Cajuns, Cougars provide neighborhood matchup for I-Bowl

CAJUN COMBO:  Sophomore quarterback Chandler Fields and freshman running back Dre’lyn Washington helped UL-Lafayette pound Texas State 41-13 to become bowl eligible. (Photo by BEN MASSEY, RaginCajuns.com)

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

Pairing Louisiana-Lafayette against Houston brings regional appeal to the 46th Annual Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl set for the Friday before Christmas.

Both fan bases have an easy drive into Shreveport. Local fans don’t have to look on a map to see where the teams call home. There’s even a Ragin’ Cajun restaurant in Houston, and plenty of Astros fans in Lafayette. While the Cajuns and Cougars haven’t met in football in 16 seasons, they will stage their 10th collision in the I-Bowl, and in other sports, they often square off.

Lafayette and Houston are cornerstones in the region’s oil patch, with plenty of common business interests.

The only drawback? You’ll have to look closely to ID the school the red-clad fans are supporting.

Kickoff for college football’s 11th oldest bowl game is set for 2 p.m. CST on Friday, Dec. 23 at Independence Stadium. Bowl pairings were announced Sunday afternoon.

Houston (7-5) got hot down the stretch with an explosive offense producing wins in five of its last seven games during its last season as a member of the American Athletic Conference. The Cougars make their long-desired return to the Big 12 in 2023-24.

UL-Lafayette, led by first-year head coach (and former quarterback) Michael Desormeaux, finished the regular season blowing out Texas State to post a 6-6 (4-4 SBC) record to become eligible for a school-record fifth consecutive season. Desormeaux was offensive coordinator for the other four under Billy Napier, who just wrapped his first season at Florida.

“We are so excited about the opportunity to play in the Independence Bowl,” Desormeaux said. “Our team is truly appreciative of the opportunity to play in such a great game. We are fired up for this team to get one more game together. Playing it in our home state makes this even more special.” 

The Ragin’ Cajuns had four players selected to the All-Sun Belt first team, the second-most in the league, and 11 players overall made the all-conference team. ULL defeated three bowl-bound teams this season. This is the 10th bowl appearance for the Ragin’ Cajuns in school history – all coming since 2011.

Dana Holgorsen is finishing his fourth season at UH, with a contract extension until 2027 on his $4 million annual deal. He played at Iowa Wesleyan as a receiver with head coach Hal Mumme and offensive coordinator Mike Leach, two major influences on his approach.

The Cougars, led by first-team All-AAC quarterback Clayton Tune, were among the nation’s premier offenses, scoring 30-plus points in 11 of their 12 games. Houston went 5-3 in AAC play. The Cougars are competing in their 15th bowl game in the last 18 seasons – the most in the state of Texas in that span – and 30th in the history of the program.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to compete one more time as a football team and end this season with a win,” Holgorsen said. “The Independence Bowl has a great tradition going back several decades. This game means a lot. I know our guys will be ready to play and we look forward to the challenge of facing another good football team.”

It is the first appearance in the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl for both programs.

Public tickets are on sale and are $30 for end zone bench, $45 for sideline bench and $65 for a limited quantity of sideline chairback seats. There are also a bevy of other ticket packages available – including group tickets, Family 4-Packs, Small Business Fan Packs and the exclusive Chairman’s Club.

For more information on tickets visit RadianceTechnologiesIndependenceBowl.com/tickets or call the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl office at 318.221.0712 or toll-free at 888.414.BOWL.

Independence Bowl Foundation Survey:  The Independence Bowl is conducting a survey about both the Independence Bowl Foundation and Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl in order to improve the organization. The bowl asks that fans, both locally and regionally, complete the survey and provide feedback on various aspects of the Foundation and bowl. To complete the brief survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/2022_Independence_Bowl_Survey                           

Contact Doug at sbjdoug@gmail.com


Tigers can’t hang with Georgia in SEC title game, draw Citrus Bowl clash with Purdue

BRIGHT SPOT:  Backup quarterback Garrett Nussmeier threw for almost 300 yards against No. 1 Georgia Saturday as LSU bent the Bulldogs’ vaunted defense, but couldn’t break it. (Photo courtesy LSU Athletics)

By RYNE BERTHELOT, Journal Sports

BATON ROUGE – LSU’s unlikely journey to the Southeastern Conference Championship Game ended predictably, but there’s one last challenge to cap Brian Kelly’s first season: the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl.

With Saturday’s 50-30 loss to No. 1 Georgia in the rearview mirror and four losses on their ledger, the Tigers will make their third trip to the Citrus Bowl since 2016, this time against Purdue (8-5) which lost the Big Ten Championship game 43-22 to Michigan Saturday night.

The Tigers and Boilermakers have never faced each other, but that changes Monday, Jan. 2, at noon CST in Orlando.

Purdue didn’t cash in on outgaining the No. 2-ranked Wolverines 456-386, but Michigan needed a second-half surge to secure its victory, posting 29 points after halftime. The Boilermakers settled for field goals on five trips inside the Michigan red zone.

There was much less doubt earlier Saturday in Atlanta. The Tigers had their slim hopes of a major bowl selection dashed by halftime as Georgia led 35-10.

Kelly had an open admission about the defending national champions afterward: They’re just better.

“They were the better football team today. Proud of my team, proud of the fight they gave today,” Kelly said. “We were just a little short.”

The Tigers (9-4) were outmatched by a more veteran squad, but they had the upper hand early until a costly blunder. Georgia’s first touchdown came with 3:33 left in the first quarter when an LSU field goal attempt was blocked by Nazir Stackhouse and returned 96 yards for a touchdown by Christopher Smith. LSU’s players didn’t react after the block as the ball dribbled several yards downfield, assuming the play was dead before Smith returned it with no resistance.

“Obviously we did a poor job coaching,” Kelly said. “It’s our responsibility to have our guys alert in that situation; they were not alert. That falls on coaching. That falls on my shoulders. I take full responsibility for that.”

Georgia (13-0) entered the game as one of the top defenses in the nation, and while the defense wracked up four sacks and three turnovers, it was the Bulldogs’ offense that put the game out of reach. Quarterback Stetson Bennett threw for 274 and four touchdowns on 23-of-29 passing, while Kendall Milton eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the ground with just eight carries. With the addition of a two-touchdown day for Kenny McIntosh on the ground, the Bulldogs kept a usually stout LSU defense on is heels.

The Tigers have faced plenty of good running backs throughout the season and have had good success with stopping the run. That didn’t translate Saturday, as the Bulldogs ran for a combined 255 yards on 44 attempts.

“It’s a challenge every single week going against good O-lines,” defensive lineman Mekhi Wingo said. “We’ve played a great running back almost every week. It was just another bump in the road for us. It was the same preparation throughout the week.”

There were still highlights, though.

Jayden Daniels responded to the special teams blunder with a 52-yard touchdown pass to Kayshon Boutte. When Daniels exited for good after the first half because he reaggravated his sprained ankle, Garrett Nussmeier turned in the best performance of his career, throwing for 294 yards and two touchdowns on 15-of-27 passing. He found Malik Nabers for a 34-yard touchdown in the third quarter and Jaray Jenkins for a 33-yard TD in the fourth, but the three-score lead Georgia built insulated any chance of a comeback.

The loss capped an unlikely scenario where LSU won the SEC West over preseason favorites Ole Miss, Alabama and Texas A&M. Kelly took over the program with just 39 scholarship players, then bolstered his roster with a transfer-heavy signing class. LSU’s offense featured three true freshmen for the entirety of the season in Will Campbell, Emery Jones and Mason Taylor. The defense added another in Harold Perkins, who made waves nationally as one of the best edge rushers in the country.

“As I told them in the locker room, we’ve got a great foundation. It’s a young football team that will take this lesson and build off of it. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to coach them,” Kelly said.

Now, there’s one last chance at a 10-win season, something that was unthinkable in September but was almost a lock two weeks ago before a titanic loss to struggling A&M.

That, nor the pageantry of a bowl game, changes much for Wingo.

“I would say we just finish off the right way,” he said. “Get back to it, get back to our process. Going at it in the weight room, going hard, just practicing, paying attention to the small details. Just end the season on a good note and send the seniors out right.”

