Lagniappe beauties: How Hollywood and Tech connected through the campus yearbook

Actress Shirley Temple poses with a copy of Tech’s newspaper, The Tech Talk, which announced she would select the yearbook beauties for 1935.

By Wesley Harris

In the 1930s and 40s, many colleges called upon well-known artists, actors, cinematographers, and other celebrities to select the beautiful coeds to appear in the schools’ yearbooks. 

In 1934, Bing Crosby selected beauties for the University of Northern Iowa yearbook from ten finalists. The University of Southern Arkansas used natives of the state like actor Dick Powell and radio comedians Lum and Abner to choose beauties for the Mulerider, the school’s yearbook. 

Louisiana Tech also adopted this policy in the 1930s. In the 20s, a single coed was usually selected annually as the school’s “most beautiful” or “prettiest girl” for the Lagniappe, the college’s yearbook. A bevy of campus beauties was first selected in 1929 by vote of the students.

In 1930, actor Charles “Buddy” Rogers selected five Tech beauties from twenty photographs mailed to Hollywood. Rogers was well known at the time, having starred in nearly twenty films, including the first one to win an Oscar (Wings, 1927).

No celebrity was used to make the 1931-33 Lagniappe choices, but actress Mae West selected the 1934 yearbook beauties. As one of Hollywood’s original “sex symbols,” West may have been a controversial choice for a conservative Southern school like Tech. When she made the Tech beauty selections, her current film was aptly named I’m No Angel.

In 1935, after student balloting narrowed the field to eighteen, seven-year-old actress Shirley Temple picked six Tech coeds for the Lagniappe. Temple was at the height of her popularity, having already made over a dozen films. A photograph of the honorary Oscar winner holding a Tech Talk, the campus newspaper, announcing her selection as judge appeared in the yearbook along with the chosen coeds.

By 1936 when she was asked to select Tech’s beauties, Claudette Colbert had already made nearly 30 movies and won a best actress Oscar. She would be nominated three more times for best actress and won a Golden Globe for best supporting actress for a TV mini-series.

     Louisiana Governor Richard Leche made the selections in 1937 just after Tech named its new administration building in his honor. After Leche was convicted of serious corruption charges, Tech renamed the building for former President J. E. Keeny.

Hollywood star Charlie McCarthy made the 1938 selections, followed in 1939 by Kay Kyser who made the choice “from among a group selected by a campus-wide poll.” Kyser’s orchestra was hugely popular in the 30s and 40s with eleven number one records. The band also appeared in several motion pictures. 

Theatrical producer and composer Earl Carroll made the 1940 picks “on the basis of a bust photograph and a full length pose, supplemented by a chart of measurements and general descriptive information.” 

No celebrity was utilized in 1941 so the selections were most likely made by student vote. In 1942 big-time producer Cecille B. DeMille, the founding father of the Hollywood film industry, made the choice. 

The last year Tech used a celebrity for judging campus beauties was 1943 when comedic actor Bob Hope picked six Tech coeds. The autographed photograph of the star of stage and film sent back with the selections read, “I’m breathless!—but ‘Thanks for the Memory’ of 28 real beauties.” Hope presented his stand-up act at Tech in 1985 and got to see many of its beauties in person.

The disruptions brought on by world war played a role in ending the practice of celebrity judges. Tech did not produce a Lagniappe for 1944 because of war shortages and celebrity selections were discontinued when publication resumed. Whether the Hollywood stars made the selections or deferred to a manager or press agent is anyone’s guess. But the consistency in selecting many of the same young women in consecutive years indicates someone made a serious effort to choose the most beautiful of the beautiful.


