Category Archives: Times

Articles from the Shreveport Times

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

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

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

Times – Captain Shreve’s history-making season continues into state soccer playoffs

The most successful season in Captain Shreve girls soccer history was extended Tuesday night on a soggy field at Independence Stadium.

The Lady Gators rolled into the second round of the LHSAA Division I state playoffs. Senior Kiley Rourke got a little luck on her free kick goal and a solid header on her second to lead the Lady Gators to a 3-0 win over Denham Springs.

Shreve moved to 25-2-3, a new school record for victories in a season. Nabbing the 22nd shutout set another school record and freshman keeper Avery Watson holds the individual school record of 21 shutouts.

“Our girls have done a great job being flexible and playing where they were needed based upon available personnel,” coach Erik Lane said. “Junior Emma Bradford has played almost everywhere for us and still has 20 goals, and freshman Alex Knight has been great up top with 26 goals.”

The Lady Gators have battled through multiple injuries to top performers plus COVID-19 and tracing absences by too many players.

Captain Shreve's Kiley Rourke heads in her second goal of the night as the Lady Gators beat Denham Springs 3-0 in the LHSAA Division I playoffs.

Rourke’s first goal came on the free kick that headed for the top of the goal and was tipped up into the air by keeper Alisa Normand. When Normand came down with the catch, however, she and the ball were just over the line. On the second goal early in the second half, Brooklyn Lattier lofted a corner kick that dropped in front of the goal and Rourke pounded the ball past Normand. Maddie Aubrey added the final goal. The Lady Gators will host Baton Rouge Friday in the second round. 

“We had a slow start and were a little hesitant in the first half, but we managed to get a goal before halftime,” Rourke said. “After a few words from coach Lane, I think we came out extremely strong and composed in the second half. We began finding our teammates and creating opportunities we didn’t take advantage of in the first half.”

Lane said there has been just one game when he had all of his top 11 players on the field and that was against Byrd which Shreve lost on penalty kicks. 

But solid play by freshman Ella Grace Davis and Bella Hamilton on the back end has helped Shreve continue making school history. 

“I think we’ll have even more opportunities in the second round and I can’t wait to see how far we go,” Rourke said. 

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Times – Captain Shreve freshman Harville commits to La Tech baseball

It’ll be several years before he makes an impact, but Captain Shreve’s Shelton Harville Jr. is confident he’s made the right choice about his future.

The freshman pitcher, third baseman, outfielder announced this week that he has committed to Louisiana Tech baseball and plans to be part of the 2025 signing class.

“There were a lot of thoughts and prayers that went into the decision,” Harville told The Times. “My parents and I have many talks about it, and they gave me the clear (choice) to do what I wanted to do – never rushed me into it or said I couldn’t.”

Captain Shreve freshman Shelton Harville Jr. has made his college decision.

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Harville already has a fastball in the 86-88 MPH range, which attracted interest from LSU, Mississippi State and others. Previously, he competed on a youth baseball team coached by Captain Shreve coach Todd Sharp.

“It’s been great to see his progress over the years with a steady increase in velocity,” Sharp said. “People don’t see the work Shelton puts in to achieve his results. I’m excited to work with him over the next four years.”

Harville said the relationship he’s built with Tech coach Lane Burroughs and his staff made the decision easier.

“I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be,” he said.

Harville said he considered waiting a year or two to commit.

“But after my prayers were answered, I knew that my decision was the right decision,” he said.

Committing as a two-way player for the Bulldogs, Harville has plenty of time to develop his talents at the high school level. Already, his speed and ability to track down baseballs are assets when he’s in the field. On the mound, he has a lively curveball to go with his uncommon speed.

“We also know that I’m young, just turning 15 on Tuesday, so my body and pitches have much more left in the tank, and much more will come in the next few years.”

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Times – Alex Adcock tops Week 9 Shreveport Times Athlete of the Week voting

Captain Shreve’s Alex Adcock secured 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 cross country runner for the Gators, Adcock is the first Captain Shreve winner of the 2021-22 school year. He joins previous winners Mariah Hintze (Ruston) Taylor McCabe(Northwood) and Daly Nagot (Benton).

