The Unsinkable Ship

By Brad Dison

It was the largest ship afloat.

At more than 800 feet in length, nearly three football fields long, it was a floating city. Its engineers used cutting edge technology in every facet of its design. It was considered to be the fastest and safest ship afloat.

Each officer aboard the ship was hand-picked based on his prior service record and on a rigid seamanship examination which focused on sea currents, tides, geography, and wind.

Its crew was also hand-picked based on the strictest of criteria. The ship boasted two brass bands, two orchestras, and a theatrical company. It had a company of physicians and firemen in case of emergencies.

Engineers designed the ship with 19 water-tight compartments which could be closed in thirty seconds by simply turning a single lever. Engineers designed the doors of the water-tight compartments in such a way that they would close automatically if they came into contact with rushing water. The ship could stay afloat even if as many as nine of the 19 compartments flooded. Many people, including its designers, builders, and owners, considered the ship to be unsinkable.

Engineers designed the ship specifically for passenger traffic with every known convenience and comfort imaginable. Every possible amenity was made available to first-class passengers, fewer amenities for second-class passengers, and even fewer for third-class. The likelihood of the ship being destroyed by fire was unimaginable because the ship would not transport combustible cargo. Due to all of the ship’s safety features which rendered it practically unsinkable, the ship carried only 24 lifeboats, the number required by law.

Cumbersome lifeboats detracted from the travelers’ views of the ocean. Similarly, the ship carried only the number of cork life jackets required by law. Only about two dozen circular life-buoys decorated the decks of the ship. The buoys were almost considered decorations rather than life-saving devices.

Engineers determined that the ship was safest when traveling at full speed whether in calm waters, in fog, or during storms, for at least four reasons.

First, if the ship struck another vessel, the force of the impact would be distributed over a larger area if it was traveling at full speed. Due to the strength of the ship’s construction, the other vessel would sustain the brunt of the damage. Second, due to the ship’s speed, weight, and construction, it would almost certainly destroy the other vessel, probably cut it in two, if traveling at full speed while only receiving damages that could be easily remedied with a paint brush. Traveling at only half speed, the ship would sustain more damages to its bows.

Third, at full speed the ship could more easily steer itself out of danger than at half speed. And fourth, in case of striking an iceberg, the ship’s bows would only be crushed a few feet further at full speed than at half speed. At most, only three of the water-tight compartments would flood, which left six to spare before the ship was in danger of sinking.

On a cold, April night, the ship sailed at full speed in a dense fog in the North Atlantic Ocean. In the bowels of the great ship, members of the black gang, crewmen who garnered the nickname because they were covered with sweat and coal dust, moved coal by shovel and cart into one of the numerous furnaces. The passengers, oblivious to the workers toiling away below, enjoyed a variety of music, food, and other forms of entertainment. Some passengers sat in steamer chairs along the decks in the chilly, salty air.

In the crow’s nest, the highest lookout point on the ship, a single crewman struggled to spot any sign of danger in the thick fog. Most of the passengers were well asleep by this point. “All’s well,” the crewman shouted from the crow’s nest at exactly 1 a.m. At 2 a.m., the crewman in the crow’s nest called out “All’s well,” again. He yelled the same at 3 a.m.

A few minutes after 3 a.m., the crewman in the crow’s nest yelled that there was something ahead that he was unable to make out. In the thick fog, the crewman could only make out the faintest outline. He yelled to officers below that it must be another ship. The crewmen tried to turn the ship to avoid a collision, but it was too late. Then the crewmen saw that it was not another ship but a large iceberg.

The ship made only a slight shudder when it struck the iceberg. Most of the passengers were unaware that they had struck anything. The ship’s crew was only slightly concerned because the ship was unsinkable.
Conditions on the ship quickly spiraled out of control. Water quickly filled one water-tight compartment after another. The ship began to list. Passengers were awakened by the numerous sounds of plates, glasses, and a host of other items as they crashed to the floor. They scurried to the ship’s decks to see what had happened.

Few passengers donned life jackets, and even fewer made it into the less-than-adequate number of lifeboats. The ship sank slowly into the frigid waters of the north Atlantic Ocean. Most of the passengers and crew perished in the sinking of the unsinkable ship.

People around the world know the story of the Titanic, and how the ship sank after it struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean with an enormous loss of life. However, the story you read above was a work of fiction, a novella by Morgan Robertson.

The name of the ship in Robertson’s novella was not the Titanic. The fictional ship he created was called the Titan. His book, originally entitled “Futility,” seemingly recounted the events of the wreck of the Titanic.

However, Robertson’s “Futility” was published … in 1898, 14 years before the Titanic sank.

