Author Archives: captains

Times – Captain Shreve’s Marquez Stevenson is undefeated in 100, 200 and 400 this season

We’re not sure how long it’s been since it last happened, but having a Northwest Louisiana boys track and field athlete win the triple crown of speed races is an anomaly.

Captain Shreve junior Marquez Stevenson could become the latest to make it happen when the District 1-5A meet kicks off Thursday at Benton High.

An elite runner in the 400 meters, Stevenson finished second nationally last year at the Junior Olympics in Houston. He surprised himself with a time of 46.8 seconds against the country’s best.

“It felt pretty good,” Stevenson said. “I went in at like a 48, but I came out two seconds faster. I put in the work.”

Undefeated this season, Stevenson has a best time of 10.64 in the 100 and 2:05 in the 200. His chief competition in the 400 could come from Natchitoches Central’s Braylin Demars who ran a 47.52 last year, but has a best of 49.7 this spring. The senior is also hobbled by an injury.

“Braylin tweaked his hamstring a few weeks ago and is rehabbing it,” NCHS coach Matthew Anding said. “We’re hoping he’s ready for the district meet. Demarion Sowell is worth mentioning here.”

Stevenson said he isn’t worried about competing in the three individual speed events, while also anchoring the 4×100 relay team.

“It’s not that difficult because I’m used to training my body to run ever how many events I’ve got,” Stevenson said. “You work hard in practice, so it’ll be easy in a meet. The relay isn’t that different from the other events. You just have to trust your teammates.”

Captain Shreve coach Kendrick Law finds plenty to like about Stevenson.

“Marquez is an all-around great person,” he said. “He’s a great athlete with excellent character and promising work ethic.”

Stevenson is also a standout on the football field, although last fall was his first time playing the game in high school.

“It’s helping a lot too – being in the weight room and getting stronger,” he said. “Last year I had to get back in the groove of playing. It had been a long time since I’d been out there. It was fun though.”

Stevenson not only hasn’t decided on a college, he hasn’t decided if he’ll go with a football or track scholarship.

“It’s still early in the recruiting process,” he said. “We’ll have to see.”

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Times – Captain Shreve’s Mikel-Ann Ricardo tops Week 29 Shreveport Times Athlete of the Week voting

Captain Shreve’s Mikel-Ann Ricardo garnered enough votes this week to win the Times online poll for Athlete of the Week, sponsored by Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.

A standout softball player for the Lady Gators, Ricardo becomes the third Captain Shreve winner in the non-football poll for the 2021-22 school year. It’s the third time in four seasons for Ricardo to win the award. She joins previous winners that include Captain Shreve’s Elexa Beaudoin, Northwood’s Tucker McCabe and Calvary’s KJ Kennon.

Ricardo and her supporters racked up 22,650 votes, a solid 41% of the 55,222 votes cast in the weekly online recognition. Those numbers allowed Ricardo to top a field of 11 additional candidates, including Northwood softball player Hannah Ward, who made a strong run for the recognition with 13,772 votes (25%).

Ricardo will receive a backpack, a boxed lunch combo and some additional swag courtesy of Raising Cane’s. She’ll also receive two tickets to the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Tuesday contest in the Brookshire Grocery Arena this summer featuring the USA volleyball team playing on U.S. soil for the first time since winning the gold medal in Tokyo. The U.S. will play the Dominican Republic on May 31, Canada on June 3, Brazil on June 4 and Japan on June 5.

A varsity starter for four seasons, Ricardo plans to attend Louisiana Tech in the fall and major in speech pathology. The pitcher is a member of the National Honor Society, Z-Club, FCA, BETA and STUCO clubs, along with serving as the yearbook editor at Shreve. She helped get the Lady Gators to the second round of the playoffs as a freshman. One of her career highlights was pitching a perfect game and hitting a home run against Caddo Magnet earlier this season.

Ricardo is 11-7 on the mound with 174 strikeouts in 107.1 innings and has a 3.991 ERA. She’s hitting .411 with seven doubles, 18 RBIs and a home run.

“Mikel-Ann has been one of the team’s most consistent hitters this season,” Shreve coach Mitch Fant said. “She has continued to work extremely hard on her pitching throughout the season. It has been a joy to watch her grow and mature as a team leader over the past four years. I am going to miss her dearly as she enters the final stretch of her career at Captain Shreve.”

