Special needs kids can enjoy hunting, thanks to Dream Hunt Foundation

When I was growing up in the country, if we wanted to hunt or fish, we went. There was no thought of needing help because every other kid I knew was like me; there were none with disabilities who weren’t able to do what I did.

Think of a youngster, nose pressed against the window glass as he sits in a wheelchair, legs supported by braces as he can only look longingly out the window at other kids doing what he’d love to do. His disability keeps them behind the window rather than being out and doing what his little heart wishes he could. Enter Jeff Warren and his organization for special needs kids, Dream Hunt Foundation. 

You have to wonder how in the world Warren has the time from his full-time work in construction, remodeling and owning a crawfish restaurant to kick start an organization that helps special needs youngsters.

The mission statement for the organization, Dream Hunt Foundation, sets the tone for why he has continued what he started in the spring of 2013. It reads: ”Dream Hunt Foundation desires to take kids on the hunt of a lifetime. We want to provide them a positive experience in a tough season of their life, teach them principles from a trusted adult that goes beyond the hunt and create a platform to share the hope we have in Christ.”

Warren, who lives south of Shreveport in Stonewall, launched the organization because of his vision of putting something together that would give special needs youngsters the chance to participate in activities they previously could only dream about.

“Obviously, there is no way we could do what we do without having sponsors coming alongside of us, groups who believe in what we’re doing and are generously sponsoring events that help us fund what we do,” Warren said.

One such group, Dowlings Processing in Simsboro, is one of those groups that has come alongside Warren to help out. This Saturday, March 11, Dowlings is sponsoring a sporting clays shoot with funds generated targeting Dream Hunt Foundation.

“Dowlings is a great organization that helped us last year. They raised between $5-6,000 a year ago. When you think that it costs us about $500 a kid to get everything set up for an event, what they did a year ago gave 12 kids the opportunity to do something they would have never been able to do,” said Warren.

Anyone wishing to participate in the Dowling event should contact Colby Sherrard at Dowlings at 318-247-6451.

Other groups that have come aboard to help include a group in Bryceland that hosted a special feral hog hunt last year raising some $5,000. In addition, there are golf tournaments in Shreveport and Monroe and a sporting clays event in Ferriday along with a big raffle at the end of the year that raise funds for Dream Hunt Foundation.

“One thing of importance is the fact that what we do is not just for youngsters in our area,” said Warren. “Since the program began, we have had up to 2,000 kids from all around the country take part in the program. Our records show that we were able to offer 400 kids the opportunity for a special hunt or fishing event last year.”

Hopefully this message will touch the hearts of individuals who would like to get involved. Visit info@dreamhunt.tv to find out how.

Contact Glynn at glynnharris37@gmail.com

We’re betting the Magical Kenya Open, oh, and The Players

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Once again the Locks VIPs rocked their bookmakers. 

As you’ve probably read here before, since this publishes Wednesday morning, many of the valuable golf lines have been nuked (they normally are revealed Monday) by the time this hits the internet. However, that doesn’t stop the VIPs from getting the juicy stuff in real time Monday.

Last week, Nico Echavarria was on the VIP list for the PGA Tour event in Puerto Rico. By the time Tuesday rolled around, his 150-1 number had disappeared. The Colombian rolled to victory and made our most loyal friends happy.

Unfortunately, that hit, like the early bird picks in the past, isn’t reflected in the official Locks numbers, but we’re still up more than 43 units and March has just begun.

VIPs like MattySue, DC, Coach K and Brooksie scored the big ticket, but “The Brothers” did the unthinkable. In addition to the 150-1 bomb, against my advice (I don’t recommend parlays), a top-20 parlay was created, and cashed.

Local sportsbooks on the boats must simply chuckle when The Brothers walk in to wager on golf. Legend status has been attained quickly.

A lot of the value at this week’s Players Championship was picked over by the sharps Monday, but we have a couple of plays. A few selections still live for the DP World Tour event with the greatest name of any golf tournament – the Magical Kenya Open.

And you thought Poulan Weed-Eater Independence Bowl was good.

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: -.2 units

2023 season: +43 units

2023 ROI: 83 percent

2022 season: +101 units



The Players Championship

Win bet

Matt Kuchar, .1 unit, +15000 (MGM)

Top 20 bets

Greyson Sigg, .2 units, +1200 (DK)


Magical Kenya Open

Win bets

Adrian Otaegui, .1 unit, +2850 (MGM)

Connor Syme, .1 unit, +5450 (MGM)

Maximilian Kieffer, .1 unit, +6550 (MGM)

Kristian Krogh Johannessen, .1 unit, +9900 (MGM)

Top 20 bets

Alfredo Garcia-Heredia, .8 units, +500 (BS/BR)

Gary Hurley, .5 units, +1800 (BS/BR)

Matthew Baldwin, .4 units, +450 (DK)

Ricardo Gouveia, .3 units, +700 (BS/BR)

John Axelsen, .3 units, +1100 (BS/BR)

Borja Virto, .2 units, +1100 (BS/BR) 

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com or on Twitter @Roy Lang III

Victory sends reminders: Toms is really good at golf, great at giving

David Toms’ resume is extensive. For starters, 13 PGA Tour victories (including a major championship, the 2001 PGA), a long list of appearances in Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups and a major title on the PGA Tour Champions (2018 U.S. Senior Open). 

Off the course, the 2017 inductee in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame has raised millions of dollars to help the less fortunate through the David Toms Foundation. 

Sunday, the 56-year-old Toms secured his third victory on the Tour’s 50-and-over circuit when he holed a 6-foot bogey putt on the final hole of the Cologuard Classic in Tucson, Arizona. The victory ended a three-year drought for the Shreveporter and former LSU star. 

“It’s a monkey off my back,” said Toms, who edged Robert Karlsson by one stroke. “I’ve had a bunch of close calls. It’s been a while.” 

As his post-victory interview carried on, Toms was overcome with emotion. It wasn’t so much the drought. It wasn’t the $330,000 first prize. It wasn’t the fortitude he showed after he hit his tee shot in the water on the final hole – just like he had done the first two times he played that hole during the event. 

Toms was thinking of a couple of special guests he played for – one got a first-hand, inside-the-ropes view of the final-round. The other’s seat was even better. 

Toms’ wore an “in memory” ribbon on his hat during the tournament in honor of the late Gloria Borges – the founder of WunderGlo Foundation who died at 32 from colon cancer in 2014. Gloria’s mother, Becky Borges, was an honorary observer Sunday and watched Toms up close. 

“She was right there with me,” Toms said of Becky Borges. 

Well, her daughter Gloria was, too. 

In addition to showcasing a tournament stacked with golf’s prior generation of superstars, the tournament’s title sponsor, Cologuard, has a mission to use the event to garner awareness for early screening for colon cancer. 

“It’s great to raise awareness,” Toms said. “We’re just here playing a game.” 

It was obvious the emotion began to boil for Toms. Should we have expected anything else? 

Giving has always been a passion for the Airline High product. For the better part of three decades, Toms has parlayed his success on the course to helping others. Sunday, he helped Gloria Borges’ mother in more ways than one. He elevated Gloria’s name and the WunderGlo cause – to cure colon cancer using “creative, forward-thinking and aggressive methods.”   

Toms also scored another victory in Gloria’s name. Those are priceless. 

“I was crying on the green when they talked about Gloria,” Toms’ right-hand man, longtime caddie Scott Gneiser, told the Journal. 

