By Paige Nash
The KASO/KBEF Broadcasting Team/Dynamic Duo Mark Chreene and Jake Chapman presented a “flavorful” history of Minden High School Football on Monday night’s Night at the Museum.
Chreene gave a brief history of the radio station and his time there beginning in 1999 as a college student. “One of my first jobs was on Wednesday night, running a board for local high school coaches at the Golden Corral followed up by the Gerry DiNardo show,” he said.
Interestingly, Chreene has called every home and away Minden High football game without a miss since 2002, which amounts to approximately 240 games in total. Sounds like a record-breaking number, right?
Speaking of records, that is where Chapman comes into play.
“Jake began calling games with me in 2010 and he has been my tag team partner since then and we have had a good run,” said Chreene. “Our third or fourth season, we would always run into a situation where a kid would have a really good night and we were like, ‘Well, I wonder where this is historically?’ We didn’t know. There were no records.”
The duo decided to build their own dedicated to Minden High Football alone.
“We wanted to add a little more flavor to our broadcast instead of just calling it like we see it on each play,” said Chapman. “Any good analyst on T.V. has all these stats and historical facts, so we started to compile all of this together.”
Chapman credited past Webster Parish historian John Agan with beginning the record book and in doing so, Agan provided a forward for the inaugural edition of the Minden High School Stats and Record Book. It reads, “Yet, despite this storied history something was missing. Sadly, the availability of records for the MHS Football team was sadly lacking. The only way to determine the great achievements of past Minden teams was to spend hours pouring over yearbooks and old newspapers and attempting to piece together the story of Crimson Tide football.”
And that is exactly what Chapman did. During off seasons he would spend his time at the library pulling binded books of old newspaper articles, on a mission to find some historical stats on the team and its players.
He noted in earlier writings, the authors of most articles swayed towards a more poetic description of the games versus providing actual statistics, but in the early 50s that changed, and more numbers became available. Even better, in the 1980s, most articles in reference to games began to include scoring summaries
“I would log those stats directly on an Excel spreadsheet,” said Chapman. “If it got mentioned in an article, I logged it.”
Gaps left by Minden’s local newspapers were filled mostly by the Shreveport Times and Shreveport Journal. “The Webster Parish newspaper scene was not very good about reporting statistics. It wasn’t about the stats, it was about the story,” said Chapman.
The earliest recorded Minden High football game that Chapman discovered was published by the Homer Guardian Journal in 1909.
He also mentioned the various names that the football team went by throughout the years including the Green and White, Greenbacks, Greenies and Crimson Avalanche. The Crimson Tide was first mentioned in October of 1934 and has stuck ever since.
Even though Minden High has not won a state championship since 1980, they are still well known historically for winning a total of five over the years – 1938, 1954, 1956, 1963 and 1980. According to Chapman, only 21 schools have won more than five titles.
The inaugural stats and record book published in 2015 includes 186 stats, followed by the second edition in 2018 which includes 205. One that is currently a “work in progress” has 246 stats thus far with more expected to be added.
Chreene and Chapman recently began a new podcast, “First and Tide Rewind.” The podcast includes weekly game recaps and monthly guest star interviews. The first episode featured local Mindenite turned Kansas City Chiefs football star La’Jarius Sneed. The next episode will feature Roger Anderson, from the Minden High School 1963 state championship team. This podcast can be listened to on the First and Rewind Facebook page, Spotify and KBEF.com.
The Minden High Football enthusiasts marked the last speakers of the year for the Dorcheat Museum with the program scheduled to begin again in March 2024.