RCS: All good things must come to end

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2009


All good things must come to an end.

But nobody saw it coming so soon for the Reserve Christian Eagles boys basketball team, who only a week ago were celebrating a fifth straight state championship victory at the Cajundome.

Last week, the chatter was about how good the Eagle basketball team was, would become, and how in the world could anyone in Class C ever dethrone them.

But now, nobody will get the chance to try.

Reserve Christian will be closing its high school at the end of this school year, leaving fate of the players and coaches of the basketball powerhouse completely up in the air.

Eagles Coach Timmy Byrd, nor his players, gave any inkling in Lafayette that they knew what was forthcoming.

In reality, Byrd says, he and his players knew at least of the possibility before even their semifinal game against Atlanta last Thursday.

“Word leaked out to the kids the day before the semifinals,” said Byrd. “So we had to worry not just about out opponent, but also the psyche of our kids. They shouldn’t have to be worrying about organizations and financial conditions.

“But in the end, we used it as motivation. We could only control what we could control. And I don’t know if that had anything to do with it, but we played our best basketball of the season over the final two games.”

Byrd called the situation bittersweet.

“I’m disappointed for the kids,” he said. “At the same time, we were able to go out on top. I’m proud of what each and every one of my players have accomplished in all of my 14 years there, proud of the effort each one of them gave me.”

Those 14 seasons write an impressive resume for Byrd and that Eagle program. Seven state championships and nine trips to the Top 28 tournament, all with a program that wasn’t a member of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association until 1999.

Byrd wasn’t ready to see it end.

“I offered to buy the school,” he said. “They elected to go in a different direction. But we did everything we could to buy it.”

In addition to Byrd’s team, the Reserve girls had just come off a district championship season. The volleyball team had also improved its district record from a year ago. The Eagles softball season is in full swing, as is their track and field campaign.

Like Byrd and his players, those athletes will too be moving on.

As for his future, Byrd says he’s weighing several opportunities.

“First and foremost, I want to make the best decision for my kids,” Byrd said. “After that. I’ll worry about what’s best for Timmy Byrd. But first, I want to make sure I find the best situation possible for those kids.

“God closes doors for reasons, and He’ll open an even bigger one for those kids.”