Lang’s Locks: Another nice win streak snapped at U.S. Open

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

We were teased for a while by Aaron Wise, but ultimately did not cash the big ticket at The Country Club. First losing week in a bit, but we’re right back at it with another big week in the tumultuous golf world. As the game has been turned upside down, we’re just here to make a profit. Our second LIV opportunity comes next week.

For now, we’re playing the PGA Tour, the DP World Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour. 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!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool


Last week recap: minus-2.7 units


PGA Tour

Travelers Championship

Win bets

Sungjae Im, . 1 unit, +3025 (FD)

Si Woo Kim, . 1 unit, +9900 (DK)

Top 20 bets

Anirban Lahiri, .3 units, +650 (FD)

Tyler Duncan, .2 units, +750 (DK)

Martin Laird, .2 units, +750 (DK)

Lanto Griffin, .2 units, +600 (DK)

Lucas Glover, .2 units, +600 (DK)

Troy Merritt, .2 units, +500 (FD)


BMW International Open

Win bet

Sergio Garcia, .2 units, +2125 (FD)

Top 20 bets

Billy Horschel, .9 units, +105 (FD)

Sergio Garcia, .9 units, +120 (CAE)

Dean Burmester, .4 units, +250 (CAE)

Ross Fisher, .3 units, +370 (FD)

Victor Dubuisson, .3 units, +500 (FD)

Daniel Van Tonder, .2 units, +600 (FD)

Paul Waring, .2 units, +600 (FD)


Live and Work in Maine Open

Win bets

Logan McAllister, .1 unit, +19900 (MGM)

Erik Barnes, .1 unit, +3125 (FD)

Jacob Bridgeman, .1 unit, +5455 (MGM)

Lang III Classic: Golf loses ‘World’s Greatest Putter’

(This column was written for Father’s Day, 2004)

Unless there is a playoff, someone will raise the silver trophy at the U.S. Open on New York’s Long Island today. With the final round slated for its usual spot — on Father’s Day — it’s a sure bet the winner’s acceptance speech will get emotional when reminiscing about how his father introduced him to the game of golf.

So many father-son teams — from pros to Sunday hackers — have developed special bonds because of the wonderful game and its traditions. And this day offers a great opportunity to reflect on them.

I am grateful for the fact I played more than 1,000 rounds of golf with my father. But, unfortunately, I took every single one for granted. And after spending three years wanting an opportunity to take just one more trek over 18 holes with my dad — one I’d make sure to appreciate — the hope came to a disappointing end Tuesday. My father succumbed to a battle with cancer at 79.

It was his time.

Undoubtedly, the golf world will not blink — not only was my father not a professional, his handicap never dipped below 10. However, my dad was golf’s most passionate member. He not only loved to play the game, but he cherished its rich history and took pride in being an ambassador of the steep traditions.

Golf wasn’t just a sport or a game to my dad — each and every swing became a learning experience. He took to heart golf’s title as a “gentleman’s game.” To him, golf taught etiquette, forced self-control and inevitably would humble any person who attempted to chase the little white ball. He appreciated how everything learned in golf could be applied in many areas of life.

I unknowingly learned so much during our time together on the course — about life, about my dad and about golf. My father often said his favorite thing in the world to do was play golf with his son. Thanks to my shortsightedness — despite his age — I always believed there would be thousands of rounds of golf to come for the both of us. Now, more than 20 years into my golf career, I am finally beginning to realize how much the game meant to me and my relationship with my father.

From Day 1, Dad made it clear he would support my chase for a real golf career — whether it was traversing each fairway I played in competition or coming up with entry fees. At the same time, I never felt pushed to play — something from which many parents of children in athletics could learn plenty.

I played the sport because I loved the competition — that began at about the age of 10 thanks to the $2 Nassaus with my dad. The man who possibly watched me play more rounds than we actually played together always had fun on the course.

It was the one place I was allowed to curse in front of him. He did not tolerate throwing clubs or pouting, but inconspicuous swearing was 100-percent acceptable. He thought the world of the game, but knew the frustration and pain it often unleashed. Despite the multiple generation gap, he’d act like the child when I was in the early stages of my then-blossoming career.

His enthusiasm was contagious. He thought it was the greatest thing when my competitors would come up to him during a tournament and ask “What’s Roy?” He wouldn’t have to say a word, just hold up (or down) a few fingers. Three upside-down fingers meant I was 3-under. We never needed an electronic scoreboard; we had my father. He knew what hole everybody was on and where they stood.

One thing I didn’t get from my father was his golf swing. He was a human metronome and as consistent a player as I’ve ever seen. Although his handicap always stayed between 12 and 17, he broke 80 just twice — an even-par 72 in the early 1970s and a 78 with me about 15 years ago. With each par he made down the stretch that day en route to his 78, for once, my score became irrelevant.

I finally realized the joy he had felt all those years while standing in my corner. I suddenly became the biggest fan of my biggest fan.

His round concluded with another dose of the best advice he ever gave me on the golf course. Before sinking his final putt, he muttered his trademark phase, “I’m the world’s greatest putter.” There was no putt he couldn’t make — or so he thought. His confidence paid off. He was one tremendous putter.

During his 50-year golf career, the only thing he didn’t do was make a hole-in-one — boy how he wanted one of those. Of course, I haven’t had one either; maybe it’s not in the Langs’ cards. When I do make one, my celebration will be bittersweet and extremely emotional.

While my professional golf career never materialized, he made it quite clear how proud he was. Instead of looking for me on the leaderboards on the Internet, he read my stories. Golf is still a huge part of my career and he said, “There’s always the senior tour.”

Despite a frustrating absence from the course the past few years, golf meant so much to my father until the very end. “Golf is a great game,” was the last thing he said to me when I saw him for the final time. And fittingly, a Florida golf course will be where his journey on this planet ends.

After giving up the grind of competitive golf over the past few years, I have not been able to enjoy a round of golf. I guess it’s no coincidence considering I haven’t had my mentor in the passenger seat of the cart or there coming off each green.

Hopefully, I can take some of his love for the game forward with me, because when I introduce the wonderful game and all it has to offer to my sons or daughters, I want to be as good a spokesperson for golf as my father. I thought the days of having a gallery were gone when I gave up tournament golf, but that’s not true.

I’ll forever be disappointed we never got to play that final round, but in my mind there’s no doubt he’ll be with me — for every shot I take.

Contact Roy via email:

Lang’s Locks: Controversial LIV Golf an opportunity for all to make money 

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Another week, another profit. This week, a new adventure.

Thanks to the launch of LIV Golf, there is an additional opportunity to make some dough on the links! We dip our toes into the short field with a couple of top-10 bets for the event in London.

On the PGA Tour, we head to the only stop in Canada. The system has produced some of the biggest top-20 bets of the season, so let’s see what happens.

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!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool


Last week recap: +.49 units



Canadian Open

Top 20 bets

J.J. Spaun, 1 unit, +430 (FD)

Adam Long, .8 units, +500 (DK)

Doug Ghim, .7 units, +410 (FD)

Joseph Bramlett, .5 units, +900 (DK)

Kramer Hickok, .5 units, +900 (DK)

Scott Gutschewski, .4 units, +1000 (FD)

Dean Burmester, .4 units, +700 (DK)

J.T. Poston, .4 units, +500 (DK)

Patrick Rodgers, .3 units, +500 (DK)

Vincent Whaley, .3 units, +700 (DK)

Danny Lee, .3 units, +900 (DK)


LIV London

Top 10 bets

Hennie Du Plessis, .6 units, +320 (FD)

Hudson Swafford, .3 units, +360 (FD)

Former local tennis star nearly nets (golf) Tour win in a pinch

VICTORIA, British Columbia – Tuesday, Shreveport’s Cotter Wilson landed on Vancouver Island without his luggage, but with no worries because a relaxing week — outside the ropes – at Philip Barbaree Jr.’s PGA Tour Canada debut was in store.

Little did he know his competitive juices – he’s a former five-star recruit and No. 1-ranked high school tennis player in Louisiana — would boil again when he was ushered onto the front line in a battle for a victory on a golf course, unfamiliar territory, with a relative stranger.

“I thought they were joking,” Wilson told The Journal regarding the pressure cooker he landed in on Sunday.

Wilson, a 23-year-old former Ole Miss tennis star, was pressed into duty as a caddie – for the first time in his life. His job? Loop for the co-leader in the final group of the first PGA Tour Canada tournament in nearly three years.

“Within a couple hours of landing in Victoria, they told me to be ready for the weekend because Cooper (Dossey) was going to need someone on the bag for him,” Wilson said.

PGA Tour Canada rules give players the opportunity to carry their own bag for the first 36 holes. However, competitors who qualify for the weekend must employ a caddie. Dossey, a Baylor product and longtime friend of Barbaree, Wilson and I (as PBJ’s regular caddie for more than six years now) stayed at an Airbnb for the week.