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Times – Captain Shreve’s Elexa Beaudoin tops Week 27 Shreveport Times Athlete of the Week voting

In the closest voting in the three years of the poll, Captain Shreve’s Elexa Beaudoin garnered just enough votes this week to win the Times online poll for Athlete of the Week, sponsored by Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers and the Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission.

A standout softball player for the Lady Gators, Beaudoin won by just two votes over Evangel baseball player Kody Jackson. Beaudoin is the second Shreve winner of the 2021-22 school year in the non-football poll. She joins previous winners that include Logan Olsen and Catherine Jurkovich of Airline, Mariah Hintze (Ruston) Taylor McCabe (Northwood) and Daly Nagot (Benton).

Beaudoin and her supporters racked up 19,839 votes, a solid 34.6% of the 57,384 votes cast in the weekly online recognition. Those numbers allowed Beaudoin to top a field of 11 additional candidates, including Jackson, who made a strong run for the recognition with 19,837 votes (34.6%).

Beaudoin will receive a backpack, a boxed lunch combo and some additional swag courtesy of Raising Cane’s. She’ll also receive two tickets to the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Tuesday contest in the Brookshire Grocery Arena this summer featuring the USA volleyball team playing on U.S. soil for the first time since winning the gold medal in Tokyo. The U.S. will play the Dominican Republic on May 31, Canada on June 3, Brazil on June 4 and Japan on June 5.

“Elexa is one of my hardest working players,” Shreve coach Mitch Fant said. “She shows great leadership skills in practice and on the field in games. She is one of my top hitters currently leading the team in average, RBIs and  doubles.”

She’s currently hitting .429 with seven doubles, two triples, a home run, 16 RBIs and nine stolen bases.

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Journal – Reed, Deans honored on boys 1-5A district team

DISTRICT HONORS: Captain Shreve coach Corey Deans was named the Coach of the Year and Kyron Reed (22) the Most Valuable Player on the 1-5A All-District team.

JOURNAL STAFF

Captain Shreve senior guard Kyron Reed and coach Corey Deans took top honors on the 2022 Boys 1-5A All-District team selected by district coaches.

Reed was selected the Most Valuable Player for a Gator team that won the district with a 13-1 record. He led a balanced team in scoring at 12.5 points per game and was a key defender as Shreve allowed only 38.8 points per game.

Deans was named the Coach of the Year helping lead his team to its third consecutive 20-win season at 26-6. The 26 wins tied for the fourth-most in a season for the Gators and the most since 26-10 in the 1992-93 season.

Here is a complete list of the team:

District 1-5A

BOYS

First team

Kyron Reed, Captain Shreve, Sr.
Dalyn Davis, Natchitoches Central, Sr.
MarQuarius Johnson, Southwood, Sr.
AJ Coleman, Airline, Sr.
Christian Ford, Captain Shreve, Sr.
Greg Manning, Benton, So.

Second team

Jeremiah Evans, Southwood, So.
Colby O’Glee, Benotn, Jr.
Justin Aaron, Natchitoches Central, Sr.
Davieon Coleman, Captain Shreve, Sr.
Laythan Delaney, Haughton, Jr.
Brian Morris, Byrd, Sr.

Most Valuable Player – Kyron Reed, Captain Shreve

Coach of the Year – Corey Deans, Captain Shreve

Honorable mention

Airline – Trevon Jackson, Cameron Walker

Benton – Jalen Taylor, Wylyn Harris, Trey Smith

Byrd – Mike Thornton, Kavon Barnhill

Captain Shreve – Mekel Hart

Haughton – KJ Allen

Natchitoches Central – Devin Helaire, Caylin Demars

Parkway – Christian McCoy, Chance Snell

Southwood – Roderick Brown

Photo courtesy of KP PHOTOGRAPHY

Read more at ShreveportBossierJournal.com

Times – Captain Shreve’s Kyron Reed delivers assists on, off basketball court

When it comes to assists off the basketball court, few athletes in Northwest Louisiana do it better than Captain Shreve’s Kyron Reed.

The senior combo guard is pretty good with them on the court too, and was key in leading the Gators to an opening round 63-41 win over Live Oak on Friday night in the LHSAA Class 5A state playoffs. He led Shreve with 24 points and was backed up by Davieon Coleman, who finished with 10 points.

The 5-foot-11 Reed started his high school career as a shooting guard, but was moved to point guard late last season. He struggled at the new position and was forced to miss practices to care for his younger siblings.