Toms has always enjoyed flying under the radar when it comes to fame, but he’s always found a way to use his name to help many, especially in Louisiana. 

On the course, it’s been more of the same. He’s an unassuming assassin, whose ball-striking has often been unmatched. The key this week: rekindling the magic in his putter. 

“(My putting) is why I haven’t won (a lot on PGA Tour Champions),” Toms admitted. “The stroke felt good. I gave a little tip to myself and it worked all week.” 

Toms’ victory came in the tournament’s final visit to Omni Tucson National. His clutch putt on 18 prevented a playoff on that devil of a hole. 

“We’re not the best of friends,” Toms said about No. 18. 

After the winning putt, Toms whispered to Gneiser: “At least we don’t have to see that hole again.”

Toms showed his true colors once again Sunday. He proved his golf game is elite, but it doesn’t hold a candle to his heart. 

Contact Roy at roylangiii@gmail.com or on Twitter at @RoyLangIII

New baseball stadium proposal remains on table; FGF demolition still stalled

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

Last October, it was characterized by many as a two-out, bottom of the ninth inning effort by then-incumbent mayor Adrian Perkins to gain support (votes) just weeks before Shreveport’s general election.

However, almost five months later, the game is still being played — with a new mayor in the batter’s box.

Tom Arceneaux, who took office Dec. 31, has since met twice with REV Entertainment, the Arlington, Texas-based company which pitched to Perkins the idea of building a baseball stadium and accompanying entertainment district on the site of the Louisiana State Fairgrounds.

Those meetings have led Arceneaux to look for ways to keep the idea alive — ways to help finance the project, and the stadium in particular.

“I did not want to say, ‘Oh, gee, this is simply too big for Shreveport. This is not something we can do,” Arceneaux told the Journal.  “We’ve had some of that in the past, and I don’t want to have that reputation.”

Arceneaux said that while REV would have some capital investment in the project should it come to fruition — and would manage the stadium — the city would be responsible for building the stadium. The mayor said that would require “a fairly sophisticated approach to financing.”

“I think we built Fair Grounds Field (the former home of the Shreveport Captains minor league baseball team which opened in 1986) for somewhere in the five or six million dollars range,” Arceneaux said. “We’re talking here about tens of millions of dollars. It is a very big project, with a very big upfront ask from the City of Shreveport. We do not want to say we can’t do it, but at the same time, we don’t want to go jumping off a cliff, either.”

A message left by the Journal for an REV spokesperson was not returned.

The city and REV are not far enough along in their discussions to know if REV will guarantee a tenant for the stadium.

“The likelihood is, it will be an independent team, rather than a minor league team,” the mayor said.

When interest was first announced between the city and REV, some questioned the proposed project’s location. However, Arceneaux doesn’t have any questions about the location.

“We control all the real estate we would need to do it. Plus, I think that’s a great location. It’s a marquee location. It would transform the appearance of the fairgrounds, and obviously the fact it is right there on I-20 is significant. There is enough acreage. They want to make use of other facilities that are already there — Independence Stadium, the Hirsch (Coliseum). It really makes sense for it to be there if we’re going to do it.”

Meanwhile, Fair Grounds Field remains partially demolished. Arceneaux’s administration canceled the city’s contract with Henderson Construction Services, rather than continue to pay delay damages. Demolition was stopped last year, after a group trying to save FGF won a court injunction.

Shelly Ragle, Director of Shreveport Public Assembly and Recreation (SPAR), told the Journal the city paid Henderson Construction Services $338,000 for the partial demolition, as well as delay damages.

“We need to make a decision fairly quickly about (Fair Grounds Field),” Arceneaux said. “If we decide to go with REV Entertainment, they would not be renovating the stadium. It would be a stadium built from the ground up.”

The mayor said he expects to know more on finance options for building a new stadium this month. However, he said it will be a while before a decision is made on whether to go forward with the REV project.

Contact Tony at SBJTonyT@gmail.com

Mudbugs sweep Corpus Christi, take control of third

 (Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The Shreveport Mudbugs took care of business along the Gulf of Mexico this weekend. Facing last-place Corpus Christi, the Mudbugs delivered back-to-back dominating victories en route to a sweep.

Goaltender Simon Bucheler anchored 5-2 (Friday) and 3-0 (Saturday) triumphs to push Shreveport into sole possession of third place in the North American Hockey League’s South Division.

Forward Nick Marino collected three goals against the IceRays, including both game-winners. Teammate Jake Mack had a four-point weekend.

Marino has found his stride in the second half of the season. The “relentless” 5-foot-7, 160-pound forward has proven to be a “water bug” in the eyes of Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell.

“He’s always buzzing around the surface,” Campbell told the Journal. “He can finish hits. He’s solid on the forecheck and on the backcheck. He’s a relentless worker.”

Marino has scored six of his eight goals over his past 11 games.

“He does work around the net, bangs in rebounds and does the dirty work, and that’s how you score goals,” Campbell said, “but he has some skill. He can make moves and he has poise with the puck. He’s always in control.”

Marino is now tied for the team lead with three game-winning goals.

The Mudbugs trailed 1-0 after Friday’s first period, but Drake Morse’s tally early in the second period sparked four straight goals for Shreveport. Saturday’s game got testy late, but Campbell was impressed with his team’s restraint. 

“We stayed disciplined,” Campbell said. “Guys wanted to drop the gloves, but you just can’t do that in the final five minutes (carries an automatic suspension). We need those guys in the lineup this weekend.”

Shreveport is eight points behind second-place Lone Star, and two points in front of New Mexico. The Mudbugs head back home for a weekend series with Amarillo.

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Nick Marino, a three-goal weekend included both game-winners. His goal Saturday came just 84 seconds into the game.
  2. Simon Bucheler, allowed two goals to nab Friday’s victory, then stopped all 23 shots he faced for a shutout win Saturday.
  3. Jake Mack, displayed his production equally on a four-point weekend – two assists Friday and another pair of helpers Saturday.

NAHL South Division standings

Oklahoma (37-9-1), 75 points

Lone Star (31-11-7), 69

Shreveport (27-14-7), 61

New Mexico (28-18-3), 59

Amarillo (25-19-3), 53

Odessa (24-20-3), 51

El Paso (13-30-4), 30

Corpus Christi (10-32-6), 26

*top four make the playoffs

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 16

Assists: Logan Heroux, 24

Points: Drake Morse, 38

Penalty Minutes: Hayden Nichol, 74

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

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 1.98

Save percentage: Bucheler, .920

Up next

Shreveport begins a four-game homestand with two against Amarillo (Friday and Saturday, 7:11 p.m.)

Contact Roy at roylangiii@gmail.com or on Twitter at @RoyLangIII

The story behind a new lake-record bass on Toledo Bend

Whether it’s football, baseball, basketball or corn hole, records are made to be broken. It’s not every day that a person gets the opportunity to set or break a record of any kind. It usually means the person setting the new record has played a particular sport for a long time. He or she has put in many hours of practice and is very dedicated to being the best. No matter how big the record is, the day will come when it will be broken.

In 1932 the world record largemouth bass of 22.4 pounds was caught in Georgia’s Lake Montgomery by George Perry. This record has stood for over 90 years! But, in 2009, a Japanese angler by the name of Manabu Kurita caught a 22.5-pound bass in Lake Biwa in Japan.