Dossey, a former Baylor star, has been on a heater since the fall. He may be the only human on the planet with two sub-60 tournament rounds in the past nine months – 59 at the first stage of Korn Ferry Qualifying School (Golf Club of Houston in September) and a 58 at OakWing Golf Club during an APT Tour Event in Alexandria in March.

This week, he was fueled by three pizza dinners and four straight trips to Marble Slab Creamery in downtown Victoria. Dossey carried his own bag and opened with rounds of 67-66 at Uplands Golf Club to climb into the top 10 midway through the event.

One misstep on Friday caused PBJ to miss the cut, but he was a star for his buddy on Saturday. Barbaree, who hadn’t carried a bag since his high school days, had the best seat in the house and played a significant part in Dossey’s dazzling 6-under 64 that vaulted him into a tie for the lead at 13 under.

“It’s always fun to have a buddy carry the bag for you,” Dossey said. “Walking 18 with Phil in the third round gave me peace and comfort. We had a blast. I don’t think there was ever a point in the round where I got nervous. He kept me calm and confident in my game. He did such a good job of forgetting about missing the cut and helping me win a golf tournament — that’s not easy to do and for that I’m so thankful. I’m excited to travel the rest of Canada with Phil this summer.”

However, Barbaree – starting the long trip home to Shreveport — wasn’t available to help on Sunday.

Wilson began his day by driving Barbaree to the airport at 6:30 a.m. and then watching his favorite tennis star, Rafael Nadal, capture his record 22nd major championship with a French Open title.

That afternoon it was time to put on the caddie bib for the first time ever.

“Even though my only contributions were some encouragement and a few jokes, it felt fun to have a dog in the fight and be a part of some competitive action,” said Wilson, whose parents, Lauren (Centenary, SMU) and Grady (LSU), played tennis in college. “I had a blast out there. Between seeing one of my best friends play and getting to caddie for the first time, it definitely made my week in Canada memorable.”

Wilson got the full caddie experience. Not only was he on the leader’s bag most of the afternoon, he weathered a caddie’s worst nightmare – rain. Dossey led by two strokes when play was briefly suspended and wound up one stroke out of a playoff.

“Today was one of those days where the small margins show up big time,” said Wilson, who estimates he’s played 15 rounds of golf in his life – not one since midway through the pandemic. “I can remember a lot of matches where it felt like the win was right on my racket, but you’re always aware that there’s more work to be done, so you do your best to stay present in the moment. Sometimes you clutch up, others you don’t. You have to live with it and be ready to fight the next time you can. No one wants to admit it, but the nerves always turn up a couple notches in those moments.

“It doesn’t matter how long it has been since you last competed; every athlete would agree that closing is the toughest thing in sports. Cooper battled hard down the stretch and he finished well, but there are definitely a few putts that he’d like to have back.”

A 15-under total – 8 under on the weekend – fell just short. However, Dossey briefly heads back to the States in third place in the Fortinet Cup standings (the top 10 at the end of the season earn Korn Ferry status).

“Coming into the week, I didn’t know Cotter too well. I leave knowing him very well. He is such a good man of faith and encouraged Phil and me so well this entire week,” Dossey said. “He made it fun today and that’s all I needed. Although we didn’t get the win, I feel like I’m leaving Victoria with a victory in gaining a brother in Christ.

“I’m extremely grateful for Phil, Cotter and Roy this weekend. They encouraged me, pushed me to be better and made me laugh when I needed it. Edmonton (the next stop on the Tour) isn’t ready for our crew.”

Local bettor wins $15k on Sam Burns’ victory

CASHING IN: As Sam Burns calmly reacted to his winning putt Sunday in Fort Worth, in the gallery behind him, his wife Caroline, and parents Todd (in blue) and Beth Burns celebrated, as did one lucky local bettor watching on TV.

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Last week, a Shreveporter, who’d just cashed a bet on Manchester City to win the English Premier League, had a little money in his sports betting account and let the leftovers ride on one of his favorite local athletes.

The $511 wager had become an afterthought after Sam Burns entered the weekend tied for 40th place at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth. Even a Saturday 67 that helped the Shreveport native and former LSU star climb 23 spots on the leaderboard didn’t seem to cause much excitement.

However, when Burns stormed out of the gate with a 5-under 30 to begin his final round at historic Colonial Country Club, things got very interesting. When Burns finished at 9 under for the event, still behind five golfers, including world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, he wasn’t the only one helplessly sweating the final two hours of regulation play.

“I didn’t think even par on the back would be good enough, and lost hope midway through the back nine,” the Shreveport bettor told The Journal. “Luckily, Sam didn’t, and he finished strong.”

Still, DataGolf gave Burns just a 3.2-percent chance to win when he holed his last putt for a final-round 65.

The Colonial became the scene of historic collapses on a windy Texas afternoon as our local bettor was tending to family duties.

Davis Riley led at 11 under when he bogeyed No. 13 and then hit his tee shot out of bounds at No. 14. He finished 7 under.

Harold Varner, once a co-leader at 10 under, collapsed with a triple bogey-double bogey-triple bogey run on Nos. 12-14 after a ruling on No. 12 for another co-leader – Scott Stallings – took an inordinate amount of time. He plummeted 26 spots and finished even par for the event.

Stallings was 10 under with seven holes remaining, but made bogeys at Nos. 12, 14 and 17 to finish 7 under.  

Brendan Todd made bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12 to fall from the lead at 10 under into third place.

However, Burns still needed his good friend to buckle under the Texas heat. Scheffler obliged. A bogey at No. 12 dropped Scheffler to 9 under. Six straight pars later we had a two-man playoff.

Could Burns and the local gambler pull off the unthinkable?


Burns had the first opportunity and wasted no time. His 38-foot putt for birdie from off the green was followed by a 30-foot miss from Scheffler, and a fourth career PGA Tour title was heading east on I-20 to Louisiana.

“It was special because of the way Sam won the tournament. He was completely out of contention to start the day, and I thought he had no shot,” said the bettor, who was forced to get text updates before finding a TV before the playoff. “Then, to face off against the Masters champion and to completely slam the door in his face when he had a chance to win made it even more special.”

The 25-year-old pro pocketed more than $1.5 million. The local bettor? More than $15,000 – the biggest hit of his sports betting career. Although it didn’t seem likely to be the case Saturday morning, Burns’ original win odds of 30-1 now seem like a gift.

“It was really surprising to me that people haven’t realized the type of season Sam is having,” the bettor said. “To be second in the FedExCup standings and only trailing Scheffler, that’s pretty special. Shreveport and the rest of the golf world need to wake up and start paying attention.”

Monday morning, the bettor checked the futures for the final two majors of the season.

Still, not much respect for the local kid.

Burns is 45-1 to win next month’s U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and 65-1 to win the British Open at St. Andrews in July.

It’s safe to say Burns will again get the backing of our local bettor … and then some.

Photo courtesy of CBS Sports

Sam Burns’ record Colonial comeback lathered in Shreveport greatness

Opinion by ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Eleven years ago, a 14-year-old Sam Burns walked the fairways of Colonial Country Club with childhood friends and golf prodigies like Carter Toms, Nathan Jeansonne and Philip Barbaree Jr. as fellow Shreveporter David Toms put the finishing touches on his 13th and final PGA Tour victory.

“I remember that day like it was yesterday,” Burns said Sunday, after his world had come full circle.

Burns’ 38-foot “Texas wedge” found the cup on the first playoff hole at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth and was the dagger that took out the former LSU star’s best friend on Tour, former Longhorn Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1-ranked player in the world.

“(Eleven years ago), I don’t know if I would have believed (I would win this tournament),” Burns said. “I would have wanted to. To have my name on that list (of winners) is pretty cool.”

Burns will forever have his name etched on the Wall of Champions adjacent to the No. 1 tee at Colonial. In addition to Toms, it includes the likes of Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

In 2011, Toms’ signature shot was a hole-out for eagle from 86 yards on No. 11. Sunday, Burns’ bomb from the fairway cut completed the largest comeback in the history of the event and came more than 2 hours after he finished his final-round 65.

The former Calvary Baptist Academy star began the day seven shots off Scheffler’s lead, but used a front-nine 30 to close the gap as the historic Colonial became firmer and Mother Nature added a twist when she upped the fans to full blast.

Player after player tumbled down the leaderboard. The result: A duel between buddies.

“I can assure you, he wanted to beat me more than anybody else and I wanted to beat him more than anybody else, and it just happened to be the two of us at the end,” said Burns, who moved to nine in the Official World Golf Ranking and No. 2 in the FedExCup standings. “It’s going to be a fun story that we’ll get to have for the rest of our careers, and fortunately I got the better end of it this time, but hopefully we’re at the beginning of these situations in the future.”

