False reports of shootings plague schools nationwide

Several Louisiana schools received false reports of an active shooter Thursday.

No schools in Lincoln Parish received a call in what is being called a wide-scale hoax involving robocalls sent to many schools nationwide including Louisiana.

Schools in at least 15 states, including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas, have reported “swatting” incidents since September 13.

Lincoln Parish Sheriff Stephen Williams said, “We have not received one of the calls experienced in other parishes, but we have alerted all our personnel regarding the fake calls.”  

Ouachita Parish schools were locked down for a short time Thursday after Neville High School received one of the calls falsely reporting a shooting. After authorities quickly checked area schools, operations resumed.

Authorities in Vernon Parish sent out a notice on social media Thursday stating, “The Leesville Police received a call in reference to an active shooter at the Leesville High School. Officers are on scene and there is NO active shooter/shooting at Leesville High School.”

The Vernon Parish School Board later released a statement that “thorough investigation by local law enforcement” determined no Vernon Parish school was ever at risk.      

The Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office also said a false threat at Westgate High School was communicated through an automated phone call.

Lincoln Parish schools are staffed by school resource officers from the sheriff’s office. Williams said, “We are ready and trained to respond to any active shooter situations. All our staff ran through about two weeks of training before school started. The training was conducted over multiple days and included many potential scenarios.”

Williams said the training included use of Simunition, a type of non-lethal training ammunition to make the scenarios as realistic as possible.

Louisiana schools receiving the bogus calls Thursday included Abbeville High, Lake Arthur High, Berwick Jr. High, Berwick High, Delcambre High, DeRidder High, Gueydan High, Jennings High, Leesville High, Mansfield High, Merryville High, Neville High School in Monroe, New Iberia High, Rayne High David Thibodaux Stem Academy in Lafayette and Westgate High School.

Some news accounts have reported the calls originated from another country, but local officials could not verify their origin.


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Creek named Jostens 2022 National Yearbook Program of Excellence

Cedar Creek has been recognized by Jostens for its Yearbook Program at the school.

Jostens, the leading producer of yearbooks and student-created content, today announced that Cedar Creek School’s yearbook program has achieved the Jostens 2022 National Yearbook Program of Excellence award at the Silver Level.

The National Yearbook Program of Excellence recognizes engaging yearbooks that reflect a broad representation of the student body while helping students develop 21 st century skills such as communication, collaboration, and information and communication technologies (ICT) literacy.

The Cedar Creek award-winning yearbook program is led by 23 staffers under the direction of Kasey
Stringer, yearbook adviser.

“What an honor it is to be recognized for this achievement. Our staff worked very hard to meet the
criteria needed to qualify. We hope to press on and win Gold next year.” Kasey Stringer

Jostens’ National Yearbook Program of Excellence Awards are presented twice a year, in spring and in
fall based on the yearbook’s arrival date at the school. The award was presented to the Cedar Creek
yearbook program for achieving defined criteria in between one and three of the following categories:
creating an inclusive yearbook, generating school engagement, and successfully managing the yearbook
creation process.

“Jostens is proud to recognize those individuals who have created an exceptional yearbook for their
school and community,” said Tammy Whitaker, Jostens VP and COO Yearbook Division. “These schools
did an exceptional job on multiple levels, despite the challenges presented by this school year.
Yearbooks are a critical part of capturing and telling a school’s story, and Jostens is dedicated to
supporting yearbook staff members as they do their important work.”

Founded in 1897, Jostens has produced school yearbooks for over 60 years. Schools rely on Jostens and
their local Jostens representatives to provide a combination of journalism education and technology
tools to deliver a learning experience that helps students develop 21 st century skills in journalism,
photography, writing and design, leadership and business while creating the permanent record of the
school year. Jostens invests in state-of-the-art technology, best in class service, educational curriculum
and award winning print manufacturing platforms to plan, design, build and produce yearbooks.

About Cedar Creek School
Cedar Creek School seeks to provide a superior college preparatory educational experience
to students in North Central Louisiana based on the highest standards of academic
excellence and personal conduct.

About Jostens
Jostens is a trusted partner in the academic and achievement channel, providing products, programs
and services that help its customers celebrate moments that matter. The company's products include yearbooks, publications, jewelry and consumer goods that serve the K-12 educational, college and
professional sports segments. Founded in 1897 and based in Minneapolis, MN, Jostens is a subsidiary of
Platinum Equity and can be found online at www.jostens.com. 

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Alleged impaired driver flees into woods

A suspected impaired driver who fled into the woods when Lincoln Parish deputies arrived at a crash scene was arrested after a short chase Wednesday afternoon.

Deputy D Johnston of Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Department responded to a single vehicle crash on Byas Road near White Lightning Road (La. 146) early Wednesday afternoon. Deputy Johnston found the vehicle about 40 yards from the roadway and was informed the driver was Carl D. Lafargue who had fled into the woods when he saw the deputy arrive. 

Johnston located Lafargue in the woods and issued verbal commands to stop but he refused and continued to run. Deputy Johnson gave additional commands to stop, or Lafargue would be tased. The suspect then stopped and was handcuffed.

When asked why he ran, Lafargue, 37, stated because he did not want to go to jail. When I asked why he would go to jail, Lafargue stated he was drunk. He was taken to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center where he performed poorly on a series of field sobriety tests. He then submitted to a breath test which indicated a blood alcohol concentration of 0.172g%, over twice the legal limit.

He was booked with operating a vehicle while intoxicated and resisting an officer. Bail was set at $2000.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 


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A look at how the LSWA Top 10 faired this week

Ruston was one of seven teams ranked in the Top 10 in Class 5A that won this week. (Photo by Reggie McElroy)

CLASS 5A

  1. Karr (1-3) beat St. Aug 49-7
  2. Destrehan (4-0) beat Hahnville, 41-3
  3. Catholic-Baton Rouge (3-1) beat St. Thomas More, 49-28
  4. Zachary (2-1) did not play
  5. Acadiana (3-1) beat Lafayette, 55-6
  6. Ruston (3-1) beat Lafayette Christian, 35-20
  7. Captain Shreve (3-1) lost to Byrd, 25-20
  8. St. Augustine (3-1) lost to Karr 49-7
  9. Byrd (4-0) beat Captain Shreve, 25-20
  10. Brother Martin (3-1) beat Ouachita Parish, 38-20

Others receiving votes: Archbishop Rummel (4-0) beat Holy Cross 14-7, John Curtis (3-1) beat Jesuit, 28-10, Parkway (4-0) beat Haughton, 17-14, Jesuit (1-3) lost to John Curtis, 28-10, West Monroe (3-1) beat Scotlandville, 31-28, Carencro (3-1) beat Sulphur, 43-0, Southside (3-1) beat New Iberia, 37-7.

