Mudbugs look to solve NAHL-best Oklahoma

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

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

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

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

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

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

The season series has been rather remarkable.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mudbugs at Oklahoma

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

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @roylangiii  

Preparing for a national championship event

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Steve at

Silver fin may be the new ragondin

Remember ragondin? I didn’t think so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You go first; I’ll wait.

Contact Glynn at

Licking our wounds, but ready to recover

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

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

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

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

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

Good luck!


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

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

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool

BR: BetRivers 


Last week: -.6.9 units

2023 season: +33.7 units

2023 ROI: 53.2 percent

2022 season: +101 units 



Valero Texas Open 

Win bets

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

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

Top 20 bets

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

Joseph Bramlett .7 units, +400 (DK)

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

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

Garrick Higgo, .4 units, +490 (FD) 



Win bets

Bubba Watson, .1 unit, +6600 (CAE) 


Astara Chile Classic 

Win bets

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

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

Contact Roy at or on Twitter @roylangiii  

Sam Burns’ biggest victory made sweeter by more Sunday magic from David Toms

BEST OF THE BEST: Shreveport native Sam Burns, a Calvary Baptist graduate, won the PGA Tour’s Match Play Championship in dominant style Sunday.

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports 

Shreveport took center stage in the golf world once again. However, even though a litany of homegrown stars has produced a multitude of championship moments, Sunday produced a victory lap unlike any other. 

Former Calvary and LSU star Sam Burns authored a remarkable rally against good friend and world-No. 1 Scottie Scheffler in the semifinals of the Match Play Championship on Sunday morning and then rattled off eight birdies in 10 holes to make quick work of another young star, Cameron Young, en route to his first World Golf Championship title and the largest paycheck of his career. 

It doesn’t seem like it could get better than a $3.5-million windfall and another PGA Tour trophy, right? 

Well, a couple of hours after the 26-year-old Burns put the finishing touch on his fifth PGA Tour title, his mentor David Toms capped off a dominating performance in Rancho Mirage, California. Toms rallied from three strokes down on the front nine to post a four-shot victory in the inaugural Galleri Classic at Mission Hills Country Club. 

Toms, also a former LSU star, picked up his fourth PGA Tour Champions crown just three weeks after he ended a three-year drought with a victory in Tucson. 

“That’s awesome,” Burns said after he learned Toms had completed the Shreveport Daily Double. “I was just texting with (David’s son) Carter (Toms) and he said that he was about to win. Man, that’s like a dream of mine as a kid. Growing up watching him play, I can remember sitting on the back of the range and just watching him hit golf balls. It’s still one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen, just the way he could hit it. So straight and just like his tempo is amazing. Still is. But, yeah, to be able to win on the same day is really cool.” 

Prior to Sunday, it had been 17 years since Toms was able to enjoy a stress-free walk down the final hole or two of a Tour event. The 56-year-old’s first three PGA Tour Champions wins came by one stroke or in a playoff. His 13th and final PGA Tour title, at Colonial in 2021, was also by one stroke. In 2006, he captured his 12th title with a five-stroke win at the Sony Open. 

“I’m enjoying playing good golf right now,” Toms said Sunday. 

The victory moved Toms to the top of the season-long Charles Schwab Standings. 

“I haven’t been a part of the Charles Schwab Cup late in the season,” Toms said. “I really haven’t been close. Now my goal is to give myself a chance.” 

Burns’ 6-and-5 victory in the final match Sunday in Austin, Texas, came 18 years after Toms steamrolled Chris DiMarco by the same tally in the final match at the same tournament. 

Meanwhile, Burns moved to eighth in the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Standings. He moved up five spots to No. 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings, one place shy of his career best. 

There certainly have been better individual days for Shreveport golf. In recent years, the highlights have included Hal Sutton’s U.S. Amateur (1980), PGA Championship (1983), and Players Championship-winning duel with Tiger Woods (2000), Toms’ PGA Championship (2001), Meredith Duncan’s U.S. Women’s Amateur (2001), Burns’ Junior PGA Championship (2014) and Philip Barbaree Jr.’s U.S. Junior Amateur (2015). 

Sunday’s double is certainly in the discussion for unforgettable days for the locals and their fans and more proof of the incredible mark this community has made on the game. 

And it’s far from finished. 

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @roylangiii   

PODCAST: Lyn Rollins reminisces about his career as a TV and radio personality

Lyn Rollins, who was voice of Northwestern State athletics (1992-2002) before becoming a statewide sports television broadcaster best known for his work with LSU sports since 2003, talks about his early days as a TV sports reporter at KALB in Alexandria and his distinguished career in sports broadcasting. Lyn also assesses LSU baseball and the Tigers’  prospects for 2023.

Photo courtesy Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame

Mudbugs on brink of playoff berth after win streak snapped 

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

For the past month, the Shreveport Mudbugs’ stellar play has been rewarded. Not only did the Mudbugs enter Saturday’s game at Odessa on a seven-game win streak, they’d seemingly had everything involving other teams go their way in the South Division standings.

Shreveport climbed within two points of second-place Lone Star and just a single point stood between the Mudbugs and a playoff position.

However, the run of terrific play and good luck ended – at least temporarily.

For starters, Odessa defeated Shreveport, 5-2, on Saturday. It marked the first time since Feb. 3 – the team’s last trip to Odessa — the Mudbugs allowed more than four goals in a game. Shreveport, 3-1 winners on Friday, had allowed a total of two goals in its past four games entering Saturday.

“Our lack of puck responsibility was unacceptable,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell told the Journal. “We turned pucks over coming out of our end – especially when we had 100 percent possession — too much and at their blue line too much.”

To top things off, Amarillo prevented a playoff clinching evening thanks to its victory against Corpus Christi and Lone Star completed a shutout sweep of New Mexico.

“You’re that close to clinching a playoff spot. You’re excited for that opportunity to clinch,” Campbell said. “There is a different level of excitement there for these last six games, fighting to clinch that spot and then getting your team ready for a playoff run – hopefully a long one.”

The Mudbugs could clinch a playoff spot before they play their next game – Friday night’s series opener at first-place Oklahoma. If Amarillo loses at Corpus Christi on Thursday night, the only thing left to decide for Shreveport would be seeding.

If Amarillo takes care of business, Shreveport needs just a single point against the Warriors. 

