Mudbugs sweep New Mexico, climb into third place

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs, fueled by production across the board, swept the New Mexico Ice Wolves in a weekend doubleheader and moved into third place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division.

“It was pretty huge,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “It just seems like the same old story this season: ‘This weekend was big, but next weekend is even bigger and the next one is bigger than that.’

“At least it’s never boring, there is always something to play for.”

Friday’s back-and-forth affair at the Outpost Ice Arenas saw the Mudbugs take a 2-0 lead with a pair of goals in the first 2:47 of the second period. However, New Mexico roared back with three goals in the final 9 minutes of the frame to help tie game after 40 minutes.

The Ice Wolves scored midway through the third to take a 4-3 lead. Just 54 seconds later, Ryan Austin tied the game for Shreveport. Forty seconds after that, captain Garrett Steele collected what would be the game-winner.

“The guys are relentless,” Campbell said. “If the other team fights back, they don’t get too excited about it, they just keep playing.”

On Saturday, the Mudbugs took a 3-1 lead into the third period. The Ice Wolves cut the deficit in half with a power-play goal with 2 minutes remaining, but Shreveport closed the door with an empty-netter from Logan Heroux.

Shreveport will conclude the current six-game road swing with a series at rival Lone Star this weekend. The Brahmas are six points ahead of the Mudbugs.

“Four huge games against Lone Star coming up,” said Campbell, whose team will host the Brahmas the following weekend. “They are playing for a lot, too.”

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Garrett Steele, two goals and an assist in Friday’s victory, including the game-winning goal in the third period.
  2. Eric Vitale, a four-point weekend included a goal and two assists in Friday’s win.
  3. Kason Muscutt, collected a goal and an assist Friday.

NAHL South Division standings

Oklahoma (33-6-1), 67 points

Lone Star (27-10-4), 58

Shreveport (23-13-6), 52

New Mexico (24-16-3), 51

Amarillo (21-17-3), 45

Odessa (19-19-2), 40

El Paso (12-26-3), 27

Corpus Christi (10-27-5), 25

*top four make the playoffs 

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 15

Assists: Logan Heroux, 23

Points: Drake Morse, 34

Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 72

Game-winning goals: Morse, Hayden Nichol, Logan Gotinsky, Jake Mack, 3

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 2.11

Save percentage: Bucheler, .917 

Up next

Shreveport completes six-game road trip with a weekend (Friday, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.) series at Lone Star

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Mudbugs look to create space in race for playoffs

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs are looking for a little security. With 20 games remaining in the 2022-23 regular season, Shreveport sits fourth in the North American Hockey League’s South Division.

The position is a bit precarious with Amarillo just five points back – with a game in hand – and charging Odessa in sixth. However, this weekend, the Mudbugs have an opportunity to challenge New Mexico for third place.

The Mudbugs visit the Ice Wolves for a pair of games (Friday and Saturday, 7:30 p.m. CST) at Outposts Ice Arena. They are three points behind New Mexico. The teams have split the six meetings this season. This weekend will mark the final regular-season games in the series.

Notes: Team South, made up of prospects from the NAHL’s South Division, took home the division crown at the Top Prospects tournament in Pittsburgh this week.

The Mudbugs had three players on the winning team – forwards Logan Gotinsky, Drake Morse and Garrett Steele. Morse, who leads Shreveport in points, scored two goals in Monday’s 7-3 victory against the Midwest. He also collected an assist in Tuesday’s victory.

Shreveport made no moves as the NAHL trade deadline passed Tuesday.

“That was the message to the guys: ‘This is the group of guys we believe can get it done,’” Mudbugs associate head coach Michael Hill said. “I don’t think we’ve done a single trade all year to bring a guy in. If you look at it, we’ve probably been together the longest out of any team in the league. We’ve been developing the same guys all year.”

Season series

(Teams tied 3-2-1)

Oct 21, Mudbugs 2, New Mexico 1

Oct. 22, New Mexico 4, Mudbugs 3

Nov. 4, New Mexico 3, Mudbugs 0

Nov. 5, New Mexico 2, Mudbugs 1 (SO)

Dec. 2, Mudbugs 3, New Mexico 0

Dec. 3, Mudbugs 4, New Mexico 3 (OT)

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Who is going to find the end zone and when during the Super Bowl?

Super Bowl Sunday, the Holy Grail of gambling.

You can get it all, from the coin toss to commercials to the color of the Gatorade dump.

As expected, we’re not going nuts on this game. If you’re in this to make a profit, no game is any more important than any other.

We’re here for value!

However, hopefully a handful of touchdown wagers here will set you up to take part in all the other fun stuff.

Check my Facebook (Roy Lang III) on Sunday for any potential main bets (spread/total).

Good luck and enjoy. 


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 Thursday) 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 



(all .1-unit bets)

Kenneth Gainwell, +2300 (FD)

Isiah Pacheco, +1000 (FD)

Jalen Hurts, +800 (FD/DK/MGM)

Eagles, defense/special teams, +3500 (DK) 


(.5-unit bets)

Isiah Pacheco, +143 (BS)

Jalen Hurts, +100 (FD) 

(.3-unit bets)

Kenneth Gainwell, +360 (FD)

Eagles defense/special teams, +600 (DK)

Contact Roy at

Time in Bossier City helped mold Eagles’ Scott into ‘that dude’

BIG LITTLE GUY: While in junior high in Bossier City, Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott was an offensive lineman. Since then, he’s been an undersized but productive RB at Louisiana Tech and in the NFL. (Courtesy Greenacres Middle School yearbook, and Philadelphia Eagles)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Boston Scott understands. His 5-foot-6, 203-pound frame is easy for the naïve to dismiss. It’s been that way for a long time. Not only does Scott embrace the stigma, he often turns the tables by diving in head first to give himself an advantage.

During his time as a running back at Zachary High School, the Broncos created a play dubbed “Hide the …,” well, let’s just say “little guy.” The play, designed to bury Scott behind a guard before getting the football, didn’t always work, but the concept was good enough to bring to the game’s highest level.

“That play is still around,” Scott, now a Philadelphia Eagle on the brink of the biggest game in his career, told The Journal. “We ran that play against Dallas. I was all for it (at Zachary). I was trying to get in there and play all I could.”

Sunday, the Louisiana Tech product, who cut his teeth as an offensive/defensive lineman at Greenacres Middle School in Bossier City, will tote the ball for the Eagles at Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona.

“God has exceeded all expectations,” Scott said.

Scott is a Baton Rouge native, but Hurricane Katrina forced his family to evacuate to North Louisiana. His brother, Tony, played football at Airline while his sister, Alana, attended Apollo Elementary.

Life included a daily half-mile walk to Greenacres Middle School from Scott’s apartment off Airline Drive. In terms of football, perhaps Scott was misplaced up front. However, it couldn’t have worked out better.

“I learned how hard I work, about my willingness to master skills the best I could at that size and that stature,” Scott said. “That unlocked something in me that I feel helped me when I became a running back at Zachary. Seeing some of the guys on the team – how good they were, how strong they were, I knew I didn’t have the gifts they had and I had to work.”