CLASS 4A

  1. Westgate (4-0) beat St. Martinville, 55-20
  2. Lafayette Christian (3-1) lost to Ruston, 35-20
  3. St. Thomas More (3-1) lost to Catholic-Baton Rouge, 49-28
  4. Neville (3-1) beat North Caddo, 50-24
  5. Warren Easton (3-1) beat B.T. Washington-NO, 56-22
  6. Northwood-Shreveport (2-2) lost to Huntington, 28-20
  7. De La Salle (4-0) beat St. Charles, 27-14
  8. Lutcher (3-1) beat Vandebilt Catholic, 42-7
  9. Leesville (4-0) beat Catholic-New Iberia, 26-0
  10. Belle Chasse (4-0) beat Salmen, 35-30

(tie) North DeSoto (4-0) beat Minden, 40-12

Others receiving votes: Teurlings Catholic (4-0) beat Notre Dame, 38-14, West Feliciana (4-0) beat Tara, 42-6, Huntington (2-2) beat Northwood-Shreveport, 28-20, Cecilia (3-1) beat Crowley, 57-27.

CLASS 3A

  1. E.D. White (3-1) lost to Woodlawn-Baton Rouge, 29-26
  2. Union Parish (3-1) beat Bastrop, 62-12
  3. University (2-2) beat Mentorship, 62-0
  4. Church Point (4-0) beat Pine Prairie, 58-13
  5. Sterlington (1-3) lost to Carroll, 34-20
  6. Amite (3-1) beat Country Day, 26-24
  7. Madison Prep (2-2) beat Parkview Baptist, 26-7
  8. Abbeville (3-1) beat Beau Chene, 41-2
  9. St. James (3-1) beat Assumption, 33-7
  10. Lake Charles (2-2) Prep beat South Beauregard, 51-0

Others receiving votes: John F. Kennedy (3-1) lost to Helen Cox, 25-24, Parkview Baptist (3-1) lost to Madison Prep, 26-7, Iowa (3-1) beat Jennings, 36-22, St. Martinville (1-4) lost to Westgate, 55-20, Bogalusa (3-1) beat Ehret 26-12.

CLASS 2A

  1. Many (4-0) beat Newman, 25-17
  2. Newman (3-1) lost to Many, 25-17
  3. Notre Dame (3-1) lost to Teurlings Catholic, 38-14
  4. St. Charles Catholic (2-2) lost to De La Salle, 27-14
  5. North Caddo (3-1) lost to Neville, 50-24
  6. Oak Grove (3-1) beat Rayville, 61-26
  7. Dunham (3-1) beat Ascension Catholic, 20-19
  8. Calvary Baptist (2-2) beat Wossman, 52-20
  9. Mangham (3-1) beat General Trass, 60-26
  10. Avoyelles (3-1) beat Bunkie, 70-16

Others receiving votes: Episcopal-BR (4-0) beat Port Allen, 38-14, Rosepine (3-1) beat Vinton, 43-6, General Trass (2-2) lost to Mangham, 60-26, Welsh (3-0) beat Pickering, 73-14, Loreauville (2-2) lost to North Vermilion, 35-21, Grand Lake (4-0) beat Oakdale, 26-20 (OT).

CLASS 1A

  1. Ouachita Christian (4-0) beat Tensas, 52-0
  2. Homer (3-1) beat Magnolia School of Excellence, 47-0
  3. Southern Lab (2-1) beat Opelousas Catholic, 34-20
  4. Kentwood (4-0) beat Walker, 20-19
  5. Logansport (3-1) beat Mansfield, 52-8
  6. Vermilion Catholic (4-0) beat Erath, 34-0
  7. Haynesville (3-1) lost to Glenbrook, 56-17
  8. Ascension Catholic (3-1) lost to Dunham, 20-19
  9. St. Frederick (3-1) beat Delhi Charter, 40-16
  10. Riverside Academy (3-1) beat Houma Christian, 61-0

Others receiving votes: Glenbrook Academy (4-0) beat Haynesville, 56-17, Catholic-Pointe Coupee (4-0) beat Wilkinson County, Miss., 58-16, Opelousas Catholic (1-3) lost to Southern Lab, 34-20, Central Catholic-Morgan City (3-1) beat Covenant Christian, 48-12, St. Martin’s (4-0) beat Abramson, 47-6.


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Injuries in domestic prompts arrest

Lincoln Parish deputies arrested a man early Wednesday morning in connection with a domestic incident.

When deputies responded to a residence on Country Roads Lane near Ruston, they were met by Renniks R. Manning, 38, who said, “Go ahead and cuff me. I’m ready to go.”

The victim was interviewed, and deputies saw a bleeding knot on her forehead. She stated they had been arguing but when asked how she sustained the injury, she said, “I don’t want to get him in trouble.”

The victim’s juvenile son said he heard Manning beating on his mother. Manning allegedly turned and hit the son as well. The son stated he was struck multiple times in the neck and chest.

When asked what happened, Manning said, “We got into it.” When asked how the victim got the head injury, he said, “I just told you. We got into it.”

Manning was arrested and transported to the Lincoln Parish Detention Center where he was booked for domestic abuse battery.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 


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Cedar Creek Homecoming Court announced

2022 Cedar Creek Homecoming Court
From L to R: Allie Furr, Madison Bratton, Queen Ella Viator, Lilli Adcox, Chloe Brashear, Kate Myers

The 2022 Cedar Creek Homecoming Court has been announced with six young ladies earning a spot on this year’s court.

Senior Ella Viator was named the 2022 Cedar Creek Homecoming Queen. These ladies will be honored during homecoming activities this Friday.

Below are some of the activities surrounding homecoming weekend as well as short bios on each one of the members of the homecoming court.

Thursday

6:30 p.m. — Homecoming Pep Rally – Varsity Gym

Friday

2:30 p.m. – Homecoming Assembly — Multipurpose

6 p.m. – Homecoming Court Presentation – Cougar Stadium

7 p.m. — Cougars vs. Tensas — Cougar Stadium

 

Queen Isabella Marie Viator

Parents: Dr. Kerry and Mrs. Stephanie Viator

Accomplishments/Activities:  Cheerleader (4 years) – serving as Co-Captain senior year; Varsity Tennis (3 years); Student Council Vice-President; French Club (4 years); FCA (4 years); Quota Club (4 years)

Volunteer work: Buddy Ball, Tutoring, Winshape Camps

 

Maid Madison Denise Bratton

Parents: The Late Sonya Bratton

Accomplishments/Activities: Cheerleader (4 years) – serving as Captain senior year; Quota Club (4 years); French Club (3 years); Varsity Tennis (3 years); Published in the CLAW (3 years); Student Council Secretary; Cougar Ambassador (2 years); National Honor Society (2 years); Girls State (Senior Year)

Volunteer Work: Blood Donor, D.A.R.T. angel gift giver, Diabetes Summer Camp

 

