Last week, I took a look at how Bossier Parish schools fared during the 2014-15 athletic year. Now it’s time to tale a look at some of the top athletes.
As usual, the parish had its share of great athletes. Choosing the best of the best is always a challenge.
In my opinion, to be one of the top athletes you have to excel in at least two sports. An athlete who excels on the statewide level in one sport could also be considered.
Fully aware that I’ll probably leave someone deserving out, I’ll start with the girls.
Picking the best female athlete in Bossier Parish was actually a no-brainer to me.
Parkway’s Sara Funderburk, who will be a senior this fall, was the MVP on The Press-Tribune’s All-Parish soccer team. She also won the Class 5A cross country state title. In May, Funderburk won the 5A 3,200-meter run at the state meet and finished second in the 800.
Funderburk’s performance is one of the best I’ve seen in my five years of covering high school sports at The Press-Tribune.
Airline graduate Kei McCoy also had a strong year. She was the MVP on the All-Parish basketball team and a district champion in track and field.
Airline graduate Madison Rowland was first-team All-Parish in basketball and a district runner-up in track and field.
Haughton graduates Chelcy Swint and Ebone’ Green had similar years. Both were first-team All-Parish in basketball and district champions in track and field.
Haughton’s Ciara White, who will be a junior, also had a good year. She won the Region I, Division II tennis singles championship and was a second-team All-Parish soccer selection.
Parkway’s Miranda Scotten was a first-team All-Parish selection in soccer and ran on Parkway’s 1-5A champion 4X400-meter relay team.
Benton’s Yakina Manning was an honorable mention All-Parish selection in basketball and a district champion in track and field.
Plain Dealing’s Teunna Perry, who will be a sophomore, was a district and regional champion and state runner-up in track and field and also a key member of the Lady Lions’ District 1-1A runner-up basketball team.
Choosing the top male athlete in the parish is a bit more difficult.
I’ll start at Parkway, where there are a slew of candidates.
University of Massachusetts football signee Artavious Lynn was the only player in the parish to make first-team All-Parish in football and basketball. He was the basketball MVP.
Keondre Wudtee, a senior-to-be, was the Offensive MVP on the All-Parish football team and a second-team selection in basketball. He was also a regional qualifier in track and field.
Southern Arkansas football signee William McKnight was a first-team All-Parish selection in football and a key contributor to the Panthers’ 1-5A runner-up and state quarterfinalist basketball team.
Louisiana Tech football signee Dante Williams was first-team All-Parish in football and the Bossier Parish 400-meter dash champion.
Parkway grad Hunter Huckaby won a state wrestling championship and was second-team All-Parish and All-District 1-5A in football.
And then there’s Southern Arkansas football signee Juwon Johnson. He was first-team All-Parish in football and second-team in basketball. He also won the regional championship in the 110-meter hurdles and finished third in the 5A state meet.
Haughton’s Javonte Woodard, a Louisiana Tech football signee, was first-team All-Parish in football and second-team in basketball. He was also a two-time district champion in track and field in the triple jump and as a member of the Bucs’ 4X100-meter relay team.
Haughton graduate Quentin Brown was a district and regional champion in track and field. He finished third in the 100 in the 5A state meet. He also contributed to the success of the football team.
Haughton’s Antonio Woodfork, a senior-to-be, was the 5A state runner-up in the 300 hurdles and a solid contributor to the Bucs’ football team at receiver.
Airline’s Noah Hildebrand, a junior-to-be, was second-team All-Parish in football and basketball. The Vikings’ Xavier Johnson was a first-team All-Parish selection in football and state qualifier in track and field.
Benton’s Jordan White, a Southern Arkansas football signee, had an impressive year. He was first-team All-Parish in football, a third-place finisher in the Division II state wrestling meet and a state runner-up in track and field.
Benton graduates Jaret Gill and Tyler Stephens were first team in football and baseball. Tanner Craft, a senior-to-be, was first team in baseball and a starter on the Tigers’ basketball team.
Benton’s Dorsavion Williams, a senior-to-be, was a first-team All-District 1-4A selection in football and a district and regional track and field champion.
Benton graduate Shane Cram helped the Tigers win a fourth straight state golf title and reach the quarterfinals of the football playoffs.
Bossier graduate Kelvin Brooks was a state champion in track and field and also played football. Graduate Isaiah McKinsey was a solid wrestler and football player. BPCC basketball signee Kentrell Hardy was first team All-Parish in basketball and a solid competitor in track and field.
Plain Dealing junior-to-be Kelvin Carper was first-team All-Parish in basketball, second-team in football and the Outstanding Performer in the Class 1A state track and field meet.
Graduates Logan Allen and Isaac Jacobs were both first team All-Parish in football and key contributors to the Lions’ district runner-up basketball team.
So, who was the best male athlete in Bossier Parish in 2014-15? Well, I’m going to wimp out a little — OK, a lot — on this one.
I simply can’t choose between Woodard, White, Johnson (Parkway) and Carper. All four had outstanding years in three sports. Even though he competed in only two sports, Lynn also deserves serious consideration for the best.
On All-Star teams, sometimes you’re forced to pick one MVP. But this isn’t an All-Star team.
Congratulations to all the athletes who competed hard week in and week out in Bossier Parish this past year.
Russell Hedges is Sports Editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org