Winter storm helps Grambling football get back on pace

The Grambling football team is in the middle of (hopefully) its final week of preseason practice, preparing for the lengthiest year in the Tigers’ illustrious history.

The G-Men could tee it up 20 times in 2021. It begins with the six-game 2020-make good spring schedule, then perhaps a Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game. After a three-month break from competition comes 11 games in the fall, hopefully another SWAC title contest, a win there leading to a Celebration Bowl appearance.

The postponement of Saturday’s opener in Dallas was disappointing, but also a blessing in disguise for coach Broderick Fobbs and his staff. Because the Tigers lost a week of practice due to the winter storm, they hadn’t gone through much of the typical script for the final week of preseason – honing in on situations such as third down and short yardage, green zone (inside the 40), red zone (inside the 20), and end of game scenarios.

Since this week became a practice week, Grambling is getting that preparation done, allowing next week’s focus to be solely on the game plan for their 2021 debut Saturday, March 6, at noon in Eddie G. Robinson Stadium against Jackson State.

While he’s bringing the Tigers along on pace for the spring season opener, Fobbs most assuredly has eyes on the long haul.

“We’re going to have our players on a pitch count this spring,” he said. “This is new territory. We get the opportunity to play games we didn’t play last fall. We also have to prepare as we normally would for a full season on a conventional calendar this fall.

“It’s a tough predicament, but as long as you are proceeding with the commitment to everyone’s safety and health, you want to play. This is a grind like no other.”

The good news for Grambling? Fobbs likes what he’s seen from his Tigers during workouts last fall, and recently, preseason drills. He can count on quality depth at a time when that could be more vital than ever.

“I feel real, real good about our talent, especially when we get to the fall. This may be one of the more talented teams we’ve had, throughout the roster. We may not have the clear standout or two as we have had at times, but we have a lot of really good players, good depth,” he said.

While watching his players hone their skills, Fobbs and his staff, and support staff including trainers and academic advisors, are monitoring the most important, intangible factor.

“The mental health of your players and everyone involved in the program is a big issue. We’ve all been locked in for so long due to Covid, unable to play, unable to function in our daily lives as we always have previously. The disruption is unsettling. There are those who have lost family members because of Covid. Those are the biggest concerns that we have, their mental and emotional stability.”

As for what will happen between the goalposts on March 6, the Tigers’ coach is supremely confident about two things.

“You’ll see an exciting brand of football, and an excited football team eager to play against somebody else.”

Fobbs’ formula for success this spring has been driven home during the past month of practice and in those workouts last fall. In lieu of games, the Tigers experienced a lot of walk-throughs and teaching in the fall semester.

“I believe more than ever, winning will revolve around limiting mistakes, because we haven’t played in so long,” he said. “You want to keep the yellow flag from hitting the ground. You want to keep the football from hitting the ground. We are focusing on fundamentals beginning with snap counts and being onside, eliminating the rusty-type errors.

“The teams that are closest-nit and make the least mistakes will win.”

Photo courtesy Carlton Hamlin

Rush Limbaugh: The Lion That Roared

Royal Alexander/Opinion

By simply but powerfully extolling the virtues of traditional American values, he built a vast conservative movement still growing at the time of his death

Despite what his critics have claimed in the wake of his passing, the legacy of Rush Limbaugh is really not complicated at all.

Over 32 years, he reached millions of Americans daily and, by merely reminding his vast audience of the unique nature of America’s miraculous founding, he created a solid, permanent, conservative movement in this country. They trusted him to be their constant, their anchor in an increasingly putrid cultural cesspool. He, in turn, empowered them with the truth and they never left him because he never left them.

Some of his detractors this week have referred to Rush’s legacy as “controversial” or “divisive” or that his rhetoric was “harsh.” Only to the Left, which was not nearly as offended by his manner as it was by his message.

However, to the great Silent Majority in this country, he was positively and powerfully enlightening. Using simple but compelling word pictures, he articulated daily what traditional American values really are. His substantial but succinctly stated commentary created the opportunity for millions of Americans to listen, learn, and ultimately come to the conclusion that “I’m a conservative.” It’s hypocritical to hear the Left describe Rush as having “dog-whistled” various “dark” messages to conservatives. All the while, of course, the harsh daily mocking of conservatives from the tabloid media on the Left is never condemned.

What is some of this “negative” commentary Rush offered? That it is Ok to love America, to believe that America, while not perfect, is truly exceptional and truly the “last best hope of man on earth”; that it is perfectly acceptable and logical to put “America First”; that it’s perfectly acceptable and legitimate to be unapologetically pro-family, pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment.