Before Greg Williams took over Byrd baseball, he was at Zachary, where he also served as an assistant football coach. When Scott appeared on campus, after his mother was the victim of job cuts in Bossier City, it didn’t take long for the Broncos staff to realize it had a unique asset.

“His work ethic was second-to-none,” Williams said of the multisport prep star. “We were a pass-happy offense, but obviously found ways to incorporate him. You knew he was special — maybe not football-wise. He had a great personality and sense of humor, an easy guy to coach.

“If it didn’t work out with football, I know it would have in another area.”

Despite a great career at Zachary that included letters in football, soccer and track and a state championship in power lifting, college coaches didn’t exactly break down Scott’s door on the recruiting trail. Heck, they didn’t even knock.

Off to Ruston he went as a walk-on for the Bulldogs. Again, he was forced to prove himself from the ground floor of college football – the scout team.

Scott’s parents, Anthony and Shelly, carried themselves with “confidence,” and their middle child learned how important that was very early.

“I had to learn how to clap for myself, believe in myself,” Scott said. “I was easy to overlook.”

The mantra served him well at Louisiana Tech. As a senior, Scott led the team with 1,047 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

But the process started again after he was drafted in the sixth round by the New Orleans Saints in 2018. He never made it higher than the practice squad. Near the end of the 2018 season, the Eagles came calling. He played two games for Philadelphia that
year and then scored five touchdowns in 11 games during the 2019 campaign. He’s scored 17 touchdowns in four years with the Eagles.

Sunday, Scott — with immediate family in attendance — will play for the sport’s ultimate title. He will aim to score for the third straight playoff game (fourth straight game overall), but he’s not screaming “I told you so” from the top of the mountain.

“When you get those blessings it’s easy to forget what got you there, all the hard work you put in and you start feeling yourself,” Scott said, “but there is a bunch of people that invested in me, that provided me opportunity to get where I’m at today. It’s important to reflect and look back at the things you’ve gone through. It keeps you humble, down to earth.”

For Scott, a former member of the school band, attitude is everything.

“The key for guys like Boston is their ability to put themselves out there,” Williams said. “They had no problem risking failure. A lot of guys have a fear of failure. In his mind, he was never too small. His attitude was, ‘I’m the dude and I’m going to be the dude. Whether you think so or not, I’m the dude.’”

“Whatever I did I’ve always wanted to give my all – pursue excellence in whatever I put my mind to,” Scott said. “Each phase in this journey required so much of my mental, of my physical and of my spiritual, and forced me into taking it a day at a time. I remain present throughout the journey. Adversity, hard times and struggles prepared me for what I was about to step into.

“I’m about to play in the Super Bowl. It’s crazy.”

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MAN IN A SUPER HURRY: Once a walk-on in Ruston, Scott earned a scholarship and led the Bulldogs in rushing as a senior.

Sports betting world centered in Phoenix this week

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

I was there the last time the Super Bowl and the Phoenix Open were both played in Phoenix. I covered both all week and the craziness ended with the interception on the goal line to give Tom Brady another ring. 

This week is going to be a blast out there and we’re going to dive into both big events. Up first, the golf. We also sprinkle in some Euro action. Last week was a dud, but the Locks VIPs demanded Korn Ferry action and we hit a 90-1 bomb in Pierceson Coody.

Come back Friday for wagers on the big game.


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: -2.9 units

2023 season: +3.9 units

2022 season: +101 units 



Waste Management Phoenix Open  

Top 20 bets

Luke List, .4 units, +750 (DK)

Patrick Rodgers, .2 units, +700 (BR)

Lee Hodges, .2 units, +1100 (FD) 

DP World Tour 

Win bets

Thirston Lawrence, .1 unit, +4500 (FD, DK, MGM)

Kristian Krogh Johannessen, .1 unit, +12500 (FD, MGM) 

Top 20 bets

Matthew Baldwin, .5 units, +500 (DK)

David Ravetto, .4 units, +700 (CAE, DK)

Contact Roy at

For ETBU hockey, a goal and a look to the sky marks a long goodbye

Dylan Hedrick isn’t sure about the details of his last interaction with longtime friend and East Texas Baptist University hockey teammate Hunter Dorram. All he remembers is that it came on the ice — after the final buzzer to cap a Jan. 29 game against Texas Tech on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. 

“That’s what’s tearing me up inside,” Hedrick told The Journal. “I just don’t know the last thing I said to him.” 

Less than 24 hours later, the 22-year-old Dorram was gone, the victim of a fatal accident on Interstate 20 near Waskom. 

Dorram and Hedrick were two of three seniors on the Tigers’ Division III team. Just one weekend remained in their four-year college hockey careers. 

“Hockey was his life,” Hedrick said. “He went through a lot growing up and it was a way to get away from it – an escape. He loved to play, loved the grittiness of the sport.” 

On Friday, four days after the tragedy, Hedrick and his grieving Tigers teammates mustered the fortitude to take the ice for a weekend series against North Texas. Before the game, Hedrick and the other senior, Jason Moore, took the ice wearing Dorram’s No. 13 jerseys. The game started with the clock at 13 seconds and Hedrick took the faceoff as the Tigers played with just four skaters. Not only was there a figurative void in the hearts of those on the ice, the missing piece was visible, too. 

“He was listed in the starting lineup,” ETBU head coach Alain Savage said. “It was his last buzzer. That was a great way to let it go.” 

Hedrick and Dorram were a “package deal” when Savage recruited the duo out of the Dallas Metroplex. Their near-decade playing together began during junior high in Mansfield, Texas. It was only natural they’d take the next step side by side. 

At 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, Dorram was imposing as a defenseman. However, the classroom is where the Gypsum, Colorado, native excelled. He was a 4.0 student who had just two games left in his hockey career, but was set to be armed with a business administration degree. 

The possibilities moving forward were endless and hope abundant. 

“Hunter was really quiet, didn’t say much, but when he spoke people listened,” Savage said. “On the ice, it was more of the same. He led by example. Once you got in his circle, you weren’t getting out. He was going to keep you as a friend forever.” 

How to cope with the events of the past week aren’t covered in any coach’s manual or taught at a player’s camp. The Tigers weathered the first seven days as a family. 

“There were a few guys who didn’t want to get on the ice,” Savage said. “The guys are really close to each other. We rely on each other. I was really down Saturday (for Senior Day), but the boys picked me up. It’s a big family. That’s our culture.” 

The time inside The George has proven to be the easiest part of the grieving process. 

“You get out there and you forget everything — it will take the bad away, at least for a little bit, anyway,” Savage said. “I’ve never been through something like that. This is as close as I can get to losing my own child.” 

The tenacious Dorram created a blueprint for all student-athletes, one Hedrick and Savage hope prevails in the hockey program for a long time. 

“Matching his work ethic, and the perspective Hunter had to combine hockey and school – those are things that will benefit future Tigers,” Hedrick said. “He loved the toughness of hockey, and he brought toughness to the team. He loved scoring those dirty goals.” 

