Rickie Collins, Jordan Matthews Scheduled for Historic Commitment Announcements

Rickie Collins, Jordan Matthews Scheduled for Historic Commitment Announcements

Two Woodlawn seniors will announce during the next six days their commitments to sign scholarship offers with two of the nation’s premier college programs.

Both announcements will be broadcast live via the school’s YouTube channel.

“I think it’s a big deal for the program obviously now to be getting a lot of national attention not just for those guys, but for our school and our team,” coach Marcus Randall said. “That’s a great thing for us overall. Those guys are going to have their day, and then hopefully they can be able to lock in and we can go win this championship.”

Collins has been a hot name on the recruiting trail for a year and a half now — with 22 offers — but particularly with pushes the past month and a half from hometown LSU and nearby Florida State.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound passer ranks unanimously as a four-star prospect among the nation’s 200 best in his class at any position across the major recruiting outlets, including as high as No. 103 according to Rivals.

He has been a three-sport standout for the Panthers, including four years leading the football team’s offense, and a finalist in this past summer’s Elite 11 as one of the nation’s best players at his position.

“It’s really just a blessing and a good situation to be in,” Collins said. “The opportunity is big just to be able to have everyone out there, my family, coaches, family friends and everybody who was with me on the journey and in my corner through it all. It’s a tough decision because it’s long-term, but it’s just a blessing.”

Matthews has narrowed down a list of 33 scholarship offers to three finalists in Texas, Tennessee and Michigan.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back is also a unanimous four-star and top-200 prospect nationally, according to all four major networks, including as high as No. 125 by Rivals.

He has been a two-sport standout since childhood, including winning a track state championship as a member of the Panthers’ 4×200-meter relay team as a sophomore and preparing now for his third football season in the starting lineup.

“I just feel like I’m going to do what’s best in my heart and follow my heart,” he said. “My process is my process, and I ultimately wanted to do it before the season just to enjoy my senior year with my brothers and win a state championship.”

The duo will officially sign in December as two of the most prominent football prospects in Woodlawn’s history, regardless of their selections.

And Randall emphasized the extent that impact has had beyond their performances on the field.

“One thing is they both are leaders,” coach Marcus Randall said. “If you’re looking at the grade-point average, Jordan’s somewhere near a 4.5 and Rickie’s right at a 3.5 or 3.6. So they’re doing it not only on the field, but they’re doing it off the field. Their leadership has helped basically take us to the next level. We knew coming here that they were those type of guys, but we obviously had to see them get there.

“And we knew that when those guys would get rolling, that you’d not only see it for themselves, but now they’re bringing a lot of national attention here and that means a lot of our other guys get increased opportunities to get seen and get some recognition.”

2022-2023 Lady Panther Volleyball Team Announced

2022-2023 Lady Panther Volleyball Team Announced

After a week of try-outs held in the Woodlawn High School gym, the coaching staff of the Lady Panther Volleyball Team has released the names of the members of the 2022-2023 Volleyball Team.

Congratulations to the following student-athletes have made the team:

  • Krystel Amo, Sophomore
  • Bree Blankenship, Sophomore
  • Kelis Conley, Junior
  • Branderia Graham, Junior
  • Brianna Graham, Freshman
  • Janae Granville, Junior
  • Morgan Huey, Sophomore
  • Amy Kirk, Sophomore
  • Amelie LeMaire, Sophomore
  • Seraya LeMaire, Senior
  • Amari Lombard, Freshman
  • Reagan McDowell, Senior
  • Maya Montgomery, Sophomore
  • Amari Nevills, Sophomore
  • Elysa Pitts, Senior
  • Brooklyn Potter, Sophomore
  • Katelyn Reed, Freshman
  • Kate Russell, Freshman
  • Lacie Sierra, Sophomore
  • Marie Sierra, Senior
  • Kaylie Tate, Freshman

Incoming student-athletes who were not allowed to tryout should email Coach Gonzalez at [email protected]. Final tryouts will be held on Monday, May 23rd at 3 pm.

Carolina Alvarado Provides Panthers with First Powerlifting Title

Carolina Alvarado Provides Panthers with First Powerlifting Title

Senior Carolina Alvarado has brought the first State Championship in the sport of Powerlifting to Woodlawn High School. The Panthers have participated in Powerlifting for less than a decade, but Panther lifters have consistently qualified for the State Meet. However, no lifter has been able to be crowned State Champion until now.

Carolina Alvarado displays her State Championship medal.

Alvarado, who placed second in Regionals, competed in the 97 pound weight class. She posted three personal records on the way to the state championship. Her squat of 210 pounds and bench of 90 pounds each bested her personal records by five pounds. However, it was her dead lift that was the difference between first and second place. Alvarado had a previous record of 235 pounds. Lifting that weight again would have placed her second in the competition. First-year coach Knute Douglas knew she could lift more weight and went for the State Championship by listing 275 pounds as her final attempt. When Alvarado successfully lifted the weight, Woodlawn High had it’s first Powerlifting State Champion.