He made clear that it’s not only acceptable but completely accurate to believe that our free market economy has lifted millions out of poverty and is the envy of the world; to believe that a strong national defense, lower taxes, less regulation, limited government and religious freedom are, demonstrably, the best national policy; that it’s Ok to expect legal immigrants to learn our language and assimilate into our culture and to expect illegal aliens to be kept out of our country; to recognize that much of our public education system has failed abysmally and that our children are not being educated at all but, rather, indoctrinated in Marxist thought.

He was one of the first to notice and then call out the Cancel Culture that, fueled by the unfettered power of a social media sector that enormously benefits from (and abuses) federal law—as well as the national tabloid media, had arisen like a virus to stamp out conservative speech. He was also one of the first to note the treacherous effect on our constitutional republic of a massive, permanent, liberal federal bureaucracy we now know as the “Deep State.”

Rush Limbaugh was truly a lion who roared and his voice and message will continue to ring out long after his death by providing a political and historical roadmap in our quest to preserve America’s liberty and greatness.

Be an Inspiration

Curtis R. Joseph, Jr./Opinion

As a consequence of my mother’s military service, I was fortunate to spend some of my early childhood growing up in Germany. Due to the Europeans’ widespread use of the rail system, we frequently traveled by train. Suffice it to say, I soon developed an affinity for that particular mode of transportation. During the Summer of 2016, I was fortunate to share the experience with my children when we drove to Marshall, Texas and caught the Amtrak Texas Eagle to Dallas.

Aside from the gentleman who entered the train carrying what can only be described as a case for chainsaw, we had a fabulous time. And, the roundtrip fare was less than the cost of fuel, had we driven. The train was equipped with a viewing cabin, which afforded panoramic views of the East Texas countryside. We enjoyed each other’s company, and the difference in travel time proved to be negligible.

The train deposited us at Union Station, which left only a short walk to the Hyatt Regency. During our weekend in Dallas, we walked everywhere we wanted to go. Among our destinations was Dealey Plaza and the museum that is located on the 6th floor of what was formerly the Texas School Book Depository.

Although I am a fan of the former President, I didn’t deceive myself into thinking that my young children would want to spend a great deal of time being inundated with information relative to JFK. However, quite to my surprise, the kids were in no rush to leave the museum, the “grassy knoll”, or the plaza area. Like most of us, they were taken in by the aura of a leader, who, despite his very human flaws, nevertheless inspired.

As we rode the Texas Eagle back to Marshall, my wife and I began to debrief on the weekend’s trip. As we shared our thoughts, a particular one resonated in my mind: How vitally important it is to have leaders who inspire. To that point, I recently came across the following JFK quote: “I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty, which will protect the beauty of our natural environment, which will preserve the great old American houses and squares and parks of our national past and which will build handsome and balanced cities for our future.” What an amazing concept! Certainly, many leaders have referenced an appreciation for Kennedy. And many cite him as one who inspired their actions. Yet, he was a relatively young man when he left his mark on history.

Much like JFK, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a young man when he went to Birmingham to address the injustices that pervaded the city. In fact, he was only thirty-four. As it regards Birmingham, this past February, my wife and I took a group of high school students to visit the city. While in Birmingham, we visited sites such as the 16th Street Baptist Church, which was bombed on September 15, 1963. As a consequence of the bombing, four young girls lost their lives. Ironically, our tour guide advised us that the Sunday School lesson that morning was titled “A Love That Forgives”.

The church bombing was one of three such bombings that had occurred within an 11-day span and came on the heels of a Federal Court order that mandated the integration of Alabama’s public school system. In this light, it is seen that the bombings were instituted as push back against the progress that was being made due to the Civil Rights Movement, which was being spearheaded by the young Dr. King. Again, despite their youth, both JFK and MLK were able to achieve great things because they inspired others to be more than themselves.

Although they provide monumental examples of inspiration from the standpoint of iconic, national heroes, trust that the influence of local, hometown heroes cannot be overstated. Due to the fact that we encounter our local heroes and heroines on a regular basis, their influence has the potential to be even more pervasive and lasting. In short, we can actually touch them.

We should also be aware of the fact that we can each live a life worthy of emulation. We can live the type of life that serves as an inspiration to others. Even our chance encounters can leave a lasting impression. That impression can be a good one, or it can be an unpleasant one. We CAN be difference makers should we choose to do so.

In closing, I’d like to reference another JFK quote. During his 1961 address to the National Industrial Conference Board, President Kennedy stated, “For I can assure you that we love our country, not for what it was, though it has always been great…not for what it is, though of this we are greatly proud…but, for what it someday can, and, through the effort of us all, someday will be.” Soaring rhetoric meant to inspire and capture a soaring ideal.

Bulldogs, Lady Techsters use snow week as a positive

Up until last week, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and Lady Techsters basketball teams had just one game total canceled between the two programs.

That includes playing seven straight weeks of non-stop conference basketball without any changes.

