A 44-7 ULM rout in Ruston that year was the last Warhawks’ triumph; the Bulldogs won the eight meetings since, annual home-and-home contests ending in 1991, then picking up again for four years from 1997-2000.

Louisiana Tech athletic department spokesman Kane Maguire said existing non-conference football contracts already in place were among the factors that kept the nearby rivals from colliding any sooner than seven years from now.

More big district baseball games on tap; local power ratings

(Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Baseball season is at or near the mid-point of many districts’ schedule and today’s slate of games is loaded with key matchups in Districts 1-5A, 1-4A and 1-2A.

Beginning with 1-5A, today’s games will be the front-end of a two-game set between the schools with today’s home teams traveling to their opponent Saturday. Today’s games pair up Benton (12-12, 4-2) playing at district co-leader Airline (11-10, 5-1), the other co-leader Parkway (16-4, 5-1) hosting  Haughton (15-7, 2-4) and Byrd (14-10, 2-4) at Captain Shreve (13-8, 4-2).

In District 1-4A there are four teams undefeated in the district but only two will still be unblemished after today’s games. Northwood (18-5, 4-0) leads the district and will host Minden (14-7, 2-0). Just one game behind Northwood in the win column, Evangel (7-16, 3-0) will travel to Stonewall to face North DeSoto (18-5, 3-0).

District 1-2A plays three-game series against each other over two days with single games today and doubleheaders on Friday. Lakeside (11-8, 1-2) will start its series with first-place Calvary (12-9, 3-0) today before hosting a doubleheader Friday. Loyola (4-18, 3-6) will travel to Farmerville to play D’Arbonne Woods (8-11, 1-2) before hosting a double dip Friday.

BYRD 5, MANY 4: The Yellow Jackets used a four-run seventh inning rally to get the non-district win at home Wednesday. Blayne Kent scored from third on a passed ball for the winning run.

Baseball power ratings

Non-Select Division I

          6. Parkway

  1. Haughton
  1. Benton
  1. Airline

Non-Select Division II

  1. Bossier

Non-Select Division IV

  1. Plain Dealing

Select Division I

          6. Captain Shreve

  1. Northwood
  1. Byrd
  1. Southwood

Select Division II

  1. Evangel
  1. BTW
  1. Woodlawn

Select Division III

  1. Calvary
  1. North Caddo
  1. Loyola

Calvary softball starts district with run-rule win; local power ratings


Calvary Baptist’s softball powerhouse won its eighth straight in taking a 14-4 five-inning District 1-2A run-rule defeat of Lakeside Wednesday at home.

The Lady Cavaliers, the No. 1 rated team in Select Division I power ratings, got their initial district win as Mary Grace Woodle hit two home runs in three at bats, DJ Lynch was 2-for-3 with a home run and Tavia Leadon was 3-for-4. Kynzee Anderson had seven strikeouts in three innings of work inside the circle for Calvary (19-8, 1-0).

Calvary will play host to Ouachita Christian (16-10) today before a big game on Saturday against Non-Select Division II top rated North DeSoto (25-2).

EVANGEL 19, HUNTINGTON 1: The Lady Eagles needed just three innings to get the District 1-4A win as Caroline Tew was 2-for-2 with two RBI and Gabbi Olague and Kamdyn Harmson had doubles. Evangel (7-17, 2-4) had just five hits but took advantage of 11 walks.   

Here is how local teams stand in the power ratings through Tuesday’s games according to

Non-Select Division I

          8.  Airline

  1. Haughton
  1. Benton
  1. Parkway

Non-Select Division II

  1. Bossier

Non-Select Division IV

  1. Plain Dealing

Select Division I

  1. Northwood
  1. Captain Shreve
  1. Huntington
  1. Caddo Magnet
  1. Byrd
  1. Southwood

Select Division II

  1. Evangel
  1. BTW
  1. Woodlawn

Select Division III

  1. Calvary
  1. Loyola
  1. North Caddo
  1. Green Oaks

Wednesday’s baseball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

(Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)

College Baseball

Wednesday’s scores

Louisiana Christian 12, Centenary 2, 7 innings
Paris 12-8, BPCC 8-14

Today’s games

Centenary at John Melvin, DH, 10:15 a.m.