Weekly events

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

Monday, Nov. 29
Christmas Parade Application due to Choudrant Restoration and Beautification Society due

Tuesday, Nov. 30
5-8 p.m.: Jingle and Mingle (Extended shopping hours in Downtown Ruston stores)
6:30 p.m.: We the People Meeting (Lincoln Parish Library community room)

Wednesday, Dec. 1
8 a.m.: Winter quarter classes begin at Louisiana Tech
8 a.m.: Last day of classes for fall semester at Grambling State (finals to follow)
6:30 p.m.: Louisiana Tech Men’s Basketball vs. Texas Southern (Thomas Assembly Center)

Thursday, Dec. 2
5:30 – 10 p.m.: Lincoln Lights Up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)
6 p.m.: Grambling State Men’s Basketball vs. Jarvis Christian 
7 p.m.: RCT presents “A Christmas Carol” (Dixie Theatre)

Friday, Dec. 3
7 p.m.: RCT presents “A Christmas Carol” (Dixie Theatre)
5:30 – 10 p.m.:  Lincoln Lights Up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)
5 p.m.: 2nd Annual Shooting Stars Series Finals (North La Exhibition Center)
6-8 p.m.: Downtown Ruston Carriage Rides (400 W. Georgia Ave.)

Saturday, Dec. 4
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Christmas on the Farm (Outdoor Wilderness Learning Center, Dubach)
Noon: Holiday Arts Market (The Norton Building)
2 p.m.: 4 Paws Christmas Event (290 Rodeo Rd., Ruston)
5:30 – 10 p.m.:  Lincoln Lights Up the Pines (Lincoln Parish Park)

6-8 p.m.: Downtown Ruston Carriage Rides (400 W. Georgia Ave.)
7 p.m.: RCT presents “A Christmas Carol” (Dixie Theatre)

Sunday, Dec. 5
1:30 p.m.: Photos with Santa at Lincoln Parish Library
2 p.m.: RCT presents “A Christmas Carol” (Dixie Theatre)
2 p.m. Lady Techster Basketball vs. Mississippi Valley State (Thomas Assembly Center)


Roberson, Bates named all-tournament

Salma Bates and Anna Larr Roberson were both named to the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic all-tournament team leading Louisiana Tech to a 1-1 record during the two-game event this past weekend.

Roberson, the Cedar Creek High School graduate, averaged 12.5 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, which included a 17-point, 13-rebound, 4-block effort in a 60-57 win over Boise State. She followed that up with an 8-point, 11-rebound performance in a loss to the host Colorado Buffalos on Saturday.

Bates averaged 10.0 points and 4.0 assists per game. She hit the biggest shot of the weekend, connecting on a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded to give Tech the 60-57 win over Boise State on Friday. She scored 11 points and dished out six assists against the Broncos.

Roberson and Bates will lead the Lady Techsters into Thursday night’s contest at ULM. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. from Fant-Ewing Coliseum.

LA Tech 60, Boise State (Friday)

Salma Bates drained a three-pointer as time expired to give Louisiana Tech a 60-57 win over Boise State Friday afternoon inside the CU Events Center in the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic.

With the Lady Techsters trailing 57-53 with 30-seconds remining, a 7-0 run highlighted by a miraculous three-pointer from Bates as time expired gave Tech the win.

“I was proud of the resilience the group showed down the stretch,” said Stoehr. “We didn’t have our best game today, but they found a way to execute down the stretch in a late game situation. They took away our first option from the sideline play but the in-bounder is always an option when they double or help off. Lotte made a heads up play by seeing that and getting the ball right back to Salma. It looked great when it left her hands. Salma is just calm and steady.”

Junior Keiunna Walker knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 57-55, before freshman Amaya Brannon powered through contact to even the score at 57-57. Tech got a big rebound on the defensive side of the floor and called a timeout to advance the ball with 1.2 second remaining. Out of the timeout, Bates launched a three from just in-front of the bench and sank it as the buzzard sounded.

Roberson led Tech with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Walker added 14 points and Bates 11.

Colorado 59, LA Tech 48 (Saturday)

Despite a game-high 17 points by Keiunna Walker the Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team fell, 59-48, to Colorado in their final game of the Rocky Mountain Hoops Classic inside the CU Events Center Saturday afternoon.

“I thought our group competed really hard today against a tough, experienced Colorado team,” said Stoehr. “This game had a postseason feel to it. I was pleased with how we responded after an emotional win yesterday. They were ready to compete from the tip.

“We have some areas to continue to develop and clean up as we get home and prepare for our upcoming games. We learned a lot about our group the last two days, and I’m excited about the direction this team is headed.”