Maid Lillian Clair Adcox

Parents- Billy and Sara Adcox

Accomplishments/Activities: Cheerleader (4 years); Tennis (4 years); Quota Club (4 years)

 

Maid Katherine Phillips Myers

Parents: Bob and Jill Myers

Accomplishments/Activities: Emerald Entertainer (3 years) – serving as Senior Lieutenant; Cougar Ambassador (3 years);  National Honor Society (2 years); Drama Club (2 years); Key Club (4 years); FCA (4 years); Literary Rally (1st in state in Journalism, 1st place in district for Eng. 1);  Published in the CLAW (3 years); DECA (3 years) — Louisiana DECA state president, former VP of marketing and communication; Girls State Delegate- American Legion Scholarship Winner;

Volunteer Work- Blood Donor, Winshape Camps, Upward Coach

 

Maid Allison Virginia Furr

Parents: Chip and Heather Furr

Accomplishments/Activities: Varsity Softball (6 years) – LA Tech Softball commit; Varsity Basketball (4 years); Quota Club (4 years); French Club (4 years); FCA (4 years); Key Club (3 years); National Honor Society (2 years)’

Honor Roll (4 years); Published in The Claw (2 years)

Volunteer Work: 4 Paws Animal Shelter, Cedar Creek elementary basketball camps, Cedar Creek elementary softball camps

 

Maid Chloe Elizabeth Brashear

Parents: Jade and Travis Cannon; Kate and Jed Brashear

Accomplishments/Activities: National Honor Society; Honor Roll; French Club; Quota Club; DECA; Key Club; FCA; Yearbook Staff; National Anthem Singer for Creek and local sporting events; Cheerleader (4 years); Powerlifting team; Varsity Softball (6 years)

Volunteer Work: Ruston Dixie Softball Coaching, CC Peewee/Middle School Softball, CC Peewee Cheer Coach, Blood Donor

 

 

 


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Cedar Creek hoops schedules released

Senior Allie Furr will take over the point guard responsibilities for the Lady Cougars this season.

by Malcolm Butler

Fresh off the program’s first ever appearance in the LHSAA state title game, head coach Gene Vandenlangenberg and the Lady Cougars will open the 2022-23 regular season on Nov. 10 with a road trip to West Ouachita.

Vandenlangenberg, the 2021-22 Lincoln Parish Journal Girls Basketball Coach of the Year, returns some key pieces of last year’s team but must overcome some losses to graduation as well.

Meanwhile, the Cougars enter this coming season under the direction of new head coach Lance Waldron and will open their regular season on Nov. 17 with a home game against Sterlington.

The Creek boys will return the vast majority of last year’s roster, but as usual, must wait until the Cougars football season is over to have all of their weapons on the hardwood.

Both coaches are excited about the fact basketball is right around the corner. Vandenlangenberg knows that with the graduation of two key starters from last year’s team that it could take a little time for this year’s group to completely jell.

“I am excited about this year’s group,” said Vandenlangenberg. “It is going to take us some time to figure out our identity as a team. It will probably take us the early part of the season to figure it out, but I like this group and I think we may have a little more depth this year.

“We’ve been working hard in the preseason. We have been without our freshmen and sophomores since they have health class, but we will get them once we start team workouts Oct. 10. I’m looking forward to having them all out there.”

Waldron has spent the preseason working with the players he has and getting to know them and allowing them to get more familiar with his expectations.

“It’s been going really well,” said Waldron, who said he has 14 players in basketball PE right now while football is in its season. “We are working on fundamentals and hitting that hard. The guys are buying in, and that’s a big part of it. We still have a way to go, but the kids are understanding what we are looking for and that’s important.”

The Lady Cougars are coming off a 28-3 record and an appearance in the Division IV state title game where they fell to Southern Lab. Vandenlangenberg and Co. look to replace LPJ Girls Player of the Year and all-state selection Sarah Adams, who is now at ULM.

Senior Allie Furr, who earned all-Lincoln Parish Journal and all-district honors last year, is the top returner after averaging double digit in points and being one of the team leaders in numerous other statistical categories last year. A LA Tech softball commit, Furr will be leaned upon this year to provide additional leadership on the floor.

“I talked to Allie after last year ended,” said Vandenlangenberg. “She is obviously a really good athlete and knows what we want to do. She is going to move to point guard for us and will run the show. Allie played some point in middle school. She is excited about it and I am excited for her.

“Lillian Soto was coming back off a knee injury last year, and she has looked really good during the preseason. She looks strong in the post and is improving on her post moves. She has always been a good rebounder but I think she will provide even more for us offensively this year. I think we will have more depth this year.”

Waldron takes over a program that was 12-17 last season in the final year under Robert Mitcham. The Cougars qualified for the Division IV playoffs but fell 81-39 to Calvary Baptist in the first round.

He recorded a mark of 246-87 during his nine years at Simsboro (2006-2015), leading the program to six district titles, three appearances in the Top 28 and two state championship game appearances (2012, 2013).

Waldron said there are eight players currently playing varsity football, including Connor Norris, Carter Hill, Brian Osborne, Landon Hall, James Meyers, Jake Doan, Blake Robinson and Alex Simpson. Although he is anxious to have his entire roster once the varsity football season comes to a conclusion, Waldron said he is utilizing the time with the players he currently does have.

“Matt (Middleton) and I have been working really well together,” said Waldron. “The football team has won two games in a row, and we are cheering for those guys to continue to succeed. It’s giving us a lot of time to spend with the 14 we have now, more individual time with some of these younger guys. It will help us build more depth which will be important as our season progresses. This time right now is very important for us.”

The first official team practice for both teams is Oct. 10.

The full schedule is below.


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Forbes names Tech one of two top Louisiana public universities

Louisiana Tech University has been named to Forbes’ America’s Top Colleges list, one of only two public universities recognized in the state.

The honor comes on the heels of Louisiana Tech’s 12th consecutive year being named a Top Tier National University in the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges list. 

Only four universities in Louisiana were named to the list that recognizes “schools that offer an excellent education at a great price, graduate high-earners, and propel students to become successful entrepreneurs and influential leaders in their fields.”

“The Forbes list recognizes universities for their efforts to increase retention and graduation rates, as well as the success of their graduates,” said Dr. Les Guice, University President. “Louisiana Tech’s retention rates and time to graduation lead our state, and our faculty and staff continue to work to increase access for students and to connect them with services and activities that help ensure their success while here.”

Forbes chose “doctoral research universities, master’s universities and colleges and baccalaureate colleges, as well as colleges that offered specialized programs in engineering, business and art.” To qualify for the list, information focused on retention rate, academic success, graduate debt, alumni salaries, graduation rates, return on investment, and leadership and entrepreneurial success of graduates – data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), College Scorecard, and PayScale – were used.