Tennessee at LSU, 7 p.m.

College Softball

Wednesday’s scores

No games scheduled

Today’s games

No games scheduled

High School Baseball

Wednesday’s scores 

Byrd 5, Many 4
Huntington 18, Homer 11

Today’s games

District 1-5A

Benton (12-12, 4-2) at Airline (11-10, 5-1)

Byrd (14-10, 2-4) at Captain Shreve (13-8, 4-2)

Haughton (15-7, 2-4) at Parkway (16-4, 5-1)

District 1-4A

Minden (14-7, 2-0) at Northwood (18-5, 4-0)

Evangel (7-16, 3-0) at North DeSoto (18-5, 3-0)

BTW (0-4, 0-4) at Woodlawn (1-5, 0-3)

District 1-2A

Lakeside (11-8, 1-2) at Calvary (12-9, 3-0)

Loyola (4-18, 3-6) at D’Arbonne Woods (8-11, 1-2)


St. Mary’s (13-9) at Southwood (3-17)

Converse (16-2) at North Caddo (10-8)

High School Softball

Wednesday’s scores

Calvary 14, Lakeside 4
Evangel 19, Huntington 1
Plain Dealing 15-15, Bossier 2-11

Today’s games

District 1-4A

BTW (4-10, 3-4) at Minden (14-11, 6-1)

Caddo Magnet (10-7, 3-3) at Huntington (5-3, 1-3)


Many (16-10) at Airline (19-7)

Castor (5-9) at Captain Shreve (13-7)

D’Arbonne Woods (14-10) at Byrd (1-17)

Saline (10-7) at Southwood (2-20)

Lakeside (14-9) at Evangel (6-17)

Ouachita Christian (16-10) at Calvary (18-8)

River Oaks (10-7) at Loyola (7-8)

North Caddo (1-8) at Logansport (16-7)

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements. 

Calvary’s Hill tops 1-2A boys’ basketball all-district squad

DISTRICT MVP: Calvary guard Rondae Hill was selected the All-District 1-2A MVP by the district coaches. (Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Calvary point guard Rondae Hill was named the boys’ basketball 1-2A All-District Most Valuable Player by the district coaches.

Hill, a 5-foot-11 junior, averaged 16 points and six assists per game in helping lead the Cavaliers to an undefeated district championship and state runner-up finish in Select Division III. 

Joining Hill on the first team are Green Oaks’ senior Fred’Travious Benjamin and Johnathan Stokes, Calvary sophomore Bubba Strong and Loyola senior Caleb Branch.

Here is the complete list of the boys’ basketball All-District 1-2A team. 



Rondae Hill, Calvary, Jr.

Fred’Travious Benjamin, Green Oaks, Sr.

Bubba Strong, Calvary, So.

Caleb Branch, Loyola, Sr.

Johnathan Stokes, Green Oaks


Omarion Miller, North Caddo

Cooper Chasse, Lakeside

John Carmody Jr., Loyola

James Jackson, North Caddo

Malaki Thomas, Calvary

MVP – Rondae Hill, Calvary

Honorable mention: Green Oaks – Delarious Marshall, Keshawn Williams, JaKorey Baxter. Lakeside – Landon Anderson, Jacoby Curry, Eli Musgrave. Loyola – Cage Van Norman, Connor Sims, Cohen Spain. Calvary – K.J. Kennon. North Caddo – Bailey Bridges.

NSU to introduce new basketball coach today



NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State officially will welcome Rick Cabrera as the 11th men’s basketball head coach in program history – and second in as many seasons —  with a 2 p.m. introduction today. 

The event, which is open to NSU students, faculty, fans and the media, will be held in the ballroom inside the NSU Student Union in the center of campus.

Cabrera was named Hoop Dirt’s national Junior College Coach of the Year on Monday, after leading Tallahassee Community College to a 31-6 record and the NJCAA Final Four as a national 12-seed.