Alvarado was not the only bright spot in Panther powerlifting this season. For the first time in the history of the school, the boys’ team won the Regional Championship. The Panthers also placed 5th overall at the state competition. The Panthers were led by senior Amani Givens, who finished runner-up in the 198 pound weight class.

Amani Givens prepares to squat at the State Championship Meet.

Coach Douglas was extremely proud of all of his lifters this season.

“Year one has been a great ride, filled with fantastic moments,” said Douglas. “This year’s boys and girls teams have seen lots of first-time achievements in school history and will be a great foundation to build upon moving forward as we strive to make Woodlawn High School Powerlifting a Championship Program.”

Woodlawn was represented by four girls and five boys at this year’s State Meet. In addition to Alvarado, Krystel Amo (105 pound weight class), Celine Thomas (148 pound weight class), and Marie Sierra (165 pound weight class) also competed. All three Lady Panthers had top ten finishes. Freshman Amo finished eighth and juniors Thomas and Sierra finished fifth and fourth.

Willie Nunnery (123 pound weight class), Mason Watson (198 pound weight class), Hunter Thomas (242 pound weight class), and Devyn Jones (275 pound weight class) joined Givens to represent the Panthers. Juniors Nunnery and Jones placed sixth and fifth, and seniors Thomas and Watson each placed fourth.

Rickie Collins and Marcus Randall Awarded Top District Honors

Rickie Collins and Marcus Randall Awarded Top District Honors

After finishing the regular season with a 5-4 record, including a 4-1 district mark and the District 5-5A Championship, the Woodlawn players were recognized by district coaches.

Senior Kyle Jones makes a catch in pregame warm ups.

Seventeen players were named to the first or second teams. In addition to these selections, Quarterback Rickie Collins and Head Coach Marcus Randall were recognized with two of the top three awards for the district.

Collins, a junior, was named the District 5-5A Offensive MVP. He completed 119 of 182 passes for 1930 yards. He finished with 16 passing touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns to only 3 interceptions.

Coach Randall was named Coach of the Year in District 5-5A. Randall is in his third year as the Head Coach of the Panthers. Coach Randall led Woodlawn to their first District Championship since 2010.

Offensively, the Panthers placed five players on the first team. Offensive linemen Roy Brackins and Jeron Lewis helped protect Collins and open up holes for fellow first team member Amani Givens. Givens finished the season with 917 yards on 111 carries with 7 touchdowns.

The final first team offensive player was wide receiver Jaylon Henry. Henry led the district in receiving with 43 catches for 788 yards and 8 touchdowns.

Wide receivers Clayton Adams and Kyle Jones, offensive lineman Tylan Day, and running back Jay’Veon Haynes were each named to the second team. Codia Walker and Alonzo Taplin were named to the Honorable Mention team.

Junior DJ Delmore led the Panthers with 4 interceptions through 8 regular season games.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Panthers placed five players on the first team. Defensi

ve lineman Mark Fielder finished the season with 20 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks. Linebackers Jayden Woods and Ketrick Owens were also selected for first team honors.

Woods led the Panthers with 56 tackles through the 8 game regular season. He added 5 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. Owens finished with 30 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 2 PBUs.

Safety Dezaray Delmore and cornerback Jordan Matthews rounded out the first team defensive selections. Delmore led the district with 4 interceptions to go with 35 tackles and one defensive touchdown. Matthews, although rarely targeted, finished the season with 23 tackles and 4 PBUs.

Defensive linemen Ellis McKneely and Devin Boyd and cornerback Marcus Stewart were named members of the second team. Honorable Mention members included Devyn Jones, Mason Watson, Deshaun Flowers, Chris Cooper, and Dawaun Harris.

Panthers Move to Second Round

Panthers Move to Second Round

For the first time since 2010, the Panther football team is moving to the second round of the LHSAA playoffs. The 13th seeded Panthers defeated Natchitoches Central by the score of 42-14, cruising into their second round contest versus Destrehan.

Natchitoches Central struck first, marching 72 yards in 7 plays to take the 7-0 lead. After each teams went three and out on their next possession, the Panther offense hit its stride. Rickie Collins led the Panthers to touchdowns on their next three first half possessions to take a 21-14 lead into the half.

After receiving the second-half kickoff, the Panthers scored to up the lead to 28-14.

It was then the defense’s turn to take over. The Chiefs’ next three possessions ended in turnovers. The final of the three was a huge difference maker, as defensive lineman Devin Boyd picked up a fumble and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown and 35-14 lead.

The Panthers scored once more for the final tally. Woodlawn will travel to Destrehan to face the fourth ranked Wildcats next Friday.