Walker was the lone Techster in double figures. Salma Bates and Amaya Brannon each scored nine points while Roberson added eight points and 11 rebounds.


Tech library partners with LSU, Ole Miss libraries to increase access to government information

Louisiana Tech University’s Prescott Library will share regional depository responsibilities with Louisiana State University Libraries, Louisiana Tech University Library, and the University of Mississippi Libraries in efforts to increase access to governmental information for residents in both Louisiana and Mississippi.

“Since 1896, our mission as a Federal Depository Library has been to ensure area residents are able to access information that will empower them to be better citizens,” said Sue McFadden, interim Library Director. “Our libraries will have the opportunity to provide more robust advising to the area’s selective depositories when we collaborate in this endeavor.”

Prescott already serves in the Federal Depository Library Program of the United States Government Publishing Office (GPO). This is the third time that libraries have entered this type of partnership across State boundaries, and the first that includes three regional depository libraries, as opposed to two.

“Thank you to Senator Cassidy and Senator Wicker for approving this designation and supporting our FDLP community and GPO’s long-standing partnership with libraries,” said GPO Director Hugh Nathanial Halpern. “We are thrilled that these three libraries are collaborating to offer the people of Louisiana and Mississippi a broader collection of Government information at their fingertips. The partnership will help GPO increase accessibility to a larger audience, a major step forward in keeping America informed.”

This change carries benefits for students, faculty, and researchers. With three participating libraries, Louisiana and Mississippi now have permanent public access to three times the Government materials than they did previously.

The collaboration across state boundaries is only possible with senatorial approval and designation of shared regionals for the Federal Depository Library Program in accordance with section 1912 of title 44, United States Code. GPO received signed shared regional designations from Sen. Bill Cassidy and Sen. Roger F. Wicker.

“This is an exciting opportunity,”  Cassidy said. “Combining these three libraries improves public access to information and enhances students’ ability to learn.”

The designation is also beneficial for the libraries involved. Sharing print and digital resources is cost-effective and enables libraries to reallocate space. 

GPO is the Federal Government’s official, digital, secure resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. The GPO provides for permanent public access to Federal Government information at no charge through govinfo.gov and partnerships with approximately 1,100 libraries nationwide participating in the Federal Depository Library Program.


RCT presents ‘A Christmas Carol’ this week

The classic tale of how Ebenezer Scrooge learned to keep Christmas in his heart the whole year round comes alive on stage as Ruston Community Theatre presents, “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 2-5.

Sponsored by Green Clinic and directed by Dee Alexander, the play is based on Charles Dickens’ tale of Scrooge, who is visited by three Christmas ghosts who help him find his holiday spirit before he is fated with a gruesome future.

The play begins at 7 p.m. Dec. 2, 3 and 4, but a matinee performance at 2 p.m. will take place Dec. 5. Tickets are on sale now rctruston.org. For more information contact the Box Office at 318-595-0872.


Notice of death — Nov. 28, 2021

Pamela P. Odom 
January 24, 1949 – November 26, 2021 
Visitation: Sharon Baptist Church, 2769 LA-152 in Dubach, Monday, November 29, 2021, 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm 
Service: Sharon Baptist Church, 2769 LA-152 in Dubach, Monday, November 29, 2021, 3:00 pm 
Cemetery: Sharon Baptist Church Cemetery, Dubach, Monday, November 29, 2021 


Dusty McGehee: Stone cold tracking team

Stoney Stone, of Ruston, is no stranger to being on a team.  He has been on many in Lincoln Parish and beyond throughout his younger years, using his right arm for all it’s worth.  Stone had dreams of making it to the big leagues, but now he is part of a different kind of team.

Arguably, the greatest one he has ever been on.  His teammate is man’s best friend, his 4-year-old blue heeler, Maggie.  They have formed one of the greatest deer tracking duos in not just Lincoln Parish, but the entire state.

How did this elite tracking team form?  At the time, Stone had two young sons and wanted to ensure that they would be able to recover any deer that they would potentially shoot.  He researched all the different breeds of tracking dogs and decided on the family-friendly blue heeler. Maggie was welcomed with open arms and joined the Stone family as a young pup.

