Then-principal Grady Hornsby changed the name of the Denham Springs High School mascot from the Wampus Cats to the Yellow Jackets nearly nine decades ago.
Today the school announces another change.
Following six faithful years as title sponsor for the Denham Springs High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Stacy Phipps of Sport-N-Center hands over that role to Dr. Ed Hood, owner of Hood Dental Care.
It is fitting that the former DSHS star second baseman will be followed by yet another Yellow Jackets star athlete, whose pitching skills led him from the DSHS diamond to the fabled baseball program at LSU.
“I have so many family ties to the education system here,” Hood said, “and I’m really proud of my hometown and our local high school which gave me such a good foundation. Denham Springs High School is a wonderful springboard for any kid to have success and achieve something in life.
“The Hall of Fame provides great recognition for our school, as it honors the exceptional athletes and coaches responsible for the storied sports past, we all enjoy. Hood Dental Care is so pleased to support the Hall of Fame by serving as its title sponsor.”
Hood, a 1977 DSHS graduate and valedictorian of his class, was 6-foot-2 and 145 pounds on graduation day. After a five-inch growth spurt in one year, he played both football and basketball but gave up those sports in favor of baseball since his body frame was ideal for a pitcher.
Earning all-district honors on the mound his senior year, Bond walked on at LSU the next fall, and then again, the following season, when he was one of only three who made the team from 96 hopefuls.
With a modest 88 miles-per-hour fastball, Bond relied on his curve and knuckleball during two years on LSU’s pitching staff. As a Pre-med major, he played baseball as a sophomore and junior while taking organic chemistry, physics, comparative anatomy, and microbiology.
During his senior year, Hood left the team to focus on academics.
He attended LSU Dental School in New Orleans (1981-85), graduating second in a class of 100. He returned to his hometown under the tutelage of Dr. Milton Hughes for five years before opening his own practice in 1990.
In 2002 he constructed a state-of-the-art general dentistry office on Veterans Boulevard in Denham Springs that offers leading edge technology for root canals, crowns, implants, and cosmetic dentistry.
The practice has continued to expand, adding Hood Dental Care locations in Watson (2017) and Zachary (2018), with a total workforce of 50 that includes six dentists.
Hood is married to the former Gwen Hand, with three children. Dr. Andrew Hood joined his father’s dental practice in 2012 and largely focuses on the Watson office. Daughter Allison Crousillac also joined the Hood Dental Care team as a hygienist in 2015. Son Travis Hood is an LSU business graduate and local entrepreneur.
“I think dentistry is one of the best professions around,” said Hood. “It’s exciting to affect the way people feel about themselves by changing their smile, giving them more self- confident lives. Just taking great care of patients by getting them out of pain is very fulfilling.”