Author Archives: Chessa Bouche

About Chessa Bouche

Chessa Bouche is a sports writer for LouisianaFB.com. She played semi-professional basketball in Shreveport in 2007 and received her undergraduate degree from Ole Miss in broadcast journalism in 2009. Chessa had aspirations of playing collegiate basketball but laid them to rest to focus on obtaining her college degree. Currently she pursues a master’s degree in mass communication at LSU.

Sucess Plus Controversy Equals Significant Change

 

Photo courtesy of Nextspex.com

Photo courtesy of Nextspex.com

Thirteen Louisiana state championship trophies are shelved in a glass case that

resides in a barn like school on Broadacres Road in Shreveport, La. Evangel

Christian Academy is only 24-years-old but has reached tremendous high

school football success.

 

Along with success, comes controversy.

 

At the bottom of the boot, John Curtis Christian High School has nearly doubled

Evangel’s football success raking in a total of 25 state championships.

 

Growing up in north Louisiana I was fortunate enough to experience the ECA

football domination first hand. In 1999, ECA earned the elite title of national high

school football champions. It was a time when Evangel football solidified itself as

a national powerhouse.

 

In 1975, John Curtis began its high school football domination with the Patriots’

winning their first state title and consistently winning more titles than losing over

the past few decades.

 

Throughout the state there has been uproar over the dispute to split Louisiana high

school football playoffs between public and other schools. It is hard to believe that

these two private schools have stirred up so much turmoil for the entire state.

 

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association has voted to chunk a system that has

been in place for more than 90 years. There have been two attempts to divide the

association, but none have succeeded until now.

 

Tommy Henry, former LHSAA Commissioner, believes the controversy stems from

the success of Evangel and John Curtis.

 

“They can paint it a lot of colors but it’s all about football,” Henry said. “We’re

rigging competition. If we start doing that, than to me we lose sight of what high

school sports is all about.”

 

According to the tri-parishtimes.com, principals voted 206-119 in favor of proposal

No. 18 on Jan. 25 at the LHSAA’s annual convention in Baton Rouge. Proposal

No. 18 is a motion that will separate Louisiana prep football’s postseason play.

 

Schools will be classified as “non-select” (public) or “select” (non-public, charter,

university lab or magnet). From these changes, the brackets will be divided based on

which category the school falls under.

 

According to thenewsstar.com, House Bill 267 alleges the LHSAA discriminates

against schools that select their students after a recent decision by the association

split select and non-select schools into separate football playoff brackets.

 

Robin Fambrough, long-time prep sports writer for the Advocate, explains how

HB 267 could potentially harm the LHSAA.

 

“It could cripple the LHSAA,” Fambrough said, “taking away 77 percent of the

association.”

 

According to thenewsstar.com, should HB 267 become law, 299 schools, or 77

Percent, could no longer participate in the LHSAA. Non-select

schools would be banned from participating in athletic competition regulated by the

LHSAA.

 

The organization administers 27 championship sports for about 70,000 high

school athletes in the state.

 

“First we have a division,” Henry said. “We have segregation and discrimination.”

 

A number of people involved with high school football, select or non-select, believe

the split to be unfair for both sides.

 

“I don’t think this solves our problem,” Patterson High School football coach Tommy

Minton said to Tri-parishtimes.com. “At best, I think this just shifts the problem

around. … I don’t know what we’re really accomplishing with this besides hurting a

lot of innocent schools who are in the crossfire.”

 

“We’re teaching them to run away from things over a football trophy,” Henry said.

 

According to LHSAA.org, Steve Carter, Chairman of the House Education Committee,

agreed to postpone the consideration of HB 267 to allow the School Relations

Committee some time to come up with possible amendments and changes to current

LHSAA rules.

 

On June 6th, according to WBRZ.com, the LHSAA executive committee decided

to combine Division II and III (4A and 3A select divisions) in order to have enough

teams for a proper playoff. Before the decision, Division II consisted of five eligible

teams. Now with the collaboration, there will be a total of 16 schools competing in

Division III for select schools. This decision was solely for playoff football.

 

The new football playoff system kicks off Thursday,December 12 and wraps

up Saturday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La.

Exiled no more

Photo courtesy of the biglead.com

Photo courtesy of the biglead.com

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Sean Payton for the entire last  season for his involvement in the bounty scandal. Last season the Saints went 7-9, having their first losing season since 2007.

“It’s painful,” Payton said to the Bostonglobe.com. “There’s so much you have invested in a program, and so each week to sit and watch from a distance every game . . . absolutely [painful], because these are players and coaches you care about like your own family. So, unusual and difficult, yes.”