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Garrett Steele, the captain is finishing his long career in Shreveport in style. Saturday, he scored his 20th goal of the season during his 200th NAHL game. 
  1. Drake Morse, added three points on the weekend to extend his team lead this season.
  1. Simon Bucheler, the goaltender stopped 22 of 23 shots to pick up his league-leading 25th win Friday.

NAHL South Division standings

x-Oklahoma (42-11-1), 85 points

x-Lone Star (34-12-7), 75

Shreveport (32-15-7), 71

New Mexico (30-21-3), 63

Amarillo (28-23-3), 59

Odessa (26-24-3), 55

El Paso (16-34-4), 36

Corpus Christi (11-36-7), 29

*top four make the playoffs 

x-clinched playoff spot 

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 20

Assists: Logan Heroux, 26

Points: Drake Morse, 41

Penalty Minutes: Liam Fleet, 86

Game-winning goals: Hayden Nichol, Jake Mack, Morse 4

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 1.92

Save percentage: Bucheler, .923 

Up next

Shreveport’s four-game road trip ends with a trip to play Oklahoma on Friday and Saturday (7:15 p.m.)

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @roylangiii 

Arceneaux more optimistic about proposed REV development

REV’IN IT UP: Shreveport Councilwoman Ursula Bowman, REV Entertainment President Sean Decker, and Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux were on hand to give an update on the proposed entertainment development.


Tom Arceneaux wasn’t sure how serious to take the news back in October when former Mayor Adrian Perkins held a press conference to announce the City of Shreveport had entered into a cooperative relationship with Arlington, Texas-based REV Entertainment that would bring professional baseball back to this area.

Five months later, things have changed quite a bit. Arceneaux is now the mayor of Shreveport and he’s got a little different take on the proposed development.

When the City of Shreveport and REV Entertainment held a press conference in the Independence Stadium Skybox Thursday morning to give an update on the master plan for the project, Arceneaux said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the concept would become a reality.

On Thursday, Arceneaux was joined by Shreveport Councilwoman Ursula Bowman and REV Entertainment President Sean Decker to discuss the proposed development concept that would include a ballpark as the anchor.

“We’re thrilled to be back here,” said Decker. “We wanted to let you know where we’ve been since we were in this room last October.”

Conceptual images displayed at the press conference showed the overall plans for the entertainment complex that would be developed in three phases and located right off I-20 near Independence Stadium and the State Fair Grounds.

“Part of the reason I’m more optimistic is because we’ve got a whole lot more information now (than back in October),” said Arceneaux. “REV has stepped up to the plate to develop that information.

“I did not know what public investment was being asked. Now I know it’s a really big public investment.”

Arceneaux said two things must be determined – the feasibility of the project and how it can be done without issuing general obligation bonds. The mayor said he could guarantee there would be no tax increases to build the project.

“There will be no general bonds and no property taxes,” he said.

The City of Shreveport is conducting a feasibility study on the plan. Once the study is completed, construction would begin on Phase I, which would include the ballpark. Future plans for the mixed-use development also include restaurants, bars and a hotel.

And what baseball team would be playing in the new ballpark?

“We would either buy a team and move it here,” said Decker, “or create and operate our own team here. Most likely, it would be a high-level independent league team.”

When asked for an update about the status of  the city’s former home for minor league baseball, dilapidated Fair Grounds Field, Arceneaux said demolition was in limbo because it remained in the litigation process.

“The outcome of litigation is still pending,” he said, “but I’m 100 percent confident that if we do this deal with REV, it will be demolished.”

Contact Harriet at

Mudbugs ride win streak into Odessa with chance to clinch playoff spot

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs have won six straight games; should the streak reach eight this weekend in Odessa, the team would keep its perfect run of postseason berths alive in the North American Hockey League. However, the Jackalopes are desperate – and they have reason to be confident with their playoff lives on the line.

Despite residing in sixth place in the South Division, Odessa has taken four of six games against Shreveport this season. The Jackalopes likely need to sweep the Mudbugs in order to stay in the hunt for the South’s final playoff berth.

“This is another huge weekend on the road,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “We’re in their way right now. It’s going to be a battle. We need to be prepared to go in there and be road warriors.”

Not only can Shreveport (31-14-7, 69 points) make it official for the postseason, it can put some serious heat on Lone Star (32-12-7) for the No. 2 seed. The Mudbugs trail the Brahmas by two points, and Lone Star has one game in hand. 

“We’ve put ourselves in a good situation to make the playoffs, maybe even more up in the league standings during this playoff run,” said Campbell, whose team needs three points to garner a playoff spot.

Odessa swept the Mudbugs on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum on Jan. 20-21. The teams split the last two meetings in Odessa on Feb. 3-4 – both games went into overtime.

“This is a huge time for two really big games this weekend,” Mudbugs captain Garrett Steele said. 

Note: The status of goaltender Nikola Goich remains unclear. The first-year Mudbug was struck in the head with the first shot of Saturday’s game against El Paso and left after 20 minutes of action. Although there doesn’t appear to be a long-term concern, Campbell was unsure about his status for the weekend against the Jackalopes … teammate Simon Bucheler moved into the NAHL lead in goaltender victories (24) when he relieved Goich and earned the win. Bucheler is No. 2 in the league with a 1.88 goals-against average. 

Mudbugs at Odessa

Tonight, Saturday, 7:15 p.m.

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @roylangiii   

Shreveport Mavericks to host Southeast Texas tonight


The Shreveport Mavericks return home to host the Southeast Texas Panthers tonight in a The Basketball League contest at the Centenary Gold Dome at 7:05 p.m.

The Mavericks are riding a four-game win streak with the last three games on the road and have a 4-1 record on the young season. They started the road swing with a 127-109 win at Southeast Texas in Beaumont.

Last weekend Shreveport picked up its third win on the season with a 107-98 defeat of Enid and followed that up with a 117-108 win at the Wichita Skykings. The win at Enid was the second meeting between the two teams as Shreveport got its first win of the season with a home victory over Enid 129-115.

Shreveport is led by the league’s fourth-leading scorer Paul Parks, who is averaging 30.6 points per game. Kadavion Evans is averaging 25.7 points since joining the team three games ago. Jeff Boyd and Jay Hedgeman join Parks and Evans as double-figure scorers averaging 11.0 and 10.8 respectively.

Point guard PJ Meyers leads the team averaging 5.6 assists per game and Winford Ross-Holmes tops the team in rebounding averaging 6.4 a game.

