Calvin High School in Winn Parish was the scene of a well-played match as the Lady Cougars defeated the Castor Lady Tigers in the first round of the LHSAA Class C playoffs by a score of 13-3 on Monday, April 17. The matchup was far more than a softball game, however. It was an affirmation of all that is right and good about life in small-town Louisiana, and of America itself.
Calvin is a small village with a population of 242 people in the last census. The school draws from the village and surrounding area and has 330 students in pre-K through 12th grade. Like its counterparts across rural Louisiana, it is a place of faith, family, deep roots, and tradition. The Winn Parish school superintendent’s grandfather was a coach and principal at the school, leading them to a state basketball championship in the late 1930’s – a championship they practiced for on a court with a dirt floor as the school had no gym at the time. The school was founded in 1924 and the present building was erected in 1929. Many of the teachers are alumni themselves and have their own children in the school. It is a tight-knit group.
The school, team and community were rocked by the tragic death of the long-time girls’ softball coach, Kevin Chad Camp, mere days before the team was slated to play Castor in the first game of the LHSAA playoffs. That is a heavy burden for a group of young people to bear, but the girls gathered together and decided that the only thing to do was to play as their coach would have wished. There would be no cancellation or postponement. The team would be there, ready to play. Calvin High School’s Assistant Principal David Lee Huckaby stepped up to coach the young women, and the village and surrounding area came out en masse to support their team and to honor Coach Camp’s memory. The spectators’ area was packed as over 500 people came to support their team.
The game featured a moment of silence in coach Camp’s memory before the first pitch. After the game, both teams gathered, linked arms and prayed together. The post-game activities concluded with a balloon release in the Calvin High School colors.
The Journal Media Group would like to commend the Castor High School Lady Tigers on a hard-fought game. We also extend our best wishes to the Calvin High School Lady Cougars as they advance in the playoffs. You, your coaches, teachers, community and families exemplified everything that is great about America. The game was a joy to watch.