In addition to a check of more than $1.5 million, Burns walked away with a fully restored and modernized 1979 Pontiac Firebird.

When Toms triumphed at Colonial, just one week after a gutting playoff loss at the Players Championship, his father, Buster, walked the same fairways as Burns and his buddies.

Sunday, Burns’ parents Todd and Beth could be seen jumping and fist pumping behind the 18th green, as well as wife, Caroline, too.

Burns won for the third time this season and fourth time in his career. He’s already ahead of the pace set by local predecessors Toms and Hal Sutton.

Sutton, a 14-time winner on the PGA Tour, captured his fourth title at the age of 27. However, he won the 1983 PGA Championship at the age of 25. Toms cashed his first winner’s check on the PGA Tour at 30 years old.

“It was funny, I actually saw (Toms’) wedge in there in the dining (room) — I’m assuming it’s the one he made the wedge shot with,” Burns said. “It’s really cool, and I can’t wait to give him a text and have my name up there next to his.”

PGA Tour milestones

Hal Sutton (14 PGA Tour wins)

First PGA Tour win: 1982, 24 years old
First major: 1983 PGA, 25 years
Fourth win: 1985, 27 years old

David Toms (13 PGA Tour wins)

First PGA Tour win: 1997, 30 years old
Fourth win: 2000, 33 years old
First major: 2001 PGA, 34 years old

Sam Burns (Four PGA Tour wins)

First PGA Tour win: 2021, 24 years old
Fourth win: Sunday, 25 years old

Lang’s Locks: Past champion on radar as PGA Tour hits Colonial

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The PGA Championship bets were pretty much a wash last week, but the winning streak ended as we got dinged dabbling in the NHL and MLB.

The PGA Tour makes it second stop in the Metroplex this month with a visit to Colonial Country Club. Former champion Chris Kirk, coming off a T5 at the PGA, looks juicy at 49-1. We have a win ticket on HVIII as well. As usual, we hit the European Tour and the Dutch Open.

And let’s take a meaty NHL underdog in a desperate position. 

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!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool


Last week recap: -3.5 units



Charles Schwab Challenge

Win bets

Harold Varner III, .1 unit, +6600 (FD)

Chris Kirk, .1 unit, +4900 (DK)

Top 20 bets

Doug Ghim, .6 units, +500 (DK)

J.T. Poston, .4 units, +600 (DK)

Aaron Rai, .3 units, +600 (DK)

Matt Jones, .3 units, +700 (DK)

Zach Johnson, .3 units, +900 (DK)

Mark Hubbard, .3 units, +500 (DK)

Adam Svensson, .2 units, +1400 (DK)

Kevin Streelman, .2 units, +600 (DK)

Matthew NeSmith, .2 units, +500 (DK)


Dutch Open

Top 20 bets

Jordan Smith, .6 units, +175 (DK)

David Law, .3 units, +650 (DK)

Angel Hidalgo Portillo, .3 units, +900 (DK)

Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, .3 units, +650 (MGM)

Espen Kofstad, .3 units, +700 (DK)

Oliver Wilson, .2 units, +750 (CAE)

Julien Guerrier, .2 units, +450 (MGM)

Marcel Schneider, .2 units, +700 (DK)

Lev Grinberg, .2 units, +2250 (CAE)

Nicolai Von Dellingshausen, .2 units, +900 (DK)


Wednesday’s game

Blues (at Colorado), 1 unit, +210 (DK)

My way: Dez Duron follows his heart to nirvana

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dez Duron’s career was at a crossroads. He’d hit Hollywood and pursued mainstream music stardom and then took the stage on the New York theatre scene. He enjoyed the adventures, including a top-8 finish on “The Voice” in 2012, but something was missing.

In his gut, he’d yet to find his calling.

However, during the height of the pandemic, Duron took advantage of the nationwide lockdown and moved back to Shreveport to enjoy family time. During the respite, the guy who was pretty dang good at tossing touchdowns for the Evangel Eagles, wrote song after song and realized he simply couldn’t avoid the fire in his heart.

“I woke up to what I wanted to do,” Duron, 32, told The Journal. “I’m going to release the music I want to release and do it my way.”

Unintentional, but incredibly revealing words.

The process included buying a car and moving to Nashville nearly one year ago to chase the dream of becoming a Crooner — a slow, sentimental approach (think Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra) made popular in the mid-1900s.

After years of singing private events, Duron (with the help of friend and co-creator David Byerley) took residency at the Dream Hotel in Nashville for a show dubbed “Frankly Dez” – a weekly Sinatra-themed show.

“This type of music brings me a lot of joy. I began to embrace it. Now, people are gravitating to this,” Duron said.

The show features a host of Sinatra covers, but showcases Duron’s showmanship and wide-range of ability. He parlays covers of John Legend (“All of Me”) and Michael Jackson (“The Way You Make Me Feel”) with Dez originals, like “Promise Me.”

“I felt the pressure to do mainstream and abandon what I wanted to do originally,” Duron said. “When I moved to New York, I did a musical set in the 1940s. I did five songs and during those four months I grew to love my voice.”

Duron moved the Nashville gig to monthly so “Frankly Dez” could hit the road. Friday, the show stops in Shreveport (the show is semi-private and already sold out). The plan is to also hit cities like Dallas and Miami.

Private events are still on the schedule. Not long ago, Duron sang at the wedding of PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky, the daughter of “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky.

“It’s been a journey,” said Duron, upon looking back at his teenage years when he had an agent and aimed for a dream that frankly, wasn’t Dez.

It’s clear, Duron’s time managing a huddle and chasing state championships on the gridiron helps him command a stage.

“Singing on stage and playing quarterback are very similar,” Duron said. “You have a plan and then stuff happens. You have to roll with the punches. The pocket is going to break down. It happens during every show.”

Duron is having the time of his life, but admits he may not be the best or second-best singer in the family. The title of a Duron-only “American Idol” or “The Voice” competition would be … his mother.

“I don’t think it gets better than DeAnza,” said Dez, who also has a gig at the Broadway Speakeasy at the Paradise Club in New York City. “She would sing ‘Moon River’ and it would be over for the rest of us.”

The Durons’ love for music has been constant, unwavering and furious.

Holidays at the Durons are spent around a piano.

“It’s heaven for me,” Dez’s father, Denny Duron said. “I sit as quiet as a mouse and just record it all with my phone.”

Back in the day, the Durons were a modern-day Partridge Family.

“With evangelists as parents, we were loaded in a 16-passenger van driving across the country,” said Dez, the fourth of six children. “This was before iPads. We were bonding over songs my parents had written and the music we grew up on — Abba, Celine Dion, Huey Lewis and the Beatles.

“That was our childhood.”

“Frankly Dez” recently featured Dez’s sister DawnChere (a founder of Vous Church in Miami) as a special guest.

Said Dez: “A huge Sinatra fan, who had seen the show a couple of weeks earlier, came up to me and said, ‘Your sister sings you under the table. You better be glad she decided to be a preacher or you wouldn’t have a job.’”

The Duron lineup, from top to bottom, is loaded.

“The only thing that differentiates us is that I was willing to sleep on couches for six years to stay in it,” Dez said.

Bigger thrill, making a run at a state championship or nailing a performance on stage?

“The community aspect of sports is unmatched, but it’s a similar feeling with a band,” Duron said. “The best part of performing is when you get lost in the moment of a performance and you just drop in — with the crowd, with the band. It’s a nirvana of sorts.”

Especially when you do it your way.

Lang’s Locks: Nice momentum entering PGA Championship

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Another week, another profit. We’re on a nice roll (plus-8 units over the past month), and man we are so close to hitting a big win ticket (Hideki Matsuyama almost got us home last week).

As usual, we’re Top 20 heavy at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, but we also hit the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Major League Baseball. 

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!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool


Last week recap: Plus-.55 units



Win bets

Sebastien Munoz, .1 unit, +15000 (MGM)

Maverick McNealy, .1 unit, +16000 (FD)

Top 20 Bets

Lanto Griffin, .7 units, +900 (DK)

Si Woo Kim, .5 units +550, (DK)

Aaron Wise, .4 units +550 (DK)

Mito Pereira, .4 units, +470 (FD)

Dean Burmester, .3 units, +1400, (DK)

Cameron Davis, .3 units, +900 (DK)

Kramer Hickok, .3 units, +2000 (DK)

Carlos Ortiz, .3 units +1400 (DK)

Thomas Pieters, .3 units, +700 (FD)

Tom Hoge, .3 units, +500 (DK)

Brian Harman, .3 units, +550 (DK)

Rikuya Hoshino, .3 units, +1400 (DK)

Laurie Canter, .2 units, +2000 (DK)

Major League Baseball

Wednesday’s games

Cardinals-Mets, 1 unit, under 7 runs


Wednesday’s Games

Rangers, 1 unit, +145 (DK)

Oilers, 1 unit, +140 (DK)

Killer Bs highlight Saints, Cowboys home schedules

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

 Tom Brady, Joe Burrow and the reigning Super Bowl champions will face both the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys this fall.