Stopping that non-canceled streak was not the coronavirus … it was snow and ice. Talk about adding strange to what was already a strange season trying to navigate a global pandemic.

Both head coaches Eric Konkol and Brooke Stoehr spoke with the local media in their weekly press conference on Tuesday and expressed how they tried to use the “snow week” as a positive.

“I give our team a lot of credit,” said Konkol. “We tried as best as we could to find practice times and get players together. On Friday morning, we ended up making the call not to play the games at Middle Tennessee because we could not get there. We have always taken the mantra of control what you can control. We ended up spending time on things that we need to get better at. We used it as a positive and an opportunity to get better.”

“After being in a routine, it presented a different situation for us,” said Stoehr. “I am proud of our team for continuing to stay focused. We just tried to work on us and continue to prepare for Middle Tennessee up until Friday morning when it got canceled. We corrected some things from the previous week and continued to work on some areas that need improving. We are looking at it as a positive.”

Both programs were looking to continue the momentum they built in sweeping UAB over a week ago.

In doing so, the Bulldogs improved to 17-6 overall and 10-4 in league play, putting them in a tie for second in the West Division.

The ‘Dogs, winners of nine of their last 11, will play their final regular season games this weekend when they host the Rice Owls on Friday and Saturday.

“Rice is very different with the way they play offense,” said Konkol. “They spread the floor so much with their three-point shooting. They have good actions that are tough to guard based on their personnel. We have to defend them well on the three-point line. Defensively, they have mixed things up. A very good Rice team coming in here to the Thomas Assembly Center on Friday and Saturday.”

Meanwhile, the Lady Techsters improved their overall record to 13-7 and an 8-6 league mark, placing them fourth in the West. They will travel to Houston to face the defending C-USA regular season champion Owls on Friday and Saturday.

“They are very solid defensively,” said Stoehr. “You have to be so good offensively in order to generate points and easy baskets because you are not going to get that many opportunities. The way they control the ball on offense, they are methodical in what they do and they know exactly what they are trying to get out of each possession. It is going to be a tough test.”

Photo of Lady Techster head coach Brooke Stoehr and staff – photo credit Darrell James

Top Five – Things about the College of Engineering and Science

Sam Parker

Sam Parker is a Louisiana Tech freshman mechanical engineer major from Gilbert. He enjoys all things both Ruston and Tech, but he especially appreciates the program he calls “home.” Here are Parker’s Top 5 Favorite Things about the College of Engineering and Science.

  • Hands-on learning: I enjoy solving problems with hands-on contact and in-person visuals. Being in this program allows me to do this while still being given new challenges to overcome.-
  • Never being bored: Boredom is something I despise running into because I enjoy being challenged and moving at all times. Engineering allows me to constantly move and always have something to participate in.-
  • Creativity: While engineering brings me new challenges daily, it also gives me a space to be creative and use my imagination. Having the opportunity to bring certain ideas and pictures to life is a wonderful feeling.
    Diverse students and staff: The opportunity engineering has given me to meet so many new people with different opinions, backgrounds, and cultures has been an amazing plus, considering I love socializing and meeting new people.
  • Opportunities: The opportunities for engineering students and professionals are endless. You are able to travel, work on creative job sites, have flexible hours for home life, and enjoy countless other perks. My goal is to work as an Imagineer at Disney World one day, to use my creativity to bring laughs and smiles to families. This program and College are my first stepping stones toward that dream.

    Note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the chance to learn a little more about our Louisiana Tech University Family: students, staff, alumni, faculty, and friends. We’ll call it Tech Top 5. Go to for more Top 5s. #TogetherApart

Jackson State too much for GSU hoops teams; softball, soccer debut

Being the visiting teams in the first HBCU basketball games carried live by NBA TV Monday gave Grambling great exposure on a national, and even global, platform.

Unfortunately, neither squad could overcome their league-unbeaten opposition at Jackson State.

The Tigers battled down to the final seconds but fell 63-59. The Lady Tigers were overwhelmed by their Jackson State counterparts 82-68.

Both squads are on the road this weekend, playing Saturday at UAPB and Monday night at Mississippi Valley.

The NBA TV coverage included a live interview with Grambling legend Doug Williams between games and provided plenty of branding punch for GSU Athletics and the university.

But on the court, Jackson State had the most dynamic players in each contest. Preseason SWAC Player of the Year Tristan Jarrett poured in 26 points in the men’s game, while powerful post player Ameshya Williams piled up 20 points and 14 rebounds in the women’s contest.

Jackson State (12-4, 11-0) led the ladies contest throughout, going up 40-31 at halftime and not allowing Grambling closer than eight points afterward in the first meeting this season between the rivals. Grambling (7-8, 6-5) got 19 points by Alexus Holt, 16 from Ariel Williams and 11 by Candace Parramore.