As if Friday wasn’t challenging enough, Saturday’s Senior Day was lathered in emotion. Since Hedrick didn’t get to bid his “best friend” a proper adieu, or doesn’t remember it, he did the only thing he knew worthy. 

“Friday was very hard, the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life,” Hedrick said, “but Saturday, I just can’t explain it. I had a feeling.” 

In his final college hockey game, Hedrick scored the Tigers’ first goal and looked to the sky. 

“It was very emotional. It was for him,” Hedrick said.

THAT is something he’ll never forget. 

Contact Roy at

Big Mack: Benching sparks ‘ticked’ Mudbugs forward

MACK-NIFICENT: Jake Mack, in his third and final season with the Shreveport Mudbugs, scored the game-winning goal Saturday against Lone Star. (Photo courtesy of Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

About three words into the question during Tuesday’s media gathering, Jake Mack knew what was coming, and it was obvious he was still “ticked,” even 10 days later.

The three-year veteran, who has played 99 regular-season games with the Shreveport Mudbugs, was benched for the team’s Jan. 21 game against Odessa. He had gone pointless for three games and was a minus-4 against Oklahoma on Jan. 14.

“He’s just like every player — every athlete goes through these times in their career. You just don’t have it sometimes and you just need to step away,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “We sat him out one game. I don’t think he needs that to play good, but we thought it was best for the team and for him.

“He came back with a roar.”

Did he ever.

Last Saturday, Mack recorded a season-high three points, including the game-winning goal in the third period during the Mudbugs’ emphatic comeback victory against rival Lone Star.

“It definitely lights a spark in me,” Mack said. “I’m here to play hockey. If I’m not playing hockey, I’m probably pretty ticked off. It sucks (to be a healthy scratch).”

It’s a good bet Mack will be in the lineup when the Mudbugs (20-13-5) play on the road this weekend at Odessa (18-17-1). It’s Shreveport’s first time away from George’s Pond since December.

“Every game, I’m trying to play my best regardless, but (being benched) adds a little more hatred on the ice,” Mack said. “You want to get into it a little more, go check someone. It affects you.”

Mack’s line with Nick Marino and Brent Litchard combined for three goals, four assists and a plus-8 rating in Saturday’s 6-2 victory.

Campbell believes there was no better tonic for the 6-foot-3, 195-pound forward than a weekend series against the Brahmas.

“That’s Jake’s bread and butter to play games like that — they’re heavy and there are going to be close battles. It’s going to take a greasy goal to take the lead or find your way back into the game,” Campbell said. “He’s that type of guy, that type of player – thrives in those opportunities.”

A product of New Hudson, Michigan, Mack spent his rookie season (2020-21) in Shreveport as a teammate to brother Joe (who now plays for Lakehead University), and helped the Mudbugs win a North American Hockey League Robertson Cup. They were the first pair of brothers to be teammates in Shreveport.

“Of course I miss him,” Jake Mack said. “We lived together for that year he was here. It was a long season, like 10 or 11 months. But we’re always talking hockey and stuff. If something is going wrong, he’s always there to help for sure.”

Perhaps it was the game spent in the rafters of The George, or the talks with big brother, but something clicked.

“(Jake) had a great weekend for us, but now it’s about consistency – not just for him, but all the guys,” Campbell said.

Notes: The Mudbugs were stuck outside of Terrell, Texas, for several hours Thursday after a branch went through the windshield of the team bus en route to Odessa, Texas … Shreveport netminder Simon Bucheler captured his second-straight NAHL Goaltender of the Month honor. The Saint-Laurent, Quebec, native posted a 3-1-1 record in five games during January. The Mercyhurst University recruit stopped 127 of 134 shots (.945 save percentage) and posted a 1.39 goals-against-average and two shutouts.

Mudbugs at Odessa

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

Ector County Coliseum

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Centenary’s return to gridiron gathers momentum today

BUILDING THE CORE:  Centenary football coach Byron Dawson, shown at his March introduction as the first Gents’ grid boss since 1941, will bolster his roster today. (Photo courtesy Centenary Athletics)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports 

Signing day isn’t what it used to be. The addition of an early signing period and the frequency of early enrollment have watered down the first Wednesday in February, a day that used to be an unofficial sports holiday, especially in the South. 

Don’t tell that to Byron Dawson. Today is a landmark day for the man who’s been tasked to spearhead the return of college football in Shreveport. 

The former state champion head coach at Evangel will enjoy his first signing day at Centenary, 10 months after the school named him head coach of its first football team since 1941. 

Today, several local athletes will become part of Centenary 2.0’s first signing class. 

They won’t receive athletic scholarships – those don’t exist at the Division III level where Centenary competes – but 80 percent of Division III student-athletes receive some financial aid, either merit-based scholarships or need-based aid packages. They do sign a non-binding NCAA commitment letter. 

“It’s saying you’re committed to come here, play football, be a part of this program and lay a strong foundation for college football here in Shreveport/Bossier,” Dawson told The Journal. 

Dawson currently has 48 athletes committed to play football. A pair of Parkway Panthers will ink with the Gentlemen – defensive end Kris Mesloh and lineman Jake Morton. Captain Shreve is expected to contribute three (Davion Allen, Cam Randolph, Emmanuel Walker-Hines), while Southwood has two Centenary commits (Corinthian Walters and Dequavious Lemons). 

“It’s pretty good for us,” Parkway coach Coy Brotherton said. “I’m happy coach Dawson is there. He has a relationship with us from his time coaching against us. It’s important. 

“And (Centenary quarterbacks and special teams coach) Keondre Wudtee played quarterback here — having those two guys that want to come into the high schools, into the coaches’ office and talk ball with us and to give our kids an opportunity to play college football is pretty cool. Those kids can stay at home and start their career.” 

Dawson vows to eventually have a player from every local high school team on his roster. 

“We have been well-received locally,” Dawson said. “(High school) counselors and coaches and principals have done a great job. 

“The big thing is recruiting. We have 20 guys on campus right now. We rise up early in the morning, train and focus on academics. It’s like building a house. You have to have a strong foundation of kids with great academics who learn how to be leaders on campus, learn the rigors of college life and set the culture.” 

Although the Gents will officially begin play in 2024, the team will play a full slate of games in 2023. 

“We’re going to play sub-varsity teams,” Dawson said. “We will play several Division III schools and some NAIA varsity squads. The games won’t count for us, but we’ll be ready for (SCAC) play in 2024.” 

Dawson wouldn’t reveal the entire schedule, but said his team will play Texas College from Tyler, Texas. The 2023 opponents will be “local” or within “driving distance.” 

Since the process of building a program is in full swing, Dawson won’t allow himself to think game action is right around the corner. 

“The process has been a challenge, but it’s brought together so many great rewards,” Dawson said. “Right now, it’s about learning, growing and connecting. There are so many people supporting us, from the athletic director, the school president and our community. The city is hyped up, pumped up and excited about having college football in Shreveport.” 

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Longshot specials come on heels of strong finish to January

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Here we go again!

