Bean-er there, done that in Shreve’s win over Parkway

SHIFTY GATOR: Shreve quarterback Quortni Beaner evades Parkway’s B.J. Patterson on the way to a touchdown run against Parkway. (Journal photo by KEVIN PICKENS)


There are plays that are big, plays that are turning points and plays that nobody notices.

And there are plays that don’t even count that can make a difference in a high school football game.

Captain Shreve had all of those in a 28-15 win over Parkway Friday night at Independence Stadium.

Leading rusher Jamarlon Otis had 60 yards total on 15 of his carries. But he had 60 more yards on that other one carry and that big play of his night was the answer Shreve needed after Parkway had cut the second-quarter lead to 14-9. Definite big play.

Anytime you get a 96-yard fumble return for a touchdown, as E.J. McDonald did midway through the second quarter, it’s hard to say that’s anything less than a turning point. After all, the Panthers were a yard away from taking a 10-7 lead. After McDonald’s scoop and score, it was 14-3. Definite turning point.

In the fourth quarter, when Parkway was desperately trying to get the ball back, Shreve quarterback Quortni Beaner got exactly the yardage needed on a fourth-down run to keep the Panthers off the field for another two minutes. Maybe a little unnoticed, but certainly necessary.

But it was a play that didn’t even get recorded in the stat sheet that ended up making a big impact. The only reason Beaner was in the game in the first place was because starting quarterback Brodie Savage suffered a leg injury and was literally carried off the field by Shreve head coach Adam Kirby on a long scramble in the third quarter. That run was called back for a penalty. Shreve lost yardage and its starting quarterback in one play.

The person least concerned about that was Kirby.

“Quortni has never stopped working,” Kirby said of his senior, who opened the season as the starter but was replaced by Savage. “If you want a leader on your football team, you want Quortni Beaner. I can’t say enough good things about him. He’s been the same consistent kid every day. He’s a great leader and a great worker.”

Kirby didn’t need Beaner to come out and throw for 200 yards or make big runs. He just had to make the important plays. Beaner threw only one pass – it was incomplete – but he had two plays early in the third quarter that showed why Kirby had so much faith in him.

A high snap by the Panthers resulted in a fumble recovery by Kyron Wilson and Beaner carried the ball on the next two plays – a 12-yard run and a 5-yard touchdown – that were basically the same play. Truth be told, the play may have been designed to be handed off, but Beaner had different ideas.

“I just kept it,” he said.

It gave a Shreve a 28-15 lead with 10:08 to go and even though the Gator defense gave up 406 yards in total offense, there was no shortage of key plays throughout the game.

“I knew the defense had our back,” Beaner said. “We had the points we needed.”

“I thought our defense came to work tonight,” Kirby said. “Not only did we have a good game plan, but the kids bought into it and played their (posteriors) off. We were really swarming to the football.”

Defensive back Tre Fuller had an interception to stop one Parkway drive and broke up a pass on fourth down on another. Defensive lineman Greg Webb had a quarterback sack on a third down in the fourth quarter that forced the Panthers to punt.

And though McDonald’s fumble return was huge, here’s what really was the difference in the game.

Sandwiched around halftime, Parkway’s offense was on the field for 20 consecutive plays. You know how many points that resulted in for the Panthers? Zero. (A missed field goal and a turnover on downs.)

“It seemed like every time we had a chance to take a lead or get the momentum, we did something self-inflicted that caused them to get the momentum back,” said Parkway coach Coy Brotherton. “There are a lot of bright spots from this game, but you don’t get do-overs.”

Shreve is one of only two 2-0 teams in District 1-5A play (Airline is the other) and the Gators are 4-1 overall. Only one of those teams will be able to make that claim after next week since they play each other.

Parkway will try to rebound from its first loss of the year when they take on Southwood.

Contact JJ at


PW         3              6              6              0              — 15

CS           7              14           0              7              — 28

P – FG Aeron Burrell 24

CS – Keaton Flowers 28 pass from Brodie Savage (John Chance kick)

CS – K.J. McDonald 96 fumble return (Chance kick)

P – Kaleb Williams 27 run (run failed)

CS – Jamarlon Otis 60 run (Chance kick)

P – Michael Collier 15 pass from Kaleb Williams (pass failed)

CS – Quortni Beaner 5 run (Chance kick)

RUSHINGPW (42-149), Tony Gladney 23-111, Williams 5-20, C.J. Dudley 6-22, Jayden Lewis 2-11, Peyton Rayner 3-7, Tell 1-4, Team 2-minus-26. CS (41-198), Otis 16-120, Beaner 12-43, Antonio Thornton 4-15, Savage 6-14, Gage Haley 1-3, Javen Thomas 1-2, Jordan Wiggins 1-1. 

PASSING: PW, Williams. 20-33-1, 257 yards, 1 TD. CS, Savage 1-4-0, 28 yards, 1 TD, Beaner 1-0-0.

RECEIVING: PW, Gladney 5-76, Le’Broderick Mayweather 6-83, Lewis 5-70, Michael Collier 2-24, Machi Harris 2-14. CS, Flowers 1-28-1TD.

Unlikely standouts lift Haughton past Southwood 


A senior running back who has seen very little action in his four years at Haughton and a freshman quarterback making his first start were the highlights for the Bucs in a 46-28 District 1-5A win over Southwood Friday night at Leonard C. Barnes Stadium.  

Running back Chris Mayes had touchdown runs of 97 and 95 yards and Taylor Weathersby passed for three touchdowns in his debut.  

Head coach Jason Brotherton was really happy for his senior back and young quarterback.  

“For somebody who has barely played I think he probably had 220 to 230 yards,” said Brotherton of Mayes.  

“I was really excited we started a freshman at quarterback. It was his first start and he played great, said Brotherton. “He’s gonna be a really good one for us. We’re really glad he had the chance to have a full week of practice and play a full game and play well.” 

“Defensively we gave up some yards, gave up some big plays but we did create some turnovers,” said Brotherton.  

Austin Walton was one of the bright spots for the Haughton defense. He had his second scoop and score in successive weeks and added an interception.  

With the win Haughton improves to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the district. Southwood loses its 31st in a row and is 0-5, 0-2 on the season.  

WEST OUACHITA 53, NORTH CADDO 14: At Vivian, the Chiefs – No. 1 in the Division I non-select power rankings — remained undefeated through five games by building a 32-8 first half advantage and cruising to the non-district win. The Titans fall to 1-4 on the season and will start 1-2A play next week against another undefeated team in Calvary.   

ALEXANDRIA 54, GREEN OAKS 0: The Giants still have yet to score on consecutive trips to Alexandria and fall to 1-4 on the season. ASH scored five rushing touchdowns in the first quarter and seven in the half in taking a 48-0 lead at halftime in coasting to its third win in five outings.  

HAYNESVILLE 46, PLAIN DEALING 8: The eighth-ranked Golden Tornado ran their record to 5-0 on the season and 2-0 in District 1-1A with the win as Omarion Webb passed for one score and intercepted a pass for another.  

The Tornado got out to a 21-0 first quarter lead as Webb went 46 yards on an interception return for a score, Jayden Green ran 24 yards for the second TD and Isiah Washington took in a short pass from Byruss Burns. Zykerius Fielding broke loose for 65 yards for the only touchdown  of the second quarter and Haynesville led 28-0 at the break.  

Webb got the Tors on the board to start the second half as well, this time with a pass covering 45 yards to JerMarquis Hampton. Haynesville tacked on a 25-yard field goal by Elijah Bray to go up 38-0.  

Plain Dealing (0-5, 0-2) got into the end zone with a 2-yard run by Jayden Ray. Aaron Reddix ran in the two-point conversion for the Lions’ only points of the night.  

Northwood blanks struggling Bossier, while zeroes also plague BTW, Magnolia

HAPPY COACH:  Northwood’s Austin Brown likes the strides his Falcons are making in the last two weeks after a tough start. (Journal file photo by GAVEN HAMMOND,


The Northwood Falcons are putting the pieces together, winning their second straight game Friday following an 0-3 start.

A young defense led the way, posting its first shutout of the season in a 41-0 triumph while Bossier (1-4, 0-2 District 1-4A) was held scoreless for the third straight week.

Northwood (2-3, 2-0 District 1-4A) scored three touchdowns in each half to put itself in a three-way tie atop the league.

“We’ve started to find an identity on offense, and we got it rolling last week and eventually got it going this week,” said Northwood coach Austin Brown. “The defense is playing lights out.

“This is a very, very young defense, but they are all athletic and can roll. I’m very proud of defensive coordinator Jarrett Taylor for finding out what these guys do best and getting them in it.”

Defensive back Elijah Crawford intercepted two Bossier passes, returning one for a touchdown.

Northwood heads to Evangel in a battle of district unbeatens next week.

Bossier completed its four-game road trip and returns home to face a winless-but-gritty Minden bunch. 

North DeSoto 52, BTW 0: North DeSoto quarterback Luke Delafield threw a 65-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the game, and the anticipated Griffins’ rout was on.

The Griffins scored on every drive in the first half to build a 45-point halftime bulge as North DeSoto (4-1, 2-0 District 1-4A) coasted to its fourth straight win.

But as impressive as the Griffins offense has been – it’s scored 50 or more points in all four of its wins – it’s the defense that’s made the most improvement since the beginning of the season.

The Griffins have pitched consecutive shutouts and kept their last three opponents out of the end zone after surrendering more than 50 points in each of their first two games.

“We have a young defensive line, and they are beginning to play well,” said North DeSoto coach Dennis Dunn. “They needed reps. Our linebackers are playing really well behind them.”

Delafield chunked three touchdowns in the first half, completing 12-of-17 for 267 yards.

Landry Wyatt was the big-play Griffin with 123 yards on just two catches and a score. Cole Cory caught five passes for 88 yards and three touchdowns.

For BTW (2-3, 0-2), the Lions have lost the last two games after a two-game winning streak.

The Lions have been outscored 78-8 in their first two district games after a loss to Woodlawn this past week. 

Mansfield 40, Magnolia 0: After an 0-4 start against one of the toughest schedules in the area, Mansfield was looking for a ‘get right’ game.

The Wolverines (1-4) found that in the form of Magnolia School of Excellence (0-5), building a four-touchdown lead in the first half and waltzing to the win in the second half.

Magnolia lost each of its first four games on the field, and in addition, the LHSAA ruled those four losses forfeits.

Mansfield dropped one-score losses to Huntington and Logansport along with blowout defeats to Evangel and Ouachita Christian, but the Wolverines’ 40 points scored Friday was a season high.

Mansfield also pitched its first shutout of the season.

The Wolverines enter District 3-2A play next week against Many, while Magnolia gets back into District 1-1A play against Glenbrook.