He was named NSU’s new head coach last Wednesday, taking over for Corey Gipson, who departed NSU after one 22-win season to take the head coaching job at his alma mater, Austin Peay. 

The 47-year-old Cabrera, a native of Spring Valley, New York, has 13 seasons as an NCAA Division I assistant coach at his alma mater, Tennessee Tech, Arkansas State and Austin Peay.

Head coach from 2004-08 at Lackawanna College in Scranton, Pa., Cabrera began his coaching career in the high school ranks following his playing days at Tennessee Tech. In his six years as a head coach at Lackawanna and Tallahassee Community College, Cabrera has compiled an overall record of 152-45. 

Silver fin may be the new ragondin

Remember ragondin? I didn’t think so.

Several years ago, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in an effort to find a market for an exotic wildlife species threatening our coastal marsh, introduced a wild game food source that was readily available and virtually free for the taking. Add to that the fact that ragondin is delicious and nutritious and Louisiana residents should’ve jumped all over it and added it to their list of favorite wild game to eat.

It didn’t work; Louisiana folks, well-known for being willing to eat just about anything, turned their noses up at eating ragondin, which is actually a nice name for nutria, or nutria-rats. I have eaten nutria and to tell the truth, it’s good.

I admit, however, it wasn’t easy getting the image of those ugly creatures with big yellow buck teeth out of my mind. Thus, nutria continue to munch away at our coastline largely because Louisiana residents weren’t willing to munch on ragondin.

Today there is another creature threatening to do harm to Louisiana’s fisheries and the LDWF is once again attempting to get residents to give this new delicacy, “silver fin,” a try.

Silver fin, like ragondin, is the bow on the big. It’s a nice way of saying “carp” — not just any carp but two species of Asian carp, exotic species that are competing with our native fish.

These two, the bighead carp and the silver carp, are already in plentiful supply in the Mississippi River and all tributaries and distributaries of the river. Both species are filter feeders, competing with such species as paddlefish and shad and the young of all species of recreational and commercial fish.

The more popular of the two, the silver carp, is the fish you’ve seen on outdoor fishing shows jumping out of the water at the approach of an outboard engine and slamming into boats and boaters, sometimes inflicting injuries and damage to boat windshields and electronic equipment. They can weigh up to 60 pounds and a flying carp smashing into a boater going 50 mph can deliver a blow like a Mike Tyson haymaker.

On a writers’ trip to south Louisiana several years ago, I had a 30-pounder smash into the windshield of the boat I was riding in, just inches from my face. After recovering from the shock of nearly having to replace my dentures, I thanked the Lord for strong plexiglass.

In an effort to slow the spread of these fish – they can’t be eradicated –  the LDWF called on renowned Chef Philippe Parola to find ways these fish can be prepared so our residents will fill their freezers and frying pans with “silver fin.” Hopefully this experiment will work better than trying to get nutria into our crock pots.

I haven’t had the opportunity to taste silver fin but from the video clip I saw, the flesh is white and tender and can be prepared into tasty looking dishes. The only problem is that both the bighead and silver carp have “floating” bones that are not easily separated from the flesh.

This calls to mind a fish I used to catch and try to eat, the chain pickerel or better known to north Louisiana anglers as the jackfish. Jacks are delicious but the flesh is filled with small bones which meant we usually released them rather than have to wrestle with all the bones.

I recall watching Ruston’s super-chef, the late Mrs. Ethel Stone, taking jackfish filets, bones intact, and using her pressure cooker to virtually dissolve the bones and making some croquettes or fish cakes, much like those made with salmon or crab meat. They were delicious.

Chef Parola uses two methods of dealing with silver fin bones. One method, steaming the filets, leaves the bones in the flesh but makes them easier to remove. The other method, deboning, is more complicated but can be done.          

So Louisiana, are you ready to do your part in creating a new market for a troublesome fish? If so, give silver fin, the ragondin of the river, a try.

You go first; I’ll wait.