The Tigers couldn’t get the upper hand in the men’s matchup, either, but mounted challenges.

Trailing by as much as 11 in the first half, Grambling (9-10, 7-5) closed within 27-21 at halftime. Jackson State (7-5, 7-0) opened a 50-36 lead with eight minutes left but Grambling went on a 12-1 run, capped by a dunk from Cameron Christon with 4:03 left, getting GSU within 51-48.

Jackson State responded with two straight 3-pointers from Jarrett to pad its advantage. Grambling kept battling and drew within 60-57 on a layup by Terreon Randolph with 10 seconds left, but never had the ball with a chance to tie or take the lead. After a JSU free throw, Trevell Cunningham scored with three ticks remaining to draw the visitors within 61-59, but Jackson State successfully inbounded and got two free throws to ice it.

The outcome gave the hosts a season sweep, but it was a tougher win than their 75-61 victory in Grambling last month.

Prince Moss led the G-Men with 18 points while Criston scored 15 and snatched nine rebounds.

SOFTBALL: The much-delayed season began Tuesday in Natchitoches but not well. Northwestern State, considered a contender in the Southland Conference this spring, swept the Lady Tigers 10-0 and 9-1.

A sign of things to come: Grambling squandered a one-out triple by Morgan Adams in the second inning of the first game, and missed a good chance to break out on top. India Wells had two of the Lady Tigers’ four hits in that contest, but the visitors managed just one hit in the nightcap.

The River City Classic in Vicksburg Saturday and Sunday is next for Grambling.

SOCCER: The Lady Tigers made their season debut under new coach Craig Roberts at ULM Tuesday and put up a good fight, but were topped 2-0. The Warhawks ended a scoreless second half 10 minutes into play, then salted it away in the 87th minute.

Upcoming: SWAC home matches Friday at 3 (Prairie View) and Sunday at 1 (Texas Southern).

Picture – courtesy TayTapes870/

Notice of Death – February 23, 2021

Jerry Lee Gregory
December 4, 1953 – February 19, 2021
Service:  Kilpatrick’s Serenity Gardens, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 3:00 pm
Cemetery:  Kilpatrick’s Serenity Gardens, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 3:00 pm

Irma Jean Franks Justice
August 14, 1933 – February 17, 2021
Visitation:  Apostolic Restoration Church West Monroe, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Service:  Apostolic Restoration Church West Monroe, Thursday, February 25, 2021, 11:00 am
Cemetery:  Kilpatrick’s Serenity Gardens, Thursday, February 25, 2021

Marie Christy
November 21, 1936 – February 16, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe,  Friday, February 26, 2021, 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Service:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe,  Friday, February 26, 2021, 11:00 am
Cemetery:  Mt. Olive Cemetery,  Friday, February 26, 2021

Guynita “Nita” Cash
August 18, 1940 – February 18, 2021
Cemetery: Graveside services will be held at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Cemetery
Request: Mrs. Nita requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 1127 Mondy Road, Ruston, LA 71270.

Mr. Leon Hargrove
March 22, 1955 – February 20, 2021
Visitation:  1511 W. California Avenue; Ruston, LA, Thursday 03/04/2021 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Service:  George Washington Carver Memorial Park Martin Luther King Drive
Ruston, LA, Friday 03/05/2021 12:00pm

Water Pressure: How it works

We’ve all just experienced what many are calling an unprecedented weather event and sadly that description seems to be turning into an excuse for the maladies we are experiencing with our water system and with it a wealth of misunderstanding. Many questions being asked of our government officials display a lack of understanding of the system and unfortunately some of the answers being given display the same amount of ignorance.

In order to understand the demands placed on water systems, first we have to delve into a little background of how these systems are supposed to work. The following five (5) minute video will explain the basics of our water system.

Strong Sunday for RHS; Lady Bearcats win, track shines at state

Ruston High School resumed athletic competition Sunday and made it well worth the wait.

The ninth-seeded Lady Bearcats basketball team sunk Sulphur in the first round of the LHSAA Class 5A playoffs, 49-42. After defending their homecourt, coach Meredith Graf’s 22-7 team, the District 2-5A co-champs, go to fifth-seeded Hahnville Tuesday at 5:30 in the second round.

In Baton Rouge, the Ruston track and field teams were unofficial north Louisiana Division I champions at the LHSAA Indoor Championships Sunday at LSU’s Carl Maddox Field House. The Bearcats were a strong second statewide, with their 74 points trailing only the 87 of Zachary, while the Lady Bearcats took fifth in team scoring with 25 points, the only north Louisiana team to notch more than eight points.