Friday’s high school football scoreboard

SPLITTING THE GAP:  Tre’ Jackson slices between Natchitoches Central defenders for an Airline touchdown Friday night at Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches. (Journal photo by KEVIN SHANNAHAN)

Friday’s scores

District 1-5A 

Airline 41, Natchitoches Central 21 
Captain Shreve 28, Parkway 15 
Haughton 46, Southwood 28 

District 1-4A 

Evangel 41, Woodlawn 22 
Huntington 32, Minden 16 
North DeSoto 52, BTW 0 
Northwood 41, Bossier 0  

District 1-1A 

Glenbrook 29, Arcadia 6 
Haynesville 46, Plain Dealing 8 
Homer 64, Ringgold 0 


Alexandria 54, Green Oaks 0 
Calvary 32, Westgate 22 
Mansfield 40, Magnolia Charter 0 
West Ouachita 53, North Caddo 14 


Bunkie 33, Winnfield 0 
Cedar Creek 60, Tensas 0 
General Trass 42, Rayville 30 
Lincoln Prep 6, Lakeside 0 
Logansport 38, Red River 34 
Northwood-Lena 36, North Central 8 
Oak Grove 28, Mangham 12 
Pineville 48, Jonesboro-Hodge 8 
Ruston 14, Neville 10 
St. Frederick 54, Sicily Island 6 
Sterlington 39, Richwood 6 
Wossman 28, North Webster 21 
Zachary 48, West Monroe 7 

Home from Notre Dame, Diggs is a happy Tiger as LSU visits Ole Miss

SECRET TO DIGGS’ SUCCESS:  AJ Diggs is the very proud, and accomplished, mother of LSU running back Logan Diggs, the Tigers’ leading rusher. (Submitted photo)

By RON HIGGINS, Journal Sports

OXFORD, Ms. – LSU’s 62-point beatdown of Grambling on Sept. 9 was in the books, Tigers’ coach Brian Kelly had finished his post-game media conference.

The press gathered three-deep around a lectern waiting for player interviews. Suddenly, the crowd parted as junior running back Logan Diggs stepped in front of the battery of TV cameras and bright lights.

Since this was Diggs’ first time to talk to the media covering LSU after he transferred from Notre Dame on May 3, it was a bit of a shock when a smallish, pleasant-faced, bespectacled and polished young man thoughtfully and intelligently answered questions about his Tigers’ debut of 115 yards rushing and one TD on 15 carries.

This is the first thing you learn about the 6-foot, 221-pound Diggs, a former New Orleans Rummel High star. He speaks softly but runs loud.

Heading into Saturday’s SEC West Division showdown between No. 12 LSU (3-1, 2-0 SEC West) at No. 20 Ole Miss (3-1, 0-1 SEC West) here today at 5:30 p.m. in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Diggs is the SEC’s third-leading rusher averaging 84.33 yards per game with 253 yards on 33 carries for a healthy 6.66 yards per carry.

After missing the season-opening loss vs. Florida State because of a hamstring injury that had been nagging him since last spring at Notre Dame before he transferred, Diggs has started the last three games for the Tigers and stabilized the team’s running attack that’s ranked third in the SEC averaging 191.75 yards per game.

“I really needed my burst back,” Diggs said of why LSU head coach Brian Kelly decided to rest Diggs vs. Florida State. “That was the only thing that was missing. I’m very grateful to the coaches and training staff for making sure.”

Kelly had no problem starting Diggs as soon as he was healthy. After all, Diggs was signed by then-Notre Dame head coach Kelly in December 2020 and played his freshman season in 2021 under Kelly before he jumped to LSU to replace the fired Ed Orgeron.

“We were looking for somebody that could change the dynamics of our (Notre Dame) running back room and we liked just liked the way he played the game,” Kelly said of his original recruitment of Diggs.

“He was somebody that that had an edge to him. He had the skills to play at the highest level. And he was a really good student.”

Even with LSU finally offering Diggs a scholarship a few days before the December 2020 early signing period, Diggs stuck to his earlier commitment. A Notre Dame education and a legitimate chance of being able to crack the running back rotation were too much for Diggs to turn down.

All in all, he had two solid seasons for the Fighting Irish despite battling flu that sidelined him for half of his freshman season and then undergoing post-spring practice 2022 surgery for a torn labrum that slowed the start to his sophomore season.

As a freshman in 2021, he ran for 230 yards and three TDs on 52 carries and had 6 catches for 56 yards and one TD. Diggs led the team in carries with 165 as a sophomore in 2022 and was the team’s second-leading rusher with 820 yards and four TDs.

When he began battling a hamstring injury last spring, Diggs surmised he may need a fresh start.

“I felt like I kind of hit like a plateau,” Diggs said. “I wasn’t excelling or getting any better. I felt like I wanted a new challenge. I wanted that new challenge and there was no other place to go but to the SEC and be able to play the best of the best competition every single week.”

So, when Diggs put his name in the transfer portal last April 27 five days after Notre Dame’s spring, Kelly hopped on him immediately.

Diggs wanted to play the last years of his college career in a locale convenient for his family members and friends to see him play in person.

Though she made many trips to South Bend, no one is happier to have Diggs back home than his mother AJ who has been his guiding light and inspiration every step of his journey.

As a single mother raising her two boys, AJ Diggs earned a degree from Nichols State in 2010 while working.

For almost 7½ years, she worked as a registered medical assistant for the Ochsner Health System. Then, she worked just more than four years as a Disability Analyst for the state of Louisiana.

She not only provided for her sons, but she set the bar for them on how to attack life no matter the circumstances.

“My mom is my backbone,” Diggs said. “She sacrificed so much for me and my brother. She made sure that we had a roof over our heads and had food on the table every night. She just taught me to never quit and just to keep going no matter how hard times may get. Rely on your faith in God and continue to push through it.”

About a year ago, with her kids fully raised, AJ Diggs did something that thrilled her sons. She became a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.

“My mom can really sing and had dreams of being on Broadway,” Diggs said. “She also always wanted to be a flight attendant. She had the confidence, the strength and the faith to do something different and she went to chase one of her dreams. That gave me the confidence to do the same thing (deciding to transfer to LSU).” 


Tackles for loss for Ole Miss in each of its four games this season 

12 is the number of players on LSU’s current roster who’ve played a game at Ole Miss 

22 Consecutive games with a pass reception for LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers 

22.4: Seconds per play for Ole Miss, the 5th fastest in the FBS 

400: Yards or more total offense for LSU QB Jayden Daniels in three games in his career, second behind Joe Burrow’s school record of six games.

Contact Ron at

Demons wrap up non-conference slate by hosting Eastern Illinois

DEMON DENIAL: Northwestern State’s Ray Gibson stuffs Stephen F. Austin’s Jerrell Wimbley during the Demons’ Sept. 16 loss to the Lumberjacks. (Photo by Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services)


NATCHITOCHES — The Northwestern State football team may not have fully hit the reset button during its open week, but it did some soul searching.

The results of those discoveries will be put on display today at 6 p.m. when the Demons (0-3) return to action by hosting Eastern Illinois (3-1) at Turpin Stadium in the second of back-to-back home games.

“I don’t know if we necessarily reset, but there was a lot more time to reflect on the things we’re doing well and the things we’ve got to improve on,” sixth-year head coach Brad Laird said. “You get to dive into it a little deeper. To me, getting guys healthy is No. 1 (during a bye week). Number two, schematically and personnel-wise, you get to see where you are.”

The matchup between the Panthers and Demons is the back end of a home-and-home series that began in 2022 as part of the Southland-Ohio Valley scheduling alliance.

A season ago, it was Northwestern State who was the road team, brimming with confidence and riding a two-game win streak. This time, the Panthers hit the road, brimming with confidence and riding a two-game winning streak.

Eastern Illinois has won its past two games with late-game rallies to edge then-No. 25 Illinois State (14-13) on Sept. 16 and McNeese (31-28) this past Saturday on Stone Galloway’s 56-yard field goal with 20 seconds remaining.

Still, the Demons’ focus remains inward.

“We don’t look back at what we’ve done in the past,” said junior guard Jordan Cooper, who has started the first three games of the season. “We focus on what we do moving forward.”

Northwestern State’s emphasis on family remains – even if the weekend off allowed players and coaches to go their separate ways for a couple of days.

“It let everybody refresh and got us away from each other,” said sophomore cornerback Anthony Richard Jr., who ranks second on the team with three pass breakups. “Sometimes, too much time spent together can be detrimental to a team, but we all love each other. It’s good to be back.”

After playing incredibly familiar opponents in the first three weeks – Northwestern State has faced UL Lafayette, Louisiana Tech and Stephen F. Austin a combined 233 times – the Demons’ second straight home game brings forth a decidedly less common foe.

While the Demons and Eastern Illinois met a season ago, it was just the fourth time the teams had met – the first in 29 years. However, Laird sees value in the matchup – one that ends the Demons’ four-game non-conference schedule and serves as a final tune-up for Southland Conference play, which begins Oct. 7 at Lamar.

“It’s great for our conference when you have a non-conference game to stay FCS vs. FCS and play against a different conference,” Laird said. “They’ve played not only us but other teams in our conference. This is a good return trip and a good opportunity outside of our conference to showcase what we have.”

The game will air on ESPN+ with Shreveport’s Patrick Netherton doing play-by-play, three-time All-American and two-time Super Bowl champion Gary Reasons, a three-time All-American for the Demons, as analyst with Shreveporter Tyler Moody on the sidelines coverage.

State Fair Classic gives Grambling chance at three straight

GOOD CHANCE:  Grambling State sophomore running back Chance Williams (2) rushed for 174 yards and a score during last week’s home win over Texas Southern. (Photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT, Lincoln Parish Journal)

By T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT, Lincoln Parish Journal

DALLAS — One popular belief in football is that teams can’t be rivals if only one is winning year in and out.

If so, that means Grambling State University will be fighting to reignite a rivalry with Prairie View as the Tigers and Panthers clash in the Texas State Fair Classic at the Cotton Bowl in a game set for a 6 p.m. kickoff tonight.

Grambling has lost five straight to Prairie View going back to 2018. GSU leads the all-time series between the two teams 51-22-1. Since the teams moved their rivalry to the State Fair Classic in 1985, the Tigers have gone 27-10 vs. the Panthers.

On a two-game winning streak since getting understandably routed at LSU, Grambling State (2-2 overall, 1-0 Southwestern Athletic Conference) is looking for its first victory over Prairie View A&M (2-2, 2-0) since the Tigers won 34-21 in the annual Dallas matchup.

Last season, the Panthers came out on top 34-14.

Head G-Man Hue Jackson understands the meaning and intensity behind this contest, especially with 20 of his players coming from the Dallas area.

“Rivalries are great things,” Jackson said during press conferences held in Dallas on Monday. “I was at USC and playing LSU was always big. It’s awesome being part of those kinds of rivalries. But this thing is a little different, because of the schools, the culture, and all the food they bring to these particular events. It’s outstanding and it’s great football.”

Jackson admits to feeling better heading into the game against Prairie View than he did this time last year.  