Adcock and his supporters racked up 17,632 votes, a solid 37.7% of the 46,826 votes cast in the weekly online recognition. Those numbers allowed Adcock to top a field of nine additional candidates, including second-place Lindsey Deaver, a Northwood volleyball player, who made a strong run for the recognition with 11,207 votes (23.9%).

Adcock will receive a backpack, a boxed lunch combo and some additional swag courtesy of Raising Cane’s.

In the recent District 1-5A cross country meet, Adcock finished in 17:09.11 for a seventh-place finish for the Gators.

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Times – Captain Shreve football beats Natchitoches Central to go 7-0 for first time in 36 years

It’s tough to imagine Captain Shreve coach Bryant Sepulvado, 40, as a 4-year-old the last time the Gators were undefeated at this point in a season.

Second-year Natchitoches Central coach James Wilkerson, 38, was a 13-year-old Dequincy seventh-grader in 1996, the last time NCHS was 6-0. Both dreamed of becoming a head coach, but neither could fathom that their futures would converge Friday night with so much on the line.

With Florida State assistant coach David Johnson looking on, Shreve was able to get the upper hand in District 1-5A with a 31-20 victory.

The Gators went 9-0 in 1985 before losing the last two games, and Natchitoches was 7-0 in 1996 before losing to Byrd and finishing 9-1, according to Shreveport statistician Lee Hiller.

The last time two Shreveport-Bossier teams that were undefeated played each other in the seventh week came in 2013 when Byrd was 7-0 and Parkway was 6-0 after having one game canceled.

The Gators (7-0, 4-0) came in ranked No. 1 in the LHSAA Power Ratings, while NCHS (6-1, 3-1) was No. 8. Shreve won thanks to a pair of touchdowns from quarterback Kenyon Terrell, one from Matt Hall and a clincher from four-star recruit Kendrick Law Jr. in the closing minutes.

“It feels great, but everybody has been uplifting me,” Terrell said. “I may make a bad play, but somebody has my back.”

Shreve built a 24-0 lead then held on as NCHS stormed back behind quarterback Brian Young.

Neither squad is loaded with next-level talent. Law is the only player on either team who is being highly recruited. Gator defensive lineman Ckelby Givens has a Southern offer, while a few of his teammates are attracting Division II or III looks.

NCHS running back Caylin Demars and lineman Carey Johnson also have some small college offers.

But what both teams do have is a bunch of athletes who have bought into systems – something easier talked about than actually accomplishing.

“We’ve had successful teams in the past, but everyone didn’t have the full buy-in like this team has had since January,” Sepulvado said. “The kids are locked-in and the success we’ve had the past few years has helped. The team believes it can do it.”

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com

Times – Captain Shreve holds off Natchitoches Central in battle of unbeatens

And then there was one.

Captain Shreve, ranked No. 1 in the Class A Power Ratings, and Natchitoches Central, No. 8 in the same rankings, brought their spotless records and confident teams to Lee Hedges Stadium Friday night with the hopes and dreams of their respective student bodies on the line.

And thanks to a superb running attack, the Gators took charge of the District 1-5A race with a 31-20 victory in front of a nearly packed house. It was the kind of night made for football and the teams gave fans plenty to revel in.

“You always want to be undefeated, but now we have a strangle hold on the district championship,” Shreve coach Bryant Sepulvado said. “I told the kids that somebody has to beat us to take it away so we’re in the driver’s seat.”

The Gators (7-0, 4-0 1-5A) got a pair of touchdowns from quarterback Kenyon Terrell, one from Matt Hall and a clincher from four-star recruit Kendrick Law Jr. in the closing minutes. It’s the first time since 1985 for Shreve to be undefeated at this point.

Natchitoches Central (6-1, 3-1) fell behind 24-0 but pulled within 24-20 midway through the fourth quarter thanks to a pair of touchdowns by quarterback Brian Young Jr. and one from Braylin Demars. But the Gator defense turned the visitors away twice on fourth down conversion attempts to remain in the lead.

Read more at ShreveportTimes.com