When Candyce Carter coached Barbe High School to the Class 5A softball state championship on May 1st, she unwittingly completed an accomplishment that seems unprecedented in state high school sports history. Paired with the two Class 2A state baseball championships that Weston native, Scott Carter, won at Sacred Heart High School in 1992 and ’93 the pair looks to have become the first father / daughter combination in the 101 year history of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) to have both coached high school teams to a state title.
While the verification process is still ongoing, thorough research over the last couple of weeks by the Jackson Parish Journal and several of Louisiana’s most distinguished sports writers have yet to find any other combination to reach such hallowed ground. Even if this has been accomplished before in the state, their accomplishment is an incredible story of how a family with rural northern Louisiana roots has risen to this rare pinnacle of state and even national high school coaching standards.
Family legacy! To trace the roots of this historic achievement you actually have to include three generations of coaches. It all began on a recreation department field in Jonesboro, where Sammy Carter, Scott’s father, spent countless hours, days and years coaching his son and other area youth to many Little League championships. It was from seeing how the elder Carter and his wife Nelda, made a difference in countless Jackson Parish youth that nurtured the desire to be a coach in Scott.
“My desire to be a coach came from my father and mother,” said Scott. “They taught me the importance of working hard for what I wanted and how to show support. As I grew older I couldn’t think of any better way to make a living than be a coach and have always tried to do for my players what they did for me and so many others.”
Like father, like daughter! To say that Scott has succeeded in his goal of being a good coach is an understatement. His 588-244 overall record over 31 years of coaching high school baseball in Louisiana and Texas, that includes state titles in each state, borders on greatness. More importantly, like his parents did for him, he and his wife Bridgett also instilled the love of the game and for coaching into his daughter, who now after four seasons at Barbe has compiled an 87-25 record, that includes a 2019 state runner-up finish and now the historic state title.
“My whole life all I wanted was to follow in my Dad’s footstep’s and be ‘Coach Carter’. To think that we may have made history together is incredible,” reflects Candyce. “Credit goes to my mom and sister (Chelsea) also. They are the best support system I could ever ask for. I wouldn’t be where I am without my family.”
For the record Candyce won her first title in just four years of coaching. It took her father five but he has two more “skins on the wall”. So who is the better coach? That is no contest, according to Scott.
“She’s the best coach in the family.”
As far as the best father / daughter combination of coaches, that is no contest either.