Logan Leary of Dutchtown High School was selected as the Outstanding Player for Divisions I and II on The Advocate’s All-Metro Boys Golf team.

The Griffin sophomore earned the top slot as he led all area golfers on the links in Louisiana’s Divisions I and II with a 1-under-par average in nine-hole regular-season matches. Leary rounded out his season with a 15th-place finish at the LHSAA Division I state meet.

Leary’s teammate, Joey Partin, also was named to the All-Metro team, finishing the regular-season with an average of 1.50 and tied for 19th at the Division I tourney.

East Ascension’s Trevor Adams earned a spot on the All-Metro squad with a 3.125 regular-season average for the Spartans. Dylan Pastorick, of St. Amant High, was named as well as he set the pace for the Division I Gators with a regular-season average of 3 strokes over par.

In Divisions III and below, Tucker Landry of Ascension Catholic was selected to The Advocate’s All-Metro Boys Golf team. Landry was the fifth-place finisher at the Division IV after having a 1.0 regular-season mark.

In defense of turkeys

Last weekend we celebrated our nation’s independence. There were lots of photos on social media, T-shirts and other patriotic photos that highlighted our national bird, the bald eagle.

The bald eagle in flight is a majestic-looking bird that seemingly takes your breath away when one is sighted. No matter how many times it happens, it is a thing of awe and beauty each time I spot one. But the mighty bald eagle was not a shoo-in as the choice of the national bird. There was stiff competition from an unlikely competitor.

The word turkey usually brings about images of one baked or now deep-fried on the fourth Thursday in November when we celebrate Thanksgiving. The bird somehow found its way as the centerpiece of Thanksgiving Day dinner all across America. But its history is not limited to being a food source. During the founding of our nation, a six-day selection process about our national bird took place.

Benjamin Franklin listed his opinion about the subject in a letter to his daughter, Sarah Bache, on Jan. 26, 1784, criticizing the choice of the bald eagle as the national bird and suggesting that a turkey would have made a better alternative. His comparison was not just about external beauty; the character of the birds is what mattered most to Franklin.

“For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him.

“With all this Injustice, he is never in good Case but like those among Men who live by Sharping & Robbing he is generally poor and often very lousy. Besides he is a rank Coward: The little King Bird not bigger than a Sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the District. He is therefore by no means a proper Emblem for the brave and honest Cincinnati of America who have driven all the King birds from our Country...”

“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America ... He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”

I’m afraid Franklin’s assessment of character for the two birds is spot on. While on vacation in Valdez, Alaska, a little birdwatching opportunity came our way as we drove around Port Valdez. We spotted quite a number of bald eagles in the trees along the bay.

We stopped with camera in hand to observe these beautiful creatures, expecting to witness their great fishing abilities on the low tide. But to our surprise and amazement, the eagles landed in the shallow water and made their living by stealing fish the sea gulls caught. I’ve also witnessed their cowardice as birds much smaller chase them away with ease.

I’ve had the opportunity to see two turkeys in flight across the Amite River and as grand as the bald eagle looks, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such beauty as those gold and bronze feathers glistening in the sunlight. They do look a little plain while walking on the ground but a strutting gobbler or one in flight is a truly spectacular sight.

No other bird can soar to the heights of an eagle and they do command respect upon sight, so I’m glad the eagle is our national bird. It just seems right.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net or ascension@the advocate.com.