Contact Ryne at rgberthelot@gmail.com


Mudbugs ‘take control,’ sweep New Mexico

CLUTCH GOAL: Brent Litchard (14) and his teammates react to his game-tying goal in the third period of Saturday’s game against New Mexico on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. (Photo by CHRISTI LANG, Journal Sports)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

It was quite the weekend on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. The Shreveport Mudbugs welcomed a pair of large crowds, watched hundreds of teddy bears hit the ice and debuted two jerseys (including the first “318” jersey). Oh, and they swept the New Mexico Ice Wolves to move into a North American Hockey League South Division playoff position.

Following a stellar shutout victory on Friday night, things didn’t look so great after the Mudbugs blew a two-goal lead and found themselves down 3-2 with less than 5 minutes remaining.

“We performed very poorly in the second period,” Mudbugs coach Jason Campbell said. “(Before the third period) I told them, ‘You did enough to win a game in the first period and then you did enough to give it away in the second. Now, you guys are going to have to go out there and decide how this game is going to end.’”

Brent Litchard tied the game with 3:27 remaining in regulation and Hayden Nichol needed just 62 seconds of overtime to muscle the game-winner into the net to cap a 4-3 triumph.

“The boys took control of their own destiny,” Campbell said. “We’ve been preaching the same stuff over and over again. Sometimes it falls on deaf ears.”

The Mudbugs (11-9-4) have now won four straight games and slipped past Amarillo for the No. 4 spot in the South. The two teams square off in west Texas on Friday and Saturday.

“It’s great to get a big win in front of a couple good crowds and a big sweep,” Campbell said. “It all worked out this weekend as good as it could have.” 

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Hayden Nichol, Saturday’s second-period fight and subsequent overtime game-winner punctuated a stellar weekend at The George. He also scored the game-winner on Friday.
  2. Simon Bucheler, in net for both victories and made 29 saves in Friday’s shutout.
  3. Brent Litchard, scored in both games on the weekend, including the game-tying tally Saturday.

NAHL South Division standings

Lone Star (18-2-2), 38 points

Oklahoma (17-4-1), 35

New Mexico (13-7-2), 28

Shreveport (11-9-4), 26

Amarillo (11-9-2), 24

Odessa (9-12-1), 19

El Paso (9-13-0), 18

Corpus Christi (6-14-4), 16 

*top four make the playoffs 

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 7

Assists: Drake Morse, 11

Points: Morse, 16

Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 64

Game-winning goals: Jaden Goldie, Hayden Nichol, 2

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 2.13

Save percentage: Bucheler, .918

Up next

The Mudbugs hit the road again for a two-game series at Amarillo on Friday and Saturday (7:15 p.m.).

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com


This week’s high school basketball schedule

JOURNAL STAFF

GIRLS

Monday’s games

Bossier at Haughton

Bastrop at Woodlawn

Tuesday’s games

Airline at Minden

Mansfield at Benton

Loyola at Byrd

Bossier at Captain Shreve

Haughton at Northwood

Parkway at Northwood-Lena

Huntington at Southwood

Red River at Evangel

Woodlawn at Green Oaks

Thursday’s games

Ringgold at Calvary

Cedar Creek Tournament (Haughton)

Doyline Tournament (Airline, Byrd, Green Oaks)

West Ouachita Tournament (Benton, Loyola)

Friday’s games

Bossier at Mansfield

Cedar Creek Tournament (Haughton)

Doyline Tournament (Airline, Byrd, Green Oaks)

West Ouachita Tournament (Benton, Loyola)

Saturday’s games

Gibsland-Coleman at Southwood

Cedar Creek Tournament (Haughton)

Doyline Tournament (Airline, Byrd, Green Oaks)

West Ouachita Tournament (Benton, Loyola)

BOYS

Monday’s games

Bastrop at Woodlawn

Tuesday’s games

Airline at Minden

Mansfield at Benton

Loyola at Byrd

Captain Shreve at North Caddo

Haughton at Northwood

Parkway at Northwood-Lena

Huntington at Southwood

Red River at Evangel

Bossier at Ouachita

Woodlawn at Green Oaks

Thursday’s games

Ringgold at Calvary

Parkway Tournament (Green Oaks, Haughton, Airline, Lakeside, Red River, Parkway, Plain Dealing)

Doyline Tournament (Byrd)

Wossman Tournament (Northwood)

Friday’s games

Bossier at Mansfield

Parkway Tournament (Green Oaks, Haughton, Airline, Lakeside, Red River, Parkway, Plain Dealing)

Alexandria Tournament (Captain Shreve)

Doyline Tournament (Byrd)

Wossman Tournament (Northwood)

Saturday’s games

Parkway Tournament (Green Oaks, Haughton, Airline, Lakeside, Red River, Parkway, Plain Dealing)

Alexandria Tournament (Captain Shreve)

Doyline Tournament (Byrd)

Wossman Tournament (Northwood)


Sharp’s shooting helps streaking Demons hand USM first defeat

THERE WAS ONE TO COME: DeMarcus Sharp gestures to the crowd following a halftime buzzer-beater Sunday. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

By JASON PUGH, Special to the Journal

NATCHITOCHES – DeMarcus Sharp’s buzzer-beater ending the first half Sunday was nice. The second delivered some much-welcomed lagniappe.

Sharp’s step-back 15-foot baseline jumper as time expired lifted Northwestern State to an 84-82 win against previously unbeaten Southern Miss inside Prather Coliseum on Sunday.

“Growing up, I dreamed of stuff like this, having the ball in my hands at the end of a game and icing it by hitting shots like that,” said Sharp, who collected his second straight 30-plus-point performance, finishing with a game-high 32 points on the heels of 34 Wednesday in a 102-96 victory at Stephen F. Austin.

“I honestly can say I work on those and tonight it showed. I hit one in JUCO against my (current) teammate Majok (Kuath). It was at the end of the first half, but I’d never hit a game-winner.”

Sharp’s jumper capped a back-and-forth finish to yet another close game for the Demons (7-2), who won their sixth straight game and dumped USM from a group of 15 undefeated teams around the country.

The Demons and Golden Eagles (8-1) swapped the lead 16 times, including six times in the final 6:45 as Northwestern continued its non-conference pattern of playing close games.

With the victory, Northwestern improved to 6-1 in games decided by 10 or fewer points and 4-1 in games decided by five points or less.

Sharp’s game-winner came from a different spot but it was the same result he had as he dribbled out the first-half clock before sinking a jumper at the top of the key to give the Demons a 40-39 lead.

So when he took the ball with over 10 seconds left in an 82-all tie, the NSU team and coaches knew they had what they needed.

“200 (percent),” fellow guard Ja’Monta Black said of the Demons’ confidence level in Sharp’s late-game play. “I knew that was game. When he did that step-back, I knew it was over.”

Southern Miss rode the inside duo of DeAndre Pinckney (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Felipe Haase (23 points) to shoot 56.7 percent from the field in the second half.

Haase had 16 of his points in the second half as the Golden Eagles big man worked both inside and out effectively in the final 20 minutes.

Every time Haase scored, it seemed the Demons had an answer in the form of Sharp, Isaac Haney (16 points), Black (15) or Reggie Hill (13).

Hill had a pivotal 3-pointer to square the game at 73 with 4:17, forging one of the game’s 11 ties. Hill logged a career-high 32 minutes in part because Dayne Prim, the Demons’ fourth-leading scorer at 11 points per game, missed the game because of a concussion suffered in Thursday’s win at Stephen F. Austin.

“Coach (Corey Gipson) preaches (fighting through adversity),” Sharp said. “The players, we show that. We’ve shown we can overcome anything. We don’t let anything get between us winning.”

Few on the NSU roster have shown that more than Sharp, who saw his 2021-22 season at Missouri State cut short after eight games because of injury.

“You can see the trust the players have in him,” Gipson said. “They didn’t have any doubt when he had the ball. You could see how they made sure he got the ball. You could see how they understood the spacing. It goes hand in hand.

“He is one of the best players in the country. He’s not the only one on this team who’s a bad, bad boy, but he is one of the best in the country and he just put everybody on notice.”