Brandon Green won the Division I boys triple jump crown by over three feet (48-11 ½), and was second in the long jump (22-1 ½) to score 18 points for the Bearcats. Dyllon Nimmers accounted for 17 ½ points with his state championship in the 800 meter run (1:59.68), a third in the 1600 (4:24.90) and the anchor leg on the third-place 4×800 relay (8:27.10).

Kemiah Spencer made the tough choice of stepping away from her starting job with the basketball team and heading to the state meet, and validated it with a state title. She ran the lead leg on the Lady Bearcats’ winning 4×200 relay, followed by Jada Williams, Corlaisa Scott and Tyra Fields as they clocked a 1:43.43 time.

BASKETBALL: The Ruston Bearcats will be among boys’ basketball teams getting their state playoff pairings today. Simsboro in Class B is again the top contender among parish teams.

In first-round LHSAA girls basketball news:

Simsboro, seeded 17th, finally goes to Castor Monday evening at 5 in a Class B game delayed from Saturday.

Cedar Creek, No. 3 in Division IV, opens its drive to Marsh Madness Tuesday night at 6 in the Brickhouse.

Two more parish teams posted blowout victories Sunday.

Lincoln Prep, 12th seeded in Class A, smashed Centerville 93-41. The Lady Panthers will visit a familiar foe, district rival Homer, in the second round. The Lady Pels swept the district meetings, 44-30 at home and 40-31 at Grambling.

Choudrant, No. 12 in Class B, overwhelmed Monterey 44-13. The Lady Aggies play perennial state power Anacoco, the No. 5 seed, down in Vernon Parish Tuesday at 5.

Against Sulphur, Ruston saved its best for last. The Lady Bearcats rang up 19 fourth-quarter points, pushing away from a 30-28 edge after three periods.

Emerald Parker scored eight of her 10 points in the final eight minutes. Jaliyah McWain led RHS with 12 points and sank 3 of 4 free throws in the fourth period. Mariah Hintze and Zaccheya Jackson each drained 3-pointers in the decisive surge.

Alexis Foster had a trio of treys in the first half, when Ruston outscored Sulphur 16-8 in the second period to get on top to stay.

“We didn’t have our best shooting performance overall, but we continued to play hard and found a way. This was a true team effort,” said Graf.

“Now we have a quick turnaround and have to focus on Hahnville. I’m looking forward to taking on the challenge with this group of girls.”

A win at Hahnville would send Ruston into the quarterfinals against top-seeded Ponchatoula on Thursday. Hahnville blasted Airline 76-50 Sunday.

LHSAA INDOOR TRACK & FIELD: The Bearcats stacked up 16 points in the 800. Along with Nimmers’ victory by nearly two seconds, teammate Caleb Babineaux snagged bronze in 2:01.13.

The Ruston boys got 12 points from Ke’travion Hargrove with his runner-up finish in the 60 meter dash (6.96), a fifth place 8.51 in the 60 meter hurdles and another fifth in the long jump (21-3 ¼).

The Bearcats’ third-place 4×800 relay squad was Josiah Whitaker, Bryar Madden, Titus Watts and Nimmers.

Joshua Anding claimed fourth in the 400 (51.36) and opened the fourth-place 4×400 foursome, followed by Demarco Buckner, Demarion Rhone and Whitaker, who combined on a 3:30.24 time.

Along with her leg on the championship 4×200 relay, Williams took second in the 400 (58.16) to top the Lady Bearcats’ scoring with 10 ½ points. The Ruston girls got six points with a third in the 4×800 relay from Zoie Holstead, Lily Garrett, Destiny Tatum and Hannah Rollins (10:15.92).

Photo – Ruston girls – courtesy RHS

Bulldogs fly by Air Force, play at LSU today at 5

Although Mother Nature spoiled most of the weekend’s competitions for Louisiana Tech teams — including the basketball squads — baseball, volleyball and indoor track and field were all able to compete.

In Baton Rouge, coach Lane Burroughs’ Bulldog baseball team slammed Air Force 18-1 Sunday evening and will play LSU at 5 o’clock today.

Taylor Young, Steele Netterville and Cole McConnell each homered and five Tech pitchers combined to record 16 strikeouts as the Bulldogs dominated in their season opener at Alex Box Stadium.

The Bulldogs face LSU today at 5 p.m. in a game that will be on SEC Network Plus and broadcast on KNBB 99.3 FM.

“Tomorrow doesn’t care about today,” said Burroughs. “We play a really, really good team tomorrow (Monday). It is just like life. It starts over every day.”

Young recorded three hits – two home runs – while scoring four runs and driving in four more to lead a Tech offensive onslaught that tallied 17 hits in the win over the Falcons (1-2), just hours after Air Force knocked off LSU 6-5.

