Last year it was Christian Life Academy/The Church Academy. And now, Runnels is set to end its run as a high school in the Baton Rouge area this spring.

The loss of two schools that experienced success in LHSAA athletics in multiple sports in back-to-back years is a tough one that speaks not only to the changing demographics, but also the every-changing education landscape in Baton Rouge.

To most people, the loss of a 1A and Class B level school might not sound like much. However, both schools were fixtures for decades in Baton Rouge. Their stories — right down to the end — are worth noting.

Christian Life made its mark with LHSAA titles in boys and girls basketball. The Crusaders also made one Prep Classic football title game.

Runnels won LHSAA baseball titles and were a regular in the softball tourney for a few years. The Raiders advanced to the LHSAA boys basketball tourney last spring and have been a force in cross country and track over the past decade.

Once Runnels closes its high school, elementary and middle school grades will remain. Time and sports seasons will march on. The Raiders left behind will move to new high schools and be part of another story.

Though the schools will no longer exist, the memories will live on even as high school sports continue throughout the Baton Rouge area. This is the other circle of life that isn’t in a Disney movie. A few tears may be shed here, too.

BRHS Hall of Fame

Eight former athletes and two former coaches will be inducted into the Baton Rouge High Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony at 2 p.m. May 9 at the school. The event is free.

All the 2020 athletes being inducted earned all-state honors in their sports. Ernest W. Foy (track and field, 1962-68) and O.M. “Butch” Helveston (track and field, cross country, 1979-1997) are the coaches being inducted.

The list of athletes consists of Wallace “Butch” Mixon (basketball, baseball 1957), Melissa Mitchell Ramsey (soccer 1991), Braden Holloway (swimming 1997), Michelle Coryell Tanner (gymnastics 1999), Jessica Thomas Fernald (soccer 1999), Emily Branciere Gainey (soccer 1999), Katara Rosby (track and field 2005), and Katrina Taylor (track and field 2005).

DSHS Hall of Fame nominations

The Hood Dental Care/Denham Springs High Athlete Hall of Fame is accepting nominations for its 10th induction class until March 31.

Hall of Fame nomination guidelines for the Class of 2020 are available to the public at or by picking up a copy at the school office. For more information, contact Jim Spring at or (225) 588-0366.

Area combine group

The list of LSU players invited to participate in the NFL  combine set for Feb. 24-March 2 in Indianapolis includes  Lloyd Cushenberry of Dutchtown, Catholic’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Livonia’s Patrick Queen and Stephen Sullivan of Donaldsonville.

But the list also includes two other players local fans are familiar with former Kentwood defensive back/quarterback Shyheim Carter of Alabama and ex-Madison Prep lineman/linebacker Malcolm Roach of Texas.

Email Robin Fambrough at