At just 10 weeks old, Stone began to train Maggie.  He would imitate a hunting scenario and create a shot scene with blood and fur.  As Maggie progressed in her training, he began to make the trails more and more challenging.  She excelled at the blood tracking, but Stone didn’t want her to be just any blood tracking dog, he wanted her to be in the elite ranks of dogs that track the interdigital scent gland.

When a deer is wounded, the interdigital scent gland puts off a pheromone between the hooves.  Stone stepped up his training to include a deer hoof/leg and Maggie took to it quickly.  As she excelled in her training, Stone knew he had something special.  The team then joined the Louisiana Blood Trailing Network. 

Maggie’s resume is quite impressive at a young four years of age.  She recovered her first deer at seven months and at the time of this writing, has 96 total recoveries under her collar.  Her longest tracking distance was a 10-mile trail that ended with a large Lincoln Parish buck being recovered.  When help is needed in this area, Maggie is one of the most sought out dogs in the Louisiana Blood Trailing Network. If your deer is mortally wounded, she WILL find it. 

What is the Louisiana Blood Trailing Network?  It is a not-for-profit statewide team of 250-plus handlers and deer tracking dogs that formed to help the hunting public.  Just in Lincoln Parish alone there are 18 handlers to choose from. 

How do you contact them?  Join the Louisiana Blood Trailing Network group on Facebook.  You can find more information and see the list of handlers in each area under the “FILES” tab.  If you prefer not to contact the handlers directly, you can comment what parish you need assistance in, along with your phone number and the group admins will send that information to the handlers.  The service provided by these handlers and their dogs is free of charge.  They enjoy working their dogs and assisting hunters in recovering their deer.

When should you “call in the dogs?”  Stone recommends that you survey the scene and use your basic judgment.  If you suspect you hit the deer behind vitals, you find bone at the shot scene or you find no blood at all (and you’re confident you hit the deer) are all scenarios in which you should get assistance.  As the old saying goes “When in doubt, back out.”

Why should you call them in?  We owe it to the deer we hunt to harvest them humanely and as quickly as possible.  In the event there is an errant shot, the dogs can track and bay the deer.  No respectable hunter wants an animal to suffer.

I’ve personally witnessed Stone and Maggie track a deer for me.  They are not “deer runners”, they are deer recovery experts.  In a food plot full of deer, 12 hours after the shot, Maggie sorted through all the tracks and human scent, and successfully found my deer.  I was in awe watching Stone and his teammate doing what they do best. 

They say a dog is man’s best friend and this is certainly true when a hunter finds himself in a desperate situation where they need to put in a call to the bullpen.  Rest assured, Stone and Maggie will answer the call.


Urban Legend: Tigers down Jaguars in Classic

Just called it an Urban Legend.
 
When Garrett Urban connected on his fifth field goal of the game Saturday sending Grambling State to a 29-26 win over Southern in the 48th annual Bayou Classic, another GSU legendary moment was born.
 
Urban, Grambling State’s Most Valuable Player, notched the game-winning field goal with two seconds remaining as the Tigers (4-7 overall, 3-5 Southwestern Athletic Conference) capped a 3 minute, 48 second drive to close out the game.
 
Grambling State, which ended a three-game road losing streak and a three-game losing streak to Southern, fell behind 3-0 after a Luke Jackson 49-yard field goal with 11:17 left in the opening quarter.
 
The Tigers answered on their second offensive possession and the very next drive, going 75 yards in nine plays as Elijah Walker scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give Grambling State a 7-3 advantage with 7:23 remaining in the opening quarter.
 
Southern (4-7, 3-5) drove 80 yards in seven plays as Devon Benn punched in a 22-yard touchdown run to give the Jaguars a 10-7 lead with 3:54 left.
 
Grambling State quickly answered as Urban booted a 39-yard field and a 36-yard field to give the Tigers a 13-10 lead with 5:41 left in the first half.
 
Jackson’s 45-yard field goal with 2:49 remaining in the second quarter tied the game at 13, but Grambling State finished the half strong as Urban booted his third field goal, a 27-yarder, with five seconds left, second the Tigers into the break with a 16-13 advantage.
 