“While his mother was at work, Kyron cooked meals and helped his siblings with homework,” Shreve coach Corey Deans said. “At the same time, Kyron maintained at least a 3.0 GPA. As a coach, my heart went out for Kyron. Here is a kid taking on adult responsibilities and instead of receiving the praise he deserves, he was getting benched for missing practice. Kyron is a type person who thrives in adversity. He stayed engaged and supportive of his teammates’ success. Kyron didn’t let his situation deter him becoming the player we see today.”

Reed is averaging 13 points and three assists for the Gators ( 26-5) who were  12-1 in tough District 1-5A. His tutoring assists are for his ninth- and 11th-grade brothers and requires 30 minutes to an hour per day to make sure they’re getting their homework done. The light switched on for him athletically for Reed last season. He had fallen off his training requirements and practice time due to his outside requirements, but rebounded.

“Now that I’m a senior, I’ve been working on my game a lot,” he said. “I’ve gotten better at things I was lacking at, like turning the ball over. I just keep working hard every day.”

Another challenge came when Reed moved from his mother’s home to live with his father and didn’t have a way to get to practice.

Captain Shreve's Kyron Reed moves the ball against Parkway's Keegan Clark in a District 1-5A boys basketball game Friday.

“Kyron took on a position at the local Kroger to save enough money to buy a dependable vehicle (2007 Chevy Malibu), so that he and two teammates would have a ride to practice,” Deans said. “Not only did Kyron make it to every practice throughout the week, he called me every weekend to watch film and workout. Now he is reaping the benefits of his work ethic in his senior season. In my opinion, he is the front runner for district MVP.”

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Journal – Shreve’s Stevenson brings home LHSAA gold

By JERRY BYRD JR., Journal Sports

Captain Shreve sprinter Marquez “Macho” Stevenson came into the 2022 LHSAA State Indoor Championships with quite the resume’. For starters, he was the only current competitor in the state who had broken the 50-second barrier over 400 meters.

However, there was one glaring omission — a state championship.

Only a junior, Stevenson can now check the “state champion” box off his “To Do” list. He won in 48.93. a time that puts him No. 23 on the national list of top prep indoor marks for 2022.

Last spring, Stevenson arrived on the track and field scene after basketball season and quickly made his way from one of the best in 2021 to one of the area’s best — ever.

He took third at the LHSAA Outdoor Championships (48.57) in early May. A couple months later, he carved nearly two seconds off his personal record. Stevenson clocked 46.85 at the AAU Junior Olympics in Humble, Texas, moving past Mansfield’s Jerry Wilson’s 46.91 to the top of the all-time Caddo-Bossier performance list.

On Saturday, Stevenson had bigger goals than a gold medal.

“I wanted to break the (state meet) record,” Stevenson said. “But I came up short. I put this race in God’s hands. I just went out and ran.”

The Division I record in the 400 is 48.29 was set in 2018 by Zachary’s Sean Burrell, who won a national championship in the 400 hurdles for LSU last spring. The LHSAA Indoor State Composite record is 48.15 set by J.S. Clark’s Ashton Collins in 2001.

Captain Shreve football offensive coordinator Adam Kirby stood at the rail watching his wide receiver as he LHSAA director Eddie Bonine placed the gold medal around Stevenson’s neck.

“I’ve never coached an athlete that fast,” Kirby said, an ominous statement for Gator foes this fall.

At this point there are only three or four coaches in the state who have, but none in Northwest Louisiana.

Stevenson was appreciative of Kirby and other coaches traveling to Baton Rouge to watch him compete.

And also thankful for the efforts of his mother, Alecima Stevenson, who along with an army of supporters who casts 37,527 votes for MileSplit Louisiana’s Performer of the Week last week.

“It means a lot,” Stevenson said of the support. “It shows that people are looking out for me.”

Other area state champions included Northwestern State signee Peyten Ware of North Webster, who vaulted 11-1.75. Ware also finished fourth in the Division II long jump with a best of 16-7.25.

As Ware stepped off the podium, she crossed the track at the Carl Maddox Fieldhouse to hug her father, North Webster head football coach John Ware.

“He cried,” Ware said of her father during the hug. “He probably won’t like me saying that, but he cried. This was my biggest dream, and his.”

Another area state champion was Mansfield’s Jayden Youngblood, who is the first indoor state champion in school history for the Wolverines. Youngblood won the Division II 60 meter hurdles with a time of 8.31.

