Ruston Bearcats end December with pair of high quality victories in West Monroe

Ruston senior Braylan McNeal with a thunderous dunk
(Photo by Reggie McLeroy)

 By Kyle Roberts

Now currently standing at No. 2 in the Non-Select Division I Power Rankings, the Ruston Bearcats (16-1) extended their win streak to nine in a row after sweeping two games at the West Monroe tournament this week.

The Bearcats first took a 61-44 win over the Wossman High School Wildcats on Thursday and followed with a 64-31 win over Calvary Baptist on Friday. Wossman is currently ranked No. 2 in the Non-Select Division II Power Rankings, while Calvary Baptist is ranked No. 2 in the Select Division III Power Rankings.

“We decided to go to the West Monroe tournament because we knew that there were high quality teams there,” Ruston head coach Ryan Bond said. “I told (West Monroe head coach Kyle) Hill that I wanted to be put against any of those teams. I was very impressed with our guys and our focus throughout possessions for the most part and the way we finished offensive sets and plays, along with defensive possessions by getting rebounds.”

The Bearcats knocked down eight three-pointers against Wossman on Thursday and followed with five the next night against Calvary Baptist. 

“I was a little worried that the break would bring us back rusty,” Bond said. “We had practiced a couple of days before, and it was a little rough. But we did a lot of film prep and scouting, and the guys just feed off of that and really learn from it. There’s a certain confidence level they have when they go out; the guys went out there prepared. I thought we shot the ball well, which we hadn’t done in practice the days after break. But I told them that the shots would fall in the tournament, and they did.”

Bond spoke highly of the effort Ruston gave against Wossman and recalled his first encounter with the Wildcats at their tournament in his inaugural season at the helm for the Bearcats.

“Anytime you can go up against Wossman and handle their pressure, it’s good,” Bond said. “I’m reflective of my first year when we lost to them by 60 points at their tournament. And then you turn around and see where our program is now; it’s a real testament to our kids.”

Junior guard Jay Lillard led the way in scoring for Ruston on Thursday with a 17-point effort and finished 8-of-10 from the free throw line. Senior Braylan McNeal added 16 points, while sophomore Aiden Anding totaled 11.

On Friday, it was McNeal leading the way against Calvary Baptist with 17 points, while sophomore Joran Parker put up 15 points after hitting three three-pointers. Junior Lontravious Dimmer added 10 points.

“Calvary Baptist is really well coached,” Bond said. “They didn’t shoot the ball really well when we played them, but they’re a good team. We knew they’d come out with intensity, and we jumped up early and moved the ball well. We outscored them 22-7 in the first quarter and ended up 31-10 at halftime. We pushed it out from there, and it was a running clock in the fourth quarter. They are a quality program.”

With football ending, Ruston now has a complete roster heading into the New Year and onward to District 2-5A play. For Bond, the noticeable shift in cohesiveness and consistency has continually improved as the season has continued on as compared to the beginning of the year.

“Our kids are bought in, and they’re all very team-oriented,” Bond said. “We have a full squad now, and there are going to be nights were some guys don’t get playing time, but those guys practice hard against our starters and our main guys. They are just as much a part of what we’re doing as any of our starters, and I appreciate those guys so much.

“We knew McNeal was going to be our guy, but we had some other guys figuring out how they were going to consistently fit into their roles. We talk about that a lot, and we had not locked on to that yet. Now, even with the time off, the guys know what their roles are on defense and offense. To me, the best shot in basketball is ‘the next one,’ because that’s the mentality you have to have. I think we still have a long way to go with district coming up, but I like where we’re at.”

Moving forward, Ruston had originally been scheduled to play against Richwood on Tuesday, Jan. 3, but due to a scheduling error, that game will be canceled and not made up. The next game up for the Bearcats will be a road contest against Jonesboro-Hodge on Friday, Jan. 6 at 6 p.m.

Remembering Randall Todd “Buck” Lancaster

Randall Todd Lancaster

Funeral services for Mr. Randall Todd “Buck” Lancaster, 50 years young of Quitman, LA will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, December 31, 2022 at Antioch Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Quitman with Rev. Michael Whitman and Rev. Jerry Smelley officiating. Burial will follow in the Antioch Cemetery in Quitman under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Ruston, LA.