“We swung the bats really well, and we know we have a chance to a good offensive team,” said Burroughs. “The first time through line-up we were jumpy and jittery, but we settled down. We got a lot of big two out hits and (two out) RBI. We had good at bats most of the game.

“But the thing I’m most proud about was no errors. We haven’t been on the field in over a week (due to the weather). We talk about dominating the average plays, and I’m very proud of our guys for doing just that today.”

McConnell added three hits, including a double and a home run, while scoring four times and driving in two and Netterville blasted a three-run shot in a 7-run fourth inning that saw the Bulldogs blow open the game.

Preseason Conference USA Player of the Year Parker Bates added two hits, three runs, and two RBI while Netterville and Phil Matulia each recorded multi-hit performances.

Tech scored runs in six of the nine innings including posting crooked numbers in five of the frames.

While the Bulldog bats were firing on all cylinders, so were the arms. Jonathan Fincher (1-0) got the start and picked up the win, tossing five innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks, and striking out a career-high tying 10 batters.

Cade Hodges (1K), Landon Tomkins (1K), Tanner Knight (2Ks) and Bryce Fagan (1H, 2Ks) combined to retire 12 of the 13 Air Force batters they faced over the final four innings of action.

“Sixteen K’s over two walks; that will give you a chance to win against anybody on any day,” said Burroughs. “I thought Fincher was great out of the gate. And every reliever was really, really good. Some of those guys have been scuffling in scrimmages, so I was glad to see them pitch so well. I thought the biggest surprise was how our relievers attacked the strike zone like they did.”

VOLLEYBALL: The Lady Techsters held off a Southern Miss rally for a first-set win Sunday at the Thomas Assembly Center, but the Golden Eagles then won three straight sets to prevail (22-25, 25-21, 25-19, 25-19).

Elena Takova registered eight kills, while Marie-Helene Verlinden added seven kills and Carter Mirich and Elizabeth Sandoval six kills to lead the Lady Techsters. Abigail Hildenbrand totaled 29 assists and 15 digs while Alyssa Zucco led Tech with 22 digs.

The Lady Techsters honored eight seniors following Sunday’s match in Verlinden, Mirich, Molly Watkins, Takova, Emily Boylan, Zucco, Natalie Honore, and Hildenbrand.

Tech and Southern Miss will play again today at 1 p.m. Admission is free.

INDOOR TRACK & FIELD: Louisiana Tech competed in Birmingham at the Conference USA championships with a number of student-athletes scoring.

On the women’s side, Claudasha Watson (60m, 7.59) and Sydney Anderson (high jump, 1.69m) both registered third place finishes in their respective events while Rhea Thompson finished fifth in both the shot put (14.27m) and weight throw (18.08m).

Johannon Murray was sixth in the pentathlon (3,382 points), highlighted by a first in the 60 meter hurdles. Jada Branch finished seventh in the open 400m in 58.49.

The Lady Techsters 4×400 relay team of Taylor Shaw, Branch, Makayla Edwards, and Shanique Masters) ran sixth in 3:52.86.

On the men’s side, Johnie Jean-Jaques (shot put, 15.85m) and Murphy Bavinga (triple jump, 14.75m) led the way with fourth place finishes.

A pair of fifths came from Seth Boullion in the 400m (48.68) and Colin Butler in the long jump (7.08m). Nolan Walker placed sixth in the 60 hurdles (8.25) while Mason Melancon was seventh in the 60 dash (6.96). Javion Canna came in eighth in the triple jump (13.20m).

The Bulldog 4×400 relay team of Boullion, Melancon, Walker and Gerard Sapena placed fourth (3:20.65). The men’s distance medley relay team of Mason Youberg, Boullion, Josiah Perez and Austin Ballow placed sixth in 10:24.44.

Photos: courtesy Jonathan Mailhes

Highway Department begins clearing Lincoln Parish roads

The Lincoln Parish Highway Department and contractors will begin clearing Parish Maintained roads on Feb. 20. The priority will be the highest traveled roads in the parish first. Work will be slow due to icy conditions still existing so please be patient. If you do see work crews in your area please keep your distance for safety. Again we request that if you do not need to be on the roads please stay home until conditions improve. Remember that even if a road looks clear black ice could still exist in some areas and extreme caution is warranted.

NBA TV showcase today for Grambling’s basketball teams

It’s difficult to draw up a better way to resume Grambling’s basketball season than playing a Southwestern Athletic Conference doubleheader on national television.

NBA TV will have wall-to-wall coverage of today’s games at Jackson State, beginning with pregame at 1:30 before the 2 p.m. tipoff of the women’s contest. The men’s matchup is set for 4:30.

The action can be viewed on DirecTV on channel 216, on DISH at channel 156, and also free through online.

Grambling’s teams haven’t played in nine days due to weather that wiped out last week’s slate.