Contact Jason at pughj@nsula.edu


Weekend basketball scoreboard

(Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

JOURNAL SPORTS

COLLEGE

Men

Friday

Centenary 69, Trinity 65
Louisiana Tech 74, Southern U. 59
LSU 63, Texas Arlington 59

Saturday

Jacksonville College 104, BPCC 92
Grambling State 72, Incarnate Word 39
LSUS 75, Huston-Tillotson 72
ULM 101, Champion Christian 46

Sunday

Centenary 84, Schreiner 79
Northwestern State 84, Southern Miss 82

Women

Friday

Trinity 100, Centenary 42

Saturday

LSUS 93, Huston-Tillotson 72
Louisiana Tech 70, Alcorn State 59
ULM 85, Champion Christian 54

Sunday

Schreiner 74, Centenary 57
LSU 85, Tulane 72
Mississippi State 73, Grambling State 47
Northwestern State 65, Champion Christian 60

HIGH SCHOOLS

Girls

Friday

Airline 56, Summerfield 20
Mansfield 61, North Caddo 30
Southwood vs. Captain Shreve
Zachary 53, Benton 51

Saturday

Albany 50, Benton 39
Alexandria 53, Haughton 52
Haughton 53, Ouachita 39
Fairview 69, Parkway 68
Mansfield 49, Plain Dealing 15
South Beauregard 52, Woodlawn 16

Boys

Friday

Airline 59, Simsboro 27
Bossier 51, Dunham 44
Minden 53, Plain Dealing 33
North Caddo 60, Northwood 57
Parkway 72, Haughton 59
St. Thomas More 70, Huntington 60, OT
Southwood 43, Wossman 40
Woodlawn 47, Merryville 40

Saturday

Captain Shreve 42, Carroll 39
Lake Charles Prep 47, Bossier 46
Northwood 66, Benton 56, OT
Richwood 58, Green Oaks 57
St. Thomas More 58, Southwood 46
Texas High 69, Airline 61


Georgia won’t sleep on LSU, despite being heavily favored

CAN DANIELS DANCE?:  After twisting an ankle at Texas A&M, LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels’ mobility will be a pivotal factor Saturday afternoon in the SEC Championship Game. (Photo by PETER FOREST, Journal Sports)

By RYNE BERTHELOT, Journal Sports

ATLANTA – Georgia coach Kirby Smart wasn’t a man of many words after he took the podium at the Southeastern Conference Championship Game press conference Thursday.

There was a buffet of questions that varied from transfer portal expectations, to snap count monitoring, to his history with LSU coach Brian Kelly. Smart was efficient in his replies.

When Smart was finally quizzed about No. 11 LSU, the Bulldogs’ surprising foe in the 3 p.m. game Saturday, he was clear and concise.

“They’ve got a lot of talent, a lot of really fast, athletic players,” Smart said. “When you look across the skill level of both sides of the ball for them, they’ve got great size and great speed. They’ve got one of the most physical offensive lines we’ve played. They’re really, really talented in the red zone defensively and red zone offensively, which we worked on hard yesterday, and on third down as well. They don’t get in many third-and-long situations.”

The unbeaten (12-0) defending national champions enter Saturday’s contest as the No. 1 team in the country, the heavy favorite (by 17.5 points) over a three-loss (9-3) LSU squad. Smart said it won’t be a gimme by any means, especially with the return of a healthy Jayden Daniels. The biggest question looming around the Tigers has been the status of their versatile and productive quarterback, who suffered an ankle sprain last week in the 38-23 upset loss at Texas A&M. Kelly eased those fears in his press conference Thursday.

“He’s going to be good,” Kelly said about Daniels’ availability. “He had a good week of practice, and he’ll play for us on Saturday.”

Smart has positioned Georgia as one of the nation’s premier defenses year in and year out, and this season’s squad has proved no different: The Bulldogs rank fourth in the NCAA with just 270 yards of offense allowed per game, and have allowed just 13 touchdowns to opposing offenses, the fewest in the nation.

The Tigers haven’t faced a defense of similar credentials and stature all season: Alabama’s 25 touchdowns and 311 yards allowed-per-game put them a distant second among teams on LSU’s schedule.

“We’re going to play a physical football team that has the style of its head coach,” Kelly said. “They’re going to play great defense, they’re going to be physical on both sides of the ball. That’s the nature of a well-coached football team that’s won a national championship and is competing for another. You know what you’re going to get here.”

While the defense has drawn most of the attention, Georgia’s offense last year found an unlikely leader in quarterback Stetson Bennett, who led the Bulldogs to the national title last season after earning the job over the presumptive starter, USC transfer JT Daniels. The 25-year-old Georgia native has become a focal point for an offense that’s quietly put together a Top-10 statistical campaign with 55 total touchdowns and 488 yards of offense per game.

Smart knows the keys to the locker room belong to his team leaders — Bennett being one of them — and that’s what he wants. It delivered a national title last year, and set his team up nicely to defend that title this season.

“Any good team is going to be player-led. I don’t know a good team that’s not player-led,” Smart said. “There’s probably some bad teams that wish they had better leaders as players, but the good teams I’ve been able to be a part of, they’re all player-led. That’s how a coach should want it. If you do your job, the players should follow the directive to lead the other guys.”

There are no guarantees in the SEC, but if the LSU team that shined in midseason appears, Saturday could provide a riveting third chapter in the story between Kelly and Smart. Smart leads the series between the two at 2-0, but Kelly hopes to spoil that burgeoning streak in their first matchup since he took the head coaching job at LSU a year ago.

“They’re really good and well-coached,” Kelly said of his past run-ins with Smart’s teams. “Good players, very competitive games. One of them was home, one of them was away, and they were great atmospheres. It’s just really good college football. Look, it’s going to be a really similar situation.”

Contact Ryne at rgberthelot@gmail.com


Welcome to the weekly Shreveport-Bossier Journal Prep Hoops Report

As we round up Week 3 of the high school basketball season in Shreveport-Bossier, the action on the hardwood has been hot and heavy. Most of the schools in the twin cities have gotten off to hot starts on both the boys’ and girls’ sides. 

Here in the weekly SBJ Prep Hoops Report, we will talk about who is streaking, what happened this week, and give readers a feel of what the weekend holds.

Milestone victory 

Tuesday night was a special night in the city as coach Mack Jones of Huntington was honored for achieving his 700th win last week in the Raiders’ contest with Loyola. He achieved the milestone by defeating Airline during the David Bryant Classic. The Journal’s John James Marshall wrote an excellent story spotlighting Jones in Tuesday’s edition – use the search feature to enjoy it.

Road trippin’ 

Six boys’ teams in the area will take their act on the road this weekend. Captain Shreve will play in the Carroll tournament as the Gators try to maintain their momentum after wins over 1-4A teams Bossier and Woodlawn. 

Bossier, Huntington, and Southwood will travel to Lake Charles to play in the Showdown in the Lake.  Each team has a chance to play on Saturday night in the final. They can also come out of this event winless facing perennial powers Wossman, Madison Prep, and ASH. 

Woodlawn will make its annual trip to South Beauregard and Airline will take a drive to Texarkana to face Texas High on Saturday after a Friday night tilt with Class B powerhouse Simsboro.

Right here at home 

The Haughton Bucs are hosting Evangel, Parkway, Byrd, Minden, and Plain Dealing in the Jack Clayton Invitational, which concludes tonight.  Minden, Evangel, and Haughton took victories on night one.  Byrd is still looking for its first victory of the season and will try to get it against either Plain Dealing or Evangel.  The Eagles can go undefeated for the week with three wins in Haughton.  Green Oaks, BTW, Loyola, and Calvary girls and boys will all rest this weekend as they all played on Thursday night.

On the girls’ side, Northwood is playing host to area teams in its tournament.  Southwood has played well without Northwestern State signee Jermisha Frierson, who tweaked an ankle but should be back soon, possibly for the Huntington game.

Minnie Williams has guided the Lady Cowboys, leading them in scoring against BTW on Tuesday and Mansfield on Thursday. They will play in the semifinals Friday night against either Captain Shreve or North Caddo.  The top half of the draw has host Northwood, Haynesville, Plain Dealing, and Green Oaks. All tournament games will conclude Saturday.

Girls hit the road 

The Parkway Lady Panthers continue their hellacious schedule as they participate in the girls’ version of the Showdown in the Lake.  They have potential foes such as Fairview, Wossman, Rosepine, and Lafayette.  While the Lady Panthers went winless during games against out-of-state foes, they have pretty much dominated in-state competition.  We will see if they make the championship on Saturday in the Lake.