Southeast Texas enters the game seeking its first win after three losses. Logan Hicks leads the Panthers in scoring averaging 24.3 per game with Kealen Coats scoring 19.7. Hicks also tops the team in assists with a 5.7 average per game.

Shreveport returns to the road with a date at Rockwall Saturday.

Managing deer by the numbers

Deer season 2022-23 is in the history books and here’s hoping that you have something to hang on the wall to show for your efforts. Don’t have anything? Maybe you’ve been doing it all wrong.

Daniel Colvin has access to 1,300 acres of family property in Union Parish, land not really known for being able to produce trophy bucks. Even so, he has mounts of 18 bucks hanging on his wall scoring between 150 and 170 inches, bucks he has taken from his Union Parish property.           

Is he the luckiest deer hunter around or is he on to something that allows the growth of bucks that size on property not known for the production of trophy bucks?

“I’m serious about getting the best from the deer in my area,” said Colvin. “I work at it all year long and there are several things I have discovered that have helped me and will help anyone who is interested in growing bigger deer no matter what kind of property they hunt.”

Colvin is offering what he has learned to any property owner serious about improving the lot of deer they hunt.

“I’ll contract with property owners to assess their land, see what I think is not helping and offer assistance in getting the right things done. If anyone is serious about wanting to grow bigger deer, the most important thing right off the bat is to control the trigger finger. You shoot a 120-inch buck and he’s never going to make it to 140,” Colvin said.

Controlling what grows on the land as well as supplementing food sources to give deer the best and most nutritional foods is important, he said. Control burning and timber thinning is an easy tool to trigger growing of forage plants that deer prefer. In addition, the use of minerals is of utmost importance, he noted. The principle need for foraging animals is salt because as soon as a deer gets a belly full of browse materials, he’ll head for a salt lick which aids in water retention.

“Minerals such as salt supplemented with calcium phosphorus is important because during the growing season, minerals are pulled from the bone structure to grow antlers and minerals provide those that are depleted,” said Colvin.

The establishing of food plots is another matter that is often not done in the best possible method as a property owner is more likely to take advantage of a logging set to plant a food plot.

“If you plant it and fertilize a small area such as this, deer will eat it up in a month. My food plots are usually three to five acres each and it will draw the deer that are in the area. I’ll often see 25-30 deer a day on my plots. These will draw in the does and when you attract them, especially during the rut, the bucks will follow,” he said.

Colvin keeps records of the deer on his property and he feels this is very important so that he can know what is there. The use of remote cameras is another tool he feels is quite valuable in keeping up with individual deer and seeing what they’re doing from one year to the next.

“I try to get my deer to imprint on a particular spot and my food plots help me accomplish that and cameras help validate it. Several of the deer I have hanging on my wall I have kept up with them for several years from what I see on cameras as well as shed antlers I find,” he said.

Anyone interested in visiting further with Colvin to contract with him on their personal hunting woods can contact him by telephone at 501-554-2824 or searching for him on Facebook.

Contact Glynn at

Big time green light for this week’s golf

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

We’ve sort of been messing around the past couple of weeks on the links. We haven’t had much at stake, and not much to show for it.

That changes this week as alarm bells are going off – especially at the PGA Tour’s alternate event.

Let’s see if we can get another stellar performance.


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

Best line (as of Tuesday) is listed in parenthesis. Find the best price — one key to being a successful sports bettor! Shop around!

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

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool

BR: BetRivers 


Last week: -1.6 units

2023 season: +40.6 units

2023 ROI: 71.2 percent

2022 season: +101 units 



WGC Match Play 

Win bets

Russell Henley, .1 unit, +9000 (DK)

Andre Putnam, .1 unit, +13000 (DK)

Denny McCarthy, .1 unit, +10000 (FD)

Corey Conners, .1 unit, +8000 (DK)

Si Woo Kim, .1 unit, +8000 (DK) 

Corales Puntacana


Patrick Rodgers, .2 units, +2700 (FD)

Kevin Tway, .1 units, +5000 (FD)

Nick Hardy, .1 units, +4500 (FD) 

Top 20 bets

Patrick Rodgers, 1.8 units, +120 (DK)

Kevin Tway, 1.6 units, +200 (DK)

Kyle Westmoreland, 1.4 units, +550 (DK)

Charley Hoffman, .9 units, +280 (DK) 


Jonsson Workwear Open 

Win bets

Niklas Norgaard Moller, .2 units, +2800 (MGM)

David Law, .1 units, +8000 (MGM) 

Contact Roy at or on Twitter @roylangiii    

Mudbugs post fourth weekend shutout in NAHL team history 

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Following Saturday’s 2-0 victory, the Shreveport Mudbugs had an opportunity to watch the carnage in North Richland Hills, Texas, as the teams closest to the Mudbugs in the standings — Lone Star and New Mexico – battled.

It was a win-win situation for Shreveport for one reason.

“Because we did our job,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said.


Shreveport posted a weekend shutout for just the fourth time in franchise history in a sweep of El Paso that extended the Mudbugs’ win streak to six games. 

New Mexico and Lone Star split their two-game set, so Shreveport gained two points on both teams. With eight games remaining in the regular season, the Mudbugs are third in the North American Hockey League’s South Division, two points behind the Brahmas.

They are six points ahead of fourth-place New Mexico. 

Goaltender Simon Bucheler earned the 3-0 shutout Friday and was scheduled to have the night off Saturday. However, teammate Nikola Goich was hit between the eyes with the first shot of the game. He finished the period but couldn’t play the final 40 minutes. 

“I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Campbell said. “We’re always super cautious with all of our injuries; he just wasn’t feeling good enough to finish.”

Bucheler made 19 saves in relief to complete the perfect weekend. 

“It’s a great practice situation,” Campbell said. “He’s not really expecting to go in and he had to. It didn’t seem like it affected Simon, because he played pretty well.”

Shreveport last posted back-to-back shutouts in a weekend series when Devon Bobak blanked Amarillo (Dec. 3-4, 2021) at The George.

Gustav Grigals and Jaxon Castor both collected a shutout in a Feb. 16-17, 2018, series at home against Odessa. 

Maiszon Balboa was the first Mudbugs goaltender to accomplish the feat on his own. He didn’t allow a goal and played every minute of Shreveport’s Feb. 28-29, 2020, series with Odessa on George’s Pond. 

