2009 News

CWS member Chad Scott - 5th place Big Dawg Finals / 2nd place Men's 3

CWS member Jim Morton competing at Nationals.

2009 South Central Regional Water Ski Championships

Congratulations to the following CWS members:

Chad Scott - 1st Place Men's 3 slalom

Nicole Baird - 1st Place Women's 2 Slalom

and to our friends Shelby Coke - 1st Place Men's 2 Slalom

Jonathan Fox - 3rd Place Men's 2 Slalom

Some pictures from the event......................

Mike Erb Jim Morton

Joe Darwin                                                                                  The Gang

Shelby Coke                                                                                Jonathan Fox




June 3, 2009


Cottonwood to host ski event this weekend

By Jimmy Watson

Some of the top water skiers in the country will be participating each day.

Area fans of the water sports can enjoy a free outing on Saturday and Sunday when The Lakes at Cottonwood hosts a nationally sanctioned water ski tournament.

The annual event, sanctioned by USA Water Ski, will run from 8 a.m. until about 5 p.m. both days with some of the top water skiers in the country participating in three rounds of competition each day. Among the local skiers are Emily Darwin, who competes on the national championship UL-Monroe team, and Jed Blackburn, who won a national title in 2007.

Also set to compete is Tyler Scott of Covington, one of the top-ranked junior boys in the country, according to event director Joe Darwin.

"It'll be a lot of fun and we encourage the general public to come out and watch both days. There is no admission charge," Darwin said. "We have several national record holders coming here to earn a rating for regional and national events."

The competitors will vie in 16 different age divisions. Results will also be used in rankings for the 2008 regional and national championships. The Lakes at Cottonwood has hosted sanctioned water ski events since 2004 and two national records, one regional record and five state records have been achieved at these events.

Cottonwood is nationally recognized as one of the premier slalom water ski sites in the nation. Water Ski Magazine held its first two Independent Water Ski tests at Cottonwood in 2006 and 2007 giving international exposure to the Shreveport-Bossier City area. Cottonwood's layout and environment make an ideal setting for witnessing world-class performances.

Attendees are encouraged to bring a lawn chair, ice chest and some type of cover, since none is available at the site.

Additional details and registration information can be found by clicking on the "Tournament" page at www.lakesatcottonwood.com or by calling (318) 747-4149. The Lakes at Cottonwood is located off Hwy. 71 four miles south of Jimmie Davis Highway in south Bossier City.

USA Water Ski was formed in 1939 as a non-profit organization promoting water skiing in the United States. USA Water Ski is affiliated with the International Water Ski Federation (world governing body) and is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and Pan-American Sports Organization as the national governing body of organized water skiing in the United States. With nearly 40,000 members, USA Water Ski is the largest water ski federation in the world.



ULM Bayou Classic - April 25-26, 2009


CWS Member Tyler Scott will compete at the Junior Masters Water Ski Tournament May 22-23, 2009



2008 News

The ULM Water Ski Team celebrated their 21st National Championship at a special weekend commemorating the 30th anniversary of the ULM Water Ski program. Alumni from the past 30 years were in attendance as the team was paraded thru the tailgating area prior to being introduced on the field during the ULM / Florida Atlantic football game.

Front row: Barbora Kolesarova, Emily Darwin, Tina Rauchenwald, Tyler Boyd 2nd row: Adam Sedlmajer, Regina Jaquess, Karen Stevens, Tatiana Hernandez, Kyle Dammann, Martin Bartalsky Top Row: Kate Adriaensen, Andreas Pombo, Daniel Odvarko Not pictured: Brittney Collins, Carly Marquess



CWS member Emily Darwin signed a letter of intent with the University of Louisiana – Monroe at a signing ceremony at her school on April 24th. She will be competing for the National Champion ULM Warhawks beginning in the Fall of 2008. Emily is the first female skier from Louisiana to sign with ULM in 12 years. Currently, she will be the only US female on the team. ULM recruits world class skiers from around the world and has an impressive 20 national titles since 1979. Attending the signing from ULM was Graduate Assistant Tyler Boyd and Team Captain Tyler Collins. For info on the ULM Water Ski Team, go to www.ulmwaterski.com


Emily Darwin selected KTBS Athlete of the Week for 5-21-08.