“I don’t feel pressure this year,” Jackson said. “I felt it last year because I really didn’t know my football team. I didn’t know my staff. I didn’t know this event (State Fair Classic). I didn’t know anything.

“But this year I’m ready for this. My team is ready for this. And I’m excited about playing.”

Jackson said he also feels more comfortable this go round.

 “I’m more comfortable,” Jackson said. “I understand the HBCU space better. I understand what my players have to deal with every day. And to me, that’s the most important thing — understanding what the players have to deal with on a daily basis. If you understand that, it makes you a better coach and you can coach a better game.”

Jackson has his offense rolling after defeating Texas Southern 35-23 last Saturday. The G-Men rushed for 282 yards led by Chance Williams’ 174-yard effort with a touchdown on 19 carries.

Those kinds of numbers have helped Grambling become the SWAC’s best scoring offense (33.5 ppg) and the best total offense (397.5 ypg). 

GSU also has the second-best run offense in the conference, putting up 179.0 yards per game. 

The key for Grambling’s defense will be holding Prairie View quarterback Tarzan Connley in check. Connley has averaged 175.8 pass yards per game with season totals of three touchdowns and three interceptions thus far this season.

Jackson said execution will play an important part in the outcome against the Panthers.

“What we’re trying to do now is take care of the little things,” Jackson said. “Prairie View is a great football team. They’re well coached. I understand that and my team does, too, so we’ve got to go do everything we can to try and win this football game.”

Contact Scott at

Track tonight’s scores as they happen here, in real time – LIVE STREAM

Maybe you can’t be at the game tonight. Or you are in the stands, and you want to know how the other schools are doing.

We’ve got you covered, in real time, thanks to the Origin Bank High School Football Scoreboard.

Every local team’s game has the latest updated score for you, available simply by clicking on the Scoreboard graphic. You will see tonight’s menu of games and the current score as reported from the stadium.

It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s available to you from your phone, your laptop or your I-pad. Wherever you are, sitting in the stands at a game or sitting at home, you can get the scores you need right here, thanks to Origin Bank, throughout this high school football season.

(You can also bookmark this link so you can quickly access it all night and every week.)

Burns displays desire, but can’t ignite USA in Ryder Cup opening session

(Photo from @TrackingBurns/X – formerly known as Twitter)


GUIDOIA MONTECELIO, Italy – Sam Burns didn’t wait at all to get into action in his first Ryder Cup.

Burns was teamed with his good friend, the world’s No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, as the lead American tandem to open the 44th Ryder Cup competition with Europe early this morning at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club 10 miles from Rome.

Burns, a native Shreveporter and graduate of Calvary Baptist Academy, and Scheffler went out first for the USA in the four-ball alternating shot format matching two-man teams in four Friday morning matches.

In a match that teed off today at 12:35 a.m. Central time (7:35 in Rome), Burns-Scheffler were overwhelmed by brilliant play from world No. 3 Jon Rahm of Spain and Englishman Tyrell Hatton, with that match setting an early tone in the three-day competition featuring five rounds. Team competitions are today and Saturday with 12 singles matches Sunday to determine the outcome.

Burns-Scheffler were able to win only one hole in a 4&3 defeat in the morning session that was all Europe, producing a 4-0 lead. The Europeans won 22 holes to just 10 by the Americans, featuring a Viktor Hovland chip-in and Rahm’s near ace in the first nine holes of the session.

Europe led all four matches throughout the morning on the way to its first clean sweep in the opening session of a Ryder Cup. Americans had done it just three times, and only once this century, in 2016.

“We switched the format this year to go foursomes first, as that’s where we’re strongest, and all we’ve been talking about this week is getting off to a fast start,” said Irishman Rory McIlroy. “We were ready to go from the first tee shot.”

Burns was among four USA players who sat out afternoon play, as team captain Zach Johnson – in an apparent pre-determined rotation – used all 12 of his team members on the first day of competition.

Team USA has not won on European soil since 1993, but routed Europe 19-9 in 2021 at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

That year, Burns was left off the American roster by then-captain Steve Stricker, but this time around, Johnson gave the former LSU All-American one of his six captain’s slots on the 12-man roster.

There was no doubt that Burns, who now lives in Choudrant and is based out of Squire Creek Country Club near Ruston, was thrilled at the chance to represent America in golf’s most prestigious team competition.

This week, he made it obvious to anyone who saw him. Burns had a friend back home carve the letters U-S-A into the right side of his scalp, above his ear, with a straight razor. He unveiled the look, which combines with a healthy blonde mullet that he’s cultivated during most of the recently-completed PGA Tour season.

Burns said he has gotten plenty of haircuts this summer, but “just I haven’t cut the back,” he admitted in a Wednesday media session.

“He’s got great hair,” said Johnson. “I mean, I’d do it if I could do it. I just don’t have any hair to do it.”

Said teammate Brooks Koepka:  “Sam has got a nice Kentucky waterfall going. It’s pretty solid, although the ‘USA’ that’s inscribed in the side of his head, I don’t know if he was doing that looking in a mirror because ‘USA’ doesn’t look the best, but it makes it even better.”

Burns explained his motivation.

“Coming into this year, making this team was very high on my goal list, I guess you could call it,” he said.

Burns is not new to international team competition. He was part of the USA’s 2014 Junior Ryder Cup Team (a combined boys and girls roster) that posted a 16-8 win over Europe in Scotland, and played for his country in the 2022 President’s Cup, won 17 ½ to 12 ½ over the International team.

Burns is the fourth Shreveport-Bossier product to make the U.S. Ryder Cup team. Tommy Bolt played in 1955 and 1957. Hal Sutton teed it up the Ryder Cup in 1985, 1987, 1999 and 2002. David Toms was a teammate of Sutton’s in 2002, played for Sutton’s 2004 team (Sutton captained that squad) and played again in 2006.

Two other Louisiana golf greats, brothers Jay and Lionel Hebert from Lafayette, made Ryder Cup squads in 1957 (Lionel), 1959 and 1961 (Jay). Current LIV Golf pro Patrick Reed, who graduated from high school in Baton Rouge, made the roster in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Burns’ putting ability, and his strong friendship with Scheffler, made him a popular choice to partner with the Dallas native in the Ryder Cup. Scheffler has struggled putting all season long, and although he ranks No. 1 on the Tour in most statistical categories, he did not win a tournament all summer long after a pair of early-season triumphs.

The two pals, who met on the junior golf circuit and bonded, did partner in the 2022 President’s Cup, with Burns going 0-3-2 and scoring one point, but observers agreed that was mostly due to Scheffler being badly out of form as they partnered in all but the closing singles play.

A couple signs of decline on the high school football scene 

When I was a bench-warming fifth-string quarterback at Jesuit High School (now Loyola) in the 1970s, hated rival Minden hung a homemade banner along the bleachers that read “We Don’t Eat Spaghetti” in reference to the significant Italian influence of my school’s heritage for many years.

Of course, it did not go unnoticed.

So after the Flyers had pasted the Minden to the tune of 27-0 and then won the district title the next week, the Jesuit faithful unveiled their own sign: “Spaghetti: Breakfast of Champions.”

It might not pass for one of the great literary works of all time, but it was a hell of a comeback. (Conveniently, the two teams were in different districts for the next 10 years after that, so there was no comeback to the comeback.)

Decades later, sign-making has certainly lost its edge. Creativity doesn’t live here anymore.

About all you see these days in the way of inflammatory signs are the same old alliterative phrase. “Ground the Gators” or “Jinx the Jackets” or “Beat Benton.”


Later on in my career (when four other quarterbacks had moved on), we were in a playoff game in Alexandria. It was against Bolton.

Some of the 17-year-old creative geniuses that I called classmates came up with a sign that is probably too risqué for this family publication.

“Bolton” was broken up into two words. And in keeping with the construction theme they had working, the term of another piece of small hardware was inserted before the name of the opposing school.

You could look at the resulting sign as a simple do-it-yourself command for building something.

Or not.

Being a Catholic school and all, the Jesuit priests didn’t quite see it that way. The sign didn’t make it through the first quarter.

Back in those days, schools were taunting before anybody knew what taunting was. You think standing over a sacked quarterback is taunting? That lasts two seconds. Try hanging an inflammatory banner across the field for an entire game and watch that reaction.

A little literary license never hurt anybody, right? If anything, creators should get bonus points in English class for their prose. And the more subtle, the better.

No need to call anybody out by name. No need to point out anybody’s physical characteristics. But c’mon, y’all … can’t we at least try?

Signs aren’t the only thing you haven’t seen at local high school games lately. Here’s another thing that has disappeared and has me absolutely confounded – first down measurements.

I understand there is a concerted effort by various referee associations to move the game along. If you’ll notice, a first down spot after a kickoff or punt always starts exactly on a hash mark in order to make it easier to judge whether it’s a first down or not without calling for the chains. If the original spot was the 34-yard line and the ball reaches the 44, that’s pretty easy. I’m good with that.

But it should not be re-spotted after that. (In other words, if it’s at the 43 and ½, moving it a half yard up or a half yard back.) I’m sorry, but that’s not right.

I saw a playoff game last year with a skipped measurement that literally cost a team the game. So anxious were the officials to keep the game flow going that they refused to call for the chains in the final minutes of the fourth quarter on a close fourth down play. The drive continued and the offensive team kicked a game-winning field goal. (After later review by the state association, it was agreed that the spotting was incorrect.)

“So what am I supposed to tell my team?” said the coach of the losing team. “We don’t get to keep playing because they didn’t want to call for the chains. Oh well.”

Maybe making a banner might help. 

Contact JJ at

Parkway defense, Shreve offense square off in 1-5A tonesetter

GATOR PARTY: While winning their last two games with fourth-quarter surges,  Captain Shreve Gators Brodie Savage (8), Jordan Wiggins (6) and Calab Randolph (50) have been jumping for joy. (Journal photo by KEVIN PICKENS).


A week ago, he was about to play a team that hadn’t won a game. This week, he’s going against a team that hasn’t lost a game.

But for Captain Shreve coach Adam Kirby, the pre-game message is always the same.

“It doesn’t matter who we play,” he says (almost every week), “it’s how we play.”

The “who” this week is 4-0 Parkway. The “how” will be determined tonight at 7 o’clock when the Gators (3-1) take on the Panthers in a big District 1-5A game at Independence Stadium.

“We have got to stay in front of the chains because their defense is really good,” Kirby said of the Panthers, who have given up only six points – none on defense —  in the last three games. “They really attack the ball carrier, even if it’s after a catch. They fly to the football but are very disciplined on that side of the ball.”

And that should be a good matchup against Shreve’s offense, which features a huge line and the city’s leading rusher in Jamarlon Otis, who had 745 yards rushing (almost 200 more than the next highest total) and nine touchdowns.

But with the quarterback change the Gators have made to junior Brodie Savage, it would seem to offer a little more balance in their offense. Savage had thrown for 680 yards after going from part-time to full time a week ago.

