The Panther Play by Play – February 5 – February 18

The Panther Play by Play – February 5 – February 18

Each week the Panther Play by Play will review the athletic contests from the previous week and look forward to the coming week’s action.

Want to come out and cheer on the Panthers? Tickets for all home events can be purchased online.

Bowling

Our Panther Bowling team had matches against both Zachary and Liberty this week. Our bowlers had two impressive victories, defeating Zachary by the score of 27-0 and Liberty by the score of  24-3.

The Panthers moved to 4-1.

Next up for Bowling: Our bowling team’s next match is against East Ascension on the 22nd at All Star Lanes beginning at 3:15 pm.


Girls’ Basketball

The Lady Panther varsity team played a nail-biting district game against Liberty on the 7th. In a close battle, the team lost 52-49.

However, on the 9th, the girls rallied for a win against  St. Joseph’s Academy on their senior night. The final varsity score was 53-32, and seniors Tralyn Riley, Ranya Smith, Faith Thomas, and Kailee Washington were celebrated.

Next up for Girls’ Basketball: Our Lady Panthers earned a first round bye in the Select Division I playoff bracket by being named the 5th seed. Woodlawn will host Northwood-Shreveport in the regional round of playoffs on the 19th.


Boys’ Basketball

The Panthers fell to Liberty on Tuesday, with a varsity score of 60-53 and a JV score of 58-22. The team fought against Catholic High on the 9th, ending in a 62-54 varsity loss and a 60-40 loss for JV.

On the 14th, the varsity team faced another loss in overtime to Central, with a score of 64-56. The JV team lost 56-22.

On Friday, the boys rallied to a great win over Scotlandville. The varsity final score was 68-55. The boys finished their season at #22 in Division I Select. 

Next up for Boys’ Basketball: Our Panthers earned the #22 seed in the Select Division I playoffs. Woodlawn will travel to Brother Martin on Friday, February 23rd for a 7 pm Bi-District game.


Tennis

On Tuesday the 6th, our tennis team displayed exceptional prowess on the court, securing victories against Walker across both the boys’ and girls’ divisions.

In the boys’ division, Woodlawn asserted its dominance by clinching three out of four matches against Walker. Levi Lindsay and Jacob Hoang showcased their individual skill and determination, triumphing in their respective singles matches. The duo of Jacob Aime & Sam Marino displayed remarkable teamwork and coordination to secure a victory in the doubles match.

The girls’ division witnessed an equally impressive performance from Woodlawn’s tennis team. Miriam Lindsay and Kate Russell demonstrated their prowess by emerging victorious in their singles matches. The doubles pairs of Krystel Amo & Amelie LeMaire and Bella Winter & Caitlyn Gruse secured victories in their respective matches.

Following this impressive performance, both the boys’ and girls’ teams maintain a flawless record of 1-0, setting a strong foundation for future matches and competitions.

On Wednesday the 7th, the teams lost to Dutchtown. Our boys’ team fell 2-1, while our girls fell 3-2. 

Our Woodlawn Invitational took place on February 9th and 10th. On the 9th, Lily Ingalls and Levi Lindsay won their singles matches. The doubles teams of Krystel Amo & Amelie LeMaire, Jacob Aime & Sam Marino, and Ryan Russel & Devin Sutor-Benfield defeated their various opponents as well. 

On the 10th, several Woodlawn players made it all the way to the end of the tournament. Ryan Russell & Devin Sutor-Benfield finished as boys’ doubles quarterfinalists. The team of Jacob Aime & Same Marino finished as boys’ doubles semifinalists. 

Levi Lindsay and Lily Ingalls were named boys’ and girls’ singles finalists, respectively. The team of Krystel Amo & Amelie LeMaire finished as girls’ doubles finalists

Next up for Tennis: The Panther tennis teams will play St. Amant on the 19th and Central on the 21st. Both matches will be played at Highland Road Tennis Center starting at 3 pm.


