After 12 years as the Airline High baseball coach, Toby Todd is the school’s winningest baseball coach with a 259-166 record.
The Vikings were 19-16 this year, equaling their record in Todd’s first season (2002). After that season, Airline won 20 or more games nine years in a row before Todd had his only losing season (11-12) last year.
Clay Bohanan had four straight 20-win seasons at the end of his 13-year stint as the Vikings’ coach. His overall record was 239-73.
Senior rightfielder Colton Kyle led the 2013 Vikings in hitting with a .345 batting average. Kyle and junior first baseman Chase Rivers shared the team lead in runs batted in with 20 apiece.
Landon Lewis had an 8-2 pitching record for the 2013 Vikings, with a 1.38 earned run average in 80 innings.
Airline’s best season record was 30-1 by Bohanan’s 1991 team. Its only loss was in the Class 5A championship game.
Benton had the best won-loss record in Bossier Parish this season, rolling up 17 straight wins before falling to Teurlings Catholic (Lafayette) 6-8 in the Class 4A quarterfinals.
Airline was next at 19-16, falling to Zachary 0-10 in the first round of Class 5A state playoffs.
In football, a 5-6 record in 2008 was Bossier High’s only losing season record in the last 14 years. The Bearkats were 5-5 in 2010, and over .500 in all of the other seasons. Their best record in the last 11 years was 10-2 in 2011.
Airline had three losing seasons in the last 12 years. The Vikings were 5-6 in 2010, 1-9 in 2007 and 3-6 in 2006. Haughton has posted 11 straight winning season records since a 5-6 season in 2001.
Benton has 10 or more wins in five of the last 10 seasons, and leads Bossier Parish in that category over the last decade. Airline was 10-3 last year, but that was the Vikings’ first 10-win season since 1998.
Many of the greatest players in Bossier Parish history didn’t develop into standouts until their last couple of years in high school. Haughton’s Joe Delaney wasn’t even in the starting lineup of the Princeton Junior High team when he was a 95-pound seventh grader. But a few years later, after he tied the state record of 9.4 seconds in the 100-yard dash, he was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round of the 1981 National Football League draft.
He was a wide receiver on a Haughton team that rarely threw the ball. “You could see he was coming,” said his coach, Joe St. Andre. “But it was going to be a while.”
At Northwestern State, Delaney broke the season rushing record with 1,110 yards as a senior despite sitting out one game with a dislocated collarbone. His career total of 3,047 yards also broke the NSU record, and was fourth on the all-time Louisiana list at that time.
“If he were playing at Southern Cal,” said one pro scout, “he’d win the Heisman Trophy.”
“As a running back, he has great speed and acceleration, and a knack for running,” said Northwestern State coach A.L. Williams.”You can teach them to block and proper technique, but I’ve never seen a back yet who knows when he’s going to break before he does it. That’s instinctive, and Joe has good running instincts.”
Jerry Byrd is the former sports editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune and an award-winning columnist. You can contact him by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org