Balance, however, is in the eyes of the beholder.

“Balance is relative to what you want to accomplish on that side of the ball,” Kirby says. “People look at that a lot of different ways. Balance, to me, is this: Are your best players touching the football evenly? Are we making teams defend the entire field? I’ve certainly been very pleased with how our coaches have been getting our guys the ball so that the other team has to defend all 11 all over the field.”

Shreve is coming off a win over Byrd while Parkway defeated neighboring Haughton, so both coaches have to guard against a rivalry hangover.

“We’ll know more after Friday night,” Parkway coach Coy Brotherton says. “It’s a big game with both of us winning last week against our rivals, starting district play 1-0. Looking at the last two years, the battles we’ve had with them, I expect a good one on Friday night.”

Even this early in the district season, this game will allow the winner to take a giant step forward in the 1-5A race.

“Whoever comes out on top will probably be sitting close to the top of the standings at the end of the year,” Brotherton says, “and whoever doesn’t will have to battle back.”

Shreve has battled back after a 61-27 loss to Calvary in Week 2, but Kirby says there is still improvement to be made.

“I’d like to see us stop making dumb mistakes on defense,” he says. “Lining up in the wrong gap on the line, busted coverages, things like that. And I’d like our offensive line to take over the game a little more. We did that in the fourth quarter last week, but why aren’t we doing that all the time?”

Contact JJ at

PARKWAY (4-0, 1-0) vs. CAPTAIN SHREVE (3-1, 1-0), Independence Stadium  

Series: Captain Shreve 30-17 

Last year:  Parkway 25-13  

Last week: Captain Shreve beat Byrd 35-28; Parkway beat Haughton 24-6  

Rankings:  Captain Shreve is No. 5 in SBJ; Parkway is No. 3 in SBJ poll  

Power rankings: Parkway Non-Select Div. I No. 18; Captain Shreve Select Div. I No. 9  

Radio: Captain Shreve on (, 95.7 FM)  

Notable:  Parkway’s defense has not allowed a point the last three games … Ashtin Jackson had two interceptions, one a 45-yard pick six in last week’s win over Haughton … sophomore RB Antonio Gladney leads the Panthers in rushing with 396 yards and six touchdowns … Kaleb Williams has passed for 467 yards on 46-of-65 passes and five touchdowns … Shreve RB Jamarlon Otis leads the area in rushing with 754 yards and nine touchdowns … Brodie Savage has passed for 680 yards after starting the last two games and playing the second half against Calvary.

Unbeaten Airline on road to Natchitoches, Haughton faces Southwood in 1-5A games 

EXPLOSIVE CHIEF:  Airline will have to contend tonight with Natchitoches Central’s Cam Davis, who scored three times against Southwood last week and is the state’s second-ranked receiver. (Journal photo by KEVIN SHANNAHAN)


Airline is finally ranked in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Top 10 and is a unanimous No. 1 in the Shreveport-Bossier Journal’s poll rating the 10 best local teams.

The Vikings (4-0) haven’t lost a regular-season content in over a calendar year. They’ve had their last two games secured well before halftime.

They take their high-octane offense (52 points per game, no less than 48 so far) down I-49 tonight to Northwestern State’s Turpin Stadium to meet 2-2 Natchitoches Central, also 1-0 in District 1-5A. Chiefs’ coach Jess Curtis moved over from Many in January and is trying to establish a winning mindset at a long-struggling program.

“A couple of years ago, Airline was at the bottom of the district,” Curtis told the Natchitoches Parish Journal. “Now they have risen to the top. The are believing in their program and that has been our message here with our players.

“We respect what they have done up there. I have known (Airline) coach (Justin) Scogin since he was at Leesville (as offensive coordinator). We played them a few times when I was at Many and it is always fun to go up against him because he does such a great job,” said Curtis. “We expect them to come out and attack with onside kicks and plays like that.”

At the forefront of the Airline attack will be junior quarterback Ben Taylor, who leads the state in passing yardage. Calvary Baptist sophomore transfer QB Owen Smith ranks eighth in the same category.

In another 1-5A contest tonight, Haughton and Southwood look to rebound from losing their league openers by big margins. The Bucs, 2-2 overall, trailed by four scores by halftime last week at Parkway, and the Cowboys (0-4) were blown out at NCHS. 

Southwood celebrates its homecoming tonight.

AIRLINE (4-0, 1-0) at NATCHITOCHES CENTRAL (2-2, 1-0) at Turpin Stadium  

Series: Airline leads 25-15  

Last year:  Airline 46-0  

Last week: Natchitoches Central beat Southwood 41-12; Airline beat Benton 60-35  

Rankings:  Airline is No. 9 in LSWA Class 5A poll, No. 1 in SBJ poll  

Power rankings: Airline Non-Select Div. I No. 4; NCHS Non-Select Div. I No. 33 

Live webstream: Natchitoches Central HS –

Notable: Airline has won 11 straight regular season games … the Vikings are scoring 52 points per game, but are giving up an average of 35 … QB Ben Taylor had a career-high 471 yards and seven touchdowns in last week’s 60-35 win over Benton … Taylor leads the state in passing with 1,466 yards and 22 touchdowns … NCHS quarterback Owen Smith is eighth in the state in passing with 963 yards … WR Camryn Davis is second in the state in receiving yards with 558.  

HAUGHTON (2-2, 0-1) vs. SOUTHWOOD (0-4, 0-1) at Leonard C. Barnes Stadium  

Series: Haughton 15-4  

Last year: Haughton 37-24   

Last week: Southwood lost to Natchitoches Central 41-12; Haughton lost to Parkway 24-6  

Rankings:  Haughton is ranked No. 6 in SBJ poll  

Power rankings: Haughton Non-Select Div. I No.  37; Southwood Select Div. I No. 31  

Radio: None  

Notable: Haughton played last week’s game without starting quarterback Christian Turner with senior receiver Jalen Lewis stepping in and playing the first half and freshman Taylor Weathersby the second half … Devontay Moss has rushed for 270 yards and three touchdowns for the Bucs and Lewis is the leading receiver with 290 yards on 22 catches and four touchdowns … Southwood averaging 10 points per game with 28 of their 40 points coming in the last two games … Cowboy defense has allowed an average of 37 points per game the last three outings.  

Evangel-Woodlawn battle, while Northwood is home in 1-4A action


A pair of strong District 1-4A teams looking to regain the glory days of the past, Woodlawn and Evangel, will collide tonight at Rodney Duron Stadium. 

Evangel is No. 4 in the Shreveport-Bossier Journal Top 10. Woodlawn is No. 8.

The Knights, who were a perennial playoff team throughout the 1960s and the late ‘70s, ‘80s and early ‘90s, have started the season 3-1 and won their district opener last week. Evangel, who has 14 state championships since it opened in 1989 but had a couple rough seasons recently before a strong 2022, has played a tough non-district slate and is 2-2, 1-0. 

Bossier, who doesn’t have an offensive score since the first week of the season, travels to Northwood, who won its first game of the year in last week’s 1-4A opener. 

In other 1-4A action, Booker T. Washington and Huntington are both on the road. The Lions travel to Stonewall to play high-flying North DeSoto and the Raiders go to winless, but dangerous Minden.  

WOODLAWN (3-1, 1-0) at EVANGEL (2-2, 1-0), at Rodney Duron Stadium  

Series: Evangel 3-1  

Last year: Evangel 39-12  

Last week: Evangel beat Bossier 49-0; Woodlawn beat BTW 26-8  

Rankings:  Evangel is ranked No. 4 in SBJ poll; Woodlawn No. 8 in SBJ poll  

Power rankings: Woodlawn Select Div. II No. 18; Evangel Select Div. II No. 15  

Radio: None   

Notable: The Woodlawn offense is led by quarterback Isaiah Kennedy and is averaging 31 points a game… 

Evangel has the state’s fourth-leading passer in Peyton Fulghum with 1,165 yards and 13 touchdowns … twin brother Parker Fulghum leads the state in receiving yards with 641 and has eight touchdowns … The ECA defense is led by Texas A&M commit Gabriel Reliford with 51 tackles, 14 for loss and linebacker Damari Drake with 58 total tackles. 

BOSSIER (1-3, 0-1) at NORTHWOOD (1-3, 1-0) at Jerry Burton Stadium  

Series: Bossier 19-15  

Last year:  Northwood 48-12  

Last week: Northwood beat Huntington, 27-12; Bossier lost to Evangel 50-0.   

Rankings:  Northwood No. 9 in SBJ poll  

Power rankings: Bossier Non-Select Div. I No. 3; Northwood Select Div. I No. 22  

Radio: None  

Notable: Bossier has not scored an offensive touchdown since its opening season win and has lost its last three games … Caleb Jones leads Bossier with 202 rushing yards on 41 carries … Last week, Northwood’s defense limited a Huntington team that was averaging 34 points to just 12 … Hudson Hearron passed for 175 yards and two touchdowns for the Falcons … Jalil Wainwright caught five passes for 90 yards, while Tucker McCabe and Desmond Harris had the touchdown receptions.  

BTW (1-3, 0-1) at NORTH DESOTO (1-0, 3-1)  

Series: North DeSoto 7-3  

Last year:  North DeSoto 55-6  

Last week: BTW lost to Woodlawn 26-8; North DeSoto beat Minden 51-0  

Rankings:  North DeSoto is ranked No. 5 in LSWA 4A poll  

Power rankings: North DeSoto Non-Select Div. I No. 3; BTW Select Div. II No. 22  

Radio: None  

Notable: The BTW offense has struggled the past two games (20 points) after scoring a season high 52 in its first win versus Bolton … The Lions defense will have its hands full stopping a North DeSoto team that leads the district in overall points with 205, an average of 51.3 per game. The Griffins have scored 51 or more points in each of the last three games.    

HUNTINGTON (2-2, 0-1) at MINDEN (0-4, 0-1), The Pit  

Series: Minden 17-10  

Last year:  Huntington 60-33  

Last week: Minden lost to North DeSoto 51-0; Huntington lost to Northwood 27-12  

Rankings:  Huntington is ranked No. 8 in SBJ poll  

Power rankings: Minden Non-Select Div. II No. 31; Huntington Select Div. I No. 28  

Radio: Minden on Real Country 104.5 FM;  

Notable: Huntington QB Lorenzo White has passed for 902 yards and nine touchdowns… Kaleb Tucker is his favorite target with 20 catches for 380 yards … Hudson Brown leads Minden in passing with 415 yards … Jakobe Jackson has 314 rushing yards and three touchdowns for the Tide.  

Calvary hosts powerful Westgate, North Caddo, Magnolia also home tonight

CAV IN CHARGE:  Calvary quarterback Abram Wardell runs the offense for the Cavaliers, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A going into tonight’s home game against Westgate, No. 4 in 4A. (Journal photo by KEVIN PICKENS)


Calvary continues its tough non-district schedule tonight with what could be its toughest test when it hosts Class 4A Westgate from New Iberia at Jerry Barker Stadium.  

