North Caddo senior adjusts to dramatic loss of both parents

North Caddo senior adjusts to dramatic loss of both parents

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North Caddo senior adjusts to dramatic loss of both parents

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Shicarra Winslow is a quiet individual, which isn’t at all surprising. It might be more unusual if the North Caddo senior were a vivacious, outgoing youngster noted for being the life of the party.

Winslow has been through a lot — much more than your typical high school youngster preparing to wind down the final days of a prep career. In 2011, Winslow’s father, Eddie Lee Jackson, was charged with kidnapping and arson in connection with the disappearance of Winslow’s mother, Tracy.

Tracy Winslow’s body hasn’t been found, but Jackson was sentenced by a Caddo Parish jury in 2012 to 40 years in prison.

Shicarra Winslow, the eldest of three children from the Jackson-Winslow relationship, went through a difficult period during her freshman and sophomore years, but playing basketball helped her work through the trials and tribulations of being a parentless teenager. She’ll become the first in her immediate family to graduate from high school in May.

And when the ball is tossed up at 6:15 p.m. today when North Caddo meets Pickering in the semifinals of the LHSAA Class 2A state basketball tournament in Lake Charles, Winslow will be an integral part of the Lady Rebels’ chances at advancing to Friday’s championship tilt. She’s a member of a history-making North Caddo girls’ team (31-1) that mowed through the District 1-2A competition undefeated, then advanced through two first-round playoff games for the first time in school history.

Under co-head coaches Rickey Evans and Angela Channell, a school of 315 students in a town of about 5,000 residents located in the upper reaches of Caddo Parish, has a chance to do what only the Southwood Lady Cowboys have been able to accomplish locally in the past decade — become girls state champions.

The team is led by Ledetriha Sheppard, Jasmine Thomas, Sumer Williams, Kassie Harris and Jessica Cox, but Winslow is one of the first players off the bench when foul trouble or tired legs grabs one of the starters. The fact that Winslow is available for duty says a lot about her tenacity and her willingness to stick with her goals.

The incident

The then 40-year-old Jackson was arrested by Caddo Parish deputies in Jan. 2011 after Winslow’s 2006 Dodge Charger was discovered abandoned and burned on the side of North Lakeshore Drive at Kuhn Road. Shicarra, a freshmen at North Caddo at the time, received the news on a Sunday morning.

“I didn’t know what to do at first. Then I started crying,” Shicarra said in an exclusive interview with The Times. “I stayed out of school the entire next week.”

According to published reports, the 30-year-old Winslow had returned to her apartment complex in Oil City after an outing with friends and was abducted there. She hasn’t been seen since.

Jackson was ultimately convicted of second degree kidnapping and simple arson and sentenced to 40 years in prison in connection with the case. He was moved to the Avoyelles Parish Detention Center last March where he will serve out his sentence, according to Caddo Parish deputies.

The aftermath

Shicarra briefly lived in Shreveport with some relatives, but returned to Vivian to live with her grandmother, Maggie Winslow, for a time, but currently lives with relatives in Oil City. The decision to go back to school after the incident was a difficult one.

“But I just knew I had to go back to school,” she said.

Not surprisingly, the youngster’s grades suffered as she struggled to put her life back together. Channell, who is a counselor at North Caddo, said Shicarra was despondent and often cried in the weeks following the incident. But Channell and Evans took the youngster under their wing. assisting the family.

“We are a family here and now that her brother is in school here, he’s part of the family too,” Channell said. “Shicarra is truly a blessing to us as much as she probably thinks we are to her.”

Senior recognition night for the Lady Rebels presented a problem, since the athletes usually walk out with their parents. But the team members handled it in their unique way.

“When her name was called, Rickey and the whole team walked out with her, which brought tears to my eyes,” Channell said. “All of the mothers of the players brought her stuff, which epitomized how much of a family we are.”

Each year in January, Shicarra memorializes her mother in some way, and she’s “a resilient child,” according to her coach.

The next step

Her post-North Caddo future appears bright.

“I’m excited to be graduating because I know it’s something my mom would have wanted,” she said. “I know she’s happy I’m going to.”

Channell said Shicarra wants to major in criminal justice, but she hopes she attends an area college so she can keep an eye on her “adopted” daughter.

“It will be hard losing her, but I feel blessed she has let me be a part of her life,” Channell said. “I hope I don’t let her down.”

The worries about all that will come later. Shicarra, Channell and the rest of the Lady Rebels have a state championship within their grasp don’t expect to stop until they get it.

“I’m excited. We get out of school and get to play ball,” Shicarra said. “But I’m worried about some of my (school) work.”

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