Freddie Murray’s Grambling women are 7-7 overall, 6-4 in the SWAC while Jackson State is 10-5/9-1. This will be the first meeting between the teams this season.

The men’s game is a rematch of a 75-61 Jackson State victory in Grambling last month. Coach Donte’ Jackson’s G-Men are 9-9 overall, 7-4 in SWAC play, while JSU is 6-5/6-0.

It’s the first time NBA TV has aired a SWAC hoops doubleheader. The NBA said the showcase is in honor of Black History Month and also cited the recent passing of one of its reporters, Sekou Smith, a Jackson State alumnus.

The announce team is slated to be New Orleans broadcaster Ro Brown and former Saints star Deuce McAllister. Brown is slated to join the ranks of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame as a 2021 recipient of the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism. McAllister was enshrined in the LSHOF in 2012 for his great playing career with the New Orleans Saints. The former Ole Miss star, a native of tiny Ludlow, Miss., is the game analyst on the Saints radio network.

SOCCER: Grambling opens its season Tuesday afternoon at ULM (2-11) in a 4 p.m. contest at Warhawk Field. The Lady Tigers, 35-26-3 in the past three years, just announced Craig Roberts as their new coach.

Roberts has worked with national teams in Puerto Rico and Haiti, and has 19 years of NCAA Division I experience. After Tuesday’s contest, the Lady Tigers open SWAC play at home (the GSU Soccer Complex) Friday against Prairie View at 3 p.m.

Grambling has made two SWAC Championship Game appearances in the past three seasons.

SOFTBALL: The Lady Tigers and Northwestern’s Lady Demons begin the weather-delayed 2021 season Tuesday in Natchitoches with a pair of games at the Lady Demon Diamond. First pitch is 5 o’clock.

BASEBALL: The Tigers begin their season Friday at FedExPark in Memphis against the Tigers of Memphis.

Photo:  TayTapes870/


An Artist Reception for The Cloe Show Benefit Exhibition will be held on Friday, March 12, 2021 from 5-7 p.m. to meet and visit with featured artist Todd Cloe at Ruston Artisans, Northern Louisiana’s premier fine art gallery, artisan boutique, event center & art co-op.

The Cloe Show Benefit Exhibition will remain on display through Friday, April 2, 2021 at Ruston Artisans.

The Exhibition features Todd Cloe, with work from Jack Gates and guests Celia Carr, Dean Dablow, Dianne Douglas, Donna McGee, Jean DeFreese Moore, Katie Coates Plummer, and Noula Rodakis.

The public is invited to The Cloe Show benefit exhibition and artists reception to support Todd Cloe’s son, Landon. Exhibition events are free and open to the public.

This is your opportunity to help a member in your community with the necessary medical support needed for long-care therapy and treatment.

Artist Todd Cloe is currently available for residential and business commissioned work. To learn more about Todd Cloe’s artwork and his son Landon please go to

Ruston Artisans observes COVID-safe guidelines. To protect the health of all of our patrons, we do ask that you wear a mask inside the gallery. Sanitizers are located throughout the gallery and we ask that you use it before touching anything. Private viewings are available. Please contact 318-254-3322 to schedule an appointment.

Grambling’s football opener pushed back to March 6 at home

Grambling’s football season will open at home March 6, not in Dallas this upcoming Saturday.

The Lincoln Parish Journal has confirmed the breaking news, although an official announcement is not expected until later today. Reports on Twitter Sunday evening cited winter storm damage to the Cotton Bowl that will prevent Grambling and Prairie View from opening the spring season there, as scheduled.

The stadium was built in 1930 and last renovated in 2008. The Dallas metro area was hard hit by the impact of last week’s winter storms.

The shift will reportedly also result in the game being moved to Globe Life Park, next to Six Flags in Arlington. The former home of the Texas Rangers big league baseball team, the stadium was renovated in 2020 for use as a soccer and football facility.

The March 13 date was left open when the Southwestern Athletic Conference issued the spring football schedule, designed to avoid conflicts with the SWAC Basketball championships that week, but also providing a makeup date as needed.

Grambling’s six-game spring season will now kick off in Eddie G. Robinson Stadium at noon March 6 against Jackson State, and its first-year coach, Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders.



Report explores economic impact of Louisiana Tech’s newest athletic facilities, state of Louisiana’s COVID economy

RUSTON, La.— The Center for Economic Research, housed in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business, recently published the fourth installment of the Regional Economic Analysis of Louisiana (REAL) Report.

A cohesive body of research examining multiple aspects of Louisiana standards of living, this issue builds on the Spring 2020 report exploring the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic, with specific focuses on economic forecasts for the state and employment and labor income growth and losses. The report also explores the impact of the rebuilding of three of Louisiana Tech’s athletics complexes, with positive outcomes predicted.