Source: Robertson, Morgan. Futility. Rahway, N.J.: The Quinn and Boden Co. Press, 1898.

Notice of Death — March 30, 2021

Gregory Carter
May 16, 1965 – March 25, 2021
Visitation: Friday, April 4, 2021 at King’s Funeral Home; 3 – 5 p.m.
Service: Saturday, April 5, 2021 at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Theresa Kaye Davis
January 24, 1952 – March 30, 2021
Arrangements have not yet been set.

Rebekah Allyson Hensarling
October 29, 1990 – March 28, 2021
Visitation: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at First Baptist Church in Marion; 5-7 p.m.
Service: Thursday, April 1, 2021 at Roark Cemetery.

Herbert Dabney Maxwell Jr.
January 7, 1950 – March 27, 2021
Memorial Service: Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at Trinity United Methodist Church; 11 a.m.
Funeral Service: Thursday, April 1, 2021 at Webb Sumner United Methodist Church in Webb, Mississippi.






Ruston’s O.K. ‘Buddy’ Davis to be part of Grambling Legends 2021 induction class

Pictured are Lincoln Parish Journal publisher/managing editor T. Scott Boatright (left) and O.K. “Buddy” Davis showing off Louisiana Sports Writers Association awards they received in 2014.

By T. Scott Boatright

Famed late Ruston sports writer O.K. “Buddy” Davis will be one of the people inducted to the Grambling Legends Sports Hall as part of the seven-member Class of 2021.

This year’s Grambling Legends ceremony will be held virtually in what Grambling Legends, Inc. President Howard Davis and Grambling Legends Hall of Fame Director Ruby Higgins termed “an abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There was no 2020 induction because of the pandemic, so this year’s ceremony will officially induct the Grambling Legends Class of 2020 and 2021.

Joining Davis in the Class of 2021 are Robert Barber (football), Lee Fobbs (football), Dwight Scales (football), Willie Williams (football), Wilmer Sigler (baseball), and Kenneth Simpson (basketball).

The Grambling Legends Class of 2020 consists of Andrew Glover (football), Michael Moore (football), Carlos Pennywell (football), Albert Hartwell (basketball), John Jeter (baseball), Vergie Broussard (contributor) and Daniel Washington (contributer).

This summer’s induction ceremony will be conducted via Zoom on July 10 and will include all of previous induction component parts with the exception of a meal.

Davis was was a trailblazer covering other trailblazers in the heart of the civil rights movement. In the 1960s and ’70s, Davis was willing to do what few other white sportswriters were willing to do — cover Historically Black Colleges and Universities with the same passion he wrote about other Lincoln Parish sports.

As many friendships as Davis, who passed away in 2019, made in Grambling over the years, it was that relationship with Coach Eddie G. Robinson that may have shined brightest. They were more than friends. Robinson was a pallbearer at the funerals for each of Davis’ parents. Simply put, Davis and Coach Rob were family. And Robinson said just that in a 1996 Sports Illustrated article on the GSU team as he neared the 400-win plateau.

“When Coach Rob talked to Davis after Friday’s practice, he put two fingers in the waistband of Davis’s dungarees and said to a bystander, ‘I raised this man, this is my son,” that article said.

Robinson’s grandson Eddie Robinson III said he’s excited to see Davis become a true Grambling Legend.

“To honor Buddy’s memory this way is wonderful … tremendous,” Robinson III said. “Buddy was the ultimate gentleman and was considered one of the top sports writers around. I knew of his fondness for my grandfather and certainly how very, very fond my grandfather was of him. That relationship itself was something really special. Buddy told the world all about my grandfather and Grambling as a whole.”

While he loved covering Grambling during the turbulent 1960s into the ’70s, Davis admitted during an interview a few years ago that not everyone appreciated the attention he gave to Grambling athletics.

“Some people didn’t like it, but it was a great story — look at what Rob had done,” Davis said. “I mean, he had accomplished so much and Grambling was nationally known, so why not cover them. “Yeah, there were some people I’d catch flak from. They’d ask, ‘What are you doing writing about the Blacks? Why are you doing that?’ Particularly when we ran photos. That really unnerved some people.”

But as someone who followed Grambling athletics while growing up in Ruston, Davis didn’t concern himself with the way others thought.

“I’d hear so much about players like Tank (Younger) growing up,” Davis said during that interview. “And Fred Hobdy coached Willis Reed and other greats to the 1961 NAIA national championship when I was in high school. Ruston and Grambling were kind of different than many towns in the South in those days because while it was obviously still there, there didn’t seem to be quite as much of the open, hateful racism that you saw in other areas. There were many people in Ruston who had friends in Grambling.”