Based off simple math, you would think this would be a new world record by one ounce. Hold on, though. There’s a rule with the IGFA (International Game Fish Association) which certifies all fishing world records. It states that to be a new world record of any kind, the fish must weigh at least two ounces more than the previous record. But IGFA did give him credit for tying the world-record catch.  

Now let’s look at what happened on Saturday, Feb. 11, during the Bass Champs Team Trail event on Toledo Bend. Somewhere between 7-8 in the morning, Bill Cook of Houston set the hook on what he knew was a big bass. After hooking the bass on what’s called an A-Rig (an umbrella-style rig which imitates a small school of baitfish), Bill knew he had a big fish, but had no clue what was about to transpire. 

Bill had spotted the fish on his forward-facing sonar in about 18 feet of water on the edge of a drop-off. He made a cast in the direction of the bass and let the A-rig sink to the bottom. While watching his bait on his depth finder like a video game, he then engaged the reel and began to slowly retrieve the bait just off the bottom when the big fish came up and bit his lure.

After a tough battle, his partner (Ken Burgess) netted the fish. At first glance, they thought the fish might be a 12-pounder which was bigger than any fish Bill had ever caught before. They had no idea that Bill had just caught a new Toledo Bend Lake record of 15.67 pounds until they hit the scales during the weigh-in that afternoon.     

The funny part of this story is that the weekend before in an MLF BFL tournament, his co-angler partner (Michael Fagan) caught an 11-pounder off this same spot on an A-rig along with a 6.14-pound bass to finish second on the co-angler side of this event. The co-angler asked Bill if he had an A-rig tied on. Bill, thinking he had one rigged up in his rod locker, opened the locker, only to discover he had left that rod with the A-rig in his garage!

He made sure he had it in the boat for the Bass Champs event the next week and as they say, the rest is history!

The previous record of 15.32 caught by Eric Weems had stood for 22 years. Bill Cook is no stranger to the waters of Toledo Bend and has fished that body of water for over 30 years. He’s had a lot of success in tournament circuits like the BFL’s, Toyota Series and team trails. Bill is one of those anglers who you hope to be paired up with if you’re fishing as a co-angler in any event. He’s not only an excellent angler, but an even better person.

No one is more deserving of a record like this than Bill Cook. Along with a lot of other anglers, I hope his record catch stands for a long time — unless the fishing gods shine down on me with such an opportunity!

Until next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook! You never know, it just might be a new record!

Contact Steve at sgraf26@yahoo.com

Wednesday’s baseball, basketball, softball scoreboard; today’s schedule

(Photo by LEE HILLER, Journal Sports)


College Baseball

Wednesday’s scores

Ole Miss 4, Louisiana Tech 3 (6 innings, called on account of weather)

Today’s games

No games scheduled.

College Basketball

Wednesday’s scores 


Incarnate Word 79, Northwestern State 60


BPCC 84, Tyler 72
Missouri 81, LSU 76
Northwestern State 81, Incarnate Word 64

Today’s games


Louisiana Tech at FIU, 6 p.m.


FIU at Louisiana Tech, 6 p.m.

High School Basketball

Wednesday’s scores

No games scheduled.

Today’s games 

LHSAA girls’ playoffs

Non-Select Division I

At Southeastern La., Hammond

(2) Parkway vs. (3) Barbe, 4:45 p.m.

High School Baseball

Wednesday’s scores

Stanley 14, Haughton 0

Today’s games

Loyola at Haughton, 5 p.m.
Southwood at North Caddo
Logansport at Northwood 

Trey Altick Tournament – Monroe

Parkway at West Monroe, 4:30 p.m.
Benton at Evangel, 6 p.m.
Byrd vs. Central-BR, at Sterlington Sports Complex, 6:30 p.m.

High School Softball

Wednesday’s scores

Captain Shreve 9, Lakeside 3
Evangel 13, Caddo Magnet 10

Today’s games

West Monroe at Airline

Claiborne Christian at Benton

Southwood at Byrd

Haughton at Stanley

Evangel at Parkway

Caddo Magnet at Red River

Glenbrook at Northwood

Loyola at St. Frederick

Logansport at North Caddo

TBL Basketball

Wednesday’s score

Potawatomi 128, Shreveport Mavericks 89

Schedules are subject to cancellations and postponements.

Cold-shooting Shreveport falls big in TBL season opener

(Photo by LEE HILLER, Journal Sports)


The defending league champion Shreveport Mavericks suffered through an uncharacteristic off night shooting the ball and dropped their The Basketball League season opener to Potawatomi 128-89 Wednesday night at the Centenary Gold Dome.

The Fire outscored the Mavs 22-5 the last six minutes of the second quarter to break open a tight game and take a 74-48 lead into the halftime break. Potawatomi hit a blistering 71 percent compared to Shreveport’s 40 percent the first 24 minutes of the game.

Potawatomi blew the game wide open in the third quarter, outscoring Shreveport 32-17 to take a 106-61 lead into the fourth quarter. 

Shreveport finished the game shooting a paltry 35 percent (32-of-91) and made just 10-of-46 (22 percent) from 3-point range. Paul Parks led the Mavericks with 23 points, 21 of those coming in the first half. Point guard PJ Meyers and Jeff Boyd both tallied 13 points. Tim Quarterman added 10 points and along with Meyers led the team with three assists.

Potawatomi shot 57 percent for the game (49-of-86) and hit 14-of-31 from 3-point range for 45 percent. The Fire spread the scoring around with seven players hitting in double figures. Lyle Hexom led the way with 19 points, Terry Maston had 17 points and 15 rebounds, Deshawn Munson 15 points and 9 assists, Chuck Guy scored 16 points and had eight assists.

Shreveport will return to action on Friday at the Dome when it hosts the Enid Outlaws. Tipoff for that game will be at 7:05 p.m.

Hey momma, we did it again! LIV’s return sparks best week ever

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

I came into the 2023 campaign thinking it would be impossible to reach a 100-unit profit – especially with the small amounts we wager — like last year. Well, maybe I need to increase my expectations.

We collected a profit on three different professional golf tours last week. The highlight: a win ticket on 50-1 shot Charles Howell III.

Chuckie Triplesticks dominated the field as LIV Golf made its 2023 debut. We had an 18-1 top-20 finisher (Ryan Gerard) on the PGA Tour and hit our two biggest T20 wagers on the DP World Tour.

In the end, we collected more than 42 units – an all-time record for the Locks.

Our ROI is over 83 percent.

Light golf betting this week – think they’re onto us. However, how about some MLB futures action! We’re less than a month away from Opening Day. Let’s get some bets in. A lot of bets.

