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Josh Booty

Q & A with John Booty, Calvary Baptist Athletic Director

by Mark Clements

October 31, 2011 –

Josh Booty
Josh Booty

LAFM: I guess we’ll start with you. Can you tell us about your football playing days?

JB: After Woodlawn, I went to Arkansas. Then I transferred to Mississippi State. Ray Perkins was going to be the offensive coordinator and Coach Tyler was the head coach at the time and they were going to go to a passing attack. Ray got the head coaching job with the Giants, so he left and during the late spring they went to the Houston veer and that was a whole different attack than what I’ve been trained to do, but I played there. We ended up going to the Sun Bowl and had a great experience.

LAFM: What years were you there?

JB: I’m awful with years, but it would be like ’74 and ’75 were the two years I was there.

LAFM: So what happened after your playing career?

JB: From that point, I began to travel and I did ministry with the youth for many years. I traveled around the country, then I came back to Starkville and we pioneered a church there. I guess that whole period was about ten years of my life. Then, I came back to Shreveport in the ‘80s and it was around ’91 that I got a call and they wanted me to come and help them start the football program at Evangel. I coached there about 10 or 12 years and I ended up being asked to become the offensive coordinator at Calvary.

LAFM: What were some of the difficulties and challenges that came with starting a football program from scratch?

JB: The challenge was that we didn’t have anything. We didn’t have a practice field, we didn’t have a uniform, not one. We didn’t have a helmet and didn’t even have a football. We had to find out how many boys at this little tiny school wanted to play football. I bet we didn’t have 18 that wanted to play, but we suited up. A lot of the practice gear from the teams in Shreveport they were throwing away. We asked if we could come by and get them in boxes. Then we had ladies in the church, they would sew the uniforms up and we had to get a donor if you wanted to buy jerseys. Before you knew it, we had someone saying they would help us buy the pants and we just built our uniforms from nothing, and played the first couple of years and maybe only won four games. We got beat by an average of 50-60 points a game.

LAFM: How many years did it take to get it to a consistent program?

JB: I think on the third year, Josh, my oldest son, started quarterbacking and we went 9-3. I think we were probably up to 24, 25, maybe 28 boys. The next year, which was his senior year, we won the State Championship and that was sort of the launching point from there.

LAFM: So when and how did you end up at Calvary?

JB: I was asked to be the head coach and start the program and then to be the Athletic Director. That was about six years ago. Again, we didn’t have a helmet, didn’t have any uniforms or anything and we started the program and had to build it out just as we did at Evangel and that’s where we started there and that’s brought us up to present. We have one of the great football venues in the state and a great stadium and a team that just loves to play. A lot of parents are backing up and we’ve really not are beginning to build the Calvary program.

LAFM: How are the challenges similar or different than Evangel? Do you think having done it once made round two a little easier?

JB: Absolutely, because the first time we had no idea how to do any of it and the second time at least I had had the experience. The great thing about Calvary is that you had so much support from the city and the people. It was a perfect timing because there were tons of people in the city who had wanted it to become a reality. It was pretty cool to see how everybody rallied to make it happen.

LAFM: So the football program was started six years ago, how long as the school been around?

JB: The school has been around a long time with K-5 through 8th grade and then about six years ago, the chancellor decided he wanted to start the high school and that’s when he asked me to come over and help get it started. My youngest son was still a freshman and he and I just jumped in there and worked real hard to get it all built out. There were a lot of wonderful kids who came in with my youngest boy and we had a really good solid start. We haven’t looked back since.

LAFM: What do you see in the team this year and who are some of the kids that stand out to you?

JB: They all stand out, but we have some players. There are some guys who will play college football now on the team. We have a running back who’s just a tremendous football player and I think everyone in the world is interested in him, Brandon Wilson. We have a number of players. Eric Talley on defense is just a really, really great leader for us. We have some other fine, fine players who can really play. We have some receivers who can really catch and a good offensive line. Most of them are younger, but they’re really solid players. We have even some freshman who can really play, so it’s just overall a real solid team. They love each other, have a good chemistry and I think that’s what sets a team apart. You’ve got to really love practicing and being together, and this group does.

LAFM: So what is it like being Athletic Director?

