Another school year has passed and Under The Radar NWLA has enjoyed covering and watching your teams thrive and get the much-deserved attention you get and deserve. if you didn’t know, we expanded our coverage by adding 2A this season. We also expanded our coverage from just three districts to a true Northwest Louisiana coverage area adding schools from 2A through C. Our true coverage area now is well and continues to be Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, Lincoln, Winn, Jackson, Bienville, Natchitoches, Desoto, Red River, and Sabine. A total jump from 15 schools to 45 schools. I questioned my sanity at times and hope you were pleased with the coverage of your school this year. Enough about me.
Northwest Louisiana shined again this season. Many not only a football state title but also a powerlifting title. Homer made it back to the football championship in newly formatted playoff divisions instead of classes. Zwolle dominated another basketball state title. Converse claimed a softball title while Calvary claimed their third in a row. Gibsland-Coleman dominated track state titles. Castor took a state runner-up. We saw stars like Izayla Harris and Samora Sampson claim Outstanding Athletes once again. North Louisiana was represented by four local schools at the baseball tournament. Also, Providence Classical Academy in Bossier reaches the All-Class tournament, a feat that is a gauntlet of playoffs to reach.
Enjoy these moments. I know there are a lot more that I may have left out. My friends this is just a small part of your life to come. The opportunities are an open road for your future. Some will head to college and a few will continue to play the sport of their passion. Some will head to serve our country, you will get to see parts of the world some safe and some dangerous. Sink it all in. Get the experiences that are presented. Some will head into the workforce. Those that I see do this can’t wait to get started and start a new part of their lives. So many options for you.
If you want some old fool’s advice, lend me your ear for a minute. Cherish each day. Jump on the journey and ride it like a cowboy. Sometimes you get bucked off and sometimes you survive that metaphor 8 seconds. Enjoy the ride. Get up and go again. Here are three things to think about each day:
Live Each Day
You only get one life. Live it. Whatever path you get on, make the most of the journey. Each person’s journey is unique. Don’t ever compare yourself to another. You are unique and what you find exciting may not be to others. Be excited about your journey. Take time to enjoy it. You will have a lifetime of work and worry. Don’t miss out on experiences. If you didn’t know, I lived in Denver for a year and a half. Sometimes I think back that I wish I would have done more there. I did get some great experiences. The 19-hour drive from Denver to Shreveport let me experience the beautiful terrains of southern Colorado, the mesas of New Mexico, how BIG the state of Texas is, and how valuable home was. I also got to see places in Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, California, Nevada, Kansas, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, and so many wonderful people.
Love Each Day
I know this is an exciting time and for some of you at small schools, you’ve gone to school with maybe your whole class your whole life. At this point, this looks like lifetime friends. Some may become lifetime friends to you your entire life. A fact though, your friend circles will change especially when your independence kicks in and you want to experience new adventures. Some you can’t be ready to get away from the people you’ve grown up with. Don’t shut people out. Some of my best friends that I have in my life were not in my class. We didn’t hang out at school but grew a strong friendship afterward that I cherish and love. Be open to new people. Your circles will change and the world can be a lonely place. Reach out to new friends. Make new bonds. Find new loves. You get to be you and don’t allow others to accept less. One pill that might be hard to swallow and hard to see at this point. In the case of many, family will always be there for you. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but find others that you can define as family. Don’t lose your passion. If your passion is God in your life, continue to seek His wisdom and glory. Find the time to continue to grow your fire for that passion in your life. Look for the blessings in your life and you will find the love you need each day
Learn Each Day
How many of you have said I will never have to use Algebra again in my life? Guess what? WRONG…You drive a car and know how fast you are going and then how many miles you need to go, you can tell me how long it will take to get there …algebra… What you learned in school was the tip of the iceberg. I’m 50 years old and still learning. When you learn, you grow. Life becomes boring when you don’t learn. It doesn’t have to be academics. Learn about people. The more you learn about others the more you understand them. Those people you may have found difficult in high school, you get to know and learn about them you may understand their difficulty and you may find a best friend for life. Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. We become stagnant in our comfort zone we don't learn new skills or possibly undiscovered talents that we may have. Listen to advice and learn from others. One thing that I’ve always followed is someone is always smarter than you, so they have more to teach. Be willing to learn.
This old man has rambled enough and I hope you have enjoyed this. To the seniors of 2023, I wish you nothing but success in your endeavors and excitement on your new paths. I have enjoyed watching many of you play your sports and look forward to what your lives have to offer. Seniors 2023…out…