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Jake Mack, corralled another game-winning goal on the weekend and extended his point streak to six games. He’s also picked up a point in 11 of his past 14 games. 
  2. Simon Bucheler, following Friday night’s shutout win, he was supposed to earn a night off. However, an injury to Nikola Goich in Saturday’s first period forced Bucheler into action. He stopped all 19 shots he faced to help the Mudbugs get a second-straight shutout. 
  3. Garrett Steele, the captain did captain things this weekend, especially in an otherwise sluggish performance Saturday. 

NAHL South Division standings

x-Oklahoma (41-10-1), 83 points

Lone Star (32-12-7), 71

Shreveport (31-14-7), 69

New Mexico (30-19-3), 63

Amarillo (26-23-3), 55

Odessa (25-23-3), 53

El Paso (15-33-4), 34

Corpus Christi (11-34-7), 29

*top four make the playoffs 

 x-clinched playoff spot

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 19

Assists: Logan Heroux, 27

Points: Drake Morse, 38

Penalty Minutes: Liam Fleet, 84

Game-winning goals: Hayden Nichol, Jake Mack, 4

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 1.88

Save percentage: Bucheler, .924 

Up next

Shreveport’s four-game road trip begins with a trip to Odessa to play the Jackalopes on Friday and Saturday (7:15 p.m.) 

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @roylangiii  

How ‘The Flop’ fascinated a boy, and changed a sport

There was a nine-year-old boy living in the Broadmoor neighborhood of Shreveport who was fascinated with an athletic achievement he had just seen on television. 

So he went outside, put together a makeshift practice area, and tried to copy what he had just seen. And tried. And tried some more. 

This was something different. This wasn’t a center fielder crashing into the wall or a running back bowling over a linebacker. This was something he had never seen at a major sporting event. In fact, almost nobody else had either. 

When you look back on it, this may have been one of the seminal moments in the history of sports. It was a technique that no one had ever done, much less even thought about. And if it was going to be introduced to the world, the nine-year-old boy wanted to be the first to introduce it to grade school Field Day a few months later. 

In the Mexico City Olympics of 1968, Dick Fosbury changed an entire sport with his technique of going over the high jump bar “backward” instead of the established way of the straddle or Western roll. The “Fosbury Flop” resulted in a gold medal and the high jump event has never been the same since. 

Fosbury died last week at age 76 and it received little notice. That’s a shame, because he is one of the few in sports history to completely revolutionize a competition. 

Don’t give me Michael Jordan; there was Julius Erving and Elgin Baylor before him. Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus didn’t revolutionize anything – they just played their sport better than anybody else. There were players hitting home runs before Babe Ruth came along; he just hit more of them. 

Muhammad Ali certainly changed things in boxing, but not everybody immediately started floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. 

Wilt Chamberlain and Rick Barry shot underhanded free throws, but that hasn’t exactly caught on. 

You might argue Notre Dame’s Gus Dorais and Knute Rockne “invented” the forward pass against Army in 1913, but it had actually been around, though sparingly used, for a while. It’s just that nobody had used it like the Irish did in that game. 

Who else has completely changed the way something was athletically done? 

Somewhere out there, Pete Gogolak probably has his hand up. In 1966, he became the first soccer-style kicker in the NFL, now the universally-accepted way to kick.  

But other than that, it’s not a long list. 

After Fosbury set an Olympic record in Mexico City, far more than half of the competitors in the 1972 Olympics were using that technique.  

Fosbury began using the “flop” because he just couldn’t figure out how to make his body work with the preferred method of the time. He couldn’t even jump five feet in high school, so he began to experiment. It took a couple of years to perfect before it all came together. 

Another reason the Fosbury Flop caught on was because, up until that time, high jump pits weren’t exactly a soft place to land. You try landing on your back on sawdust from seven feet in the air and see how quickly you get back in line. Deep foam matting brought in more possibilities. 

Thankfully, the father of that nine-year-old knew a place where he could get some foam padding. A car repairman friend had some extra back seats that he had ripped out and let him use the padding that was left.

It made for a unique Christmas present – who asks Santa for a high-jump pit? – but after that, it was game on. The boy then set his sights on St. Joseph’s School Field Day 1969. Lo and behold, it paid off.  

And I still have the first-place ribbon to prove it. 

Contact JJ at

Mudbugs aim to give ‘ecstatic’ fan base more hockey

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

As if there wasn’t enough motivation over the final 10 games for the Shreveport Mudbugs, the possibility to spend an extra night or two on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum — at the most important time of the year — is a heck of a reason for the blood to pump even faster.

“It’s just exciting when you’re playing in a packed barn,” Mudbugs defenseman Tristan Zarsky said. “It’s all the people you see around town at promos and the regular fans. Everyone is ecstatic. Not only does the crowd give us energy, but it’s something they have to deal with – especially with the way we play.”

With eight victories in their past 10 games, the Mudbugs (29-14-7) are now within four points of second place in the South Division. The top two teams in every division host first-round playoff series. As it stands now, it could be the difference between Shreveport hosting Game 5 with Lone Star or having to visit the Shoebox in North Richland Hills, Texas for a winner-take all.

Shreveport is 14-8-4 at home and has sold out two of its past four home games. The franchise leads the North American Hockey League in average attendance (2,672).

“You don’t have to be a hockey fan to come and have a great night at George’s Pond,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “The front office has done a great job. We need to keep this going. It’s a lot of fun.”

The Mudbugs have a golden opportunity to solidify a run at the No. 2 spot when they host seventh-place El Paso (15-31-4) at The George tonight and Saturday (face-off at 7:11 p.m. both nights).

Second place is up for grabs, but a playoff spot isn’t yet a guarantee. Shreveport is four points ahead of fourth-place (the last playoff spot) New Mexico. Amarillo is 12 points behind the Mudbugs.

Note: The Shreveport Mudbugs High School hockey teams enter the final weekend of their regular seasons. They have competed in the AT&T Metroplex High School Hockey Association. Shreveport varsity forward Landon Kay was named the best forward in the Varsity Bronze division.

Kay, a sophomore, leads his division in goals (25), assists (15) and points (40) in 16 games this season. Kay will be among those who will be honored at a Dallas Stars game on April 6.

The Mudbugs’ junior varsity squad enters the final weekend with an opportunity to make the playoffs for the time. Shreveport (7-6-3) boasts a three-game win streak, but must win its final two games Sunday to have a shot at the postseason.