Track

On Saturday the 17th, several Woodlawn athletes competed at the Indoor State Track Meet held at LSU. 

Woodlawn was represented by Caleb Cooper in the 60m, Alex Collins in the shot put, and both 4×200 and 4×400 relay teams. 

Junior Caleb Cooper ran a 7.17, earning him 13th place.  

Senior Alex Collins threw 42’9”, landing him in 13th place.

The 4×200 relay consisted of Caleb Cooper, junior Keylen Sonnier, senior Couren Norman, and junior Jay’Cob Jolla. The team ran a 1:33.79, earning them 5th place. 

The 4×400 team consisted of Couren Norman, Jay’Cob Jolla, Keylen Sonnier, and junior Kydell Miner. They placed 9th with a time of 3:38.73.

Next up for Track: Outdoor track season will begin with meets at Brusly on the 28th and Denham Springs High School on the 29th.


Baseball

Preparation for the baseball season has ended, and games will begin this week. First year Head Coach Royce Holloway is excited to see his Panthers on the field for the first time this upcoming week.

Next up for Baseball: Woodlawn’s baseball season will begin on Monday, February 19th with a game at 6 pm at Walker High School. Their home opener will be the next day at 3:30 pm versus East Iberville. The Panthers will also host Slaughter Community Charter at 3:30 pm on Thursday, February 22nd. The Panthers’ busy week concludes on Saturday, when they host Independence High School at 1 pm.  


Softball

On the 15th, the Lady Panthers absolutely dominated Northeast. The team started their season off with a run rule in only 3 innings. The final score was 17-0. 

Next up for Softball: Our softball team will host Scotlandville on the 20th and then Northeast again on the 22nd. Both games will be at 4 pm.


Powerlifting

Our Boys’ Powerlifting team competed in the LHSPLA Boys East Regional Powerlifting Meet on the 17th.

Junior Rashad Batiste (198 lbs), junior Dwayne Beverly (275 lbs), and senior CJ May (super heavyweight) all placed 2nd in their respective weight classes. 

Next up for Powerlifting: The LHSPLA Girls East Regional Powerlifting Meet will be hosted at Woodlawn High School on the 24th.

The Panther Play by Play – January 29 – February 4

The Panther Play by Play – January 29 – February 4

Each week the Panther Play by Play will review the athletic contests from the previous week and look forward to the coming week’s action.

Want to come out and cheer on the Panthers? Tickets for all home events can be purchased online.

Bowling

Our Panther Bowling team had matches against both Scotlandville and Catholic High this week. While they fell to Catholic on Tuesday with a final score of 19-8, they rallied for an impressive win against Scotlandville on Wednesday.

Seniors John Cador and Keylen Sonnier bowled a 268 and 227, respectively, and sophomore Henry Bratkowski bowled a 212. 

With a final score of 27-0, the Panthers moved to 2-1 for the season thus far.

Next up for Bowling: Our bowling team is gearing up for two matches next week – Zachary on the 5th and Liberty on the 8th. Both matches will be bowled at All Star Lanes beginning at 3:15 pm. 


Girls’ Basketball

Both our JV and varsity Lady Panthers Basketball teams brought home big district 4-5A wins against Scotlandville and Zachary last week. 

On Tuesday, the JV team scored 32 points to the Lady Hornets’ 24. Junior Mya Montgomery led the team with 10 points. Freshman Layla Turner was close behind with 9. The varsity team dominated with a final score of 58-24. The team was led by two juniors; Amijah Price was the top scorer with 17 points, and McKenzi Haynes followed with 10 points. 

On Friday, the varsity Lady Panthers defeated Zachary with a final score of 60-46. The team was led by senior Ranya Smith (17 points, 14 rebounds) and junior Amijah Price (10 assists, 9 points, 8 steals, and 7 rebounds). 

Our Lady Panthers are now ranked #5 in Division I Select power rankings, with records of 3-0 in district and 21-8 overall.    

