RCT announces 2021-2022 season

Clue will be directed by Mary Watkins.

Ruston Community Theatre has announced seven new shows for the season, including two plays, two musicals, one musical revue and two junior productions.

Mark Graham, president of the RCT Board of Directors, said the group is ready for the upcoming productions.

“RCT is excited to announce our 2021-2022 season,” Graham said. “We are anxious to be back in the Dixie as it reopens to share some great live performances with our community.”

The first production of the season is “Clue,” directed by Mary Watkins. The performance dates will be Oct. 14-17, and it is sponsored by Graham Real Estate and Property Management.

“‘Clue’ rehearsals are going great,” Watkins said. “We have an awesome cast — not only talented but hilarious! It’s fun watching them build their characters. They are so funny. I can only imagine what they will be like at show time.”

The Christmas musical this year is “A Christmas Carol,” directed by Dee Anderson. That show will take place Dec. 2-5, and the show sponsor is Green Clinic.

“Father of the Bride” is the next play, which will take place March 24-27, 2022. Travis Fontenot will serve as the play’s director, and Century Next Bank is the show sponsor.

“Mary Poppins” will be the summer musical, running from July 14-17, 2022 and directed by Dee Alexander. It will be sponsored by Audrey Chumley Sullivan, in honor of her parents.

Those four productions will round out the season and are included in the season ticket packages. The musical revue and the two junior shows will not be included in the season ticket packages.

“All Together Now!” musical revue will be an RCT fundraiser. It will run from Nov. 14-15 and will be directed by Tami Alexander.

“Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical, Junior” will be the first junior production, running from Feb. 17-20, 2022. Tami Alexander will serve as the director, and the sponsor will be RE/MAX Results Realty and The Lockwood Group. The second junior production will be “Disney’s Frozen Junior,” directed by Steele Moegle. The production will be sponsored by Jonesboro State Bank and will run June 15-18.

Seating for all the productions is reserved, and unless otherwise indicated, performances run Thursday through Saturday at 7 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. A play ticket runs $14 for adults, $7 for children/students; musicals are $18 for adults and $9 for children/students. All performances take place at The Dixie Center for the Arts at 212 N. Vienna Street.

Tickets go on sale two weeks before production starts, and season members have the opportunity to reserve seats a week before the public sales begin.

For more information or to become a season ticket member, visit rctruston.org or call 318-595-0872.

GSU faculty members selected to write biology textbook

GRAMBLING, La.- August 30, 2021 – Two Grambling State University faculty members have been chosen to write a high school science textbook as part of an open textbooks program. Dr. Dagne Hill, head of the Department of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Waneene C. Dorsey, a biological sciences professor, have been selected to develop and write a general biology textbook for high school students who will be attending college.

The Louisiana Library Network (LOUIS) and the Louisiana Board of Regents received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Open Textbooks Pilot Program.

“This initiative engages instructors of dual enrollment across Louisiana in the curation and creation of Open Education Resources (OERs) for 25 of the state’s general education courses,” Dr. Terri Oaks, the grant’s principal investigator and associate commissioner and executive director for LOUIS, said in a press release.

The project could not only reduce the cost of higher education but also eliminate early barriers to participation in post-secondary education.

Dual enrollment programs allow high school students to participate in post-secondary courses for which both college and high school credit may be earned. It can improve college access and degree completion rates by lowering the cost of post-secondary education and accelerating degree attainment, but textbook cost is a barrier to participation.

“I am truly honored to be selected as one of the cohort members to participate in this historic event,” Dr. Dorsey said, explaining that dual enrollment programs give high students a leg up on college credit.

This project will enable and enhance the delivery of OERs and interactive quiz and assessment elements for dual enrollment courses in Louisiana and nationally. The course materials will be released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification and sharing with others.

“A lot of times, students do not enroll in dual enrollment programs because of textbook costs,” Dr. Dorsey explained. “When colleges adopt this textbook, it will defray the educational costs for students.”

Although high school students will be using the textbook, it is also a college biology textbook that can be used at colleges across the nation.

Dr. Dorsey said it is very important that she and Dr. Hill are co-authors because they are facilitating diversity in science.

“One of the glaring issues in science is that people of color do not contribute to science. This is not true.” she said. “By improving the diversity landscape to include underrepresented groups, we are encouraging these students to become scientists.”