Mudbugs vs. El Paso

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

George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum

Contact Roy at or on Twitter @roylangiii     

You just have to believe

Because people ask ….

Sixteen years ago, a young man had an idea for an outdoors program. At the time, he was doing Natchitoches Central football as color analyst with Chris Boyd, who did the play-by-play. Chris was an outstanding sports broadcaster and a great mentor to this young man, who learned a lot under his tutelage.

During this time, NCHS football was not successful and, on this night, they were at West Monroe (Louisiana’s top high school football program those days). It was 42-0 at the half, and during a commercial break the young man pitched his outdoors show idea to Chris, who thought it was a great idea and encouraged him to pursue it.

After getting a full endorsement from Chris, the enthusiastic young man decided to move forward. Several people tried to discourage him and said it would never work. Their point was, no one wants to listen to hunting and fishing. But he disagreed and asked himself, ‘What do people in our region like to do?’ The answer: they hunt and fish!

Bound and determined to make this work, he immediately started reaching out to businesses that he felt would benefit from such a program. Any business related to the hunting or fishing world was on his radar, and in most cases, there was a personal connection.

One reason the young man believed he could make such a program work was due to the great list of contacts he had related to the bass fishing world, both from a business standpoint and personal relationships he had with professional anglers. He made these connections due to the level of tournament fishing he was competing on in the FLW Tour and B.A.S.S. Opens.

Formatting a show would be the easy part. Gaining sponsors would be more difficult since only a handful of people had tried producing this type of program. A few had tried, but all had failed.    

Two weeks later the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show was born in February 2007. With sponsors on board and an broadcast agreement reached, the HUTD Show was now a go. That’s right, the young outdoorsman with dreams of a good outdoors show was yours truly.

Over the course of sixteen years, the show as gained a national following. We’ve interviewed the greatest names in the bass fishing world — Kevin Van Dam, Skeet Reese, Bill Dance, Jimmy Houston, Ray Scott, Mark Zona, and Rick Clunn, to name a few. By having the top professional anglers in the country appear, the HUTD Show obtained instant credibility. 

Today, the Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show continues to set the bar for great outdoors entertainment as we talk hunting and fishing on a weekly basis. But the success of the program would not have been possible without two other guys — my co-hosts, radio legend Gary McCoy and H&W Team Trail Tournament Director and duck hunting guide Mike Echols.

They say successful people surround themselves with people better than themselves. This is definitely true in my case, as these two guys brought not only a wealth of knowledge of the outdoors but offered great personalities as well. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed going down the path of the HUTD Show and how the program got started. You can catch the program on our web site: It’s proof that if you believe in something strong enough, you can make it happen.

Until next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Contact Steve at

Light slate, but three tours available this week

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

There wasn’t much excitement last week. We didn’t have a lot of action and Sunday at The Players was a dud. On the DP World Tour, our man Borja Virto cashed a top-20 ticket at 11-1 to make our weekend nearly a wash.

LIV Golf returns this week, and loyal followers know that has meant big profits in the past. However, there wasn’t a lot of value as of this writing, so the plays are limited. And LIV lines can be hard to find, depending on your state.

We have some nice tickets on top-20 plays on the DP World Tour, including Locks favorite Jeong Weon Ko. Baseball season is closing in. If you didn’t get down on some of our future plays, do a search and you can find them. You need a little action entering the 2023 campaign!

Good luck this week.


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

Best line (as of Tuesday) is listed in parenthesis. Find the best price — one key to being a successful sports bettor! Shop around!

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

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool

BR: BetRivers 


Last week: -.8 units

2023 season: +42.2 units

2023 ROI: 76.9 percent

2022 season: +101 units 



SDC Championship 

Win bets

Thirston Lawrence, .2 units, +4900 (CAE, FD)

David Law, .1 unit, +9500 (FD)

Richie Ramsay, .1 unit, +7500 (FD) 

Top 20 bets

Hennie O’Kennedy, .4 units, +1000 (FD)

Jeong Weon Ko, .4 units, +450 (FD)

John Parry, .2 units, +950 (FD)

LIV Golf 


Win bets

Dean Burmester, .1 unit, +4000 (CAE, FD, DK)

Bubba Watson, .1 unit, +8200 (CAE)

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @RoyLangIII      

Bryan Roppolo takes helm of Independence Bowl Foundation

IDEAL I-BOWL SCENE:  A sunny day and a big crowd are on the Independence Bowl Foundation wish list for 2023. (Courtesy photo)


Bryan Roppolo, owner of Roppolo’s Insulation, is the newly-installed chair of the Independence Bowl Foundation for 2023, ushered into his leadership role at the organization’s Annual Membership Meeting.

Roppolo took over for the past chair, Rob Rubel, on the same night that the Independence Bowl Foundation also voted in the new executive committee and board of directors.          

Roppolo owns Roppolo’s Insulation – a locally owned family business. His father started the business in 1975 as a part-time job, and Bryan took over the business when he finished college in 1998. He has developed the company into what it is now with his family and supervisors, who are also his lifelong friends.

He is a Shreveport Downtown Lions Club member, serving two terms as past president, and a Shreveport River Bend Rotary Club member – participating in various community projects with both organizations.

Each of these groups has many different directions to help the community, and he feels blessed to be a part of each, but Giving BAK is truly Roppolo’s passion. He is a founding member of the Giving BAK Foundation – a non-profit organization that works with local churches after natural disasters to provide food for the community and first responders. The team and volunteers travel across the United States to cook and provide hot meals in times of need.

Roppolo has been a member of the Independence Bowl Foundation for over 10 years, serving on the hospitality committee.

Listed below is the full 14-member executive committee for the 2023 Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl:

  • Chair: Bryan Roppolo (Roppolo’s Insulation)
  • Vice Chair: Claire Rebouche (Willis-Knighton Health System)
  • 1st-Vice Chair: Sarah Giglio (Gilmer & Giglio)
  • 2nd-Vice Chair: Keith Burton (Caddo Parish Public Schools)
  • Treasurer: Bert Schmale (Home Federal Bank)
  • Secretary: Scott Wysong (Wysong Brand Solutions, LLC)
  • Immediate Past Chair: Rob Rubel (Firetech Systems)
  • Three-Year Term: Doug Bland (Bland Agency, Inc.)
  • Three-Year Term: Cindy Smith (Kalmbach Smith Meadows)
  • Two-Year Term: Tammy Daniels
  • Two-Year Term: Michael Melerine (Seabaugh & Sepulvado Attorneys at Law)
  • One-Year Term: Jim Dean (Module X Solutions)
  • One-Year Term: Tim Wilhite (Wilhite Electric)
  • Title Sponsor Ex-Officio: Gen. Jon Ellis (Radiance Technologies)

During the meeting, 17 Board of Directors members were voted in on a three-year term. There are a total of 49 members serving Board of Director terms ranging from one to three years, as well as 32 members as Life Directors.