Next up for Girls’ Basketball: The Lady Panther JV and varsity teams are on the road to play Liberty on the 7th. The JV game is scheduled to start at 5:30. The winner of that game will be ranked 1st in district. 

On Friday, our girls will be at home for their senior night games against St. Joseph’s Academy. Games start at 5 pm. 


Boys’ Basketball

Our varsity and JV Panther basketball teams both defeated White Castle on the road last week. Our varsity team battled to a 68-61 win.

Both teams fought hard in high-intensity games against Madison Prep on Wednesday, but ultimately faced defeat. The JV team lost 66-36 and varsity lost 56-42.

On Friday, our freshman, JV, and varsity teams played challenging district games against Zachary. Unfortunately, all 3 teams came up short. The varsity team lost 69-48.

Next up for Boys’ Basketball: The Panthers play at home on the 6th in a JV/Varsity doubleheader against Liberty, scheduled to start at 6:00 pm. On the 9th, the boys are away at Catholic High for Freshman/JV/Varsity games at 5:30 pm.


Girls’ Soccer

The Lady Panthers Soccer team finished their season last week with an unfortunate loss to St. Amant on Monday. 

With a final score of 8-0, the team finished with a record of 7-9-1. This record demonstrates impressive growth and development from their record of 1-16-1 last season.


Boys’ Soccer

Our Panthers soccer team played a first round playoff game at Dutchtown last Friday. 

Dutchtown was ranked #4 to Woodlawn’s #29. While they eventually lost 2-0, ending their season, the team held undefeated Dutchtown to a 0-0 score at the half. Dutchtown’s first goal was scored with 10 minutes left in the game and the final goal came on a corner kick a few minutes later.

The boys finished their season with an 8-4-6 record and didn’t give up without a fight.


Indoor Track

The indoor track team competed at LSU’s Carl Maddox Fieldhouse on Saturday in the Last Chance Qualifier meet. 

Juniors Caleb Cooper and Jay’Cob Jolla ran the 60 meter race. Jolla ran a 7.28 and Cooper ran a 7.10, landing him in 10th place. Cooper will represent Woodlawn at the state meet.

Jolla and junior Keylen Sonnier competed in the long jump as well. Jolla jumped 19’ 2.75”, while Sonnier jumped 17’ 10.75”. 

Junior Kydell Miner and senior Darius Chesterfield both ran the 400 meter race. Miner ran a 53.99 and Chesterfield ran a 54.49. 

Sophomore Melody St. Luce ran the 400 and 800 meter races with times of 1:06.11 and 2:50.42, respectively. 

Senior Alex Collins and freshman Raheem Gray both represented Woodlawn in the boys shot put. Gray’s best throw was 42’ 1.25”, while Collins threw 47’11.25”. Collins’ throw landed him in 7th place, qualifying him for the state meet. 

Sophomore Brianna Graham and junior A’Tyli Freeman represented in the girls shot put. Graham threw a 27’ 6”.

Woodlawn’s 4×200 meter relay team consisted of Caleb Cooper, senior Couran Norman, Keylen Sonnier, and Jay’Cob Jolla. The team ran an impressive 1:33.55, landing them in 5th place. 

Our 4×400 relay team consisted of Jolla, Darius Chesterfield, D’kobe Chesterfield, and Kydell Miner. They ran a 3:37.13, landing them in 8th place.

Next up for Indoor Track: The State Indoor meet will be held at LSU on February 17th. Woodlawn will be represented by Caleb Cooper in the 60m, Alex Collins in the shot put, and both relay teams. 


Spring Sports Practice Underway

Our tennis, outdoor track, baseball, and softball teams have begun practicing in preparation for the spring season. Tennis begins its season on the 6th with matches against Walker starting at 3 pm at Highland Road Tennis Center. 

Our softball team’s jamboree will be played on the road this Friday against Brusly, while our JV baseball team will play a pre-season scrimmage at Lutcher on Thursday at 5.