Doug Williams, the first Black quarterback to win a NFL Super Bowl and a current vice president of the Washington Football Team, was one of those Grambling athletes Davis shined an early spotlight on.

“He’s been a legend from day one,” Williams said of Davis. “Since I was at Grambling — a long time ago, 43 years ago — Buddy was right there. Anything that came out about Grambling, Buddy knew it ahead of time. Buddy was always on top of whatever happened at Grambling no matter who it was. I didn’t realize for a long time that he covered anybody else.”

“Think about it, we’re talking about a white guy covering Grambling back in the day where that kind of thing just usually didn’t happen,” Williams said. “That was before my time. I know he was a big help to (famed Grambling sports publicist) Collie J. (Nicholson). Collie J. got it out there to all the Black newspapers and media, but Buddy kept it out there in front of white folks, too, that would read about what was going on at Grambling. Buddy always knew the right guys and girls to write about and the right words to write.”

Former Grambling Associate Athletics Director and College Baseball Hall of Fame Coach Wilbert Ellis established a lifelong friendship with Davis during their journey together.

“Buddy was there for us, for Grambling, back in the day where it was not popular for him to be that way,” Ellis said. “Buddy would travel with football and baseball, all of it. He and Collie worked together very close. Buddy was always trying to help promote the athletes, not only in Grambling but anywhere he found an athlete who needed people to know about them. Buddy was always ready to do it. There was only one O.K. Davis, and Grambling can never thank him enough. He was one of the ones that helped put Grambling on the national — the worldwide — map.

“But more important for me personally, Buddy was family. He was always there.”

RHS Track dedicated in Anderson’s name

Pictured from left to right are Pat Garrett, Loyce Garrett and Dave Anderson. The Garretts are the children of L.J. “Hoss” Garrett, the former Bearcats coaching legend that the Ruston High football stadium is named for.

By T. Scott Boatright

Ruston High School finally got the opportunity to dedicate its track in name of former head coach Dave Anderson on Friday before the start of the “Hoss” Garrett Relays hosted by the Bearcats.

Between 1991 and 2012, Anderson guided Ruston to nine state titles, including the first ever girls title in school history.

He led Ruston boy’s cross country teams to Louisiana state titles in 1992, 1995, 1997, and 2000. In 20 years at Ruston, his athletes established what was then 39 out of a possible 42 school records.

In giving thanks before the Relays events started, Anderson closed things out by thanking some of those he loves and who love him most.

“I want to thank the students athletes I’ve coached. Even with all of those awards and certificates on the wall, it was never a ‘me’ thing, it was a ‘we’ thing.” Anderson said. “From Cinnamon Square to Squire Creek, from Grambling to Choudrant, we had kids from all parts of Lincoln Parish that we invited into this family we call Ruston Track and Field and Cross Country. They became brothers and sisters in the group and to this day they stay in touch.”

USA Travel Plaza opens on Highway 33

By T. Scott Boatright

One of Ruston’s newest businesses — USA Travel Plaza on La. Hwy. 33, just off the Interstate 20 westbound exit, held a ribbon-cutting on Friday to celebrate its grand opening, complete with the initial raising of the giant grand on flag flying 100 feet overhead.

The new venture, which is open 24 hours a day, features the Cajun Grill, which offers homelike cooking and a Happy Hour from 4 – 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, a giant convenience store and discount liquor store selling beer and wine, and restrooms along with showers and laundry for truckers traveling along I-20 who might need a quick break for refueling and more.

Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker thanked USA Travel Plaza Laddie Aulakh during Friday’s ceremony.

“You’ve done a great job and we appreciate this investment and other investments that you’re going to make in our city and I if I can ever help, you have my number,” Walker told Aulakh.

Then came time for Aulahk, who also owns the USA truck stop in Calhoun as well as Calhoun Grocers, to speak.

“I want to thank everyone,” he said. “This has been about a 10-year project in my head. I met Ronny Walker three years ago and he asked me to think about putting a travel plaza in Ruston. So we thought about it and found a spot. That was three years ago. And now we’re here. It took a long time — three years, but we’re there. I appreciated everybody and want to thank all my friends, family, my employees and managers, and I’d like to thank the mayor. Without him, this wouldn’t have been possible. He helped us a lot.”

Aulakh then had Walker join local Boy Scouts in raising the giant America flag that will fly over the travel plaza.

“This means a lot to me … I’ve invested a lot of money in this flag,” Aulakh said. “I want to prove my point about a lot of things. I think this will be a great thing for Ruston. And I want to thank my wife. She’s been a lot of help and a big part of all this for the last 24 years.”