The full NFL schedules were released Thursday night. Burrow and his Cincinnati Bengals, and Tampa Bay’s Brady, will visit both the Caesar’s Superdome and AT&T Stadium early in the season.

In Week 2, the Cowboys will host Cincinnati for Sept. 18 affair. Burrow makes his return to the Superdome, site of his National Championship victory with LSU in 2020, in Week 6 – Oct. 16 at noon.

The season-openers are doozies for both squads. For the second year in a row, the Cowboys kick off the season in primetime against Brady and the Buccaneers. This time it’s on a Sunday night (Sept. 11) in the Metroplex.

The Saints open with Atlanta. Enough said. 

The Falcons will host the noon affair on Sept. 11.

New Orleans travels to Tampa Bay in Week 2 and will host Brady and the Buccaneers on Monday night in Week 13 (Dec. 5). The Saints host one other Monday Night Football matchup – Week 9 (Nov. 7) against Baltimore.

The Saints play just one other primetime game, Week 7 at Arizona, but will travel to London to play Minnesota in Week 4 (Oct. 2). The defending champion Los Angeles Rams visit the Big Easy on Nov. 20.

New Orleans’ longest homestand is three games (Weeks 4-6). The Saints will spend Christmas Eve in Cleveland in Week 16 and finish in the Dome against Carolina on Jan. 8.

The Cowboys play five primetime games, including three Sunday night games. Dallas plays five home games before its Week 9 bye. One of the early road games is a trip to SoFi Stadium to play the Rams in Week 5 (Oct. 9).

Dallas travels to Lambeau Field (Nov. 13) following its bye week. It will be Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy’s first trip to Green Bay since he left as the Packers head coach. 

The annual Thanksgiving game features an NFC East showdown with the New York Giants.

The Cowboys’ only Monday night affair comes in Week 3 (Sept. 26) at the Giants.

New Orleans Saints 2022 schedule

 Sept. 11, at Atlanta (noon, FOX)

Sept. 18, Tampa Bay (noon, FOX)

Sept. 25, at Carolina (noon, FOX)

Oct. 2, Minnesota (at London, 8:30 a.m., NFL Network)

Oct. 9, Seattle (noon, FOX)

Oct. 16, Cincinnati (noon, CBS)

Oct. 20, at Arizona (7:15 p.m., Prime Video)

Oct. 30, Las Vegas (noon, CBS)

Nov. 7, Baltimore (7:15 PM)

Nov. 13, at Pittsburgh (noon, FOX)

Nov. 20, Los Angeles Rams (noon, FOX)

Nov. 27, at San Francisco (3:25 p.m., FOX)

Dec. 5, at Tampa Bay (7:15 p.m.)

BYE, Week 14

Dec. 18, Atlanta (TBD)

Dec. 24, at Cleveland (noon, CBS)

Jan 1, at Philadelphia (noon, FOX)

Jan. 8, Carolina (TBD)

Dallas Cowboys 2022 schedule

Sept. 11, Tampa Bay (7:20 p.m., NBC)

Sept. 18, Cincinnati (3:25 p.m., CBS)

Sept. 26, at New York Giants (7:15 p.m.)

Oct. 2, Washington (noon, FOX)

Oct. 9, at Los Angeles Rams (3:25 p.m., FOX)

Oct. 16, at Philadelphia (7:20 p.m., NBC)

Oct. 23, Detroit (noon, CBS)

Oct. 30, Chicago (noon, FOX)

BYE, Week 9

Nov. 13, at Green Bay (3:25 p.m., FOX)

Nov. 20, at Minnesota (3:25 p.m., CBS)

Nov. 24, New York Giants (3:30, FOX)

Dec. 4, Indianapolis (7:20, NBC)

Dec. 11, Houston (noon, FOX)

Dec. 18, at Jacksonville (noon, FOX)

Dec. 24, Philadelphia (3:25 p.m., FOX)

Dec. 29, at Tennessee (7:15 p.m., Prime Video)

Jan. 8, at Washington (TBD)

Photo courtesy National Football League

‘Eye candy’ helps local 17-year-old make hockey history

SPECIAL K:  Kason Muscutt, 17, became the first area hockey player, and likely the first born in Louisiana, to earn a spot in the USA Hockey U-17 camp.

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

One year after one of the biggest disappointments of his young hockey career, Kason Muscutt used a little ‘eye candy’ to make history.

Tuesday, Muscutt learned he was selected to participate in the 2022 USA Hockey Boys Select 17 Camp, where the best 60 players in the country will showcase their talents to the top junior hockey organizations and college programs.

Muscutt, 17, is believed to be the first Louisiana-born player to make the camp. He’s certainly the first from Northwest Louisiana, where there is just a single sheet of ice (George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum) — and it’s not available 12 months a year.

“It’s cool to probably be the first from Louisiana, but I want to be looked at as more than just a kid from Louisiana. I want to be known as a legitimate hockey player,” Muscutt told The Journal.

The Select 17 camp is set for June 22-27 at the Northtown Center & Daemen University in Amherst, N.Y. A group of those players will be selected to remain in Amherst for a camp (June 27-29) that will determine the final U.S. roster for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, a U-18 international hockey tournament in Edmonton this summer.

“This is a really big opportunity for him and he’s worked hard to get it,” said Kason’s father, Scott Muscutt, the general manager for the Shreveport Mudbugs. “Everybody hopes to have this for their kid. He’s getting to skate with the best in the nation.”

Kason Muscutt thought he did enough to make the national camp last year, but the Bossier City forward was gutted when the final roster didn’t include his name.

“It hurt quite a bit last year, I really expected to make it,” he said.

Instead of sulking, Muscutt got better. He believes his work with Matt Merry and D1 Training in Shreveport made a big difference entering this year’s tryout.

“I came into this year way more prepared,” the 5-foot-10, 160-pound Muscutt said. “My body is in the best shape it’s ever been. I believe my speed, strength and power set me apart. I had more eye candy this year.”

Muscutt has had many opportunities to practice with the Mudbugs over the years. Things were different on the ice this season.

“Last year I could keep up, but all I could do is keep up,” he said. “Now I feel like I fit in. I had a little swagger and felt comfortable in my skates.”

The USHL – a Tier-I junior league – is the top goal for the 2022-23 season. However, the NAHL – a Tier-II league – could be an option. 

Would Kason Muscutt consider playing in Shreveport?

“One hundred percent – a million percent,” he said. “I feel like stepping in front of the crowd I’ve been watching from for a very long time, and to give a bunch of kids high-fives, that would be the coolest thing in the world.”

Scott Muscutt was the first player signed by the franchise for its inaugural season. After playing three years, Muscutt became the team’s head coach and won a 2011 President’s Cup championship. He has been Shreveport’s general manager since the Mudbugs were reborn as a junior hockey franchise in 2016.

However, don’t expect dad to try and twist his son’s arm.

“This summer is full of growth, maturation and commitment. He needs to keep putting on weight, keep getting stronger and faster. Could he play here? Absolutely. He could also play in the USHL,” Scott Muscutt said. “Kason has been making his own decisions about hockey since he was 11 years old. He’s decided where he was going to go and who he was going to play for.”

Submitted photo

Lang’s Locks: After nice profit on the links, we dabble on the diamond

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Thanks to a couple of nice Top-20 hits at the Wells Fargo, James Hahn at 12-1 and J.T. Poston at 7-1, we collected a profit of more than 4 units last week. We’ve definitely hit our stride on the golf course, and this week the PGA Tour heads to Dallas. Naturally, we have some Euro action, too.

We also make our Major League Baseball debut this week, with four total plays on Wednesday’s games.

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!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool


Last week recap: profit, 4.4 units


PGA Tour

Byron Nelson

Win bets

Hideki Matsuyama, .1 unit, +3025 (CAE)

Seamus Power, .1 unit, +5455 (MGM)

Top 20 bets

Seamus Power, .5 units, +250 (FD)

Kramer Hickok, .4 units, +1200 (DK)

Mark Hubbard, .3 units, +600 (DK)

Adam Schenk, .3 units, +1200 (DK)

Tom Hoge, .3 units, +350 (DK)

European Tour

Soudal Open

Win bet

Lukas Nemecz, .1 unit, +9900 (MGM)

Top 20 bets

Julien Guerrier, .4 units, +500 (CAE)

Clement Sordet, .4 units, +480 (FD)

Sean Crocker, .3 units, +750 (FD)

Santiago Tarrio Ben, .3 units, +550 (FD)

Zander Lombard, .3 units, +700 (FD)

Niall Kearney, .3 units, +600 (CAE)

Benjamin Hebert, .3 units, +600 (FD)

Major League Baseball

Wednesday’s games

Blue Jays-Yankees, 1 unit, under 7.5 runs

Rockies-Giants, 1 unit, under 7.5 runs

Rays-Angels, 1 unit, under 7 runs

Astros-Twins, 1 unit, under 8 runs

Lang’s Locks: PGA Tour takes detour from Charlotte

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Somehow, we cashed our three largest bets of the week and still had a very small loss. That’s not good wagering on my part. We are definitely humming on the links though and I think a massive week is drawing near. Could it be this week?