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: +42.6 units

2023 season: +43.2 units

2023 ROI: 83.9 percent

2022 season: +101 units 



Arnold Palmer Invitational 

Win bet

Sungjae Im, .1 unit, +4600 (FD)

Puerto Rico Open 

Win bets

Austin Eckroat, .1 unit, +4450 (FD) 


2023 Futures  

Win World Series

Braves, 1.2 units, +1000 (CAE)

Rays, .5 units, +2500 (CAE)

Brewers, .2 units, +4000 (CAE)

Padres, .6 units, +1000 (DK)

Cardinals, .2 units, +2200 (CAE) 

AL Pennant

Rays, 1.1 units, +1200 (MGM)

Angels, .2 units, +2500 (Kambi)

Twins, .2 units, +2200 (CAE)

Guardians, .1 unit, +1600 (CAE) 

NL Pennant

Braves, 1.8 units, +500 (CAE)

Brewers, .4 units, +2000 (BS/BR)

Padres, 1.2 units, +550 (CAE)

Giants, .2 units, +3000 (BS/BR) 

Division Titles 

AL West

Angels, 1.1 units, +1200 (CAE)

AL Central

Twins, 2.3 units, +285 (BS/BR) 

AL East

Rays, 1.4 units, +400 (CAE) 

NL East

Braves, 5.1 units, +145 (CAE) 

NL West

Padres, 6.4 units, +140 (CAE)

Giants, 1.2 units, +1200 (MGM)

To Make Playoffs

Red Sox, 1.8 units, +320 (CAE)

Brewers, 3.6 units, +110 (CAE)

Giants, 2.5 units, +213 (CAE)

Angels, 1.7 units, +200 (CAE) 

To Miss Playoffs

Dodgers, 4 units, +600 (CAE)

Phillies, 4 units, +230 (CAE)

Astros, 1.2 units, +700 (CAE)

Mariners, 4.4 units, +160 (CAE)

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

Shreveport begins TBL title defense with home opener

ON TOP: The Shreveport Mavericks defeated Albany in last year’s TBL finals to claim the championship. (Photo by LEE HILLER, Journal Sports)


The Shreveport Mavericks begin defense of their 2022 The Basketball League Championship tonight by hosting the Potawatomi Fire in the 2023 season opener at the Centenary Gold Dome with tipoff set for 7:05 p.m.

The Mavericks defeated the Fire 2-1 in a best-of-3 series in the second round of last year’s TBL playoffs before defeating the Enid Outlaws (2-1) for the Central Conference Championship. Shreveport went on to win the West Region finals by downing Southern California (2-0) and the overall TBL title by downing Albany, New York, 2-1.

Shreveport returns five players from last year’s title run. TBL Finals championship series MVP point guard P.J. Meyers and the SMavs’ leading scorer, swing forward Paul Parks (23 points per game), head the list. Other key components to last year’s championship back this time around are swing forwards Josh Montgomery and Tavin Cummings and center Bilal Richardson.

Newcomers are point guard Michael Lenoir, swing guards Tim Quarterman and Jeff Boyd; power forwards Jay Hedgeman, Winfred Ross-Holmes and Jarrell Taylor; and rounding out the 12-man roster is center Chris Davenport.

Quarterman played collegiately at LSU and had short stints in the NBA with Portland and Houston. He has played in the G League and overseas. Boyd is a former standout for LSUS and Hedgeman faced the Mavericks while playing for the Houston Push of the TBL.

Shreveport will host Enid on Friday at the Gold Dome at 7:05 p.m.

2023 Shreveport Mavericks Roster 

POS – Player (Height, Weight)

PG – PJ Meyers (5-9, 180)

PG – Michael Lenoir (5-9, 180)

SG – Tim Quarterman (6-6,180)

SG – Jeff Boyd (6-5,170)

SF – Paul Parks (6-4,200)

SF – Josh Montgomery (6-5,215)

SF – Tavin Cummings (6-6,205)

PF – Jay Hedgeman (6-9, 225)

PF – Winford Ross-Holmes (6-8,220)

PF – Jarrell Taylor (6-4, 220)

C – Chris Davenport (6-9,225)

C – Bilal Richardson (6-9,265)

Positions: PG – point guard; SG – swing guard; SF – swing forward; PF – power forward; C – center.

Mudbugs back in tie for third after split with Lone Star

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

“Only against Lone Star.”

Shreveport Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said it perfectly.

The Mudbugs and Brahmas played more than 126 minutes this weekend on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum. The teams combined for just three goals – not one during regulation or overtime Saturday night. 

In the end, both teams earned three of four points as Shreveport captured a thrilling 2-1 overtime decision Friday thanks to a game-winning goal from Ryan Burke.

Saturday, Shreveport netminder Nikola Goich and counterpart Arthur Smith stopped all 55 shots they faced before Lone Star prevailed in a shootout.

It marked just the second time in Shreveport’s seven seasons in the North American Hockey League it had a scoreless game reach a shootout. The other, naturally, came against Lone Star on Sept. 16, 2017 at The George. The Mudbugs won that game with Gustav Grigals between the pipes. It was the second game of the 2017-18 Robertson Cup championship campaign.

This weekend, there wasn’t much complaining to do about a hard-fought three points, but Campbell says a lack of “jump” at the end of a long week may have prevented a four-point weekend for the Mudbugs.

The lead-up was filled with 6 a.m. practices and trips to local schools to read Dr. Seuss books. An overtime affair in front of a sold-out crowd Friday was followed by another overtime game in front of a packed house Saturday.

“The guys were really busy, but that’s part of what we do,” Campbell told The Journal.

“That’s when a little intestinal fortitude is needed. Nobody cares what’s going on (off the ice) when it comes to winning. If there is a Division I school watching this game – they care about the performance on the ice.”

The Mudbugs (25-14-7) moved back into a tie with New Mexico for third place in the NAHL’s South Division.

“We were close (to a sweep),” Campbell said. “We did some good things this week. The disappointing part of not scoring (Saturday) was not getting the crowd ripping.”

After Simon Bucheler collected the victory between the pipes Friday, Goich got the call Saturday and continued his impressive play.

“Niko played a great game,” Campbell said. “He practices hard. You never know when your number will be called, but he showed a lot of poise and maturity and gave us every opportunity to win this hockey game. It’s a shame we didn’t pull it out for him.”

Notes: Shreveport forward Kason Muscutt was suspended for Saturday night’s game for his checking from behind penalty in Friday’s game. He’s expected to return when the Mudbugs travel to Corpus Christi.

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Simon Bucheler, stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced Friday night to win his sixth game in seven starts.
  1. Nikola Goich, the hard-luck loser Saturday. Stopped all 24 shots he faced in regulation and overtime.
  1. Ryan Burke, notched the game-winning goal in overtime Friday and nearly collected another OT winner Saturday.

NAHL South Division standings

Oklahoma (36-7-1), 73 points

Lone Star (29-11-6), 64

New Mexico (27-17-3), 57

Shreveport (25-14-7), 57

Odessa (23-19-3), 49

Amarillo (23-19-3), 49

El Paso (13-28-4), 30

Corpus Christi (10-30-6), 26

*top four make the playoffs 

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 15

Assists: Logan Heroux, Drake Morse, 23

Points: Morse, 36

Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 72

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

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 2.05

Save percentage: Bucheler, .918

Up next

Shreveport travels to Corpus Christi for a quick two-game roadie — Friday and Saturday, 7:05 p.m.

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

Lighten up! It’s just a golf thing

Far be it from me to be considered a defender of Tiger Woods, but sometimes you have to stand up for a guy when he’s catching grief from people who are in serious need of getting a life.

Just so you know where I stand, I was no fan of Woods when he started scorching the golf world in his 20s and 30s. It wasn’t so much him as it was the world around him. He seemed more like a corporate creation and even more bothersome, at least to me, was the media’s fawning of him.

Now in his 40s, Woods seems much more Regular Dude and I’ve found that to be somewhat appealing. You got to admit, the guy has had a lot to deal with.

But this is something he shouldn’t have to deal with.

Last week at the Genesis Open – his first PGA event back after a prolonged absence – Woods was playing with Justin Thomas, a good friend on the Tour, in the first round.

When Woods, 47, outdrove the 29-year-old Thomas on a hole, he casually walked down the fairway with Thomas and slipped something into his hands. Thomas looked down to see what it was, gave it a smirk, and continued on. (Almost) nobody noticed it.