A big week on the links collected nearly 7 units and marked our third straight winning effort. I told you I didn’t like to bet chalk, but Rory McIlroy had too much on the line to ignore. He came through like a champ. Our biggest bets of the week hit and we added a nice 12-1 shot from Sam Stevens to finish in the top 20.

The PGA Tour and DP World Tour are back in action and we have some longshots for you, both in the win position and top 20. With only 2.9 units on the line overall, it’s setting up to be sort of a boom or bust campaign.

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: +6.8 units

2023 season: +5.64 units

2022 season: +101 units 



AT&T Pebble Beach 

Win bets

Beau Hossler, .1 unit, +8200 (MGM)

Joseph Bramlett, .1 unit, +9900 (FD) 

Top 20 bets

Kevin Tway, .6 units, +550 (DK)

Grayson Murray, .4 units, +2225 (DK)

Carl Yuan, .3 units, +550 (FD)

DP World Tour 

Ras Al Khaimah Championship 

Win bet

Louis De Jager, .1 unit, +9000 (FD, DK) 

Top 20 bets

Louis De Jager, .8 units, +350 (CAE/DK)

Daniel Brown, .3 units, +850 (DK)

Simon Forsstrom, .2 units, +800 (CAE/DK) 

Contact Roy at

Shreveport blanked in Super Bowl, but Tech contingent strong

Last year, former stars of three Shreveport high schools represented the city in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium in Southern California. When this year’s game heads back west – State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona – there won’t be a local athlete on the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs or Philadelphia Eagles, but the game will be lathered in the red and blue of Louisiana Tech. 

A trio of former Bulldogs, headlined by cornerback L’Jarius Sneed of Minden, will play for a championship on Feb. 12. 

Sneed will represent the Chiefs, who kicked a last-second field goal to defeat last year’s Super Bowl runner-up Cincinnati, 23-20, on Sunday. 

The former Crimson Tide standout was not able to finish the AFC Championship Game after he suffered a head injury while making a tackle on the opening drive of the game. 

The Eagles, who dominated San Francisco, 31-7, in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, will boast a pair of Louisiana Tech products — running back Boston Scott and defensive tackle Milton Williams — when they look to capture the franchise’s second championship (2017, coached by former Calvary head coach and ULM quarterback Doug Pederson). 

Scott was originally drafted by New Orleans (2018, sixth round, 201st overall), but never played a snap for the Saints. 

The 5-foot-6 Baton Rouge native has scored in both playoff games this season. His 10-yard touchdown run was a backbreaker Sunday as it gave the Eagles a two-touchdown lead with 16 seconds remaining in the first half. 

Scott has three rushing touchdowns in six career playoff games. 

Williams was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. He’s played in all 34 regular-season games during his career and made two starts last season. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder made two tackles against the 49ers on Sunday. 

Williams made 106 tackles (49 solo), 19 tackles-for-loss, 10 sacks and recovered three fumbles during his 30 games for the Bulldogs. 

The Bengals’ gutting loss ended the season for wide receiver Trent Taylor, a product of Evangel and Louisiana Tech. Taylor was joined in last year’s Super Bowl by teammate Brandon Wilson (Calvary) and Robert Rochell (Fair Park) of the Los Angeles Rams. 

Wilson (knee) did not play a game for the Bengals this season and ultimately landed on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP) list. 

Clyde Edwards-Helaire of LSU (ankle) was inactive for the Chiefs on Sunday, but will join his teammates on the trip to the Super Bowl. 

There will also be a former Northwestern State Demon on the Chiefs’ sideline. Barry Rubin, a tight end in the late 1970s on coach A.L. Williams’ squad, has been alongside Andy Reid as strength coach since their days on staff in Green Bay. 

Contact Roy at

Mudbugs back on track after sweep of rival Brahmas

FINISHING IT: Hayden Nichol scored with 59 seconds remaining Saturday to cap a 6-2 victory against Lone Star on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. (Photo by ROY LANG III, Journal Sports)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Just when you think you’ve figured out the Shreveport Mudbugs.

Check out the Mudbugs’ outcomes during their two-game series in the month of January (all on home ice):

Sweep of El Paso.

Swept by Oklahoma.

Swept by Odessa.

Sweep of Lone Star.

This weekend’s victories (2-0 on Friday, 6-2 on Saturday) against the Brahmas were punctuated by back-to-back sellouts at George’s Pond and a five-goal third period Saturday. Shreveport trailed 2-1 entering the final 20 minutes.

The third-period rally came after the Mudbugs blew a third-period lead to Odessa one week prior.

“We dug ourselves a hole with the four-game losing streak,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell told The Journal. “The guys, I’ll give it to them, they responded really well. We were able to finish this homestand on a high note against a really good hockey team.”

Shreveport’s six goals Saturday tied the most scored against the Brahmas this season.

The Mudbugs became just the second team in 21 tries to defeat Lone Star after trailing entering the third period.

“The guys stuck with the plan and didn’t panic,” Campbell said. “The puck had eyes for us; it started going in.”

Goaltender Simon Bucheler made 23 saves in a shutout Friday and got the victory again Saturday. Forward Nick Marino registered two goals and two assists Saturday.

The Mudbugs moved into a tie with New Mexico for third place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division and bumped Lone Star out of the top spot. 

“This is where you learn how to play playoff hockey – in a packed house against a good hockey team that doesn’t give you an inch,” Campbell said.

After four straight weekends at The George, Shreveport now travels to Odessa.

“This was a huge weekend that we needed,” Campbell said. “Now, we have to humble ourselves a little bit and get ready for a team that took two (games) from us in our own building last weekend.”

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Nick Marino, two goals and two assists Saturday.
  1. Simon Bucheler, faced 44 shots over two games and made 42 saves, highlighted by a 23-save shutout Friday.
  1. Jake Mack, wreaked havoc on the Brahmas with linemate Marino. Scored the game-winner in the third period Saturday.

NAHL South Division standings

Oklahoma (28-6-1), 57 points

Lone Star (25-8-4), 54

New Mexico (21-14-3), 45

Shreveport (20-13-5), 45

Amarillo (19-14-3), 41

Odessa (18-17-1), 37

El Paso (11-22-3), 25

Corpus Christi (9-24-5), 23 

*top four make the playoffs 

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 13

Assists: Drake Morse, 21

Points: Morse, 33

Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 70

Game-winning goals: Morse, Hayden Nichol, Logan Gotinsky, 3

Goals-against average: Bucheler, 1.89

Save percentage: Bucheler, .924

Up next

After a month at home, the Mudbugs head to Odessa this weekend (Friday, Saturday, 7:15 p.m.)

Contact Roy at

Struggling Mudbugs aim to find chink in rival Brahmas’ armor

(Photo courtesy of Shreveport Mudbugs)

BY ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Last week, Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell wasn’t exactly thrilled with the way his team responded in practice after it was swept at home. Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise the Mudbugs were then swept again on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum.

This week’s response was much more to Campbell’s liking.

“Just the energy alone,” Campbell told The Journal. “And the compete level was really good.”