While she didn’t win a state championship, Huntington sophomore Demetria Harris did score 16 points with two second-place finishes. Harris finished second in the 60 hurdles (8.78) and 60 meters (7.76).

The 60 meter hurdles race was fast. Scotlandville sophomore Makeriah Harris won (8.60), Harris was second and Ruston’s Bryanna Craig finished third (8.82). They rank among the top 13 girls hurdlers in the nation.

Read more at ShreveportBossierJournal.com

Times – Captain Shreve’s Marlee Churchman becomes first woman to sign with LSUS men’s fishing team

With a quick flip of her wrist, Marlee Churchman deftly tossed the white spinner bait between two cypress trees nestled together on the west side of Shreveport’s Cross Lake.

The water temperature below 50 degrees, Churchman slowly retrieved the bait, repeating the effort multiple times before opting to change to a soft plastic for a few throws. Over the next couple of hours, the Captain Shreve senior methodically changed rods and baits several times with little success.

The Monday evening fishing excursion wasn’t really about loading bass into her father’s Tracker bass boat, however. It was more about getting the kinks out of her system after taking the ACT for the fourth time Saturday morning. Churchman reeled in a big one Friday when she became the first woman to sign with the LSU Shreveport fishing team, ranked in the Top 25 of the Association of Collegiate Anglers.

“I’m excited to join the LSUS team and I’m excited for what the future holds for me,” Churchman said. “I think it’ll be a good experience and I can’t wait to do my thing.”

Just the fact that Churchman is able to compete is a joy to her parents. Leanne and Jeff Churchman struggled with pregnancy issues before their only child was born.

“She’s a blessing,” Jeff Churchman said.

Marlee made it official with LSUS coach Charles Thompson in attendance  at the signing event at Shreve.

“I’d been wanting to add a female angler to our team for a while, but I knew it had to be the right one,” Thompson said. “I believe we have found the right one in Marlee.”

Churchman didn’t take up competitive fishing until last year because the family didn’t have a boat. The only child pestered her father into purchasing one, and the Churchman’s hit the Shreveport-area lakes and rivers. But the success was slow in coming.

“We went out several times and I couldn’t catch a fish, so I wanted to quit before I hardly got started,” Churchman said. “Then, I caught a three-pounder and a four-pounder on Toledo Bend. Now, I’m always asking him to go.”

In high school bass fishing, a boat captain (usually a parent) drives the competitors on the water. The captain is only allowed to run the big motor on the boat.

“It’s a really boring day,” her father admitted. “I bring plenty of food and a charged cell phone.”

Figuring out how to coax bass into hitting her offerings on February days in Louisiana is one of Marlee’s toughest challenges. She has already cleared one obstacle.

“I’ve heard a bunch of guys say, ‘girls can’t fish,’ but here I am. I can fish,” she said. “It’s fun fishing against guys and it’s fun fishing against some girls who are out there. My teammates support me, and I think all my upcoming teammates will support me.”

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Journal – Captain Shreve claims first outright district title in 10 years

By PRESTON EDWARDS, Journal Sports

Since Coach Corey Deans has been at the helm of the Captain Shreve boys basketball team, he had yet to defeat Natchitoches Central.

He had the excruciating loss at the buzzer to the Chiefs in the quarterfinals last year and three other losses to the Chiefs by a grand total of 10 points. Adding the near misses by Deans and his Gators to the other games the two schools have played, Shreve had not beaten Natchitoches Central in the last 10-plus years.

That is a long, long time.

So going into their matchup Tuesday night, not only was first place in District 1-5A on the line, but a host of other firsts were within reach of this Gator squad.

Deans did not feel any extra pressure, however. As a matter of fact, he was quite calm about it.

“If we clean up our mistakes from the first time, we should win.” stated Dean before the contest.

It took an extra session of basketball but the Gators managed to clean up enough mistakes from their 3-point loss in Natchitoches. When the horn after the first OT sounded, Deans and his troops claimed a 46-41 victory over Natchitoches Central giving the Gators their first outright district championship since 2013.

“I am just happy for my boys,” Deans said. “The boys worked too hard and they deserved it.”

Kyron Reed was the story for the Gators on this night. He handled the Chiefs’ pressure the majority of the night and scored a game-high 18 points, which included five triples.