21st-ranked Bulldogs clip Golden Eagles in C-USA opening weekend

Tech baseball file photo by TOM MORRIS

Staff writer

Historically, Southern Miss does not lose at Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg.

Just ask the public address announcer at Southern Miss’ home ballpark who time after time bellows about the Pete Taylor Park “magic” over the mic.

However, this weekend, Louisiana Tech pulled its own magic show as the Bulldogs (17-6, 3-1 C-USA) won three out of four in the opening weekend of Conference USA play.

Tech won 3-2 in Friday’s opener, took the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader 4-0 behind Cade Gibson’s complete-game gem and then rallied from four runs down on Sunday for an 8-7 win. USM won 14-6 in Saturday’s first game.

“I’m very proud of this group,” said Bulldog skipper Lane Burroughs. “It’s the first time we have played four games in a conference series and to do it on the road in one of the toughest places in this league to play says a lot about our team. We found a different way to win each time.

“To bounce back Saturday after getting out teeth kicked in, I was just proud. Even (Sunday) we are down 4-0 and I never felt like we blinked or flinched. We held the rope and stayed steady. When you have a mature team, for me as a coach, it’s a confident feeling. We know our guys won’t back and down and we will be in every game.”

Tech, ranked 21st in the country heading into the weekend, did something no other league school has done to Southern Miss (14-9, 1-3) in Hattiesburg in more than a decade. The Golden Eagles haven’t lost three home games of the conference series since UCF handed them three losses back in 2010.

“They don’t lose very many series at home period,” said Burroughs. “For us to go in there and win three was a great way to start league play.”

The wins didn’t come without some stressful moments. With Tech leading 3-2 on Friday night, USM had runners on second and third with only one out in the ninth inning. Enter Landon Thompkins _ a young man who hasn’t pitched in three weeks.

Back-to-back strikeouts by Thompkins sealed the win.

After dropping the 14-6 decision in Saturday’s first game, the Bulldog bounce back was in full display as Gibson blanked USM 4-0. Just another ho hum complete-game shutout by the Ruston native.

Then on Sunday, Tech trailed 4-0 after two innings. Hard to believe it, but these Bulldogs had them right where they wanted them. The Bulldogs scored seven straight runs and even after USM rallied to tie the game at 7-7, the Bulldogs plated a run in the seventh and picked up the 8-7 victory.

“We are down 4-0 and I felt like we had a number of calls go against us … yet we find a way to win,” said Burroughs. “We talk about the make-up of our team and our character all the time. With this group, I feel like we are going to win every game regardless of the score.”

Tech returns to action Thursday, Friday and Saturday in a four-game home series against UAB.


Bulldogs get NIT consolation satisfaction with Lofton, Jr.’s game-winner

Tech’s Kenneth Lofton Jr. flexes vs. Colorado State Sunday. (Photo by ROGER STEINMAN)

Staff Writer

FRISCO, Texas – A year ago, Louisiana Tech ended the season on a win and it was miserable.

The sudden shutdown of college basketball made it so.

Fast forward to 2021 and LA Tech ended the season on yet another victory.

It was a mass celebration this time around as the team swarmed Kenneth Lofton, Jr. who scored the game-winning bucket with 0.3 second left to lift the Bulldogs to a 76-74 victory over Colorado State on Sunday in the NIT consolation game inside the Comerica Center.

The burly freshman capped off an incredible tournament, pouring in a career-high 27 points to go along with 13 rebounds.

He was unstoppable. He was relentless. He was playing bully ball, especially on his 10th and final made field goal.

“That is how Coach drew it up,” said Lofton, Jr. who was voted to the NIT All-Tournament Team after averaging 20.0 points and 9.3 rebounds over the four games. “He told me to rip it and go to the goal.”

Rip it, he did.

With the game tied at 74-74, the Bulldogs had the ball with 14 seconds remaining. Amorie Archibald dribbled half of that off the clock, then dumped off a bounce pass to Lofton, Jr. at the elbow. The forward went one-on-one with his defender, knifed through traffic down the middle of the lane and finished strong with his left hand.

“It was a great win for our team,” said coach Eric Konkol. “I am so proud of our guys. Their mental resolve and competitiveness really showed coming off yesterday’s loss. We had to quickly regroup and get ready to face a very good Colorado State team. We kept chipping away and found a way to come away with a great win to end the season.”

LA Tech (24-8) played from behind for almost the entire game and had its back against the wall down 64-53 with 8:41 to go after a 9-0 run by the overall No. 1 seed CSU (20-8).