Contact Glynn at

Natchitoches Central edges Airline for 1-5A softball crown

 (Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Natchitoches Central took a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning and survived by throwing out an Airline runner at the plate that would have tied the game in a thrilling 3-2 win that clinched its third consecutive District 1-5A softball title.

Airline leadoff hitter Elena Heng came to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the top of the seventh inning trailing 3-0. She  tripled to centerfield to score Ryan Hutchinson and Addison McDowell. Haley Whiteside tried to score from first base to tie the game but was out at the plate. 

Maddie Robinson got the win in the circle for the Lady Chiefs and hit a fifth-inning home run to give Natchitoches Central a 3-0 lead. Robinson allowed three hits, walked seven and struck out 10. Her cousin Desi Robinson was 2-for-3 and drove in a run in the two-run NCHS third inning.

Taylor Anne Smith suffered the loss for visiting Airline (19-7, 6-1) allowing three hits and one earned run as she struck out five, but also walked five.

Natchitoches Central, rated No. 4 in the LHSAA Division I power ratings, is now 22-3, 7-0.  

HAUGHTON 14, PARKWAY 2: At Parkway, a 10-run third inning explosion keyed the Lady Bucs to the 1-5A win and a third-place tie with Benton at 4-3 in district. Macey Schut was 4-for-4 with two doubles and drove in five runs. Dixie Williams went  3-for-3 at the plate and picked up the win in the circle as she allowed two hits, walked one and struck out seven in the five-inning contest. Ella Vickers, Kayleigh Goss, Kylie Small and Carsyn Kizzia all had two hits for Haughton (11-9, 4-3).

BENTON 26, SOUTHWOOD 0: The Lady Tigers’ finish in a third-place tie in 1-5A with Haughton (4-3) after the win at Southwood. Sophia Livers, Ashley Promes and Erin Disotell were all 2-for-2. Livers’ and Disotell’s hits were both doubles and Promes had a double and drove in five runs. Benton is 14-12 overall. 

CAPTAIN SHREVE 11, BYRD 0: At Captain Shreve, Ella Hendrick pitched a five-inning no-hitter, striking out 11, and Jayda Martin and Brianna Jones hit home runs in the District 1-5A win. Elexa Beaudoin (2-for-3) Hendrick (2-for-3) and Aubry Townsend (2-for-3) with three RBI led the way at the plate for Shreve (13-7, 3-4). 

MINDEN 6, NORTHWOOD 2: At Northwood, Leigha K-Gilbert’s bases-loaded inside-the-park home run to centerfield in the fifth inning was the big blow that carried the Tide to the 1-4A win to secure second place in the district at 6-1. Gilbert also had a pair of doubles and was the only player with multiple hits for Minden, now 14-11 overall. Northwood (12-6, 5-2) scored its only runs in the seventh inning as Mackenzie Jagers tripled in the first run and scored the second on an Analyse Fuqua single. 

Captain Shreve hands Parkway first 1-5A loss, tightens district standings

(Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Captain Shreve pitchers Andrew Sharp and John Chance limited league-leader Parkway to two runs as the Gators handed the Panthers their first loss in District 1-5A Tuesday at Parkway.

Sharp got the win going five innings, allowing six hits and two runs as he walked two. Chance pitched a perfect final two innings striking out five of the six batters he faced in the Gators’ 6-2 triumph.

The Gators scored a single run in the fifth to break a 2-2 tie on a Jackson Bleich fielder’s choice out that scored Sharp. Shreve (13-8, 4-2) added three insurance runs in the sixth, two coming home on a Hunter Willis single. Walker Wicklund’s sacrifice fly scored Rob Carroway with the final run.

Shawn Driggers was 2-for-4 and drove in both of Parkway’s second inning runs with a single. Zach Schoenborn was also 2-for-4 with a double for the Panthers (16-4, 5-1). 

AIRLINE 12, SOUTHWOOD 3: The Vikings moved into a tie for first in 1-5A by beating the Cowboys. Airline (11-10, 5-1) slugged out 15 hits with Clayton Brandon leading the way with three safeties, Tyler Ferguson had two doubles, Cayden Long, Noah Littleton and Mason Morgan all had doubles to go along with singles in posting two hits.