Urban’s fourth field, a 27-yard attempt, gave Grambling State a 19-13 lead with 1:53 left in the third quarter and set up an exciting final period.
 
Ethan Howard caught a 5-yard pass from Ladarius Skelton, Southern’s MVP, as the Jaguars grabbed a 20-19 advantage with 9:56 left.
 
Back came the Tigers as Greg White caught a 23-yard touchdown strike from Walker, as the Tigers answered and took a 26-20 lead with 6:27 left.
 
However, Skelton punched in a 1-yard touchdown run with 3:55 remaining. The extra-point attempt by Jackson was no good, as the two were tied at 26.
 
On the ensuing drive, CJ Russell got things going with a 19-yard carry and the Tigers got a 13-yard reception to White as Grambling State got the ball into Southern territory. The Jaguars were forced to call timeout three consecutive times before Urban sealed the game with a 25-yard field goal with two seconds left.

Dogs fall late in Holtz’s farewell

Heartbreak has been the theme of the 2021 Louisiana Tech football season.

And in Saturday’s regular season finale, that theme held true.

Leading 31-21 with less than six minutes to play, Louisiana Tech saw Rice score two late touchdowns and then record an interception in the waning seconds as the Owls completed the 35-31 win over the Bulldogs.

The loss spoiled an opportunity for the Bulldogs to send Skip Holtz out a winner. Holtz was coaching his final game for Tech after the news released Friday that the University decided to go a different direction following the contest.

Saturday’s loss as the seventh time a Tech game was decided by a single possession on the year, with the Bulldogs dropping five of those decisions.

“It was a very chirpy game,” said Holtz, who ends his Tech nine-year tenure with a mark of 64-50. “There was a lot of talking going on. It was a very physical game. Both teams played extremely hard. There wasn’t a bowl. There wasn’t a conference, so it’s playing for pride at the end of the year and both teams competed really hard. Unfortunately, we made a couple too many mistakes tonight to be able to overcome them to win.”

LA Tech (3-9, 2-6 C-USA) took an early 10-0 lead after a 20-yard field goal by redshirt freshman kicker/punter Jacob Barnes and a 44-yard touchdown reception from freshman quarterback JD Head to freshman wide receiver Tre Harris. Rice (4-8, 3-5 C-USA) scored a pair of touchdowns to take the 14-10 lead at the half.

Head connected with sophomore wide receiver Smoke Harris for a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter for the 17-14 lead. After another touchdown by the Owls, Head rushed for a 22-yard touchdown and then found junior wide receiver Griffin Hebert for the 6-yard touchdown to lead 31-21 with 13:10 left in the fourth quarter.

Rice trimmed the lead to 31-28 with just over four minutes to play. After forcing a three-and-out, the Owls returned a punt for 48 yards to the Tech 18 yard line where they went onto convert a touchdown for the 35-31 lead. Tech drove down the field to the Rice 33-yard line, but the Owls would intercept the ball to seal the victory.

Tech VP and Director of Athletics Eric Wood said the search for Holtz’s successor was starting immediately.

Photo: Darrell James


Lincoln Parish prep hoops roundup

By T. Scott Boatright

Ruston High School’s boys basketball played three games over the holiday, taking road wins at Saline on Friday (60-27) and at Ringgold on Saturday  (74-20) falling to Bossier 62-46 on Tuesday.

The RHS girls picked up a pair of wins, 30-27 at Haughton on Saturday and 49-40 at Lake Arthur on Monday before falling 62-59 at Hathaway on Tuesday.

Ruston, now 2-2, will next play at Bossier on Tuesday.

LINCOLN PREP
Lincoln Prep evened its season at 1-1 as the Panthers used a strong second half Tuesday night to top the Rams 73-59.

The game was tied 12-12 at the end of the first quarter before the Panthers took a 32-29 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

But the Panthers roared away in the second half, outsourcing Richwood 24-18 in the third stanza and 17-12 in the fourth.

Dmitry Payne led the Panthers with 20 points, seven steals and four assists while adding five rebounds.

Braylyn Bayfield was the other double-digit scorer for Lincoln Prep with 10 points along with six rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots and two assists.