Airline, Benton, and Byrd are also road warriors this weekend as they travel to various parts of the Boot.  Byrd will play in the Doyline tournament, Airline will head to Quitman, and Benton will head down south to play in a tournament at Denham Springs.

Teams of the Week 

The C.E. Byrd Lady Yellow Jackets are 5-2 to begin the season and have won five of their last six games. 

As far as the boys’ side of things, Captain Shreve has rattled off four straight.  Depending on how they do at Carroll this weekend, they can run that streak up to seven.

Next Thursday, we will recap the weekend and highlight some of the top games next week on the SBJ Prep Hoops Report.

Contact Preston at preston9360@gmail.com


Thursday’s basketball scoreboard, today’s games

Thursday’s Scores

COLLEGE 

Women

Our Lady of the Lake 67, LSUS 63

Men

Northwestern State 102, Stephen F. Austin 96
LSUS 86, Our Lady of the Lake 73

HIGH SCHOOLS 

Girls

Airline 55, Quitman 52
BTW 52, Green Oaks 10
Captain Shreve 45, North Caddo 4
Dominican 53, Benton 44
Northwood 65, Haynesville 45
Parkway 55, Jennings 20

Boys

BTW 63, Green Oaks 54
Calvary 55, Red River 22
Evangel 69, Haughton 42
Huntington 54, Dunham 48
Parkway 50, Minden 42
Southwood 58, Alexandria 34
St. Thomas More 65, Bossier 39
Union Parish 50, Loyola 44

Today’s games

COLLEGES 

Women

Trinity at Centenary, 5:30 p.m. 

Men

Trinity at Centenary, 7:30 p.m.

Southern U. at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

Texas Arlington at LSU, 7 p.m.

HIGH SCHOOL 

Boys

Simsboro at Airline

Magnolia at Bolton

Haughton tournament – boys: Minden vs. Plain Dealing, 5 p.m.; Byrd vs. Evangel, 6:15; Haughton vs. Parkway, 7:30

Northwood tournament – boys: Northwood vs. North Caddo, 8 p.m.


New ‘318’ jersey, Teddy Bear Toss on tap as Mudbugs aim to continue momentum

ABOUT TIME: The Shreveport Mudbugs finally play at home this weekend, after finding some traction on the road. (Photo by CHRISTI LANG, Journal Sports)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs are fresh off one of their best weekends of the season and return to George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum for the first time in six weeks. Life is good for the boys in teal.

“It’s going to be a very interesting weekend,” Mudbugs forward Eric Vitale said.

The Mudbugs have big plans for this weekend’s series against New Mexico. Tonight, they will don special “Coca-Cola bear” jerseys and put them up for auction after the game. Saturday, the team will unveil a black alternate jersey that pays homage to “the 318” and celebrate a Teddy Bear Toss (thousands of stuffed animals rain from the stands after Shreveport scores its first goal).

On the ice, there is plenty of work to do.

Although Shreveport (9-9-4) swept El Paso to complete its extended road trip, it remains in fifth place in the North American Hockey League South Division standings. The Ice Wolves (13-6-1) are in third place and have won three of the four matchups with the Mudbugs this season.

“It’s understanding, when you actually get a little success, it’s not time to take your foot off the gas pedal,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “You have to focus a little more, dig in a little deeper, work a little harder to keep that momentum and to keep that train rolling. That’s going to be the biggest thing this week. We have to find ways to generate offense, snot-nosed defense and in-your-face hockey.”

Shreveport will be without forward Jake Mack, who has scored five goals this season, for the entire weekend after he was suspended by the NAHL for a hit delivered against El Paso.

Mack scored a game-winning goal last weekend and is an important part of Shreveport’s special teams.

“There are guys that are salivating for an opportunity,” Campbell said. “We have guys in mind that can slip right in there and do a job like he did this past weekend. Same goes for the PK.”

Mudbugs vs. New Mexico 

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

George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com


The (Ja’Marr) Chase toward 100 units continues

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Our pursuit of a 100-unit profit continues with this weekend’s touchdown scorers. We have three skills players and one defense/special teams. Deebo Samuel and Mark Andrews show value with their respective numbers and Ja’Marr Chase, should he return from injury against the Kansas City Chiefs, would be a bargain at even money.

We swept last weekend’s game picks with underdog straight-up winners Carolina and Pittsburgh. Look for the game selections on my Facebook (Roy Lang III) on Sunday at 11 a.m.

Notes

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

Best line (as of Thursday night) is listed in parenthesis. Find the best price, one key to being a successful sports bettor!

Shop around! Remember this is a VALUE-based system, so don’t settle for a price significantly less than the one listed. And jump on better prices!

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel

MGM: Bet MGM

DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool

BR: BetRivers

LANG’S LOCKS

Season total: +99.3 units

Season ROI: +32 percent

THIS WEEK’S SELECTIONS 

NFL 

ANYTIME TOUCHDOWN SCORER 

.5-unit plays

Deebo Samuel, +160 (CAE)

Mark Andrews, +165 (DK)

Ja’Marr Chase, +100 (CAE) 

.3-unit play

Tennessee defense/special teams, +650 (DK)

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com


Picking the state semifinal survivors

By LEE BRECHEEN, Louisiana Football Magazine

For the first time in 21 years, no Shreveport-Bossier school remains in the LHSAA football playoff semifinals.

Hopefully you can still enjoy my two cents on predicting who will make it to the Superdome for the Prep Classic next week. I made my picks from the standpoint of seeing all the remaining teams at least once this season, either in person or on tape. Here we go! 

Division IV Select: No. 1 Vermillion Catholic plays host to St. Martin’s (New Orleans) in Abbeville, but I see No. 4 St. Martin’s surprising VC. St. Martin’s has a RB who I don’t think can be stopped. Remember Harlem Berry, a sophomore. He runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, is a superior athlete and is going to be at or near the top of Louisiana’s Class of 2025. I’ll also predict right now: he becomes an LSU Tiger.

Monroe powerhouse Ouachita Christian, the third seed, meets Ascension Catholic (10). I will go with another upset, Ascension Catholic on the road in Monroe in a close game. 

Division III Select:  No. 8 University Lab in Baton Rouge just pounded No. 1 Newman in New Orleans (49-13) and many believe the Cubs are on their way. Up next is another Baton Rouge team, Dunham (4). Last week I said the Calvary-Dunham survivor would win it all. Since the summer, I’ve thought Dunham was on that path. The Tigers lived up to billing last week and will again.

Tradition-rich Notre Dame of Crowley meets St. Charles Catholic (2) from Laplace. Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Lewis Cook has the Pioneers (3) primed. Notre Dame, right now, is the better team. 

Division II Select:  Here’s another team coached by a Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer, another one of the winningest coaches not only in our state, but in the entire country. Jim Hightower’s top-ranked St. Thomas More Cougars from Lafayette face E.D. White (4) from Thibodaux, who edged Evangel a couple of weeks ago. I think the only difference here is homefield. STM will prevail in front of their 8,000-plus fans.

Talk about a crosstown rivalry, this is it. Also in Lafayette Friday night, it’s Teurlings Catholic (2) against Lafayette Christian Academy (6). All the players grew up on the same side of town, some in the same neighborhood. I am taking Teurlings in an upset (even though they are ranked higher).

Division I Select: Here’s a big-time matchup in the large school division.  New Orleans’ Brother Martin (13) has five losses, but impressively bounced Northwood last Friday.  Carencro (8), just north of Lafayette, is another powerhouse program. Even though Carencro is seeded higher, I think Brother Martin has a better team and more talent.

We have a heavyweight fight in River Ridge between John Curtis (2) and Baton Rouge Catholic (3). The Bears are going for their sixth straight trip to the state championship game. Curtis — with 26 state championships — has another Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach, the great J.T. Curtis, who will next year become the winningest high school football coach ever in America. His Patriots are talented – ask Byrd’s Yellow Jackets, who saw first-hand last Friday — but Catholic is the team to beat in this division. The Bears overpowered Edna Karr, the the most talented team in the state, last Friday.

Division IV Non-Select: Lots of people hope for a rematch of one of the state’s most tradition-rich rivalries between Claiborne Parish neighbors. Both are hosting their semifinal games Friday.

