Leesville High School Perseveres Through It All

By: Charli Stanley

With so many high schools in the Vernon and Beauregard parish area, schools have to work hard to stand out from the rest, and you have to work hard to find that information, all while adjusting to moving to a new area. Luckily, I’ve taken the time to scrape together the information, so you don’t have to. Here, we will be taking a look into Leesville High School.

Academics:

Leesville High School’s simulated performance score for last year was quite impressive at 97.7. This score is calculated using average grades and attendance rates. Their average ACT score is 23, showing students excel at standardized testing. With a 74 percent proficiency, and 48 percent of those students proving above proficient, your children are sure to receive a satisfactory education at LHS. Advanced placement classes are offered, with a 49 percent participation rate. Dual enrollment is also offered through Northwestern State University, including the opportunity for students to earn associate degrees before their high school graduation. Speaking of graduation, their graduation rate is also satisfactory, at 95 percent.

Extracurriculars:

When asking what extracurricular activities are offered, I thought the list would never end. They offer a wide variety that is sure to encourage your children to get involved. To list only a few, they offer: Art Club, Bible Club, Black History Club, Drama Club, Environmental Club, 4-H, JROTC Color Guard & Drill, Physical Fitness and Rifle team, Quiz Bowl, Spanish Club, Student Government, Yearbook, and much more! They also offer S.T.E.M. enrichment with their Cybersecurity and Computational Thinking classes, as well as an incoming robotics course. 

Awards and Achievements:

As far as sports go, their powerlifting teams prove themselves at the competitive level, with the girl’s team winning 2nd place at state, and the boy’s team producing a state champion at the individual level. Their football team gets a taste of gold as well, having been the district 3-4A champions for 4 out of the last 6 years. LHS has had independent state champions on their track team as well. Leesville High was also ranked 31st in the state according to the list of best high schools by state by U.S. News.

Leesville High also participated in the Louisiana Forest Festival Woodsmen Skills Competition, resulting in many students bringing home first and second place in various categories such as rope climbing and match splitting. 

Students display their hard-earned awards at the Louisiana Forest Festival
Photo courtesy Lisa Haymon

Their true shining star achievement is the perseverance the school has shown as a whole through the trying times of the last few years. It was made abundantly obvious to myself that the faculty and staff at LHS are overwhelmingly proud of the resilience their students have shown, through the many trials they have been put through, as then principal Mark Mawae tells me here:

“Our students have seen their share of hardships during the last two years. From pandemics, hurricanes, tornados, ice storms, and quarantines, our students have shown perseverance through it all. They are true Wampus Cats. Unique and unlike any other. They stand out, they thrive, they dare to excel, for once a Wampus Cat, always a Wampus Cat, and I am so glad that I am a Wampus Cat.

A school that acknowledges their students’ hard work and holds their well-being and education above all, Leesville High School has proven to be an ideal community for your children to thrive in.

Taking Advantage of Dual Enrollment In High School

By Kimberly Wallis

With the rising cost of secondary education, anything that helps students complete college faster and at a lower cost, has appeal. Dual Enrollment (DE) can do just that, while also helping smooth the transition to college.

For those who plan on using the GI Bill, it’s important to know dependent children must be 18 or younger when the GI Bill benefits are transferred to them, but must also be over 18 or a high school graduate to use them. However, DE can still be useful as many majors take more than the standard four years of college. Having extra benefits available for tutors if your kids are having trouble with a class is an option as well. If you decide you want to transfer your benefits, get started by logging in here.

Cassie McKenzie smiles while showing off the Associate of General Studies degree earned through the Vernon Parish dual enrollment program.
Photo credits: Vernon Parish School Board

DE allows students to receive credit for the same course on both their high school and local technical, community, or four-year college transcripts. Students qualify based upon the academic requirements/guidelines set forth by the post-secondary institution. Their high school counselor helps them complete registration and select appropriate classes that meet Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) graduation requirements.

All schools in the Beauregard Parish School District offer dual enrollment through McNeese State University, Upper Iowa University, Pelican Chapter ABC, and Sowela Technical Community College. DE students here pay a reduced price for courses they take, with free and reduced lunch students paying even less. The Beauregard Parish School Board (BPSB) assumes the additional cost for this tuition reduction. Beauregard Parish School District Test Coordinator and Acting Curriculum Director Larry Hollie said courses typically provide entry level math, ELA, and supplementary courses that allow a graduating senior to enter university as a sophomore. He reported his district had 387 dual enrollments throughout the 2021-2022 academic school year. 