Lady Panthers Enter District on Hot Streak

Lady Panthers Enter District on Hot Streak

The Lady Panther basketball team will enter district play Friday after winning 10 of their last 12 games, including the last four games. Woodlawn carries a 20-6 record going into district.

Seniors Amaya Dedeaux, Qiana Dotch, Adrienne East, and Reagan McDowell were recognized at Senior Night versus Capitol on Wednesday, January 25th. Woodlawn came away with a 62 to 35 victory.

“We are playing confidently right now,” said Dedeaux. “But we understand that the district is tough, and we will be playing very tough teams. So we have to pick our play up a notch.”

In front of a large crowd, the Lady Panthers and Lady Lions traded baskets for much of the first quarter Wednesday night. Once Woodlawn settled down defensively, they took a lead they would not relinquish. Woodlawn led at the end of each quarter.

“Coach Dedeaux stressed defense at halftime,” said Dotch. “She said that we had to take care of the basics, play fundamental basketball, and play hard on defense. She said that if we did those things, the offense would come naturally.”

“I just think that it was an emotional night for everybody because it was Senior Night,” added Dotch. “Once we got past those emotions, we settled down and played better.”

Woodlawn currently has a top-ten power ranking, according to GeauxPreps.com. However, the seniors know that they have to finish the season strong to keep that ranking and a home playoff game.

“Having a home playoff game in the first round would be extremely important to us,” said Dedeaux. “We need to perform at our highest level to keep our power ranking high enough to host that first round game.”

Following the district opener at Central, Woodlawn will host Scotlandville on January 31st. The Lady Panthers will then travel to Zachary on February 3rd.

Woodlawn finishes the final week of the regular season by hosting Liberty on February 7th and traveling to St. Joseph’s Academy on February 9th.

Tickets for all home games can be purchased by following the link here.

‘Committed’ Woodlawn boys basketball tips off new season, new era

‘Committed’ Woodlawn boys basketball tips off new season, new era

A new era of Woodlawn High boys basketball will officially tip off Tuesday under new coach Stefson Arnold.

The Panthers open the season at Port Allen, the three-time defending Class 2A state champion, with plenty of lessons, gelling and adjustments still ahead after an abridged offseason.

But Arnold, who led Family Christian to a Class C title game in his lone season as head coach in 2020-21, wants his players focused on lofty goals despite having only been together two months thus far.

“As you know, I’m a firm believer in ‘championship or bust,'” he said. “Just coming in, it’s going to be hard to keep those goals right away, but at the same time I still expect that. What I want to do is get better every single week and every single game, continue to be better than what we were last time out and every time we leave a game the other team to be saying, ‘Man, we played really, really hard.’ If we go out there and play hard every single game, we’ll let that take us wherever it can.”

The coach said the timing of his September has led to a shifted schedule in which the Panthers have looked at their preseason scrimmages similar to typical summer league play and the opening weeks of the season similar to those typical preseason matches.

Arnold hopes to get a better sense of the expectations and potential of his players from seeing full game film of their performances against meaningful competition.

But he has been pleased with the early indicators.

“I’ve learned they’re definitely committed to what I’m asking them to do, the 5 a.m. practices, the showing up on time,” he said. “The first step is always the players buying in. It’s just going to take a little while for those guys to get really clicking and get the process going. But I’ve learned that they’re committed, and if you have a team that’s committed, eventually we’ll be able to figure things out throughout the season.”

Woodlawn returns senior guard Clayton Adams, junior guard Tyler Knox, junior wings Roy Recasner and Myron Nelson and sophomore post player Kelinee Stone among key players likely to lead the rotation to start the season.

And sophomore wings Elijah Scott and Jordan Woods are among newer faces Arnold hopes to see making significant contributions.

“This team is looking to create its identity,” the coach said. “We have some good pieces to build around and the future is bright. We will get better each game and as the season progresses. This young group of kids are determined to compete at the highest level. Under a first-year coach and a new system, this team is going to have to learn quickly and execute as planned. But the attitude is positive, the energy is there, and so is the toughness. When we bring all that together and execute, we’ll be tough for any team to handle.”

