It was the most lopsided outcome in the all-star football series that Texas now leads 5-3. It also belied Team Louisiana’s strong start, as the visitors scored back-to-back touchdowns in taking a 12-7 first-half lead.
Louisiana overcome a 14-12 halftime deficit with Jonathan Ginsburgh of Menard (Alexandria) kicking a 23-yard field goal to put his team ahead, 15-14, at 9:51 of the third quarter. Texas responded with its 28-point barrage, including three fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Hunter Stover of Notre Dame (Crowley) scored Louisiana’s first touchdown on a 28-yard punt return. A bad center snap negated the extra-point attempt. Louisiana’s second touchdown drive covered 38 yards in three plays after a short Texas punt.
Bryant Dunn of Donaldsonville capped the march with a 5-yard touchdown run at 9:13 of the second quarter. Ginsburgh missed the extra-point try. Along the way, St. Michael (Baton Rouge) quarterback Jeremy Meyers connected with Neville (Monroe) on a 29-yard pass.
Neville quarterback Taylor Burch completed 10 of 24 passes for 72 yards. Louisiana picked up 213 yards total offense but rushed for just 78 yards on 26 carries.
Baseball: Bryan Picou wins award
Continuing the championship trend that defined his senior season, Northlake Christian (Covington) standout Bryan Picou was named Louisiana’s Mr. Baseball by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Picou helped Northlake Christian to its second consecutive state championship by hitting .430 and recording an 11-1 record as a pitcher with a 0.71 earned-run average.
Picou threw two shutout innings in the Class 2A state title game to earn the save and to complete the playoffs having allowed only five hits without an earned run. For the season, Picou struck out 100 in 79 innings.
The 5-foot-11, 185-pound left-hander signed with the University of Memphis last fall.
"Bryan is just a huge competitor," Northlake Christian coach Rowland Skinner said. "He's a bulldog on the mound with the way he goes after hitters and works both sides of the plate.
"And he gets up there and consistently delivers the big hit. Plus he's a tremendous leader who both works hard and is a real student of the game."
An academic honor student, Picou relied heavily on finesse to find success. He hit only one home run and his fastball rarely topped the mid-80s, yet Picou regularly found a way to win.
"I just want to play the game the right way and to honor God and my parents," Picou said. "Thankfully the good Lord gave me the opportunity to be in the right places."
Softball: Christina Hamilton honored
Given the manner in which Rosepine pitcher Christina Hamilton excelled as a senior, it came as no surprise that she was selected Miss Softball by the LSWA. After all, Hamilton threw 24 shutouts in fashioning a 29-4-1 record. In 224 innings, Hamilton struck out 506 and yielded only 37 hits, 26 walks and three earned runs.
Four of her 11 no-hitters were perfect games. She also threw 16 one-hitters and five two-hitters. She beat eventual Class 2A state championship Evangel Christian Academy (Shreveport) on a one-hitter just days after shutting out eventual Class 1A state champion Ouachita Christian (Monroe).
For her career, Hamilton struck out 1,807 batters while recording 84 shutouts and 40 no-hitters. She has signed with the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, which appeared in the recent Women’s College World Series.
"We are really going to miss having her around," Rosepine coach Mark Brown said. "However, our loss is UL-Lafayette’s gain."
Track and field: ASH gets new coach
A desire to spend more time with her family led Shelley Warren to become the new track and field and cross country coach at Alexandria Senior High. A 12-year veteran of coaching girls basketball and track at Buckeye, Warren wanted to relinquish her basketball duties to spend more time with her two children, ages 4 and 6.
Warren said she was told she couldn’t remain a physical education teacher without coaching basketball, as well. When the opportunity to leave Buckeye for ASH presented itself, Warren was quick to take it. Warren will teach physical education at ASH, while coaching only girls track and field and cross country.
"ASH has one of the premier track programs in the area," Warren said. "Last year was a little rough for them after (former ASH girls track coach Mike) Crenshaw left, and I know the program needs a little work."
Crenshaw led ASH to the Class 4A girls state track and field title in 2007. He took a sabbatical last year to earn a master’s degree. He plans to return to ASH this fall as a special equation teacher but does not intend to coach.
ASH assistant football coach Tommy Moore coached the girls track and field team on an interim basis last year but did not want to continue as its full-time coach. Warren guided Buckeye to 12 district titles and regional titles two of the past three years in Class 3A.
Warren said Heather Neill, who threw the javelin at Buckeye and earned a scholarship to Northwestern State, will be the ASH throws coach. Replacing Warren at Buckeye will be Mary McGinnis as girls basketball coach and Jeremy Parker as girls track and field coach. McGinnis came to Buckeye from Calvin High, while Parker was Warren’s assistant at Buckeye.
Athletes make future plans
Ouachita (Monroe) wide receiver Justin Ginyard committed to the University of Louisiana at Monroe after being offered a football scholarship following ULM’s senior camp. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound Ginyard already is qualified academically.
Northshore (Slidell) swimmer Colleen Donovan has signed a letter of intent with the University of Houston. Donovan, who led Northshore to two consecutive state titles, chose Houston over Kansas and Marshall.