Six unforgettable accomplishments in 2017

With all the fervor and activity that consumes us during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, it’s always a great time to sit back and reflect on all that has happened during the previous year as we prepare for what 2018 will bring.

Covering sports in the Felicianas is a lot of fun because we have so many great athletes, coaches and sports teams that deserve recognition. A half-dozen accomplishments in particular really seemed to jump out as we look back on 2017:

West Feliciana captures first state football championship

The Saints went marching into the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and came out with a 40-21 victory over Richwood to claim West Feliciana’s first Class 3A state title in the All-State Sugar Bowl/LHSAA football championships.

After coming up short in the semifinals four times, including the three previous years, coach Robb Odom’s squad broke through with an impressive win.

Speedster Davon “Smoke” Harris set a Prep Classic record with 167 kick return yards and scored two touchdowns and was named the Most Outstanding Player for West Feliciana.

The victory capped a remarkable 14-1 season for the Saints, whose only loss was to rival University High, which won the Division II state crown, giving District 6-3A a sweep of Class 3A/Division II championships.

East Feliciana team second at in USATF nationals

Five athletes from East Feliciana High School enjoyed quite a run last summer. The 4x100 relay team of Tre’Darius Carr, Kirtland Hills, Jhavonte Perry and Macarthur Brown and shot putter Charvares Wilson turned in outstanding performances.

Led by Carr, the East Feliciana team finished fifth in the nation at the 51st USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships in Lawrence, Kansas, in July. Their time of 41.10 seconds was just behind Port City Track Club’s winning time of 40.36 seconds. Carr also advanced to the semifinals of the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes. Meanwhile, Wilson finished 19th in the shot put out of 90 competitors.

West Feliciana outdoor track and field team defends title

West Feliciana amassed 80 points to outdistance second-place Wossman (40 points) and the rest of the field at the All-State Sugar Bowl/LHSAA outdoor track and field championships at LSU in May. The victory marked back-to-back outdoor state championships for coach Preston King and his West Feliciana squad.

Meanwhile, the Lady Saints came up just short and settled for runner-up to champion Brusly in the girls’ championships. The West Feliciana boys indoor squad also finished runner-up behind Episcopal in Division II last February.

Louisiana Stars capture U14 World Series championship

The Louisiana Stars Under-14 baseball team went to Dallas in July and captured the USSSA Elite AAA World Series championship in impressive fashion. They played nine games in five days, going 8-1.

They entered the tournament ranked No. 1 in Louisiana and 11th overall in the nation, but they pretty much dominated their competition. They played only one seven-inning game, and every other game was either run-ruled or time limited. They faced Ropes Bushart Red from Dallas in the finals, losing the first game 8-4 then capturing the championship, 17-3.

Silliman earns MAIS softball title

The Silliman Institute softball team won its third straight Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class 3A softball title this fall.

The top-seeded Wildcats finished the season with a 36-4-3 record and defeated Bayou Academy for the title. After dropping the first game of the three-game series, 1-0, Silliman swept the final two games on its home field, 4-3 and 12-1 in five innings, to earn the crown.

West Feliciana wins Class 3A cross country title

Coach Nick Smith waited 18 years between state titles, but his patience paid off when West Feliciana placed five runners in the top 26, including a remarkable four in the top 10, and the Saints won the Class 3A state championship in November at the Class 3A state championships. The Saints were anchored by senior Chandler Sullivan, who finished two seconds out of first place in 16:39.68.

Send sports news, photos and stats to Howard Arceneaux at feliciananews@theadvocate.com.