Support the Showboats student-athletes

Northwest Louisiana's first 7on7 travel team

  • Joel Rodgers
  • The Shreveport Showboats before practice

The Shreveport Showboats are a newly formed 7on7 travel team. They’re made up of around 25 area high school football players, they’re coached by local coaches, and they’ll soon be traveling to Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, and Atlanta.

The main goal for this program is to help our student-athletes in NW Louisiana get recruited. Do you wanna support them?

Here’s a gofundme page link – and below are the words of Ben Palmer.

“We need help! I’m not even going to sugarcoat it – we need financial support.

A group of high school coaches from various schools in Shreveport (public and private) have joined together to start the Student-Athlete Development Program to help young men from this area gain additional exposure in recruiting, and to develop them as students, football players, and young men. Our student-athletes come from 16 different high schools in Caddo,Bossier, and Desoto parishes, so to better expose them to opportunities at furthering their education into college we will travel and participate in events throughout the southern United States. Additionally, we have already scheduled 4 separate trips to visit universities in Louisiana and Texas and plan to schedule more.

Every major city in America has numerous programs that offer services similar to ours. However, there is nothing like this anywhere in north Louisiana. To be part of a similar organization, one of our local kids would have to drive to Dallas, Little Rock, or Baton Rouge. As such, our young men are playing catch-up and are at a disadvantage to their peers living in other areas. There was a need, so we decided to start this program to fulfill that need and help young men that deserve the opportunity of a more affordable college education through their athletic and academic achievements.

I began teaching and coaching in the Shreveport area in 2013, and I’ve been fortunate to have some extremely talented young men play for me – ones that have gone on to continue their education and athletic careers at schools like LSU and Oklahoma, all the way down to smaller universities like Louisiana College and East Texas Baptist University. In the last few years, the college football recruiting process has significantly evolved. The importance placed on club/travel team competition in sports like baseball, softball, soccer, and basketball has finally crept its way into high school football through an emphasis on 7on7 tournaments. Rather than visiting and combing through every single player at every school in their assigned recruiting area, major college coaching staffs have turned their attention to these 7on7 teams as a “one-stop shop” for the best players in each respective area. Until now, the only option our students have had was to drive hours away each weekend and pay a lot of money to participate. I am hoping you can help me to fund the effort in offering that same opportunity to deserving students, at very little cost to their families, right here in our hometown. In addition to the 7on7 tournaments and academic preparations that we will offer, we plan to take the team to visit at least one university on each trip we make.

Myself, nor any of the other coaches, will make a profit through this program. We truly are just tired of seeing the extremely talented players in this area be passed up lately because the recruiting game has changed, but our area hasn’t changed with it. Additionally, the other negative to not having any similar programs within three hours of here is that there are significant costs to making this a functional reality. Besides the typical startup equipment and uniform expenses, travel and lodging costs have made it impossible for us to financially support this endeavor on our own.

The main goal for this program is to help our student-athletes in NW Louisiana get recruited. As much as I used to think these 7on7 teams didn’t really affect a kid’s recruiting much, I’ve really learned lately just how far from the truth that is. In addition to the great work their respective high school coaches are already doing, we want to be another resource to help get these kids to college and hopefully change their lives forever by earning their degree – something that for many of them won’t be financially feasible without scholarships.

Please help us by donating to our program and let’s make a difference in the lives of these young men and give them a better future! Please send me a message on here, or email me at, if you have any questions.”

I attended practice on Sunday, and next Sunday, so should you.

They’ll practice at Calvary next Sunday at 2. Wanna see video? I’ll be dropping video on our Facebook page all week.

Content Sponsored By:
Glennas Pest Control 728×90
Alto Landscaping 728×90
May Marketing 728×90
RGM Marketing 728×90
Citizen’s National Bank 728×90
Greenstar Insulation 728×90
LA Home Center 728×90
May Marketing 728×90
Bayou State Roofing 728×90
Alto Landscaping 728×90
RSHV – 728×90 Banner
Diamond Realty 728×90
Pel-State Leaderboard 728×90
OneChiro 728×90
Glennas Pest Control 728×90
Swoop 728×90

Joel Rodgers

Joel Rodgers joined RSHV News 1 in January 2018 as a reporter/journalist. Prior to joining our team, Joel spent the previous 5 years as a morning show reporter, entertainment reporter, and sports reporter for a local television station. At 6’5”, he's the tallest reporter in the history of Shreveport, but it’s more than just his height that makes this Shreveport native stand out. His editing skills combined with his love for storytelling makes for a creative and talented addition to the RSHV News 1 team. After attending and graduating from Evangel Christian Academy, he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern State University. Joel is very active in the Shreveport community having won several competitions in recent years. In 2017, he danced his way to victory in the annual Susan G. Komen event, “Dancing for the Cure." He’s also won the “Mudbug Madness” Crawfish eating contest in back-to-back years and was named the top celebrity chef at the “Louisiana Food Prize” cooking competition. If you have a story idea, news tip, or just want to say "hey" - you can do so by emailing Joel Rodgers at

Related Articles

Back to top button