Shreveport (18-13-5) will aim to snap a four-game losing skid against rival Lone Star, the top team in the North American Hockey League’s South Division. The Brahmas (25-6-4) pay a visit to The George tonight and Saturday.

Campbell said the presence of coaches Gavin Morgan and Rich Parent may have provided a spark this week.

Morgan was the team’s associate head coach last year and Parent is the long-time goaltenders coach.

“It provided a couple of different voices,” Campbell said.

After scoring at least three times in 14 straight games, the Mudbugs managed just two goals in 125 minutes of play against Odessa last weekend.

“We generated some chances,” Campbell said, “but with some of the shots we didn’t have traffic in front of the net or didn’t get rebounds or second-chance opportunities.”

The task will only be tougher as the franchise celebrates its Mardi Gras weekend. The Brahmas bring the league’s top defense to town — 70 goals allowed this season (2.0 per game).  

Two of the top five goalies in the NAHL spearhead Lone Star’s suffocating efforts. Arthur Smith brings a 12-2-2 record to town with the league’s best goals-against average (1.41). Teammate William Gramme is 12-4-2.

“We’re going to have to make their life difficult,” Campbell said. “We have to get pucks to net and make sure we have traffic and guys to deflect pucks or bang in rebounds.”

The Mudbugs had an opportunity to climb within a point of second place just two weeks ago. Now, they cling to the final playoff spot, just four points ahead of Amarillo. The Wranglers have two games in hand on Shreveport.

“We’re going to have to be consistent this weekend – make good reads and good decisions,” Campbell said. “Lone Star is a very consistent, systematic team with a good work ethic. We have to find the chinks in the armor and be resilient.”

Bugs vs. Lone Star

Tonight, Saturday (7:11 p.m.)

George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum

Contact Roy at

World’s hottest golfers playing half a world away from each other

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The winning streak extends to two weeks, thanks to a stellar performance at the first DP World Tour event of the season.

Back to the links for PGA Tour and DP World Tour. 

As far as the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines, remember it begins this morning. Get your bets in early.

I am vigorously against betting short favorites in golf, but Rory McIlroy has plenty of reasons to dust the field in Dubai, especially since Jon Rahm is dominating in the States in his quest to claim Rory’s top spot in the world rankings.


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: +.74 units

2023 season: -1.2 units

2022 season: +101 units 



Farmers Open 

Top 20 bets

Jhonattan Vegas, 1.2 units, +450 (CAE)

Scott Stallings, .7 units, +360 (CAE)

Matthew NeSmith, .5 units, +550 (DK)

Caleb Surratt, .5 units, +1790 (DK)

Samuel Stevens, .4 units, +1200 (DK)

DP World Tour 

Hero Dubai Desert Classic 

Win bets

Rory McIlroy, 1.6 units, +340 (FD)

Thomas Pieters, .1 unit, +3500 (MGM)

Ludvig Aberg, .1 unit, +19900 (MGM)

Top 20 bets

Thomas Pieters, 1.3 units, +162 (CAE)

Ludvig Aberg, 1.1 units, +550 (CAE)

Jordan Smith, 1 unit, +200 (CAE)

Paul Waring, .7 units, +650 (CAE)

Louis De Jager, .5 units, +700 (DK)

Hennie Du Plessis, .4 units, +600 (CAE)

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When opportunity knocked, Prescott stumbled, again

The table was set for Dak Prescott. Sunday offered the best chance in seven years to change perception and take the next step as an NFL quarterback. 

Again, it didn’t happen. 

A 19-12 NFC playoff loss at San Francisco closed the book on another disappointing finish to a season. This didn’t happen at the hands of an Aaron Rodgers miracle or a team vastly better than the Cowboys. 

This time, Prescott got bounced by a rookie — a third-stringer who was the 2022 NFL Draft’s Mr. Irrelevant just eight months ago. 

No, Brock Purdy didn’t light up the Cowboys defense. The uber-talented 49ers didn’t ride his right arm into the NFC Championship Game. He completed 19 of 29 passes for 214 yards. 

However, the kid played mistake-free football. 

In tight games, especially in the postseason, that can be the difference. 

Sunday, Prescott was the difference. 

The 29-year-old, who ended a lengthy turnover streak with a dazzling five-touchdown performance a week earlier against Tampa Bay in the first round of the playoffs, fell back into his 2022 ways. 

The former Haughton star threw two interceptions Sunday, one in the first quarter that led to a San Francisco field goal and another in the red zone during a tie game in the final 90 seconds of the second quarter. The Niners also added three points from that mistake. 

The second half was littered with opportunities for Prescott and the Cowboys to take the reins. 

They managed six points. 

The 23-year-old quarterback who makes peanuts, the guy with just six prior starts, prevailed. Not the seven-year veteran with the $160 million contract. 

Just when all appeared lost for the Cowboys, San Francisco running back Eli Mitchell gifted the Blue Stars a chance to pull off a miracle after he ran out of bounds when the 49ers had a chance to run out the clock. 

It wasn’t meant to be for Prescott. Again. 

In addition to a pair of picks, Prescott tossed one touchdown and completed 23 of 37 throws for 206 yards. 

San Francisco has reeled off nine straight victories. The Niners are a legitimate threat to win the Super Bowl. However, the Cowboys had the supposed edge at quarterback Sunday. In the playoffs, that’s supposed to be enough – especially in tight games. 

Rookie quarterbacks, especially third-stringers, have almost no track record of success. 

Prescott has been there. When he arrived in Dallas as a fourth-rounder in 2016, many had him pegged as third-stringer. However, injuries to Tony Romo and Kellen Moore vaulted Prescott to the top spot before his rookie season began. 

Prescott stunned many by leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record that season. He’s since helped the Cowboys build one of the league’s most potent offenses. He’s amassed big numbers and an impressive amount of victories in the regular season. However, after Sunday’s loss he heads to the offseason with two career playoff wins and four losses. 

Purdy is headed to the conference title game after two playoff wins in two playoff starts. It’s a place Prescott has not been. 

This doesn’t spell the end of the road for Prescott. His career will not be defined by Sunday’s loss or a tumultuous 2022 campaign. His overall body of work is too good to ignore, but the mistakes that labeled this season must be an anomaly. 

He’s already a good quarterback, arguably really good. Can he be great? 

Assuming he stays healthy, Prescott can still quell the naysayers. Will any of the opportunities be as good as the one he faced Sunday? There is certainly no guarantee. 

All we know right now: The lost seasons are piling up.

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Mudbugs ‘fed up’ with recent woes

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Jason Campbell was steaming on the inside, simply furious his Shreveport Mudbugs didn’t play up to expectations, again.

However, Campbell passed on a screaming tirade. 

“It’s just the same old crap and it’s really getting tiring,” Campbell told The Journal. “We have to get more out of our guys, more out of our coaching because it’s just not good enough. It’s four games in a row now.”

Saturday, the Mudbugs blew a third-period lead against Odessa and wound up on the wrong end of a sweep for the second straight weekend. After scoring at least three goals in an NAHL-franchise record 13 games, Shreveport mustered just two goals in two games.