The Cavaliers, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, have played one of the best north Louisiana Class 1A teams the last number of years in Logansport, Class 5A playoff teams Captain Shreve and Byrd and previously undefeated Class 3A Wossman so far this season. They have managed to win all of those with the recent win over Wossman being the closest of them all.  

Westgate is ranked No. 4 in Class 4A and won the 4A state championship in 2021.  

North Caddo and Magnolia Charter will also be at home for non-district games. The Titans host Class 5A undefeated West Ouachita – currently No. 1 in its division in power rankings — and the Mariners play Mansfield in a matchup of winless teams.

Green Oaks goes to Alexandria for the second week in a row, this time to play state power ASH. Plain Dealing has a 1-1A date at No. 8 ranked Haynesville. 

WESTGATE (4-0) at CALVARY (4-0), Jerry Barker Stadium  

Series: First meeting  

Last year: Did not play  

Last week: Westgate beat St. Martinville 49-32; Calvary beat Wossman 21-6  

Rankings:  Calvary is ranked No. 2 in SBJ Top 10, No. 1 in LSWA 2A poll; Westgate No. 4 In LSWA 4A  

Power rankings: Westgate Non-Select Div. I No. 10; Calvary Select Div. III No. 1  

Radio: Calvary on (Promise, 90.7 FM)  

Notable: Calvary had its lowest scoring output of the season in last week’s win … QB Abram Wardell is second in the state with 1,266 yards and has 13 touchdowns … receiver Aubrey Hermes is sixth in the state with 439 yards receiving and averages 22 yards a catch … Landon Sylvie leads the Cavs with 35 tackles, Hutch Grace has 31 and Cole Miller 30 and a team-leading six for loss. Julius Moss has three interceptions.    

WEST OUACHITA (4-0) at NORTH CADDO (1-3), Sanders-Prudhomme Stadium  

Series: North Caddo 1-0  

Last year: North Caddo 28-27  

Last week: North Caddo lost to Neville 54-0; West Ouachita beat Grant 27-0  

Rankings:  None  

Power rankings: North Caddo Select Div. III No. 25; West Ouachita Non-Select Div. I No. 1  

Radio: North Caddo on (KNCB 1320 AM), K104 FM)  

Notable: North Caddo is led by junior quarterback Mason Jackson who has thrown for 381 yards and run for 367 … Tray Morris has run for 213 yards … Chancellor Washington leads the receivers with 14 catches for 175 yards … West Ouachita is allowing a little less than eight points per game and scores 28.3 a game.

MANSFIELD (0-4) at MAGNOLIA (0-4)  

Series: First meeting  

Last year: Did not play  

Last week: Magnolia lost to Homer 47-12; Mansfield lost to Logansport 32-24  

Rankings: None

Power rankings: Mansfield Non-Select Div. I No. 34; Magnolia Select Div. IV No. 31  

Radio: None  

Notable: Mansfield is on a five-game losing streak, the Wolverines lost their first six last season before winning three of the last four regular season games … Magnolia has scored in each of its last three games but averages allowing 54.8 points a game … the Mariners lost their first six last season before winning twice in the last four games.   

PLAIN DEALING (0-4, 0-1) at HAYNESVILLE (1-0, 4-0), Red Franklin-Memorial Stadium  

Series: Haynesville 39-2  

Last year: Haynesville   

Last week: Haynesville beat Glenbrook 34-14; Plain Dealing lost to Ringgold 54-6  

Rankings:  Haynesville No. 8 in LSWA 1A poll  

Power rankings: Plain Dealing Non-Select Div. IV No. 37; Haynesville Non-Select Div. IV No. 1  

Radio: None  

Notable: Plain Dealing has lost 18 in a row … The Lions have scored all of their 26 points the last two games … Haynesville is ranked No. 8 in 1A LSWA state poll … Alonzo Jackson Jr. led the Tors last week with four TDs in last week’s defeat of Glenbrook … QB Isaiah Washington completed only three passes but all went for touchdowns.   


Series: Alexandria 2-0  

Last year: Did not play  

Last week: Green Oaks lost to Peabody 47-0; Alexandria beat East Ascension 21-14  

Rankings:  None  

Power rankings: ASH Select Div. I No. 12; Green Oaks Select Div. II No. 22  

Radio: None  

Notable: Green Oaks suffered three interceptions in last week’s loss to Peabody … the Giants have only managed to score 12 points in three games (missing Week 2 in a forfeit loss to Carroll) … ASH has won its last two games, averaging 38.5 points in those games … the Trojans have scored 124 total points and allowed 123.  

Thursday’s high school football scoreboard

SCRAMBLING:  Benton quarterback Jeff King (11) scrambles away from Byrd defenders into the open field Thursday night. (Journal photo by GAVEN HAMMOND,


Byrd 61, Benton 35 


Delhi Charter 38, LaSalle 0 
Delta Charter 44, Lakeview 38 
Ouachita Christian 48, Ouachita 14 
Union Parish 55, Franklin Parish 33  


Abbeville 41, West St. Mary 0 
Caldwell Parish 42, Sacred Heart-VP 7 
Central Catholic 21, Jeanerette 6 
Church Point 42, Mamou 16 
DeQuincy 16, Rosepine 0 
East Ascension 44, De La Salle 7 
East Feliciana 42, Livonia 8 
Grand Lake 28, East Beauregard 14 
Jewel Sumner 52, Haynes 0 
Madison Prep 50, Helix Mentorship 0 
Montgomery 34, Beekman Charter 28 
Parkview 56, Glen Oaks 6 
Patterson 14, Franklin 8, OT 
Salmen 9, McDonogh #35 8 
St. Edmund 30, Oakdale 20 
Walker 51, Belaire 0
Warren Easton 35, John Ehret 14 

Brees, Augustus, Cormier headline 2024 LSHOF inductees

BREES SEES SUCCESS:  Quarterback Drew Brees, who shattered NFL records and led New Orleans to the Super Bowl title, heads into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame next year. (Photo courtesy New Orleans Saints)


NATCHITOCHES – Sports stars in Louisiana shine no brighter than Drew Brees.

But there’s plenty more glow, including Olympic gold, to go with Brees in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024 announced Wednesday by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

Brees, the New Orleans Saints’ NFL record-setting passer and Super Bowl XLIV MVP, brings incredible credentials. He’s not alone at the top of his game: joining him in the Class of 2024 are homegrown women’s basketball superstar Seimone Augustus, and Daniel Cormier, the Lafayette born-and-raised Olympic wrestler who became and remains one of the top figures in mixed martial arts. 

They headline a star-studded nine-member group of 2024 competitors ballot inductees selected by a 40-member LSWA panel. Dates for next year’s Induction Celebration will be announced soon.

The Class of 2024 also includes 1992 Olympic wrestling gold medalist Kevin Jackson, a former LSU All-American, along with Perry Clark, who guided Tulane basketball to unprecedented success in the 1990s, and McNeese football great Kerry Joseph, who had a 19-year pro career.

Also elected for induction next year are high school football coach Frank Monica, who won state titles at three different south Louisiana schools, and Ray Sibille, a Breeders’ Cup-winning thoroughbred jockey from Sunset who ranks among the nation’s elite riders. 

The class also includes Grambling’s Wilbert Ellis, who becomes the second-ever recipient of the Louisiana Sports Ambassador Award. During his 43-year baseball coaching career and since, Ellis has made local, statewide and national impact not only in his sports field but also in other endeavors.

Appropriately, they will be enshrined in an Olympic year. Augustus helped Team USA win three Olympic gold medals, coupled with Jackson becoming the first Black man in the world to capture gold in wrestling. Jackson was Cormier’s coach when the future MMA star made the USA wrestling team for the 2004 and 2008 Games.

The Ambassador Award was created by the Hall’s parent organization, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and was first presented to network broadcaster Tim Brando of Shreveport as part of the LSHOF Class of 2020. The award honors long-term exemplary contributions to the perception of Louisiana by an individual who has ties to the state’s sports landscape. The Ambassador Award carries membership in the Hall of Fame. The award is not presented annually, but occasionally, as the Selection Committee chooses, said Hall of Fame chairman Doug Ireland.

Brees was a 13-time Pro Bowl pick in a 20-year career. He was a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year, the 2006 NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year, a Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and an Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. Brees led the Saints to three NFC championship games (2006, 2009, 2018) after the franchise had none in its first 39 years of existence. They claimed their only Vince Lombardi trophy with a 31-17 win over the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV as he earned MVP honors. 

Brees once held NFL passing records for yards (80,358), TDs (571), completions (7,142) and attempts (10,551) – all marks that have been surpassed by Tom Brady, who played in 48 more games than Brees. 

Augustus played point guard/forward while starring at high school, college and professional levels. The Baton Rouge native was part of three gold medal-winning USA Olympic teams and four WNBA title teams. 

Foreshadowing her incredible career, Augustus was on the cover of Sports Illustrated for Women as a high school freshman. At LSU, Augustus was the USBWA National Freshman of the Year in 2003 and swept National Player of the Year awards (Wade, Naismith, Wooden and Honda) in 2005 and 2006. 

She was the WNBA’s No. 1 draft pick in 2006 by the Minnesota Lynx and was its Rookie of the Year in 2006.  She won WNBA titles with the Lynx in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. The 2011 finals MVP, she made the WNBA’s 20th anniversary and 25th anniversary teams. 

Cormier is revered as one of the most heralded wrestlers and mixed martial artists ever. He first made a name for himself as a wrestler at Lafayette’s Northside High, winning three consecutive LHSAA Division I state titles (1995-97). Following collegiate and international success, he transitioned to mixed martial arts and, after a transcendent career, is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame (2022) and is a combat sports analyst with ESPN and is a commentator for UFC events.

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Byrd v. Benton has undertones of developing rivalry

ROOM TO RUN:  Junior wingback Malachi Johnson hit open field several times last week against Captain Shreve. (Journal photo by GAVEN HAMMOND,


Players from Byrd and Benton know how each guy from the other team feels heading into their District 1-5A football contest tonight at Independence Stadium.

Not enough has gone right for either team this season.

The Yellow Jackets have been close to a 2-2 record but sustained down-to-the-wire losses to Huntington and Captain Shreve – both at the I-Bowl – and they’re 0-4, 0-1 in the district after last Thursday’s 35-28 heartbreaker to the Gators.

The Tigers are 1-3, dropping their last three after an opening 28-26 triumph at Northwood.

Both teams were walloped in trips to Texarkana, Byrd falling in Week 1 at Pleasant Grove and Benton getting blown out a week later at Texas High.

Fighting frustration entering the Week 5 game is a precarious position. One team moves forward from tonight with some positive momentum and confidence. After Benton blasted Byrd last year, the Tigers were unbeaten until the postseason, and then, just a couple seconds away from a quarterfinal round appearance.

