Captain Shreve’s Brooke Fegley and Lillian Tichenor capped off a tremendous week of swimming by Shreveport high school competitors adding a trio of state titles to a growing resume of winners during Saturday’s final day of competition in the LHSAA State Swimming Championships.
Fegley won both the 50 and 100 freestyle to earn the Texas A&M commitment the Most Outstanding Division I Swimmer accolade. Caddo Magnet’s Evelyn Zhang earned the same honor in Division II on Friday by also winning a pair of events. Thursday’s lineup saw Calvary’s Sarah Holt win two individual firsts and help the Calvary 200 medley relay team win.
“This feels wonderful. This is one of my first chances ever to be a state champion,” Fegley told The Times. “Winning twice … I never thought that would happen. That was the goal I wanted and I’m so glad I reached it.”
Fans of the Captain Shreve defense may need an updated roster to figure out who’s who in the 2020 version of the defending District 1-5A co-champions.
That’s because the Gators graduated all 11 starters on that side of the ball after a sterling campaign in 2019 that saw coach Bryant Sepulvado’s squad go 9-3 and advance to the second round of the LHSAA Class 5A playoffs. But the team had a strong showing Friday in a scrimmage against Minden.
“We had a good effort and the kids played hard even though it’s been almost a year since they’ve played,” Sepulvado said. “With so many new faces, we were sloppy at times and made some mistakes as you would expect.”
The Gators have to get things fixed quickly with Scotlandville, an 8-4 team in 2019, coming to Lee Hedges Friday for the season opener.
Texas A&M swimming commit Brooke Fegley of Captain Shreve captured three events Saturday at the YMCA of Northwest Louisiana High School Invitational to lead the contingent of swimmers from 14 area schools.
Captain Shreve’s Lillian Tichenor, Loyola’s Jonathan English, along with Calvary’s Christian Booth and Ben Ponder won two events apiece.
“I dropped off my best time five seconds tapered in the 500 Free, so I was pretty excited about that,” Fegley said. “That’s good leading up to the bigger meets.”
The meet was held at the YMCA with COVID-19 protocols in place including temperature checks, mandatory masks and waiting outside for races by the student-athletes. The meet was live streamed although some parents watched through windows.
Fegley was tops in the 50, 100 and 500 Free events, narrowly defeating future Aggie teammate Sarah Holt (Calvary) in the 100, while Holt won the 200 IM.
Captain Shreve cheerleader Alexis Haley is involved in a number of organizations in Gatorland and those contacts helped her defeat a field of nine additional student-athletes in the second Times online poll for Athlete of the Week, sponsored by Raising Canes Chicken Fingers and the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.
Haley and her supporters worked tirelessly by accumulating 18,638 votes (48 percent) of the 38,795 votes cast in the weekly poll for the win. Also making a solid run at the title was Airline volleyball player Lexi Danard, who garnered 7,597 votes (20 percent) to finish as runner-up.
Haley will receive a backpack, coupon for a boxed lunch combo, sunglasses and some chapstick courtesy of Raising Canes.
“Besides being a talented cheerleader, Alexis is an exceptional student, class leader and compassionate volunteer,” said Shreve teacher Barbara Doughty. “Last year she competed in the ‘Trust Your Crazy Ideas Challenge’ as an up and coming young entrepreneur. Alexis is a very special young woman. Captain Shreve is proud that she’s a Gator.”
Captain Shreve’s Brooke Fegley, a Texas A&M swim commitment, and Calvary’s Christian Booth captured a trifecta of events this past weekend in the Bulldog Aquatic Club’s Invitational swim meet in Ruston.
Calvary’s Ben Ponder, Shreve’s Lilly Tichenor, Calvary’s Sarah Holt and West Monroe’s Adam Wiedemeier won two events apiece at the first major swim meet of the season in north Louisiana.
Caddo Parish Public Schools is raising the bar on academic excellence. The district this year set an all-time high on National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists with 20 students named Wednesday as part of the program’s nationwide announcement.
Comprising the 20 students selected for this distinguished recognition are 18 seniors from Caddo Parish Magnet High School and two seniors from Captain Shreve High School.
To qualify as a semifinalist, Caddo’s students were among approximately 1.5 million 11th graders from across the United States who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test with the hope of making it to the next round of the scholarship competition.
From the 1.5 million students, approximately 16,000 were designated as semifinalists.
One of the elite swimmers in Northwest Louisiana, Captain Shreve’s Brooke Fegley has opted to verbally commit to Texas A&M.
The Lady Gator senior is a regular on the medal stand at swim meets.
“First and foremost, the impressive coaching staff made A&M a good fit for me,” Fegley told The Times. “A&M provides their swimmers with amazing opportunities to grow and improve as athletes and people. And due to this, I feel that the head coach will challenge me and make me a better swimmer and teammate.”
Primarily a sprint freestyler, Fegley was in discussions with multiple Division I and Division II schools about a swimming scholarship before choosing the Aggies.
She finished second in the 50 free and third in the 100 free at last year’s LHSAA state swim meet in Sulphur. She also swam a leg on the Lady Gators’ second-place 400 free relay team.
Fegley was looking for a school that offered her choice of majors in a big way.
“We got athletes everywhere, everywhere, don’t expect no less.”
With a new quarterback under center and four new offensive lineman, Captain Shreve will have to rely on those athletes in 2020.
“Anytime you’ve got guys like Ashton (Martin), Cameron Dowd and Ty Smith, guys that can take it to the house at any moment, it makes defenses call it a little differently, it keeps them a little more honest,” said Coach Bryant Sepulvado.
Captain Shreve’s Kiayra Ellis, one of the top guards in Louisiana’s 2021 class, has made a decision about her athletic and academic future.
Ellis has opted to commit to Arkansas State prior to the start of her senior season.
“With this ongoing pandemic, it made choosing a college to play at even harder, but I feel like committing to Arkansas State was a very great decision,” Ellis said. “I was taught to do my research when it came to committing. So, I did my research on the university, the coaches and the team.”
A member of the Lady Gators’ 2019 LHSAA Class 5A state championship team, the 6-foot-1 Ellis is a strong performer for coach Keith Greene and company. She scored 13 points in the title game and was an honorable mention All-District 1-5A selection this past season.
Greene said Ellis has been a big part of his program for a while.
Longtime Captain Shreve coach and educator Marita Hunt became emotional recently when talking about the Gator administration and staff supporting her in efforts to move into administration.
While choking back tears Hunt said her journey began seven years ago and culminated with Shreve principal Ginger Gustavson promoting Hunt to assistant principal for a job that begins Friday.
“The administration here at Shreve has been so supportive of me and I do get emotional because they believed in me,” Hunt said. “That’s something big to me because you don’t get that from many people.”