Two of Vernon Parish’s dual enrollment participants strike a smiling graduation pose.
photo credits: Vernon Parish School Board

All schools in the Vernon Parish School District offer dual enrollment through Northwestern State University (NSU), Sowela Technical Community College, and Central Louisiana Technical Community College (CLTCC). Lisa Lohman, dual enrollment coordinator for the Vernon Parish School District, says tuition fees are currently offset by the district through the use of Supplemental Course Academy (SCA) funding so the only financial obligations are the cost of textbooks and/or lab fees. DE enrollment here is open to all “qualifying” juniors and seniors and only to sophomores who make a full commitment to pursue the Associate Degree program. She also reported that Vernon Parish School District currently has 260 students participating in the DE program, with 91 students pursuing the Associate Degree. The graduating class of 2022 has 14 seniors who will graduate having already earned an Associates Degree from NSU!
If you’d like more information about the dual enrollment program, start with your local school district website. You may also want to check out the dual enrollment online portal recently launched by LDOE and the Board of Regents or the LDOE Fast Forward initiative.

A dual enrollment graduate smiles onstage while receiving his degree in Vernon Parish. Photo credits: Vernon Parish School Board

What Does Rosepine High School Have to Offer?

By: Charli Stanley

With how broad the selection of high schools is in Vernon and Beauregard parishes, I’m sure it can be a little daunting choosing the correct one for your students, especially while juggling all of the things that come with moving to a new area. My hopes are that I can alleviate some of that stress by informing you about some of the schools in the area and showcasing what they have to offer. Here, we will be taking a look into Rosepine High School.

Academics:

Rosepine High School, being one on the list of many, works hard to stand out among the crowd, and all of that hard work has definitely paid off. U.S. News recently published a list of best high schools in Louisiana, ranking Rosepine as #17 in the state and #1 in the area. With an A overall school rating from the Louisiana Department of Education and exemplary test scores, your children are sure to receive a proper education at RHS. Scores on the ACT average at 22, and 95 percent of their students score gold or higher on their ACT Workkeys Test. Proficiency rates are also satisfactory, with 67 percent proficiency in math and 75 percent in reading. All of this culminates at an impressive graduation rate of 96 percent. 

Advanced Placement courses through CollegeBoard and dual enrollment classes through Northwestern State University are offered for students looking to get a head start on earning college credits. On average, 57 percent of eligible students participate in the Advanced Placement Program, equipping students with the knowledge needed to prepare them for taking their next step in education. 

Extracurriculars:

Many extracurricular activities are offered at Rosepine High School, including baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf, track and field, powerlifting, softball, band, and cheerleading. Starting in the new 2022-2023 school year, RHS will also be introducing S.T.E.M. enrichment with the debut of their drone and robotics team.

Awards and Achievements:

Rosepine not only excels in academics, but also in sports. The RHS baseball team currently holds the class 2A state championship title for two years running, while the girls basketball and softball teams are both recognized on the LHSAA top 28 list.The football team was recently ranked top 10 for the 2021 season.

A word from Principal Joey Bartz: 

“Rosepine High School is such a special place, but why? The answer is simple.  Rosepine High School is made up of the most eagerly competitive people in the state.  The faculty, staff, students, and community want to win in everything they do, whether it is academics, athletics, or any other competition.  If they cannot win, they want to be the example in which others strive for. The school is heavily teacher led and has tremendous community involvement, which is a recipe for excellence.”

Rosepine is a school that leads its students to success with a principal that strives to maintain adaptability to ensure your childrens’ needs are met. It is a great option for your children to settle into after the commotion of moving.

Head Start and LA4 – Early Education at Fort Polk

By Kimberly Wallis

Often, our transitioning military families aren’t even aware that everyone is encouraged to apply
for early childhood education programs (ECE) at Fort Polk. Although local public programs are
specifically geared toward lower income families, there may be additional spaces available for
children from families with higher earnings, potentially making the time spent on the application
process well worth it!

Photo Credits: VPSB HS & B5
A child, participating in a Vernon Parish early childhood educational program, plays outside.