This week’s PGA Tour stop, the Wells Fargo Championship, will not take place at its normal home in Charlotte, N.C., and Quail Hollow. For one year it moves to TPC Avenel, which used to host the Kemper Open.

As usual, we have action all over the globe. 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!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool


Last week recap: minus-.62 units



Wells Fargo Championship

Win bets

Russell Henley, .1 unit, +3350 (MGM)

Si Woo Kim, .1 unit, +4900 (FD)

Russell Knox, .1 unit, +12400 (DK)

Top 20 bets

Michael Thompson, .5 units, +900 (DK)

James Hahn, .4 units, +1200, (DK)

J.T. Poston, .3 units, +700 (FD)

K.H. Lee, .3 units, +550 (FD)

Ryan Armour, .3 units, +600, (DK)

Hayden Buckley, .3 units, +900 (DK)


British Masters

Top 20 bets

Dean Burmester, .3 units, +280 (FD)

David Horsey, .3 units, +550 (CAE)


Simmons Bank Open

Win bets

Davis Thompson, .1 unit, +6500 (FD)

Tano Goya, .1 unit, +11000 (FD)

Bitter end, beautiful memories for Bugs

Lukas Sedlacek knows good pizza. Well, for a New Yorker anyway. While the Staten Island product didn’t fall in love with any local pies during a two-year stint with the Shreveport Mudbugs, he admits a piece of his heart will stay.

“This was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had,” Sedlacek told The Journal.

Sunday, nearly 24 hours after Sedlacek’s junior hockey career – and time in Shreveport – came to a sudden end, tears still poured from the 20-year-old as he tried to reconcile the situation.

“That game (Saturday) night showed our character, all the hard work,” Sedlacek said. “We were last in the division and no one believed in us except our coaching staff.”

Sedlacek was just feet from the puck when Lone Star captain Nicholas Niemo put the finishing touch on a hat trick in overtime and ended the 2021-22 campaign for Shreveport, the defending North American Hockey League champions. As Sedlacek took a knee and watched the Brahmas celebration in disbelief, a virtual slide show lathered in two years of emotions commenced.

“It was a flash of memories of everything I have in Shreveport and all the amazing experiences I had – especially winning a Robertson Cup last year,” said Sedlacek, who simply didn’t want to leave the ice Saturday. “Not being able to do it this year is a hard pill to swallow.”

Sedlacek surprised when asked to pick his favorite Mudbugs memory – other than raising the Cup. He’s authored several obvious choices, including 14 goals during the regular season — a game-winner at Odessa to clinch a playoff berth – and a tally in Game 2 against Lone Star.

“Coming to the rink at 5:45 in the morning before a road trip and working the hardest we could,” Sedlacek said. “It shows the brotherhood and the commitment of the entire organization.”

That’s what it means to be a Mudbug.

Sedlacek wasn’t the only player stunned by Saturday’s ending. And he’s not the only player who will miss putting on a teal and purple sweater. At least 12 players from this playoff roster – just counting players who will be too old in 2022-23 – will not be back.

Shreveport head coach Jason Campbell witnesses this torment every year as players cycle out, but he’s not numb to the intense pain players experience when they realize more than just the season is over.

“It definitely gets to me,” Campbell said. “I know how they feel. I’ve been on both sides of that. It’s not a great feeling. You get very attached to this place – it’s not like any place in this league. From the fans to the billets to the staff, the players and the media – this place is like no other.”

Sedlacek took to what he believes is the community’s love for blue-collared people.

“Shreveport is about how hard you can work, it’s about character and your urgency to play the game at the highest level possible,” he said. “There was never a quit in the Mudbugs. We had that opportunity to do something special, but it didn’t happen.”

Said Campbell: “It’s very easy to fall in love with Shreveport. It makes you proud that it means that much to them.”

Before long, Sedlacek will turn his attention to his next venture – playing Division Il hockey at Aurora (Illinois) University.

“Now, I’ll look every weekend to see how the Bugs are doing and how the next group of kids coming in can make the organization better. It’s the best culture.”


Mudbugs’ wild season ends with overtime loss

TOO HOT TO HANDLE: Nicholas Niemo (28) celebrates after he scored the series-clinching goal in overtime of Saturday’s Game 4 of a NAHL South Division semifinal against the Shreveport Mudbugs. The goal was Niemo’s third of the game.

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

In some circles, a broken pane of glass leads to seven years of bad luck.

Saturday, the Lone Star Brahmas needed just 20 seconds to alter the direction of the Shreveport Mudbugs’ season.

Just when it seemed the death-defying Mudbugs would author yet another storybook chapter to the wacky 2021-22 campaign, a window sheet shattered in the Shreveport zone at George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum.

The Mudbugs’ staff worked quickly to replace the glass behind the net with less than 4 minutes remaining in Game 4 of an NAHL South Division semifinal, but the break served as a much-needed timeout for the visitors, who trailed and appeared to be on their heels in the wake of Shreveport’s third-period rally.

Play had barely resumed when the Brahmas tied the game to force overtime.

“Things were rolling,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell told The Journal. “Sure, (the break) may have come at a bad time, but we have to overcome that.”

Twenty seconds into overtime, Shreveport captain Garrett Steele chopped the stick out of an opponent’s hands and was whistled for slashing. Less than a minute into the extra session, Lone Star delivered the coup de grace on the Mudbugs’ roller-coaster season.

“If we give the ref something to call, we have no control of what he does from there,” Campbell said. “It’s not like our guy needed to do that. The referee called it and our penalty kill needed to come through. No matter what, you have to deal with it,” Campbell said.

The top-seeded Brahmas’ 4-3 victory put a stamp on a 3-1 South Division semifinal series win, their first against Shreveport in three NAHL postseason meetings. Shreveport’s season ended in the first round for the first time since their inaugural NAHL postseason appearance (2017).

The Mudbugs fell in a 2-0 series hole, but dominated Friday’s Game 3 (winning 4-1) and Saturday twice rallied from deficits to take the lead on a goal from Hayden Nichol midway through the third period. However, Shreveport was battling the best team in the league and history.

Since the NAHL’s South Division was instituted in 2003, no top seed has lost a first-round series. The Brahmas pushed the streak of division series (semi or final) wins by the South’s No. 1 seed to 13-0.

Lone Star, coached by former Mudbugs star Dan Wildfong, will face the winner of Monday’s Game 5 between Wichita Falls and New Mexico.   

‘Koko’ recovering from nasty hit

The Mudbugs lost a key player midway through the second period as Tim Khokhlachev was the victim of a nasty hit along the wall. Lone Star’s Artur Turansky earned a 5-minute major for checking from behind and a game misconduct. Shreveport took advantage of the extended power play to tie the game at 1 with a tally from Burke Simpson.

“Koko” stayed on the ice for several moments and never returned to the game after the hit. Although the 6-foot-4 forward was later seen in a neck brace, Campbell said he likely avoided serious injury.

“I think he’s doing OK,” Campbell said. “He definitely showed signs of a concussion.”

It was an unfortunate way for the Russian’s career with the Mudbugs to end. Despite missing an entire season due to the COVID pandemic, the American International College commit leaves as the all-time franchise leader in regular-season game-winning goals (nine) during Shreveport’s time in the NAHL.


Mudbugs hope to stay alive vs. pesky Brahmas

BUGS TOUGH TO KILL: The Shreveport Mudbugs are perfect at home (4-0) while facing elimination during their time in the North American Hockey League.

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The challenge appears Mt. Everest-esque for Shreveport’s Mudbugs.

For starters, the Mudbugs trail the Lone Star Brahmas 2-0 in their best-of-five first-round playoff series entering tonight’s Game 3.

Add in the fact a No. 1 seed in the North American Hockey League’s South Division is 20-0 in first-round playoff series since the division was formed in 2003. The South’s regular-season champion is on a 12-0 run in any South playoff series since Amarillo lost in the 2014 South Final.

Not only are the Brahmas’ the South’s top seed, they are the top overall seed in the NAHL postseason.

However, don’t expect Shreveport to roll over when the teams take the ice on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum for the 7:11 p.m. faceoff.