Dr. Hill said that she is extremely excited to have been selected to assist in the development of an OER course for one of 25 dual enrollment general education courses.

“Each day my educational mission in biology is to assist and to promote students to excel in education,” Dr. Hill said. “This project will allow me the ability to impact a larger number of students in their journey towards academic success.”

Dr. Hill said the project has the potential to reduce costs and to improve the educational outcomes for approximately 20,000 high school students. It is estimated that approximately 250,000 of the total statewide student enrollments per academic year will benefit from the project as well.

“This is vital in that it can increase the number of minority students that elect to further their education by attending college,” she said.

Last day to apply for Lincoln Leadership

A previous Leadership Lincoln class toured the Frosty Factory on Industry Day.

Application deadline for the upcoming Leadership Lincoln class is today.

Leadership Lincoln XXXV begins Sept. 9 and is held on the second Thursday of the month through April.

Each month is filled with a variety of information, such as team building, healthcare and social services, government and judicial information, education, economic and workforce development, industry, media and diversity, tourism, and more.

Established by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Lincoln has provided hundreds of individuals the opportunity to cultivate community knowledge and personal leadership skills. Leadership Lincoln promotes civic responsibility by encouraging involvement, as well as developing enthusiasm and dedication.

“Leadership Lincoln encourages participants to ask the questions ‘why’ and ‘how’ as they look at all facets of our community and region,” said Judy Copeland, Chamber president and Leadership Lincoln facilitator. “Our goal is to help the participants acquire a better knowledge of the community’s strengths and challenges. Leadership Lincoln’s mission is quite simple: to develop the leadership skills and qualities within our students so they will become well-rounded leaders in their workplace, their church, a civic organization and/or local government. Leadership Lincoln helps identify and motivate emerging community leaders and challenges those leaders to increase their participation in the community.”

Businesses are encouraged to enroll an employee in the program. Several local organizations take advantage of this opportunity year after year.

The President of Hunt Guillot & Associates, Trott Hunt, said, “We send employees for several reasons, but mainly to become more aware of the community and the Chamber overall. Our work tends to be outside of the local community, so this is a way for our up-and-coming managers to get to know some of the local business people. It has been a good program and all of our people have enjoyed the chance to participate.”

For more information or to download the application, visit https://www.rustonlincoln.org/leadership-lincoln.

GSU Notebook: Tough starts for soccer, volleyball

It’s been a “so close, but so far away” kind of start for the Grambling State University soccer team this season.

The Lady Tigers are 0-4, but have lost those four matches by a total of only five points. The latest two losses came by the scores of 2-1 at Sam Houston on Friday and 1-0 to ULM at home on Sunday.

After a scoreless first half, ULM (3-0) netted the winning goal in the 68th minute when Lady Warhark Mara Grutkamp found a streaking Courtney Marten, who received the ball and slid it past GSU goalkeeper Rachel Pugh.

Pugh played all 90 minutes in goal for the Lady Tigers, finishing with three saves.

Grambling State finished with six shots, with four on goal while Louisiana-Monroe attempted 11 total shots, including three on target.

Lizbeth Aguero and Kailey Pena have each netted one of GSU’s two goals on the early season.

Grambling continues a five-game homestand starting at 1 p.m. SUnday against Nicholls State at the GSU Soccer Complex.

VOLLEYBALL: Grambling State’s volleyball team opened the season last weekend at the University of North Texas Invitational, falling in all three matches.

The Lady Tigers fell to both South Dakota State and North Texas in straight sets on Friday before closing out the tournament with a straight set loss to North Texas on Saturday.

Semira Fields leads GSU with 15 kills on the season while Rayven McKenzie has added 12 and Saige Rivers has added 10.

Kalee Caldwell tops the Lady Tigers in digs with 20 while Sheila Borders has chipped in with 19.

Grambling (0-3), next plays host to Centenary on Sept. 7 in the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Photo:  courtesy of GSU Athletics

LPJ now offers engagement, wedding announcements

Email the LPJ today to put your engagement or wedding announcement in our media outlet.


The Lincoln Parish Journal will start publishing paid engagement and wedding announcements for couples who reside in the parish, who have relatives in the parish or who are getting married 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 Friday morning. 

