Opinion: Saluting Bossier High basketball

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When I first delved into sports photography back in the summer of 2007, at the urging of longtime BPT Publisher David Specht (in order to assist former BPT Sports Editor Jerry Byrd), I was asked/assigned by Jerry Byrd to cover sports at Bossier High School on a somewhat regular basis. I guess my first basketball season to be at Bossier High School from the photography side would have been in 2007-2008. As such, over the past several years, I have witnessed an incredible run of victories and success for some great Bossier High School boys basketball teams. In view of this, I would like to pay tribute to Bossier High School and their successful boys basketball teams of the past few years.

RandyI have said to many people in recent years that Coach Jerimiah Williams and his assistant coaches do a great job with their basketball teams in coaching the action on the court. In short,  there is very obviously a high level of both discipline and respect/sportsmanship present everywhere!! Also, to see the team walking in (pre-game) wearing coats and ties is something that almost everyone I know around here with any degree of interest in high school athletics both talks about and admires! To me, the degree of discipline and respect mentioned above leaves absolutely no doubt as to why Coach Williams’ basketball teams have been so tremendously successful.

I remember many of the players from these teams: Giorgio Bryant, Joe Turner, Tevin Hall, Tevin Robertson, Lyndale James, Joseph James, Devonte Hall, Jalan West, Devonte Francis, Breon Morris, Rashard Owens, Kentrell Hardy……and many…many more! I know that I am missing some players’ names that should also be mentioned… for sure…sorry guys! Many of these players have gone on to have very successful college basketball careers. Two of those players that come to mind in this regard are: Jalan West (currently playing for NSU in Natchitoches) and Joseph James (currently playing for LSU Shreveport).

Last week, the Bossier Bearkats boys basketball team had an uncharacteristicly early ending to their season. By uncharacteristic, I mean that this is the first time in seven seasons that Bossier High School has not at least made the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Top 28 Boys Basketball Tournament (quarterfinals). As I mentioned above, what an incredible level of success and a great record of achievement the Bearkats have accomplished during this seven season run! The Bearkats made four straight state finals appearances (2009-2012) (three of their finals appearances in Class 4A and the last one (2012) in Class 3A. Fortunately, I was privileged enough to be there for all four of their state championship appearances during this stretch run! In both 2013 and 2014, the Bearkats made it to the semi-finals. In 2011, the Bearkats were crowned Class 4A boys basketball state champions!! During this time span, the Bearkats have won seven district titles (including finishing as District 1-3A co-district champions for this season).

In my opinion and also the opinion of a great many of the residents in our city, parish, state and     beyond, these young men (along with their coaches and their school) represent the true meaning of success both on and off of the basketball court! Bossier High School boys basketball will undoubtedly soon be back to what has become the accepted standard of achievement for their program. And so, for the many accomplishments and successes of the of the Bossier High School boys basketball team over the past seven seasons, I salute you and also wish you the very best success in future seasons!

Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at rbrown@bossierpress.com