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The worst beach trip ever 

It was the baby’s first time to the beach. At the time, Penny was just over a year old, walking (with her hands up in the air for balance – it was the most precious thing), and Alice couldn’t remember the last time we’d been to the beach.  

We planned for a long weekend at Dauphin Island. We didn’t need a lot of entertainment, and we wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before. Dauphin Island seemed the perfect choice. And it helped that our older daughter was certain it was Dolphin Island (she was a bit disappointed in not seeing any dolphins). 

At first, things were great. Both kids loved being in the water, feeling the wind on their face and the gritty sand between their tiny feet. We walked the Audobon Bird Sanctuary and buried each other in the sand on the beach. But it was somewhere during that second afternoon, when we were walking around the Sea Lab when I noticed Penny slowing down. Her cheeks getting a little rosy. Her mood dampening. 

I hoped – ever so hard – that it was simply she was tired from a busy day and her cheeks were rosy from the bright sunshine. But by dinner time, she was asleep on my lap, trying to rest during her fever. 

She was miserable that evening. She felt awful and couldn’t get comfortable when she was trying to go to sleep. We planned to leave for home early the next morning and hopefully get her some comfort in her own room. 

As the kids were settling down to sleep, then Alice showed up in mine and Kyle’s bedroom, which was connected by a bathroom. Standing with her feet in the bathroom but her face toward the door, she vomited everything in her little stomach on our bed. 

Mind you, if she had turned, she would have hit the toilet. But I digress. 

I don’t know how late it was by the time the sheets were clean and dry, but by then Kyle also was vomiting – the two of them, who had eaten ham earlier that day, had food poisoning. So we have a baby sick, a kid sick, and a husband sick. 

And then there’s me. 

I spent the last night of our beach trip in a dark room with Penny, texting my friends, telling them about all the fun we’d had so far on the trip – and why we were coming back early. For the record, it was a good trip. Alice and I had some great mommy-and-me time at the beach, watching crabs, catching butterflies and building sand castles. Penny loved blowing bubbles and tried her hardest to swim like her big sister. We even accidentally brought a hermit crab inside one evening after collecting seashells and then had the honor of releasing it into the wild. Overall, at least for me, it was a great trip. 

But it was several years before I could convince anyone else to go back to the beach.  


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LA Tech Olympic Sports weekend wrap-up

LA Tech defeated Charlotte 3-0 during C-USA action Friday night. (courtesy photo)

 Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

 

LA Tech Volleyball 3, Charlotte 0 (Friday)

The Louisiana Tech Volleyball team won 3-0 (26-24, 25-22, 25-18) in its first conference game of the season against Charlotte inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court. 

“This is a huge win for our program,” said Amber McCray. “We have been talking all week about having strength in numbers, and tonight’s match could not have been any more of an indication of that. It took everyone to beat a really good, well-coached Charlotte team who has beaten a number of Power 5’s this year.

“We had 4 players in double-digit digs, all five attackers had six or more kills, and Kalee Cadwell set a phenomenal match putting our attackers in some really good situations. Our passers kept us in system all night and our servers were clutch in staying aggressive to run points behind the service line. Balance was our key tonight, and that’s exactly what we will continue to work to be every time we step on the court.” 

Notables

  • Andrea Spasojevic got her sixth double-double of the season with 10 kills, 10 digs and adds three services aces. 
  • The Lady Techsters totaled seven service aces on the night and now leads Charlotte 5-3 in match play.
  • Four Lady Techsters had double-digit digs with 10 on the match — Meghan Dunnigan, McKenzie Johnson, Sydney Jackwin, and Spasojevic.
  • LA Tech totaled 46 kills in the match, the third largest recorded in program history. 
  • For the first time since joining C-USA in 2013, the Lady Techsters opened league play with a 3-0 sweep (first C-USA sweep since 2016). 

#23 Rice Volleyball 3, LA Tech 0 (Sunday)

The Louisiana Tech volleyball team fell 3-0 (17-25, 18-25, 15-25) to No. 23 Rice inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court. 

“There’s a reason Rice is the No. 23 team in the country and has beaten several ranked opponents already this year,” said McCray. “Their veteran setter is phenomenal and does an excellent job of running a balanced offense with multiple players able to score, something we also try to do but unfortunately did not do a great job of today.

“I think McKenzie Johnson kept us in a number of rallies with her defense, but ultimately our inability to terminate was the most glaring difference in this match. Despite today, there was still so much growth we saw this weekend and momentum we can build on heading into a couple of key road trips next week.”

Notables

  • Andrea Spasojevic totaled nine kills and three digs.
  • Two Lady Techsters collected double-digit digs; McKenzie Johnson with 17 and Sydney Jackwin with 12. 
  • LA Tech totaled 52 digs as team. 

Up Next
LA Tech will return on the road to face off with UTEP on Friday, Sept. 30 in El Paso, Texas. First serve is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CT.

 

TENNIS

The Louisiana Tech Tennis team had an impressive showing in its first fall tournament, defeating Arkansas and Northern Arizona in singles at the three-day Tulsa Invitational from the Michael D. Case Tennis Center.
 
With the entire roster returning from an 18-win season, LA Tech ramped up its strength of schedule by opening the fall against SEC for Arkansas who finished No. 34 in the country last season, host Tulsa who finished ranked No. 46 in the nation last season, and Northern Arizona who has won three straight Big Sky Conference titles.
 
And LA Tech proved they belonged on the courts.

“This was one of the best opening weekends we have ever had,” said head coach Amanda Stone. “We were consistent all three days against very high-level competition.  We learned a lot about the way we need to compete against teams of this caliber.  We showed some good promise in doubles and I think once we get these new partners comfortable, we will be very tough on all lines.

“I was extremely happy with singles.  We won the ones we expected to and then came up with some of the best wins in the program against Arkansas.  We need to keep proving it on the court, but this weekend was a great step toward where we want to be.”

Notables

·        LA Tech went 4-1 against Arkansas in singles and 5-2 against Northern Arizona in singles (both Arkansas and NAU played in the NCAA Tournament last season)

·        It marked the first time since 2017 that a LA Tech player defeated an SEC opponent

·        Leonie Schuknecht and Najah Dawson won their first ever doubles match as a duo

·        Leonie Schuknecht, Olga Bienzboas, and Alexia Romero each went 2-1 in singles

·        Leonie Schuknecht ended Sofia Markova’s 13-game singles winning streak

·        Alexia Romero collected her 50th career singles victory (fall and spring combined)

 

Rice Soccer 4, LA Tech 1 (Sunday)

The Louisiana Tech women’s soccer team fell at home to Rice by the score of 4-1 at The Mack on International Student Day, which recognized the 14 Tech players who represent different countries from around the world.

“The name of the game is execution,” said Tech head coach Steve Voltz. “We played a great match and were right were we wanted to be. We were even in shots and did what we needed to put ourselves in positions to score and earning those corner chances.