This move by the Journal allows couples to showcase their announcement on social media outlets. 

“This is a fabulous way for couples to have a traditional engagement and wedding announcement and reap the benefits of the digital age by posting it on social media,” said Judith Roberts, publisher of the Journal. “As the Journal continues to expand and increase its reach in the community, this will allow more people to see the announcements.”   

Information for engagement announcements include: 

  • Digital photograph of the couple 

  • The couple’s names 

  • The couple’s hometowns 

  • High school and/or college of the couple 

  • Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 

  • Ties to the parish 

  • Wedding time, date, and place 

  • An interesting fact about the couple 

Information for the wedding announcements include: 

  • Digital photograph of the couple 

  • The couple’s names 

  • The couple’s hometowns 

  • High school and/or college of the couple 

  • Parents’ names and/or grandparents’ names 

  • Officiant  

  • Attendants 

  • Ties to the parish 

  • Wedding time, date, and place 

“We all love the happy news of an engagement and a wedding, and this is a great outlet for that positive information,” Roberts said. “I still have copies of my own engagement announcement and wedding announcement, and my husband Kyle and I will celebrate our 16-year anniversary Sept. 3. I’m so glad we’re able to offer this service to couples today.” 

For engagement and wedding announcement fees and/or to submit information for publication, please email lpjnewsla@gmail.com. All information for the announcement needs to be submitted the Wednesday prior to the Friday publication date. If the information is submitted on a Thursday or Friday, the announcement will run the following week. 

LPJ Introducing Friday Night Lights

The Lincoln Parish Journal wants to start showcasing our parish high school spirit squads (cheer, dance, band, mascots) as we enter football season this fall.

We are encouraging anyone who wants to submit action photos from any of our local spirit squad teams from the weekly high school contests. The LPJ will select a number of these each week and run a “Friday Night Lights” photo-gallery prior to the next week’s games (from the Friday/Saturday game the week before).

“We know how important high school football is in our area, and we are proud of all of our local teams,” said Judith Roberts, publisher of the Journal. “Not only are we going to cover our local teams on the football field, but we want to also showcase all the young men and women who make up the spirit squads that provide an important role in creating that electric Friday night atmosphere.”

Information with submitted photo(s) should include:

· Name of individual(s) in photo

· Exact Spirit Squad (Cheer, Dance, Band, etc)

· High School/College

Photos should be submitted by email to lpjnewsla@gmail.com. Photos and the information need to be submitted by Tuesday following the prior weekend’s games.

Notice of Death – August 30, 2021

Mary Brown
March 10, 1933 – August 27, 2021
Visitation: North Monroe Baptist Church, Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 9:30 am
Service:  North Monroe Baptist Church, Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 11:00 am
Cemetery:  Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery, Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Mary “Toady” Jordan
May 24, 1934 – August 27, 2021
Visitation:  River of Life Assembly, Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Service:  River of Life Assembly, Tuesday, August 31, 2021, 11:00 am
Cemetery:  Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Tuesday, 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

HURRICANE IDA: Ruston prepares to assist evacuees

This image from NOAA’s National Weather Service Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Ida making landfall in Louisiana

Louisiana is no stranger to hurricanes, but the last weekend of August is starting to become unpleasantly memorable.

As Ruston residents remembered the Category 1 Hurricane Laura that swept through the parish Aug. 27, 2020, and further back, the outpouring of support offered to Category 3 Hurricane Katrina evacuees following its Aug. 29, 2005, landfall, they also prepared to take in evacuees for this new hurricane, Ida, which made landfall about 11:55 a.m. Aug. 29 as a Category 4 near Port Fourchon.

NOAA’s National Weather Service Hurricane Center reported Doppler radar data indicated Ida’s maximum sustained winds when it made landfall were around 150 mph.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced during a press conference over the weekend that Ida would be one of the strongest storms to hit Louisiana since at least the 1850s. Ruston residents took in evacuees and worried for their family members who stayed behind.

“My mom is in Baton Rouge,” said Kari McGuire, a Ruston resident and teacher at Choudrant High School. “She’s got one of those built-in generators, but I’m worried about flooding.”

Louisiana Tech took in students from Nicholls State in Thibodaux and allowed students registered for fall quarter to move in early.