“I believe in Kyron Reed,” stated Deans. “He had the same shots at Natchitoches Central but missed them. He was on tonight. He has the ultra green light. Whatever shot he takes, I’m good with it.”

His backcourt mate, Christan Ford, was not too bad, either, as he scored 12 points and made some crucial free throws at the end of regulation and during overtime.

The Gator defense was the story of the night. They held the Chiefs to 41 points in 40 minutes.

NCHS did not quit, however. The Chiefs had 22 points through three quarters but scored 19 in the fourth quarter and overtime. All-State football safety Justin Aaron made a clutch three to send the game to overtime and Dalyn Davis scored six of his 12 points in the fourth to give the Chiefs a chance to win. It just was not their night.

With the victory, Captain Shreve moves to 24-5 on the season. Natchitoches Central drops only its sixth game of the season. The Chiefs have 21 victories on the year.

Both teams wrap up district play on Friday. After that, they will anxiously await the final power ratings next week to see who will be their opening postseason opponent.

Read more at ShreveportBossierJournal.com

Journal – Signing Day isn’t a celebration for some of the most deserving players

By TONY TAGLAVORE, Journal Sports

All Zyon Lilly wants is a chance.

“You grind — blood, sweat and tears,” Lilly said. “You put it all on the line. When you do that, and you don’t get rewarded, it’s really just a hurt feeling.”

The Captain Shreve senior doesn’t think he can play college football. He knows he can. But Wednesday, much to his disappointment, Lilly was a supporter — instead of a signee — at the school’s National Signing Day Ceremony. Braylon Finney (Grambling) and Ckelby Givens (Southern) will play football at the next level.

“I’m happy for my teammates, because we’re brothers at the end of the day,” Lilly said. “I’m really being humble, because I know I can play. I know somebody will give me a chance.”

Lilly, a defensive lineman, was named second team All-District 1-5A both his junior and senior seasons. Last fall, Lilly was seventh on his team in tackles, tied for fourth in tackles for loss, and was third in sacks. All that, on a squad that shared the district title, and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs.

“I know I can play, because we play at the highest level — in Class 5A,” Lilly said. “We play in the toughest league. I go up against guys bigger than me most of the time. Really, people just need to start recruiting football players.

It’s not that Lilly hasn’t drawn interest.

Read more at ShreveportBossierJournal.com

Journal – Lady Gators earn school records for wins, shutouts in playoff opener

Captain Shreve’s fourth-ranked Lady Gators set a school single-season record for wins and dispatched No. 29 Denham Springs, 3-0, in the opening round of the LHSAA Division 1 soccer playoffs Tuesday night at Lee Hedges Stadium.

The program’s 25th win is an all-time best. Shreve got its first two goals by Kiley Rourke and the last from Maddie Aubrey. Brooklyn Lattier and Alex Knight each had an assist.

Avery Watson made five saves, including a diving effort late in the second half to preserve the team’s school-record 22nd shutout, while setting the program’s individual record of 21 zeroes.

Denham Springs freshman keeper Claire Findley kept the Lady Yellow Jackets in the game with 13 saves, six of which were high stress denials that even the Shreve fans had to cheer.

The game did not start the way the Lady Gators hoped. Denham Springs took control and had two shots on goal before Shreve possessed the ball. All that changed in the fifth minute of play when Emma Bradford got free on a breakaway and headed to goal. Denham’s Findley came off her line to dive at Bradford’s feet and made the save, but the tone changed. A couple minutes later Bradford created another breakaway, and shot earlier, but Findley made an athletic save.

This bolstered the Lady Jackets’ confidence and they were able to hold onto the ball for long periods of time in the half. In the 17th minute, Shreve’s Rourke took a free kick from 30 yards out that Findley was able to snag, but momentum took the ball over the goal line for the half’s only score. Shreve nearly doubled its lead when a shot hit the crossbar later in the half.

The second half started strong for Shreve as Lattier hit a ball just wide, then Rourke found the cross bar. In the 13th minute Lattier’s corner kick was located by Rourke, who headed it toward the net. Denham’s Findley dove, got her fingers on it, but couldn’t keep it out.

The Lady Gators’ final goal came when Knight passed to Aubrey, who took a touch around a defender and scored. The final margin would have been higher, if Shreve hadn’t struck the crossbar five times and the post once.

Captain Shreve will host No. 13 Baton Rouge in Round Two on Sunday afternoon at 2 in Lee Hedges Stadium.

Read more at ShreveportBossierJournal.com