For more information on the Independence Bowl Foundation, contact the bowl offices at 318-221-0712 or visit the website.

‘No Plan B’: Local star drops everything to pursue pro pickleball dream

Judit Castillo is no stranger to a leap of faith. 

In 2017, she left her native Spain to pursue a college education and a tennis career in Natchitoches. 

Seven years later, the Northwestern State Demons product has made a “not-in-a-million-years” decision. 

Last month, Castillo, who has served in a couple of different roles at Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club and East Ridge Country Club since her days as an intern, dropped everything to pursue a career in professional pickleball. 

“There is no plan B,” the 24-year-old told the Journal. “I’m giving my best and everything I have.” 

Six months ago, Castillo had never touched a paddle and didn’t know the rules of pickleball. 

Ready for a remarkable twist? She’s backed – financially and emotionally – by a group of local members. One of the keys to Castillo’s rise in the sport is a member of that group, former major leaguer Todd Walker. 

“It’s crazy,” Castillo said. “Pickleball and baseball are two different sports, but they require a competitive mind-set that only professional athletes have. He’s been guiding me with mental training. Any time I have a question, technical and mental, he’s the first person I call.” 

Not only is Walker a mentor, he’s often her teammate in mixed doubles. 

“Anytime someone has the talent and the desire to do well, it doesn’t matter what it is, badminton, pickleball, chess, it gets pretty cool,” said Walker, who coached Calvary baseball for three years following a 12-year professional baseball career. “Judit has the ability. Everyone knew that very quickly.” 

Castillo won her first local pickleball tournament at Pierremont Oaks one day after her first practice. 

Knowledge of the game came quickly, through daily three-hour practice sessions and watching videos of the sport’s top stars. 

Last week, Castillo was rubbing shoulders and beating some of those very people. 

“I often think, ‘I’m hanging out with people I watched on TV. How did this happen?’” Castillo said. 

She recorded a fifth-place finish in the Professional Pickleball Association’s (PPA) Florida Open. The Spaniard’s only loss in six matches came against Salome Devidze, currently No. 2 in the World Pickleball Rankings. 

Castillo is the No. 44-ranked singles player in the world as she heads to the PPA Tour event in Austin, Texas. 

“It’s opened up a whole new world for her,” Walker said. “She has that unique ability to play against the best in the world.” 

Said Castillo: “In tennis I had the ability, but I had limitations. In pickleball, for whatever reason, I picked it up quickly.” 

Castillo’s family hasn’t seen her play tournament pickleball in person, but they have been able to follow the events via live streams. 

“When I told them about pursing pickleball full-time, they asked, ‘How are you going to fund everything?’ 

“I said, ‘I will figure out the way.’ 

“I knew I couldn’t work full-time and play pickleball full-time. Even if it’s crazy, I know they’ll be supportive.” 

Pickleball’s rise is evident by the emergence of Major League Pickleball (MLP) and the list of its investors – former quarterbacks Drew Brees and Tom Brady have purchased portions of MLP franchises. 

Just six months into this process, the MLP is a focus for Castillo. 

“I want to win,” Castillo said. “By July I want to be in the top 15 of the singles rankings and drafted by MLP. I think I can make it happen.” 

Fueled by a fire seen in some of her native country’s most famous athletes, like her favorite, Rafael Nadal, it’s hard to doubt Castillo. In college, she was a fierce competitor and fan favorite who finished her Lady Demons’ career with 54 singles wins, tied for eighth all-time at NSU. 

“I have a lot of Spanish in me,” she said. “I don’t give up. If you’re going to beat me, you’re going to have to beat me, I’m not going to give you anything.” 

Said Walker: “She’s one of the best in the world and a lot of us around Shreveport are excited to see where she’s at a year from now.”

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @roylangiii

Mudbugs sweep Amarillo, close in on second place

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Jason Campbell’s team was ready to “fight,” and literally did on one occasion during its weekend series with Amarillo on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. The Wranglers refused to engage in the traditional form of physicality, but that didn’t stop the Shreveport Mudbugs from posting an emphatic two-game sweep.

The Mudbugs saw yet another different group emerge offensively and moved within four points of second place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division with a 3-2 victory Friday and a 5-1 triumph Saturday.

“Friday, night, Liam Fleet dropped the gloves to fight and their guy took a punch to the face and didn’t drop the gloves,” Campbell said. “From that point we knew that was the way it was going to be – they were going to do all that stuff. We’re ready to fight, we’re not ready to punch people in the face with our gloves on after every single whistle.” 

Tristan Zarsky scored his first two goals of the season Saturday, while fellow blue-liner Matt Danziger added his second tally of the 2022-23 campaign during the game.

“I really like that our (defense) is contributing offensively, but the way they’re doing it is shots through from the point,” said Campbell, whose team has now won four straight games. “They are scoring the way a good, responsibly defenseman should score.”

With 10 games remaining in the regular season, the Mudbugs (12 points ahead of fifth-place Amarillo) are quickly closing in a playoff position.

Shreveport stays at The George this weekend when El Paso comes to town.

Note: Mudbugs goaltender Nikola Goich had an issue with a pad Saturday night and was forced to briefly give up his spot between the pipes. All Simon Bucheler did was come in, make a save and watch Matthew Danziger score to take a 3-1 lead. Bucheler, who earned the victory in net Friday, spent just 88 seconds on the ice in relief before Goich’s pad was fixed.

“The joke was Bush was a plus-one,” Campbell said.

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Tristan Zarsky, helped Bugs finish the sweep with a two-goal effort on Saturday. Has not had a negative plus-minus game since Jan. 13 (14 games).
  1. Matthew Danziger, tallied his second goal of the year (first came Dec. 29) on Saturday.
  1. Logan Heroux, a three-point weekend. His power-play tally got things going Friday night.