The ‘Dogs needed to dig deep, playing in their third game in the past four days and their 32nd overall of the season. When Isaiah Crawford sank a floater in the lane, the momentum began to sway.

After Lofton, Jr. netted a free throw and a layup at the rim, LA Tech went to the perimeter to continue the run. Kalob Ledoux drained back-to-back triples to tie it up at 64-64, then Archibald swished a corner three in front of the team bench to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game with 5:03 to go.

Ledoux and Archibald continued their offensive scoring, combining for seven more points to build a 74-69 advantage at the 1:55 mark. The Rams, who went 17-of-23 from the foul line, made three of them down the stretch and tied it up when they took advantage of the ‘Dogs’ 16th turnover and got a game-tying fastbreak layup to go.

Konkol called a timeout with 14 seconds, drew up the play for Lofton, Jr., and the rest is history.

“After yesterday’s loss, I felt like we had another chance to show what we have and end the season on a good note,” said Lofton, Jr. “We wanted to end the season on a good note, for our seniors especially, and that is what we did.”

“Through this whole season, I was grateful for the opportunity to play basketball and enjoyed every moment with my teammates,” said Archibald. “Getting this far was an amazing accomplishment for us.”

It was the largest comeback of the season, eclipsing the 10-point comeback against Ole Miss in the first round. Archibald and Ledoux each had 14 points and Crawford added 13. The team shot 50.0 percent from the field (30-of-60).

It soothed the frustration of Saturday’s 84-62 loss in the semifinals to Mississippi State.

And it provided a fitting finish for one of Tech’s better basketball teams.

Softball, track, tennis sparkle on the road; LA Tech sports roundup

Tech softball file photo by DARRELL JAMES

Staff Writer

There was plenty of success away from home this weekend for Louisiana Tech aside from the baseball and men’s basketball teams, much of it in Tulsa. Meanwhile, the nationally-ranked bowling team tuned up and awaited its postseason plans to be issued on Wednesday.

For the second straight weekend, Louisiana Tech went on the road and took two out of three games against an American Athletic Conference foe.

The Lady Techsters (9-13) defeated Tulsa (9-7) 3-2 and 10-2 on Saturday before falling 8-0 in Sunday’s series finale.

Madie Green had a stellar weekend at the plate for Tech, recording five hits, including two home runs, a triple and driving in four runs. Green recorded all three RBI in Tech’s 3-2 win, including a seventh inning triple that plated the winning run.

Tech will host Southland Conference unbeaten (15-7, 9-0) Northwestern State Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Dr. Billy Bundrick Field.

TENNIS: Two days after falling 4-0 to North Texas in Denton, the Lady Techsters handed Oral Roberts a 4-0 defeat at the Bernis Duke Tennis Center in Tulsa.

LA Tech (7-9), which lost to ORU last season, dominated the match, winning the doubles point with two convincing set victories and three straight-set wins in singles.

“We really fired on all cylinders,” said Tech coach Amanda Stone. “It was not easy, but we really stuck with it on all courts and it paid off.”

LA Tech returns to action on Wednesday, April 7 in a home matchup versus Tyler Junior College. First serve is set for 2:30 p.m. at the LA Tech Tennis Complex.

TRACK AND FIELD: Louisiana Tech opened the outdoor season with a strong showing at the Victor Lopez Classic hosted by Rice at Wendel D. Ley Track in Houston.

In the first outdoor meet since 2019, Tech recorded three first-place finishes and 11 top three finishes.

The Lady Techsters 4×100 relay team of Ma’Asa Gay, Jada Branch, Claudasha Watson and Taylor Shaw took home first place in Saturday’s meet, clocking in with a time of 46.01 seconds.

Watson also exceled in the women’s 100-meter dash, notching a first-place finish with a time of 12.13 seconds.

The Bulldogs dominated in the men’s javelin throw with three Tech throwers finishing inside the top five. Henry Terral recorded a first-place heave of 67.18 meters. Tripp Marcus and Tyler O’Con placed second and fourth, respectively, to round out the dominant performances for the Bulldogs.

BOWLING: As Louisiana Tech awaits its national postseason fate on Wednesday, the Lady Techsters – fresh off a runner-up finish in the Southland Conference Bowling Championships – recorded a third place finish at the SWIBC IV in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

Sunday’s event consisted of six traditional matches with the winner being decided by total pins. Wichita State won the event with 6,446 total pins followed by No. 16 Stephen F. Austin with 6,330. No. 6 Louisiana Tech (6,224), Newman (5,901) and West Texas A&M (5,812) rounded out the top five team scores.

Senior Kaitlyn Eder led LA Tech individually after finishing third with an average of 222.83 to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.

