Shreveport-Bossier has been home to dozens of athletes who have gone on to excel in professional sports.  The first to come to mind is Terry Bradshaw, who went from Woodlawn High School to Louisiana Tech to the NFL and won four Super Bowls for the Pittsburg Stealers – a feat unmatched for ten years until Joe Montana duplicated his record. The great number 12 has not been officially retired, but Bradshaw’s number hasn’t been worn by any other Steeler since he retired. 

Basketball great, also a product of Woodlawn High School, Robert Parish went on to play for Centenary College, and his jersey number, 00, was retired by the Boston Celtics after he set numerous records, including a four-time NBA Champion. 

Several baseball players from Shreveport-Bossier have gone on to successful professional careers.  Todd Walker, who played college baseball for the LSU Tigers baseball team, was one.  He was a member of LSU’s 1993 College World Series championship squad and was named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player. Not only was Walker elected to the LSU Hall of Fame, he was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas. Walker’s uniform number 12 was retired by LSU at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.

This brings us to the significance of jersey numbers. Specifically, the LSU Tiger Baseball No. 8. Wearing the No. 8 jersey for the LSU Tigers is an honor and a privilege that means more than just having future success on the professional level.The LSU Baseball Jersey No. 8 is a revered tradition in the LSU baseball culture. This jersey number signifies a player who embodies the passion, determination, and leadership that is at the core of LSU baseball.

The selection of the player who will wear this number is a significant decision and is carefully considered by the coaching staff. In the 2022-2023 season, senior outfielder Gavin Dugas donned the No. 8 jersey. 

The criteria for selecting the next player to wear the No. 8 jersey is based on their character, leadership, and commitment to the team. The player must demonstrate a strong work ethic, a dedication to their craft, and a willingness to put the team’s success above their individual achievements. The coaching staff will also consider the player’s on-field performance, their potential to be a leader both on and off the field, and their ability to represent the LSU baseball program with honor and distinction. The selection process is a rigorous one, ensuring that the player who is ultimately chosen is deserving of this great honor. After all, the players who wear this jersey number represent not only themselves but also the entire LSU baseball program. The honor of wearing the No. 8 jersey should inspire players to strive for greatness and embody the principles that define LSU baseball. The legacy of the No. 8 jersey is a source of pride for LSU baseball, and it is essential to maintain this tradition for future generations of players and fans alike.

This brings us to a young man who grew up playing baseball in Shreveport-Bossier. Hayden Travinski knew at a very young age that he was going to make baseball his job. After graduating from Airline High School, he was recruited to join the LSU baseball program. He has been selected to wear the coveted No. 8 jersey for the 2024 season, and it is clear that the tradition will continue. “It embodies the love an individual has for the program, and it shines out to the other players.  I’m just grateful for the opportunity,” says Travinski. As the catcher for the College World Series winning team, Travinski stresses the importance of establishing a strong connection with his pitchers. In fact, two of his roommates are pitchers. The entire team was close. 

 “That’s what made last year’s team so special. That’s what allows teams to be successful, it’s the relationships – I feel like that’s the same in anything,” he says. His humility is refreshing, especially when you look at his stats for the 2023 season. You’ll find he was a beast at the plate with a .356 batting average and scored ten home runs, 30 RBIs, and 104 at-bats. As his parents watched with pride, he stayed zoned in for the entire College World Series. But his teammates put a grin on his face as he saw them out of the corner of his eye edging themselves over the railing of the dugout during the last play of the last game – ready to storm the mound in celebration. 

Citizens National Bank, headquartered in Bossier City, understands the importance of traditions.  That’s why they capitalized on the new College NIL rule to hire Travinski to be a spokesperson for the bank. “When we first started envisioning what the opportunity could look like with Citizens National Bank and Hayden, I reinforced to him that the goal was for it to be beneficial to him as well as the bank. 

The benefits to the bank are obvious, but they may be a little more subtle for him.We hope that when we go through this season, he’ll look back and see that it was a good opportunity for him as well,” said Jason Smith, President of Citizens National Bank. 

Travinski and CNB share the same work ethic. They also started their climb in the same city, albeit several years apart. In 1985, at a time when local and national economies were in a downturn, CNB opened for business with a handful of dedicated, committed businessmen. Their vision of providing personal banking services and financial expertise to their community has become the hallmark of CNB. Now, almost 40 years later, CNB has grown to be not only a banking institution but also a bank dedicated to giving back to its community. CNB hit a home run with Hayden Travinski as their spokesperson. Together, the mark they will make on the communities they serve will be brilliant.

Hayden Travinski

Position: Catcher
Height / Weight: 6-3 / 234
Bats / Throws: R / R
High School: Loyola and Airline High School
Hometown: Shreveport, LA
Played for the Canes American Travel Team
Louisiana State University Baseball Team, Winners of the 2023 College World Series

• Earned the starting catcher role by the end of April and played a tremendous role in the Tigers’ drive to the National Championship … appeared in 41 games (23 starts) on the year, batting .356 (37-for-104) with five doubles, ten homers, 30 RBI and 30 runs scored

• Voted to the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional All-Tournament Team after hitting .429 (6-for-14) with one double, two homers, five RBI and five runs

• Batted .538 (7-for-13) in the SEC Tournament with one double, three RBI, and three runs scored … recorded a career-best four hits in four at-bats with two runs scored in a May 25 game vs. Arkansas

• Started two games (May 13-14) behind the plate in the Mississippi State series, and he hit .600 (3-for-5) with a homer, two RBI, and two runs scored
• Travinski homered at least once in each of LSU’s final five SEC regular-season series versus Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State, and Georgia (two HRs)

• Delivered a two-run single and threw out two runners attempting to steal on May 2 at Southeastern Louisiana

• Blasted the go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning on April 29 vs. Alabama, erasing a 7-5 deficit and lifting the Tigers to a 12-8 win

• Launched a two-out, pinch-hit three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning on April 23 to lift LSU to a 7-6 win over Ole Miss … Travinski’s homer, his first of the season, erased a 6-4 Ole Miss lead

• Earned his first start of the season at catcher on April 22 at Ole Miss, and he provided an RBI single and scored a run in the Tigers’ 8-4 win