While we may hate the thought of our babies growing up too fast, early childhood education
(ECE) allows parents to provide financially while still being part of a team working to put their
child on the path to success during their entire educational journey. Many dual earner and single
parent families alike take advantage of the affordable, high quality daycare programs offered
locally to get help with providing the basic skills their children need before entering
Kindergarten.
Studies show long-term benefits of ECE include being more likely to graduate high school,
attend college, less likely to be incarcerated, less likely to require public assistance, and earning
higher wages. Recognizing the importance of early education as a long term solution towards
combating low education rankings and high poverty levels, Louisiana legislators recently
advanced a bill making the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission permanent and
Governor John Bel Edwards’ agenda called for more funding at every level of education,
including ECE.

Photo credits: VPSB HS & B5 Josiah enjoys his treats during snack time at the early childhood education program he attends in Vernon Parish.

Socialization is another benefit to enrolling, especially if you’re new to an area! It’s always nice
to get to know others in the area with kids the same age as yours.
Just as children are presented with socialization opportunities they might not otherwise have,
parents gain access to information about other beneficial community services through
interaction with both school staff and other parents. For instance, children are monitored to
ensure they are meeting developmental milestones in order to help parents seek early
intervention when necessary. Special needs children are also served in these programs.
There are two programs offered at the two school districts that service Fort Polk. Louisiana’s

Photo credits: VPSB HS & B5
Layla smiles about the books on display at her Vernon Parish School District early childhood education program.

primary preschool program, Cecil J. Picard LA4, provides full day pre-K in public schools to four-
year-olds from disadvantaged families. Head Start is a federal program that promotes the

school readiness of children aged birth through five from low-income families.
Vernon Parish Head Start and Beauregard Parish Head Start both offer child development
programs for children from age 3 to 4 years old and Early Head Start for children from birth to 3
years old. Please note that transportation is not available in Beauregard Parish School District
and Vernon Parish School District only provides school buses for 4 year olds.
Filling out the application does not guarantee your child will be able to attend. However, an
incomplete application or lack of required documentation may lengthen the process or even
disqualify your child. Be sure to check with each program for which you are applying about what
you’ll need! The links to each district have been provided in the preceding paragraph to make it
easier to check out what you’ll need and where it’s offered.

Photo credits: VPSB HS & B5
A child enjoys a Hatch tablet utilized as part of the early childhood educational program in the Vernon Parish School District.

In the Vernon Parish School District, applications are conveniently located outside the office at
1409 South 4th Street in Leesville. You can fill it out at your convenience but must turn it in
between 8:30-11:30 AM, Monday through Thursday. For more information, call the VPSB HS &
B5 office at 337-239-6899.

 Photo credits: VPSB HS & B5
Myles partners with a friend to create a colorful garden scene at their Vernon Parish early childhood education program.


In the Beauregard Parish School District, rated highly proficient for overall measures of
classroom quality by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), you complete this online application. For more information, call (337) 463-5905.

photo credits: VPSB HS & B5
Charlie sports a huge smile on the swings during outside play time at his Vernon Parish early childhood education program.

Sending your child off to school can be hard on some parents (especially first timers!) but
parental involvement is actually encouraged and helps with fostering a lifelong love of learning
in your child. So when you apply, be sure to check out the volunteer opportunities available for
parents as well!

photo credits: VPSB HS & B5
A child plays with different toys as a fun way to work on building his gross motor skills at an early childhood education program in the Vernon Parish School District.

How Are The School Districts Serving Fort Polk? Better than you think…

By Kimberly Wallis

So you found out your family will be headed to Fort Polk and you’re wondering how this will impact your child because Louisiana ranks among the last in the nation on education. Let’s put those fears to rest real quick; Louisiana as a whole may rank low on education, but you’re actually headed to a great area for public school systems!

Unlike many of you reading this who are assigned to this area, I had a choice and made a conscious decision to move back here mainly because I liked the public school system so much. At the time, I worked in San Antonio, Texas and while the schools there weren’t exactly bad, I was still concerned about the quality of education my children were receiving. I felt strongly enough about it that I was willing to take a massive pay cut to move back and can honestly say I never looked back on that decision with any degree of regret. Not only was the education better but communication with the staff was much easier and more personalized here than in a larger city.

I’ve created a bar chart to better illustrate how good the public school system is here, and I must admit that I was even pleasantly surprised by the results! For comparison purposes, we’ll use the two school districts that service Fort Polk (Vernon Parish School District and Beauregard Parish School District) with some that service posts most people hope for: Fort Bragg (Fort Bragg Unified School District), Fort Carson (Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8) and Fort Belvoir (Fairfax County Public Schools). On Niche’s website, Fort Belvoir is highly rated and the other four public school districts are all rated above average. 