After a challenging 2012 season, the New Orleans Saints welcome back their head coach. Monday, April 15th was the start of the Saints offseason workout program in Metairie and the players knew they were entering a new world.

Veteran wide receiver Lance Moore hopes to move forward from last year and is excited about welcoming Coach Payton back to the Dome.

“I think first and foremost, it’s been an extremely long last 12, 14, 15 months,” Moore said to Nola.com. “It’s been a tough time for all of us down there. Obviously, Sean not being able to be around guys for a whole year, and then us not having him and not having a successful year that we were looking forward to having last year.”

Just because Coach Payton is back does not mean the Saints will be the 2014 Super Bowl Champions.

“That’s a dangerous mind-set for a team to have,” Payton said, whose team went 37-11 with a Super Bowl title in his three seasons before the suspension. “We could turn around and win five games if you don’t correct some of what’s [faulty].”

Saints Quarter back Drew Brees waited for the time when he would reunite with his head coach and team after last year’s debacle. After his first offseason workout with Payton’s return, Brees told Neworleanssaints.com, “I know that I have been looking forward to this day for three months.”

Moore remembers his first training camp with Payton leading the way.

“The best way to describe it is culture shock, especially for guys who played for Sean the last couple of seasons,” Moore said to Nola.com. “Even they are going to see a totally different animal. I was definitely there in ’06 and it was definitely one of the hardest training camps.”

Payton has made changes on and off the playing field already for the Saints and I am sure there will be plenty more as the count down to the 2013 Who Dat season approaches.

Football is king

All collegiate spring games have been played and the 2013 NFL Draft has passed, and now the NBA playoffs have begun, but who really pays close attention to the NBA playoffs until the championship?

I mostly certainly do not, especially since Kobe Bryant went down with an Achilles tendon injury and shattered the Laker’s playoff run. My real concern, during the LSU football offseason, is the trouble that has surfaced throughout the past two years for the Tigers.

Yes, football is king, but should it overshadow everything else?

Tyrann Mathieu is the 69th overall draft pick by the Arizona Cardinals after being dismissed from the LSU team for failing a drug test. Mathieu’s success at LSU put him in the running as a Heisman Trophy finalist, but his own choices lead to his time as a Tiger to be cut short.

According to insider.espn.go.com, in 2011 the Honey Badger, Tharold Simon, and Spencer Ware were suspended for the Auburn game after testing positive in a drug test. All three former Tigers were drafted over the weekend, but have they learned from their mistakes?

Apparently not for the Honey Badger or Simon. Mathieu was arrested with three other members of the 2011 LSU team in October 2012. The Badger sealed his own fate with the Tigers.

This past weekend, amidst the Tiger’s historical 2013 draft with nine, Simon still made headlines off the field.

According to Shreveporttimes.com, Simon was arrested on charges of public intimidation of a police officer, resisting an officer, a noise violation and obstruction of a roadway.

LSU sophomore tailback Jeremy Hill followed suit behind Simon. According to lsureveille.com, Hill was arrested and charged with simple battery after allegedly punching another man outside of Reggie’s Bar.

Hill’s college career was delayed a year after he was arrested in early 2011 for an alleged sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was able to enroll at LSU and play football last season.

I understand people make mistakes, but how many second chances should a person be given? Football is most certainly king, but even the king should learn from his mistakes.

Nine drafted, two arrested

Photo courtesy of Espn.go.com

Photo courtesy of Espn.go.com

The 2013 NFL draft wrapped up yesterday in the Big Apple with LSU having a record breaking nine players drafted. In the midst of the most successful LSU draft history, two Tigers were arrested two days apart.

On Thursday night after defensive end Barkevious Mingo and safety Eric Reid were selected in the first round, junior cornerback Tharold Simon of Eunice spent the night in jail.

According to the Shreveporttimes.com, Simon was arrested on charges of public intimidation of a police officer, resisting an officer, a noise violation and obstruction of a roadway.

On Saturday despite the recent arrest, Simon ended up going fifth in the fifth round to the Seattle Seahawks with the 138th overall pick.

Before the draft concluded Saturday, LSU sophomore tailback Jeremy Hill of Baton Rouge was arrested and jailed earlier that morning for a misdemeanor charge of simple battery after an incident at a bar near the LSU campus.

According to ESPN.com, Hill’s college career was delayed a year after he was arrested in early 2011 for an alleged sexual assault on a 14-year-old girl. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was able to enroll at LSU and play football last season.

Photo courtesy of Sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Photo courtesy of Sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Hill was LSU’s leading rusher with 755 yards on 142 carries. His 12 touchdowns were the most by an LSU freshman since Dalton Hilliard had 11 in 1982.

Teammates to arch-rivals to draft prospects…

Teammates to arch-rivals to draft prospects… this is the story.