BENTON 14, BYRD 6: At Benton, Kenner Lauterbach’s bases-clearing double keyed a seven-run fifth inning rally  in the Tigers’ 1-5A win. Benton (12-12, 4-2) had 12 hits and seven walks as Hunter Brignac, Case Jorden and Lauterbach were all 2-for-4 and Bryson Pierce 2-for-2.  Kadrien Harris had three of Byrd’s four hits in three at bats. Hayden Hoffpauir had two of the Yellow Jackets’ four RBI.

NATCHITOCHES CENTRAL 4, HAUGHTON 3: The host Chiefs erased a 3-0 deficit with three runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to get the win. Colin Rains led the Bucs at the plate going 2-for-4 with two RBI. Christian Turner added to his team lead in triples with a first-inning three bagger. The winning run scored on a balk.

CALVARY 5, RUSTON 3: At Ruston, the Cavs got a pair of ninth-inning runs to get the extra-inning non-district win.  Jackson Legg was 3-for-4 and two RBI at the plate while Cade Bedgood was 2-for-5 and Landon Fontenot got the win allowing seven hits, one run and striking out eight in 5 2/3 innings.

NORTHWOOD 15, BTW 0: The Falcons only needed three innings for the 1-4A win as Cody Roark had two hits and two RBI for Northwood (18-5, 4-0).

Tuesday’s baseball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

(Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)

College Baseball

Tuesday’s scores

Centenary 3, LeTourneau 2
Louisiana Christian JV 12, BPCC 10
Louisiana Tech 14, Sacramento State 4
LSU 17, Grambling State 5

Today’s games

Paris at BPCC, DH, 1 p.m.

College Softball

Tuesday’s scores

LeTourneau 4-8, Centenary 1-3
Louisiana Tech 5, Northwestern State 1

Today’s games

NE Texas CC at BPCC, DH, noon

High School Baseball

Tuesday’s scores 

Airline 12, Southwood 3
Benton 14, Byrd 6
Captain Shreve 6, Parkway 2
Natchitoches Central 4, Haughton 3
Northwood 15, BTW 0
Calvary 5, Ruston 3, 9 innings
North Caddo 16, Haynesville 9
Ebarb 17, Plain Dealing 2

Today’s games

Many at Byrd

Huntington at Homer

High School Softball

Tuesday’s scores

Natchitoches Central 3, Airline 2
Benton 26, Southwood 0
Captain Shreve 11, Byrd 0
Haughton 14, Parkway 2
Huntington 29, Bossier 5
Minden 6, Northwood 2
Loyola 15, Red River 0
North Webster 13, Plain Dealing 3

Today’s games

Plain Dealing at Bossier, DH

Huntington at Evangel

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.

Licking our wounds, but ready to recover

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Sometimes it’s just best to pack it in. Last week was one of those weeks. Nothing went right. The bets were garbage and my dog’s vet bill ate up half my 2022 profit. The good news, Luna’s recovery is going well and we have many opportunities to put the unforgettable week in the rearview mirror.

The PGA Tour’s respite between the Match Play and next week’s Masters provides a weak field, but a great opportunity to find value. 

In addition to the event in San Antonio, LIV Golf is back and we’ve made a trip back to the Korn Ferry Tour. Good luck.

Major League Baseball also begins this week. If you didn’t catch our future wagers, search for them on our website.

Good luck!


All bets are measured in units. For instance, if your normal bet on a game is $100, that is one unit. If the bet is listed as .2 units, it’s a $20 bet.

