Silliman brings home the state championship gold in two sports

The Silliman boys track team and golf team took home the championship gold at the MAIS state championships this season.

At the South state meet on April 26-29 at Silliman, the Silliman boys outdistanced the field to win with 75 points. Individual South state winners were Peyton Bickham (1600m and 3200m), the 4x200m relay team, the 4x400m relay team and Jack Jackson (discus).

At the MAIS 3A state championship, the Wildcats track team scored 122 points to outdistance Lee Academy (107) and 17 other schools for the victory.

The boys were seeded third going into the meet.

“They delivered from the start with Hastings Dawson and Jacob Simmons setting the tempo in the 300 meter hurdles," said coach T.J. Davis.

Jack Jackson turned the heat up even higher by reestablishing dominance on the track, winning the 100-meter (10.93) and 200-meter (22.2) while contributing on relays.

“Jack Jackson exploding in the 100-meter dash ignited the team, and our guys fed off that energy and our confidence grew from event to event,” Davis said.

Jackson also picked up a third-place finish in the discus with a throw of 117-01.

Peyton Bickham had a busy day picking up a fourth place in the 800-meter (2:07.05) and second-place finishes in both the 1600-meter (4:48.19) and 3200-meter (10:42.59).

Davis said Bickham “showed what a Wildcat mentality was by always giving every ounce of his God-given abilities to the team and the program.”

Dawson was second in the 110-meter hurdles (16.51) and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (42.04). Darius Colenberg picked up a second place in the 400-meter (52.05). The Wildcats won the 4x200m relay (1:32.16) and the 4x400m relay (3:32.51) and were second in the 4x100m relay (44.68) and 4x800m relay (8:57.42).

"These athletes were just amazing the last three weeks of the season," Davis said.

In the field, Silliman scored points in the pole vault with Zach Attuso (11-06) and Russel Hausey (11-0) placing fourth and fifth, respectively. Jacob Simmons finished sixth in the triple jump with a leap of 40-0. Tyler Archleta was seventh in the shot put with a throw of 37-10.

The Silliman girls won the South state meet with 63.5 points. Individual South state winners included Hattie Hornsby (100m hurdles), Kensely Lantrip (high jump) and Maggie Bryan (discus). Davis praised Shelby Morris and Annabelle Windman, two of the younger girls on the team, for “following the example of hard work and team attitude set by the upper classmen.”

The Silliman girls finished third at the MAIS state championship with Maggie Brian picking up a state championship in the discus with a throw of 125-06. Other top finishers for the Lady Wildcats were Hattie Hornsby (second in the 100m hurdles), Kensley Lantrip (third in the high jump) and Sara Pace (third in the discus).

Both the Silliman girls and boys were crowned 5AAA district champions on April 17.

“What a year from top to bottom with JV girls and boys district champs, varsity girls and boys district and South state champs, girls finishing in the top 3 at state, and the boys going back to back as state champions,” Davis said.

On the season, Davis was pleased with the progression of the boys and girls teams both learning that “hard work and the right attitude with a team first mentality would put them in the driver’s seat to individual and team success.”

Championship golfers

The Silliman golf team also brought home the 3A state championship gold the first week of May. Team members Lucas Stables, Hastings Dawson, Brett Baker, Bo Gilkison, Mills Dawson and Blake Lyons finished what they started at South state the previous week.

Coach Cole Permenter said he was proud of his team. "There is no ceiling to how talented they can be, and this year is just a glimpse of that," he said.

West Feliciana Saints track follow up

Coach Preston King wants folks to know that they can help support the Saints fundraiser for state championship rings by purchasing long or short sleeve Dri-Fit T-shirts that celebrate the 4-peat for $25 cash or checks payable to West Feliciana boys track. Youth sizes are XS through XL and adult sizes range from small to XXL. Money is due by June 1. For information, contact King at

Warren Brady covers sports for The Watchman and Democrat. He can be contacted at