“This is old news for us,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “We did this all during the regular season. We said we were playing for our season and we still had games to play. Now, our literal season is on the line and we need to respond like we did in the regular season.”

The first half of the Mudbugs’ season featured an eight-game losing streak during a stretch where they lost 11 of 12 games. Shreveport rallied from last place in the South to nab the No. 4 seed in the divisional round.

“We dug ourselves out (of that situation), so now the boys are still confident,” Mudbugs defenseman John Hallard said.

As was the case during the regular season, scoring opportunities were limited against Lone Star as Shreveport dropped a pair of one-goal games (1-0 in Game 1, 3-2 in Game 2) last weekend in North Richland Hills, Texas.

“(The Brahmas) work hard in the D-zone. They are well-connected and that’s hard to poke holes in,” Campbell said. “You just can’t give the puck away once you possess it. You can’t throw it away blind. You have to battle. You have to work extremely hard.”

The Mudbugs have faced an 0-2 deficit just once in their NAHL tenure — they lost Game 3 and were swept by Corpus Christi in their first NAHL playoff appearance (2017).

This season marks the fifth time Shreveport has qualified for the playoffs. So far, the Mudbugs have won a Robertson Cup title half the time (2018, 2021).

The Mudbugs have been stellar when they’ve faced elimination during their time in the NAHL. Shreveport is 7-2 with its season on the line, including a perfect 4-0 mark at The George.

“It’s about work ethic and not panicking — trusting in what you’re doing,” Campbell said. “You have to chip away at this — baby steps. You can’t think of the end result, because then you’re just hoping to win. You have to execute.”

Players like Lukas Sedlacek, who know this is their last season in Shreveport due to the league’s age limitations, have extra motivation entering tonight.

“This might be the last time I play in Shreveport, but at the same time I don’t want it to be the last time I play in Shreveport,” Sedlacek said.

What do they know about pressure?

The Shreveport Mudbugs’ record when facing elimination during their time in the NAHL:

(7-2 overall, 4-0 at home)

2017, down 0-2 in South semi, lost 2-1 at Corpus Christi

2018, tied 2-2 in South semi, won 2-1 vs. Corpus Christi

2018, tied 2-2 in South Final, won 3-2 vs. Lone Star

2018, Robertson Cup Final, won 2-1 vs. Minot in Blaine, Minn.

2019, down 2-1 in South semis, won 3-2 vs. Lone Star

2019, tied 2-2 in South semis, won 3-2 (3 OT) at Lone Star

2019, down 2-1 in South Final, won 2-0 vs. Amarillo

2019, down 2-0 in South Final, lost 6-0 at Amarillo

2021, Robertson Cup Final, won 4-2 vs. Aberdeen in Blaine, Minn.

Bugs vs. Brahmas

Friday, 7:11 p.m., George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum

Game 3 of NAHL South semifinal (Lone Star leads best-of-5 series, 2-0)

Game 1, April, 22: Lone Star, 1-0

Game 2, April 23: Lone Star, 3-2

*Game 4, Saturday at George’s Pond

*Game 5, Monday at NYTEX Sports Centre

*if necessary 


Lang’s Locks: Momentum builds pending travel across the border, pond

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

We’re heating up on the links. Last week, we claimed a profit on both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. This week, the PGA Tour travels to Mexico for a first-time event. We also have more Euro action.


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!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool


Last week recap: +3.75 units


PGA Tour

Mexico Open

Top 20 bets

Aaron Wise, +175, .5 units (DK)

Joseph Bramlett, +500, .5 units (DK)

Kramer Hickok, +450, .4 units (DK)

Bill Haas, +900, .3 units (DK)

Tyler Duncan, +450, .3 units (DK)

Scott Gutschewski, +850, .3 units (FD)

James Hahn, +600, .2 units (DK)

Roger Sloan, +600, .2 units (CAE)

Trey Mullinax, +652, .2 units (CAE)

European Tour

Catalunya Championship

Win bet

Fabrizio Zanotti, +7600, .1 unit (FD)

Top 20 bets

Jordan Smith, +230, .7 units (FD)

Edoardo Molinari, +500, .5 units (FD)

Wade Ormsby, +430, .5 units (FD)

Marcel Siem, +600. .4 units (FD)

Julien Guerrier, +550, .4 units (FD)

Richie Ramsay, +450, .3 units (FD)

Santiago Tarrio Ben, +550 .3 units (FD)

Ashley Chesters, +700, .3 units (FD)

Oliver Farr, +1100, .3 units (CAE)

James Morrison, +900, .3 units (FD)

David Horsey, +450, .3 units (FD)

April 25 links coaches’ families through tragedy, triumph

To most, April 25 is probably just another day. That’s simply not the case in the world of Northwest Louisiana high school sports. It’s a day that rocked the community in consecutive years with incredibly different outcomes.

In 2014, Rodney Guin, then Haughton High School’s head football coach, suffered a heart attack on April 25. Doctors dubbed his eventual survival as a miracle. One year later, Richard Lary – Captain Shreve’s head coach – suffered a heart attack at a Gators baseball game. He did not survive.

On April 25, 2016, Mike Greene, now Loyola’s head football coach, said many in his business pondered going to a doctor in case something happened.

Although the outcomes were completely different, this didn’t simply become a story of one family’s tragedy and another’s gift. These men and their families are not only linked in tragedy, but inspiration, fortitude and heartwarming tales.

Guin left Haughton and eventually became the head coach at Calvary Baptist Academy. Since his heart attack, he and wife, Tracy, have acquired a pair of son-in-laws, four grandchildren for daughters Mallory and Maggie and a 2020 state championship.

“That is the one thing I think about: What if I hadn’t survived that?” Guin told The Journal. “What about all of the great things that have happened to my family since?”

Lary left behind wife, Becky, and two daughters, Ally and Camryn.

Ally, the oldest, is set to graduate from the University of Alabama. When the Larys and Bootys (Becky’s side of the family) gather in Tuscaloosa for the May 7 ceremony, it will mark Richard’s birthday on the first trip to T-Town for Richard’s mother, Joann.

Ally’s graduation isn’t the only reason for Richard to smile from above. The coach’s daughter will stay at Alabama to continue her education after accepting a position as a Recruiting Operations Intern in the Crimson Tide athletic department.

“She’s not a coach, but she’s in the sports industry,” Becky Lary said. “(Richard) would love it. She’s following in his footsteps in a little different way.”

As a 15-year-old, Ally showed incredible resilience following the unthinkable tragedy.

“She was our spokesperson,” Becky said. “She was a rock, but not just for me and Camryn — she went to school with all the (Captain Shreve) teachers and the football team – they were all devastated. Those were kids and coaches who used to come to our house. She told them all everything was going to be OK.”

Camryn joined her sister in Tuscaloosa and is nearing the end of her freshman year. She’s following in both parents’ footsteps as she pursues a career in education.

“Ally has Richard’s dynamic personality – she’s never met a stranger,” Becky said. “Camryn is like me, a little more quiet. She’s not shy, but she has Richard’s sense of humor and wit.”

Said Greene: “They are stubborn just like he was, so they’re going to be successful. They have the same drive as their dad.”

Bryant Sepulvado, who accepted the arduous task of replacing Lary, his best friend, at Captain Shreve, is amazed at how the family has progressed.

“I know he’s smiling,” Sepulvado said. “Ally is in the football business, Cam is on a great path and Becky holding everything together — she’s gotta be a saint.”

One of the Larys’ favorite things to do was travel.

“We would always do sports,” said Becky, who liked the Braves while Richard rooted for the Astros. “A typical vacation would be to Wrigley Field, but then the American Girl store and the mall. He was a good girl dad.”

Becky hasn’t stopped. There have been plenty of trips to see the girls and with the girls. And now she’s found some fellow empty nesters, too.”

“Richard and I made a bucket list – some of the places were just crazy,” Becky said. “I can still mark some of them off.”

Captain Shreve’s football program struggled to find its feet in the wake of the devastating loss, but now it’s thriving.

“I did fear the challenge (of following in Lary’s footsteps), but honestly I had just lost my best friend so a lot of that went out the window,” Sepulvado said. “At my first meeting with the team, I told them, ‘I don’t know how we’re going to do this, but we’re going to do it together.’”

Sepulvado has led the Gators to a couple of District 1-5A crowns. In 2021, Captain Shreve posted its first season with double-digit wins (10) since 1983.

“(Richard) would be the first one jumping up and down,” Sepulvado said. “He was my best friend. He’s on Cloud 9. He was one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met.”

Greene still feels the urge to call or talk to Richard Lary on a daily basis, and he recently had a difficult time parting ways with a reminder of his late friend.

“I had a truck with an RL sticker (made in Shreve colors to honor Lary following his death) on the back of it. It was so beat up I had to sell it — Richard probably tore it up back in the years,” Greene said. “I didn’t care about the truck, but that sticker. I tried to peel it off, but it crumbled. That hurt.”