Best line (as of Tuesday) is listed in parenthesis. Find the best price — one key to being a successful sports bettor! Shop around! Remember this is a VALUE-based system, so don’t settle for a price significantly less than the one listed. And jump on better prices!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool

BR: BetRivers 


Last week: -.6.9 units

2023 season: +33.7 units

2023 ROI: 53.2 percent

2022 season: +101 units 



Valero Texas Open 

Win bets

Beau Hossler, .1 unit, +6500 (MGM)

Joseph Bramlett, .1 unit, +11000 (DK) 

Top 20 bets

Kevin Tway, .8 units, +600 (DK)

Joseph Bramlett .7 units, +400 (DK)

Scott Piercy, .5 units, +550 (DK)

Augusto Nunez, .4 units, +1100 (FD)

Garrick Higgo, .4 units, +490 (FD) 



Win bets

Bubba Watson, .1 unit, +6600 (CAE) 


Astara Chile Classic 

Win bets

Ian Holt, .1 unit, +16500 (DK)

Spencer Ralston, .1 unit, +30000 (DK)

Contact Roy at or on Twitter @roylangiii  

Techsters ride two homers, solid pitching to season sweep of Lady Demons

RELIABLE:  Senior shortstop Keely Dubois handled a routine groundout by visiting Louisiana Tech Tuesday night but couldn’t help Northwestern State outscore the visitors. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)


NATCHITOCHES — Solid pitching performances and home runs from Jordan Manning and Katelin Cooper lifted the Louisiana Tech softball team to a 5-1 win at Northwestern State and a sweep of the season series.

Tech (20-12) got on the board early with Manning’s three-run home run to left field in the second inning. Cooper followed with a solo shot in the third to left centerfield.

Emma Hutchinson worked the first three innings and Allie Floyd pitched the final four, holding the Lady Demons (16-14) in check and stranding 10 baserunners.

Tech only had four hits to six for NSU, but three of the visitors’ hits were for extra bases.

“Those two big swings put them up and gave them some breathing room and we couldn’t get anything going despite some pretty good at bats early in the game,” said NSU coach Donald Pickett. “We had a lot of chances late and didn’t have those quality at bats there like we did earlier.” 

“Allie (Floyd) really grinded there late to keep Northwestern from doing damage. I am really proud of how she competed tonight being able to get out of a tough situation. We made some big plays late and the home runs that we got played a huge role,” said Techsters’ coach Josh Taylor.

Brooke Diaz led the Techsters with two hits, including a two-out RBI double down the third base line in the fifth. She also singled ahead of Manning’s bomb.

In the sixth, a leadoff walk and back-to-back one-out singles loaded the bases for the Lady Demons. Tristin Court came through with her second hit of the day, a sharp single to right to plate Laney Roos and make it 5-1. That was all NSU got in the inning though after Floyd notched an infield pop up and fly out to deep left field and left the bags full. 

The first two batters of the seventh also reached base but did not advance as Floyd recorded a three-pitch strikeout, a foul out and another strikeout to end the game. 

NSU left seven runners on base in the final three innings.

Wondering if there’s a little magic left in the shrewdly-managed Mulkey Miracle

Watching the Ohio State-Virginia Tech women’s basketball regional final, where the halftime score is 48-45, and remembering LSU’s 54-42 victory over Miami the night before.

Didn’t watch Iowa’s 97-83 regional championship win Sunday night over Louisville, but our lunch bunch women’s basketball expert, Steve Graf, reported Monday that Hawkeyes’ guard Caitlin Clark is the best college player in America, male or female. Her 41-point, 10-rebound, 12-assist performance supports Graf’s assessment, which was drawn from his eyeballs, not analytics.

Tuned in last night at the end of South Carolina’s 86-75 cruise past Maryland, only to get the final score. We all knew the Gamecocks would roll, because Kim Mulkey told us so in LSU’s postgame press conference Sunday night.

You gonna argue with Kim? I’m not gonna argue with Kim. NCAA Tournament officials don’t. They endure her histrionics and don’t dare to hit her with a technical foul, when any other coach grimacing and grousing at that level would be served an unsweet T. She’s earned the right with her resume’.

I am gonna disagree with Kim, while I praise her (and her wardrobe). She’s shrewdly developed her second Tiger team – that nobody, nowhere thought would still be playing this week – and a vital part of that was patience. Patience was possible because Mulkey made it so.

Referring you back to the Nov. 16 Journal:

While she fits new pieces together with her second Tigers’ team, and awaits the arrival next season of Parkway’s extraordinary student-athlete Mikaylah Williams, Mulkey’s non-conference schedule is softer than your pillow.  Her team will face tougher tests during fall semester final exams.