Emily Darwin featured in Shreveport Times article:

Darwin takes her water skiing passion to ULM

By Jimmy Watson • jimwatson@gannett.com • May 23, 2008

Spending quality time with her father, Joe, pushed Emily Darwin to unprecedented heights for a local water skier.

The recent honor cord and regent's scholar graduate at Parkway High School inked scholarship papers to compete collegiately at UL-Monroe, nailing down a rarity for a northwest Louisiana teen.

Darwin will join the non-NCAA-sanctioned water ski program at the Monroe school this fall and is expected to be the only American female skier on the starting unit.

"I went to a tournament in Monroe last year and that really kick-started me thinking about skiing at the collegiate level," Darwin said. "I liked the program, coach (Treina) Landrum and the school, so I decided to sign with them."

The Warhawks are gaining one of the most decorated young female skiers this area has produced in quite some time — possibly ever. Darwin has been a national top-20 performer by USA Water Ski since 1999, ranked in the top four for the South Central Region since 1999, a national championship medalist in 2003 and 2005, selected to South Central Region Junior All-Star Team in 2002 by USA Water Ski, selected to South Central Region Junior Team every year since 1998 and Louisiana's top-ranked junior female since 2004.

"We are very excited to have Emily join our team and we believe that she'll fit right in," Landrum said. "We've known her family for a long time, because the sport of skiing is a small world. It wasn't a hard decision at all to sign Emily because she is a solid skier."

Landrum said Darwin is the first Louisiana skier she has signed in a number of years.

What has become a passion began as a passing fancy when she was 3 years old, skiing behind her father's boat on Lake Bistineau. Darwin began skiing competitively at 7 and started winning events soon thereafter.

She received a set-back at age 13 when she tore her ACL for the first time while attempting to complete a ski jump. She gave up jumping after that but continued to slalom and trick ski. Darwin tore her ACL a second time in December 2006 while cheerleading for Parkway.

But with some pushing by her father, Darwin returned to the water and continued to progress.

"My dad had to push me a lot at the beginning because there were times when I didn't want to go," Darwin said. "But I realized that this is my time with my father and we have a relationship that a lot of fathers and daughters don't have. I don't think I've ever skied when my father wasn't driving me."

Darwin typically practices three times a week and competes in tournaments every other weekend. She'll be in Covington competing this weekend and has six or seven more tournaments, plus regionals and nationals on tap for this summer.

"I report to ULM about two days after completing nationals, so that will be tough," Darwin said.

Through the years, Darwin has learned to adjust to the good and bad of being a competitive water skier.

"When I'm on the water, it's my time to relax ... to put everything else out of my mind," she said. "It's work, but it's also fun."

And the bad?

"There really haven't been any drawbacks other than being away from my friends when I'm gone so much," Darwin said. "It's not too bad, though, because we make time when I'm home."

When she wasn't studying, skiing or cheerleading, Darwin was involved in the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, ASTRA and Beta Club at Parkway.

She considered signing with a school in Florida, as well as UL-Lafayette, before deciding on ULM.

"Coach Landrum seemed to have the most interest in me and the team was very welcoming when I visited there," Darwin said. "They also offered me the most scholarship money, plus I have TOPS and another scholarship that should pay for most of my school."

Darwin plans to major in biology at ULM.

She will return to Shreveport after graduation to pursue medical school with the hopes of becoming a radiologist.



Cottonwood Summer Classic V - June 7 & 8, 2008

Go to the "Tournament" page for more details.

Cottonwood Fall Classic - August 30th and 31st. See details on Tournament Page.

The following CWS members won first place in their respective divisions at the Louisiana Slalom Championships the weekend of July 19th and 20th at Olde Oaks:

Women 1 - Emily Darwin (PB of 4 @ 32 off)

Boys 3 - Blake Fritz

Men 1 - Brian Lane

Men 4 - Joe Darwin

Men 5 - Curtis Parker


Elkins, Arkansas

Congratulations to CWS members:

Emily Darwin / Renee Powell                                                                          Sara Haynes / Renee Powell / Emily Darwin

Emily Darwin - 2nd Women's 1 Trick / 3rd Women's 1 Slalom

Nicole Baird - 1st W2 Slalom

Chad Scott - 2nd M3 Slalom

Tyler Scott - 1st B3 Slalom


2007 News

ULM Water Ski Team wins 2007 Nationals. More details at www.ulmwaterski.com and http://ncwsa.skibennetts.com/

Congratulations to coach Treina Landrum and the entire ski team for winning the school's 20th National title.