JB: I like it because it’s such a variety and I love variety anyway. Our head track coach is the head coach of the United States Track Team, Juan Plaza. We have a number of boys and girls who will run in college. Then we have our strength coach who, three years ago, was named the National High School Strength Coach of the Year in Matt Merry. We have baseball teams that have won the State Championship twice and have been runners up twice already. We have a number of boys on our baseball team that are really just fine, fine players that will play in college. We have a golf team that won the State Championship last year and the entire team comes back this year. The girls’ soccer team and boys’ soccer team, we have the winningest soccer coach in North Louisiana history. It just goes on and on. We’ve got basketball that’s really beginning to get in-swing and beginning to really pull some things together. We’re hoping to have a really good season in boys’ basketball. We have a great swimming team. I really, really enjoy it. We have really, really fine coaches and leaders and I think that’s our hallmark – leadership with our coaches. Then, we have great kids to work with.

Abram Booty

LAFM: We also wanted to get an update on your sons, would you mind talking about their playing days and what they’re up to now?

JB: Josh was the only player in high school history to be the National Player of the Year in two different sports. Josh went in the first round and played with the Florida Marlins. Then he came back and played two years at LSU and went on to sign with the Seattle Seahawks.

Abram set numerous national records in high school in receiving and played at LSU.  He had a great career at LSU and then was injured and couldn’t play anymore, but he had two solid seasons and was All-SEC as a freshman.

John David played at USC and was Rose Bowl MVP and had two great years there. He was a two-time captain at USC.

Jake was the High School Player of the Year in Louisiana at Calvary and he’s my youngest and now is working with me on the company that we started together. It’s been exciting.

Josh is living in Dallas, Abram lives in Shreveport, John David lives in Shreveport and Jake. John David and Abram are both married with children.

Jake Booty
Jake Booty

LAFM: You mentioned the company you and Jake started, can you tell us a little bit about that?

JB: The great thing about Atleta is I think it’s the best of breed products on the market.  What we bring to the table are all certified products and we feel like whether you’re NFL, NBA, Major League, college or high school, they’re the best products you can get. It’s the purest and best products on the market, we think. We’re showing absolutely phenomenal strength gains from people who are using our products, all the way from the highest leagues on the planet, down to high school. We’re getting great responses.

We have two products that we have a patent on that we’re really excited about. One is HydraEdge, which is an anti-cramping endurance booster that we feel like is off the chain. It’s incredible, especially in the heat and intense humidity and high heat, it’s the best product I know to prep the boys from cramping and boost endurance in the heat. A lot of schools are going to it.

Then, we have another product that is an effervescent creatine product that is the new breed of creatine that many, many people are going to that we’re having phenomenal results from. When we say new, it’s an effervescent form and not drawing any kid down. It’s dumped into the small intestine and right into the blood stream. We’re having tremendous results from that product as well.

We have a recovery product that you drink when you’re walking off the field that our kids love the taste. That’s another thing about Atleta, is the kids love the flavors and the taste. It’s not something they’ve got to bear, it’s something they enjoy. The flavor is just excellent.

John David
John David Booty

LAFM: What made you want to get involved and start the company?

JB: For years, I had been really concerned about the nutrition of my athletes. We pay a lot of money to get them strength coaches and speed coaches, then maybe they leave and go out and get a Coca-Cola or potato chips or a burger that might not be made properly and they just add a lot of sugars and sodium and calories that really is not fuel at all. You might as well be eating cardboard. It’s been concerning me for a number of years, and then finally when the top people at Atleta called me and said they would like to partner with me and that we could educate the kids of America on sports performance nutrition,  I said I’m all in because for years it had been concerned about it. So Dr. Greg Shepard, who’s a friend of mine and the owner of Bigger, Faster, Stronger, I asked him if he would come in and evaluate all of our products and he did. He said he would endorse everything I’m doing and I knew I had a hit because Dr. Shepard is considered the number strength and speed guy in America. He came in and gave a full endorsement of everything that I was doing and even the educational process of what we want to do educationally to the athletes of America. He was so juiced about it that he jumped in and endorsed everything I had.

LAFM: With all the other products on the market, tell us why should people use your product?

JB: I would say first of all, they know they’re getting the best. They’re all certified by all the top certification you can get in all the world, whether it’s WADA, the Tour-de-France, NFL or whatever it is, we’re certified, and I think that’s the first thing you have to know. When you’re grabbing these products off the shelves, you’ve got to know which product is the certified product. Secondly, it’s been used and tested by some of the top athletic trainers in the world with great endorsement. And thirdly, people like Dr. Shepard have come in and sampled and verified that our products would be the best of breed. It’s something coaches can count on to be the safest, purest and best products that we know of on the market.

About Mark Clements