Randall was born March 9, 1972 in West Monroe, LA to Janice Lynn George and Sidney Morgan Lancaster, III, and he passed away December 27, 2022 in Shreveport, LA after battling a lengthy illness. After high school, he began a career as a welder at Steel Fabricators in Monroe, LA. After fifteen years of welding, Randall decided to go back to school to become a millwright at Weyerhaeuser and later at LaSalle Lumber. He was a member of Antioch Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In 1999, Randall married his best friend and the love of his life Nicole Cooper. Together, they built a life out of their love for each other and of their faith in God. They welcomed their first son Cainan Lancaster into their little family in October 2000 and then their second son Cooper Lancaster in July 2007. Randall had a love for working with his hands. From welding steel to cutting wood, he had a gift of designing and building anything that he could imagine. Randall took pride in his work and gave attention to even the smallest of details. He enjoyed giving his creations to the ones he loved. Randall was preceded in death by his father; paternal grandparents Ethel and Sidney Morgan Lancaster, Jr.; maternal grandparents Dorothy and John L. George; uncle Johnny “Mad Dog” George; and father-in-law Willis Cooper.

Randall is survived by his loving wife Nicole Cooper Lancaster of Quitman; sons Cainan Lancaster and Cooper Lancaster of Quitman; mother Jan and husband Dan Brunson of Calhoun, LA; brother Michael Lancaster and wife Mindy of West Monroe; sisters Nikki and husband Ben Rogillio of Denham Springs, LA and Rachel Lancaster of Dallas, TX; step-brother Dan Sanders, Jr. and wife Paula of Burkburnett, TX; step-mother Amy Lancaster of Dallas; mother-in-law Jimmie Cooper; brother-in-law Todd Cooper and wife Melanie; numerous cousins, nephews and nieces; two great-nephews; two great-nieces; and a host of family and friends.

Serving as pallbearers will be Corey Lancaster, Blake Stevenson, Josh Branch, David Rushing, Chance Herrington and Ben Rogillio. Honorary pallbearers are Todd Cooper, Rodger Council, Michael Lancaster, Lee Council and Dan Brunson.

Visitation will be 9:00-11:00 AM, Saturday, December 31, 2022 at the church.

Ellis honored with Greenwood Park mural

Pictured is Ruston’s Wilbert Ellis posing with two of his great-grandchildren in front of the Greenwood Park mural he is depicted on. (Courtesy photo)

By T. Scott Boatright

Coach Wilbert Ellis has long stood watch over the youth of Lincoln Parish, especially on Ruston’s East End where the College Hall of Fame Baseball coach and Grambling Legends Hall of Famer grew up.

Ellis has made himself one of the giants in working with youth in Louisiana, of it’s only fitting that he is a featured part of the “On the Shoulder of Giants” mural recently unveiled on the wall of “The Blue Building” that serves as the gymnasium at Greenwood Memorial Park.

The mural is part of NCLAC’s Lift Every Voice Initiative to acknowledge the contributions of Black members of our community and collaborate with unique voices to listen and learn from their experiences. 

Vitus Shell, project lead and a visiting professor of art at Louisiana Tech and Drèk Davis, project collaborator and head of the Grambling State University Department of Visual and Performing Arts, were the two lead artists for the project. 

Both artists are also members of the Black Creatives Circle of North Louisiana.

The project was supported by a grant to NCLAC from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, as administered by the Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment of the Arts.

Ruston Mayor Ronnie Walker knows what the mural means and how much Ellis has given to the city of Ruston.

“If you haven’t been out to see the ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’ mural since its completion at Greenwood Park, you are missing out,” Walker said in a recent Facebook post. “The mural celebrates the community that surrounds the former Greenwood School, Coach Wilbert Ellis, and the original Zion Traveler Church.”

Last January Ellis received the 2021 Bill Best  Humanitarian Award from the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce. That award was established in 1997 by the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce to recognize a local citizen for their outstanding contributions to humanitarian interests, unselfish giving, and service to others.

But the award is only the latest on a long list of honors for the former longtime Grambling State University baseball coach and athletics administrator, who was named to the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2007.

In 2015,  the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce honored Ellis with the 2015 Robert E. Russ Award, the highest honor given by the Chamber for community advancement.

And last June, Ellis was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame in Baton Rouge for his proactive approach in working with youth conducting clinics teaching hardball skills at the same time as offering instruction on the importance of life skills such as staying in school and completing their educations, staying away from drugs and alcohol and becoming productive citizens upon entering adulthood.

Ellis said he had been interviewed by organizers a while back about his work with youth in the area as well some of the other work he’s done over there years such as serving as chairman of the Ruston Park and Recreation Board, vice chairman of the Lincoln Health System, past President and member of the Board of Directors for Lincoln General Hospital, Board of Directors for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program, Grambling State University National Alumni Association, Planning and Zoning Committee for the City of Ruston, Ruston 21 Planning Committee, Lincoln Parish Biracial Committee, President of the Friends of the Eddie Robinson Museum and as a member of the D.A.R.T (Domestic Abuse Resistance Team) Men Standing Strong Campaign. 

“So they interviewed me, but I had no idea what or what it was all about,” Ellis said. “I didn’t know about the mural until a few days before I was called to go to Greenwood Park. It wasn’t until I got out there that I realized what all they had done.