Selections for the 2021 National Collegiate Women’s Bowling Championship will be announced on Wednesday via web stream at 3 p.m. on The 2021 championship will be hosted April 7-10 at the AMF Pro Bowl Lanes in North Kansas City, Missouri.

Soccer sweeps on the road, softball succeeds at home; GSU roundup

Grambling soccer’s Kailey Pena – photo by TAYTAPES870, courtesy

Staff Writer

With football sidelined by COVID-19 complications, baseball and softball provided hometown entertainment over the weekend for Grambling fans, while the Lady Tigers soccer team swept a pair on the road in conference play.

BASEBALL: Pivoting quickly after having the scheduled Southwestern Athletic Conference series against Prairie View postponed due to the Panthers’ COVID-19 issues, Grambling got Tennessee-Martin to visit for a three-game weekend series Saturday and Sunday.

The Skyhawks (9-10) took two of three, with Grambling prevailing 5-2 in Sunday’s first game. UTM rolled 18-4 on Saturday and pulled out a 12-inning 6-5 decision Sunday afternoon to capture the series win.

Rafael Ramirez drove in three runs and scored on a wild pitch for a fourth in the win by Grambling (5-14). Kerry Boykins Jr. tossed a two-hitter while striking out six for the Tigers, facing one over the minimum in a complete-game (seven inning) triumph, needing only 78 pitches.

In the third game, the teams traded three-run 11th innings before the Skyhawks won it on a sacrifice fly in the 12th.

SOCCER: Kailey Pena scored twice Sunday to continue her roll as Grambling won its third straight, jolting Jackson State 3-0 on the road. The Lady Tigers (5-2-1, 5-1-1) mashed Southern 4-1 on Friday in Baton Rouge.

The junior upped her season total to 11 goals while Britt Vernees saved seven shots in goal to earn the shutout.

At Southern, the Lady Tigers allowed an early goal but bounced back for a 2-1 halftime lead on goals by Kameron Powell six minutes afterward and Paula Burillo-Blasco in the 17th minute. Haylee O’Leary and Macy Ramsey found the net early after halftime and Rachel Pugh made four saves in goal for Grambling.

SOFTBALL: Near home but off campus, Grambling didn’t bring its best Friday at the Ruston Sports Complex, getting blasted 10-2 by Mississippi Valley State. But with water system repairs completed on campus, the Lady Tigers (6-8, 3-2) returned home Saturday and swept the visitors 11-1 and 5-1 to capture the SWAC series.

Freshman pitcher Payton Shells threw both ends of the Saturday sweep, striking out nine and scattering a total of 13 hits, seven in the second game. Valley (3-12) managed only four extra-base hits in the twinbill.

Grambling rang up 11 hits and took command with a five-run third inning in Saturday’s opener.

Celebrity Theaters set to reopen April 30


By T. Scott Boatright

After a year’s wait, the countdown is on for movies to return to Ruston.

Celebrity Theatres, which has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, made a Facebook post on Friday saying that it plans and expects to reopen its doors in late April.

Following is that Facebook message:

“To Our Valued Celebrity Theatres Family,

As most of you are aware, we shared a teaser quite a few weeks ago about our grand reopening. However, as the state of the industry has progressed, we are once again forced to push back our reopening date.

“Distributors continue to push the release dates of their major films back by months. Many of the anticipated releases have been completely pushed from March and April into the summer and fall months. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel with the New York City and California markets being able to begin reopening their doors at limited capacities.

“These two markets are vital to the industry, and having been closed for such a long time is a major factor in why so many films have gone straight to streaming. With the news of these markets opening, we are incredibly hopeful that distribution companies will start holding their release dates and no further pushes on films will be made.

“Barring any new, significant roadblocks, we WILL be opening our doors on April 30. Thank you all so much for your continued patience and support, and we cannot wait until this incredibly long intermission comes to a close.”


Playoff success brings All-State honors; Prep roundup

Simsboro championship photo with Jamarian Cato raising trophy is courtesy CHRIS DEMIRDJIAN/KTVE-TV

Staff Writer

Deep postseason runs, combined with consistent production all season long, have earned seven parish prep basketball standouts All-State recognition from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

Simsboro’s state champion Tigers had three mainstays on the Class B boys All-State team announced Saturday, and one Lady Tiger in the spotlight. The Division IV girls state semifinalists from Cedar Creek were represented by a pair of players on the Class A girls All-State team released Sunday, with another local standout from Lincoln Prep’s state quarterfinalists in the All-State spotlight.

The Boro (25-2) placed senior Jamarian Cato on the Class B first team, sophomore Childaydrien Newton on the second team and junior Nick Maryland on the honorable mention list.