Driver's Clinic - September 22, 2007.

Four new drivers were assigned ratings. Mike Erb - Bossier City, Louisiana / Paul Sartor - West Monroe, Louisiana

Mark Schneewind - Pine Island, Minnesota / Jed Blackburn - Bossier City, Louisiana

Special thanks to Billy Varnell from Marlow, Oklahoma for his assistance in conducting the clinic.


CWS member Chad Scott won the Bayou Big Dawg in Covington, Louisiana the weekend of August 25-26.

Details available www.bayoubigdawg.com

Chad Scott skiing behind the 2008 Cottonwood Water Ski / Midway Marine Malibu Response LXI at the Bayou Big Dawg.


SCR Regionals Aug 3-5 - Tri-Lakes - Zachary, Louisiana

CWS member Blake Fritz won Most Improved Boy's 2 Slalom in 2007. Blake was given the award at the SCR Regional Banquet. Congrats on a great Regional's performance of 1.5 @ 22 off (personal best).



State Slalom Championships July 21-22 @ Olde Oaks

                                                  Lori Roy, Darwin, Ward McLain, Jed and Vanetta Blackburn Lynda and Scot Jones

Eric Guilott - Midway Marine and Chad Scot

Podium finishes by Cottonwood members:

Darrell Fitts - 1st Men 6 / Joe Darwin 2nd Men4 / Mike Erb 4th Men 4 / Eric Schmidt 2nd Men 2 / Blake Fritz 2nd Boys 2



CWS member Chad Scott from Covington, Louisiana won the Big Dawg Championship in Austin, Texas the weekend of June 21-22. This is the first of four Big Dawg Championships held around the country culminating in a final competition in September. Congrats to Chad on a well deserved victory.

Details at www.awsasouthcentral.org

The series consists of four regionally held 34 mph slalom water skiing
qualifying tournaments and a final competition in Winter Garden, Fla.
Each of the four qualifying tournaments pits up to 50 skiers in
heart-pounding, head-to-head competition, each vying for a share of a
$3,000 cash-prize purse. The top-eight finishers at each qualifier will
move on to the finals, Sept. 29-30, at the Isles of Lake Hancock in
Winter Garden, Fla., where $12,000 purse will be at stake. The finals
will feature a live Web cast.

2007 Cottonwood Summer Classic recap on Tournament Page

Scorebook under "Tournament Scorebooks" at www.awsasouthcentral.org


2007 Magazine's Ski Test

Held November 3-5, 2006 @ Cottonwood

Click HERE for article from WaterSki Magazine's March 2007 issue.

Check out the details at: www.waterskitests.com


2004 / 2005 / 2006 News

©2002 - 2012 Cottonwood Water Ski, Inc.








2006 News


Click here for 2006 Water Ski Magazine Ski Test page.



Chad and Tyler Scott

Congratulations to our friends Chad and Tyler Scott.  Tyler finished 1st in Boy's 2 division and set a new National Record of 2 buoys @ 39.5 feet off.  Chad finished 2nd in Men's 3 with a score of 4 @ 39.5 feet off.



Pictured:  Lindsey Able, Brittney Greenwood and Caroline Darwin

Congratulations to CWS member Caroline Darwin for 3rd place finish in Girl's 2 Trick 

Pictured:  Kayla Gray, Emily Darwin  / not pictured:  Amanda Stevenson

Congratulations to Emily Darwin for 1st place finish in Girls 3 trick with a total of 2430 points

and 3rd place finish in Girl's 3 slalom with a score of 1.5 @ 32 off.  2 @ 32 off won the event.

Pictured:  Maisey Varnell, Amanda Stevenson, Emily Darwin



Maisey Varnell, Caroline Darwin, Tracy Lawrence, Tyler Scott and Emily Darwin backstage at the Tracy Lawrence concert in Klute, Texas on Saturday, July 29, 2006.

