It’s that time of the year again. Another high school sports year is in the books. So how did Bossier Parish schools fare, and which school had the best sports year?
As I say each year, determining the criteria for which school had the best sports year is a challenge. The competition varies greatly not only in the four districts in which parish schools compete, but also within each sport.
Also, all parish schools don’t compete in the same sports. For example, Bossier doesn’t have a cross country or golf team and neither does Plain Dealing.
But as usual, I will forge on. While I try to use objective facts, this is just my opinion anyway.
For many, 2014-15 will be remembered as the year Parkway missed the football playoffs after having to forfeit five games after the LHSAA ruled it used an ineligible player in those games.
For the purposes of this column, those wins will count. The Panthers won them on the field without help from the ineligible player.
Every Bossier Parish school won at least one district championship except Plain Dealing, and the Lions finished second in three sports.
Airline won the District 1-5A baseball title. The Vikings also won parish and regional wrestling championships. The regional championship is equivalent to a district title.
Airline finished second in girls track and field and shared second in girls basketball. The boys basketball team tied for third.
The Vikings and Lady Vikings also finished runner-up 1-5A cross country.
Haughton won the District 1-5A title in boys track and field. The Lady Bucs shared runner-up honors in girls basketball and softball. The football team finished third.
Parkway swept the District 1-5A cross country championships. Parkway runners Hayden Kingfisher and Sara Funderburk swept the individual 5A state titles, the first time runners from the same school have won both in the LHSAA’s highest classification.
Parkway also won boys and girls district bowling titles.
The Panthers finished runner-up in District 1-5A football, boys basketball and District 1, Division I girls soccer. The softball team shared second place. The boys track team finished third.
Bossier shared the District 1-3A boys basketball championship with Evangel. The Bossier boys track team finished second in the Region I-3A meet and had a couple of individual winners at the state meet. The boys soccer team finished third in District 1, Division III.
Plain Dealing finished as the District 1-1A runner-up in football and boys and girls basketball and third in girls track and field. The Lions also had the Outstanding Performer in the Class 1A state track and field meet in Keldrick Carper.
Benton shared the District 1-4A football championship. The school also won district championships in baseball, boys soccer, boys and girls track and field, boys and girls cross country, and golf. That’s eight district championships if you’re counting.
The boys track team also won the Region I-4A title and the girls finished second. The golf team, of course, won the Region I-4A and Division II state championships for the fourth straight year.
The softball team finished in a three-way tie for second in 1-4A. The girls soccer team was third in District 1, Division II.
So once again, Benton gets the nod as having the best sports year among the six Bossier Parish schools.
But let’s not end it there. How about a comparison of the three parish District 1-5A schools in the Big Five boys team sports of football, basketball, baseball, track and field and soccer and the Big Four girls team sports of basketball, softball, track and field and soccer.
For that, I used a point system based on district finish (1 point for first, 2 for second, etc.) If there was a two-way tie then the points were halved. For example, Airline and Haughton received 2.5 points each for sharing second in girls basketball.
The school with the lowest score wins.
In the boys sports, Airline had the lowest score at 16.5 followed by Parkway with 18 and Haughton at 19.5. Once again, that doesn’t take into account Parkway’s football forfeits.
In girls sports, it was very close. Parkway and Airline each had 14.5 and Haughton had 15. That’s basically a toss-up.
As usual, every parish school had something to hang their hat on. The braggin’ rights were fairly spread around.
It’ll all start up again in about three months.
Russell Hedges is Sports Editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He may be reached at email@example.com