Cedar Creek Opener Cancelled

Hurricane Ida strikes again.

Cedar Creek coach Matt Middleton put his Cougars through an entire practice Tuesday afternoon with one thing on his mind … a road trip to Liberty Magnet Friday for the season opener in Baton Rouge.

However, Middleton was met with news after coming off the practice field that the Cougars season opener was cancelled due to the affects of Hurricane Ida in the Baton Rouge area.

“We got (all the way) through practice today, and I didn’t even know it,” said Middleton. “But I understand. East Baton Rouge schools are out until at least next week. It’s just a tough deal for everyone involved.”

Cedar Creek Head of School Andy Yepson got a call from his counterpart late Tuesday afternoon with the news.

“The hurricane damage in Baton Rouge is just too bad,” said Yepson. “We had to cancel it. I talked to their principal late this afternoon, and he said 70 percent of Baton Rouge is still without power. He didn’t know when they were going back to school.”

The game will be recorded as a no contest for each school; not a forfeit. Middleton said he wouldn’t try to find a replacement for this Friday.

“No it’s a little late,” said Middleton. “I did that a couple of times last year with Covid, and it’s so hard to prepare. Anyway, most everybody up here is playing other north Louisiana schools. We were one of the few north Louisiana teams trying to play down south. I think we are just going to chalk it up as a bye and get into St. Frederick next week.”

Middleton did say he would utilize the next two days on the practice field to continue to prepare his Cougars for the new season and home opener on Friday, Sept. 10.

“(Today) we will do a heavy special teams practice, and then a good practice on Thursday,” he said. “I am going to give them Friday and Saturday off and then get back Sunday afternoon and start to work on St. Frederick.”

Photo:  by Darrell James

 


Children offered chance to participate in football-themed library challenge 

 

Fall is here, and the Lincoln Parish Library has a new football-themed challenge for its youngest patrons. 

The football reading challenge starts today and goes through the month of September, with children who participate and finish the challenge eligible to win a football-themed prize package, including a desktop football game. 

The children will receive a paper with ten different reading goals, such as “read an award-winning book” or “read in your pajamas,” said Shelly Dowdy, children’s specialist. 

“For every challenge they read, they get to move their (paper) football on the wall,” Dowdy said. “When they get through all 10 challenges, they can fill out a form for a drawing. We’ll draw the evening of Sept. 30, and someone will win a prize.” 

Dowdy said the children’s department started doing these challenges throughout the school year, in addition to their ongoing summer challenges, to encourage children and keep them reading after COVID came to the area. 

“It keeps them busy and reading,” Dowdy said. “They keep reading, and the more they read, the better they read.” 

Marcie Nelson, interim library director, said many of these monthly challenges go along with the reading homework parish school children already receive. 

“It adds a fun element,” Nelson said. “If they already have reading assignments at school, kids can get bogged down and think, ‘I have to do this.’ This adds a fun element of, ‘I get to do this.’” 

Kacey Richard, marketing coordinator for the library, said the goal of all the challenges is to keep kids reading. 

“When there is incentivized reading, it’s a good screen alternative, and that’s something we want to promote,” Richard said. 

In addition to the football reading challenge, the take and make crafts are still available, and this fall they are animal themed. September’s craft themes are barn animals, October’s will be woodland animals, and November will be pets. Also, while virtual story time and virtual craft demonstrations will continue, the library will restart the face-to-face story time this month. 

“Well maintain our virtual story time on Mondays at 10 a.m. and virtual craft demonstrations at 2 p.m.,” Nelson said. “But we’re going to take the exact same thing and bring it inhouse at 10 a.m. Tuesdays. Parents can still choose if they want the all virtual option, but if they’re missing that social interaction, they can come in here. It will be in the community room so we can practice social distance, wear masks and be safe.” 

To sign up for the football reading challenge, visit the Lincoln Parish Library at 910 N. Trenton Street. For more information about the challenge, crafts, or story time, call the children’s department at 318-251-5030. 


Tech Secondary Set for Aerial Assault

Louisiana Tech’s defensive secondary will get a test to start the season when the Bulldogs travel to Starkville Saturday to face pass-happy Mike Leach and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPNU.

Leach and Co. are known for flinging the pigskin all over the gridiron and nothing indicates a change for this year’s Starkville-based Bulldogs. Tech head coach Skip Holtz said during Tuesday’s weekly press conference that trying to prepare for such an aerial assault can be challenging.