“Everyone who works at Louisiana Tech is interested in taking care of our students as if they were our own children,” said Tonya Oaks Smith, executive director of University Communications and Marketing. “For now, these Nicholls State students are members of our Tech Family, and we want them to feel safe and welcomed here in Ruston.”

For the most current information available regarding Hurricane Ida, text LASHELTER to 898-211 for information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Lincoln Parish Sports Services

MONROE, La. – On offense, it was the “Dyson Fields Show” at the 2021 Bayou Jamb for the Ruston Bearcats.

On the first offensive play of the second half, the junior tailback ran through four Opelousas defenders on his way to a 58-yard touchdown rush that summed up the entire night for Ruston’s ground game, capping his night totaling 151 yards rushing. The Bearcats would go on to beat the Tigers by a final score of 27-0, shutting out their opponent from South Louisiana.

“Overall, I was pleased with us as a team by how hard we played,” Ruston head coach Jerod Baugh said. “That was what I wanted to see. We executed our game plan and the things that we do best; that was what I was really pleased with.”

Fields scored on a pair of long touchdowns in the first half, both over twenty yards. Fields totaled 93 yards on the ground and 48 yards through the air for 141 first half yards.

“Dyson had some big runs; he really showed he can be a physical runner,” Baugh said. “He had some nice stiff arms and turned back into defenders and scored on some long runs. Our offensive line and fullbacks did good things by openings areas for him to get started. I was very pleased with him and what he was able to do.”

Fields put the Bearcats on the scoreboard first with a 29-yard touchdown run with 4:35 in the first half thanks in part to a stellar downfield block by senior wide receiver Dawson Willis, and he was able to get his second touchdown of the half thanks to a clean pass in the flat by junior quarterback Jaden Osborne from 26 yards out.

The second touchdown for Fields came on a 26-yard touchdown reception after a check-down pass to the flats that saw Fields score nearly untouched by the Tiger secondary. Osborne completed his second touchdown pass of the half to senior Dylan Rhone for eight yards near the one-minute mark of the first half.

Baugh added how pleased he was with the way the entire defense played in holding the Tigers scoreless for the night.

“Our defensive line competed well up front,” Baugh said. “Any week, that’s a big determiner on how the game will go. Early on, we felt pretty good about our guys and the pressure they could put on the Opelousas quarterback. Anytime you can get pressure on just the line without having to blitz is a good thing. We felt really comfortable with our guys up front getting pressure on the quarterback and kept him off-tempo to make some errant throws. I was pleased overall on the both sides of the ball on the well they competed.”

The Bayou Jamb is an exhibition game format and is split into two 12-minute halves.

Ruston opens the 2021 regular season Friday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. against the Neville Tigers. The game will be broadcast live on KXKZ 107.5 FM with the pregame coach’s show starting at 6 p.m.

NOTES: Osborne completed 3 of 4 passes for 56 yards and 2 touchdowns… Ruston totaled 178 yards rushing on 20 carries… Rhone caught 1 pass for 8 yards and a touchdown… Fields averaged 21.6 yards per carry… Senior kicker Brady Beason converted 3 of 4 extra point attempts… Seven Bearcat defenders tallied multiple tackles… Junior running back Lajaveon Ellis rushed 5 times for 26 yards.

Thomas Leads Creek to Jamboree Wins

Jamborees are just that … jamborees.

Glorified scrimmages against another team.

But high school jamborees give coaches one final opportunity to see their teams live prior to the season opener.

On Friday night in Rayville at Mangham Stadium, Cedar Creek head coach Matt Middleton saw his Cougars win a pair of jamboree “games” defeating the host Hornets 6-0 before edging Lincoln Parish neighbor Lincoln Prep 8-6.

Junior AJ Thomas did the bulk of the damage for the Cougars offense, scoring a pair of rushing touchdowns – one in each game.

In the 6-0 win over Rayville, Thomas scored on a 12-yard run for the only points in the ball game. The Cedar Creek defense would do the rest, shutting out Rayville on the Hornets home field.

In the win over Lincoln Prep, Cedar Creek trailed 6-0 until three minutes to play in the game when Thomas scored from six yards out to tie the game at 6-6. Thomas finished the night with 20 yards rushing on three carries on what Middleton called the Cougars “goal-line package.”

