The four seasons of high school baseball, softball, boys track and girls track are behind us now as each of our Jackson Parish schools have closed their doors until next fall. Seems just like yesterday that the prep sports scene moved outside and in the blink of an eye it was over.
In recap there were no team state championships won with the Quitman softball team coming closest by making it to the Class B state tournament. There were two individual state champions in track in Emma Carter and Detre’vien Bowie ironically both in the high jump and several others who came close. The All-District teams have been announced in baseball and softball, an all region team in baseball and the All-State teams in baseball and softball are soon to be released. These have already and will identify the top performers in the area. Naturally they will be remembered but year in and year out it isn’t the players that get talked about but those special performances that took place. Here is a list of some of the top performances of the spring season.
Chasing a win! Hands down the top performance of the year took center stage following what had been dubbed as “Chase a Win” day at Weston High. All day the school had special programs and events in honor of their fallen head baseball coach and teach from the year before that was highlighted by Weston hosting Quitman in a crucial district 2B contest. The Wolves were struggling when in the fourth inning Weston loaded the bases and Caleb Waters scripted his name in Weston lore forever by blasting a grand slam to give Weston the lead and eventual victory. What made it so special was that while rounding second Waters lifted his hand to the sky and pointed to the heavens in acknowledgement of Frasier. Another special moment was after the game Frasier’s little daughter Lillie came onto the field to celebrate with the players. Easily one of the heart warming moments you will ever see.
The “Real” Deal! The scene found the Lady Wolverines of Quitman squaring off against the top ranked team in Class 3A. It was the biggest game of the year to date and on the mound for QHS was an 8th grader. Do what? Aren’t you supposed to throw your Ace against a team ranked #1. Cali “The Real” Deal was the Ace and for those who weren’t aware prior to the contest there was no doubt following that she was one of the top pitchers in the state after. AFter allowing three runs in the first inning Deal settled down to strike out 11 over the next four frames including 8 in a row at one time. For the contest Deal K’d an incredible 18 Grant High batters before tiring in the 11th inning.
Josh by Gosh! The stakes were as high as they had been all season. Win and advance. Lose and go home. It was Class B state tourney time and Quitman was facing visiting Doyline in the regionals. The game was billed as a pitchers duel between two of north Louisiana’s better pitchers among the smaller classifications in Spears of Doyline and Joshua Smith of Quitman. For seven innings both put up zeros. Spears blinked first giving way to Mingo with two outs in the 8th but Smith just kept on blanking Doyline frame after frame as the two went into the 10th inning still scoreless. Luke Morgan finally scored the winning run by getting hit, stealing second and scoring on a base hit. As remarkable as Smith pitching a ten inning, shut out it doesn’t even begin to compare on the incredible scale as his 102 pitches over ten innings that he threw. That is an average of the pitches per inning or barely over three pitches to a batter for ten full innings. Unbelievable!
YOU GOTTA BELIEVE! All track season Emma Carter watched others take gold in the girls high jump. Not only that she was getting best by wide margins it just seemed she wasn’t improving. Meanwhile in the 400 meters she seemed to get better every race. Would she ditch the high jump and focus on the 400? Those who know her know that is just not in her makeup. So what did Carter do? Worked hard and then worked hard. Her determination was rewarded with her season best to date 4’6″ in district. The next week she improved by a full two inches to 4’8 in the regionals to qualify for state. The incredibly Carter soared another two inches higher to 4’10” to win the Class B crown. That is a four inch improvement in two weeks and on the biggest stage of her life. That is a top performance!
Timing is everything! You may think that Carter’s performance couldn’t be duplicated. Actually it was and in the same time frame and on the same track. Well almost. Detre’vien Bowie didn’t improve four inches in two weeks but at the heights he was posting it is equally impressive. What was the same is that he did improve in both the regionals and state championships as he flew soared 6’6″ in the regionals which tied his career best to date and then obliterated that by clearing 6′ 7.5″ to win the Class 2A championship. The height is also second all time in JHHS history earning him a Top Performance.
There were several other special moments such as Mallory Tolar throwing 10 feet further than she had all year in the javelin during the regionals and Freshman Braden Theriot hitting his first home run of the year to help lift Weston to a playoff victory. Laila Johnson shaved nearly two full seconds off her time in the 200 meters to earn points for JHHS at state and LaKerria Austin turning in a career best performance in the 100 hurdles to win a silver medal at state.