“The difference was they made two one-one-one plays and put their chances away, and we did not. We had a great response coming out of half, and again, we were right there. Then we have a bad break on a handball pushed their lead back to two goals, and you have to credit them for capitalizing on those winning moments. 

Notables
• Rice now leads the all-time series 9-0-1 and is 4-0-1 in Ruston.
• Emma Jones scored her first goal of the season, her second in a Tech uniform. 
• Tomoyo Kuroyanagi registered her first assist this season, and third of her career. 
• Tech’s 13 shots and seven shots on goal are the second-most of the season (14, 8 respectively) and the most of this season at home.
• Tech earned a season-high nine corners today.
• Sophie Fijneman, Laura Ogando, and Rebecca Lancaster played the full 90 minutes. 
• Fijneman has gone the distance in 10 of 12 matches this season, Ogando eight, and Lancaster three. Fijneman has played all but 33 minutes this season.
• Erin Chung and Josie Studer were booked with yellow cards. 

Up Next
LA Tech will play the second of a three-game Conference USA home stand next Sunday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m. at The Mack against Florida International.

 

CROSS COUNTRY

The Louisiana Tech men’s and women’s cross country teams continued their 2022 seasons at the Watson Classic in Clinton, Miss., hosted by Mississippi College, with the Lady Techsters claiming a top-three finish while the Bulldogs placed ninth. 

“I am extremely proud of this team,” said Tech distance coach Jeanee Romero. “They fought a tough race and I couldn’t have asked for anything more of them. We will have the next couple of weeks to recover and train hard heading in to Tuscaloosa. I believe they are ready for what is ahead.”

Notables – Men


  • Final Team Results: Alabama-Huntsville (25), Mississippi College (33), Jackson State (96), Ozarks (134), Spring Hill (158), Millsaps (174), Meridian CC (191), UA Rich Mountain (214), Louisiana Tech (235), Mississippi Valley (278), Tougaloo (294), Jarvis Christian (336), LeMoyne-Owen (372)
    • Erik Rangel finished 53rd with a time of 28:51
    • Logan Bailey finished 62nd (29:11)
    • Joshua Raiford finished 88th (32:02)
    • Jason Arena finished 98th (33:08)
    • Hayes Gill finished 99th (33:08)
    • Tate Ashcraft finished 112th (40:30)

    Notables – Women

  •  
  • Final Team Results: Alabama-Huntsville (22), Mississippi College (33), Louisiana Tech (97),Spring Hill (119), Millsaps (131), UA Rich Mountain (147), Ozarks (199), Mississippi Valley (236), Jarvis Christian (244), LeMoyne-Owen (245)
    • Rebecca Quebedeaux finished 25th overall with a time of 25:18
    • Jacquelin LaBerteaux finished 28th (25:34)
    • Victoria Datta finished 34th (25:59)
    • Lexa Thompson finished 38th (26:31)
    • Ali Looney finished 43rd (27:26)

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Marijuana found in housing complex

Ruston Police arrested a man with a large amount of suspected marijuana last Wednesday evening.

Lamarcus Dawson, 25, of Ruston, was arrested after a Ruston reserve officer working security at the apartments in the 800 block of East Line Avenue spotted a large bag of suspected marijuana.

The officer was working security in the complex when a loud music complaint was received. When the officer arrived at the residence, he was given permission to enter the apartment. Once he entered, he saw the large bag of suspected marijuana.

An on-duty officer responded and questioned Dawson, who admitted the marijuana belonged to him and no one else. 

Dawson, who did not live at the address, was arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Bail was set at $15,000.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 


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Creek shines at Wallace Martin Invitational

Cedar Creek’s varsity girls finished as the runner-ups to Newman High School at the Wallace Martin Invitational.

by Malcolm Butler

A total of 271 boys and girls high school participants competed in the 2022 Wallace Martin Invitational hosted by Cedar Creek Saturday at Lincoln Parish Park.

“It’s always a pleasure to host our Wallace Martin Invitational and see so many children actively participating in this phenomenal sport,” said Creek head coach Craig Moss. “On a personal note it is an honor to celebrate Wallace and continue on his legacy of integrity, lover and honor. I want to thank all the Cedar Creek parents who helped the meet run so efficiently.”

Taylor Ramsey and Caroline James anchored the Lady Cougars as Cedar Creek finished as the runner up to Newman High School out of 23 teams on the girl’s side. Ramsey (20:55.94) finished third out of 118 competitors while Jame (21:16.40) finished 5th.

Madison Morris (10th – 21:40.73), Anna Grace Lee (15th – 21:47.47), Catherine Mcadams (33rd – 23:11.68), Leah Sutherland (38th – 23:31.45) and Julianne Ensminger (40th – 23:44.60) also had strong showings for the Lady Cougars.

Creek totaled 57 points, just edged by Newman’s 51 points.

“Our girls ran strong,” said Moss. “We are not where we want to be, but many of our runners have been battling back from upper respiratory infections so how they performed Saturday is outstanding. Taylor had a good morning and looked fresh when she finished. Anna Grace and Cat had a strong outing.  Leah and Julieanne are getting stronger each race, so I am pleased.”

Myles Carpenter Head and Ethan McCarthy both recorded top 10 finishes on the boy’s side to help the Cougars record a fourth place finish out of 26 total teams. Carpenter Head (17:19.61) finished sixth while McCarthy (18:15.97) finished 18th.

Anderson Maxwell (27th – 18:38.06), Connor Johnson (30th – 18:43.59), Hayes Bridges (34th – 18:56.41), Cole Morganthall (62nd – 20:37.39) and Tate Farrar (64th – 20:40.58) rounded out the Cougars runners amongst 153 boys competitors.

Creek totaled 105 points, to finish behind Mandeville (51), West Monroe (55) and Newman (86).

“I thought our boys were solid across the board and had our best overall team composite time this year,” said Moss. “They packed up run extremely well, and when they finished, they had gas left in their tank which is what I wanted to see. These guys are coming around and beginning to perform.”

The elementary school and middle school races were held on Friday with the Creek middle school girls capturing first place.

“We had an outstanding performance from Kendal Ramsey, AddieBel Brister, Georgia Dugdale, Kennedy Hall, Anna Malsam, and Hannah Satcher,” said Moss.