Quarterback Caden Middleton then gave the Creek the lead and the eventual “win” with a successful rushing play for the two-point conversion.

Middleton said he was happy with much of what he saw.

“Defensively, we played really, really well,” said Middleton. “I was pleased with us defensively. We also moved the ball on offense. We didn’t punt all night long. The problem is we had two turnovers that ended a couple of drives. But we bounced back. We made some plays. We just have to circle up and clean up a few things offensively before next Friday.”

Middleton completed 11-of-15 passes for 129 yards and one interception in the two games while sophomore running back Lawson Lillo led Cedar Creek with six catches for 45 yards.

“We threw it (a number of) times,” said Middleton. “We threw a couple of vertical balls. We had a couple of 40-yard gains, which is good. We want to stretch the field. So we were able to do that. It opened some things for us.”

Middleton said he was pleased with his entire defense, but specifically praised the efforts of senior defensive back Jed Worthey, who recorded his third interception in two weekends, as well as junior lineman Bryce Rushing, senior linebacker Carson Riley and Thomas.

Cedar Creek will open the regular season Friday night when the Cougars travel down south to Baton Rouge to face Liberty Magnet at Olympia Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

PHOTO:  by Darrell James)

Lincoln Prep Falls in Jamboree

By T. Scott Boatright

RAYVILLE — The Panthers proved they’re competitive, but unfortunately, Lincoln Preparatory School fell in a pair of 15-minute games at the Rayville Jamboree.

Lincoln Prep was downedl 8-6 by Lincoln Parish rival Cedar Creek in the opening stanza/game.

“It was nip and tuck, pretty much,” said Lincolne Prep coach Glen Hall. “They threw an out and my guy (Chauncy Harper) picked it off and ran for a touchdown. “It was about 65 yards. We missed that PAT and pretty much we held them in check. They didn’t get a lot of long runs … they won by a two-point conversion with about 2:30 left.”’

Hall admitted fatigue and miscues paid a late price in the opener.

“We had a chance to win in the end and we ran out of time. It’s something we have to learn from,” Hall said.
In the nightcap, the Panthers were stung by the Hornets 20- 6.
Rayvillle 20-6

“We were tied 6-6 with 3:00 left,” Hall said. “ They scored up and went 14-6 and then picked a ball off later.
“They didn’t just beat us. They made a lot of plays. I just have to get my team in better condition”

Lincoln Prep opens the 2021 season at home on Friday against Beekman-Charter at Eddie G. Robinson Stadium.

Photo:  by Darrell James

HURRICANE IDA: Tech takes in Nicholls State students

Tech President Les Guice helps feed one of the Nicholls State students, who evacuated to Ruston over the weekend.

Louisiana Tech welcomed 40 students from Nicholls State University this weekend as they sought to escape from Hurricane Ida.

The students arrived at Tech Saturday night and are currently being housed at Lambright Sports and Wellness Center with their two police officers and two staff members from Nicholls’ Residential Life.

“Providing support for Nicholls State students is a part of our culture and an expression of Louisiana Tech’s values,” Tech President Les Guice said. “These are the kinds of things we do as a system to support each other, and Nicholls State was helpful to us when we suffered from the tornado.”

Tech suffered greatly in spring 2019 when an EF-3 tornado ripped through the parish, destroying baseball, softball, soccer and tennis courts on the campus.

The Nicholls’ State students’ story is not the only time Tech has taken in students after a hurricane. Sixteen years ago, Tech took in students from Tulane University following Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane.

Ida made landfall Sunday morning as a Category 4.

“I want to thank President Les Guice, Louisiana Tech and the Ruston community for welcoming our students with open arms,” Nicholls President Jay Clune. “It is because of them that we can feel comfortable that so many students are out of harm’s way.”

Clune said he was saddened that his students’ experience is being disrupted in so many ways.

“So many families have already been adversely affected by the pandemic, and this storm will only pile on the stressors that they are facing,” Clune said. “But our student body is a resilient community. They care for one another. They will weather this storm and come out stronger than before. And we will do everything we can to support them.”

Jim Henderson, president of the University of Louisiana System, which includes both Tech and Nicholls State, said this was an example of the collaboration that is evident in the ULS.

“Louisiana Tech opening its arms to the students of Nicholls State is the embodiment of our notion of system,” Henderson said. “The collaborative leadership of President Guice and President Clune is focused where it should be: on students.”