Haynesville coach David Franklin should get the Class A Coach of the Year award. The Golden Tors (5) are rebuilding but have battled their way into the semis. Hence, I’m taking the more talented Oak Grove Tigers (8), also a young team from near Monroe.

In the other semifinal, 12 miles south in the parish seat, it’s an even matchup between two more north Louisiana teams, Mangham (3) and defending state champion Homer (2). Both have skill and size. I am going with Mangham on the road. The Dragons are loaded with a big senior class and their most talented team in years. This should be a great game. 

Division III Non-Select: I am taking the running game of top-seeded Many, and the Tigers’ homefield advantage, over a talented St. James (4) club.

Union Parish (3) and the state’s career rushing king, LSU commit Trey Holly, benefits from being at home and will hold off a talented Amite (7) squad that won a state title by outslugging Many last year. 

Division II Non-Select: Dennis Dunn has won many state championships at Evangel. Now he has a real contender at North DeSoto (4). In a close game, I like the Griffins on the road upsetting No. 1 Iowa (FYI, you say it Eye-oh-WAY) from 20 minutes east of Lake Charles.

I am going with West Feliciana (2), from the outskirts of Baton Rouge, at home over a pretty talented Lutcher (6), from the banks of the mighty Mississippi. This will be a Cajun country showcase.

Division I Non-Select:  In the big boy matchups of Class 5A, the game of the week in the state is at Hoss Garrett Stadium just off I-20 in Ruston. I am taking the home team, Ruston’s Bearcats (1), with their massive defensive line to slow down Zachary (5) and Alabama commit Eli Holstein, a dynamic QB. I don’t believe the Broncos will be able to contain the Bearcats’ attack, strong up front and talented at every skill position.

Destrehan (3) looks like a college team off the bus and plays like one, and should top a very talented Westgate team (10), another defending state champ.

Next week, I’ll predict the Prep Classic state championships.

Contact Lee at lbrecheen@aol.com


Journal publishing schedule returns to Monday-Friday

JOURNAL STAFF

Football season is over for our local high school teams and finished for all but LSU among the colleges, so the Shreveport-Bossier Journal will return to its schedule of publishing editions every Monday through Friday mornings at 6:55.

We won’t publish Saturday or Sunday editions again until next football season. But you can count on more high-quality, comprehensive coverage of local sports, and other news and information, that the SBJ has provided since our first edition on Jan. 12.

For you early risers, Journal content is available before the sun comes up via our Facebook and Twitter accounts and is posted on our ShreveportBossierJournal.com website – all free to enjoy whenever you want it, and for you to share it.

The best way to get each edition is to sign up for a free e-mail subscription, easily done in a few seconds with the “Join” button on the site, and easier still by using this link: https://form.jotform.com/63427407805154 and submitting the four-question form.

You won’t run into pop-ups or paywalls. Your e-mail address will never be shared with anyone or used for any purpose except to send you each new edition of the Journal.

Thanks for reading the SBJ. We’ll be back with more come Monday.


Demons will have an unexpected quarterback competition this spring

MOVING ON:  Sophomore quarterback Zach Clement had a breakthrough season for Northwestern State in his fourth year at NSU, but will play elsewhere next season. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

NATCHITOCHES – The narrative in college sports changes quickly. It has this week for the Northwestern State football program.

Although the latest twist seems negative, Demons’ coach Brad Laird refuses to see his starting quarterback’s entrance into the transfer portal in a bad light.

Last Tuesday, fourth-year sophomore Zach Clement was named second-team All-Southland Conference. It was a glorious honor for a guy who rode the pine in the first two games and played in a mop-up role in the third one. But with over 3,700 career passing yards, a 4-4 overall record as a starter in a program that hasn’t seen .500 since 2014, and impressive 2022 production (2,498 passing yards, another 303 rushing yards, 21 touchdowns with19 of those passing) – leading an offense that ranked second in passing and third in total offense in the conference – Clement had cred, and the respect of league coaches.

As it turns out, he also had some wanderlust. Tuesday, Clement announced on social media that he had entered the transfer portal. Within hours, he already had offers from 2022 opponent Eastern Illinois and conference rival McNeese.

Clement, who did not respond to an interview request Wednesday, thanked Laird and said he has “many things to be grateful for during my time at NSU – great teammates, great memories and getting to not only play, but grow in my knowledge of the game. I will forever be grateful.”

Laird is, too. And very understanding.

“Zach made a well-thought-out decision, definitely not a spur of the moment one,” Laird said. “He tore his ACL in his junior year of high school, and although he was able to come back and play his senior year, he didn’t feel like he had the opportunity to experience the full recruitment process. Now that he’s been able to showcase what he can do, he’s at a point where he’s going to take advantage of the opportunity the transfer portal provides, and see what’s out there. He’s a very competitive person, and that competitiveness is drawing him to enter the portal.”

Clement, a product of perennial small school power Lafayette Christian Academy, has a fiancé back home and they’re anticipating marriage before next season. After four years in Natchitoches, he’s ready for a change in scenery.

“We had a very lengthy discussion, and a very positive discussion. I think the world of him,” said Laird. “We’ve had a great relationship, still do, and I can’t wait to see what continues to happen in his career.

“Am I disappointed it won’t be at Northwestern State? Dadgum right I am, but, I’m going to support him like I would support my son. He’s been nothing but great to me, to Northwestern and his teammates, and we should all support him moving forward.”

Portal declarations begin on the Monday after the end of the regular season. In the case of FBS programs, it starts next Monday after conference championship weekend.

As of Wednesday, nearly 50 FCS quarterbacks of all levels of accomplishment were in the portal, and they had plenty of company.

“I looked (Tuesday), and there were 350-400 FCS players who had just entered the portal – not total, just new ones over the weekend. Come Monday, there’ll be a lot more (with FBS players),” said Laird. “It’s the landscape of college sports. As much as I hate losing Zach Clement, we’re going to utilize the portal to bring guys in for this program. We made a lot of positive moves this past season, and we’re expecting to be better in 2023.”

NSU is recruiting junior college players along with scanning the portal but is also actively recruiting high school seniors.

“You don’t want to be overloaded with juniors and seniors compared to freshmen and sophomores. I’ve always wanted a balanced roster,” said Laird. “We’re still going to recruit high school kids to replace our fifth- and sixth-year seniors who are graduated and have used their eligibility. That will not change.”

But when spring ball begins in March, Laird will have an unforeseen quarterback competition to manage.

“Change is constant. It’s how you handle it,” he said. “We plan to improve our football team with every player we add to the roster and we’re excited about the foundation we established this fall.”

Contact Doug at sbjdoug@gmail.com


World Cup is exciting but Bossier’s soccer tournament is local, and starts today

JOURNAL SPORTS

Even non-soccer fans are getting into the World Cup halfway around the globe.

Just down the road locally, there’s a big high school event that has years of tradition and dozens of teams ready to start competition today.

The 32nd Bossier High School Futbol Classic will be staged at Tinsley Athletic Park in Bossier City.

The largest tournament in this area will welcome 20 different schools to participate: 

  • Airline
  • Benton 
  • Bossier
  • Byrd
  • Caddo Magnet
  • Calvary
  • Captain Shreve
  • Evangel
  • Grace Christian 
  • Haughton 
  • Huntington
  • Leesville
  • Minden
  • Neville
  • North Caddo 
  • North DeSoto
  • Northwood
  • Ouachita Parish
  • Parkway
  • Sam Houston 

There will be  42 different teams from the 20 schools:

  • 12 varsity boys teams
  • 16 varsity girls teams
  • 8 junior varsity boys teams
  • 6 junior varsity girls teams 

Admission is nominal. A one-day pass is $7, a two-day pass costs $12 and a three-day pass goes for $18.

The tournament will honor LHSAA coaching cards and BPSB employees cards with presentation of a current ID.

Games will begin at 4:30 today and Friday and run until 8:15 for the final game of the evenings.

On Saturday the games begin at 8 a.m. with the championship games scheduled for 6:45 that evening.