NAHL South Division standings

x-Oklahoma (39-9-1), 79 points

Lone Star (31-11-7), 69

Shreveport (29-14-7), 65

New Mexico (28-18-3), 59

Amarillo (25-21-3), 53

Odessa (24-22-3), 51

El Paso (15-30-4), 34

Corpus Christi (10-34-6), 26

*top four make the playoffs 

x-clinched playoff spot

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 17

Assists: Logan Heroux, 26

Points: Drake Morse, 38

Penalty Minutes: Liam Fleet, 84

Game-winning goals: Hayden Nichol, 4

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 1.98

Save percentage: Bucheler, .920 

Up next

Shreveport concludes the penultimate regular-season homestand with two against El Paso (Friday and Saturday, 7:11 p.m.)

Contact Roy at

Nobody wants to hear about your bracket!

NCAA tournament brackets are like the 79 you shot in your latest round or the new car you just bought.

Your friends are happy for you, but no one really wants to hear any details about it.

We are about to enter the “How’s Your Bracket” season and I’m here to tell you that it’s the definition of a rhetorical question. An answer isn’t really necessary.

It’s not like somebody at work will get on the intercom and announce, “Hey everybody, Joe picked all the winners in the second round and is leading in the company bracket pool!”

What’s worse are the television announcers who let us know they have only two of their Final Four picks remaining after the opening weekend. What are we supposed to do? Send you a fruit tray and offer our condolences?

NCAA Tournament brackets seem like scorecard playoffs in golf – somebody else always wins. Someone who is not named you.

There’s no doubt that playing the NCAA bracket is fun and adds excitement to the Creighton-Utah Valley game. But no matter how well you think you are doing, there’s always someone out there who is doing better. What’s worse, they might not even know a basketball from a pumpkin.

I’m about 1-for-20 in bracket pools and I consider myself among the elite because I actually won one. It was 2010 and early in the season, I had seen Cornell go to Allen Fieldhouse and beat Kansas. That nugget landed somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain for a few months, knowing that it would need to be recalled come March.

One night during that same season, I couldn’t sleep so I found myself watching West Coast basketball and thought that St. Mary’s team wasn’t bad.

So when the bracket time came, both were double-digit seeds but I figured they were worth a shot. You know why? Because I didn’t care. I didn’t bother analyzing FanGraphs or KenPom; I realized that I didn’t know any better, so I took the morsel of information I had and went with it.

Not only did I pick Cornell and St. Mary’s to win one game; I picked them to win two. That was enough points to sock away the winner’s prize before the Final Four even started.

But if I were so smart, how come I haven’t even sniffed a title since? When I won the cash in 2010, I figured I was playing with house money for the next eight years. The house money ran out five years ago, proving that I am just like the rest of y’all.

A loser.

This year, they are claiming that there are 20 teams that can win the championship, but history does not bear that out.  Despite all of this talk about “Madness,” the tournament has been won by a No. 1 seed the last five times it’s been played. Overall, a No. 1 has won it 65 percent of the time, so you really don’t have to go fishing in a very deep pond to find a winner.

But the actual Final Four isn’t where the fun is. No, that comes when some guy from Northern Iowa with a last name so long it takes two jerseys to fit all the letters on it beats No. 1-seeded Kansas in the second round (that also happened in 2010). Unless you are related to Ali Farokhmanesh, you would have no reason to think that was possible.

So close your eyes.

Or throw a dart.

Or decide which mascot name would beat up the other mascot name in a fight. (That would rule out the Centenary Gentlemen if they were Division I.)

Choose however you’d like, because it doesn’t matter.

And whatever you do, keep it to yourself. 

Contact JJ at

Strength of schedule in Mudbugs’ favor at top of stretch run

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

With a dozen games remaining in the 2022-23 regular season, the Shreveport Mudbugs — according to the desired script — are playing some of their best hockey. While fans normally gravitate to the offensive numbers, the improvement of the team’s defensive mindset has impressed its coach the most.

“We’re blocking a lot more shots. We are giving up less Grade-A (scoring opportunities). Defensively, as a whole, we’re playing better,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said.

Shreveport has allowed more than two goals just once in the past seven games – a 3-2 loss to Lone Star on Feb. 18. Shreveport has recorded two shutouts in the past three games and allowed just one goal in two of the past six games.

Tonight, Shreveport kicks off its final multi-weekend homestand of the season when Amarillo pays a visit to George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. The Wranglers (25-19-3) cling to playoff hope in the North American Hockey League’s South Division and will likely carry a must-win attitude into the two-game series with the Mudbugs (27-14-7).

Amarillo resides in fifth place in the South, six points behind the final playoff position — fourth-place New Mexico. The Wranglers are eight points behind Shreveport.

As the battle for the quartet of playoff positions heats up, Shreveport has a clear advantage — the easiest remaining schedule of their teams battling in the South.

Shreveport’s remaining opponents have combined to win just 43 percent of their games. The remaining opponents for sixth-place Odessa and second-place Lone Star have won 48 percent of their games. Amarillo is facing squads with a winning record (51 percent) while New Mexico has the toughest route (opponents’ win rate is 54 percent).

New Mexico faces either first-place Oklahoma or second-place Lone Star in six of its final 11 games. Conversely, the Mudbugs have no games left against the top two South teams and six of 12 against bottom feeders El Paso and Corpus Christi.

Amarillo and Odessa both have two games in hand on New Mexico.

The top spot in the South is all but determined, but it’s clear seeds 2-6 are a long way from being settled.

Mudbugs vs. Amarillo

Tonight, Saturday

7:11 p.m., George’s Pond

Strength of remaining schedule 

Five NAHL South teams are battling for three playoff spots with 12 games left to play. First-place Oklahoma is a lock to reach the postseason.

Place in South Division. Team, points, remaining games (win percentage of opponents)

  1. Lone Star, 69, 11 (48 percent)
  2. Shreveport, 61, 12 (42 percent)
  3. New Mexico, 59, 11 (54 percent)
  4. Amarillo, 53, 13 (51 percent)
  5. Odessa, 51, 13 (48 percent) 

Contact Roy at or on Twitter at @Roy Lang III

Bass tournament controversy can stem from unintentional blunders

As they say, records are made to be broken. Well, the same can be said of rules in a bass tournament. 