Boys Varsity Results

Mandeville                              51

West Monroe                          55

Newman                                  86

Cedar Creek                            105

Caddo Magnet                        162

Ruston                                     189

Natchitoches Central              198

West Ouachita                        240

Sterlington                              247

Loyola Prep                             247

Choudrant                               255

St. Frederick                            296

Downsville                              325

Haughton                                354

Lakeside                                  463

Delhi Charter                          471

St. Mary’s                                477

Girls Varsity Results

Newman          51

Cedar Creek    57

St. Frederick    85

West Monroe  98

Mandeville      101

West Ouachita 196

Haughton        198

Choudrant       210

Caddo Magnet 217

Castor              263

Glenbrook       277

Loyola Prep     298

Natchitoches Central  325


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Weekly events

Each Monday and Friday, the Lincoln Parish Journal will post a list of non-for-profit upcoming events happening in the parish. If you would like to add your event to this list or advertise your for-profit events, please email us at lpjnewsla@gmail.com

Monday, Sept. 26
8-8:30 a.m.: Choudrant Elementary School Coffee with the Principal (CES Library)
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — free sack lunches while supplies last each week 

Tuesday, Sept. 27
7 p.m.: GSU presents “Wait Until Dark” (Floyd L. Sandals Theatre, GSU)

Wednesday, Sept. 28
7-8 a.m.: Veterans Coffee Club (PJ’s Coffee)
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — free sack lunches while supplies last each week
7 p.m.: GSU presents “Wait Until Dark” (Floyd L. Sandals Theatre, GSU)

Thursday, Sept. 29
4-6:30 p.m.: Ice Cream Social Meet and Greet with Lincoln Parish Library Board of Control (Jack Beard Community Room, Lincoln Parish Library)
6:30 p.m.: Bulldog Project Auction (Tech’s Davison Athletic Complex)
7 p.m.: GSU presents “Wait Until Dark” (Floyd L. Sandals Theatre, GSU)

Friday, September 30
2022 Peach Tennis Tournament (Ruston Sports Complex)
4:30 p.m.: GSU women’s soccer v. TSU (GSU Soccer Complex)
7 p.m.: Ruston High School v. Neville
7 p.m.: Cedar Creek v. Tensas
7 p.m.: GSU presents “Wait Until Dark” (Floyd L. Sandals Theatre, GSU)

Saturday, Oct. 1
2022 Peach Tennis Tournament (Ruston Sports Complex)
5:30-9 p.m.: Downtown Pumpkins in the Park (Railroad Park)

Sunday, Oct. 2
2022 Peach Tennis Tournament (Ruston Sports Complex)


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Notice of death — Sept. 25, 2022

Karl Dean Sisemore 
April 18, 1952 – September 23, 2022 
Visitation: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston, Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm 
Service: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston, Tuesday, September 27, 2022, 2:00 pm 
Cemetery: Sisemore Cemetery, Tuesday, September 27, 2022  

Leonard O. Wilson 
08/10/1949 — 09/21/2022 
Visitation: Monday 09/26/2022 3:00pm to 5:00pm, King’s Funeral Home 
Funeral Service: Tuesday 09/27/2022 11:00am, King’s Funeral Home 
Interment: Tuesday 09/27/2022 Following Service at Grambling Memorial Garden  

Ella V. Jackson Howard 
01/19/1937 — 09/21/2022 
Family Gathering: Friday 09/30/2022 2:00pm to 3:00pm at King’s Funeral Home 
Visitation: Friday 09/30/2022 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home 
Funeral Service: Saturday 10/01/2022 1:00pm at King’s Funeral Home 
Burial: Saturday 10/01/2022 Following Service at Grambling Memorial Garden


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Third quarter woes once again doom ‘Dogs

Photo credit: Murphy Bavinga

By Kyle Roberts

For the second week in a row, it was the third quarter and turnovers that proved too much for Louisiana Tech to overcome in a Saturday loss to the South Alabama Jaguars by a final score of 38-14.

The tone was set early in the ballgame as the Jaguars returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, before being called for a penalty. However, South Alabama marched nearly effortlessly down the field on the opening drive with six plays for 80 yards and a touchdown.

A Bulldog punt shortly after led to a return for a touchdown from 56 yards out with 11:11 to go in the first. South Alabama would have not trouble from there on in the ball game.

“We did not give our team a chance to win the game,” Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Cumbie said after the loss. “We turned the ball over five times. That’s 24 points on our turnovers. They scored 38, and we’ve got to find a way on offense to move the football without putting it at risk. You have to credit South Alabama. They played very physical, and they created those takeaways. It was an embarrassing performance on offense by me, as a coach. And I put it on us to be better in practice and to make us more aware of those things in practice. That’s where you start; in practice. And just going back and seeing where we can practice better; not just with energy but with execution and having attention on what we do.”

After leading 17-7 at halftime, South Alabama extended its lead over the Bulldogs with a pair of touchdowns in the third stanza en route to its third win of the season and handing Louisiana Tech its third loss of the 2022 season.

Louisiana Tech’s sole score in the first half was a pass to Smoke Harris by Parker McNeil for a 52-yard touchdown reception with 13:02 left to go in the second quarter. For the night, McNeil finished with four interceptions to go with two touchdowns through the air.

McNeil was pulled after the multiple interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown, before going back in later in the second half.

“I wanted to give him a chance to catch his breath, for things to slow down a little bit for him, to see the game from the sidelines and see things differently,” Cumbie said of his starting quarterback. “It starts with me. We’ve got to take care of the football better at that position. We’ve got to give our football team a chance because when you turn the ball over five times, you have absolutely no chance of winning.”

South Alabama out-rushed the Bulldogs 175 yards to 57 on the night, as Louisiana Tech’s rushing woes continued on the road.

Tech’s only other score of the night was a four-yard touchdown pass to Griffin Hebert in the fourth quarter to cap off an 80-yard drive.

Senior Greg Garner led Tech rushers with 51 yards on seven carries.

Until Saturday night, South Alabama had not beaten Louisiana Tech on the gridiron.

:South Alabama is a good team, and we’re going to have our hands full against UTEP, and every game in conference is a game we can win,” Cumbie said. “But when you turn the ball over five times and you don’t show up on special teams, it’s going to be very difficult.”

Tech is now 1-3 on the season and will head into a bye week to recoup before hosting conference foe UTEP at Joe Aillet Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 8.

“You’ve got two weeks to sit,” Cumbie said in conclusion. “I hope it motivates our guys to practice, motivates us as coaches. You have two weeks to sit around and feeling sorry for yourself or you can find a way to get better.”

Kickoff between the Bulldogs and the Miners is set for 6 p.m.

 


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Second half struggles stifle G-Men

Grambling State running back Chance Williams (2) and the Tigers fell 36-19 on the road at Bethune-Cookman on Saturday.  (Courtesy photo) 

By T Scott Boatright

DAYTONA, Fla. – While going from ‘G-Men’ to ‘Men in Black,’ Grambling State’s second-half struggles continued in a 36-19 loss at Bethune Cookman Saturday afternoon at Dayton Stadium. 

Wearing 1970s-style pure black helmets, the Tigers battled back from an early deficit to build a 19-17 lead at halftime.

It was the first time “The G” had  not adorned a Grambling State helmet for decades. Reports say that it was a motivational move by new coach Hue Jackson to get them to “earn the G.” That “G” helmet mark has been a part of G-Man football tradition since the 1970s, and the move stirred up some adverse fan reaction.