A bar chart compares three school districts serving other Army posts with the two that serve Fort Polk.

You may notice that ACT scores were slightly lower here (only one point from the other two above average schools we compared). Many colleges require a 17, so this isn’t a bad average. However, what the chart doesn’t show is that all Louisiana students are required to take the ACT test, whether they are college bound or not. This requirement impacts district scores significantly! Consider this: would you, as a high school junior or senior, do your best on a time-consuming, challenging test when you knew the results didn’t matter in your life? An acquaintance’s son in the Vernon district took the ACT twice during his junior and sophomore year when he was considering going to college. Both times he scored a 17, everything he needed to receive the Taylor Opportunity Scholarship (TOPS) for technical school, but not quite what he needed to receive TOPS for a four year college. He took the ACT again his senior year, after he’d already determined he wasn’t going to college but instead technical school. He told his mom before he left the house he was not even going to try. He scored a 10. So when comparing Vernon and Beauregard ACT scores to the district scores in states where only those who are college bound take the ACT, remember the comparison is skewed. Fort Bragg and Fort Belvoir have no such requirement, although Fort Carson does require all students to take the SAT. 

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) reports graduation rates in Beauregard Parish maintaining a rate above 90 percent for eight consecutive years. Vernon Parish graduation rates increased 10 points over a five year period. Both of these districts now have a 95 percent graduation rate.

In all fairness, let’s talk about where Fort Polk’s two school districts could stand for some improvement. Dual enrollment is available for students in both districts, and many students here do take advantage of the program, but, much like the rest of Louisiana, we are still low on the total number of highschoolers utilizing dual-enrollment to gain college credits while in high school. Dual enrollment can actually help save money on a college education in most places, yet only about a quarter of eligible students are currently participating across the state! If you’d like more information on this program you can visit your particular school district’s website. Alternatively, the Louisiana Department of Education and the Board of Regents recently launched a new dual enrollment online portal.

Hopefully, this information helps to assuage any fears you may have about Louisiana being ranked so low on education. Simply put, the state average does not do justice to the quality of education offered here.

Pirates claim second straight Class C state title

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – Baseball games aren’t won or lost in the first inning.

But sometimes a play or two makes a huge difference.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Rpma Pics
Hicks first baseman Connor Helton had a huge 3-run triple to open the scoring for the Pirates in the first inning of their 9-0 victory over the Hornbeck Hornets on Friday in the Class C championship game.

Instead of escaping the first inning with a double play ball, the Hornbeck Hornets watched Hicks score four runs, leading the third-ranked Pirates to a 9-0 victory over the No. 4 Hornets in the Class C state championship game at McMurry Park early Friday afternoon.

With the victory, the Pirates claimed their second straight Class C state title as they will embark to Class B next season.

Hornbeck opened the game with a Jaren Mitcham double and he reached third, but was stranded their as Hicks starter Zach Haymon got out of the inning with a strikeout and a lineout.

It appeared as if the Pirates were going to go scoreless in the bottom of the frame. After loading the bases with a double from title game Most Outstanding Player Aiden Coffman and a single by Haymon, along with Brad Pelt being hit by a pitch.

With Connor Helton at bat, it appeared as if he hit the ball to Hornbeck starter JoJo Weeks, who flipped the ball home for one out, with Mitcham firing to Tristen Welch at first for the double play.

However, the ball was ruled foul and Helton blasted the next pitch he saw to deep left center for a 3-run double and a 3-0 Hicks lead. Helton later scored on a single from Hayden Doyle, allowing Hicks to take a 4-0 advantage.

The Hornets managed to load the bases in the second inning, but a defensive play by Dakota Edwards off a Mitcham grounder ended the threat.

Hicks pushed three runs across in the bottom of the second as Pelt had an RBI-single, as did Edwards. Helton also drove in a run with a hit to push the lead to 7-0.

The Pirates added some insurance runs in the fourth and sixth innings to seal the deal.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Roma PicsThe Hicks Pirates defeated the Hornbeck Hornets on Friday in the Class C finals at McMurry Park in Sulphur, 9-0, to capture a second straight state championship.

Haymon worked six and a third innings, giving up no runs on five hits with nine strikeouts, while Pelt closed the game with back-to-back outs.