Sunday night, Mulkey made reference to critics of the pliable part of the 2022-23 slate. Obviously the attention paid to the layup drill schedule prior to Southeastern Conference competition is a burr in the Tigers’ saddle.

LSU’s strength of schedule in the NCAA’s ratings? Try 315, of roughly 350 Division I teams. Question that? Bellarmine, Mississippi Valley, Western Carolina, Houston Christian, Northwestern State, all at home to begin. George Mason and UAB in the Bahamas, then back to the PMAC for Southeastern Louisiana, down to Tulane (the toughest test before SEC play), home for Lamar, then to Hawaii for Montana State and Oregon State. The only NCAA Tournament team: the Lady Lions of Southeastern.

So what did LSU get out of that cakewalk? There were points of contention. SLU remarkably played LSU to 63-55 on Nov. 29, making former Lady Lion star Robin Roberts (who played with a ponytail, compared to Mulkey’s pigtails) proud. In the next outing, just off St. Charles Avenue in cozy Fogelman Arena, Tulane stayed in range at 85-73.

Here’s what that not-very-competitive cruise through November and December did for LSU. There was steady development without any crisis of confidence in an unproven group. Of course the toughest times were in practice with the masterful Mulkey bringing along her refurbished roster to prepare for the SEC, and March.

All of this makes me wonder if LSU can keep up Friday night in Dallas at the Women’s Final Four.

Doesn’t look like the Tigers can score with Virginia Tech, who hung 87 on Ohio State.

Until you mention one of Mulkey’s favorite words: defense. None of the three other Final Four teams D-up as well. South Carolina, with Philly street-tough coach Dawn Staley, is the only one comparable.

LSU will have a decided homecourt advantage with DFW-area alumni.

I’ll take the Tigers in the semis, to gobble up VaTech. Bet the under.

It’s hard to forecast a South Carolina loss, especially glancing back at the Gamecocks’ 88-64 victory over LSU Feb. 12 – at Columbia, S.C.  However, it was not a 40-minute mangling – the spread was just five late in the third quarter.

If the two square off Sunday night for the natty, I’d take LSU and the points. If there are not too many points on the scoreboard, Mulkey might just pull off the biggest surprise in Women’s Final Four history.

Contact Doug at

Minden slips past Loyola in baseball, Byrd wins first of season in softball

(Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Minden scored a run in each of the first and second innings and held on for a 2-1 baseball win over Loyola Monday at Griffith Park.

Jakobe Jackson doubled in Brandon Winston with the Tide’s first run. Minden scored its second run on a walk by Landyn Huddleston to take the 2-0 lead.

Loyola cut the lead in half at 2-1 with a run in the sixth when Colin Lirette reached on and error then scored on another error.

Jaxon Smith pitched a complete game for Minden (13-7) limiting Loyola (4-18) to three hits, while he walked one and struck out six.

Gavin Brint and Hudson Moore combined to limit Minden to two runs on five hits, as they walked five and struck out two.

LAKESIDE 10, EVANGEL 4: At Evangel, the Eagles fell in the non-district game as the Warriors scored seven runs in the decisive fourth inning. Kody Jackson was 2-for-4 for Evangel (6-16) and Peyton Fulghum had a two-run double.


OUACHITA CHRISTIAN 6, HAUGHTON 1: At Haughton, OCS scored five runs in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie. Ariana Mathews was 2-for-3 and Kylie Small had a double for Haughton (10-9).

BYRD 15, SOUTHWOOD 0: The Lady Jackets got their first win on the season in a four-inning run-rule decision as Maggie Griffin was 2-for-3 with three RBI, Ariel Taylor had a pair of doubles and drove in two runs and Callie King was 2-for-3.

Williams gets a grand finale today in McDonald’s All-American Game

ONCE MORE:  In her final high school basketball outing, Parkway’s Mikaylah Williams plays in tonight’s McDonald’s All-American Game in Houston. (Photo by PETER FOREST, Journal Sports)


HOUSTON — Parkway’s Mikaylah Williams, considered one of the top two high school girls’ basketball players in the country, will be showcased today on ESPN2 in the 2023 McDonald’s All American Game. 