“It’s hard to simulate,” said Holtz. “It’s very hard to simulate. We’ve tried for most of camp to have what we call a fast start period where it’s all tempo plays going as quick as you can getting acclimated to the speed when people try and tempo you so it’s not the first time our defense has seen it.

“Now, saying that, it’s very hard for 60 minutes to go out there and duplicate the explosiveness and the experience (Mississippi State) has. They have seven returning starters. Quarterback’s back. Both their running backs are back. One of them was their leading receiver.”

In fact, if you look at LA Tech’s first three games of the year (Mississippi State, Southeastern Louisiana and SMU), the Bulldogs defense may see more pass attempts against them then any other team in the country in the opening three weeks.

Mississippi State will simply be the first aerial test for Tech.

“They have a really talented football team and a very explosive team offensively,” said Holtz. “You look at what they did in the opening game a year ago when they lined up against LSU and put up 44 points. It is an explosive team with a lot of experience.”

There were plenty of growing pains in the first year under Leach in Starkville, as Mississippi State posting a 4-7 record which included a 28-26 win over Tulsa in the Armed Forces Bowl. However, Holtz knows that the second year in Leach’s offensive system will give the other Bulldogs even more confidence on Saturday.

“I’m sure Mississippi State feels (more prepared in year No. 2 of the system),” said Holtz. “We’ve done the best job we can to get our defense prepared for what’s coming at them. We have to keep that ball in front of us, rally on it, break on it and make them snap it again.”

Photo: Darrell James

 


LPJ offers obituary service

 The Lincoln Parish Journal, along with the notice of death each day, now will offer a paid obituary service for residents of the area. 

This service is for individuals who reside in the parish or who have relatives in the parish. Students who are enrolled at Louisiana Tech or Grambling State but who do not live in the parish will also be able to submit. These announcements will be published each morning after the obituary is submitted. 

This move by the Journal allows individuals to share the obituary on social media outlets. 

Individuals who wish to submit an obit are welcome to write the obit themselves or have a Journal staff member compose the obit for them. For individuals who wish to have the Journal staff write the obituary should submit the following: 

  • Deceased’s name, date of birth, date of death, age upon death, hometown and town where individual lived at date of death 
  • Birthplace 
  • A list of surviving relatives 
  • Details about the funeral service: date, time, place 
  • Parents’ names 
  • Information about spouse and children 
  • Civic organizations, including churches, individual was affiliated with 
  • Job/career information 
  • Professional and/or personal accomplishments 

To submit an obituary or for further information, including fee prices, please email lpjnewsla@gmail.com 


LPJ Introducing Sportsman Paradise

It’s hard to live in Sportsman’s Paradise and not include some content for our hunters and fishermen (and women) out there.

While we work on selecting an outdoor writer (or two) the LPJ wants to go ahead and start publicizing our plan to produce a weekly opportunity to showcase photos of that big mouth bass or 8-point buck that you were so proud to claim in your latest outdoor adventure.

We know how much everyone in these parts of the woods likes to brag about the latest trophy, and we want to help you do just that.

“This is just another way that we want to help publicize our Lincoln Parish residents and what they are doing on the lakes and in the woods,” said Judith Roberts, publisher of the LPJ. “You can’t be a Lincoln Parish publication and not have outdoor coverage. We are working hard to select an outdoor writer for the LPJ and will announce that soon. In the meantime, we hope our LPJ readers will start submitting their photos of their success in the outdoors.”

Information with submitted photo(s) should include:

  • Name of individual(s) in photo
  • Location of the photo (specific lake, woods)
  • Other specifics from the catch/kill

Photos should be submitted by email to lpjnewsla@gmail.com. Photos and the information needs to be submitted by Wednesday prior to the Saturday publication date.

 


LA Tech Athletics Midweek Roundup

Louisiana Tech’s volleyball and soccer teams will both be in action tonight and through the weekend as fall sports continue to heat up in Lincoln Parish.

 Volleyball

The Lady Techster volleyball team will host Jackson State tonight at the Thomas Assembly Center in the home opener for the program. First serve is at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free.

The contest can be seen live with a paid subscription to CUSA.tv.

Head coach Amber McCray’s team is 1-2 on the season after opening the weekend in Fayetteville, defeating Arkansas-Pine Bluff while falling to the host Razorbacks and Little Rock.

Sophomore Faith Menary earned all-tournament team honors after ending the event with a career-high 22-kill performance in the victory over the Golden Lions.