But a photographer got a picture of the exchange, zoomed in on the photo and discovered – gasp! – it was a tampon.

Look, I don’t need to translate it for you. It’s pretty obvious what was at play here and, I might add, somewhat creative. I mean, it’s not like Woods just happened to have said item in his golf bag. The pre-meditation of it is part of the beauty.

Social media blew up over it and people who just don’t get it lined up to take their shots. Woods was forced coached coerced into giving an apology “to anyone who was offended.” (Which is very much code for, “I really don’t mean it, but it’s what I’m supposed to say to get you morons off my back.”)

Say whatever you want about the whole thing, but there is one indisputable fact at play here – it’s what guys do. And particularly in golf, which is fertile ground.

Christine Brennan of USA Today predictably weighed in. (“He employed basic misogyny to insult his good friend Thomas, a knee-slapper of a dig against female athletes: You hit the ball like a girl!”)

The Athletic found Sarina Wiegman, a female English soccer coach who nobody has ever heard of, and did an entire story on how she was offended. (“Very inappropriate.”)

So let me speak for an entire gender when I say this: You’re offended? Well how about this – I’m offended that you’re offended.

So there.

But, hey, maybe I’m missing something here. So I checked in with two golfers who might not think the same way I do. You know, just in case my inner misogynist was taking over.

Shreveport’s Meredith Duncan has played on the LPGA Tour and is a former winner of the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Sandra Smith is the former president of the Louisiana Women’s Golf Association, a two-time winner of the LWGA Fourball tournament and a recent board member of the Louisiana Golf Association.

Let’s hear from them!

Duncan: “I thought it was really funny. As a woman I wasn’t offended at all. I don’t understand the big deal, really. It was a funny ribbing between two friends.”

Smith: “Although I thought Tiger’s passing off a tampon to JT was kinda dumb, I certainly wasn’t offended by it. I took it for what it was … a prank gone bad and caught on video. I shudder to think of all the dumb things my girlfriends and I have done through the years … fortunately most of them happened before social media reared its oft-times ugly head.”

So it’s not just what guys do. It’s what golfers do.

“We need to lighten up,” Smith said, “and quit being so damn sensitive.”

Contact JJ at johnjamesmarshall@yahoo.com

The poetry of a pure heart

(Editor’s Note: Original run date of this effort was October 2010 to coincide with the opening of the movie, Secretariat, which starred people but also several horses who portrayed the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years; it was impossible for any of them to look as majestic as the stud folks affectionally and respectfully called “Big Red.” Seabiscuit in 2003, another horse movie based on a true story, this one captured by author Laura Hillenbrand in her magnificent 1999 book Seabiscuit: An American Legend, was better. Both are good. And you can read them between races at Louisiana Downs, which has Quarter Horse racing through April 1; the 84-day Thoroughbred meet is May 6-September 26, with live racing each Saturday through Tuesday. But first … some lessons from Secretariat, one of the best and most dominating athletes any of us has ever seen.) 

“Just before noon the horse was led haltingly into a van next to the stallion barn, and there a concentrated barbiturate was injected into his jugular. Forty-five seconds later there was a crash as the stallion collapsed. His body was trucked immediately to Lexington, Ky., where Dr. Thomas Swerczek, a professor of veterinary science at the University of Kentucky, performed the necropsy. All of the horse’s vital organs were normal in size except for the heart. 

‘We were all shocked,’ Swerczek said. ‘I’ve seen and done thousands of autopsies on horses, and nothing I’d ever seen compared to it. The heart of the average horse weighs about nine pounds. This was almost twice the average size, and a third larger than any equine heart I’d ever seen. And it wasn’t pathologically enlarged. All the chambers and the valves were normal. It was just larger. I think it told us why he was able to do what he did.’”

So begins the classic piece from Sports Illustrated’s William Nack, whose 1990 tale of 1973 Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing winner Secretariat is worth reading over and over again.

I hope the movie is as good. I hear it is. Can’t see it fast enough. (And not just because it stars Diane Lane. Hello!)

Secretariat opened Friday. Columnist Cal Thomas calls it “The Blind Side meets Chariots of Fire meets National Velvet. It is Annie on four legs.”

“The sun’ll come out tomorrow. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun…”

Like Annie, we all run on hope. It’s trite and hints at sentimentality, but a healthy optimism and focused hope sure makes the day brighter. Like the story of Depression Era underdog Seabiscuit, another horse who became a national celebrity, a story like Secretariat’s reminds you of the possibilities, of all the good that, with heart, can happen. You gotta have heart …

In beautiful blue and white checkered colors, Secretariat won the final leg of the Triple Crown by an absurd record of 31 lengths. In the Belmont Stakes, Nack wrote that the thoroughbred ran “rhythmic as a rocking horse.” Secretariat started sprinting from the gate – and never stopped. One of the most magnificent photographs in all of sports is the jockey Ron Turcotte looking over his shoulder down the stretch – and being all alone. Just the horse and the rider, and Belmont Park rocking.


Secretariat was euthanized 21 years ago this very week, victim of a painful hoof disease that in this case was incurable. But in retirement, tens of thousands had come to see him, a chestnut colt who, in 1973, had given the nation a break from the confusion and discontent of the Vietnam War and Watergate. When he died, millions mourned him, including Nack, a rookie turf writer for Sports Illustrated in 1973 but a longtime friend of Secretariat’s by the time the famous horse died.

Nack wrote about the time Secretariat had snatched his notebook away and refused to give it back. He wrote about the time Secretariat picked up a rake in his teeth and began cleaning his own stall. And “I told about that magical, unforgettable instant,” Nack wrote, “frozen now in time, when he turned for home, appearing out of a dark drizzle at Woodbine, near Toronto, in the last race of his career, 12 lengths in front and steam puffing from his nostrils as from a factory whistle, bounding like some mythical beast of Greek lore.”

Heart makes the difference. In stories like Seabiscuit’s. In stories like Secretariat’s. In stories like yours and mine.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu or on Twitter at @MamaLuvsManning

Cure for a down week: LIV’s return!

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

We have three professional golf tours in action this week, as LIV golf makes its 2023 debut. LIV availability can be hit and miss at the sportsbooks, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t find the numbers – we have plenty of bets to go around this week.

Coming this weekend: MLB futures! Check out Friday’s edition of Lang’s Locks.

Until then, good luck and enjoy. 