To check the game-by-game schedule for the tournament, visit this link:

Bossier School Tournament Schedule


Wednesday’s basketball scoreboard, today’s games

JOURNAL SPORTS 

Wednesday’s Scores

COLLEGE

Women

UA-Cossatot 92, SUSLA 84
Oklahoma 88, Northwestern State 45

Men

Lee College 86, BPCC 72
SUSLA 97, UA-Cossatot 82

HIGH SCHOOL

Boys 

Haughton – Jack Clayton Tournament

Evangel 64, Parkway 40

Today’s Games

COLLEGE

Women

LSUS at Our Lady of the Lake, 5:30

Men

Northwestern State at Stephen F. Austin, 8 p.m.

LSUS at Our Lady of the Lake, 7:30

HIGH SCHOOLS 

Boys

Haughton – Jack Clayton Tournament

Plain Dealing vs. Byrd, 5 p.m.

Parkway vs. Minden, 6:15 p.m.

Haughton vs. Evangel, 7:30 p.m.

Boys and Girls

Green Oaks at BTW

Red River at Calvary

Loyola at Union Parish


It’s more than just the wins for Mack Jones as he joins the 700 Club

MASTERFUL MACK:  After notching his 700th career coaching win last week, Huntington basketball coach Mack Jones shows no signs of slowing down, as he takes pride in impacting the lives of his players. (Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)

By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports

He’s a coach with 700 career wins, but you are wasting your time if you try to remind Huntington boys basketball coach Mack Jones that he’s never won a state championship.

Because to him, he’s winning one every day.

“Those are just trophies that gather dust,” Jones says. “What I put into kids’ lives and see them when they come back … that’s like a state championship for me. Just to watch the fruit of my labor, that’s it.”

He’s 57 years old and had no idea he’d be coaching high school basketball at this age – much less reach 700 wins earlier this year — but then again, Jones has never really done anything else.

“It’s been like a dream to me,” he says.

A really, really good dream.

In high school, he was the MVP on the All-City team in 1982-83 when he averaged 19.6 points per game in leading the Green Oaks Giants to the playoffs. From there, he went on to play at Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

Jones did his student teaching at Byrd under coaches Charles Thrash and Delbert Clinton and after two years, found himself as the head coach at Woodlawn.

He was 24 years old.

“That,” he says, “was some on-the-job training.”

But he stayed at Woodlawn for 13 years – taking the Knights to the state quarterfinals in 2003 – before taking over at Huntington in 2003-04.

Jones has built the Raiders into one of the top programs in Class 4A. Jones has led them to six 30-win seasons and they have made three state semifinal appearances, including last year when Jones and his team had to overcome the death of one of its players as the playoffs began.

Jones has won nine district championships at Huntington and three at Woodlawn. He had an eight-year run at Huntington in which he only lost a total of two district games.

He hasn’t had a losing season in more than 20 years.

Instead of taking a night off, it’s not unusual to find Jones sitting in the stands at Huntington freshmen and JV road games.

“I’ve never worked a day in my life,” Jones said. “I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I was fortunate enough to come back home, so this is not work for me. It’s fun.”

OK, maybe not all the time. February 27, 2007, wasn’t exactly his favorite memory when Barbe sank a mid-court shot that was clearly after the buzzer to take a one-point win in the second round of the playoffs. “That was a tough one,” Jones says.

Getting to 700 wins was never a goal for Jones. It’s just happened that way.

“First of all, you have to have good players,” Jones says. “But mostly, you have to work hard every day and just do the day-to-day grind and make sure the program is always going in the right direction. Make sure the kids are doing the right thing. And lo and behold, you look up and wins will take care of themselves.”

And it is still just as much fun now as it has ever been. Every morning, he has the Huntington JV players for first period, so he knows what he is walking into every day.

“To see those kids and the smile on their faces first thing in the morning makes me feel good,” Jones says. “I want them to be on the right path and know that it’s not just about basketball.”

He’d rather not think about how much longer he will be coaching, but he knows the clock is ticking.

“I look at these freshmen … (the players) just keep coming,” he says. “It’s hard to walk away. I know eventually I’m going to have to. Not that I can’t do another 10 years. But someone is going to come along and do a better job than I did.

“To me, coaching hasn’t changed much,” he adds. “The kids have changed. I’ve worked with some of the best coaches around and I’ve taken a lot from some of the best and tried to make my own way of doing things. It’s like a dream for me.” 

Contact JJ at johnjamesmarshall@yahoo.com


Miller, Bedgood and Grace MVPs on 1-2A All-District football team

RUN STOPPER: Calvary linebacker Cade Bedgood moves in for the tackle on a North Caddo Titan. Bedgood and fellow linebacker Hutch Grace were named Defensive MVPs on the 1-2A All-District football team. (Photo by JOHN PENROD, Journal Sports)

JOURNAL STAFF

North Caddo receiver Omarion Miller has been named the Offensive Most Valuable Player and Calvary linebackers Cade Bedgood and Hutch Grace are Defensive MVPs on the All-District 1-2A football team.

Miller was one of the top receivers in the state with 1,183 yards on 49 receptions for a 24.1 average per catch and 15 touchdowns. He is a 4-star recruit committed to play for Nebraska.

Bedgood (110 tackles) and Grace (100) led a Cavalier defense that produced three straight shutouts, two in district and one in the first round of the playoffs.

Calvary head coach Rodney Guin was named the Coach of the Year after guiding the Cavs to a 9-3 overall record and a perfect 6-0 in 1-2A.

Here is a complete list of the 1-2A All-District team, as selected by head coaches in the district. 

First team

OFFENSE

WR – Omarion Miller, North Caddo, Sr.

WR – Aubrey Hermes, Calvary, Jr.

WR – Kolby Thomas, Calvary, So.

WR – Delarious Marshall, Green Oaks, Jr.

WR – Josh Sebald, Lakeside, Sr.

TE – Caden Cole, D’Arbonne Woods, Sr.

OL – Jordan Byrd, Calvary, Sr.

OL – Jimmy Wright, Calvary, Jr.

OL – Shawn Basey, D’Arbonne Woods, Jr.

OL – Keven Richardson, Green Oaks, Jr.

OL – Alex Horton, Loyola, Jr.

OL – Collin Walker, North Caddo, Sr.

QB – Abram Wardell, Calvary, So.

RB – James Simon, Calvary, So.

RB – KJ Black, North Caddo, Sr.

RB – Carlos Alejo, D’Arbonne Woods, Sr.

Ath – Xavier Mcglothan, Calvary, Jr.

K – Garrett Little, Calvary, Sr. 

DEFENSE

DL – Jordan Byrd, Calvary, Sr.

DL – Jamey Payton, North Caddo, So.

DL – Clay Mulford, Calvary, Sr.

DL – Rashid Matthews, North Caddo, Sr.

LB – Hutch Grace, Calvary, Jr.

LB – Cade Bedgood, Calvary, Sr.

LB – Travis Lewis, Green Oaks, Sr.

LB – Antonio Morris, North Caddo, So.

LB – Gray Deason, Loyola, Sr.

LB – Ty Manness, Lakeside, Sr.

LB – Jamey Fisher, D’Arbonne Woods, Jr.

DB – Landon Sylvie, Calvary, Jr.

DB – Detravion Davis, Calvary, Jr.

DB – Tamarjah Ferrell, Lakeside, Jr.

DB – Delarious Marshall, Green Oaks, Jr.

DB – Rodney Thomas, North Caddo, Sr.

Flex – J’quay Vinson, North Caddo Sr.

P – Joseph Carroll, Green Oaks, Sr. 

Offensive MVP – Omarion Miller, North Caddo 

Defensive Co-MVPs – Hutch Grace, Cade Bedgood, Calvary 

Coach of the Year – Rodney Guin, Calvary

Second team  

OFFENSE

WR – Fred’travious Benjamin, Green Oaks, Sr.

WR – John Simon, Calvary, Jr.

WR – Chris Jackson, Calvary, Jr.

WR – J’quay Vinson, North Caddo, Sr.

OL – Hayden Darner, Calvary, So.

OL – Jac Ebarb, Loyola, So.

OL – Kegan Bryan, Lakeside, Sr.

OL –  Kortez Gibson, North Caddo, Jr.

OL – Jordan Nance, D’Arbonne Woods, Jr.

OL – Drayden Thomas, Green Oaks, So.

QB – Cooper Chase, Lakeside, Sr.

RB – Wyatt Gilbert, D’Arbonne Woods, So.