Jackson State enters the match with a 0-2 record after dropping matches to Auburn and Tennessee Tech at the War Eagle Invitational. The Tigers posted an impressive 11-1 mark in a conference-shortened season last year with the lone loss coming to C-USA foe WKU.

Tech is 12-1 all-time against Jackson State, including nine three-set sweeps in the series.

Soccer

Tech soccer will hit the road tonight as they travel south to Natchitoches to face Northwestern State at the Lady Demon Soccer Complex. First touch is at 7 p.m.

The Lady Techsters (2-2) are in the middle of a five-game road trip and are coming off a 2-0 loss at McNeese State Friday night in Lake Charles. Tech opened the season with a 9-0 win over East Texas Baptist and also posted a 4-0 win over Louisiana College.

Northwestern State, which leads the series against Tech 4-1-1, is 0-3-1 on the season with the one tie coming against Oral Roberts. The Lady Demons have lost to SMU, Prairie View A&M and nationally ranked Rice (lost in OT).

NSU was picked second in the preseason Southland Conference Coaches Poll, and has finished second each of the past two years.

Head coach Steve Voltz team will travel to Missouri this weekend to face Missouri State before returning home Sept. 10 to host Sam Houston State.

Photo:  Courtesy of LA Tech Athletics


King named vice president emeritus

Former Vice President for Student Affairs, Jim King is recognized as Vice President Emeritus for the transformational impact he has made on Louisiana Tech University.

Former Louisiana Tech Vice President for Student Advancement Dr. Jim King has a new title: Vice President Emeritus.

King received the surprise recognition and a framed proclamation at a small luncheon in his honor last Friday in the Chris Richardson Family Suite Level of Joe Aillet Stadium.

He joked Monday that “emeritus” is Latin for “has been.” But that’s hardly the case. Even as he said it, King was in his Jeep on the site of the University’s newest housing project, south of the railroad tracks and west of Tech Drive, scheduled to open to Fall Quarter students Friday.

Although he retired from his full-time position at Louisiana Tech two years ago, King has still been working half-time, helping to complete projects all over campus that began on his watch, including on-going housing projects, re-doing the campus core, updating Centennial Plaza, and “finishing out some other little projects across the campus,” he said. “We’ve got more than a half-dozen different things. I started it and I wanted to see it through.”

Because of Hurricane Ida, the new housing project won’t be completely finished Friday; work will be on-going on the exterior, but the interior will be complete and safe for students, despite extraordinary challenges.

“I guess we could sum it up,” King said, ever the quick wit, “by saying never attempt to build a 400-bed residential project during a pandemic, two hurricanes, and two tornados. Oh, and a snowstorm.”

King earned his first paycheck from Tech when he came to the University in August 1981 as a sophomore and was hired as a student worker in the housing department. After completing his graduate work, he was hired full-time by housing, then became Vice President of Student Affairs at the turn of the century.

“I found a home here,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of titles; I guess they were always figuring out what I could do. ‘Well, that didn’t work out, so let’s see if he can do this.’”

The days of three guys to a dorm room with no air-conditioning and King as an RA are long gone, as evidenced by new apartment-style, courtyard housing developments and improvements campus-wide.  Corporate partnerships with organizations like Barnes & Noble, Chick-Fil-A, and McAlister’s have also given students new shopping and dining options.

King said he was “humbled and surprised” at the luncheon hosted by his boss and University President Dr. Les Guice, and he praised his “super staff” and talented colleagues he’s worked with through the years, past and present. Two of those colleagues, former Tech VPs Corre Stegall and Jean Hall, who hired King as a student in 1981, were among those honoring their longtime friend Thursday.

Also present were King’s wife Lori, their daughter Abbie, and her fiancé Seth Gordon. (The couple’s other child, son Collin, was in Denver.)

“I knew when I stepped back quietly a couple of years ago, I wanted to remain engaged,” said King, who for the foreseeable future will likely continue to be seen on campus where improvements are being made. “I’m always willing to assist the University any way I can.”

Photo by Emerald McIntyre/Louisiana Tech University


Lincoln Prep focused on mental aspects for season opener

By T. Scott Boatright

For Lincoln Preparatory School head football coach Glen Hall, it’s all about execution heading into his Panthers’ season opener Friday at 7 p.m. at Beekman Charter in Bastrop.

“If we just don’t make mistakes, especially on offense, then I like our chances,” Hall said. “Our defense looked pretty good in the jamboree games and will hold its own. I think we can score on them. If we can score 21 points I think we’ll be in pretty good shape to win the game. We just can’t make all the little mistakes that when combined can add up to kill you.”