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

Best line (as of 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: -3 units

2023 season: +.55 units

2022 season: +101 units



The Honda Classic 

Win bet

Tyler Duncan, .1 units, +19900 (FD)

Top 20 bets

Erik Barnes, .5 units, +600 (CAE)

Kevin Roy, .3 units, +1200 (CAE)

Ryan Gerard, .2 units, +1800 (DK)

Trevor Cone, .2 units, +1200 (CAE, DK) 


Hero Indian Open 

Win bets

Garrick Porteous, .1 unit, +19900 (FD)

Aguri Iwasaki, .1 unit, +5450 (MGM)

Jeong Weon Ko, .1 unit, +9000 (DK)

David Ravetto, .1 unit, +9900 (FD)

Chase Hanna, .1 unit, +7050 (MGM)

Matthew Baldwin, .1 unit, +9900 (FD, MGM) 

Top 20 bets

Jeong Weon Ko, +1.8 units, +320 (DK)

Angel Hidalgo Portillo, .7 units, +410 (FD)

Andrew Wilson, .6 units, +400 (DK)

Daniel Hillier, .6 units, +450 (FD)

Bryce Easton, .5 units, +400 (MGM)

John Axelsen, .5 units, +650 (DK) 


Win bets

Sebastian Munoz, .3 units, +6550 (CAE)

Charles Howell III, .2 units, +4900 (CAE)

Danny Lee, .2 units, +9900 (DK) 

Top 10 bets

Brendan Steele, 2.5 units, +350 (CAE) 

Sebastian Munoz, 1.5 units, +350 (CAE)

Henrik Stenson, 1.4 units, +300 (CAE)

Pat Perez, 1.1 units, +650 (CAE)

Bubba Watson, 1 unit, +450 (BS/BR) 

Top 20 bets

Brendan Steele, 3.8 units, +110 (BS/BR)

Pat Perez, 1.2 units, +170 (BS/BR) 

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

Final 20 minutes dooms Mudbugs’ dream weekend

GOOD SERIES BUT … : The Shreveport Mudbugs earned three of four points vs. Lone Star this weekend, but dropped a position in the NAHL South Division. (Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

The North American Hockey League’s South Division doesn’t mess around. Thanks to Friday night’s shootout victory against rival Lone Star, the Shreveport Mudbugs moved within five points of the second-place Brahmas.

Less than 24 hours later, the Mudbugs owned a 2-1 third-period lead on the Brahmas, but were soon on the wrong end of a 3-2 decision. The loss dropped Shreveport into fourth place — the final playoff position — in the South.

“We need to be pissed off – we were in position to get a huge sweep and we didn’t finish the job,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “The boys have to be fired up for another great week of practice.”

Friday, Shreveport defenseman Maksim Sushchynski opened the scoring and a bittersweet weekend with a power-play goal in the first period. The Brahmas tied the game in the second period, but the Mudbugs scored twice in the shootout as goaltender Simon Bucheler made 23 saves in the victory.

Shreveport’s three-game win streak against the Brahmas ended the next night.

Shreveport tallied first again, thank to Logan Gotinsky. A second-period goal from Logan Heroux gave the Mudbugs a 2-1 lead, but Lone Star scored twice in the third period to earn a 3-2 decision.

“We just got outworked and outmuscled,” Campbell said. “We didn’t earn it. A lot of times you earn those bounces (to tie the game). We didn’t have enough grit.”

The teams close out the regular-season series with a doubleheader in Shreveport this weekend.

Notes: Maksim Sushchynski suffered a freak injury Saturday when he slipped on newly installed rubber in the locker room between periods. Campbell says his status for this weekend’s series is uncertain. Meanwhile, forward Brent Litchard, who missed the trip to North Richland Hills, Texas, is likely to return for the rematch at The George. 

Last week’s 3 Stars

  1. Simon Bucheler, earned his 18th victory of the season Friday, good for fourth-best in the NAHL.
  1. Maksim Sushchynski, collected his second goal of the season Friday before a freak injury knocked him out of Saturday’s contest.
  1. Logan Gotinsky, moved into a tie for second place on the team in goals with the first tally Saturday. 

NAHL South Division standings

Oklahoma (35-6-1), 71 points

Lone Star (28-10-5), 61

New Mexico (26-16-3), 55

Shreveport (24-14-6), 54

Amarillo (21-19-3), 45

Odessa (21-19-2), 44

El Paso (12-28-3), 27

Corpus Christi (10-29-5), 25

*top four make the playoffs 

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 15

Assists: Logan Heroux, 23

Points: Drake Morse, 35

Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 72

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

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 2.10

Save percentage: Bucheler, .917

Up next

Shreveport completes the home-and-home series with Lone Star on George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum on Friday and Saturday, 7:11 p.m.

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

Shreveport Mavericks open 2023 training camp today

(Photo by LEE HILLER, Journal Sports)


The Shreveport Mavericks begin training camp today in preparation to defend their 2022 The Basketball League National Championship won in Albany, New York, last season. 

Things started with a free-agent tryout camp Saturday at the Boys and Girls Club on the Fairgrounds in Shreveport. Maverick coach Steve Tucker deemed the camp a success with four players earning opportunities with the Shreveport Mavericks.    

Players were to report on Sunday with training camp going forward today. 

“For me, it is all about routine. Preparation is the real key and if we take care of details, we will put ourselves into a really good position,” said Tucker.

“We have improved ourselves immensely in key positions. Subtraction has led to addition, and with that, we have gotten better,” added Tucker. “Add proper preparation into the equation and I believe we have a team up to the challenges waiting ahead.” 

The Mavericks return some key components from last season in leading scorer Paul Parks (23.0 average per game) and point guard PJ Meyers (11 points per game, and six assists per game). Meyers was the MVP of the TBL finals last July when the Mavericks took down Albany. 

Other returning players that were all big contributors to last year’s success include Josh Montgomery, Tavin Cummings and Bilal Richardson.

Top newcomers include former LSU Tiger Tim Quarterman and a couple of former LSUS standouts in Jeff Boyd and Kadavion Evans, who played two years at Louisiana-Lafayette and was a two-time All-City guard at North Caddo High School. Evans also played in the TBL last season with the Enid Outlaws. 

The Mavericks will open the season on March 1 at the Gold Dome against Potawatomi.   

Here is a look at the training camp roster:  

Depth Chart 


PJ Meyers (5-9, 180) 

Jesse Hardin (6-3, 180) 

Marcus Wallace (6-2, 180) 

Vincent Jackson (6-3, 175) 


Kadavion Evans (6-2, 180) 

Tim Quarterman (6-6, 180) 

Jeff Boyd (6-5, 170) 


Paul Parks (6-4, 200) 

Josh Montgomery (6-5, 215) 

Tavin Cummings (6-6, 205) 


Jay Hedgeman (6-9, 225) 

Winford Ross-Holmes (6-8, 220) 


Chris Davenport (6-9, 225) 

Bilal Richardson (6-9, 265)

Points best form of payback for Mudbugs at Lone Star

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports 

It doesn’t take much beyond the words “Mudbugs-Brahmas” to get the juices flowing.

The longtime rivals have battled for more than two decades, first as professional franchises and now at the junior level. The teams have combined to win three of the last five North American Hockey League championships. 

The next chapter in the rivalry is a two-game set in North Richland Hills, Texas, this weekend. The last meetings were very testy. You shouldn’t expect anything different at the NYTEX Sports Centre. While it won’t take much to get the blood boiling yet again, the priority remains accumulating points. 

Shreveport has done a fine job of that of late. The Mudbugs have five victories in six games and are fresh off a sweep of New Mexico to vault them into third place in the NAHL South. 

After a blazing start to the 2022-23 campaign, the Brahmas have struggled. Lone Star has lost seven of its past nine games and is just six points in front of Shreveport. 

The last time the teams met (Jan. 27-28), the Mudbugs exited George’s Pond at Hirsch Coliseum with a sweep. One member of the Brahmas told Shreveport: “Next time, we’ll be ready.” 

“There can definitely be carryover,” Mudbugs head coach Jason Campbell said. “It hasn’t been that long since we played them and we play them again next week. 

“Part of our game and part of their game is to be physical, but we have to be smart while doing it. There is a lot to play for. We still need to win hockey games, they need to win hockey games. It’s a tight race in the South Division. There is a lot of jockeying for position and sometimes that jockeying can put you out of the playoffs.” 

The Mudbugs have been led by, well, everyone of late. Shreveport has displayed impressive depth, especially up front, in the second half of the season. 