Photo courtesy of Dutchtown Quarterbacks Club

Photo courtesy of Dutchtown Quarterbacks Club

 

Eric Reid and Eddie Lacy began a journey together as teammates at Dutchtown High school in Geismar, La., and now they will reunite in the Big Apple for the Draft.

On April 25th, Reid and Lacy awaited their fate in the 2013 NFL Draft. Both Reid and Lacy were in New York City at Radio City Music Hall Thursday night for the draft.

Reid ended up going with the 18th pick in the first round to the NFC champion San Francisco 49ers, while Lacy had to wait until Friday when he was taken with the  61st  overall pick in the second round by the Green Bay Packers.

Even though both players have had significant success in their football careers thus far, their stories are substantially different.

Reid, a Baton Rouge native, knew all along that he was destined to be an LSU Tiger. His father, Eric Reid Sr., won a national championship in the 110-meter hurdle in 1987 as a senior at LSU. Reid Sr. is in the schools athletic hall of fame as an All-American hurdler and still works on the LSU campus.

Reid, opted out of his senior season with the Tigers to make himself available for the 2013 NFL Draft. Becoming a professional football player has been a dream of Reid’s since he was a little boy.

“It is my dream, I’m living my dream,” Reid said before the draft to KSLA.com. “It really doesn’t matter what team I go to. I’m doing what a lot of other people aren’t able to do, so I’m very blessed for that.”

In his three years with the Tigers, Reid played on teams that won 10 or more games all three years. In 2011 LSU went 13-1 capturing the Southeastern Conference title and contended against Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game.

Reid and the Tigers came up substantially short against Lacy and the dominant Tide, 21-0. Overall, Reid’s three-year record at LSU was 34-6.

In his final season with the Tigers in 2012, Reid started all 13 games and finished third on the team in tackles with 91. He earned First Team All-America as a junior and was named twice to SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2011 and 2012.

Overall in his collegiate career as an aggressive safety, Reid played in 39 games, starting 29 times. He finished with 194 career tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and six interceptions.

On the other side of the ball, ground and pound running back Eddie Lacy endured a harder road to the pros.

In 2005, as a freshman, Lacy earned a spot on the varsity football team at Helen Cox High School in Harvey when disaster struck.

Lacy, a Gretna native, was forced out of his hometown when Hurricane Katrina hit and the Lacy family relocated to Texas. After the storm passed, the Lacy family enrolled in the “Share Your Home” program that landed Lacy in Geismar.

“Because of the hurricane, I didn’t know where I would wind up or what my future would be,” Lacy said to the Advocate.com.

At Dutchtown High school, Lacy took his frustration out on the football field while gaining serious attention as a dominant running back for the Griffins.

Both Reid and Lacy received national attention from colleges all over the country despite both players suffering injuries prior to the start of their collegiate football careers.

Lacy’s desire to play out of state led him to sign with Alabama. During his four years in Tuscaloosa, Lacy redshirted his freshman year and then sat patiently waiting behind Hesiman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, both now in the NFL.

As a junior, Lacy ran for 1,322 yards on 204 carries and 17 touchdowns, earning First Team All-SEC honors. In his final game as a Crimson Tide, Lacy earned MVP honors and scored two touchdowns and collected 140 yards in the BCS National Championship game against Notre Dame.

“He’s faster than you think,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said to ESPN.com. “He has very deceptive speed and very deceptive quickness. … I think Eddie is a very, very complete player. I don’t really see a lot of flaws in his game. I think he’ll be a very, very good player for somebody.”

In his four years with the Tide, Lacy has been a part of a program that went 50-5 winning three BCS National Championships and two SEC Championships. Needless to say, Lacy has been a part of a national powerhouse with Coach  Saban and the Crimson Tide.

Lacy faced a national disaster at the start of his football career but it seems like nothing will detour him on his path to success.

“I can get through anything, any obstacle after you know, everything that I’ve been through,” Lacy said to ESPN.com. “I just know that nothing can stop me.”

Mad Hatter Magic

 

Photo Courtesy of Bouche's Snapshot

Photo Courtesy of Chessa Bouche

LSU coach Les Miles leads his Tigers into Death Valley, eats grass on occasion, takes part in the “LSU Football Harlem Shake” video, and now the Mad Hatter has done it again. Coach Miles will take part in the NFL Network’s draft coverage that begins this Thursday night.

LSU’s Les Miles, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin, Standford’s David Shaw, and Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly will all participate in the 2013 NFL Draft coverage.

According to draft producer Charlie Yook, Miles, Shaw, and Kelly are expected to be with the coverage team during the draft and Sumlin will work pre-draft coverage.