On the field, the first half was a back-and-forth contest, with Grambling (1-3) earning a 19-17 halftime advantage thanks to a Joshua Reed end-zone sack that resulted in a safety, breaking a 17-17 tie midway through the second quarter.

But for a second straight week, the Tigers’ momentum faded after the band show as the Wildcats (1-2) outscored GSU 19-0 in the second half in the Southwestern Athletic Conference opener for both struggling teams. 

Grambling trailed by only four last weekend at Jackson State before being blown out in the second half in a 45-point onslaught.

Saturday’s struggle was “deja vu” all over again for the Tigers. 

Trailing 17-10 early in the second quarter, the Tigers countered a Bethune-Cookman scoring drive with Quaterius Hawkins hitting  Phazion Wilson for his first collegiate touchdown on a nine-yard reception to complete an eight-play, 94-yard drive with 11:29 left in the half.

GSU’s Rey Estes forced a fumble on the ensuing kickoff that put the Tigers in solid field position at the BCU 40. 

But GSU quarterback Quarterius Harkins was intercepted in the end zone by Omari Hill-Robinson two minutes later

After Reed’s safety gave Grambling a halftime lead, lightning struck for a second straight week.

GSU’s downward spiral started at the 3:30 mark of the third quarter when Bethune-Cookman took the lead on a 22-yard field goal.

Grambling counted with a long drive to the Wildcats’ 23-yardline before Garrett Urban’s 39-yard field-goal attempt was blocked. 

On the next Grambling State possession, the Wildcats got the ball back as Claude Colemanwas stripped of the football inside BCU territory.

Bethune-Cookman mounted a 56-yard, eight-play scoring drive culminating with Jones hitting Kemari Averett on a nine-yard scoring strike to push BCU’s  advantage to 27-19 early in the final stanza.

The Wildcats sealed the deal  with a 21-yard field goal to give Bethune-Cookman a 30-19 lead before adding a last-minute touchdown.

Adding a lackluster post-halftime output in the blowout win over Northwestern State, GSU has now been outscored by a combined 91-13 in second-halves in the last three games.

Grambling didn’t have any trouble moving the football, outgaining BCU 461-336 in total yardage.

The Tigers won the battle for time of possession — 31:13 to 28:47. 

But 14 penalties for 107 negative yards is tough to overcome. Bethune-Cookman has now defeated GSU four straight times since the Tigers won 24-23 in 2004. 

Grambling’s rushing attack by committee continued against the Wildcats. 

Dedrick Talbert led GSU with nine carries for 65 yards, becoming the third Tigers’ running back to lead the team in rushing through four games.

Hawkins connected on  22-of-43 passes for 287 yards, with two interceptions and one touchdown.

The Wildcats sealed the deal  with 55 seconds left with a 21-yard field goal to give Bethune-Cookman the 30-19 lead before adding a late touchdown.


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Ruston High Basketball unveils composite 2022-23 schedule

Both boys and girls basketball will face tough competition this season

By Kyle Roberts

Both Ruston high school boys and girls basketball had quite a season last year with two district titles and multiple post-season honors.

Now, Ruston has revealed its 2022-23 composite schedule for both boys’ and girls’ basketball teams this past week as both teams look forward to beginning regular season play starting the week of November 14.

Both coaches led their teams last season to District 2-5A titles, with both Bearcat head coach Ryan Bond and Lady Bearcat head coach Meredith Graf named district coaches of the year.

For Graf, she spoke about her excitement for this year as her team ran the table in District 2-5A play last season going 10-0 in district play. Her Lady Bearcats entered the playoffs as the fifth-seed in 5A.

“I am very much looking forward to this upcoming season,” Graf said, as she enters her sixth season as head coach. “I believe I have one of the hardest working teams I’ve ever coached. This group has really bought into doing whatever is necessary to get better individually and as a team. We have a good mixture of returners and younger talent that I expect to get better as the season progresses. We will play a style of basketball that will be a lot of fun for the fans to watch. This team has a wonderful chemistry and a selfless attitude that I believe will help carry us.”

The Bearcats finished as the No. 3 seed heading into the playoffs last season. They return senior Braylan McNeal, junior Jamadrion Lillard, and sophomore Aidan Anding. For Bond, it’s important to simulate the playoffs in the regular season by going to tournaments with tough competition and spoke about how excited he is to run it back with the reigning District 2-5A champions from last season with a team returning key players.

“Being around (football head coach Jerrod) Baugh a lot, we took a page out of his playbook by scheduling some tough teams in the last couple of years,” Bond said. “We’ll be a little short-handed early because some of the kids will still be playing football. We’ve got some other guys who have experience, and we would not have scheduled such quality opponents if I didn’t think we could handle it.”

An interesting note on the schedule for the Bearcats: on November 7, the boys will travel north to Little Rock to take on Parkview High School for a scrimmage. Parkview is coached by Scottie Thurman, a name very familiar to Ruston basketball fans.

“We tried to work it out to see if they could down to our tournament, but (Parkview) would have been in conference play at that time,” Bond said about playing Thurman’s team. “Scottie’s just a tremendous ambassador for Ruston. He still has family here, and he’s a tremendous coach and person. I’m excited about it.”

District play will begin for both teams in January, with the girls starting at West Ouachita on Jan. 6, and the boys opening at home against West Monroe on Jan. 10.

Graf concluded that the schedule will require a team effort from the entire team but offered a highlight for a few Lady Bearcats to keep an eye on this year.

“Some of the more experienced Lady Bearcats are senior La’Marcyah Parker who will have a big impact inside the paint, junior Jaliyah McWain, who will continue her previous success as a scoring point guard, and junior Zaccheya Jackson who has been a solid player on both ends of the floor” Graf said. “I’m excited to see so many more juniors and sophomores step up and round out a complete team.”

The full schedule is below.

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Ruston cross country competes in Denton

RHS girls’ cross country

By Kyle Roberts

Ruston’s varsity cross country squads competed well at the 2022 Garmin Milesplit Invitational in Denton, Texas, Saturday morning for a chance to assess where the team is at as the postseason begins to come into view.

“We wanted to end September at a race that would really test us and show us where we were,” Ruston head coach Dustin Cochran said. “This race had everything you want. We got to see some of the best runners from Texas and Arkansas, as well as some great North Louisiana talent from Benton, Parkway, and Byrd. It was hot. The course was narrow and had tons of twists and turns, and it was very crowded. We went out conservative and fought our way through the crowd. We really got exposed to what real racing can look like. It’s so much harder to run in a crowd than on a course where you can dictate the pace and flow. We got exactly what we wanted today.”

The boys cross country finished fifth in the elite section with Bryar Madden leading Ruston’s pack with a 29th finish overall.