“It’s good to see everyone stepping up,” said forward Eric Vitale, who has 11 goals and 16 assists this season. “It’s all about opportunity. If you get it, you have to take advantage of it. Some guys don’t get as much ice as others, so when you step on it you have to give that 110 percent effort. To have that depth is good and it’s going to help us moving forward.” 

Nine Mudbugs have collected at least 20 points this season. Five players have at least 10 goals. 

Following the Friday and Saturday affairs, the teams will buckle up again in Shreveport next weekend. 

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

Eagles lose, but not in our eyes; Tiger set to return

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

Another week, another profit for The Locks.

Although we made money on the Super Bowl, loyal followers had to feel a little disappointed. We had Kenneth Gainwell as the game’s first touchdown scorer at 23-1 and an anytime touchdown scorer at +360. He nabbed the first touchdown of the game, but it was overturned by replay. That gave way to Jalen Hurts, who we also had in both aspects, but the 8-1 and +100 wasn’t quite as sweet.

Nevertheless, we cap another stellar football season in the green.

Speaking of, it’s all golf this week. The PGA Tour value was picked clean by the time Tuesday arrived. However, we shake things up with some props at Riviera. I won’t have an official pick on Tiger Woods, because “to miss the cut” is a staggering -200, but I don’t see how he makes the weekend.


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: +.82 units

2023 season: +3.55 units

2022 season: +101 units 



Genesis Invitational 

Top Englishman

Callum Tarren, .5 units, +2200 (DK) 

Top Canadian

Mackenzie Hughes, .3 units, +600 (DK) 


Thailand Classic 

Win bets

Joost Luiten, .1 unit, +8200 (FD) 

Top 20 bets

Jeong Weon Ko, .5 units, +550 (FD)

Jeremy Freiburghaus, .5 units, +2000 (FD)

Matthew Baldwin, .4 units, +550 (DK)

Simon Forsstrom, .3 units, +650 (DK)

Mikael Lindberg, .2 units, +1200 (FD)

John Axelsen, .2 units, +1400 (FD)

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

One last run for ‘The Thundering Bull,’ Sidney Thornton

A BITTERSWEET REUNION:  Northwestern State football teammates of Sidney Thornton gathered last Friday night at Winnfield Funeral Home in Shreveport. (Photo courtesy of Jack Brittain Jr.)

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

It’s Valentine’s Day, which is all about love, which makes this a perfect day to remember Sidney “The Thundering Bull” Thornton.

He was buried Saturday afternoon at Forest Park Cemetery West in his second hometown, Shreveport. He came north from Baton Rouge to play college football at Northwestern State, and changed lives the way he did it, and the way he was.

From 1973-76 in Natchitoches, and then for seven years in pro ball, he made impressions. On defenders, and people who met him. Eyes sparkle as memories flow.

Teammates gathered Friday evening, and more came Saturday to send off Sidney and support his beloved family. It was a tough end to a terrific beginning. Thornton arrived at Northwestern unheralded but awesomely gifted with ability and an Adonis physique.

“He was 5-foot-11, 245 pounds, could run a 4.5 40 in a day when that was really fast, and looked unlike anyone else I ever saw,” said teammate Jack “Britt” Brittain Jr. “He was chiseled. He was so fluid, so athletic, so powerful. We had several high NFL Draft picks at NSU in those days. Nobody took your breath away like Sidney Thornton. He looked the part and lived up to what he looked like, and everybody loved him – his coaches, teammates, people in town.”

He broke Charlie Tolar’s 19-year-old career rushing yardage record with 2,662 yards in just two years as a starter. In the Blue-Gray All-Star Classic, then played every Christmas Day in Montgomery, Ala., drawing many stars from major powers, Thornton was the game’s Offensive MVP.

He was drafted 48th overall, in the second round, by the Pittsburgh Steelers, to fit into a backfield featuring Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback Franco Harris, 1,000-yard rusher Rocky Bleier, and led by Terry Bradshaw.

Although he was Pittsburgh’s third-leading scorer (60 points) in 1979, when the Steelers won their fourth Super Bowl (second for Thornton), his top salary was just $100,000.

He played in 74 NFL games, starting 21, scoring 24 times and totaling 2,121 yards. The Steelers were at their peak, winning back-to-back Super Bowls and going 58-29 in his career.

But Thornton’s legacy isn’t measured in stats. He is remembered as a joyful, gentle, fun-loving teammate, an awesome sight to behold on campus or on the field, a mentor to younger players and to many Demons after he reached the NFL. To his wife Beverly and his children, he is missed as a doting father and grandfather, who battled fiercely as long as he could after suffering a massive stroke in September 2005 that greatly restricted his movement and speech, but not his heart, until he passed late last month at 68.

The young Thornton, recalled by old Demons:

Willie B. Mosley, cornerback: “I played with Sidney for three years. Whenever he smiled, he had that gold tooth and he lit up the room. Any time you had to hit this guy, you never hit him in the chest. You went for his ankles. He was a courageous guy who always knew where he was going and what he wanted. He was a friend, and I’m going to miss him.”

Sonny Louis, cornerback: “I remember him coming back (from the NFL) to practice and helping us out – a lot. He was a great guy. He helped Joe Delaney with his success – how to carry the ball and run the ball, things like that. One of his favorite sayings was, ‘You can’t make the team in the tub.’ He was a great guy who left a great legacy.”

Robert Brown, defensive end: “My freshman year, Sidney always said, ‘Brown, you got a lot to learn.’ I was determined to get to the quarterback. He would not let me. He said, ‘Brown, I’m going to teach you how to play defensive end,’ and he really did. He taught me how to take on a running back and drop ’em. He was a great leader, with a great smile, a very encouraging person.”

John Dilworth, defensive back: “One of my vivid memories was (in practice) when they ran a quick pitch, and I was known as a hitter – I went up and hit Sidney. Most people I hit, they fell back 3-4 feet. Sidney put me on the ground that day. I got drafted by the Dolphins, and they had a fullback named Norm Bulaich. I hit him on the goalline and knocked him out. Before that, I had told Sidney, ‘You’re going to be good up there.’ Sure enough, he was one of the toughest backs to play in the NFL.”

He was. But as pro ball’s pounding took its toll, Thornton developed substance abuse issues that dogged him for two decades, although he was a high school football coach at six schools, notably from 1985-90 in charge of rebuilding a downtrodden Coushatta High program. His Super Bowl rings were lost as collateral in a loan gone awry. Once he finally cleaned up his lifestyle, he had only a few years before the stroke put him in third-and-very long.

He did not shrink from the challenge, recalled Demon teammate Ken Meeks, who helped Thornton through rehab and his waning years.

Said Meeks: “If Sidney worked as hard at football as he did trying to recoup his life, he would have had one of those Pro Football Hall of Fame gold jackets. He had such a great heart.”

Contact Doug at sbjdoug@gmail.com

NFL REUNION:  Pittsburgh Steelers running back Sidney Thornton (38) posed with Kansas City’s Joe Delaney (37) , the Haughton native who broke Thornton’s career rushing record at Northwestern State.

Mahomes’ magic helps Minden’s Sneed collect first Super Bowl championship

Just prior to halftime of Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII, Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes was barely able to make it off the field after he aggravated an ankle injury suffered in the AFC Championship Game. The Philadelphia Eagles soon kicked a field goal to build their lead to 24-14 at halftime. 