Every bass tournament organization has its own set of rules and not all circuits are the same. Some tournament trails are called “team trails” and others are  called Pro/Am events in which a pro is randomly paired up with a co-angler. The pro fishes out the front of the boat and has total control of the trolling motor and where they fish, while the co-angler/amateur fishes out of the back of the boat and is not allowed to fish off the front deck. 

While most of the rules are very similar, some circuits might have a couple of rules specific for what body of water they are fishing. But no matter what, it’s the responsibility of the angler to read, know, and follow the rules of each event. There are no excuses for violating a rule under any circumstances, especially not a plea of ignorance.            

Let’s look at a controversy in a recent Bass Champs Team Trail event on Toledo Bend about the third-place team of Bill Cook and his partner Ken Burgess. First and foremost, most of the time when anglers violate a rule in a tournament, it’s unintentional. This does not make them cheaters; it means they violated a rule they didn’t realize was a rule. This Bass Champs event was a trailering tournament, which meant you could launch your boat anywhere on the lake but could not start fishing until 7 a.m. 

On this particular morning, Bill and Ken left the ramp and headed for the area they were going to start fishing, arriving around 6:45. Around this time, Bill lowered the trolling motor with his Livescope screen activated. This was an immediate rules violation. Livescope is part of Garmin Electronics’ fish-finder system that is what anglers call a forward-facing sonar. It allows an angler to see fish up to 100 feet in real time. 

The rule that Bill and his partner were not aware of was that you could not turn on your Livescope until the official start fishing time. They were, however, allowed to use their electronics before then, but only for navigational purposes.  

After revealing how Bill and his partner caught their fish on an episode of Tackle Talk Live and the radio program Hook’N Up & Track’N Down, a tournament competitor heard how they were using Livescope before the official start time. This guy then called Bass Champs and reported the violation. Bass Champs verified the accusation and concluded that indeed Bill and Ken had violated the Livescope rule.  

Bass Champs notified Bill that he and his partner would have to forfeit their third-place winnings of $2,700. Embarrassed and upset with himself, Bill posted his reaction on Facebook and apologized for the rule violation that he and his partner inadvertently committed. He never made any excuses and said no one was to blame for this mistake other than himself and his partner. They took full responsibility and emphasized that they should have done a better job of reading and understanding the rules. 

From this angler’s perspective, Bill and Ken are two awesome individuals who made an honest mistake. But I can say with 90 percent confidence that out of 169 other teams in this event, there were others who violated the same rule but never came forward and admitted it. 

If you were one of these in this category, shame on you for not being honest! One thing I’ve always praised about tournament bass fishermen is that most do hold themselves accountable whenever they break a rule, from forgetting to wear a life jacket while changing locations on the lake, to having more than five fish in the live well and forgetting to cull one.

It’s the responsibility of the angler to call the tournament director and report any violation when it occurs and accept whatever penalty or punishment that might be handed down. Rules are not intended to make things tougher on anglers. They exist to level the playing field for all anglers.  

The message to take away from this story — always read the rules for all tournaments. Nothing is worse or more embarrassing for an angler than being disqualified from an event.

 Until next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to read the rules! 

Contact Steve at

The Art of Sports Talking: ‘Bakkekball!’

A week from today and the day after that might be the best back-to-back days of the sports year, not counting Saturday-Sunday at The Masters.

We are talking about the beginning of March Madness. Games from Can ’til Cain’t.


Actually, the Women’s March Madness begins Wednesday, so you can add a day to the fun. Men’s starts Thursday.

And actually AGAIN, you can go back to Tuesday, March 14, because that is the first day of the “First Four” play-in games in the men’s bracket: the winners of those four games will make it to the Field of 64.

And you can go back two MORE days to Sunday, because not only is that the day of some Power 5 tournament finals, it’s also Selection Sunday.

Let’s break it down quickly:

Selection Sunday, March 12: Men’s Selection Show is at 5 on CBS, Women’s at 7 on ESPN.

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 14-15: Men’s First Four.

Wednesday-Thursday, March 15-16: Women’s First Round, wall-to-wall games.

Thursday-Friday, March 16-17: Men’s First Round, more games than you can shake a peach basket at. And no, I won’t be at work those two days.

And the fun continues right on through the first few days of April. Because …

Women’s Final Four: Friday, March 31 and Sunday, April 2, Dallas, American Airlines Center.

Men’s Final Four: Saturday, April 1, and Monday, April 3, Houston, NRG Stadium.

True. It’s a lot to absorb. But we can do it. We just have to stick together.

And this after we just got through wrapping up Marsh Madness. Almost. (We’re looking at you, Calvary Cavaliers and Bossier Bearkats, who each play for state titles Friday, Calvary at 2 and Bossier at 6. Go Cavs and Kats!).

So to get us ready for the madness that is March NCAA basketball, a quick primer. 

Back in the summertime, we had an Introduction to ‘Sports Talking’ and determined that The World of Sports has a language all its own, and that each individual sport has an even more specialized lingo. A field goal is different in football than in basketball. “Pin” is one thing in bowling and another in wrestling. A skater spins lots and lands; a second baseman spins once and throws.

And on like that.

Briefly, so you can talk the talk this month, know that a basketball is also a roundball or b-ball or the rock. 

String music, coined by Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer Joe Dean of LSU, is a jump shot that goes through the hoop and touches nothing but net. It’s the opposite of an air ball, that touches neither net nor goal but instead just, well, air. Not a good look. 

Foul trouble is when a player or team is in danger of reaching the limit of fouls allowed without disqualification or penalty. Foul trouble is also what you are in when you sit next to a fan who smells like an old sneaker. Fowl trouble is when the concession stand runs out of chicken tenders.

The bank is open if a player banks a shot in off the backboard. A double dribble occurs when a player is bouncing the ball, touches it with both hands, then touches it again. You’re in danger of a double dribble if you drink too much and the bathroom line is long. Don’t want that, sports fans.

technical or T is a penalty for poor conduct, in which case the player or coach might get T’ed up by the official. If you’re dropping dimes, you’re dishing out a lot of assists, or passing to other players who immediately score, maybe with a step back, off a strong post move to the rack (which is the basket), on an alley-oop or a fadeaway or layup or slam dunk, all different sorts of shots. If a person scores enough, they are said to be putting on a clinic, in which case they are probably schooling defenders.

It was my pleasure to drop some dimes for your basketball benefit. Enjoy the show. And stay out of foul trouble.

Contact Teddy at or on Twitter @MamaLuvsManning