Friday’s game was originally scheduled to be played at Grambling State’s Eddie G. Robinson Memorial Stadium but was moved because the GSU football team plans on holding a night practice before leaving for Sunday’s game against Tennessee State in Canton, Ohio.

The Panthers went 1-7 in the COVID-shortened season of 2020 while Beekman was 1-4.

Hall said one of the big keys for his team will be slowing down Beekman quarterback

“I saw them on film last year (even though that game was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and we got a little film on them this year,” Hall said about Beekman Charter. “They’re doing some good things. Offensively, they run well with a lot of inside zone. Their quarterback is a heckuva athlete. They don’t have dominating linemen, but that quarterback is pretty good.”

Hall believes the Panthers defense will be able to handle that Beekman offense.

“My front seven on defense played well in the jamborees,” Hall said. “We had a couple of secondary issues that I think we’ve addressed. With everyone actually being in school now, we’ve accumulated a few more guys — our numbers are going up. And while I’m not quite sure yet, I think a couple of our new guys who just came out can actually come in and help us.”

Tarrell Simons will start behind center after playing for the Panthers the past three years, going back to punting his freshman season. He’s continued punting the past two seasons while also becoming an effective receiver and even some duty at quarterback for Lincoln Prep last year.

“He’s handled this thing well,” Hall said of Simons. “He’s been playing since he was in ninth grade, so he’s totally developed over the years. He really wasn’t a player when I first got him. But over the years he’s gotten better and better. He made a couple of mistakes (in the jamboree games), but so far he’s going very good out there. He handled pressure today in practice and we just hope that transfers over to the game front (against Beekman Charter).”

Chauncy Harper and Jamarrion Buggs give Lincoln Prep’s running back corps a thunder and lighting like attack.

“Buggs came in last year but was ineligible,” Hall said. “He’s about 6-1 and 185 pounds.  He’s our bigger back and is a downhill guy. Chauncy will run all of the sweeps and he’ll run the inside zones.”

Junior lineman Imani Marcel (6-3 and 400 pounds) will anchor both the Panthers’ offensive and defensive lines while defensive end Jacobie Bedford and linebacker Nyzaeious Grimsley are expected to help lead Lincoln Prep’s defense.

“Physically I think we’re ready,” Hall said. “If this team can handle those first-game jitters and focus on doing things the right way and executing, then I think we’ll be fine.”

Photo:  by Darrell James


Chamber of Commerce seeks Board of Directors nominations 

The Ruston Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations of candidates for election to its Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is composed of 16 members. Four will be elected to serve for three years. The governing and policy making responsibilities of the Chamber are vested in the Board of Directors. Self-nominations are encouraged. 

Judy Copeland, Chamber president, said board members are essential in helping the Chamber cultivate a healthy business environment by bringing new vitality and ideas that promote our members and business community. 

Board members are important because they individually represent the industry in which they work,” Copeland said. “They bring expertise to the Board that aids in making decisions that are crucial to our community and business environment.” 

Nominees must be an active member of the Chamber in good standing, willing to accept the responsibility of a directorship, and must have successfully completed one of the following: Leadership Lincoln, one year of active participation in the Ambassador Program or two years of active volunteerism in Chamber activities. 

Duties and responsibilities include approving the Chamber’s annual budget, approving Chamber policies, providing the personal leadership, enthusiasm, and support necessary to help coordinate and build an effective organization; attending 10 Board of Directors meetings annually; projecting a professional and positive image when representing the Chamber; ensuring the Chamber Program of Work is consistent with the mission statement and interest of the members; and attending and volunteering at as many Chamber events as possible. 

In October, the Nominating Committee will present a slate of four candidates to serve three-year terms to replace the directors whose regular terms are expiring.  Members will be notified of the names of those nominated. After the election by the membership, all newly-elected and appointed Board members will begin serving effective January 1, 2022. 

To apply, send the nomination name, company, title or position, email or phone number, and community involvement to Ivana Flowers at iflowers@rustonlincoln.org or by fax at 318-255-3481. The nomination deadline is Sept. 30. 