Coffman was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a pair of doubles, while Helton had a triple, a single and three RBIs. Haymon also had three hits and an RBI.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Roma Pics
The Hornbeck Hornets fell to the Hicks Pirates on Friday in the Class C finals at McMurry Park in Sulphur, 9-0, claiming the runner-up crown for a second straight season.

Weeks suffered the loss, going the distance for Hornbeck, giving up nine runs on 11 hits. Cole Richardson had a pair of hits to lead the Hornets offensively.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Roma Pics
Hicks catcher Aiden Coffman claimed the Class C Most Outstanding Player in the Class C title game as he had three hits and three runs scored as he guided the PIrates to a 9-0 win over rival Hornbeck. Pictured with Coffman is LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine.

Indians fall in extra innings to defending champ Choudrant, 5-4

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – Don’t tell the No. 11 Anacoco Indians they are too young to make the state baseball tournament.

Don’t tell them they don’t belong. Don’t tell them they don’t know what they are getting into.

The Indians, which started a quintet of junior high school players in their lineup, had the Class B defending champion and second-seeded Choudrant Aggies on the ropes only to fall in the bottom of the eighth inning of the state semifinals at McMurry Park in Sulphur on Wednesday, 5-4.

The Indians worked their way out to an early 3-1 lead, scoring all three of the runs in the second inning. After falling behind after one inning of play, Kaleb Goodwin was hit by a pitch with one out and advanced to second on a single by Trey Lewing. Xzavier Matthews loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch.

Goodwin scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Landon Goodwin and Caleb Taylor singled to load the bases again.

Anacoco took the lead when Chase Taylor singled to center, allowing both Kaleb Goodwin and Matthews to score, pushing the Indian advantage to 3-1.

Photo courtesy of SAMANTHA GOODWIN
Anacoco first baseman Chase Taylor had three hits, including two doubles, and two RBIs as he led the 11th-seeded Indians in a 5-4 extra-inning loss to the second-ranked Choudrant Aggies in the Class B semifinals on Wednesday in Sulphur, 5-4.

Choudrant managed to battle back in the bottom of the third with a pair of runs off of a 2-run double by Jackson Case, knotting the game at 3-3.

The game remained tied until the top of the seventh inning when Anacoco pushed a run across. Chase Taylor doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Reid Rodriguez, giving Anacoco a 4-3 lead.

But once again, Choudrant responded with a run in the bottom of the frame. Kaden Bradshaw tripled and later scored to tie things up at 4-4.

After Anacoco was retired in the top of the eighth, the Aggies managed to score off of a couple of Indian errors to escape with the win.

Chase Taylor took the loss despite not giving up a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Rodriguez worked the first seven innings, giving up four runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts.

Taylor was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs, while Rodriguez was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Bryce McQuire worked five innings to get the win, giving up one run on five hits with four strikeouts. Gavin Murphy had two hits and an RBI, while Bradshaw had two hits, including a triple with a run scored. Case added a double and two RBIs for the Aggies.

Eagles cap historic season with second straight Class 2A crown

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – A dominating season ended in dominating fashion.

Senior Ethan Frey struck out eight batters and drove in four runs in leading the top-ranked Rosepine Eagles to an 11-0 triumph over the Cinderella No. 11 Doyle Tigers in the Class 2A finals Friday at McMurry Park in Sulphur.

With the victory, the Eagles end the season with a record of 34-2, winning their last 30 games consecutively.

The Eagles wasted little time getting on the board, scoring twice in the bottom of the first. Jake Smith led off with a walk, took second base and then reached third on a bunt single by Logan Calcote.

Grant Ducote loaded the bases by drawing a walk, bringing Frey to the plate. Frey smacked a hard shot up the middle of the infield, which was mishandled by Jace Ware, allowing Calcote to round third and score following Smith crossing the plate, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers responded with a triple off the bat of Braden McLin to the deepest part of the park. However, McLin was stranded at third as Frey struck out two batters and induced a groundout to end the frame.

The Eagles scored four more times in the bottom of the third as Frey had a 3-run double, while Braden Trull doubled in courtesy runner Lane Willis, giving Rosepine a 6-0 cushion.

After working a quick fourth, the Eagles were able to tag five more runs to the total in the bottom of the fourth, which was started with an inside-the-park home run by Smith for a 7-0 lead.

Cole Donahue added a 2-run single in the frame, while Aden Cline drove in a run as Rosepine moved out to an 11-0 lead.

