Two years after watching his brother Monroe’s promising athletic career cut short by a leukemia diagnosis, Walker High junior Judd Lockhart wears a little bit of the former Wildcat with him every Friday when he dons his brother’s old No. 46 jersey.
Friday night at Wildcat Stadium, though, Judd Lockhart wasn’t the only one with Monroe on his mind.
The school Monroe Lockhart still attends teamed up with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to raise awareness about childhood cancer and to raise money to benefit St. Jude’s efforts to fight the disease.
The events during a 52-0 win over Broadmoor included “Rush Minute” promotions in which Walker cheerleaders hit the stands to collect donations, and a balloon release in which fans purchased balloons to release on the field at halftime.
Also, cheerleaders sold I-heart-St. Jude’s temporary tattoos for 50 cents.
The temporary tattoo Judd Lockhart wore on his left cheek was sweaty and fading by night’s end. But the Walker wide receiver’s thoughts about St. Jude — and the hospital’s efforts in his brother’s fight — will remain forever firm.
“Whenever we first got there, I don’t even know how to explain it,” Judd Lockhart said. “It was the most heartwarming place — one of the greatest places I’ve been to. They saved my brother’s life.”
Monroe Lockhart was a sophomore linebacker for the Wildcats in 2013 when his leukemia diagnosis rocked the Walker community. He left for St. Jude two days after the diagnosis to begin receiving treatment.
Now a Walker senior on pace to graduate in May, Monroe continues to make monthly trips to St. Jude, but Judd Lockhart said his brother is progressing well and expected to finish chemotherapy in the spring.
He only wishes his brother could be on the field with him to experience Walker’s recent resurgence in football.
The Wildcats improved to 4-0 by beating Broadmoor and have outscored their opponents by a 232-23 margin. They will face their biggest test yet when unbeaten Assumption visits Walker on Friday night.
“That was the one thing I always wanted,” Judd Lockhart said, “was to be able to play with him one more time.”
Denham, Live Oak respond
Denham Springs and Live Oak entered Week 4 in bounce-back mode, and both teams responded in a big way.
Live Oak recovered from a tough one-point loss to West Feliciana by piling it on St. Michael in a 47-7 home win Friday. Denham Springs, coming off its first loss, plowed to a 38-27 victory over McKinley.
The Eagles broke a 7-all tie with St. Michael by scoring 19 unanswered points to go up 26-7 at halftime and then dominated the second half by a 21-0 count. Senior running back Will Higginbotham had 186 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, giving him 430 yards and five touchdowns over Live Oak’s last two games.
A week earlier, Live Oak built a 15-point lead against West Feliciana before allowing the Saints to rally for a 28-27 win.
Denham came back from a 27-7 loss at St. Paul’s with senior quarterback Torez Kinchen, who missed the St. Paul’s game due to disciplinary action, back at the controls and got back on track with its first road win.
Sophomore running back Tyre Golmond scored three total touchdowns, including one on a 25-yard pass from Kinchen.
The Yellow Jackets (3-1) return home to face St. Michael on Friday in their final nondistrict contest.
The Eagles (2-2) finish nondistrict play Thursday at Broadmoor.
In other action Friday night, Albany crushed Crescent City 53-8 and Pope John Paul edged Springfield 19-14.
Yellow Jackets’ Kelton second in cross country meet
In the Battlefield Cross Country Festival on Saturday at Port Hudson Historic Site in Jackson, Denham Springs senior Thomas Kelton finished second in the boys race behind Catholic High’s Jeffrey Kelly.
Kelly finished the 3-mile course in 15 minutes, 58.1 seconds with Kelton second at 16:07.8.
In the team standings, the Denham boys were ninth and Walker 12th, while the Walker girls finished 10th and Albany placed 12th.
Albany junior Angela McKay finished 11th in the girls division at 21:43.8.
Around the parish
The Live Oak Middle School football teams remained undefeated last week as the seventh-graders beat North Corbin 18-12 and the eighth grade defeated Kenilworth 20-0.
Walker and Denham Springs had top-three finishes in the Capitol City Swim League over the weekend as both schools competed in the afternoon meet Saturday. Denham finished second in the girls division and third in the boys while Walker was second in the girls division.
Walker travels to face Denham Springs in a Division I district volleyball match scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday. Both teams are playing their fourth district match.