Apparently, Coach Miles left a lasting impression from his appearance last year as an NFL draft analyst, and the NFL Network wants him back. Coach Miles is known for his sense of humor, of course off of the gridiron, and he should provide great entertainment value to the network.

One of Coach Miles former Bengals, Barkevious Mingo, is projected to go early on in the first round. LSU has a total of 11 NFL prospects this year so Coach Miles should have plenty of things to say.

Together again…

Reid-lacyPhoto Courtesy of ESPNgo.com

Being a Northern Louisiana native, I get a lot of criticism from Cajuns here in Baton Rouge. Over and over again I have been called a “Yankee” or a “Texan”. I will never embrace either of the nicknames but I will do my best to learn more about this red stick land and the football culture that I am surrounded by.

So when I heard about Dutchtown High School having two former players entering the 2013 NFL Draft I had to do some investigating.

First, I googled Dutchtown high to find that it is located in Geismar, which is right outside of South Baton Rouge.

Second, Dutchtown high has close to 2,000 students from eighth grade to twelfth grade.

Third, Dutchtown high has never won a football state championship.

So how does a high school such as Dutchtown, which is not a powerhouse football program, produce two outstanding football stars?

Well when you have players such as Eddie Lacy and Eric Reid in your program, it seems simple.

Eddie Lacy, a former Alabama running back, and Eric Reid, a former LSU safety, are the first two players to be drafted from the Geismer School. And both players decided to forgo their senior season and be available for the 2013 NFL Draft.

More to come on their upcoming journeys to the NFL… stay tuned.

Possibly Three National Titles?

Big East

Photo Courtesy of Bolguin.com

Needless to say, the SEC has won multiple championships from baseball, men and women’s basketball, cross country, football; for the part five seasons, golf, bowling, to gymnastic and so on. But amongst such domination, the Big East has prevailed this year.

At this very moment, the University of Louisville’s men and women’s basketball teams are set to play for a national championship. Not to mention how earlier in the year, the Cardinals beat the Florida Gators 33 to 23 in the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.

Head Coach Rick Pitino and his Cardinals are playing in its third national championship in school history and faces fourth-seeded Michigan on Monday, April 8 in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Ga.

“If we can’t do it, then we were beaten by a better basketball team,” Coach Pitino said. “But we are going to give all of our emphasis, is going to be on University of Michigan.”

A victory in Monday night’s NCAA title game against Michigan would give Pitino national championships with Kentucky (SEC) and Louisville (Big East).

The Cardinals disrupted the SEC domination with the victory over Florida in New Orleans and now Head Coach Jeff Walz and his lady Cardinals have the opportunity to upset UConn powerhouse in New Orleans as well.

Regardless of a Cardinals or Huskies victory, the Big East will receive a women’s national championship.

If Coach Pitinio wins tonight, then the Big East will have a 2013 Sugar Bowl victory, as well as a men’s and women’s national basketball title. Not to shabby for a conference that will embrace a new conference name starting the 2013-2014 season.

Related news links:

http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/SECSPORTS/THESEC/SECNationalChampions.aspx

http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/NEWS/tabid/473/Article/218275/sec-domination-the-last-five-years.aspx

http://espn.go.com/womens-college-basketball/tournament/2013/story/_/id/9141323/louisville-cardinals-believe-coach-jeff-walz

http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/040813aab.html

http://today.uconn.edu/huskymania/2013/04/03/uconns-new-league-american-athletic-conference/

 

 

To Harlem Shake?

To Harlem Shake or not to Harlem Shake…

Well, the LSU Tigers most certainly gave their answer after the YouTube video “LSU Football Harlem Shake” was published on March 18th.

The “Harlem Shake” dance craze has been interpreted throughout the country by numerous schools, colleges, and professional teams such as the Miami Heat.

For those of you who are unaware of what exactly the “Harlem Shake” is, well the video begins with one person dancing to the song, surrounded by several others who appear unaware of this person. Then the bass drops and the entire crowd is dancing, usually stripped down or dressed in costumes and, or with odd props.

The LSU Tigers version seems well received with over one million views and four thousand likes, unlike the Calvary version that was produced in North Louisiana.

About 40 students have been suspended from Calvary Baptist Academy in Shreveport for their participation in the “Harlem Shake” video, which was posted a month before the Tigers version.

The video appears to show members of the CBA baseball team in front of the school’s dugout, on the field dancing wildly.

Principal Kevin Guerrero says the school is not opposed to the Harlem Shake itself, but administrators felt like the students’ lack of clothing and gyrations were inappropriate.

The 40 Calvary students received 2 days of out of school suspension for the video.

So in other words, only Harlem Shake when Coach Miles is at the helm…. Les Miles