“A few days before I was asked to go to ‘The Blue Building’ my grandson’s little son told his mom he had seen me at the park,” Ellis said. “I told her, no, I wasn’t at the park. But I didn’t think anything about it until they called, and I went out there, and there it was.”

Ellis didn’t attend Greenwood Elementary School but instead went to Ruston Elementary. 

But that doesn’t mean Ellis doesn’t have ties to the former school that stood on the site where Greenwood Park is now located.

“My sister Bobbie went there, and so did my wife, Betty,” Ellis said. “And both my family and my wife’s family attended Zion Traveler going way back to those days.”

Ellis said there was something maybe even more exciting for him than seeing his own picture on the wall of the building/

“They had little kids involved helping to do some of the painting on the smaller sections, that’s what excited me the most,” Ellis said. “My grandson’s little daughter was one of the painters. She said she got to thinking about it while she was painting and what all was involved with all the features — me, Zion Traveler Church and the Greenwood School and community.

“And that’s how you get children to learn about history — you let them become part of it, too. And now my whole family is and I’m just so appreciative to everyone.”


Four Cougars, one Panther earn all-state honors

Quincy Lewis was one of four Cougars to earn all-stat honorable mention honors. (Photo by Tim Smith)

by Malcolm Butler

Lincoln Parish saw a total of five high school athletes earn Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 1A all-state honors which were released today.

Cedar Creek running back Lane Thomas, linebacker Quincy Lewis, linebacker Lawson Lillo and tight end Brian Osborne joined Lincoln Prep wide receiver/quarterback Brandon Heard on the all-state honorable mention list following their impressive seasons.

Thomas rushed for 1,226 yards and 18 TDs while catching 22 passes for 248 yards and three scores, earning first team all-LPJ and all-district honors. He also added 78 tackles and three sacks for the Cougars defense.

Lewis totaled 133 total tackles, including 99 assisted stops and 34 solo tackles while leading the Cougars on defense. The program’s all-time tackles leader also added 11 tackles for loss, including two sacks while also earning first team all-LPJ and all-district honors.

Lillo ranked second on the team with 86 tackles, including 66 assisted stops and 20 solo stops. He registered nine tackles for loss, including five sacks on the season and one interception (TD) while also earning first team all-LPJ and all-district honors.

Osborne led the Cougars with 46 receptions for 403 yards and three scores as he proved to be the top target in the passing game during the season. He recorded six receptions of 20-plus yards and 17 first down receptions while earning all-district and all-LPJ accolades.

Heard was a do-everything player for Lincoln Prep in 2022, seeing time at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, returner and on the defensive side of the football for the Panthers. As a receiver, Heard hauled in 40 passes for 656 receiving yards — that’s 16.4 yards per reception — and seven touchdowns.

Also seeing playing time at running back and even a little under center, Heard added 279 yards and three touchdowns on 55 carries while also returning kicks to push his all-purpose yards total to 998 yards on 96 touches.

OCS quarterbackLandon Graves and Homer lineman Walteze Champ claimied Player of the Year honors.



Pos Player school Ht. Wt. Cl

WR Antonio Donahue Southern Lab 6-1, 180, Sr.

WR Calvin Delone, Ascension Catholic 5-8, 160, Sr.

WR Tate Hamby Ouachita Christian 6-1, 180, Jr.

OL Alex Golden Vermilion Catholic 6-1 230, Sr.

OL Amiree Alexander, Riverside 6-2 315, Jr.

OL Edwin Wilson Kentwood 6-3 280 Sr.

​​OL Ryder Bentley Ouachita Christian 6-6 270 Jr.

OL Kemarion Ivory Haynesville 6-0 270 Jr.

QB Landon Graves Ouachita Christian 6-0 185 Sr.

RB Damondrick Blackburn Central Catholic 6-0 215 Sr.

RB Elijah Davis Riverside 5-9 215 Sr.

RB Harlem Berry St. Martin’s 5-11 215 So.

PK Payne Williams St. Mary’s 5-10 150 Jr.

ATH Jonathan Dartez Vermilion Catholic 5-8 165 So.


Pos Player school Ht. Wt. Cl

DL Lamikal Callahan, Kentwood, 6-0, 240, So.

DL Ben Devall Ouachita Christian 6-3 245 Jr.

DL Walteze Champ Homer 6-0 225 Sr.

DL Drake Griffin St. Mary’s 6-1 212 Jr.

LB Ashton Belaire Vermilion Catholic 5-11 185 Sr.

LB Luke Fontenot Basile 5-10 175 Sr.

LB Noah Lovelady Ouachita Christian 6-1 205 Jr.

LB Rhett Johnson Glenbrook 5-9 180 Sr.

