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2023 Minden Press-Herald Football Preview

by Russell Hedges

With the notable exception of Glenbrook, the 2022 season wasn’t one to remember for Webster Parish schools.

The Apaches rolled through the regular season 10-0, winning District 1-1A. In its first year eligible for the LHSAA playoffs, Glenbrook reached the select Division IV quarterfinals before falling to eventual champion Ouachita Christian 28-27.

Of the other three teams, only Lakeside finished the regular season .500. The Warriors finished 5-5 after a 4-1 start. They made the playoffs, falling to No. 5 seed Avoyelles 60-0 in the first round.

Minden was 4-6 and North Webster 2-8. Neither made the playoffs but both won their final two games.

Last year will be remembered for the shakeup in the playoffs. No more class champions. There were four select and four non-select divisions.

That was, of course, the result of the LHSAA’s decision to change the definition of a select school, causing many formerly non-select schools to move to select status.

According to media reports, nine schools from Rapides Parish and Monroe have filed suit against the LHSAA, alleging Executive Director Eddie Bonine and the committee didn’t have the authority to change the definition under the LHSAA’s constitution.

Two schools among the plaintiffs, Carroll and Wossman, are members of District 1-3A, which includes North Webster.

Regardless, a new season is upon us. As always, there is reason for optimism.

While none of the four parish schools are favored to win their respective district championships, all have the potential to be title contenders or at least make a run at the playoffs.

Glenbrook lost many of the players who contributed to last season’s success to graduation. They also lost Head Coach David Feaster.

But the cupboard wasn’t completely left empty for new Head Coach Reagan Smith. 

Easton Sanders, the Apaches’ new starting quarterback, has a lot of potential.

Landry Powell should be one of the most productive receivers in the district.

Speaking of which, 1-1A remains strong. To win the title, teams will have to get through Homer and Haynesville. Glenbrook did that last year.

Minden returns one of District 1-4A’s most exciting players in senior Jakobe

Jackson. He will line up anywhere on offense from quarterback to running back to receiver.

The District 1-4A schedule will again be a challenge.

North DeSoto, the 2022 non-select Division II runner-up, is the favorite to win the title. Northwood, which shared the title last year with the Griffins, should also be strong again. Ditto for Evangel Christian and Huntington.

But don’t count Minden out.

North Webster will be looking for a return to the playoffs after a one-year absence.

Last season, the Knights played in a new-look District 1-3A with Monroe-area schools. They went up against unfamiliar opponents.

The knowledge gained last season should be helpful.

Union Parish is the defending champion, but the Farmers won’t have the state’s all-time leading rusher, Trey Holley, now at LSU.

After a strong start, Lakeside found the going tough in District 1-2A. Four of the other five schools in the district made the playoffs.

Calvary Baptist is a heavy favorite to defend its title. But the Warriors should be improved. They should do well in non-district play again. That could carry over to district play.

The great thing is every team is 0-0 now. And high school football is very hard to predict. Hopefully, Webster teams will pull off some surprises this season. 

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