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Russell Hedges

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Five players from Bossier Parish, including three from Benton High’s state championship team, will be competing in the American Junior Golf Association David Toms Foundation Shreveport Junior tournament beginning Tuesday at Southern Trace Country Club.
Benton freshman Hayden White, Benton senior Corbin Cantrell and Airline senior Matt Barker tied for first in Sunday’s qualifying tournament with even par 71s. Benton’s Jacob Wyatt finished a stroke back at 72 and teammate Shane Cram qualified with a 74. Barker aced the 195-yard, No. 7 hole.
Cantrell, Wyatt and Cram have been part of three straight Division II state titles at Benton.
Cram tees off at 8 a.m., White at 8:11, Wyatt at 8:22, Cantrell at 9:39 and Barker at 10:01.
The 54-hole tournament, which also includes a girls’ division, runs through Thursday.

Courtesy Photo Matt Barker, Austin Hoff, Hayden White and Corbin Cantrell shared medalist honors in the qualifying round for the American Junior Golf Association David Toms Foundation Shreveport Open Sunday at Southern Trace Country Club.

Courtesy Photo
Matt Barker, Austin Hoff, Hayden White and Corbin Cantrell shared medalist honors in the qualifying round for the American Junior Golf Association David Toms Foundation Shreveport Open Sunday at Southern Trace Country Club.

– Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com

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Tuesday update

Will Tynes homered twice as the Bossier All-Stars stayed alive in the Little League baseball state tournament with a 13-3, five-inning victory over the Eastbank All-Stars Tuesday evening in Jonesboro.
Bossier gets another shot at South Lake Charles in the double-elimination tournament Wednesday night at 7. Bossier fell to SLC 6-5 in the winners’ bracket finals Monday night. A Bossier victory Wednesday will force a second game for the title Thursday night.
Tuesday’s game against Eastbank was much different than the teams’ first meeting, a 3-2 Bossier victory.
Bossier broke open the game in the second inning, scoring four runs for a 5-1 lead.
Eastbank rallied with two in the top of the third, but Bossier answered with two in the bottom of the inning. Bossier added two more in the fourth to take a 9-3 lead.
Tynes ended it in the fifth with a two-run homer, giving him three in the last two games. He had four RBIs Tuesday.
Jake Maranto pitched a four-hitter with only one walk and four strikeouts.
Bossier outhit Eastbank 12-4.
Peyton Lewis went 3-for-4 with a double. Clint Lasiter went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Bryson Connell had a triple and three RBIs. Brayden Thompson had a double.
Riley Beck, Parker Hearne and Maranto all had singles. Gabriel Larry walked twice and scored two runs.
In Lafayette, Bossier moved within one win of the Little League 7-8 Machine Pitch state title with a 10-1 win over Jackson Parish. Bossier is 2-0 in the tournament and the only undefeated team left.

Monday update

The Bossier All-Stars dropped a tough 6-5 decision to the South Lake Charles All-Stars in the winners’ bracket finals of the Little League 11-12 state tournament Monday night in Jonesboro.
Defending champion Bossier plays an elimination game Tuesday night against Eastbank, which they defeated 3-2 on Saturday. Bossier will have to win that game and defeat South Lake Charles twice to take the title.
Elsewhere, Bossier’s 7-8 Machine Pitch All-Star team advanced to the winners’ bracket finals of its state tournament with a 5-4 win over Lafayette Monday in Lafayette. Bossier faces Jackson Parish next.
Bossier’s 10-11 and 13-14 teams were eliminated in their state tournaments.
The 10-11 team lost to South Lake Charles 7-0 Saturday and Bogulsa 8-6 Sunday in Alexandria.
The 13-14 All-Stars rallied for an 8-5 victory over Avoyelles in the first round Saturday before falling to South Lake Charles 14-3 Sunday and Bogalusa 8-6 Monday in Lake Charles.
The Bossier 9-10 All-Stars face Mid-City in the first round of the their state tournament Friday in New Orleans.
In Jonesboro, Bossier got off to a great start against South Lake Charles Monday, scoring three runs in the first inning.
Peyton Lewis singled and advanced to second on Bryson Connell’s single. He reached third and scored on a pair of wild pitches.
Connell also scored on a wild pitch. Gabriel Larry, who reached on a walk, took advantages of the wild pitches to advance and then stole home for the third run.
Lake Charles rallied with two runs in the top of the second and then took a 6-3 lead with four in the third.
Bossier got within one in the third on Will Tynes’ two-run homer.
Bossier put runners on second in the fifth and sixth but South Lake Charles shut down the threat each time.
Connell led Bossier with two hits. Tynes, Lewis and Gabriel Larry had one apiece.
Brayden Thompson pitched well for Bossier in relief, allowing no runs on two hits with three strikeouts in the final three innings. He got out of a bases-loaded jam with one out in the sixth with some help from his fielders.

Bossier reached the finals with a 3-2 win over the Eastbank All-Stars Saturday.
Elsewhere, the Bossier 13-14 All-Stars dropped into the losers’ bracket of their state tournament with a loss to South Lake Charles Sunday night in Lake Charles. Bossier faces Bogalusa in an elimination game.
In Jonesboro, Peyton Lewis scored a run on Will Tynes’ sacrifice fly in the bottom of fifth to give Bossier a 3-1 lead against Eastbank. The run proved to be crucial when Eastbank hit a home run with one out in the top of the sixth.
But Bossier pitcher Bryson Connell didn’t let it bother him, getting two groundouts to end the game.
Eastbank’s other run also came on a home run in the first inning. Eastbank got only one other hit in the game off Bossier pitchers Jake Maranto, Tynes and Connell. The three combined for nine strikeouts.
Bossier tied it with a run in the third on Lewis’ bases-loaded double.
Bossier took the lead in the fourth on Gabriel Larry’s leadoff home run.
Bossier had four hits in the hard-fought game. Clint Lasiter and Connell each had a single.
The win was a big one. Had Bossier lost, it would have had to come back through the losers’ bracket and win five straight games to defend its title.
In Lake Charles, Bossier rallied from a 4-1 deficit for an 8-5 win over Avoyelles in the first round Saturday.
Bossier trailed Avoyelles 4-1 going into the bottom of the fifth. Bossier erupted for four runs in its half of the fifth to go up 5-4. Avoyelles tied it with a run in the top the sixth. But Bossier scored three in the bottom of the inning.
Avoyelles put runners on first and second with no outs in the seventh. Bossier pitcher Jarrod Williamson struck out the next batter and then got two groundouts to end the game.
Cole Melvin led Bossier at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Brandon Jamison, Chandler King, Nick Elliott and Williamson all had singles. Elliott stole home for the go-ahead run in the sixth. Bossier took advantage of three Avoyelles’ errors and seven walks.
Elliott, Williamson, George Booras and Drew MacPherson combined on the mound to limit Avoyelles to five hits.
Jayson Nitz and Triston Waring had hits against South Lake Charles. Chandler King walked twice and scored a run.
Jamison and MacPherson had two hits each against Bogalusa. Elliott had a double. King, Nitz and Williamson had singles.
In the 10-11 Little League state tournament in Alexandria, the Bossier All-Stars were eliminated after losing to Bogalusa 8-6 Sunday. Bossier fell to South Lake Charles in the first round.
Walker Wise and Thomas Wilkin had hits for Bossier against South Lake Charles.
In the Dixie 7-8 Machine Pitch World Series in Texarkana, the Bossier All-Stars finished 3-2 after losing a tough one-run game to North Carolina in pool play. Bossier defeated Georgia 3-1,Virginia 13-1 and Texas 11-4 and lost to Arkansas in its other pool play games.

– Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com

Note: This story is based on the teams’ GameChanger website pages.

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The Bossier All-Stars smashed five home runs in a 15-1 victory over Monroe in the first round of the Little League 11-12 baseball state tournament Friday in Jonesboro.
The game ended after the top of the fourth inning because of the 10-run rule. Bossier is the defending champion.
Cole Broadway had two of Bossier’s home runs. Parker Hearne, Riley Beck and Bryson Connell all had one.
Beck also had a double and finished with four RBIs. Will Tynes went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Gabriel Larry went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Peyton Lewis had a double. Jake Maranto had a single.
Clint Lassiter and Tanner Timms scored runs.
Lewis, Beck and Connell combined on a four-hitter.

–rhedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com

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Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, a former Haughton star, was named second-team preseason All-SEC in voting by the media at SEC Media Days Thursday in Hoover, Ala.

Nick Marshall of the defending champion Auburn was the first-team selection.

Prescott started seven games last season, completing 156 of 267 passes for 1,940 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for 829 yards on 134 carries with 13 touchdowns.

Prescott missed two games because of an elbow injury and most of another. He came off the bench in the fourth quarter to rally the Bulldogs past Ole Miss 17-10 in overtime in the Egg Bowl.

– Staff Reports

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The LSU Tigers were pickedto finish third in the SEC West Division and fifth overall in voting by the media at SEC Media Days Thursday in Hoover, Ala.

Alabama was picked to finish first in the West and overall. The Tide totalled 154 points in the voting. Defending champion Auburn was picked second with 75 points. South Carolina, picked to finish first in the SEC East, was the third choice overall with 32. Georgia was next with 19 followed by LSU with nine.

Offensive tackle La’el Collins was the only Tiger named to the preseason All-SEC first team.

Offensive lineman Vadal Alexander, cornerback Tre’Davious White, all-purpose runner Terrence Magee and placekicker Colby Delahoussaye were each on the second team. Defensive end Jermauria Rasco, linebacker Kwon Alexander, safety Corey Thompson, cornerback Rashard Robinson and punter Jamie Keehn were selected to the third team.

Here is how the media voted.

SEC
School, Points
Alabama, 154
Auburn, 75
South Carolina, 32
Georgia, 19
LSU, 9
Ole Miss, 2
Arkansas, 1
Mississippi State, 1

EASTERN DIVISION
School, Points
South Carolina, 1895
Georgia, 1777
Florida, 1362
Missouri, 1263
Tennessee, 893
Vanderbilt, 619
Kentucky, 395

WESTERN DIVISION
School, Points
Alabama, 1915
Auburn, 1735
LSU, 1453
Ole Miss, 1069
Mississippi State, 890
Texas A&M, 791
Arkansas, 351

– Staff Reports

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When LSU opens the 2014 season on Aug.30 against Wisconsin in the Texas Classic in Houston, either sophomore Anthony Jennings or freshman Brandon Harris, a former Parkway star, will start at quarterback.
The decision will be made at some point during or at the conclusion of preseason practice.
“It will be a competitive event from start to finish,” LSU coach Les Miles said at SEC Media Days Wednesday in Hoover, Ala.
Miles talked about Harris during his press conference.
“The key piece is he really throws the ball well. I mean, he’s a guy that has real strength. He’s innately accurate. He’s got great footwork. He can extend a play, get out of the pocket, move around.
“But probably the best thing about him is he anticipates that great play, too. He has the opportunity to see it and has the arm to get it there. There’s some real advantages with him.”
LSU running back Terrence Magee was also asked about the quarterback situation.
“I think we are in a great situation at quarterback at LSU,” he said. “We have a guy Anthony Jennings who has a little more experience than Brandon does. Throughout the summer I’ve seen both of them learning and taking tips from each other and both progressing very well and hopefully they’ll continue progressing through fall camp. As far as what we see as players in the offense they are making it a tough decision for Coach Cam (offensive coordinator Cam Cameron) and Coach Miles on who is going to be the starter in game one.”
Harris led Parkway to a 13-1 record last season. The Panthers reached the Class 5A state championship game where they lost to Acadiana.
Harris was a first-team All-State selection and the Offensive MVP on The Press-Tribune’s All-Parish team.
Jennings was a backup to Zach Mettenberger last season. He replaced an injured Mettenberger late against Arkansas and led the Tigers on a 99-yard game-winning drive.
Jennings started LSU’s game against Iowa in the Outback Bowl. He didn’t put up impressive numbers, but LSU won 21-14 behind a strong running attack led by Jeremy Hill.

– Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com

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Last season, former Haughton star Dak Prescott became a bona fide legend at Mississippi State when he came off the bench in the fourth quarter to lead the Bulldogs to a 17-10 overtime victory over rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.
Prescott, then a sophomore, was on the bench because of a nerve injury to his left (non-throwing) arm. He had sat out the previous two games because of the injury.He scored the winning TD on a 3-yard run on fourth-and-1.
Prescott went on to be the MVP in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl as Mississippi State defeated Rice to finish the season 7-6.
Because of that success, the expectations have soared for Prescott entering the 2014 season. He has been named to both the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Awards Watch Lists. The Maxwell Award is given to the top football player in the country. The O’Brien Award goes to the top quarterback.

Courtesy Mississippi State Sports Information Dak Prescott

Courtesy Mississippi State Sports Information
Dak Prescott

“Definitely, I have high expectations for myself,” Prescott said Tuesday at the SEC’s annual Media Days. “It’s nice that some other people are noticing and are starting to say my name. But it doesn’t mean anything to me, really. I’m just going to continue what I do — work hard, get better and bet the best quarterback I can and develop every aspect of the quarterback position.”
Last year, Prescott started seven games while sharing quarterback duties with Tyler Russell, who was also out with injuries part of the season.
Prescott scored 13 rushing touchdowns and broke the single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 829 yards on 134 carries. He also completed 156 of 267 passes for 1,940 yards and 10 TDs.
He dealt with a personal tragedy during the season when his mother died of cancer. Last spring, he found himself dealing with another difficult off-the-field situation when his high school head coach, Rodney Guin, suffered a heart attack. It was touch-and-go for Guin for awhile but he has recovered and is back coaching.
Tuesday in Hoover, Prescott was asked about his relationships with Guin and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen.
“Those are two great guys, “ he said. “I look at Coach Guin like a father. I just had dinner with him last night. Those are just two guys who expect a lot from me and push me every day. Starting with coach Guin, he knew what I could have and honestly I wouldn’t be at Mississippi State or be in college if it wasn’t for him taking me to all my camps during my senior summer.
“And Dan Mullen, he’s a guy that expects the greatness out of everybody. He’s a little bit of perfectionist and every day you go into that locker room and facility and you kind of get the feel of what you need to do and what you need to get done before you leave there, and it starts with Dan Mullen.”
Mullen said Prescott’s biggest asset is his will to win.
“I mean, he is a tremendous worker,” Mullen said Tuesday in Hoover. “He shows up every day, wants to outwork everybody, whether it’s in the weight room, conditioning, watching film, out at practice. He wants to be the first one out on the field, the last one to leave. He has that unbelievable work ethic.
“That hasn’t slowed down. Had a good season last year, had success. He’s a guy that looks and is critical on himself of what he does well, what he does poorly, and he’s constantly working to improve his skill set. I know he has that will. He is big, strong, can lift, outwork you. He’s a guy that understands the importance of the skill of the quarterback position and he’s constantly working on his skill at that position.
“I think he’s a much better passer this year coming into this year than he was last year,
working on the skill of throwing the ball and being comfortable in the pocket. “
Prescott’s focus hasn’t been solely on football during his three years in Starkville. He has been nominated for the The Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which recognizes student-athletes whose charitable involvement and community service contributions stand out.
According to a Mississippi State press release, Prescott served as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army during the holiday season in Starkville and assisted with tornado relief efforts in Mississippi in May. He has also visited with patients at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., in December of 2013.
Prescott said he has enjoyed his time in Starkville.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “Starkville is like a family there to be honest. Like I said one time, we don’t have fans we have a family. Everybody took that and ran with it. But it’s true, win or lose they’re going to support you. They’re going to love you. But when you win it’s even better. That goes for anything. That goes for anything in life to be honest. If that happens everybody’s going to be happy. It’s a good deal. I enjoy it.”

– Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com

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IRVING, Texas — Louisiana Tech defensive lineman Vernon Butler and running back Kenneth Dixon were named to the Conference USA Preseason All-Conference Team Wednesday as the league announced its preseason awards and projected order of finish.

The Bulldogs are projected to finish fourth in the league’s West Division this season by a vote of the league’s coaches, ahead of Southern Miss and UTEP.

Butler is expected to move into a starting role this season with the loss of Justin Ellis and Shakeil Lucas to graduation. He registered 41 total tackles last season with 3 tackles for a loss of five yards, three pass break-ups and one fumble recovery. His 41 tackles lead all returning defensive linemen for the Bulldogs.

Dixon played in 10 games but due to injuries only effectively played in eight and still accumulated 917 rushing yards and four touchdowns, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. His longest run of the year was a 72-yard sprint at UTEP as LA Tech faced 3rd-and-21 on its own one yard line.

North Texas is projected to win the West Division garnering 66 points while Rice closely follows as the Owls garnered 65 points in the predicted order of finish. UTSA received 62 points in what expects to be a closely contested division this fall. LA Tech opens its conference schedule at North Texas on Sept. 11 and closes the regular season at home against Rice on Nov. 29.

In the East Division, Marshall led the way with 91 points followed by Middle Tennessee (73 points) and Florida Atlantic (60). Western Kentucky, who the Bulldogs host on Nov. 1, was slated to finish fourth while newcomer Old Dominion was picked to finish fifth. Louisiana Tech and ODU will face each other for the first time on Nov. 22 in Norfolk, Virginia. LA Tech will face UAB – projected to finish sixth in the East Division – on Nov. 8 at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

Louisiana Tech opens the season on Aug. 30 at Oklahoma as the Bulldogs kickoff the second year under head coach Skip Holtz.

The Bulldogs first home game is set for Sept. 20 as Tech will host Northwestern State at Joe Aillet Stadium at 6 p.m.

– Louisiana Tech Sports Information

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Four athletes from Benton and Parkway high schools qualified for the National Junior Olympics track and field meet with their performances last weekend in the Region VI meet at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala.

Benton’s DorSavion Williams was a double winner, taking the boys’ 15-16 100-meter dash in 11.04 seconds and the 200 in 21.98. Quinci Middlebrooks won the girls’ 17-18 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:30.25.

Parkway’s Cassidy Cummings and Ariel McGaffey finished third and fifth, respectively, in the girls’ 15-16 3,000-meter run. Cummings ran a 12:17.20 and McGaffey ran a 12:43.48.

The National Junior Olympics Track and Field Championships is July 21-27 in Houston.

– Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com