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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Catching up with Khiry

The trip to the National Select 7-on-7 championship boosted the recruiting stock of Calvary wide reciver Khiry Cooper.

Rivals.com recruiting analyst JC Shurburtt ranks Cooper as the No. 8 prospect at the event.

Shurburtt wrote, "Cooper is under the radar as far as his recruitment is concerned, but whichever school signs him will be getting a steal.''

That is if he doesn't go in the Major League Baseball Draft and sign with a big league organization.

But that's another story.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

7-on-7 wrap up

Well, today wasn't much better than yesterday.

Calvary won a consolation bracket game against Memphis University School, 32-16.

But that was it for the local teams.

Huntington lost to Patterson, 40-16. And Evangel lost to McGill-Toolen, 27-9. Calvary also had a 22-21 loss to Sacred Heart-Griffin.

What does it all mean?

I still maintain,not much. Yes, 7-on-7 helps the passing game and the secondary. But it's still not the same as in March.

So if these teams had won more games, it would have been nice but still not a ticket to the Dome.

As it is, it's a good experience but not the end of the world either.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Into a buzz saw

The area's three teams in the national 7-on-7 football tournament - Calvary, Evangel and Huntington - all were knocked out of the championship bracket with opening-round losses today.

All three will play consolation bracket games on Saturday.

The good news is this is the kind of experience you would think would help a team down the road.

I realize we're not talking about real football with 11 men and not some jacked-up rules. But just being in that environment, going up against better players, you have to figure that helps out somewhere down the road.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ready for football?

High school football teams will begin heat acclimation drills on Wednesday.

We'll have a story previewing prep football practice in Sunday's paper. The story will hit on all of the changes that are coming to prep football this year - from coaching moves to player moves to district changes.

And if you can't wait to get your fix, we have some 7-on-7 coverage coming Friday.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Kudos to Barnett

Benton's Eldred Barnett has signed a baseball scholarship with Grambling State.

This should be a win-win situation for both. Barnett is an All-City and All-State outfielder who hit .475 for a team that reached the Class 3A state championship game.
He is the kind of guy Grambling can rebuild its program with in the coming years.

And for Barnett, this is the opportunity to play Division I baseball at a school close to home.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Here we go again

You may remember Bradie James' sudden desire to play high school football at West Monroe a while back.

Now another Monroe area player, running back D.J. Banks, is feeling the same desire. He is leaving St. Frederick for two seasons at West Monroe.

That's a novel twist around here. A kid leaving a private school for a public school.

But for all of the people who scream about Curtis and Evangel, let's not forget to throw West Monroe into the conversation as well.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunshine success

Brandon Palmer, who played basketball at Doyline and BPCC, has been named the head basketball coach at Eau Gallie High School in Florida.

Eau Gallie is a Class 6A school, the largest classification in Florida.

Palmer had been an assistant at the school and previously had been at Florida Tech.

It's good news for Palmer and bad news for Louisiana when some of the state's products do their coaching jobs out of state.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Those pesky linemen

The state 7-on-7 tournament was held today in Pineville and what do you know, three Shreveport schools were in the Final Four and Evangel defeated Huntington in the championship game.

What does it mean for next season?

Not much.

Football games are played with 11 men. Those four down linemen are often the most important players on the field because of the way they can control the line of scrimmage.

And not every team in the state plays 7-on-7.

That being said, the skill players in Shreveport should be able to match up favorably with other teams.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Byrd baseball signings

It's been a good year for baseball signings in Shreveport-Bossier City.

Captain Shreve is sending Austin Ross to LSU, Brandon Charrier to Northwestern State and Clint Ewing to Louisiana Tech. Calvary has Gip Hendrix going to Texarkana College and Derek Blankenship going to Baylor.

Now Byrd has a couple of signees.Byrd pitcher Matt Holland has signed with Panola College in Carthage, Texas. Albritton has signed to play with Barton County Community College in Kansas.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Coaching update

The worst-kept secret in town is that Al Cantwell will be coaching the Byrd High School baseball team next year.

The job doesn't officially become open until Aug. 1, but Cantwell has coached Byrd's Shreveport Bees Legion team all summer.

Another indication that Cantwell is Byrd's man -- LSUS hired Kyle Blankenship as its sports information director. That's the old job Cantwell had in addition to serving as an assistant to Rocke Musgraves.

