C.E. Byrd is a public high school located in Shreveport, LA just off of the 205 exit on I49. C.E. Byrd was established in 1925 with a student body that has grown to approximately 1,655 students. That puts Byrd at the 8th largest high school in the Louisiana according to a study done in February of 2019. Byrd’s mascot is a Yellow Jacket and their school colors are purple and gold. Byrd also competes in the 5A level of LHSAA sports and resides in District 1. Throughout the schools rich history the football team has won 7 state championships with the most recent in 1949. The Jackets last state championship appearance was in 2020 in a hard fought matchup against a tough Catholic High Bears team. Some notable alumni of the C.E. Byrd football program include Arnaz Battle (WR for 49ers and Steelers), David Woodley (QB for LSU as well as the Dolphins and Steelers), and Jonathan Stewart (Linebacker at TAMU as well as the Rams, Browns and Cowboys).
The Yellow Jackets precious Head Coach was Coach Michael Suggs who is the all time winningest coach in Byrd history with a record of 167-89 through 23 years of coaching. After his retirement in 2020, Defensive Coordinator Stacy Ballew took over the reigns to the Yellow Jacket squad as Head Coach and has a 17-6 record in his first two seasons.
I had the chance to speak with Coach Ballew to get some insight on the Yellow Jackets team as well as some of his coaching philosophy.
“We talk to our players about two things. Doing the right thing and being a good person. That covers almost everything. Are they doing the right thing in the classroom? Are you doing the right thing in the hallways or at home? Are you doing the right thing in practice or even a game? We try and teach our players whats right from wrong and we expect them to be a good person. We want them to be a great teammate, classmate and a great representative of this football program outside of the school.”Head Coach Stacy Ballew
As a former member of the Byrd football team I can confirm that Coach Ballew leaves this kind of impression on his players and really wants the best for every athlete.
This offseason has been tough for the Yellow Jackets but they look to make great strides in filling the empty positions left by the 2023 graduating class.
“We lost a great senior class who left us with some holes to fill. We also have some kids that we believe are going to perform well and give us the opportunity to compete. That’s why spring football is so important because it gives us the opportunity find out who can fill the roles that we have open.”Head Coach Stacy Ballew
When it come to the offensive side of the ball, some of the athletes mentioned by Coach Ballew include returning Running Back Malachi Johnson and Fullbacks Dixon Poirier and Desmond Simmons. Under center the Yellow Jackets are looking for Junior J.D. Gallman who saw action in 2 games this past season. Wide Receiver Alex Schoonover is an athlete to keep your eyes on this season as well. As for the defensive side of the ball, players like Linebacker Ashton Fullwood and Defensive Lineman Darell Cottonham look to step up and make some plays for the Jacket Defense.