Frey and the Eagle defense did the rest in the top of the fifth as Frey forced a flyout, strikeout and a groundout to give Rosepine its second state championship in a row.

Frey, the title game Most Outstanding Player for a second year in a row, tossed a 1-hitter in his final game as an Eagle, while also driving in four runs.  Trull was the only Eagle with multiple hits as he was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Smith and Calcote each scored three runs in the win.

Caiden Barcia suffered the loss for the Tigers, although the lefty struck out five batters. McLin had the lone hit for the Tigers, as they only had two baserunners in the game, the other being Barcia, who was thrown out attempting to steal by Trull in the fourth.

Hornbeck returning to state finals, tops Simpson

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – All the Hornbeck Hornets needed was one.

But Devyn Sharp got them two.

Sharp was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and the Hornbeck defense did the rest as they knocked off No. 9 Simpson on Wednesday morning at McMurry Park in the Class C state semifinals, 2-0.

With the victory, the Hornets now await the winner between Hicks and Calvin.

After a couple of scoreless innings where both teams stranded a pair of runners, the fourth-seeded Hornets got things going in the bottom of the third. With one out, Parker Alexander doubled to left field and later scored on a Sharp RBI-single, scoring Alexander for a 1-0 lead.

Photo courtesy of SHARON FONTENOT/Roma Pics
Hornbeck senior Devyn Sharp drove in the only two runs of the game as he went 2-for-3 in leading the fourth-seeded Hornets past district rival and No. 9 Simpson on Wednesday in the Class C semifinals, 2-0.

The score remained that way until the bottom of the fifth when Jaren Mitcham singled, moved to second on a sacrifice and easily scored on an RBI-double off of Sharp’s bat for a 2-0 lead.

Simpson had one last opportunity in the seventh as the Broncos loaded the bases, but Addison retired Chase Taylor on a strikeout to complete his two-hitter.

Addison struck out 10 batters and gave up no runs on two hits. Sharp was the lone Hornet with multiple hits and drove in both runs. Alexander and Sharp each had doubles, while Mitcham had a hit and a run scored,

Ethan Nash suffered the loss, giving up two runs on seven hits with eight strikeouts. Tristin Williams doubled for the Broncos, while Justus Crooks had the other hit.

Pirates dominate Calvin to advance to Class C title game

By DANIEL GREEN

BWS Sports

SULPHUR – Baseball games can’t be won in the first inning. 

But the Hicks Pirates weren’t about to lose it either.

The third-seeded Pirates scored five runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back in blasting the second-ranked Calvin Cougars in the Class C semifinals at McMurry Park in Sulphur on Wednesday, 11-1.

Calvin starter Dylan Kyle was shelled in the top of the first by the aggressive bats of the Pirates. Bryson Rachal reached on a 1-out error and took second on a stolen base. He managed to score off a single from Zach Haymon to open the scoring.

Brad Pelt followed with a single to put runners at the corners and Dakota Edwards would reach on an error to score two runs for a 3-0 lead.

Hayden Doyle was hit by a pitch and both he and Edwards scored on a 2-run single off the bat of Cayden Cowgill for a 5-0 lead.

After a scoreless inning, the Pirates pushed a run across in the third when Edwards walked and later scored on a single from Kane Hagan for a 6-0 lead.

Hicks’ lead continued to grow with three more runs in the fourth. Rachal doubled to open the inning and scored on a single from Pelt. After a single from Edwards gave Hicks two runners, Doyle smacked a 2-run double to give Hicks a 9-0 advantage.

Photo courtesy of SHELIA STEPHENS
Hicks centerfielder Bryson Rachal (1) slides in safely on the steal during the Pirates’ 11-1 win over the Calvin Cougars on Wednesday in the Class C semifinals in Sulphur

Calvin pushed a run across in the fourth, but Hicks answered with two more in the fifth thanks to RBIs from Rachal and Haymon for an 11-1 lead.

The Cougars had a chance to extend the game in the bottom of the frame, but stranded a runner at third to give Hicks the mercy-rule victory.

Doyle earned the win on the mound for the Pirates, throwing only 42 pitches through four innings of work. He gave up one run on seven hits with four strikeouts. Haymon worked the last inning, allowing no runs on two hits.

Kyle suffered the loss for the Cougars on the mound, working just over two innings, giving up six runs. Cooper Spangler, John Bradley Griffin and Wayne Curtis Huckaby each had two hits for Calvin.