Tonight’s meeting carries undertones of a developing rivalry. Flames were fanned by Benton’s 63-28 romp last season, and a contentious baseball contest in the spring.

The matchup showcases two of the most explosive backs in Shreveport-Bossier – Benton’s touchdown machine, Greg Manning, and Malachi Johnson of Byrd.

BENTON (1-3, 0-1) vs. BYRD (0-4, 0-1) at Independence Stadium

Series: Byrd 2-1

Last year: Benton 63-28

Last week: Byrd lost to Captain Shreve 35-28; Benton lost to Airline 60-35

Rankings: Benton is No. 9 in SBJ Top 10 poll

Power rankings: Benton Non-Select Div. I No. 26; Byrd Select Div. I No. 26

Radio: Byrd on (The Tiger 1130 AM, 103.3 FM); Benton streamed on the Benton Tiger Sports Network (

Notable: Byrd has lost its first four games of the year for the first time since 2019 and last lost its first five in 2016 … The Yellow Jackets have lost fullback Dixon Poirier for the season due to an arm injury. He was second on the team with 214 rushing yards … Malachi Johnson leads Byrd in rushing with 399 yards and eight touchdowns … The Jackets have attempted just one pass the last two games and 11 on the season … Benton running back Greg Manning is second in the area with 546 yards rushing on 100 carries and seven touchdowns … QB Jeff King has passed for 514 yards and four touchdowns and run for 205 yards and two scores … Cole Austin leads the defense with 38 tackles, three for loss. Miller Malley is one tackle behind with 37 and has a team-leading 13 solo stops. Brayden Jackson has 11 solo tackles, 30 total tacklers and a team high four for a loss.

If you think the SEC is hated now, just wait until next year

The rest of the country despises the Southeastern Conference.

They can’t stand the league marketing slogan “It Just Means More.”

Yeah, more revenue generated than any other league to spend on more recruiting, more facilities and more marketing to build more programs in all men’s and women’s sports designed to steamroll everything in its way year after year.

Five league schools – Alabama, Auburn, Florida Georgia and LSU – have combined to have won the last 13 of 17 national football championships, including a current streak of four straight.

“The College Football Playoff selection is rigged,” SEC haters scream.

Five conference members have won the last 6 of 9 College World Series, including LSU in 2023, Ole Miss in 2022, Mississippi State in 2021 and Vanderbilt in 2019 after the COVID outbreak cancelled most of the 2020 baseball season.

“That’s easy to do when the SEC gets at three to four teams in the CWS every year because they get home field advantage in the regionals and Super Regionals,” seething SEC detractors complain.

If you think there’s now a sensory overload doomsday feeling the SEC wins just about everything now – more than 200 national championships since the first league expansion to 12 teams in 1991-92, then consider this next piece of information.

Five SEC schools won eight national championships in the 2022-23 academic year – Georgia (football), LSU (baseball and women’s basketball), Florida (men’s golf and men’s outdoor track), Arkansas (men’s and women’s indoor track) and Vanderbilt (women’s bowling).

Add the national titles won by Texas (women’s outdoor track and volleyball) and by Oklahoma (gymnastics and softball), which join the SEC a year from now, and the number jumps to 12 NCAA national team titles won this past school year by the future SEC family.

Which makes SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey extremely happy.

“If you look at the history of college football, we added two of the top five programs with (the best) winning percentage,” said Sankey, who attended the Arkansas at LSU game last weekend and met with the media prior to kickoff. “The crowds that they’ll attract when they play make me excited for the future.

“We have to prepare with the intensity of the competition. That’s not only in football, though. You look at the national championships this past spring that our future configuration won.

“It’s going to a remarkable level of competition in every sport.”

In the last 15 years, every SEC member except for Missouri has won a national championship in one of the 20 sports (9 men, 11 women) that the league sponsors. Thirteen league schools have captured national titles in multiple sports.

The SEC wheels of expansion have always turned slowly yet with deliberate purpose.

It took the league 35 years to grow from 10 teams to 12 teams with the addition of Arkansas and South Carolina starting in the 1991-92 school year.

Twenty-one years would pass before the SEC added Texas A&M and Missouri in 2012 as the 13th and 14th schools. And now, we are in the final season in every sport before Oklahoma and Texas become the 15th and 16th SEC members starting in the 2024-25 school year.

Except for the 1992 expansion when the SEC actively sought Florida State and Texas, the league hasn’t had to shop for schools. As decades passed with the league gaining steam with TV contracts that provided unprecedented revenue and exposure that led to the birth of ESPN’s 24-hour-a-day SEC Network in August 2014, schools approached the SEC about joining the league.

There are a couple of things the SEC has always known when adding new members. The schools are usually the flagship universities in their respective states or they must be in a state connecting to a state or states that already have current SEC members.

Unlike the Big Ten which will add next year two new members (USC and UCLA) located three time zones away from the majority of the league, or the ACC will add three schools including Stanford and Cal, which are more than 2,700 miles from most current ACC numbers, all 16 teams in the new SEC reside in 12 states that somehow border each other.

“Being geographically sensible was very much on our mind,” Sankey said. “You want young student-athletes in class preparing themselves academically and preparing competitively and not on airplanes.

“We had a clarifying conversation (with SEC member presidents and chancellors) in June 2022. It was one of our chancellors who said, `We really know who we are. We have a sense of identity that fans and teams and people want to be a part of it. So, let’s just focus on our identity.’

“What happened this summer (which the Big Ten and ACC leap-frogging time zones to steal Pac 12 schools as new members) validates our decision to move the way we did when there was an opportunity with Oklahoma and Texas.

“We still should be thinking from a geographic standpoint. Interestingly enough, we don’t stretch schools further. Some of our teams will have reduced mileage in travel, and that’s pretty unique.”

The league is still hashing a conference football schedule beyond next season’s eight-game league slate, which includes Texas and Oklahoma each playing seven current SEC schools each besides playing themselves. LSU, after playing Oklahoma just three times in the history of both programs (all in the postseason), will host the Sooners for the first time in the regular season.

Sankey still would like a nine-game SEC schedule in the future with three permanent opponents and six rotating opponents. LSU’s likely three permanent opponents would be Alabama, Texas A&M and Ole Miss.

“Are things going to change?” Sankey said. “Yes. How much change? We’re working through that. The conference controls the schedule and there are a variety of ways we’ve scheduled over time. Now, we’re at 16 teams, there are a lot of pieces.”

Just makes the chess match in every SEC sport more intriguing than any time in its 91-year history.

And the rest of the country can’t take much more of “It Just Means More.”

Contact Ron at

Airline’s Taylor back on top of local, state passing leaders 

TAYLOR ON TOP:  Airline junior quarterback Ben Taylor has moved back into the No. 1 position locally, and statewide, for passing yardage. (Journal photo by JOHN JAMES MARSHALL)


Airline quarterback Ben Taylor’s big passing game in a 60-35 District 1-5A win over Benton has him back on top of local and state passing leaders after four weeks.  

Taylor, the only Airline signal caller to pass for more than 400 yards in a game, did it for the second time this season with 471 yards, his third 400-yard output in his career. Taylor hit on 18-of-24 passes and seven touchdowns – all before halftime — as the Vikings ran their regular season win streak to 11 games dating back to last season’s last seven games.   

Evangel senior receiver Parker Fulghum also had a big game with 6 catches for 252 yards in the Eagles’ 49-0 defeat of Bossier in a District 1-4A opener. Fulghum’s effort gave him 30 catches, along with Airline receiver Jarvis Davis, to lead the area in receptions. It was Fulghum’s second 200-yard game to give him an area-leading 641 yards and eight touchdowns.  

Captain Shreve running back Jamarlon Otis’ 66-yard run that propelled the Gators to a win over rival Byrd left him with 190 yards on the night and an area-best 745 yards and nine touchdowns. Benton’s Greg Manning is second behind Otis with 546 yards and now has just over 3,000 for his career.    

Area Statistical leaders.  


Name, school, Attempts-Yards-TDs 

Jamarlon Otis, Captain Shreve, 80-745-9 

Greg Manning, Benton, 100-546-7 

Antonio Gladney, Parkway, 54-396-6 

Malachi Johnson, Byrd, 47-399-8 

James Simon, Calvary, 53-399-4 

Mason Jackson, North Caddo, 48-367-0 

CJ Dudley, Parkway, 48-293-3 

Christian Turner, Haughton, 22-292-3 

Devontay Moss, Haughton, 46-270-3 

Marcus Willis, Huntington, 29-268-3 

Patrick Gosslee, Loyola, 47-230-2 

Dixon Poirier, Byrd, 52-214-3 

Tray Morris, North Caddo, 39-213-0 

Jeff King, Benton, 31-205-2 

Charley Abraham, Evangel, 33-204-2 

Caleb Jones, Bossier, 41-202-1 


Name, school, Com-Att-Int, Yards, TDs 

Ben Taylor, Airline, 97-131-2, 1466, 22 

Abram Wardell, Calvary, 80-107-1, 1266, 13 

Peyton Fulghum, Evangel, 73-105-2, 1165, 13 

Loranzo White, Huntington, 52-101-5, 902, 9 

Brodie Savage, Captain Shreve, 43-67-3, 680, 6 

Hutson Hearron, Northwood, 54-93-6, 615, 5 

Christian Turner, Haughton 34-53-0 ,553, 6 

Jeff King, Benton, 47-92-2, 514, 4 

Kaleb Williams, Parkway, 36-65-0, 467, 5 

Bryce Restovich, Loyola, 36-69-8, 398, 2 

Mason Jackson, North Caddo, 23-38-1, 322, 3 

Tovoras Lee, Green Oaks, 23-50-3, 268, 3 


Name, school, Rec-Yards-TDs 

Parker Fulghum, Evangel, 30-641-8 

Jarvis Davis, Airline, 30-484-3 

Kolby Thomas, Calvary, 27-342-2 

Tre’Von Jackson, Airline, 22-304-5 

Jalen Lewis, Haughton, 22-290-4 

Tyreek Robinson, Evangel, 22-268-5 

Aubrey Hermes, Calvary, 20-439-6 

Kaleb Tucker, Huntington, 20-380-5 

Bryson Broom, Airline, 20-331-8 

Kenny Darby, Airline, 18-300-5 

Preston Summage, Huntington, 16-235-1 

Jamarion Montgomery, Haughton, 17-276-3 

Tucker McCabe, Northwood, 17-233-3 

Chris Jackson, Calvary, 16-202-3 

John Simon, Calvary, 15-307-3 

Desmond Harris, Northwood, 14-168-2 

Jayden Lewis, Parkway, 13-168-2 

Greg Manning, Benton, 13-109-0 

Reagan Coyle, Loyola, 13-96-0 

Jalil Wainwright, Northwood, 12-40-0 

Jackson Jones, Benton, 12-121-1 

Demarkus Evans, Parkway, 12-69-0 

Delarious Marshall, Green Oaks, 11-130-2 

Ray Morris, Evangel, 10-183-0 

Antonio Gladney, Parkway, 10-124-2 

Jamarion Washington, Huntington, 9-226-4 

Jake Black, Loyola, 7-155-2 

Note: Green Oaks game totals are for 2 games 

To submit stat updates or corrections send to  

Gearing up for Sunday’s start to archery season

Some of the year’s hottest weather in Louisiana occurs during the oppressive days of August and September. Fall is officially here but you wouldn’t know it by glancing at the thermometer with daytime temperatures in the high 90s.