Cato was the Tigers’ top scorer with a 19.5 average while Newton’s all-around contributions included a 12.8 scoring average. Maryland hit the winning 3-pointer in the state championship game to topple top-seeded Anacoco.

The Lady Tigers’ Alexia Hester netted honorable mention All-State recognition on the girls squad.

Cedar Creek’s sharpshooting junior point guard Sarah Adams was a first-team girls Class A All-State selection, with teammate Riley Spradlin, a senior forward, receiving honorable mention status.

Adams, who averaged 21 points per game, was flanked by four seniors on the All-State first team list, including state Outstanding Player Emery Wirtz of district rival and state champion Ouachita Christian, and Marin Barras, whose dominant play inside for Highland Baptist was key to its 45-39 semifinal victory over the Lady Cougars (20-4).

The Lady Panthers were represented on the same All-State squad by Tiyan Heard, also an honorable mention choice. Lincoln Prep, seeded 12th, knocked off its district rival Homer in the regional round and almost upset North Central in the Class A quarterfinals, falling four points short (51-47) of Marsh Madness.

In another sport, the Louisiana High School Powerlifting Association issued its all-classifications All-State teams on Thursday and state Division V champion Cedar Creek was represented by honorable mention selection Caden Lillo. He had a combined lift total of 1,480 pounds at the state meet in Monroe, setting a 242-pound class record in the bench press while he won an individual state crown.

BASEBALL: Ruston couldn’t solve West Monroe pitcher Drew Blaylock on Friday afternoon and fell 4-1 at WMHS. The Bearcats were one hit and struck out seven times. J.R. Tollet had the only safety for RHS (12-8), which plays this evening at D’Arbonne Woods and then resumes district action with a two-game series against West Ouachita Friday and Saturday.

Stretching its winning streak to 14, Choudrant notched a pair of blowout wins Friday and Saturday.

The Aggies dumped visiting Family Community Christian 16-3 on Friday, then thrashed Union Parish 11-1 in Farmerville on Saturday.

In the FCC game, Choudrant’s 12-hit attack included three from winning pitcher Brandon Carter and a four RBI day by Landon Hennen.

Against Union Parish, Braden Jones twirled a one-hitter through six innings, striking out 12. The Aggies (17-3) broke open a close game with four runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Jones and Carter each cracked three of Choudrant’s 10 hits, with Carter accounting for three RBI, and Eli Watson homered for the winners.

SOFTBALL:  Ruston rolled over Choudrant 14-4 on Friday, but the Lady Aggies rallied Saturday with a pair of victories over Calvin (10-5) and Loyola (15-4).

The Lady Bearcats and Lady Aggies combined to suffer 13 errors but Ruston cashed in Choudrant’s mistakes more effectively and limited CHS to three hits, half of the winners’ total. Earlier Friday, Plainview had edged Choudrant 8-7 on a two-run homer in the sixth inning.

Choudrant’s Tori Martin had a team-best three hits, including a double, against Calvin. Zoey Smith piled up five RBI on three hits to fuel the Lady Aggies’ rout over Loyola.

Simsboro dropped a couple of contests Saturday: 10-9 to Saline, despite four hits from Jacoya Lewis, including two triples and a double; and 11-4 to Union Parish despite pitcher Carlei Wheeler striking out 14 batters.


Lincoln Parish Journal Weekly Sports Calendar

Cedar Creek HS Baseball, home vs. Simsboro, JV 4:30, Varsity 6:30 p.m.
Ruston HS Baseball, home vs. D’Arbonne Woods, 6 p.m.
LA Tech Golf, at Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, Awendale, S.C., all day
Choudrant HS Softball, at Parkway, 5 p.m.
Choudrant HS Baseball, at LaSalle, 6 p.m.

Grambling Baseball, home vs. ULM, 6 p.m.
LA Tech Softball, home vs. Northwestern State, 6 p.m.
LA Tech Golf, at Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, Awendale, S.C., all day
Simsboro HS Softball, at Downsville, 6 p.m.
Cedar Creek HS Softball, at North DeSoto, TBA

Cedar Creek HS Softball, at Delta, TBA

Simsboro HS Softball, at Summerfield, 4 p.m.\
Cedar Creek HS Softball, home vs. Sterlington, JV 4:30, Varsity 6 p.m.
LA Tech Baseball, home vs. UAB, 6 p.m.
Cedar Creek HS Baseball, home vs. Bossier, 6 p.m.
Simsboro HS Baseball, home vs. Red River, 6 p.m.