RB – Jordan Case, Lakeside, Jr.

RB – Chancellor Washington, North Caddo, Fr.

Ath – Aiden Brock, North Caddo, Sr. 

DEFENSE

DL – Keshawn Williams, Green Oaks, Fr.

DL – Lavorrisa Houston, Calvary, Jr.

DL – Narciso Valerio, D’Arbonne Woods, Fr.

DL – Zadarrin Evans, North Caddo, Sr.

DL – Landon Rotharmel, Calvary, Sr.

LB – Heath Gross, Calvary, Jr.

LB – James Jackson, North Caddo, Sr.

LB – Doran Sadler, D’Arbonne Woods, So.

DB – Rowan Guthikonda, Loyola, Jr.

DB – Julius Moss, Calvary, So.

DB – Joseph Carroll, Green Oaks, Sr.

DB – Jackson Nolan, D’Arbonne Woods, So.

DB – Jay Allen, Lakeside, Jr. 

Honorable Mention  

Calvary – Heath Gross, Ethan Sands. 

D’Arbonne Woods – Brody Towns, Austin Hearn, Collin McCann, Eli Redd. 

Green Oaks – Corravion Tucker, Philip Hayes.

Lakeside – Gavin Garland, Omero Urbina, Jamarion Evans. 

Loyola – Andrew DeFatta. 

North Caddo – Mason Jackson, Sean Tinney, Philippe Sanders, Gianni Black.


NFL Sunday sweep leaves us on the brink of 100 units

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The goal of a plus-100-unit season seemed laughable months ago. Now, as we close out November, we stand at 99.3 units of profit this year. Considering we rarely wager more than half-a-unit, the accomplishment is nothing short of miraculous. But the job isn’t finished.

Tiger Woods’ won’t play this week, but his event, the Hero World Challenge, is the last golf event stateside for us. We’re very light on this and the DP World Tour event in South Africa, but we have action.

Money management is the key through all this. Stay true to the units outlined. Discipline is the key to profits. Don’t be like my friend, MaddieSue, who got a little excited after a big winning weekend and started wildly punching tickets.

Win or lose, continue to pick your spots!

As always, we’re back later in the week, on Friday morning, for some football.

On Sunday, check out my Facebook for the NFL game selections. Not only did we sweep last week, both of our selections (underdogs) won straight up.

Notes

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

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

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel

MGM: Bet MGM

DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool

BR: BetRivers

LANG’S LOCKS

Last week: +3.73 units

Season total: +99.3 units

Season ROI: +32 percent 

THIS WEEK’S SELECTIONS 

GOLF 

PGA TOUR  

Hero World Challenge 

Win bets

Scottie Scheffler, .1 unit, +750 (DK)

Sungjae Im, .1 unit, +1600 (DK) 

Top 5 bets

Scottie Scheffler, .4 units, +130 (DK)

Sungjae Im, .4 units, +260 (DK) 

Top 10 bet

Max Homa, .4 units, +105 (FD) 

EUROPEAN TOUR 

South African Open 

Top 20 bet

Christiaan Maas, .1 unit, +750 (FD)

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com


Tuesday’s basketball scoreboard

COLLEGE 

Women

LSU 63, Southeastern Louisiana 55
Mississippi State 94, ULM 39
ULL 72, LSUS 40, exhibition
Wiley 86, Centenary 40

Men

SUSLA 73, ETBU JV 71

High Schools 

GIRLS

Airline 62, Northwood 21
Byrd 41, Simsboro 32
Captain Shreve 45, Woodlawn 25
Haughton 45, Haynesville 36
Ruston 63, Bossier 12
Southwood 46, BTW 26
North DeSoto 61, Plain Dealing 27

BOYS

Airline 60, Northwood 47
Captain Shreve 44, Woodlawn 25
Evangel 54, Green Oaks 52
Ruston 49 Bossier 32
Southwood 52, BTW 41


White, Chavez, Brossette MVPs on 1-5A All-District team

WHITE OUT(STANDING): Parkway running back Jaylan White was named Offensive MVP on the 1-5A All-District team, along with Airline’s Daxton Chavez, after a record-breaking year for the Panthers.  (Photo by JESSICA MORTON, Journal Sports)

JOURNAL STAFF

Parkway running back Jaylan White and Airline wide receiver Daxton Chavez were named the Offensive Most Valuable Players and Byrd linebacker Brooks Brossette won Defensive MVP  to highlight the 2022 All-District 1-5A football team.

Both White and Chavez had explosive seasons on offense. White averaged more than 210 yards a game rushing in district and finished with more than 2,100 yards rushing and receiving and 20 touchdowns overall. Chavez had 18 touchdown receptions and more than 1,000 yards receiving.

Airline head coach Justin Scogin was named the Coach of the Year after leading the Vikings to an undefeated district championship and overall 8-3 record after a 1-9 2021 season.

Here is the complete list of the All-District 1-5A team, chosen by the head coaches in the district. 

OFFENSE

WR – Daxton Chavez, Airline, Sr.

WR – Cameron Jefferson, Airline, Sr.

WR – Pearce Russell, Benton, Sr.

WR – Jackson Dufrene, Byrd, Sr.

TE – Bob Patterson, Airline, Jr.

OL – Reid Hawsey, Airline, Sr.

OL – Kaleb Tree, Benton, Sr.

OL – Kyle Sprague, Byrd, Sr.

OL – Kam Robinson, Captain Shreve, Sr.

OL – Chandler Davis, Parkway, Sr.

QB – Gray Walters, Benton, Sr.

RB – Tre Jackson, Airline, Jr.

RB – Greg Manning, Benton, Jr.

RB – Jaylan White, Parkway, Sr.

Ath – Colin Rains, Haughton, Sr.

KR – Christian Jones, Byrd, Sr.

K – Aeron Burrell, Parkway, Jr.

DEFENSE

DL – Carter Tate, Airline, Sr.

DL – Isaiah Ford, Byrd, Sr.

DL – Terrence Greene, Captain Shreve, Sr.

DL – Ray Mayweather, Parkway, Sr.

LB – Brooks Brossette, Byrd, Sr.

LB – Landen Lee, Captain Shreve, Jr.

LB – Connor Blank, Haughton, Sr.

LB – Barrett Newman, Parkway, Sr.

DB – Brayden Linton, Airline, Jr.

DB – Sawyer Simmons, Benton, Sr.

DB – Christian Jones, Byrd, Sr.

DB – Carmaro Mayo, Parkway, So.

Flex – Zach Halbert, Benton, Sr.

P – Abram Murray, Byrd, Jr.

SECOND TEAM 

OFFENSE

WR – Jalen Lewis, Haughton, Jr.

WR – Camryn Davis, Natchitoches Central, Jr.

WR – Trenton Lape, Parkway, Sr.

WR – D’Antonio Arkansas, Southwood, Jr.

TE – Jatavious Calhoun, Parkway, Sr.

OL – Artis James, Airline, Sr.

OL – Cameron McCormack, Benton, Sr.

OL – Chris Allen, Captain Shreve, Sr.

OL – Peyton Polk, Haughton, Sr.

OL – Sean White, Southwood, Sr.

QB – Ben Taylor, Airline, So.

RR – Jayden Edwards, Captain Shreve, Sr.

RB – Tyler Rhodes, Haughton, Sr.

RB – Jeremiah Miles, Natchitoches Central, Sr.

Ath – Lake Lambert, Byrd, Sr.

K – Abram Murray, Byrd, Jr. 

DEFENSE

DL – Dennis Means, Airline, Sr.

DL – Brennan Belanger, Byrd, Sr.

DL – Kris Mesloh, Parkway, Sr.

DL – Travail Hamilton, Southwood

LB – Mark Engelke, Airline, Sr.

LB – Cole Weir, Benton, Sr.

LB – Scottie Simo, Captain Shreve, Sr.

LB – Logan Saucier, Natchitoches Central, Sr.

DB – Chris Montgomery, Airline, Sr.

DB – Carter Wells, Parkway, Jr.

DB – Jake McGee, Captain Shreve, Sr.

DB – Corinthian Walters, Southwood, Sr.

Flex – Aaron Holley, Captain Shreve, Sr.

KR – Bryson Broom, Airline, Jr.

P – John Chance, Captain Shreve, Jr. 