Emanuel Bryant totaled nine points , five rebounds, two assists and two steals for the Panthers, who also got eight points each from Ta’Rell Simmons and DJ Jackson while Stephen Burks chipped in with seven.

The Panthers return to the court on Tuesday for a game at Union Parish.

Lincoln Prep’s girls team didn’t play over the past week.

CHOUDRANT

Choudrant’s boys basketball team now stands at 4-4 after a 46-32 home win over Downsville on Friday followed by a pair of tough losses as the Aggies fell 43-40 to Sterlington on Monday  to West Ouachita by the score of 52-51 on Tuesday at the West Ouachita tournament.

In a big Homecoming win over Downsville, Jackson Case led Choudrant with 13 points while Trey Harris, Parker Batterton and Amarion Simonton added 10 points each for the Aggies.

Choudrant led from start to finish, holding a 20-5 advantage at the end of the first quarter and holding Downsville scoreless in the final stanza.

Then came the two tough losses at the West Ouachita Tournament.

“We lost two heartbreakers in back to back days,” CHS coach Ryan Smith said. “Sterlington hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left on Monday. The young man made a great individual play. Then on Tuesday, we were tied with West Ouachita and a foul was called at the end (.1 seconds on the clock). Credit to the West Ouachita player who hit the clutch free throw to win.

“I’m really proud of this group of players. They continue to fight and grow in their new roles. We are asking players to go beyond their comfort zones and they are not hesitating at all. It’s a fun group to be around.”

The Choudrant girls upped their record to 7-3 with wins over Downsville last Friday and over Sterlington on Tuesday and a 66-37 loss to Ouachita Christian on Monday.

In the win over Downsville last Friday, Kylee Portilloz and Aly Thomas led the way for the Lady Aggies with 17 points each.

Scoring was harder to do against a tough Lady Eagles team at the OCS Tournament on Monday as Portilloz and Thomas again led the Lady Aggies with nine points each while Mattie Johnson and Brelyn Pyle chipped in with eight points each.

Portilloz capped off her big week by again leading Choudrant scorers in the OCS tourney win over Sterlington on Tuesday with 22 points while Johnson added 10 for the Lady Aggies.

SIMSBORO

The Simsboro Tigers have gotten off to a 9-1 start but found out a team can always strive to get better game by game after the Delhi Bears outscored SHS 24-19 in the final stanza for a 63-60 win at the Epps Tournament last Friday night.

The next game for the 2-4 Lady Tigers will be a home contest against Epps on Thursday.


Ruston woman killed in Thanksgiving day crash

A Ruston woman was killed in a single vehicle crash about 5:15 p.m. on Nov. 25 on U.S. Highway 167 north of Dodson.The initial investigation by Louisiana State Police revealed a 2004 Mazda 3, driven by Zaria L. Griffith, 23, of Ruston, was traveling south on U.S. 167. For reasons still under investigation, Griffith’s vehicle traveled off of the roadway and struck a tree. Griffith, who was restrained, was pronounced dead at the scene. Griffith’s two passengers, who were also restrained, sustained minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital. A toxicology sample was obtained and submitted for analysis.

Griffith, a native of Chicago, IL, was a Grambling State biology major, Senior Associate Justice in the Student Government Association, and a student ambassador for the university.


Ruston’s season ends in quarters

DESTREHAN, La.— Destrehan’s running attack proved to be too much for the Ruston High School Bearcats on Friday night and ended their 2021 season by a final score of 24-10.

The Wildcats finished the night with 253 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns, while the Bearcats were only able to find the end zone once for the night.

It’s the fourth season in a row the Bearcats have been ousted from the playoffs in the quarterfinals, and it’s the second season in a row that the Destrehan Wildcats have been the victor over Ruston in the third round.

”I thought the kids played hard,” Ruston head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “We just made too many mistakes against a really good football team, and you can’t do that this time of year. I’m proud of our kids for battling all year through a tough schedule. This senior class has come a long way from being a 1-7 freshman team.”

Junior running back Dyson Fields scored from four yards out in the third quarter to tie the football game 10-10, but Destrehan retook the lead on a quarterback keeper in the first play of the first quarter that led to a 17-10 lead for the Wildcats which proved to be insurmountable for the Bearcats.