Williams, a 6-foot guard and the consensus No. 2 prospect in the nation’s 2023 graduating class, is one of 24 players slated to play in the game at the Toyota Center in Houston at 5:30 p.m. (CT).

The LSU signee, who led Parkway to a state championship early this month, has played for the United States in summer competition for the past two years.

Williams will be joined on the West roster in Houston by No. 1 prospect JuJu Watkins of Sierra Canyon, California.

Roots, Webb MVPs on 1-4A All-District boys’ basketball squad

CO-MVP: Huntington forward DeCedric Webb was named the Co-MVP of the All-District 1-4A boys’ basketball team. (Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)


Bossier’s Tahj Roots and DeCedric Webb of Huntington were selected the Co-Most Valuable Players on the 2022-23 All District 1-4A boys’ basketball team selected by district coaches.

Roots averaged 19.7 points per game, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists to help lead the Bearkats to an undefeated district championship (8-0) and their fifth state championship.

Webb, a 6-foot-5 senior forward, was part of the Raiders’ district runner-up and state semifinalist squad.

Chris Carpenter joined his teammate Webb on the first team along with CJ Shiflett of Evangel and Colossians Mason-Jones of Booker T. Washington.

Here is the complete list of the boys’ All-District 1-4A team.


Tahj Roots, Bossier, Sr.

DeCedric Webb, Huntington, Sr.

Chris Carpenter, Huntington, Sr.

Chris “CJ” Shiflett, Evangel, So.

Colossians Mason-Jones, Booker T. Washington, Jr.


Javon Johnson, Bossier, Jr.

Stafford Bailey, Minden, Sr.

De’kaveon Taylor, Huntington, Sr.

Brandon Henderson, Woodlawn, So.

Jayden Easter, Booker T. Washington, Sr.

Co-MVPs — Tahj Roots, Bossier; DeCedric Webb, Huntington

HONORABLE MENTION: Bossier — Kerel Woods, Lakavin Thomas. Booker T. Washington — Taboyous Anderson, Brian French.  Evangel— Jecal Bryant, Braylen Clark, Tomario Thomas. Huntington — Kentravis Green, Oshamar Hall; Minden — MiJai Batton, Jaylin Williams. North DeSoto — Connor Davis

Monday’s baseball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

College Baseball

Monday’s scores

No games scheduled.

Today’s games

BPCC at Louisiana Christian, 6 p.m.

Sacramento State at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

Grambling State at LSU, 6:30 p.m.

College Softball

Monday’s scores

Prairie View 8-5, Grambling State 3-0 (first game 9 innings)

LSUE at BPCC 4-0, LSUE 3-1 (second game 11 innings)

Today’s games

Louisiana Tech at Northwestern State, 6 p.m.

Grambling State at Tarleton State, DH, 1 p.m.

High School Baseball

Monday’s scores 

Minden 2, Loyola 1
Lakeside 10, Evangel 4
North Caddo 5-4, D’Arbonne Woods 2-12
Plain Dealing 14, Homer 4

Today’s games

Southwood at Airline

Byrd at Benton

Captain Shreve at Parkway

Natchitoches Central at Haughton

BTW at Northwood

Calvary at Ruston

North Caddo at Haynesville

Plain Dealing at Ebarb

High School Softball

Monday’s scores

Byrd 15, Southwood 0
Ouachita Christian 6, Haughton 1
Lakeside 15-17, Bossier 0-0
Wossman 16-12, Woodlawn 1-1
Calvary 12, Ouachita 2
Loyola 7, River Oaks 4
North Caddo 16, Green Oaks 0

Today’s games

Airline at Natchitoches Central

Benton at Southwood

Byrd at Captain Shreve

Haughton at Parkway

BTW vs. Woodlawn

Huntington at Bossier

Minden at Northwood

Red River at Loyola

Plain Dealing at North Webster

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.