Neither family has formal plans to do anything today, but reflection is certainly in order.

“We’ll pull out some pictures or some home videos and give ourselves that time,” Becky said. “It’s not really a tradition because we talk about him all the time. We don’t save those moments (for April 25).”

It’s like the Larys in Alabama and Louisiana will be able to press play on One Republic’s song “I Lived,” something impossible in the aftermath of Richard’s death.

At Lary’s funeral, the song accompanied a powerful slideshow of mostly family pictures.

“Now we can hear it and be happy about it,” Becky said. “My girls just think about how lucky they were to have Richard for the time they did.”

Rodney Guin continues to change the lives of young people and serve as an inspiration for others. Richard Lary isn’t much different. The darkest days in the lives of their families may have prevented others from the same fate.

“I know it’s true,” Sepulvado said. “When I took over (at Shreve), my wife said, ‘If you’re going to do this, you’re going to get checked out.’ The stress was one of her fears.

“Now I have a cardiology appointment every year before we start football season. After Richard died, I went to an appointment and I saw Mike Greene and four other coaches there.”

Hockey, Chipotle provide respite for Mudbugs’ Russian star

FROM RUSSIA, WITH LOVE: After a tumultuous couple of years, Shreveport Mudbugs forward Timofei Khokhlachev (22), a Moscow, Russia product, hopes to end his junior career with a Robertson Cup championship.

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Instead of throwing his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame around the ice and creating havoc for opponents, 10 months ago, Timofei Khokhlachev was forced to watch the Shreveport Mudbugs capture the North American Hockey League’s Robertson Cup on a computer screen.

In Moscow, Russia.

At 3 a.m.

Amid an uncertain and unsettling time in the world.

It was a bittersweet moment for the 20-year-old who sacrificed blood, sweat and tears alongside many of the players who lifted the Cup in Blaine, Minnesota.

“Sometimes I wouldn’t sleep,” Khokhlachev, who played with the Mudbugs for two years before the pandemic derailed the 2019-20 season, told The Journal. “I missed hockey and I missed everything back home.”

“Home,” as in Shreveport.

The Moscow product, whose requests for a visa — required to join the fight with his teammates — were repeatedly denied at the American embassy, didn’t just miss playing the game he loved, he missed Northwest Louisiana.

“I missed the boys and going to the rink and battling for one another,” Khokhlachev said. “I missed the team. I missed the Shreveport weather.”

And Chipotle.

Twenty-five months after a pandemic sent him to isolation in Siberia, Khokhlachev gets his final opportunity to lead the Mudbugs to the promised land. Tonight, Shreveport begins a best-of-5 first-round playoff series against rival Lone Star in North Richland Hills, Texas.

“It’s important to finish my career in Shreveport strong,” said Khokhlachev, whose first stop after his return to the states was to eat at Chipotle. “Seeing the guys win was unbelievable, but of course I want to do it myself. I want to be a part of it.”

However, the obstacles in the life of “Koko” didn’t end with his return to America. Midway through this season, things at home turned upside down with the start of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.

“Sometimes we don’t know what’s going on in these kids’ personal lives,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “We all know what’s going on over there.”

Khokhlachev’s morning routine is even more important these days: Wake up, eat breakfast, practice, call his family.

“I talk to them as soon as I get off the ice,” he said.

Hockey is no longer just the fuel to the fire that burns inside Khokhlachev.

“It’s an escape,” he said. “I love showing up to the rink every day and getting my mind off a few things and focusing on putting the puck in the net. It’s huge for me.”

Khokhlachev can certainly put the puck in the net. He tied for third on the team with 15 goals in the regular season and is the franchise’s all-time NAHL leader in game-winning goals, despite the lost year.

“He knows what it’s all about here. He’s a great player,” teammate Austin Brimmer said. “It’s really rare for a guy that size to move as well as he does. He has skill, experience and size. In the (locker) room, he’s an unbelievable guy to have.”

Other locker rooms may have proven to be a challenge for Khokhlachev, especially in today’s political climate marked by tasteless hot takes.

But even when Shreveport boasted a professional team, coaches demanded recruits parlay talent and character in order to be considered for a Mudbugs sweater. Things haven’t changed under Campbell.

“We don’t worry about it at all,” Campbell said. “If something is said that hits a nerve, then somebody can respectfully step up and guys won’t get their feelings hurt. That’s where character comes in.”

Brimmer understands that sometimes Khokhlachev might just need an arm around his shoulders or a pat on the back.

“He knows we’re here for him,” Brimmer said. “He’s one of my best friends.”

Khokhlachev provides an unmistakable presence on the ice, and Campbell has seen no sign of No. 22 being distracted.

“The best thing is his work ethic,” Campbell said. “There is no off switch for him. He never stops. He works so hard and wants to improve all the time. He’s a pleasure to have around and he can lead by example.”

His high energy level actually worked against the powerful forward after a year away from the game.

“He plays so hard he puts himself out of position,” Campbell said. “He’s so full of energy that we were trying to calm him down.”

Khokhlachev had ice in Moscow, but he was limited to pick-up games with his brother, Alexander (a former NHL player), and other countrymen – some professionals, but most waiting for clearance to return to leagues around the world.

“The first couple of weeks (back with the Mudbugs) were tough,” Koko said. “I had to adjust to the speed. Some of the muscles weren’t working yet.”

He’s firing on all cylinders now.

Said Campbell: “He played a big role in the last playoffs we had him for (2019). It will be interesting to see. We’re going to lean on him.”

Khokhlachev turns 21 in June and is committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at American International College in Springfield, Mass. No matter how long the Mudbugs’ run toward a repeat lasts, he will always remember the chaotic end to his junior hockey career and how valuable Shreveport and its hockey franchise proved to be.

“It’s been really important,” he said. “There are multiple things going on in life. The boys have done an unbelievable job — not just taking care of me, but the rookies, the young guys — whatever they’re going through. You can go to anyone in the locker room and talk and they will be there for you. It’s priceless, amazing.”


Haughton tops Parkway to make program history

LANDMARK WIN:  The Haughton Buccaneers collected a share of the District 1-5A baseball title Wednesday. It marks the first district crown since the school climbed from Class 4A.

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Game of inches? Baseball proved to be just that Wednesday night at Ronnie Coker Field. It also proved it’s a game that rewards fortitude. Both lifted Haughton to program history in a Bossier Parish throwdown packed with emotion.

The visiting Buccaneers used a three-run home run – that landed on top of the left-center field fence — by senior Parker Lowrie, the No. 9 hitter, to defeat Parkway, 6-2, and steal a share of the District 1-5A title.

Not only did the Panthers miss an opportunity to earn the district outright, Benton can join the tie at the top with a victory at home against Natchitoches Central in today’s district finale. 

Lowrie, a Centenary commit, was in a platoon situation during the first half of the season and endured his fair share of struggles at the plate not that long ago.

“He’s a good bunter,” Haughton head coach Glenn Maynor said. “I was actually thinking about bunting in that situation, but he’s been swinging the bat a lot better. The fact he got a hit didn’t surprise me; the fact it went out – big surprise. That was just a bonus.”

The Buccaneers scored in the top of the first and never trailed Wednesday. Ace Austin Anderson was lifted with the lead in the fifth inning after 93 pitches, but another unlikely hero emerged.

Gary Rondeau needed just 34 pitches to close out the final 2 2/3 innings – two days after he also earned a save against Parkway over the final 2 2/3 innings.

Rondeau, a sophomore, struggled as a starter early in the season and was forced to do most of his work at the junior varsity level.

Recently, Maynor had a “gut feeling” to promote Rondeau and he’s since excelled in high-leverage situations.

“A sophomore who struggled a month ago comes in and finishes the game again, that’s pretty cool,” Maynor said.

The Bucs’ duo on the mound held Parkway to four hits. LSU commit Trenton Lape, the Panthers’ second baseman, was 0-3 on Wednesday.  

Maynor hopes the Buccaneers can parlay a strong finish to the season into a top-eight seed in the Class 5A playoffs, which will guarantee being at home in the second round.

After nine district championships in Class 4A, Wednesday provided the Buccaneers’ their first share of a title in the state’s highest classification. 

“It helps with the belief these guys can win,” Maynor said. “It’s definitely a monkey off our shoulders.”

A couple of weeks ago, Maynor told his team they could stop worrying about making history.

“After we got swept by Captain Shreve, it was such a longshot,” Maynor said. “I told the guys to just go play and that were was no pressure about winning a district championship. I think it took a little pressure off them.”


Lang’s Locks: Time to hit the PGA Tour team event in New Orleans

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Sure, we had a small profit last week, but a bogey on the final hole by Aaron Wise proved to be a 4-unit swing (in the wrong direction). Been really close to that huge week, but sports betting is about treading water outside of the big hits, so let’s get right back to the links this week!