Stefson Arnold named new Woodlawn boys basketball coach

Stefson Arnold named new Woodlawn boys basketball coach

Woodlawn High has named Stefson Arnold as its new boys basketball coach.

The Louisiana native, whose previous head coaching experience included a state championship appearance, officially started Friday and said he is excited to hit the ground running in preparation for the upcoming season this fall.

“First and foremost, I’m thankful to God and for my wife and my kids,” Arnold said. “Through this transition of coaching, I’ve had to lean on them a lot. They’ve been my rock. And at the same time, (principal Scott) Stevens has been great. It was a great interview. I feel like we clicked as soon as I spoke to him. I love what he’s done with the school as a whole. He’s done a marvelous job with the school. And (athletic director Brent) Broussard, we talked, and he’s wonderful. I’m so thankful for him to give me that chance to come and lead the Woodlawn Panthers and be a part of such an elite program.

“We already have a great football team. The buzz is going, and all I can see is Woodlawn just striving for excellence.”

Arnold prepped at John Curtis before playing collegiately at then-USL — now Louisiana (Lafayette) — under coach Marty Fletcher and Delgado under coach Tommy Smith.

Four years at Family Christian as an assistant from 2017 to 2020 and head coach for the 2020-21 season highlight his coaching resume.

Arnold led the Flames to a 27-14 record and Class C state runner-up finish in 2021, including the program’s first victory against perennial power Jehovah-Jireh since 2014.

But Stevens said finding the right fit toward a bright future was prioritized more heavily than past records when sifting through a pool of more than two dozen applicants.

“We narrowed it down based on a multitude of things,” Stevens said. “It wasn’t necessarily historical or what their coaching record looked like. It really was more of who do we feel based on what they submitted to us as far as a resume or (curriculum vitae), how did they represent themselves and how did they stand out as far as fitting in with Woodlawn of 2022.

“We had about four or five that really stood out that we felt would be good for the kids and would respond well to the kids and who the kids would respond well to. And it was tough in the interviews of really narrowing it down, but we’re confident we got the right candidate that’s going to come in and do a good job with the kids and relate to them and get them to really push through with what we’re trying to do here at Woodlawn with the basketball program.”

The Panthers’ proud history — including state championships in 1965, 1999, 2002 and 2003 — was a major draw to the position for Arnold and others.

The new coach said he is eager to push his players toward that ceiling in Louisiana’s highest classification and one of the state’s most challenging districts.

“Just being on the 5A level, competing at a high level,” he said. “Woodlawn has a great basketball tradition, and what it can be is an elite program in the city. And that’s exactly where I’m trying to bring it. And that’s exactly what my goal is is to make it one of the elite programs, like it used to be back in the day.”

Arnold will meet with his his players next week and begin building relationships and getting to know his roster.

A few of the Panthers are already familiar with him, including his success at Family Christian, and are excited to get to work.

“We’re very thankful to have a coach that wants to come in and work with us, and we believe in him and believe that he can take us to the next level of becoming a successful program,” senior guard John White said. “Last year was a down season, but this season we plan on bouncing back. And we’re going to entrust in coach on leading us on that path, so we can prove everybody wrong and show that we’re not backing down from anybody.”

The LHSAA allows basketball teams to begin practice Oct. 11 and games Nov. 15.

Arnold said his evaluation of the team’s personnel in the coming weeks and months will go a long way into determining more specifics of its identity and style of play.

But many attributes of character and effort will be non-negotiable, he said, as they attempt to lay a strong foundation for the years to come.

“I’m tough,” the coach said. “And the thing about it is they’re gonna see that I pay attention to detail. It’s gonna be a fun experience for them. I cater to my team. They don’t cater to me. I cater to what I have, and I coach that way. We are going to be exciting one way or the other. We’re going to play hard. We’re gonna compete. As you know, I have a history of really getting a team to gel quickly. And that’s what my goal is here at Woodlawn.”