Notice of Death – August 31, 2021

Maurine Roberson Armstrong
August 13, 1932 – August 28, 2021
Visitation:  Paron Baptist Church, Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 1:00 pm
Service:  Paron Baptist Church, Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 2:00 pm
Cemetery:  Rocky Branch Cemetery, Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Timothy L. Griffin
January 4, 1967 – August 28, 2021
Visitation:  Longstraw Baptist Church, Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Service:  Longstraw Baptist Church, Wednesday, September 1, 2021, 10:00 am
Cemetery:  Longstraw Cemetery, Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Mary Thames
November 25, 1932 – August 29, 2021
Visitation:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe, Thursday, September 2, 2021, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Service:  Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe, Thursday, September 2, 2021, 3:00 pm
Cemetery:  Hasley Cemetery, Thursday, September 2, 2021

Roberts takes lead with LPJ

Louisiana Tech assistant professor Judith Roberts has claimed the licensee ownership of the free online media outlet, the Lincoln Parish Journal, solidifying her role as publisher of the media outlet.

Roberts has her Ph.D. in mass communication with a minor in instructional technology from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, but she is also a double graduate of Lincoln Parish. She received her master’s in mass communication from Grambling State University and her bachelor’s with majors in journalism and English from Louisiana Tech University. She has also served as news editor at The Ruston Daily Leader and has written press releases for Tech.

“The field of communication presents itself with so many opportunities,” Roberts said. “I have worked on releases for Tech, written for The Minute Magazine, and even dabbled in fitness blog writing. This is just a new opportunity in my field, and I am so excited to take this challenge on to serve my community.”

In her role as assistant professor of communication and media studies, Roberts teaches a variety of classes, including Social Media, Media Law and Ethics, and Copy Editing. Her research focuses on religion and politics, and she has published works in Roman & Littlefield, Lexington Books and Waterhill Publishing. She has also presented research internationally.

“I am grateful for this chance to further support Lincoln Parish as an advocate for the knowledge of the residents of this area,” Roberts said. “I look forward to telling the stories of those at Tech, at Grambling and throughout the parish.”

Roberts’ family also are strong advocates for Lincoln Parish. Her husband, Kyle, is the play-by-play radio broadcaster for Ruston High Football and is the newest voice of the Lady Techsters’ basketball team. The couple’s two daughters, Alice, age 8, and Penny, age 5, both attended Louisiana Tech’s Early Childhood Education Center and now attend Ruston Elementary and Hillcrest Elementary, respectively.

The Lincoln Parish Journal is a free subscription to keep up with the news in the parish. To subscribe, visit JOIN LPJ TODAY… It’s FREE!


Bearcats Looking for Week 2 Opponent

Following the devastation of Hurricane Ida across the southern part of the state, area high school football teams may find themselves in a similar situation to Ruston High.

On Monday afternoon the Bearcats head coach Jerrod Baugh received a phone call from Archbishop Rummel with the news that the Raiders should not be making the trip north in less than two weeks to face the Bearcats at Hoss Garrett Field at James Stadium.

RHS Principal Dan Gressett said late Monday night that the school was looking for a fill in for the week two opening.

“Right now we looking for anything,” said Gressett. “This year if it’s a Covid cancellation, the LHSAA is not allowing you to reschedule the game. It’s a forfeit. But from our understanding with this being weather-related we can reschedule. We found out today. Rummel called and said it could be three or four weeks before they get power.”

Ruston High is scheduled to open the regular season Friday night at Neville in Monroe as the Bearcats are coming off an impressive performance in their 27-0 jamboree win over Opelousas at the 2021 Bayou Jamb last Friday night.

“We have put some stuff out there,” said Gressett. “I am sure there will be more cancellations in the coming days from teams that are scheduled to play teams from New Orleans, maybe even Baton Rouge. We are just looking for an opponent. It was a home game for us so we would like to replace it with a home game. Jerrod isn’t afraid to travel though. He will go anywhere. We just need to try to fill it. This really doesn’t feel much different than last year when we were constantly trying to fill openings.”

Gressett said any school interested in the opening on Ruston’s schedule can call Baugh at 903-918-2359.

Photo:  courtesy of RHS Bearcat Booster Club


HURRICANE IDA: Local pastor remembers Katrina, houses evacuees from Ida

George Lee IV, pictured here with his wife Ciria and children McKenzie and Kingston, is pastor of The Springs church in Ruston.

George Lee IV was a 17-year-old New Orleans resident in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina swept through his city and neighborhood and devastated the area. Now, 16 years later and a resident of Grambling, he remembers that time as he houses his mom and grandmother, who are still New Orleans residents and evacuated from Hurricane Ida.