Team members contributing to this issue include Assistant Professor of Economics Dr. Patrick Scott, who serves as Center director, junior finance major Joshua Whitlow, and junior economics major Marc Enoch Hebane Guehi.

As noted in the report, the regional economy will greatly benefit from the current construction efforts underway at Louisiana Tech. Following the April 2019 tornado, the University began to rebuild the J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park and Lady Techsters Softball and Soccer Complexes—a combined estimated cost of $42 million.

“This type of economic event naturally creates positive ripple effects throughout the community and the state at large,” said Dr. Scott. “We estimate that the regional economy will produce $2.64 for every dollar spent in these construction endeavors.”

These facilities are expected to support an additional 236 jobs in the total state economy with a combined labor income of approximately $11.6 million. Estimates in the report predict nearly 60 percent of the economic benefit remaining in North Louisiana parishes, with a market value of indirect and induced effects totaling around $68 million.

The report also highlighted the economic impact of the pandemic on Louisiana, and according to Dr. Scott, the economic indicator forecasts reflect a state economy in crisis.

“While the bleeding has stopped in the labor market, the healing is far from happening,” said Dr. Scott. “The health crisis is driving the slow recovery. Addressing it is the only way to get things open and running at full capacity again, but that is not expected until well into 2021 or 2022 for Louisiana.”

Whitlow’s research looked specifically at how Louisiana’s tourism industry has been affected by the pandemic.

“I focused on three particular aspects: output, employment, and labor income,” said Whitlow. “While all three of these areas decreased, there was a disproportionate loss in regard to employment and labor income.”

According to his summary, the state’s tourism industries have lost in excess of $25.5 billion in total value and $7.9 billion in labor income since this COVID crisis started. These overall losses represent 44 percent of output of the industry and 43 percent of labor income. Prior to the pandemic, the tourism industry—including food services, hotels, recreations, gambling, and independent artists/performers—comprised more than $68 billion in economic activity for the state.

Junior economics major Marc Enoch Hebane Guehi explored industries that are on the ascendancy and descendancy based on both employment changes and labor income changes. Manufacturing- and tourism-related industries took the brunt of the employment losses, and, according to Guehi’s research, there is no certainty that these jobs will come back post-pandemic. His findings also show the eight industries that experienced the worst employment losses also experienced the worst labor income losses in the state, implying that for many of the industries that are shedding jobs, it is the least paid workers (typically those who cannot work from home) being laid off. On a positive note, several industries are employing more people relative to pre-pandemic levels, particularly high-skilled manufacturing.

The REAL Report is a quarterly publication designed to provide insight into recent economic developments in Louisiana. It is produced by the Center for Economic Research, in collaboration with faculty and students in Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business, for the state of Louisiana and our region of the South.

To read the Fall 2021 REAL Report, visit

Notice of Death – February 21, 2021

Charles “Charlie” Goodwin
November 25, 1953 – February 19, 2021
Visitation: White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ, Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Service: White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ, Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 11:00 am
Cemetery:  Roselawn Memorial Gardens, Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Irma Jean Franks Justice
August 14, 1933 – February 17, 2021
Visitation:  Apostolic Restoration Church West Monroe, Wednesday, February 24, 2021, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Service:  Apostolic Restoration Church West Monroe, Thursday, February 25, 2021, 11:00 am
Cemetery:  Kilpatrick’s Serenity Gardens, Thursday, February 25, 2021

Marie Christy
November 21, 1936 – February 16, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe,  Friday, February 26, 2021, 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Service:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe,  Friday, February 26, 2021, 11:00 am
Cemetery:  Mt. Olive Cemetery,  Friday, February 26, 2021

Guynita “Nita” Cash
August 18, 1940 – February 18, 2021
Cemetery: Graveside services will be held at 10:00 AM, Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church Cemetery
Request: Mrs. Nita requested that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 1127 Mondy Road, Ruston, LA 71270.

Interstate Closure I-20 Westbound Closure/Detour (beginning in Monroe)

Due to continued icing issues between Monroe and Shreveport, westbound traffic on Interstate 20 has been closed with a detour established for the safety of our citizens. Motorists traveling westbound on I-20 entering Monroe will be required to exit onto the detour. Motorists traveling through Louisiana are encouraged to utilize Interstate 10.

From I-20 west, exit at Hwy 165 south. Continue on Hwy 165 south until reaching I-10 in Lake Charles.

Please see attached map for the detour route and follow all detour signs.

Travel on I-20 at this time is highly discouraged. Please avoid the area and use alternative routes.

For road closure information, motorists can utilize the 511 phone system,, or Louisiana 511 smartphone application.

If motorists should become stranded, they may utilize the *LSP (*577) system from a cell phone to contact the nearest LSP Troop to request help.