There will be one group of folks with an eye on the calendar. You’ll see them out in their back yards, sitting on make-do elevated platforms, slinging arrows at targets. They’re Louisiana’s bow hunters and they’re doing what they have to do to get ready for the upcoming bow season which begins this Sunday, October 1.

They’ll be getting in condition for what one bowhunter told me is the “short” game. In golf, it’s the accuracy of the putter that usually separates the hackers from the experts. In bow hunting, the archer’s bow is his putter. He can’t expect to score a “birdie” (or would that be a “buckie”?) if he’s not proficient at shooting accurately from within the range of a bow, which is usually 35 yards or closer. Any deer outside that range is a deer to be watched, not shot at.

Thus, becoming proficient with his archery equipment within ethical ranges is a must, and like in golf, there is no substitute for practice, practice and more practice, even if sweat is dripping off your nose and you’re flirting with heat stroke.

A bowhunter knows that the deer he’ll be after are quite adaptable creatures. You can cut their woods and they simply move over to an adjoining tract, returning to the clear cut when they’re hungry to feast on succulent new growth that explodes when the forest canopy is opened.

One factor of nature that takes deer longer to adapt to is weather changes. During years of drought, especially in growing season, fewer fawns are born, which impacts the deer situation years down the road. Fewer fawns born this year translate to fewer adult animals to hunt the next couple of seasons.

Another problem not just bowhunters but all deer hunters have faced over the past few years has been milder than normal winters. This situation means that in general, deer have more to eat because succulent plant growth on which they feed lasts on into winter when in normal years, deer are moving about looking for something to eat.

During warm weather when the rut is going on, bucks still chase and breed does, but most of the activity is at night when temperatures are more comfortable. Frustrated hunters hunker down over scrape lines and food plots only to be disappointed.

However, Mother Nature is an equalizer. Granted, the past few winters have been milder and frankly, we’re due for a change. We may not get it, but darn it, we’re due.

It will be interesting to see just how the conditions of last deer season that favored deer and negatively impacted deer hunters will have a bearing on the upcoming deer season. Weather that was too warm and a bumper crop of wildlife foods throughout season meant that deer didn’t have to move about to find succulent forage. Thus, fewer were harvested. I’m no wildlife biologist but if I had to wager a guess, I’d think that we should have a better season this year.

Why do I think that? Over most of the state, the deer harvest was down last season, which means that more than a few wise old bucks lived to get another year older. With another year of age, this translates out to another year of growing antler mass, the exception being a deer that is past his prime and is basically going downhill.

With the odds hopefully being more in the hunter’s favor this season than last, those hunters who begin their seasons early have a better chance to collect their venison. No group of hunters in the state begins their season earlier than bow hunters. The first day of October is opening day for the majority of the state although some areas opened as early as mid-September. (Check current regulations for exact dates and areas.)

If you’re a serious bow hunter, you’ve already been out there, slinging arrows at paper targets and tweaking your bow so that when the deer you’re looking for steps out, you’ll be ready.

Contact Glynn at

The memories that stick around for years and years


Chances are that many high school football players will relish memories of their days in helmets and shoulder pads for years to come.

Coaches sure do.

This week’s Shreveport-Bossier Journal Coaches Roundtable question elicited some compelling responses.

“At any point in your playing career, what game or play, or experience, do you still remember the most today, and why?” 

Jason Brotherton, Haughton —  “It’s 1992, when I was a junior playing quarterback at Haughton. I threw my first career TD pass against Ruston on a Y drag. I remember going back to the sideline and my dad (on the coaching staff) telling me ‘good pass’ with an expression on his face that made it seem like he was surprised.” 

Reynolds Moore, Benton – “Our homecoming game in my senior year of high school was against a district rival — Morton (Class 3A Mississippi). They had just graduated Deuce McAllister and we had a chance to beat them. I hit the game-winning field goal with about a minute left. We won 10-7.”

Gary Smith, Bossier – “In 1989, the Bossier vs. Springhill game. Springhill was a top-ranked 2A team in the state.  Bossier was 3A. They were good, but we beat them for homecoming.”

Denny Duron, Evangel – “In 1973 as a Louisiana Tech quarterback, we played in the semifinals  of the Division II national playoffs against Boise State. We won in the last 12 seconds to advance to the finals, which we won. One of those team moments … winning such an epic struggle.

“Many, many more coaching moments I treasure, though.”

Gary Cooper, Booker T. Washington – “It’s my freshman summer at Grambling. We would go down to the stadium and work on the passing game — but this was at 1 a.m. We would turn on the stadium lights and work.

“We would all just be hanging out and somebody would say ‘let’s go throw,’ and we would start calling everyone and head to the stadium. No coaches, just quarterbacks and receivers. The work ethic was different, the mindset was different.”

Austin Brown, Northwood – “Most good memories come from practice and out of season, when you are hanging out building a team.

“Most of my other memories are instances where I cost the team with poor attitude or judgement. I believe that drives my decision making today, knowing how important that still is to me today as a coach.” 

Adam Kirby, Captain Shreve – “As a junior at West Rusk High School, we beat Garrison 29-19 for our first district win in over three years. In a 22-14 loss to Overton, I was knocked out in the second quarter and I remember being really upset because I couldn’t finish that game with it being our biggest rival.

“We weren’t very good, but I never remember the struggles. Every time I go back to Henderson, I recall the good times I had playing high school football.”

Stephen Dennis, Huntington – “I have two, both against the same college but in different years.

“1) In 2004 against Texas Lutheran University playing (for Louisiana Christian) at home in Pineville, I was a redshirt freshman. We went into quadruple overtime and lost like 68-66. It was almost the longest game, time-wise from kickoff to end, and the highest total scoring game in NCAA Division III at that time. We played football for six hours!

“2) In 2007, the last time I played a football game was in Seguin, Texas, where we beat Texas Lutheran to finish the season with a three-game win streak. It was the first three-game win streak for LC since the 1950s. Coach (Dennis) Dunn was my head coach at LC for this game.”

Coy Brotherton, Parkway – “In high school at Haughton, I remember my first play ever and my last play.

“My sophomore year, in the first game of year I had to come in at center for two plays due to an injury and I was scared to death.  My last play in my senior year was against Bossier. The running back was tackled behind me and rolled into the back of my leg, and I broke it.”  

Mulkey knows this LSU team carries highest expectations

LOCAL GIRL DOES GOOD:  LSU freshman guard Mikaylah Williams from Parkway High warms up in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Monday on the opening day of practice for the defending national champions. (Journal photo by RON HIGGINS)

By RON HIGGINS, Journal Sports

BATON ROUGE – – Prior to taking over as LSU’s women’s head basketball coach two seasons ago, Kim Mulkey already had six national championships on her Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame resume.

There were back-to-back titles in 1981 and 1982 as a spunky ponytailed Louisiana Tech point guard, one in 1988 as a Tech assistant coach under Leon Barmore and three as Baylor’s head coach in 2005, 2012 and 2019.

As a player, Mulkey nearly won a third straight title in 1983 but lost to USC 69-67 when she missed a game-tying shot at the buzzer that would have forced overtime. As an assistant coach, Tech returned to the Final Four in 1989 and lost 76-71 in the semifinals.

As Baylor’s head coach, two of her defending national championship teams were eliminated in the Sweet 16 and the third never got a chance to play in the postseason when the COVID outbreak canceled the 2020 NCAA tournament.

The common thread of all those experiences is something her 2023-24 Lady Tigers squad is about to discover after winning the school’s first NCAA basketball title (men’s or women’s) last April.

“If you’re the underdog (as LSU was last season) and you win a national championship, you didn’t probably get everybody’s best shot,” Mulkey said Monday afternoon before her uber-talented team opened practice before an estimated Pete Maravich Assembly crowd of 2,500. “If you’re the favorite, you’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”

It’s what Mulkey expects with a team returning first-team All-America junior forward Angel Reese and sophomore guard Flau’jae Johnson, who was last year’s SEC Freshman of the Year.

There’s also the infusion of Louisville graduate student guard Hailey Van Lith and DePaul junior forward Aneesah Morrow, college basketball two highest-rated transfers. The icing on the recruiting cake is having the nation’s No. 1 ranked signing class led by Parkway High School guard Mikaylah Williams (the No. 2 nationally ranked recruit) and Nashville (Tn.) Webb School center Aalyah Del Rosario (the No. 7 nationally ranked recruit).

Mulkey often said last season she didn’t mind coaching big personalities such as Reese and Johnson. But in the almost seven months since LSU scored the most points ever in a national title game when the Lady Tigers destroyed Iowa 102-85, Reese has become one of the most recognizable women’s athletes in the world.

Besides winning a silver medal playing for Team USA in the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup, she was photographed for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue as well for a cover story of the magazine’s issue about college athletics legally earning income through name, image and likeness.

Reese also appeared in a Cardi B music video. She made an Amazon commercial with teammate Johnson and also appeared with several NBA stars in a commercial for Starry Soda. She was featured in Time Magazine’s Time100 Next issue.

In the On3 website listing the current top 100 men’s and women’s athletes NIL evaluations, Reese is No. 8 at $1.7 million, Johnson No. 19 at $1.1 million and Van Lith No. 79 at $550,000.

At this time last season, Reese was just a non-descript transfer from Maryland hoping a change of scenery and a new head coach could make her a pro prospect. But her expansive fame seemingly overnight has given Mulkey something to ponder that she never faced before as she starts her 24th season as a college head coach.

How do you motivate a star player who is a millionaire according to her NIL evaluation?

“Is Angel Reese hungry?” Mulkey wondered out loud. “She’s making money like crazy. Is she going to be hungry for another ring?

“You get a feel for that in your first individual meeting (before the start of the fall semester). I sat down with Angel, talked about her summer, and then we talked about her being here.

“She said something I won’t ever forget,” Mulkey said. She said `Coach, I’m tired. I’m so glad to be back. I’m ready to play basketball.’ I was looking to hear that and not have to pull it out of her.

“She understands she doesn’t have all of the things she has if she doesn’t have success on the court. She understands that she just had the most unbelievable year of her college career and it was fun. And you’re not entitled to that again unless you work.