Things didn’t look good for the short-term future of the reigning NFL MVP, and it appeared a couple of trends would continue. A newly-crowned league MVP had not won the Super Bowl since 1999 and the team who’d won the coin toss hadn’t won the game in nearly a decade. 

Following the extended halftime break, Mahomes looked like … well, Mahomes. 

The 27-year-old threw a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, then engineered a game-winning drive in the final five minutes and the Chiefs rallied to defeat Philadelphia, 38-35, as Kansas City and Mahomes collected their second championship in four seasons. 

Former Minden star L’Jarius Sneed earned his first title. The Chiefs’ cornerback led the team with two passes defended and ranked third with seven tackles on Sunday. The former fourth-round draft pick was a rookie when the Chiefs lost to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl to end the 2020 campaign. 

“I learned a lot this year – tried to learned how to try to be a leader,” Sneed said during this Super Bowl week. 

The performance marked the Louisiana Tech product’s return from a concussion suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals early in the AFC title game. 

“I was sensitive to light the first few days, but I was fine after that,” Sneed said. 

Sneed dedicated this year’s Super Bowl run to his late brother, TQ Harrison, who was killed in Minden in December of 2021. 

“I think about him every day,” Sneed said. “He raised me.” 

The second former Bulldog in the game, Philadelphia running back Boston Scott, had four touches against Kansas City in his first appearance in the big game. 

Scott had three carries for eight yards and one reception from quarterback Jalen Hurts for nine yards. 

Another former Tech standout, Eagles defensive tackle Milton Williams, made one solo tackle. 

Former LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire was inactive for the Chiefs on Sunday, but the running back will pick up his first ring. Edwards-Helaire, out with an injury during the second half of this season, was Kansas City’s leading rusher when it lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. 

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

Mudbugs sweep New Mexico, climb into third place

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last week’s 3 Stars

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

NAHL South Division standings

Oklahoma (33-6-1), 67 points

Lone Star (27-10-4), 58

Shreveport (23-13-6), 52

New Mexico (24-16-3), 51

Amarillo (21-17-3), 45

Odessa (19-19-2), 40

El Paso (12-26-3), 27

Corpus Christi (10-27-5), 25

*top four make the playoffs 

Team leaders

Goals: Garrett Steele, 15

Assists: Logan Heroux, 23

Points: Drake Morse, 34

Penalty Minutes: Maksim Sushchynski, 72

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

Goals-against average: Simon Bucheler, 2.11

Save percentage: Bucheler, .917 

Up next

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

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

Prescott goes deep accepting NFL Man of the Year award

(File photo by CHRISTI LANG, Journal Sports)


Haughton product Dak Prescott poignantly and powerfully remembered his late mother, Peggy, and brother, Jace, Thursday night as he accepted the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award to culminate the NFL Honors event in Phoenix. 

“I want to acknowledge the person who has had the biggest influence on my life – my mother, Peggy. My mother was, and still is, my moral compass,” he said. “Through my own charitable contributions, I seek to share her strength and courage with the world. It was one of a kind. 

“My mother told me … when she was diagnosed with cancer, ‘All greats have a story. Allow me to be your story.’ With these words, my mother inspired me, and motivated me to be great beyond the circumstances, and it is in her honor I started my foundation, and named it Faith, Fight, Finish – the three words she left me and my brothers. 

“But since, the work also honors my brother Jace, who passed from suicide during COVID in 2020. I made a promise, that it would be one life taken, to save millions. Therefore I am very, very thankful for this amazing platform that allows me to do just that – share the stories of my mom, and my brother, and hopefully inspire so many others.” 

It was the second consecutive year that a north Louisiana star received the Payton Award. West Monroe native and LSU product Andrew Whitworth was the 2022 winner, and participated in the presentation Thursday night. 

Prescott joins Cowboy greats Jason Witten, Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach as winners of this award, which recognizes an NFL player for his outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field. He acknowledged that trio of Dallas greats in his acceptance remarks for the honor, billed as the top award of the event. 

During the 2022 season, Prescott missed five games with a broken thumb, but returned to lead the Cowboys to a top-5 scoring offense and a 12-5 record. He also guided the franchise to its first road playoff win in 30 years, outlasting Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady in the final game of his career. 

But it was his off-field performance that set him apart on the Cowboys’ roster and among his NFL peers.  Prescott was one of 32 nominees, one from each team, announced back in December. 

Overcoming adversity and striving for excellence is what motivates Prescott on the field and in the community through his Faith, Fight, Finish foundation (FFF). He has missed at least one game due to injury in each of the last three years, including the final 10 games of 2020 when he suffered a devastating ankle injury that required surgery. 

Prescott was able to play 16 of 17 games in 2021 and was a finalist for NFL Comeback Player of the Year. 

After the loss of his brother to suicide in 2020 and a desire to make an impact on social justice causes, Prescott has a renewed purpose towards helping others. He expanded the original mission of his foundation to not only raise funds and awareness for cancer but to also tackle suicide prevention and mental health, and help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve. 

Prescott and FFF have worked tirelessly to align with trusted partners to implement solutions to the issues plaguing our nation. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, Prescott lent his voice to the dialogue, penning an op-ed piece in which he vowed to take action to rid communities of racism, racial-profiling and hate. He pledged $1  million to police training, education and advocacy. 

Since that time, FFF has worked to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protect, by forming the Law Enforcement Steering Committee comprised of youth, community leaders and law enforcement personnel that addresses systemic racism through education and advocacy. 

In May 2022, FFF hosted The North Texas Town Hall in collaboration with the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers, where over 250 youth participated in a meaningful dialogue with law enforcement officers. 

FFF is also working to bring the CYCLE training program to communities across the country, delivering law enforcement officers a high-level curriculum specifically created to transform police interactions with community members, especially young men of color in underserved areas. At Prescott’s insistence, the police and community training were enhanced to include modules on mental health awareness and community service. 

Through collaboration with NFL players Soloman Thomas and Hayden Hurst, Prescott and FFF are sponsoring programs created to teach educators to connect with students in crisis and identify the signs of depression and mental illness. 

Additionally, FFF has partnered with the Kevin Love Fund to support Social Emotional Learning programs that focus on destigmatizing emotions that are often labeled as “negative” while raising awareness for mental health so youth know they are not alone in facing challenging emotions. 

  • Some content courtesy of Dallas Cowboys media relations staff 

Mudbugs look to create space in race for playoffs

(Photo courtesy Shreveport Mudbugs)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Season series

(Teams tied 3-2-1)

Oct 21, Mudbugs 2, New Mexico 1

Oct. 22, New Mexico 4, Mudbugs 3

Nov. 4, New Mexico 3, Mudbugs 0

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

Dec. 2, Mudbugs 3, New Mexico 0

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

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com

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

Super Bowl Sunday, the Holy Grail of gambling.

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

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

We’re here for value!

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

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

Good luck and enjoy. 


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

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

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

Sportsbook legend

CAE: Caesar’s

FD: Fan Duel


DK: DraftKings

BS: Barstool

BR: BetRivers 



(all .1-unit bets)

Kenneth Gainwell, +2300 (FD)

Isiah Pacheco, +1000 (FD)

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

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


(.5-unit bets)

Isiah Pacheco, +143 (BS)

Jalen Hurts, +100 (FD) 

(.3-unit bets)

Kenneth Gainwell, +360 (FD)

Eagles defense/special teams, +600 (DK)

Contact Roy at roylangiii@yahoo.com