Although the Denham Springs boys soccer program is barely a decade old, the Yellow Jackets have established themselves as an annual fixture in the LHSAA playoffs.
They are at it again this season as the No. 10 seed in the Division I bracket and heading into a second round matchup at No. 7 seed Alexandria Senior High on Thursday night.
Denham advanced with a 5-1 victory last week over H.L. Bourgeois, marking the fourth straight season the Yellow Jackets have reached the second round. A trip to the quarterfinals in 2015 remains the program's high-water mark.
"I think we're a Top 10 program," coach Chris Thorne said when asked about Denham's position in Division I soccer. "The next step is consistently winning some of these big games."
The Yellow Jackets will get another chance in the matchup with ASH set for 5 p.m.
Denham played ASH to a 0-0 draw when the teams met early this season.
If the Yellow Jackets can avenge a 2014 playoff loss to the Trojans, they will return home to play a home quarterfinal against the winner of No. 2 seed Catholic and No. 15 seed Jesuit.
Catholic handed Denham its only district loss of the season in a 2-0 decision late last month.
"That is in the back of our minds," Thorne said of a possible rematch with Catholic, "but we don't want to get ahead of ourselves."
In the first-round victory against H.L. Bourgeois, William Chevalier scored the first of four first-half goals by the Yellow Jackets as Denham built a 4-1 cushion. Collin Turner had the only goal of the second half — his second of the night — to complete the scoring.
No matter how far the Yellow Jackets advance, Thorne said he expects the experience of making the playoffs and having some success to benefit a team that includes only two senior starters.
Denham girls move on
The Denham Springs boys weren't the only soccer team on campus to advance past the first round.
The Denham girls also picked up a first-round win as the Yellow Jackets went on the road to notch a 4-3 victory over Captain Shreve, setting up a second-round matchup against No. 3 seed St. Scholastica.
The win allowed Denham to put behind a tough finish to the regular season that included back-to-back losses to Baton Rouge High and St. Joseph's.
Arnold wins No. 300
Walker girls basketball coach Korey Arnold picked up his 300th career victory Jan. 30 in the Wildcats' impressive 48-32 win at Scotlandville in District 4-5A.
Arnold improved to 149-53 in six seasons as the Walker coach. He previously coached at Sam Houston.
The Wildcats will close the regular season on Friday when they host rival Denham Springs in another key district game.
Walker boys fall to Scotlandville
A much-anticipated showdown between Walker and Scotlandville in 4-5A boys action did not disappoint.
Walker had a chance to pull out a narrow victory Jan. 30 before a big home crowd, but a 3-point try by Jalen Perkins on the final possession missed the mark in a 68-67 loss.
LSU signee Ja'Vante Smart had a game-high 24 points for the Hornets. Walker sophomore Jalen Cook scored 12 of his 15 points in the first half as the Wildcats took a 42-38 lead into intermission.
Walker makes the short trip to Denham Springs on Friday for a rematch of Walker's buzzer-beating victory over the Yellow Jackets last month.
The annual LHSCA East-West All-Star Basketball Games on March 17 at Bossier Parish Community College will feature four players from Livingston Parish.
Perkins got the nod in the boys game and will join the likes of Smart as a member of the East squad.
In the girls game, the parish will be represented on the East squad by Albany's Natalie Kelly, Holden's Kaylee Hughes and Walker's Breanna Zeringue.
Kelly has signed with Auburn and Hughes with McNeese State. Zeringue recently surpassed 1,000 points for her career.
The girls game will tip off at 1 p.m., followed by the boys game at 3 p.m.