“We caught a bad break with our freshman Taylor Roller getting a little banged up, but he fought through and finished the race anyway,” Cochran said. “I was extremely impressed with the way all of the guys stayed even and closed hard. They caught a ton of people on the back side of the race. That’s what we will have to do in November to have any chance of getting on the podium.”

On the girls’ side, senior Lily Garrett and recent commit to the University of Tennessee finished ninth overall in the three-mile elite race. Overall, the girls finished eighth in the elite section.

“Lily has had a big few weeks,” Cochran said. “It’s nice to see her back on the course leading the girls. Parker Nations had another huge effort today. Sara Naff was incredible. Both of those girls PR’d in a big way even in the traffic. Our back end is getting healthier and learning every day. We’re excited about where we can get in November.”

Quick Stats

Girls Elite Race (3 mile times) 

Lily Garrett 9th 18:30 

Parker Nations 19th 18:48 

Sara Naff 41st 19:21 

Sydney Owens 80th 20:06

Zoie Holstead 119th 20:57 

Hallie Hebert 154th 22:21 

Maddy Parkman 161st 22:39

Boys Elite Race (3 mile times) 

Bryar Madden 29th 15:51

Andrew McKaskle 39th 15:54

Thomas Rogers  47th 16:00

Landon Byrd 61st 16:12 

Cole Maestrini 109th 16:45

Liam Lowe 112th 16:45 

Taylor Roller 153th 17:06 


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Bearcat Brawl wraps up Saturday afternoon

By Kyle Roberts

If you like volleyball, you’d have loved the Bearcat Brawl this weekend.

Spanning two days with multiple schools from all over the state of Louisiana, competition was fierce across the board on Friday and Saturday at the Indoor Sports Complex in Ruston.

Four courts on both days hosted schools that included Ruston, West Monroe, Morgan City, Dutchtown, Haughton, John Curtis, East Ascension, Denham Springs, Airline, Isidore Newman, Ponchatoula, Parkway, Catholic P.C., Sulphur, and Live Oak.

“It’s not too often in North Louisiana that there is a tournament with 15 teams, and half of those in the top 15 in the state in their own divisions,” Ruston head coach Lucie Hunt said of the event. “The Bearcat Brawl has grown over the past few years, and it’s because we are able to draw some of those competitive teams from all over the state. Volleyball in North Louisiana is gaining traction, and we have teams all over competing for playoff spots in every division.”

While Ruston did not finish with the results it had originally hoped for, it was still great preparation for the Lady Bearcats as district season is about to get into full swing.

“Playing teams like we did this weekend only helps prepare us for the future,” Hunt said. “We are almost to the halfway point of the season, and being able to battle point for point with these competitive teams will only make us better.”

The Lady Bearcats are 1-0 in district play, and will host Natchitoches Central at home Tuesday, with freshmen starting at 4 p.m., junior varsity at 5 p.m., and varsity beginning at 6 p.m.

Home matches have been well attended and the atmosphere has proven fun for fans to come watch.

“These girls love playing for Ruston High, and they wear that Ruston jersey with pride,” Hunt said. “We love having the community support and want everyone to come out to Ruston High School as much as they can. These girls work hard and love having the support of the community behind them.”

Playoffs will begin in November.


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Big second half lifts Bearcats past Lafayette Christian

Ruston’s Zheric Hill returned an interception for a TD late in the second quarter of the Bearcats win. (Photo by Reggie McLeroy)

by Malcolm Butler

After a first half that saw Ruston struggle to find any offense, Bearcats head coach Jerrod Baugh turned to some special teams surprises to try to ignite his team.

It worked.

Sixth-ranked (Class 5A) Ruston scored three third-quarter touchdowns to defeat fourth-ranked (Class 4A) Lafayette Christian by a score of 35-20 Friday night at Knight Field in the first road game of the season for the Bearcats.

The victory spoiled homecoming for Lafayette Christian. 

“I just thought from offense to defense to special teams this was a really good team win,” said Baugh.

Trailing 14-7 at the break, Ruston opened the second half with back-to-back onside kicks, recovering both and ultimately scoring on the first three drives of the third quarter to grab all the momentum and its third straight win over a Top 10 ranked opponent.

“Going into the ball game we felt we saw some alignments that we liked and felt we could be successful with the onside kick against,” said Baugh. “We have done that several times this year. They didn’t change it so we went ahead and decided to onside kick it. When we came back after we scored off the first one, they didn’t change their alignment so we decided to kick another one. We were fortunate enough to get both of them.

“It’s what we practice. I thought it really provided us a spark to start the second half.”

Dyson Fields led a potent Bearcat rushing attack that amassed 347 yards on the ground, totaling 200 yards and three scores on 31 carries. Fields scored on runs of 2, 20 and 22 yards — all coming in the second half.

Jordan Hayes added 94 yards and one score on nine carries as the Bearcats controlled the clock for 36 minutes of the 48-minute game.

“We knew they were tough inside on the defensive line a lot like the other teams we have played,” said Baugh. “Our guys just continue to keep working. The (offensive line) played a lot better. I didn’t think we played well offensively in the first half with the turnovers. I told the team at halftime that we just needed to execute. The guys stuck with the game plan and continued to play. I thought our running backs ran well and ran hard.”

Lafayette Christian jumped out to a 14-0 lead as quarterback JuJuan Johnson tossed touchdown passes of 32 yards to Dudley Jackson just 19 seconds into the contest and of 35 yards to Alonzo Ryes with 6:22 to play in the second quarter.

The Bearcats struggled to generate any offense in the first half. However, Zheric Hill gave Ruston a late spark right before the half, intercepting a pass and returning it 47 yards for a score as the Bearcats trailed 14-7 at the break.

RJ Brown opened the second half with an onside kick that he recovered, which led to a two-yard TD run by Fields, tying the game at 14-14 less than three minutes into the third quarter. Brown repeated the special teams surprises with another onside kick, once again with the Bearcats recovering. 

This time it was Hayes with the big play, striking pay dirt on a 30-yard scamper for a 21-14 Ruston lead. Fields scored his second TD from 20 yards away late in the third quarter as the Bearcats lead ballooned to 28-14.

Fields put the game out of reach with 6:55 to play in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 22-yard run and a 35-14 RHS lead.

Hill (4 tackles, 1 interception) and Jacroyian Crowe (5 tackles, 1 interception) led the Bearcats defense which was stellar over the final two-quarters of action. 

“That’s what our defense has done for us all season whenever our offense has struggled at times,” said Baugh. “They just continue to play hard and do what they do. Zheric made a huge play that kept us in the ball game. If that had not happened, it would have been even tougher in the second half, but he gave us a spark. I thought our defense really battled and kept us in the game until our offense started to get things going in the second half.”

Ruston returns to action next Friday when they host longtime rival Neville. Kickoff at Hoss Garrett Stadium is set for 7 p.m. 


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