Destrehan extended the lead to 24-10 with 8:05 left to go in the ball game which proved to be enough for the final score.

A costly second quarter fumble by the Bearcats in the red zone led to the only touchdown by Destrehan in the first half.

A 48-yard field goal by senior kicker Brady Beason as time expired in the first half put Ruston on the scoreboard for the first time, and the Bearcats trailed 10-3 going into the halftime locker room.

Junior quarterback Jaden Osborn finished with 121 yards rushing for the Bearcats. Fields finished with 87 yards and one touchdown.

Ruston finished the 2021 season with an overall 10-3 record and as co-district champions in District 2-5A.


Parish offers several engagement photo opportunities

Christmas cards are often filled with pictures of loved ones, and one of Lincoln Parish’s greatest features is its numerous spots to take engagement photos. 

While this is in no way an exhaustive list, here are some spots that engaged couples may want to highlight during outdoor engagement sessions during this holiday season. 

Downtown Ruston 
From the murals to the brilliant Christmas tree to sweet carriage ride pictures, the downtown area is abound with places to take photos. The Dixie Theatre is always a popular spot for photos, as is the Bonner Street bridge. Find a perfect spot – or two – in the downtown area. 

College campuses 
It’s always special to capture memories of favorite places of one’s alma mater, especially if the couple met there. Was it at Grambling State’s football stadium where she accidentally bumped into him? Or did he catch her eye in a Louisiana Tech class in George T. Madison Hall? Taking photos of those memorable places will always be a good idea. 

Parish parks 
From Lincoln Parish Park to Huckleberry Trails and all those between, if nature is what you’re looking for, this area has it. Many area parks boast of beautiful flora, especially during the fall and winter. Be aware, though, of some holiday events that could add to your festive portraits, such as the early December Light up the Pines event at Lincoln Parish Park. 

Festive neighborhoods 
If you have a friend who lives in a highly decorated area and a good photographer, you could capture some fabulous nighttime pictures. While Wedgewood Neighborhood may be a popular spot for Halloween and even for Christmas, check out Melrose, Belle Point, and Cresthaven for many Christmas lights for the season. 


Junior dominates; Dogs fall

They call him Junior, but on Saturday, he had a senior-sized game.

Kenneth Lofton, Jr, scored a career-high 36 points, grabbed a career-high 18 rebounds and added four assists for Louisiana Tech, but the Bulldogs fell 90-81 to North Carolina State Saturday afternoon at PNC Arena.

“There are some times you can do everything right, and the guy still makes a shot,” said Tech head coach Eric Konkol. ” We forced a number of mid-range jump shots.  That is what we really wanted to do and NC State made a lot of contested big ones.  On the flipside, I thought we gave them some early looks that made them comfortable.  And we did not take care of the basketball well enough.  We needed to keep the turnover margin closer.”

 Junior was flat-out unstoppable against the ACC opponent, going for a career-high 36 points and a career-high 18 rebounds as well as a team-high four assists.  The power forward did a bunch of his damage in the second half, recording 23 points and 12 boards in the stanza.

“Junior was dominant by the basket,” said Konkol. “They gave him a lot of one-on-one coverage and he was able to take advantage of it.” 

It was the start of the game that doomed LA Tech (4-2) though as too many turnovers helped NC State jump out to an early lead.  It was Jericole Hellems (finished with 31 points) putting up big numbers for the Wolfpack, sinking four three-pointers to guide the home team to a 30-15 lead with 9:30 to go in the first half.

The Bulldogs clawed back, getting to within four at 35-31 after one of Junior’s 14 made fields with 2:46 to go before the break. However, the Wolfpack did what they did all day and that was hit tough, timely shots as soon as the ‘Dogs were close to tying or taking the lead.

NC State (5-1) held a 41-33 halftime edge and extended it to 12 early in the second stanza.  LA Tech got it to within six points on three different occasions, but could never get over the hump as NC State hit 11 three-pointers (came in averaging just six made threes a game).

Kaleb Stewart was the only other Bulldog in double-figures as the true freshman scored a career-high 10 points. 

Tech hosts Texas Southern Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.