“My family decided to evacuate for Hurricane Katrina two days before the hurricane made landfall,” Lee, a pastor at The Springs church, said. “While the majority of my family decided to evacuate, my mom and I did not travel with the rest of my family. At the time, my mom was enrolled at the University of New Orleans, and we lived in an apartment on campus. We developed a strong relationship with our neighbor, who was a quadriplegic. When our neighbor’s family from North Louisiana decided to travel to get him, we were given an opportunity to evacuate with them.”

Lee said watching the news coverage from that time was surreal.

“Honestly, as I watched the news coverage, none of it seemed real. I felt numb,” he said. “I guess I was still processing it all. In some ways, even 16 years later, I’m still processing things. As days progressed, I did wrestle with thinking about family and friends who didn’t evacuate.”

While Lee’s family settled in Rayville after Katrina, he eventually made his way to Lincoln Parish after attending Louisiana Tech. Now he, his wife Ciria, and his two children, McKenzie and Kingston, live in Grambling and are active in ministry.

“I have stated often that I never want to move back to New Orleans,” Lee said. “My mother, along with the majority of my family, moved back to New Orleans. We are from the area of New Orleans known as Holy Grove — in the 17th ward of New Orleans uptown. I love Lincoln Parish because of its pace. Everything moves quickly in the city of New Orleans! I value the relationships here. Lincoln Parish is a close-knit community from what I’ve experienced. Lastly, our ministry is here, and I believe the Lord has called my family to minister to this community for the foreseeable future.”

Lee said last year’s Hurricane Laura that came through Lincoln Parish and this past weekend’s Hurricane Ida brought back many preparedness memories.

“As I think about our community battling Hurricane Laura last year and bracing ourselves (for) Hurricane Ida in South Louisiana and other states, I can’t help but play through the series of ‘hurricane protocol,’” he said. “You start thinking about gathering provisions, purchasing gas, installing generators and sending support to family who will be in the affected area. You really start thinking about loved ones.”

For now, though, as he houses relatives who are waiting to see what damage has occurred, he said he is happy his family is safe.

“As devastating as Hurricane Katrina was, I realize that God used that storm in my life to lead me to this community,” Lee said. “I attended school here, met my wife here, started serving in ministry here, built our family here. Good things can come out of bad situations. While my heart still breaks for those who lost loved ones in Hurricane Katrina, I grateful that it gave me an opportunity to be a part of another community — a community I’m not leaving any time soon.”


LA Tech Announces Depth Chart for Saturday

Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz announced Monday night on the Inside Tech Football radio show that West Virginia transfer Austin Kendall would be the Bulldogs starting quarterback when it takes the field Saturday in Starkville against Mississippi State.

Kendall has been competing all fall for the starting position along with sophomore Aaron Allen and freshman JD Head while senior Luke Anthony continues to recover from off-season surgery.

“Right now Austin Kendall will be our starter going into the first week,” said Holtz on the coaches show. “He has come in here since July and done a great job. Joe Sloan has done a great job with him. He has come in and he has picked up the offense.”

Holtz said that the decision came down to experience and leadership.

“Austin Kendall … with his game experience, with the number of offenses he has been in, with his age, and with how well he has picked up the offense … I certainly think this team has got a vote of confidence in him by evidence by the captains voting,” said Holtz. “They feel like he is a guy who can lead us, and we feel that way as a stay.

“We just had captains votes, and he was in the top five in captains votes. He is really making his mark on this football team and really earning a lot of respect.”

Tech and Mississippi State will kick-off Saturday at 3 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPNU.

Kendall originally signed at Oklahoma as the No. 4 pro-style rated QB in the country by Rivals coming out of Cuthbertson High School in North Carolina. After seeing action in eight games with the Sooners, passing for 265 yards and three scores, he transferred to West Virginia. During his time with the Mountaineers, he passed for 2,153 yards and 14 TDs.

“Has a good arm,” said Holtz. “He has a very quick release. Can manage the game; get rid of the ball. He can run the ball better than people think.

“He is a guy who has a great feel for the pocket as long as he has been playing. I think Austin is very, very talented. Very smart. Very accurate. I am excited to see him play.”

Holtz said he was very pleased with Allen and Head and feels they both provide quality depth at the position in 2021.

“Both Aaron and JD have done some great things,” said Holtz. “I think we have two great backup quarterbacks. I would tell you that I think these are the best two backup quarterbacks we have had since I have been here.

“I think both of these guys are going to have their day in the sun here, and I think they are both going to be really good here.”

This marks the fifth time that Tech has opened its season against Mississippi State. The Starkville-based Bulldogs lead the all-time series 11-3.