“She gets motivated by things that most athletes do. Last week, they put a projection out that she’d be the eighth pick in the (2024 WNBA) draft. Well, that was an insult to her. She wanted to know what she had to work on. We told her and it motivates her to get in the gym. She gets motivated by somebody in practice going head-to-head with her and blocking her shot or talking trash back at her. She’s a competitor.”

So are transfers Van Lith and Morrow. After averaging 19.7 points and 25.7 points respectively last season, that duo provides the Lady Tigers with proven, experienced scorers.

“Morrow and Van Lith bring experience and it matters,” said Mulkey, who’s 60-8 overall and 28-4 in the SEC after her two LSU seasons. “When you take a freshman and then you take a transfer that’s got three years of college experience and you just put them out there, you just obviously can see the difference. And it has nothing to do with talent.”

Yet the freshman that could crash the playing rotation is Williams, the 2023 Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year and two-time reigning Louisiana Gatorade Player of the Year who led Parkway to a 2023 state title.

“Mikaylah brings a physical body that’s ready for college,” Mulkey said. “The first thing you’ll notice is she’s pretty physical and can play any position on the perimeter. That may not be fair to her. Because one day I may have her playing point guard and the next day off-guard. That’s tough, particularly if you’re having to learn the point guard position.”

LSU plays home exhibition games vs. East Texas Baptist on Oct. 26 and Loyola of New Orleans on Nov. 1. The Lady Tigers face Colorado on Nov. 6 in Las Vegas to open the regular season.

The NCAA national championship banner will be raised to the PMAC rafters in pregame of the Nov. 9 home opener vs. Queens.

“This season is going to be different in a lot of ways,” said the 61-year-old Mulkey, who had two stents surgically inserted into a blocked heart artery in June. “We’re just about to sell out the P-Mac (in home season tickets). The (LSU) brand is bigger, the NIL stuff is bigger, our schedule is a little harder, and our depth and our talent are much more.

“All of that is a good thing. And we’ll just have to stay away from injuries and see what happens.”

Contact Ron at

Grambling naming football field to honor legendary QBs Harris, Williams


GRAMBLING — Two legendary figures in the rich history of Grambling State football, trailblazing quarterbacks and NFL executives James ‘Shack” Harris and Doug Williams, will be forever immortalized inside Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.

The GSU Athletic Department announced Tuesday the field at Robinson Stadium will be named after Harris and Williams during the Tigers’ homecoming game on Oct. 14. It will officially become James “Shack” Harris and Doug Williams Field at Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium.

“It is our pleasure to honor two of the greatest members of the Grambling State football family,” said Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Trayvean Scott. “These two men have long represented what it means to be a G-Man and have achieved so much while breaking down barriers that few thought were attainable during their playing days. We can’t wait to add another brick to castle of greatness they’ve built.”

“Honoring these two Grambling Legends will be the highlight of our 2023 Homecoming festivities,” said President Richard “Rick” Gallot. “James ’Shack’ Harris and Doug Williams epitomize greatness at the highest level of football competition. They both deserve to be honored by Grambling State University in this way.”

During his time playing under Robinson from 1965-68, Harris helped GSU to four Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.  As a three-year starter, Harris led the Tigers to a 24-5-1 record.

Harris entered the NFL chosen by the Buffalo Bills in the eighth round of the 1969 NFL Draft. He became the first African-American player to start a season at quarterback in the history of professional football.

In 1974, he led the Los Angeles Rams to an NFC West Division title and their first playoff victory since 1951. Harris then became the first African American quarterback to start a conference championship game. He also earned a spot in that year’s Pro Bowl and was the game’s MVP.

He has served in multiple executive roles in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New York Jets and the Detroit Lions.

“This is an outstanding honor for me, my family, coaches and all my teammates,” said Harris. “Sharing it with Doug Williams makes it even more special. I am very fortunate to have played for the great coach Eddie Robinson. I am forever grateful to Grambling for providing me an education and tremendous HBCU experience. I hope my career represented Grambling well and made you proud.”

As a four-year starter, Williams led Robinson’s Tigers to 36-7 record, winning three SWAC championships from 1974-1977. He was also named the Black College Football Player of the Year twice.  His stellar play helped him become a Heisman Trophy candidate, and he was fourth in the voting following the 1977 campaign.

Williams was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 17th pick of the first round of the 1978 NFL Draft, becoming the first African American quarterback to be drafted in the opening round. He led the Buccaneers to the playoffs three times in the first five seasons, including a trip to the 1979 NFC Championship Game.

The Zachary native reached the zenith of his career when he led Washington to a 42-10 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXII, becoming the first Black quarterback to be named Super Bowl MVP.

In 1998, upon the retirement of Robinson as the head coach of GSU, Williams was named the new leader of Grambling State football. He won his first SWAC title as head coach in 2000, with a 10-2 overall record. The following year he led the Tigers to Black College Football National Title with a 10-1 record. He completed a SWAC championship three-peat in 2002, leading the G-Men to an 11-2 mark.

Following the 2003 season, which saw GSU claim a SWAC Western Division crown, he returned to the NFL to serve as an executive with Tampa Bay. After serving as general manager of the Virginia Destroyers in the United Football League during the 2010 season, Williams returned as head coach of Grambling State, immediately winning his fourth SWAC title as head coach in 2011.

Since 2014, he’s served as an executive for the Washington Commanders.

“This is so surreal for me. This is such a humbling honor to have James ‘Shack’ Harris and my name plastered on a field in Eddie Robinson Stadium,” said Williams. “This is something that will stand for my kids and grandkids to see.”

Top 25 high school football power rankings


Top 25 state high school football power rankings in each classification through four weeks, compiled by

Non-Select Division I
Team (W-L) PR SF
1. West Ouachita (4-0) 15.00 5.00
2. Walker (3-1) 14.38 6.75
3. Ruston (4-0) 14.38 6.25
4. Airline (4-0) 14.38 5.75
5. Dutchtown (3-0) 14.17 6.67
6. Neville (4-0) 13.75 5.25
7. Ponchatoula (3-1) 13.13 6.25
8. Southside (3-1) 13.13 6.25
9. St. Amant (4-0) 13.13 5.00
10. Westgate (4-0) 13.13 5.00
11. Fontainebleau (3-1) 12.50 6.50
12. Destrehan (4-0) 12.50 6.00
13. Zachary (3-0) 12.50 5.67
14. Sam Houston (4-0) 12.50 5.25
15. East St. John (4-0) 12.50 5.00
16. Hammond   (3-1) 12.29 5.75
17. Central – B.R. (3-1) 11.88 6.25
18. Parkway (4-0) 11.88 4.50
19. West Monroe (4-0) 11.88 4.25
20. Belle Chasse (2-1) 11.67 5.33
21. Sulphur (2-2) 11.25 7.25
22. Denham Springs (3-1) 11.25 5.75
23. Chalmette (3-1) 11.25 5.50
24. Terrebonne (3-1) 11.25 5.50
25. Live Oak (2-1) 10.83 5.33
Others: 26. Benton (1-3) 10.63 7.50; 33. Natch. Central (2-2) 9.38 6.25; 37. Haughton (2-2) 8.75 4.75
Non-Select Division   II
Team (W-L) PR SF
1. Franklin Parish (4-0) 13.75 3.75
2. Lutcher (2-1) 13.17 6.00
3. North DeSoto (3-1) 13.13 6.00
4. Albany (3-1) 13.13 4.25
5. Pearl River (3-1) 13.00 5.00
6. Opelousas (2-2) 12.88 7.00
7. Abbeville (3-1) 12.50 4.50
8. Cecilia (3-1) 12.38 5.50
9. Plaquemine (3-1) 12.38 5.25
10. Wossman (3-1) 12.38 5.00
11. West Feliciana (3-1) 12.25 5.25
12. Leesville (2-2) 11.88 5.50
13. Rayne (3-1) 11.88 5.00
14. Morgan City (3-1) 11.88 4.00
15. Iowa (2-2) 11.25 6.00
16. Assumption (2-2) 11.25 5.00
17. Breaux Bridge (2-2) 11.13 5.00
18. Carroll (3-1) 11.13 4.00
19. Jennings (2-2) 10.63 6.00
20. DeRidder (2-2) 10.63 5.00
21. Kaplan (3-1) 10.63 5.00
22. Iota (3-1) 10.63 4.25
23. Eunice (3-1) 10.63 4.00
24. Grant   (2-2) 10.50 4.50
25. Lakeshore (1-3) 10.25 7.25
Others: 29. Bossier (1-3) 9.25 5.50
Non-Select Division III
Team (W-L) PR SF
1. Sterlington (3-1) 15.25 5.50
2. Many (2-2) 15.00 7.00
3. St. James (3-1) 15.00 5.75
4. Union Parish (2-2) 14.38 6.25
5. Springfield (3-1) 14.25 4.50
6. Jena (4-0) 14.25 3.75
7. Pine (4-0) 14.13 3.75
8. Marksville (3-1) 14.00 4.75
9. Kinder (3-1) 13.50 4.50
10. Amite (2-1) 12.83 5.33
11. Caldwell Parish (2-2) 12.75 5.75
12. North Webster (3-1) 12.38 4.25
13. Bogalusa (2-2) 12.25 6.00
14. Richwood (2-2) 12.25 5.50
15. Lakeside (3-1) 11.88 2.75
16. Loreauville (3-1) 11.63 3.75
17. Westlake (3-1) 11.13 3.75
18. St. Helena (1-1) 11.00 5.50
19. Berwick (1-3) 10.88 6.00
20. Port Allen (2-1) 10.69 4.67
21. Rosepine (2-2) 10.63 4.50
22. Vidalia (3-1) 10.50 2.50
23. S. Plaquemines (2-2) 10.17 4.75
24. Jewel Sumner (2-2) 10.00 3.50
25. Madison (3-1) 10.00 2.75
Non-Select Division   IV
Team (W-L) PR SF
1. Haynesville (4-0) 18.25 5.00
2. Jeanerette (4-0) 17.88 4.75
3. Logansport (3-1) 15.00 4.50
4. Kentwood (3-1) 14.88 5.25
5. Oakdale (4-0) 14.75 3.50
6. Arcadia (4-0) 14.63 3.00
7. White Castle (4-0) 13.75 3.25
8. Ferriday (2-2) 13.63 5.25
9. J-Hodge (2-2) 13.25 5.25
10. Lakeview (3-1) 13.00 3.25
11. Lake Arthur (3-1) 11.75 3.25
12. Oak Grove (2-2) 11.63 4.00
13. Franklin (2-2) 11.21 4.50
14. Oberlin (3-1) 11.13 3.00
15. Centerville (3-1) 11.13 2.75
16. Montgomery (1-3) 10.88 5.00
17. Homer (3-1) 10.88 3.25
18. Welsh (2-2) 10.38 4.00
19. Mangham (1-3) 10.25 5.25
20. East Feliciana (1-3) 10.25 4.75
21. LaSalle (3-1) 10.00 2.25
22. Block (0-4) 9.88 5.50
23. Basile (2-2) 9.88 3.50