I have to be honest, when they first changed the Zurich Classic in New Orleans to a team event, I was very skeptical. However, the unique event has been terrific. They get terrific fields and there is walk-up music – sign me up!


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!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool


Last week recap: +.07 units


PGA Tour

Zurich Classic

Win bets

Byeong Hun An-Sungjae Im, +4100, .1 unit (DK)

Joseph Bramlett-Maverick McNealy, +7600, .1 (DK)

Top 20 bets

Lee Hodges-Vince Whaley, +550, .9 units (CAE)

Ryan Brehm-Mark Hubbard, +550, .7 units (CAE)

Joseph Bramlett-Maverick McNealy, +175, .6 units (CAE)

Curtis Thompson-Nick Hardy, +550, .2 units (CAE)

European Tour

ISPS Handa Championship in Spain

Top 20 Bets

Niklas Lemke, +550, .4 units (FD)

Garrick Porteous, +600, .2 units (FD)

Grant Forrest, +450, .2 units (FD)

Daniel Gavins, +370, .2 units (FD)

Wade Ormsby, +410, .2 units (FD)

Jack Senior, +600, .2 units (FD)

Ricardo Santos, +1100, .2 units (FD)

Ondrej Lieser, +1100, .2 units (FD)

Andrew Wilson, +1200, .2 units (FD)

Jens Dantorp, +1000, .1 units (DK)

Joel Sjoholm, +1700, .1 units (DK)

Much-traveled Shea Patterson remains loyal to Shreveport

A lot of folks distance themselves from Shreveport at the drop of a hat.

Not Shea Patterson.

Sunday, the kid – he’s still just 25 years old – re-emerged on the football scene as the quarterback of the Michigan Panthers in the United States Football League. A nightmarish start against Houston led to Patterson getting benched in his American professional debut, but like he’s always seemed to do, Patterson resurrected himself and nearly authored a miraculous comeback.

Why should we care? Why should we claim him? He still claims us.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, the former Calvary Baptist Academy quarterback isn’t from here and he spent just two high school years (2013, 2014) in town. After his time with the Cavaliers, Patterson, who played his freshman year on the Mexican border in Hidalgo, Texas, made a controversial exit to play his senior prep season at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

The top-ranked high school quarterback in the nation then shipped to Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi. After two years and just 10 appearances with the Rebels, the former five-star recruit transferred to Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan in 2018.

He won 19 games with the Wolverines, but didn’t beat hated rival Ohio State – all that matters to many backing Big Blue.

Sunday, Patterson honored the memory of his late Buckeye counterpart, Dwayne Haskins — recently killed on a Florida interstate — by writing the quarterback’s nickname and number, “Simba 7,” on his wrist tape.

Patterson was not selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was then waived by the Kansas City Chiefs not long after he signed as a free agent. Two Canadian Football League (Vancouver and Montreal) stints later, Patterson finds himself in the rebirth of the USFL.

Despite a circuitous route that’s included several stops, Patterson has stayed true to Shreveport.

Media guide at Ole Miss: Shea Patterson, from Shreveport.

Media guide at Michigan: Hometown, Shreveport.

Michigan Panthers: Shea Patterson, hometown, Shreveport.

The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder was the No. 1 overall selection in this year’s USFL draft, but two early fumbles – one returned for a touchdown after the Panthers had reached Houston’s 4 – led head coach Jeff Fisher to turn to backup, and former NFL signal-caller, Paxton Lynch.

Lynch wasn’t the answer and quickly gave way to Patterson again.

Trailing 17-0, Patterson tossed his first touchdown pass as a professional – a 8-yard strike to Lance Lenoir Jr.

With the Panthers down five points in the waning moments, Patterson drove Michigan down the field. Facing fourth-and-26 at the Gamblers’ 30, Patterson found a receiver in the corner of the end zone with 1 second remaining, but La’Michael Pettway momentarily bobbled the ball and couldn’t retain possession before his momentum carried him out of the back of the end zone.

Patterson finished 17-of-25 for 192 yards and a touchdown. He added 31 yards on the ground.

“In the game of football, you don’t turn the football over like we did and win very many (games),” Fisher told the media following the game. “Both of (the quarterbacks) are gonna play. We just have to minimize some of these mistakes.

“The quarterbacks will bounce back, they’ll compete this week in practice and we’ll see what happens,” Fisher said. “I like this team. They’ll bounce back.”

Wherever this latest venture takes Patterson, it’s clear part of Patterson remains in Shreveport.

Bugs Beat: Shreveport tops in NAHL attendance

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Shreveport, even from within, has taken its fair share of criticism about its ability to be a “sports town.” The area has seen multiple levels of professional baseball and football franchises either fold or leave town and soccer has failed. Pro hoops was run out of town — and since returned — despite winning championships, and the cost of professional hockey caused that sport to go dark for a few years.

Fan support hasn’t been an issue for the Shreveport Mudbugs, even in the days before their break following a 2011 Central Hockey League Presidents Cup championship.

The franchise – and its rabid fans – picked up where it left off after joining the North American Hockey League in 2016.

Saturday, 3,189 fans watched the Mudbugs cap the 2021-22 regular season on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum with a 5-0 victory. Shreveport finished the season with an average attendance of 2,275 and led the NAHL for the fourth-straight season.

Pack the Pond

Season, average attendance (NAHL rank)

2021-22, 2,275 (Leader)

2020-21, 1,580 (Leader)

2019-20, 2,575 (Leader)

2018-19, 2,830 (Leader)

2017-18, 2,925 (2nd)

2016-17, 2,850 (2nd)

Shreveport kept its perfect NAHL postseason participation alive. For the fifth time (the 2020 playoffs were cancelled due to COVID), the Mudbugs are an NAHL playoff team. The team will travel to Texas to face rival Lone Star on Friday to begin a best-of-5 first-round series.

But first, we will highlight a wild 2021-22 campaign with some notable statistics.

Brimmer hits trifecta

Austin Brimmer became the only Mudbug to reach the 20-goal plateau this season with a remarkable tally in the first period in Saturday’s regular-season finale. Brimmer is the first NAHL Mudbug to lead his team outright in goals, assists (34) and points (54).

“It means the world because Shreveport is such a historic organization,” Brimmer told The Journal. “There are guys who played and are still involved, like (head coach Jason Campbell) Soupy and (general manager Scott Muscutt) Musky — it’s truly a pleasure to have that record. This organization has been so good to me. I’m so thankful for the opportunity.”

During Shreveport’s professional era, only three players cashed an identical trifecta — Toby Burkitt (30 goals, 50 assists, 1999-2000), Dan Wildfong (32G, 37A, 2004-05) and Joe Blaznek (24G, 39A, 2008-09).

Bobak bullies way to wins record

Shreveport netminder Devon Bobak shattered the NAHL franchise record for victories in a season between the pipes. Bobak’s 27 wins easily beat the prior mark set by Cole Hudson (20, 2020-21). Bobak also entered a three-way tie for the most shutouts in a single season.

Bobak, Maiszon Balboa (2019-20) and James Durham (2017-18) all earned five shutouts in their respective campaigns.

“Koko” proves he’s a (game-) winner

Shreveport forward Timofei Khokhlachev finished his regular-season Mudbugs career with an NAHL-franchise best nine game-winning goals. The Russian missed last season (he was stuck in his homeland) but still tops the list. He’s one ahead of current teammate Connor Gatto and former teammate Gueorgui Feduolov.

Journal’s 3 Stars

  1. Simon Bucheler, made 26 saves to collect his second shutout of the season Saturday
  2. Austin Brimmer, reached 20-goal mark on the season Saturday
  3. Connor Gatto, goal and an assist in Saturday’s victory 

NAHL South Division, final standings

xy-Lone Star (38-12-10), 86 points

*New Mexico (38-17-5), 81

*Wichita Falls (35-17-8), 78

*Shreveport (34-21-5), 73

Odessa (29-26-5), 63

Amarillo (27-29-4), 58

Corpus Christi (25-32-3), 53

El Paso (15-41-4), 34

x-clinched division

y-clinched overall NAHL regular-season title

*in playoffs

Final 2021-22 Mudbugs leaders

Goals: Austin Brimmer, 20

Assists: Brimmer, 34

Points: Brimmer, 54

Penalty Minutes: Davis Goukler, 133

Plus-minus: Lukas Sedlacek, plus-20 

Game-winning goals: Connor Gatto, Sedlacek, Gunner Moore, 4

Goals-against average: Devon Bobak, 2.09

Save percentage: Bobak, .921

Up next

Shreveport begins a best-of-5 first-round playoff series with Lone Star in North Richland Hills, Texas on Friday and Saturday.

Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs