As usual, Bossier Parish produced more than its share of outstanding athletes during the 2012-13 school year.
Those athletes turned in many memorable performances.
Some, of course, stood out more than others.
So just who were the best athletes this season at Bossier Parish high schools? Fully realizing that I’ll likely leave out someone worthy, here are my picks for each school.
Airline — This is a tough one in the male category.
Hayden Hildebrand was the Offensive MVP on the All-Parish football team and the co-MVP on the basketball team. He won both honors on the All-District 1-5A team, something extremely difficult to do.
Jaquavious Hart also had a stellar year. As a defensive back, he helped the Vikings earn a share of the District 1-5A title and was named second-team All-District.
He also won a regional wrestling title and then capped his year off by winning the Class 5A 400-meter dash at the state outdoor meet.
To me, this one is just too close to call. Being a district and parish MVP in football and basketball is an outstanding achievement. But winning championships in three sports, including a state championship, is also an incredible accomplishment.
On the female side, my choice in Jasmyn Carswell.
She had a solid basketball season and an outstanding track season. She was a consistent winner in three events — the triple jump, long jump and high jump. She won the triple jump in the state indoor meet and finished runner-up in the 5A outdoor meet by a mere quarter of an inch.
Haughton — The choice for male athlete is difficult.
James David Almond had an outstanding football season at quarterback and a solid basketball one at guard.
P.J. Douglas was the Bucs’ top receiver and a starter on the basketball team.
But I’m going to have to go with Micah Larkins. Larkins did something rare for a parish athlete. He won the Class 5A 100-meter dash at the state meet.
He also helped Haughton finish second in the 4X100 relay and fourth in the 4X200. He was also an honorable mention All-District 1-5A selection at defensive back.
For female athlete, I’m going with Brittany Robinette. She had a very good basketball season and was also a 5-2 high jumper.
Parkway — This is another school where top male athlete isn’t cut and dried.
Brandon Harris has developed into one of the nation’s top quarterbacks. He also started in basketball and ran track.
Brodrick Jefferson was a first-team All-Parish and All-District 1-5A selection in football and basketball.
Cory Hamilton was a first-team All-District selection at tight end and state runner-up in the 400-meter dash to Airline’s Hart. Hamilton defeated Hart in the regional meet.
I have to give Jefferson, who scored 48 points in a game, the slight edge.
On the female side, my pick is Alison Ringle.
She finished runner-up in the Class 5A state cross country meet and won the 1,600-meter run in the state indoor meet.
She dominated the outdoor season in the 1,600 and 3,200 and closed the year in style by winning the 3,200 at the state outdoor meet.
Benton — Several Tigers are strong candidates for male athlete of the year.
LeAaron Alexander averaged 10 points and six rebounds for the basketball team. He was also the regional champion in the discus and runner-up in the shot put.
Jordan Shaffer quarterbacked the Tigers’ football team. As a pitcher and shortstop, he helped Benton win the District 1-4A title. He was named the district MVP and the parish co-MVP.
Drake Heinz helped Benton win the Class 4A cross country state title. He also won the 3,200 in the state outdoor meet and finished second in the 1,600.
It takes a different type of athletic ability to excel at the sports (and track and field events) in which Alexander, Shaffer and Heinz participated.
I think Heinz had the best year because he’s a state champion.
Madi Sessions gets the nod for female athlete. Sessions accomplished something no other athlete — male or female — in the parish was able to. She was named first-team All-Parish in three sports — basketball, soccer and track and field.
Bossier — My pick for top male athlete is Tevin Robertson, who would also be a candidate for top male athlete in the parish.
Robertson was a first-team All-Parish selection in football and basketball the last two seasons.
As a receiver, kick returner and strong safety, he helped Bossier win back-to-back District 1-3A titles. In basketball, the 6-foot-4 forward helped the Bearkats reach the Class 3A state championship game in 2012 and the semifinals last season.
Simmone Small only participated in one sport — track and field — but she was very good at it and gets the nod as top female athlete.
Small was the District 1-3A champion in the 400-meter dash. She was also a member of Bossier’s winning 4X200 and 4X400 relay regional champions. The Lady Kats set a school record in the 4X400.
Louisiana New Tech at Plain Dealing — The choices here are the easiest for any school in the parish — Dennisha Chambers for female athlete and Deaumante Johnson for male athlete.
Chambers led New Tech to back-to-back Class 1A state championships her junior and senior years. This past season, the Grambling State signee averaged an incredible 37.5 points.
Johnson was a three-sport standout for three years. This past season, he helped the Lions reach the second round of the state playoffs at quarterback and was named All-Parish as an athlete. He was also second-team All-parish in basketball and a standout long and triple jumper.
As I said, it’s certainly possible that I left someone worthy out.
I would love to hear your opinion. Send me an e-mail at email@example.com or hit me up on Twitter at @russellhedges.
Russell Hedges is the sports editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. You can e-mail him at rhedges@bossierpress. com