Louisiana State Slalom Championships

July 22-23, 2006

The following CWS members had podium placements:

Caroline Darwin - 1st G2, Emily Darwin - 1st G3, Mike Erb - 2nd M4

Darrell Fitts - 1st M6, Joe Darwin - 2nd M3


National Record Set @ Cottonwood

Tyler Scott of Covington, Louisiana shattered the Boy's Division 2 National Slalom Record scoring 1 buoy @ 39.5 feet off at the 2006 Cottonwood Summer Classic.  Tyler held the previous record of 3.5 @ 38off.  See tournament page for more details.


2005 News


Congratulations to Cottonwood Water Ski members Emily and Caroline Darwin for their podium finishes in  Girls 3 and Girls 2 Tricks at the 2005 South Central Regional Championships.  View the entire tournament results at www.awsasouthcentral.org 


Congratulations to Cottonwood Water Ski members Emily and Caroline Darwin for their performances at the 2005 National Water Ski Championships.  Caroline finished 6th in Girls 2 tricks and Emily finished top 20 in Girls 3 tricks.

Congratulations to our friend Scot Jones who finished 2nd in Men's 3 slalom at the 2005 National Championships.  It must have been the visor!!

Chad Scott shatters the Lake Record by skiing 3 @ 41 off at the Cottonwood Summer Classic on June 5, 2005.  His son, Tyler skied 1/2 @ 39 off at the State Championships on July 17, 2005 and again at the Cottonwood Fall Classic on August 28, 2005.


2004 News

Congratulations to Cottonwood member Caroline Darwin - 1st place, Girls 2 trick - South Central Regional Championships.  For complete results go to www.awsasouthcentral.org

Lauren Jimmerson - Caroline Darwin - Lindsay Able 

From the Shreveport Times - Monday June 7, 2004:

Water skiers face challenges at Cottonwood

June 7, 2004
By Jimmy Watson

Competitive water-skiers are accustomed to dealing with a lot of challenges on courses around the South. Just finding some courses tucked away in remote sites can be difficult enough, while high winds and quick-changing weather conditions can wreak havoc on a skier's chance to obtain their personal best.

But Covington's Claire DiPol was prepared for the challenge she faced Sunday afternoon in the first-ever competitive water ski event at Lakes at Cottonwood in south Bossier City.

DiPol was one of about 28 skiers from around the region competing for ratings that will allow them to advance to regional and national competitions. The 2004 Cottonwood Summer Classic was a three-round Class C slalom tournament held in a subdivision designed specifically for water skiers.

"I thought the tournament went real well with a lot of personal bests and a good number of strong skiers," tournament director Joe Darwin said. "Everyone skied well and seemed to enjoy being out here. We got a break on the weather."

DiPol's 8-year-old son celebrated his birthday Sunday by getting his master's rating with a personal best of five buoys. If he finishes in the top five at regionals in Houston later this summer, the rating will allow him to advance to nationals.

Bossier City's Kim McClain was disappointed in her performance Sunday but has already qualified for regionals in the Women's II Division (ages 25-34). She lives on a similar ski lake at Olde Oaks but found the skiing at Cottonwood to her liking, even though she fell on her final run of the day.

"I was late getting to the four (buoy), so I dropped back on my ski and it manhandled me," McClain said. "This is a very technical sport where everything has to fall in line or the least little thing can throw you off."

Water skiers use a lot of initials in their lingo, like PBs (personal bests) and EPs (exceptional performances), to get their point across. All of them, however, say they love the family atmosphere in the small circle of friends they develop in the sport.

"This is one of the most fantastic exercises you can participate in and it's refreshing to be in the water during the summer heat," said Shreveport's Lori Roy, who competes in the Women's IV. "It doesn't matter what level you ski at, there's always one more buoy that you want to get to.

"You can measure your progress exactly by the number of buoys you make and this sport is very addicting."

Since the skiers were competing for ratings rather than trophies at Cottonwood on Sunday, the atmosphere was not as competitive as it is at regional events.

"Since we're not competing against each other here, everyone is very supportive," McClain said. "It's a fun, family atmosphere."

McClain has a 10-year-old son who also competes in events, but she said he could be better if he took instruction well.

"He's not real competitive and he gets testy at times," McClain said. "He gets that from me."

Roy, 46, said she took up water skiing competitively six years ago after seeing 84-year-old Lucille Borgen ski at nationals.

"She's 90, now, and still skiing," Roy said. "I figured if she could do it, I could. Now my goal is ski as long she has."
©The Shreveport Times
June 7, 2004