It's just a matter of time before Cantwell is announced as Byrd's new baseball coach.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Football's near

You know football is near when the schools start calling the office with reporting and physical dates.

The first one we've heard from is Southwood. The Cowboys' coaches are asking all incoming freshmen and returning varsity players to report to the school on July 23 at 4 p.m. for their first meeting.

Let's see, that's a week from football.

Can't get here fast enough in the South.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Another big day for Calvary

Last week, Calvary Baptist Academy had its first signing with Gip Hendrix signing with Texarkana College.

On Monday, Calvary's Derek Blankenship will sign a scholarship with Baylor.

Get ready folks, this is going to be happening at a pretty good rate in the coming years. Already, Randy Zeigler is committed to Florida State in baseball. Khiry Cooper is a big-time recruit in football.

And there are likely more on the way. This is just the beginning.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Down year for area recruiting

We've known it was going to be a down year for football recruiting in the state. What we didn't know was just how down it would be in the Shreveport-Bossier City area.

Scout.com released its top 35 players in the state this week. There are only two players from the area on that list.

Calvary wide receiver Khiry Cooper is the No. 24-rated prospect by Scout.com.Captain Shreve wide receiver Travis Anderson is the No. 31-rated prospect. Anderson is something of a sleeper this year.

But that's it for the area. There was only one player -- Cooper -- on Rivals' top 30 for Louisiana.

So here is hoping some prospects emerge this fall.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Big day for Calvary

Gip Hendrix finally signed a college baseball scholarship with Texarkana College on Friday morning.

Lost in that achievement, however, is that Hendrix became the first Calvary student athlete to ink a college athletic scholarship. Good for Hendrix and good for the Cavaliers.

In just three seasons, Calvary has a state baseball championship, a state baseball runner-up trophy and an emerging football program. Credit athletic director Johnny Booty for that.

Booty has made shrewd hires and those coaches -- and other support staff -- have cultivated the athletic dreams of several Cavaliers. Another bit of history will happen Monday when Derek Blankenship signs a scholarship to attend Baylor, making him the first Cavalier to sign an NCAA Division I scholarship.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Good get for Northwood

Northwood's hiring of Larry Bagley as the Falcons' basketball coach is a good one for the school.

Bagley has enjoyed success wherever he has coached. And he has a college assistant coaching background that gets players' attention.

The Falcons were a playoff team last season. And while they probably won't be in the same breath with Huntington, Fair Park and BTW next season, Bagley should have Northwood contending for the postseason again this year.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Roundball news

It will be interesting to see how the Louisiana Roundballers' 16-year-old AAU basketball team fares this week at the national tournament in Little Rock, Ark.

The names on the Roundballers' team reads like an All-Summer League team.

Loyola's Charles Winborne had 27 points in the Roundballers' opening win. Huntington's Kendrick Washington added 16 and Montrel Jackson from BTW had 12. Huntington's Shamir Davis is also playing on the Roundballers' team.

Since this is practically an All-City team playing in a national tournament, we ought to get a good idea where the city's basketball stacks up nationally.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Ziegler a Seminole?

Calvary's Randy Zeigler has verbally committed to play baseball at Florida State. Zeigler, a two-time All-City selection, turned in another stellar season as a junior both on the mound and at the plate.

He more than held his own in the season's marquee matchup when the Cavaliers faced Captain Shreve and Zeigler notched the save in the Class 1A state championship game.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding and given Zeigler's left-handedness it's likely he will never don the garnet and gold of Florida State. If he does however, he'll follow in a Seminoles' legacy that includes players like Paul Wilson, J.D. Drew, Stephen Drew and Eddie Perez.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sign one for the Gipper

Calvary product Gip Hendrix says he'll likely sign a baseball scholarship in the next two weeks.

Ouachita Baptist and several junior colleges are in the mix to sign Hendrix.

Hendrix has been an interesting case study for recruiters. First, he wants to play immediately so that shrinks some of the recruiting pool. But recruiters want to see the power that he showed in high school translate to college.

And that will be the biggest question facing Gip Hendrix. Will he be able to hit for power against college pitching the way he did against high school pitching?

For his sake, let's hope Hendrix makes a smooth transition to college baseball and finds a college home where he can be a happy student and productive baseball player.