An incredible achievement at Reserve Christian

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 13, 2008

Congratulations to the Reserve Christian School boys basketball team, and head coach Timmy Byrd, for what is becoming an unprecedented run in the state basketball championships year-after-year.

The RCS boys just won their fourth consecutive boys state crown in class C, and also their sixth state championship in seven years.

For true high school sports fans, you know what an amazing, unbelievable, stunning, earth-shattering, awesome, hard-to-believe, and ridiculous streak this is.

For the rest of you….well, just trust me, it’s something that perhaps has never been done in Louisiana high school sports before. And maybe that’s the best way to help you understand how amazing this performance is.

As a former high school sports editor for 15 years, who covered five high schools in one town that ran the gamut from low to top classification schools, I know a little something about prep sports.

I remember year-after-year covering prep sports in St. Tammany Parish. The goal was always the same for everyone. Didn’t matter what sport. Didn’t matter if it was boys or girls. It could be wrestling or football….the popularity of the sport didn’t matter.

The goal was always to be crowned state champion in whatever sport you played in.

For most—dare I say the far, overwhelming vast majority of teams—that day never came. For easily over 99 percent of the prep teams I covered in those 15 years, there was only an occasion sniff of getting close to a state title game. And to play for a state championship was even rarer.

But once in a long while a team did make it. Sometimes they climbed that Mt. Everest of a challenge, and found themselves sitting at the top, just getting a chance to play a game that had a state championship trophy resting on the outcome. And even less frequently than that, you saw a team that actually won.

But it is so rare. Take a good friend of mine, Salmen head boys basketball coach Jay Carlin. Easily one of the best prep coaches I’ve ever covered. He just picked up his 600th career coaching win, and is ranked among the best basketball coaches to ever work the game. But even he is still trying to find his way to the first state championship trophy.

Sure, he’s been close a few times. He made it to the state semi’s again this year, but once again, the chase ended there, and I know for this guy—truly a class individual if you ever met one—there is great disappointment at what is surely the only achievement he has yet to get.

Here’s a guy who has coached players like Chris Duhon, who now plays for the Chicago Bulls. But if you ask him, the state title is still the thing that would rank better than anything if he could get there.

But I digress.

Let’s go back to our little guys out at the Reserve church and school on Airline Highway. With all I’ve said, perhaps you can now get a little better idea of just what an accomplishment it has been for Byrd and his little birdies.

The RCS Eagles won a few of those titles a few years back when they had that super talented Demond “Tweety” Carter playing for them, and some people tried to say that was the only reason the Eagles were running roughshod over everyone else.

But what happened when Carter graduated a couple of years ago? The titles just kept on coming.

So by now I hope I’ve made my point, and I hope I have done that since it’s a point that needs a little emphasis. The RCS Eagles, and head coach Timmy Byrd, have accomplished something at that school that perhaps no other school will ever accomplish.

And the amazing thing is that I don’t see where the ride is finished.

Congrats also to senior guard Eddren McCain, who was just named the Most Valuable Player in the state on the class C team, along with teammate Cedric Jenkins, who also made first team all state.

Great job you guys. Keep it up…if you dare.

Enjoyed seeing Pastor Donald Brown this week while I was having lunch at Pier 51 on Highway 51.

(Still love that fried catfish, Anthony.)

Pastor Brown was one of the candidates in the past parish president’s race, and I got to know him from that relationship.

On Wednesday, I got to meet his lovely wife Carolyn, since they were having lunch themselves, and appeared to be enjoying the fact that they could get away—just the two of them—for some time together.

Pastor Brown has been the pastor at Providence Baptist Church and at Rising Star Baptist Church in the area, and always impressed me during the campaign as a sincere man who just wanted the opportunity to do his best for the parish.

But pastor, I have a feeling you didn’t take too long to get over the fact you weren’t the top selection by the voters, and that you actually have the time now to take your wife to lunch. Keep thinking of that and I’ll bet that position taking care of the people at your church keeps looking better and better.

Kevin Chiri is Publisher of L’Observateur and can be reached at (985) 652-9545 or at