LA Tech Baseball, home vs. UAB, 2 p.m., doubleheader
Cedar Creek HS Baseball, home vs. Ouachita Christian, JV 4:30, Varsity 6:30 p.m.
Choudrant HS Baseball, at Class B Bash, Maurepas, TBA
LA Tech Softball, at UTSA, 1 p.m. doubleheader
Grambling Soccer, at UAPB, 3 p.m.
Grambling Baseball, at UAPB, 3 p.m.
Ruston HS Baseball, at West Ouachita, 6 p.m.
Simsboro HS Baseball, at Bossier, 6 p.m.

LA Tech Baseball, home vs. UAB, 1 p.m.
Ruston HS Baseball, home vs. West Ouachita, 1 p.m.
Cedar Creek Softball, home vs. Evangel, TBA
LA Tech Track & Field, at LSU Battle on the Bayou, all day
Ruston HS Track & Field, at Mobile Challenge of Champions, Mobile, Ala., all day
Choudrant Baseball, at Class B Bash, Maurepas, TBA
LA Tech Softball, at UTSA, 1 p.m. doubleheader
Grambling Baseball, at UAPB, 2 p.m.

Grambling Baseball, at UAPB, 1 p.m.
LA Tech Soccer, at Southern Miss., 2 p.m.

Note – to add your team’s schedule to this weekly Monday feature of the LPJ, e-mail



Tech online seminar set for today

Louisiana Tech Communications

The New Frontiers in Biomedical Research will continue its COVID-19 series with the first lecture in the Spring Quarter. The seminar will focus on Health Communication during COVID-19 Pandemic at 3:30 p.m. today on WebEx.

Heidi Y. Lawrence, Associate Professor of English at George Mason University and Scott Barrows, Simulation Programming Manager at Jump Simulations, Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, and Clinical Assistant Professor in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will share their recent involvement in written and visual communication related to COVID-19 vaccine education.

Lawrence will share her research on vaccine hesitation among health care professionals, rural communities, and minority communities. Specifically, she will share how the concerns over the COVID-19 vaccine parallels those that accompany reluctance to the flu vaccine and effective communication in these situations. Lawrence has studied the rhetoric of medical and scientific controversies, particularly public debates about vaccinations, since 2010 through a range of qualitative interview, survey, and text analysis studies.

In her work on vaccination, Lawrence studies the role that professional communication produced by physicians, health officials, and researchers plays in shaping public debate and parental beliefs about vaccines. Her book on vaccine controversy, Vaccine Rhetorics, is available from The Ohio State University Press, and her work on vaccine communication and education has appeared in the journals: The Journal of Medical Internet Research, Rhetoric of Health and Medicine, Critical Public Health, Journal of the Medical Humanities, the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine.

Barrows will share with the University community his work in medical visualization and how he has used his skills to share pertinent information about COVID-19. Barrows visited Louisiana Tech in 2018 where he shared his personal history and experiences as a medical illustrator. This year, Barrows will focus on his efforts with a diverse team seeking to improve communication and education in communities across Chicago.

Barrows is a world-renowned medical artist with illustrations in more than 55 medical books and more than 350 journal articles. His passion for art, medicine, and technology has led him to become a visionary in biomedical imaging and visualization. He was previously Vice-President of Marketing at a biotechnology laboratory in Virginia and Vice-President of Creative at a medical software “think tank” in Nevada. He was also the Director of the Biomedical Visualization graduate program at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center for numerous years and still serves on the adjunct faculty as well as an assistant professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

An alumnus of three University of Illinois campuses (Chicago, Urbana-Champaign, and Springfield), Barrows has been the recipient of numerous awards, including recognition from two U.S. Presidents, the Smithsonian Institution, and the University of Illinois Chicago. He is the co-creator of age-progression —a process used to find numerous missing children — and his artwork has been featured in galleries, museums, and health facilities around the world.

As with the previous four seminars in this series, each speaker will share their work for 10-15 minutes, leaving 30-45 minutes for questions from those who are attending the live-streamed event. Discussion will be moderated by series organizers Jamie Newman and Mary Caldorera-Moore, along with Kirk St.Amant, professor of English. Each of these moderators brings a different perspective and encourages a focus on community health for the university and general public.

Events are open to the general public, and registration is required. For more information on this and other events, visit


Bunny search set for LPL

Here comes Peter Cottontail …

Wait, where he did go? … What happened to Peter Cottontail?

The Lincoln Parish Library has an impressive collection of bunnies and rabbits for viewing as we move into Easter Week. Even better, the library’s “littlest patrons” will get the chance through next weekend to play the bunny search game for a chance to win the prize pack pictured above.

Hop on down to the Lincoln Parish Library this week and join in on the bunny search.