Despite 45 shots on goal, Shreveport fell 2-1 in a shootout Friday. Saturday, Nik Miller scored the game’s first goal midway through the second period, but the Mudbugs watched the lead disappear as Odessa tied the game early in the third period and netted the game-winner with 58 seconds to play.

“We had chances,” Campbell said. “We just have to score. When you have a lead you have to defend without giving them tons of room to play around you. I’m sick of it.”

Last weekend, the Mudbugs had an opportunity to get within a single point of second place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division. After the losses to the Jackalopes, Shreveport finds itself in the final playoff spot, two points behind New Mexico, but just four points ahead of fifth-place Amarillo.

“The boys are fed up, too,” Campbell said. “But, it’s like, ‘Let’s act on this — enough talking about it.’ If we do the right thing, then the next thing you know we’re all over this.”

In a matter of five days, the Mudbugs must find a way to play their best hockey. First-place Lone Star visits George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum to put a bow on Shreveport’s monthlong homestand.

“It’s about the willingness to play simple, hard hockey all the time instead of trying to do it all yourself and go score goals and do it your own way,” Campbell said. “That’s not working.” 

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Niklas Miller, his goal midway through the second period gave Shreveport the lead.
  1. Maksim Sushchynski, collected Shreveport’s lone tally in Friday’s game.
  1. Elvis, stole the show on Music Appreciation weekend. 

NAHL South Division standings

Lone Star (25-6-4), 54 points

Oklahoma (26-6-1), 53

New Mexico (20-13-3), 43

Shreveport (18-13-5), 41

Amarillo (17-14-3), 37

Odessa (17-16-1), 35

El Paso (11-20-3), 25

Corpus Christi (9-22-5), 23 

*top four make the playoffs 

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 13

Assists: Drake Morse, 20

Points: Morse, 30

Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 70

Game-winning goals: Hayden Nichol, Logan Gotinsky 3

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 1.98

Save percentage: Bucheler, .922

Up next

The Mudbugs close their lengthy homestand with a visit from Lone Star (Friday, Saturday, 7:11 p.m.)

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Bugs have something to prove following last weekend’s collapses

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Jason Campbell was brutally honest this week in the wake of back-to-back meltdowns by the Shreveport Mudbugs and he’s challenged his team to change his mind.

The head coach saw his team take two- and three-goal leads against Oklahoma last weekend on George’s Pond. If the Mudbugs had won those games, they would have climbed within a point of second place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division. Instead, they allowed a combined 11 straight goals and lost both games in regulation. Shreveport dropped into fourth place, the final playoff slot.

“I feel like that gap (between Shreveport and Oklahoma) is legitimate,” said Campbell, whose team has won just one of six matchups against the Warriors this season. “We haven’t figured out how to beat them. We’ve had them on the ropes late, we’ve had them on the ropes early and they’ve found a way to win.

“We weren’t ready to run with the big dogs.”

This weekend, the Mudbugs (18-12-4) don’t host a top-four team but visiting Odessa (15-16-1) has won six of its past 10 games. 

The focus entering this series is “D-zone.”

Shreveport carries an NAHL-franchise-record streak of 14 games with at least three goals scored, but defense is the issue.

“We need to be able to defend against teams that have high-powered offenses,” Campbell said. “We have to play an even-keeled game – a nice mixture of offense and defense.

“The puck is a big part of the game, but there is so much going on away from the puck. We’re struggling in that area the most.”

Shreveport forward Niklas Miller, an alternate captain, understands this is when the guys with letters on their sweaters need to take charge.

“It’s truly an honor to wear a letter here,” Miller said. “These are the times they need us the most, and not just the guys with the letters, the whole leadership group – the veterans. We have to keep everyone in check, keep everyone in the right mood to make sure we’re doing everything right during the week so that we’re doing it right on the weekend.”

Note: The NAHL released rosters for the league’s Top Prospects Showcase, set for Feb. 6-7 in Pittsburgh. Three players will represent the Mudbugs: captain Garrett Steele, forward Drake Morse (the team leader in points) and Logan Gotinsky … the Mudbugs will host “Music Appreciation” weekend, including Elvis and Johnny Cash look-alike contests.

Mudbugs vs. Odessa 

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

George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum

Tickets: 318-636-7094

Contact Roy at

Dak gets us back in the win column

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Dallas Cowboys rode Dak Prescott’s hot hand and rolled to a victory Monday and gave us our first winning week of the year. Golf is starting to pick up as the European Tour resumes for the 2023 campaign.

Check my Facebook (Roy Lang III) on the weekend for possible NFL selections.


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: +.9 units

2023 season: -1.9 units

2022 season: +101 units



The American Express

Top 20 bets

Keith Mitchell, 1.0 unit, +360 (DK)

Dean Burmester, .4 units, +400 (DK)

Joseph Bramlett, .4 units, +700 (DK)


Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship 

Win bets

Henrik Stenson, .1 unit, +9000 (FD)

Lee Westwood, .1 unit, +5500 (FD)

Padraig Harrington, .1 unit, +11000 (DK) 

Top 20 bets

Maximilian Kieffer, .6 units, +420 (FD)

Edoardo Molinari, .5 units, +480 (FD)

Padraig Harrington, .4 units, +360 (DK)

Luke Donald, .4 units, +650 (FD) 

Contact Roy at

Cowboys’ Prescott aims to shake INT bug, build playoff resume’

You don’t have to tell Dak Prescott the regular season is relatively meaningless. The wins, the touchdown passes, the points – when all is said and done, star athletes, especially quarterbacks in the NFL, are judged on how they (or their teams) perform in the postseason. 

“These matter,” Prescott said prior to the Dallas Cowboys’ playoff game against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tonight. “I’ve always said I have to go win these games. If you don’t like playing in these games, being in this moment, this isn’t the place for you.” 

Prescott enters the game with a 1-3 postseason record – his lone victory came at home four years ago against Russell Wilson and Seattle. 

The Dallas Cowboys have a total of four postseason victories since their last Super Bowl championship 27 years ago. Owner Jerry Jones inked Prescott, a former Haughton and Mississippi State star, to a four-year, $160-million deal with hopes he could lead the franchise back to the promised land. 

While the Cowboys finished 12-5 and boasted the fourth-best scoring offense in the NFL this season, Prescott added something unusual to a heap of Dallas points and victories. 


Despite missing five games with a hand injury, Prescott tied for the league lead with 15 interceptions. 

However, like everything else he’s done in the regular season, the picks will also be meaningless, should the Cowboys make a run in the playoffs. 

Entering the 2022 campaign, Prescott had never thrown more than 13 interceptions in a full season. 

“When something’s uncharacteristic, it’s about getting back and doing the things you know,” Prescott said. “I have to study, be prepared and make sure I’m doing everything I need to mentally to leave no doubt. I need to respond the right way.” 

The naysayers are ready to pounce, especially after Prescott’s dud in the regular-season finale at Washington. He completed 14 of 37 passes and threw a pick-6 – his seventh straight game with an interception. 