Scrimmage Caps LA Tech Fall Camp

Saturday morning at Joe Aillet Stadium served as a final rehearsal for Skip Holtz and the Louisiana Tech Bulldog football team.

With the 2021 season opener at Mississippi State less than a week away, Holtz and the Tech coaching staff utilized the opportunity to work on a number of areas despite not conducting a true game-like scrimmage.

“We have a couple of positions we are low on numbers as far as injury standpoint. Outside wide receiver and at linebacker we just aren’t as deep right now with injuries,” said Holtz. “So I ended up not going live this morning. I just couldn’t afford to lose another player at one of those positions. We just went team thud and really just simulate game day.

“We have so many new faces and so many new coaches that haven’t been through it. I wanted to go through pregame. We got coaches in the box. We are signaling in calls. Going gameday mechanics for everything. From a staff stand point it was really productive. And from a team standpoint in that we got a lot of those logistical things done in a game-like situation. It was productive.”

Holtz has yet to announce the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs, something the ninth-year Tech boss said he would do later in the week. However, during Saturday’s scrimmage, the Bulldogs looked a little lethargic on both sides of the football.

“I thought the play on the field looked like it was the last day of camp,” said Holtz. “These guys have been going non-stop almost every day for over three weeks. The scrimmage didn’t quite have the energy I would have like for it to have. There were some good things and some bad things. It was certainly a great teaching opportunity to show how drops, turnovers, penalties affect a football game. It was a good lesson for us to learn. It will be a good teaching tape for us to show when we come back on Sunday.”

Tech is coming off a 5-5 record and a seventh straight bowl appearance during the COVID-19 challenging 2020 campaign. The Bulldogs roster boasts more than 20 DI transfers and plenty of experience, something Holtz said provides Tech plenty of depth.

“One of the criteria we had for bringing in (transfers) was they had to have playing time (at their previous school),” said Holtz. “I didn’t want a guy who wasn’t playing somewhere who thought he was just going to transfer into a playing position. You look at our secondary, we have three guys who transferred from Arkansas, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt and have all played at that level. We just have much more experience than we’ve had in the past.”

Saturday’s opener in Starkville is set for a 3 p.m. kickoff and the game will be televised live on ESPNU. Tech fans can hear the contest on the LA Tech Sports Radio Network on 107.5 FM with the pregame show starting at 1:30 p.m. Malcolm Butler and Teddy Allen will provide the call of the game.

Grambling great Melvin Lee remembered

By T. Scott Boatright

The late Eddie Robinson, legendary football coach at Grambling State University once had a motto: “One job, one school, one wife.”

Just maybe, the phrase “one assistant should have been added.

Former longtime Grambling assistant coach Melvin Lee, a walk-on for the Tiger football team in 1952, met a lasting friend and mentor in Robinson.

Lee, who served as a cornerstone for Robinson, passed away Thursday in Shreveport.

Lee played both ways for Grambling — as center and linebacker, despite only weighing 195 pounds.

And in 1955, Lee played a crucial role in Grambling earning its first black college national championship.
After serving in the Army and working as a cement finisher in New Orleans, Lee returned to Grambling at Robinson’s request in 1960 to serve as offensive coordinator, a role he held until 1997.

That’s 37 years of guidance during Grambling’s greatest football heyday.

“Melvin Lee was an important and crucial part of Grambling College and later State University,” said Hall of Fame baseball coach and former GSU associate athletics director Wilbert Ellis. “He and his wife Pauline are in all of our prayers.”

Robinson could be a fiery, emotional coach. That wasn’t Lee.

“They called him ‘Silent Lee’ .. never raised his voice,” Williams said. “Coach Rob was famous for the ‘Wing T’ offense. And with that offense, you have to get the blocking down. That’s

the greatness Melvin Lee brought to Grambling. He knew it inside and out.

For Eddie Robinson III, Lee and his wife Pauline were more family than friend.

“Coach and Miss Pauline, they’re like my aunt and uncle,” Robinson III said. “I didn’t see it coming. A lot of people didn’t realize, he didn’t only build great offenses. He was a great builder and contractor. He was doing ‘Do-It-It Yourself’ projects all the time. … Always working …. always a force.”