Co-Offensive MVPs – Daxton Chavez, Airline; Jaylan White, Parkway 

Defensive MVP – Brooks Brossette, Byrd 

Coach of the Year – Justin Scogin, Airline.

Honorable mention: 

Airline – Jeremiah Boudreaux, DB; Ben Jump, K; Kylin Jackson, RB; Sincere Walker, DL; Tyler Bullard, LB; Jalen Evans, DL; Joseph Johnson, Ath.; Hunter Howard, OL; Hunter Kendrick, OL; Jackson Warren, OL; Champ Endris, LB. 

Benton – Travis Flowers,OL; Andy Lim, WR; Jeff King, Athlete; Josh Sanchez, LB; Landon Duggan, DB. 

Byrd – Lake Lambert, QB; Devon Strickland, RB; Jackson Rust, OL; Kailen Moore, OL; Ben Martinson, DL; Wyatt Watkins, DL; Jude Partington, LB; Walker Fox, DB. 

Captain Shreve – Kenyon Terrell, QB; Jamarlon Otis, RB; Keaton Flowers, WR; Jordan Wiggins, WR; Davion Allen, OL; Greg Webb, DL; Landon Mosley, DL; Bryce Lopez, DL; Jamarcea Plater, DB; EJ McDonald, DB. 

Haughton – Landry Donaho, OL; Tucker, Melton, OL; Rashard Douglas, WR; Tazavian Sweeney, LB; DJ Riser, DB; Carter Ebarb, K.  

Natchitoches Central – Braden Woods, TE; Tyler Johnson, OL; Tredarius Brown, DL; Antonio Brown, DL; Landon Brosset, LB. 

Parkway – Ashton Martin, QB; Jake Morton, OL; Dolan Williams, OL; Amaray Brown, LB. 

Southwood – Jayden Stevenson, DL; D’Quavion Lemons, DL; Corinthina Walters, RB; Zemarion Tagleiri, WR; Kamarion Brackens, DL; Mike Shepard, LB; Marrio Stevenson, CB.


Lady Gators’ win over St. Michaels highlights light week of prep soccer

ON THE MOVE:  Captain Shreve senior Brooklyn Lattier (8) moves on the attack in the Lady Gators’ game with St. Michaels last Saturday. (Photo by DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports)

By DAVID ERSOFF, Journal Sports

Week 2 of the high school soccer season is always slow, as it comes over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was limited even more by Pineville’s Rebel Cup being canceled due to Mother Nature. Fortunately, wet weather did not stop DIII St. Michaels from making the trip from Baton Rouge to face DI foes Benton and Captain Shreve.

Saturday’s only area game was Shreve hosting St. Michaels at Lee Hedges. Mother Nature was involved in this contest, with steady rain and wind. This did not stop local fans from coming out to support the Lady Gators.

The game started a bit slow as both teams were getting used to the conditions, while guarding against any silly mistakes. In the 13th minute, Lady Gator Emma Bradford found Maddie Aubrey running down the right side and delivered a beautiful leading pass. Aubrey took a couple of touches and shot from 25 yards out, just under the crossbar, and put Shreve up 1-0. St. Michaels keeper Kristen Rudge got her fingertips on the shot, but was not able to keep it out of the net.

Shreve settled into a rhythm with possession and had some more opportunities at goal but could not add to the lead. That changed in the 39th minute when the ball was bouncing around the box. Aubrey found Alex Knight open in front of the goal, and she rewarded the pass by putting the ball in the back of the net for a 2-0 Lady Gators advantage.

The second was a much more evenly played, with both teams having opportunities at net. Rudge and Shreve keeper Avery Watson each made a highlight-reel type of save, even more difficult with the wet conditions. They were the stars of the second half, neither yielding a goal, as the local team notched an impressive victory.

The Lady Gators had 6 shots on goal, 2 corners, while committing 7 fouls, including 1 yellow card. The Lady Warriors had 2 shots on goal, 4 corners, while also committing 7 fouls, and drawing 2 yellow cards.

In other news involving the Shreve program, senior Brooklyn Lattier has committed to play soccer at Texas A&M-Texarkana, an NAIA school.

The Lady Warriors started their visit Friday night against Benton at Airline High, and dispatched the Lady Tigers 7-2. After being dominated in the first half, falling behind 5-0, the Lady Tigers played an even second half. Benton got late goals from Jaime Willis and her sister Jenevieve.

Soccer Scoreboard

Girls 

Caddo Magnet 5, Natchitoches Central 0 (11/21)
Haughton 1, Ruston 1 (11/21)
Byrd 3, St. Amant 1 (11/22)
St. Michael’s 7, Benton 2 (11/25)
Captain Shreve 2, St. Michael’s 0 (11/26)

Boys

DeRidder 2, Loyola 0 (11/21)
Ouachita Parish 4, Haughton 1 (11/21)
Caddo Magnet 1, Airline 1 (11/22)
Shreve 2, Neville 2 (11/22)
Bossier 3, Northwood 1 (11/22)

Contact David at dersoff@bellsouth.net


Monday’s basketball scoreboard

COLLEGE

Men

Grambling State 73, Dartmouth 49
Tulane 75, ULM 60

High Schools

Girls

Bastrop 43, Woodlawn 13
Benton 46, West Monroe 33
North Webster 45, North Caddo 30

Boys

Evangel 51, Ringgold 24
West Monroe 71, Benton 66
Woodlawn 68, Bastrop 38


Bayou Classic loss provides Grambling with lessons, motivation

BACK FOR MORE:  True freshman Floyd Chalk IV, Grambling’s Player of the Game in Saturday’s Bayou Classic, will return in 2023 after rushing eight times for 120 yards against Southern. (Photo by T. SCOTT BOATRIGHT, Lincoln Parish Journal)

JOURNAL SPORTS

NEW ORLEANS — Hue Jackson’s first season as Grambling’s football coach ended like it began, with a lot of excitement that faded into frustration.

But Jackson believes lessons learned this fall, culminating in the 34-17 loss Saturday to Southern in the 49th Annual Bayou Classic, will serve as motivation and to chart a course to getting the Tigers back to their traditional status as a Southwestern Athletic Conference contender.

There was much hoopla when the former NFL head coach and offensive coordinator was introduced last December to take over the Tigers’ program. Generally, Jackson has taken a very low-key approach since, closing practices and keeping an even keel through the ups and downs of his first season.

Saturday afternoon in the Caesars Superdome, Grambling took an early lead and swapped the advantage three times with Southern. The Jaguars (7-4, 5-3) didn’t generate much offense against the Tigers, but worked their way on top early in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points in the final period – including two TDs by the defense.

Grambling finished 3-8 overall and 2-6 in the SWAC. That included an overtime loss at Alabama A&M and a 20-16 defeat at home the next week to a 9-2 Florida A&M squad.

Jackson’s postgame remarks Saturday considered the entire season and focused on the mistakes, penalties and turnovers that proved pivotal in the Bayou Classic outcome.

“We’ve got to grow from it. We’re not where we want to be. I think to a man — every member of the coaching staff and every player — we know this is not where we want to be, and it’s not where we’re going to be. So we respect where we are even though we’re not even close to where we’re going. But we’ve got a lot of work to do. 

“I just told the team that I’m proud of them and love them all, but the next thing for us is to improve. We’ve got to get better and we’ve got to get better fast,” he said.

Jackson said he was thankful this holiday season for a group of senior football players who never gave up the fight.

“They mean a ton to me, I just told them that,” Jackson said of his seniors. “I’m proud of them. I’m proud of the effort and the way they represented this team. They never wavered a bit, even when it was tough and even bleak. Those guys fought through. They’re the guys who suddenly helped us win two in a row, fighting down the stretch. 

“I’m thankful for those guys. But at the same time, I want them to be proud of what they started here. The only way we can give it back to them is to next year be a lot better football team.”

And Jackson said he already has next year’s 50th Bayou Classic on his mind. Southern’s win over the Tigers gave the Jaguars a 25-24 advantage in the series between the schools since the Bayou Classic was born. 

“It was 24-24 coming in — they’ve got one up on us now,” Jackson said. “We’ll be preparing for the next one for 365 days until we get the chance to do it again and get it back to 25-25, that’s for sure.” 

  • With reporting by T. Scott Boatright, Lincoln Parish Journal