“I want to win the championships and win the titles and everything (former Cowboys quarterbacks did), but I can’t say that’s at the forefront of my mind,” Prescott said. “I’m focusing on the now and what I’m capable of doing and really with the opportunity and the team we have this season.” 

The slate has been wiped clean for Prescott and the Cowboys. Now it’s time to collect things folks can’t take away or minimize. 

“Damn right,” Prescott said. “And obviously after a game like last week, this helps remind you how precious these moments are and how you don’t get these opportunities to play this game in general, but especially being in the playoffs having the team that we have.” 

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‘Selfish’ hockey leads to Mudbugs’ implosion

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell was at a loss for words after one of the most puzzling – and troubling – weekends in recent memory.

Although his team took a 3-1 lead in the first period Friday and a 3-0 first-period advantage on Saturday against Oklahoma, one of the best teams in the North American Hockey League, they did not earn a single point when the dust settled.

The Warriors scored four straight goals in a 5-4 victory in the series opener and six unanswered tallies in a 6-3 triumph Saturday.

“It looked selfish. These guys aren’t selfish, but that’s what it looks like,” Campbell told The Journal. “I’m at a loss for words. We’re not that type of team, but we play that way sometimes and it costs us big time.”

Instead of leaving the weekend on the heels of second place in the NAHL South Division, the Mudbugs dropped to fourth place and now feel heat for the final playoff spot.

“These guys have to understand you can’t change your game,” Campbell said. “When it starts working for you, you can’t just score goals and not worry about the other end of the rink.

“We were absolutely not ready to play in our D-zone the last two periods or read the rush. We weren’t ready to defend. It was not good hockey.”

The extension of a pair of NAHL franchise records were lost in the disastrous finishes.

The Mudbugs have now scored at least three goals in 14 straight games (the previous record was 12) and forward Eric Vitale moved his point streak to 13 games with two goals Friday and an assist Saturday.

Shreveport (18-12-4) will attempt to pick up the pieces as the homestand continues against sixth-place Odessa (15-15-1) this weekend.

“We have to figure it out,” Campbell said. “Hopefully taking these lumps will help us in the long run.”

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Eric Vitale, point streak continues. After collecting one point in his first 12 games this season, he’s piled up 20 in the past 16 games.
  1. Drake Morse, added three assists to his team-best season number. Also scored Saturday.
  1. Sutton Murray, collected his third goal of the season. 

NAHL South Division standings

Lone Star (24-4-4), 52 points

Oklahoma (24-6-1), 49

New Mexico (19-12-2), 40

Shreveport (18-12-4), 40

Amarillo (16-13-3), 35

Odessa (15-15-1), 31

El Paso (11-19-2), 24

Corpus Christi (7-22-5), 19

*top four make the playoffs

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 13

Assists: Drake Morse, 20

Points: Morse, 30

Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 68

Game-winning goals: Hayden Nichol, Logan Gotinsky 3

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 2.04

Save percentage: Bucheler, .919

Up next

The Mudbugs continue the homestand with a pair against Odessa (Friday, Saturday, 7:11 p.m.).

Contact Roy at

Ex-Calvary, Tech QB Lyddy chooses UAB, Dilfer

EASTBOUND ON I-20:  Former Calvary Baptist quarterback Landry Lyddy, Mr. Louisiana Football in 2021 for the Cavaliers, confirmed Sunday he is transferring from Louisiana Tech to UAB. (File photo courtesy Louisiana Tech)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Just a couple of days after former Louisiana Tech star Landry Lyddy announced his move into the transfer portal, Sunday he revealed his intent to play for the University of  Alabama-Birmingham and first-year head coach Trent Dilfer, a former Super Bowl champion quarterback.

UAB, like Lyddy’s former team, is currently a member of Conference USA, but the Blazers are scheduled to join the American Athletic Conference (AAC) this year and are not on future Tech schedules. UAB has compiled six straight winning seasons since reviving the football program in 2017.

Lyddy used his social media to announce his decision Sunday afternoon and later shared his thinking exclusively to The Journal.

“I feel like this opportunity to be coached by Trent Dilfer, (offensive coordinator) Alex Mortenson, and (quarterbacks coach) Nick Coleman is going to push me out of my comfort zone and I’m ready to be challenged,” Lyddy told The Journal. “And not to mention the network of connections that those guys bring to the table.”

Mortenson comes to UAB after a nine-year stint at Alabama. He was most recently an offensive analyst for the Crimson Tide (2017-22),  where he worked closely with quarterbacks such as Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, Mac Jones and Bryce Young.

Coleman also enters his first year at UAB. The former quarterback at Middle Tennessee was an offensive analyst at South Carolina for the past two seasons..

This will be the first college coaching job for Dilfer, who was named UAB’s leader in November. He spent four years as the head coach of Lipscomb Academy in Nashville. Dilfer spent 13 seasons in the NFL and won Super Bowl XXXV as the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens.

Before Dilfer arrived this winter, UAB was the first school to offer Lyddy a scholarship while the quarterback was in high school.

But Lyddy chose Louisiana Tech, and now has left the Bulldogs after one season in Ruston. The 2021 Mr. Football in Louisiana started four games for Louisiana Tech and played in three others as a true freshman.

During the Bulldogs’ 3-9 campaign, the 6-foot, 198-pound Lyddy completed 82 of 126 passes for 767 yards. He threw three touchdowns, four interceptions and added a score on the ground.

“I’m just looking for a place where I’m wanted and a coaching staff that will coach me hard,” Lyddy told The Journal last week after he announced his pending departure from Louisiana Tech. By then, he reportedly had his sights set on UAB.

The Blazers are scheduled to open the 2023 season against North Carolina A&T on Aug. 31.

Lyddy led Calvary to a state championship in 2020, his junior season. As a senior, he corralled the state’s highest individual football honor after throwing for more than 50 touchdowns and 3,000 yards.

Under current transfer portal rules, the 19-year-old Lyddy is allowed a one-time transfer in the FBS ranks without having to sit out a season.

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Mudbugs host NAHL power Oklahoma

 (Photo courtesy of Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs are on a roll. They’ve won six straight games — 11 of 12 — and have matched a North American Hockey League franchise record with at least three goals in each of those dozen games.

Tonight, the Mudbugs host Oklahoma. Although the Warriors can’t match Shreveport’s current hot streak, they have put together one incredible first half.

Oklahoma (22-6-1) boasts the largest goal differential in the NAHL. The Warriors reside in second place in the South Division. They lead the league in offense (4.1 goals per game) and rank No. 2 in defense (2.24 goals allowed per game).

“Oak City’s offense is through the roof,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “This is a big challenge on our doorstep. This is a skilled team that works hard and has a lot of depth, too.”

The Warriors rank sixth in the league on the power play (21.1 percent conversion) and third on the penalty kill (88.2 percent), one spot behind Shreveport.

Oklahoma has won three of the four matchups with the Mudbugs this season, although Shreveport has earned at least one point in three of those four games.

“We’re going to have to up the ante,” Campbell said.

Shreveport has feasted on the South Division’s bottom feeders during its hot streak, with eight of the 11 wins coming against the bottom two squads – El Paso and Corpus Christi. However, losing six of the first seven games of the season is now just a memory.

“I saw how the room was after we were on a bit of a slide — just everybody hated losing, and that kind of fueled us even more,” defenseman Logan Heroux said. “You could tell guys were getting sick of it and practices got harder and harder, more intense. The way the practices have been is the reason why we’ve rallied.”

The top teams are about to invade The George. Oklahoma makes its final regular-season trip to town this weekend. On Jan. 27-28, first-place Lone Star makes its first visit.

“If that doesn’t get you fired up to play, I don’t know what does,” Campbell said. “This is going to be a great challenge for us.”

Notes: The Mudbugs will wear this season’s military jerseys. They will be auctioned after Saturday’s game … forward Eric Vitale carries an NAHL-franchise record point-scoring streak (11 games) into tonight.

Mudbugs vs. Oklahoma

Tonight, Saturday (7:11 p.m.)

George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum

Tickets: (318) 636-7094 or visit

Contact Roy at

Tech freshman QB Landry Lyddy looks for next opportunity

CREATING CHANGE:  Calvary Baptist product Landry Lyddy is looking for a new college home, transferring away from Louisiana Tech after getting more playing time than expected as a true freshman. (Photo courtesy Louisiana Tech Athletics)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports 

Two words led to Landry Lyddy having the most popular phone number in the 318 on Monday. 

Transfer portal. 

After one season at Louisiana Tech, the quarterback — and 2021 Mr. Football in Louisiana — has decided to leave Ruston. The former Calvary Baptist Academy star started four games for the Bulldogs and played in three others during the 2022 season. He has three years of eligibility remaining. 

Amid a slew of phone calls from potential suitors, the 6-foot, 198-pound freshman was armed with his wishes for the next destination. 

“I’m just looking for a place where I’m wanted and a coaching staff that will coach me hard,” Lyddy told The Journal. 

Lyddy long dreamed of playing at Louisiana Tech, and he did as a true freshman during the Bulldogs’ 3-9 campaign. Getting into significant action after Tech’s top two quarterbacks were injured, he completed 82 of 126 passes for 767 yards. Lyddy threw three touchdowns, four interceptions, and added a score on the ground as he started the last five games. 

In a Twitter post Monday, Lyddy thanked Tech for the “opportunity to get an education.” He also offered appreciation for the Tech football staff and head coach Sonny Cumbie. 

“My teammates will always be in my thoughts and prayers and I truly hope for the best for each of you. Thanks for the memories,” the post said, in part. 

Lyddy led Calvary to a state championship in 2020, his junior season. As a senior, he corralled the state’s highest individual football honor after throwing for more than 50 touchdowns and 3,000 yards. 

“Landry Lyddy is one of the all-time passers in Louisiana high school history, and there is no doubt he will continue that success as a Bulldog,” Cumbie said on signing day in December of 2021. “We are excited to have a young man who has a strong arm and a lightning quick release. He is very accurate with the football. The kid is a winner. He has won a lot of football games and has played a lot of snaps in high school.” 

Under current transfer portal rules, the 19-year-old Lyddy is allowed a one-time transfer in the FBS ranks without having to sit out a season. 

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We’re back on the links, sort of

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Back to reality on the links last week. At least we didn’t have Collin Morikawa. Yikes, that was rough.

We just missed our two top-20 selections and we had the Broncos, who won by three points, but by the time we got the pick out, it had jumped from pick’em to -4.5.

There isn’t much value this week at the Sony Open. Looking for a little resurgence out of Jimmy Walker, but we have the minimum invested.

Look for some NFL playoff plays coming this weekend here, and on Facebook.


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: -1.6 units

2023 season: -2.8 units

2022 season: +101 units



Sony Open 

Top 20 bet

Jimmy Walker, .1 unit, +1200 (DK)

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From Calvary sideline to NFL Coach of the Year? Pederson has a strong case

Despite no experience as a head coach, Doug Pederson was hired to lead Calvary Baptist Academy’s football program in 2005. Of course, Pederson’s resume wasn’t exactly bare. He’d spent 10 seasons as an NFL quarterback and mentored players such as Brett Favre. 

He put Calvary football on the map during his four seasons before the NFL came calling. He parlayed assistant coaching roles at Philadelphia and Kansas City into his first top job in the NFL – with the Eagles in 2016. In just his second season, Pederson led Philly to a Super Bowl championship. 

After he spent 2021 out of football, Pederson was commanded to lead a disaster recovery project in Jacksonville in the wake of an Urban experiment gone very wrong. 

Saturday, Pederson’s Jaguars, who earned the first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, clinched the AFC South title to cap a remarkable turnaround in Duval County. 

Although we’re nearly 20 years – and a massive two-level gap in the sport — removed from his time on Linwood Avenue, Pederson’s blueprint for success remains the same. 

Trust and accountability. 

Entering the 2021 NFL season, the Jaguars had compiled just one winning season in 12 years. Players and coaches longed for a savior. Urban Meyer, highly successful in the college game, was the choice. 

The Jaguars only thought the prior decade-plus was a disaster. 

The Meyer experiment was an epic failure. He was gone after just 13 games and a 2-11 record. And that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. 

“Trust was broken with this team,” Pederson said. “This was not an overnight fix. We knew it was going to be a process, a journey. I had to earn their trust as a coach. 

“You’re trying to teach a winning culture. You’re trying to flip a script. You’re not sure until you play games how that’s going to look. Now, they trust in me and I trust in them.” 

Incredibly, Pederson began to sense something special was brewing during the Jaguars’ worst stretch of the season – a five-game losing streak following a 2-1 start. 

“It could have gone sideways,” Pederson said. 

Instead, the Jags’ effort didn’t change. The attitudes didn’t change. Pederson realized one portion of his mission was complete. 

“They trust in me and I trust in them,” he said. 

Jacksonville didn’t point fingers. It looked within. 

“When we miss tackles, it’s us. When we miss field goals, it’s us. When we turn the ball over, that’s us,” Pederson said. “We realized we have a pretty good football team if we could just eliminate that.” 

Jacksonville finished the regular season with five straight victories, including the winner-take-all affair against the Titans Saturday night. 

“We’ve come so far,” Pederson said. 

As a division champion, the Jaguars will host the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild-Card round. 

In his third season at Calvary, Pederson took the Cavaliers to the top of the Class 2A poll and the first of back-to-back state semifinal appearances. He went 13-3 in season No. 2 with the Eagles and corralled the Vince Lombardi Trophy. 

Immediate success with Pederson at the helm isn’t a fluke, it’s a guarantee. 

There are seven coaches in the league who compiled more wins than Pederson this season, but his argument for NFL Coach of the Year is strong. He didn’t just inherit the team with the worst record, he was tasked with a monumental rebuild. It took less than 12 months. 

The job is far from finished, but the former national champion (1987) at Northeast Louisiana (now ULM) won’t have to pay for a meal in northeast Florida anytime soon. 

“It’s just a step in the direction we want to go,” Pederson said. “I want this to be sustainable. You want to be competing for this division every year.” 

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