DB Travin Moore Vermilion Catholic 5-9 175 Sr.

DB Connor Achee Catholic-Pointe Coupee 6-0 185 Sr.

DB Landon Szubinski Ascension Catholic 6-0 190 Sr.

DB Carl Williams IV Southern Lab 6-0 185 Sr.

P Ethan LeBlanc Hanson 5-11 175 Jr.

KR Emmanuel Franklin Riverside 5-5 161 Sr.

ATH William Patrick St. Frederick 6-2 170 So.





Jacori Johnson, Central Catholic; Carson Hebert, Covenant Christian; Cameron Eschete, Covenant Christian. Lawson Lillo, Cedar Creek; Lane Thomas, Cedar Creek; Brandon Heard, Lincoln Prep; Ashton Deaville, Basile; Gage Hildreth, East Beauregard; Kevante Carter, Kentwood; St. Frederick’s OL Vasser Day; St. Frederick’s ATH Micah Bell; St. Frederick’s Aaron Parker; RB Chris Brown, Opelousas Catholic, LB John Michael Jarrel, Opelousas Catholic; Tyrin Singleton, Delta Charter, Juvari Singleton, Delta Charter; Jermichael Carter, Kentwood; GeAuntre Nelson, Arcadia; Jamari Ayrow, Centerville; Ethan Busby. St. Mary’s; Brian Osborne, Cedar Creek; Alex Golden, Vermilion Catholic; Andrew Cavalier, Central Catholic; Jayden Meadows, East Beauregard; Travis Cedotal, Ascension Catholic; Camron Winzer, Homer; Luke Hymel, Riverside; Bryce Leonard, Ascension Catholic; Ty Feaster, Glenbrook; Khameron Boykins, Logansport; QB Adam Parker, St. Mary’s; Michael Thompson, St. Frederick; Toby Franklin, Haynesville; Elyjay Curry, Homer; Martell Henry, Riverside, So.; Milton Schexnayder, Centerville; Quincy Lewis, Cedar Creek; Grant Gendusa, St. Martin’s; Kaleb Brumfield, Riverside; Noah Carter, Oberlin, Sr.; Patrick Cancienne, Ascension Catholic; LB Alonzo Jackson, Haynesville; Stephen Holloway, Logansport; Tylon Hollins, Central Catholic; Seth Mandella, St. Martin’s; Maddox Mandino, Glenbrook.

One arrested in Christmas morning disturbance

Ruston Police arrested a 30-year-old man Christmas morning following a domestic disturbance.

Officers responded to an Eastland Avenue residence at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The victim alleged Mark Anthony Clark pushed her twice during an altercation. She said an argument began in the living room but escalated in her bedroom when she attempted to get away from Clark.

The victim said as they were arguing, Clark pushed her because she wouldn’t stop talking. He then pushed her in the chest, causing her to fall on top of their four-month-old baby.

Clark reportedly admitted to officers he pushed the victim twice.

A records check showed Clark was wanted on three warrants for failure to appear in Ruston City Court.

Clark was arrested and booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for domestic abuse battery with child endangerment and the warrants for speeding, no insurance, and driving under suspension.

This information has been provided by a law enforcement agency as public information. Persons named or shown in photographs or video as suspects in a criminal investigation, or arrested and charged with a crime, have not been convicted of any criminal offense and are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

BEST OF 2022- Steele Netterville: “Hopefully I have made him proud”

by Malcolm Butler

Regardless of what Tom Hanks character said in the 1992 American sports comedy film “A League of Their Own,” there is crying in baseball.

And by grown men playing the sport.

Following Sunday’s already emotional-charged day that saw Louisiana Tech defeat UTSA 9-8 to capture the 2022 Conference USA title, Bulldog skipper Lane Burroughs was asked about the game-winning hit by fifth-year senior Steele Netterville.

Burroughs teared up and choked up while answering the question.

“It couldn’t have happened to anyone better than Steele Netterville, one of our Bulldog men,” said Burroughs, who paused and wiped his eyes and grizzled face with a towel hanging around his neck. “I am going to get emotional talking about him. I promise.

“It couldn’t have happened to a better guy. I am so proud it was him in that moment and that he got it done. He will have that (moment) forever.”

It will be a moment that the oldest of the two Netterville Bulldogs will always remember. But according to Steele and his mother, Teri, it’s the impact that Burroughs has had on Steele’s life that has truly been life altering.

“When they were growing up we always told our kids that you will meet people in this lifetime that will be more than just friends,” said Teri. “It will be more like a soul connection. Look for those people. Those are the ones that will have your back. Those are the ones who will always steer you in the right direction. Those are the ones you will learn from.

“When you find those people hold onto them and treasure them because part of their purpose in this world is to help you in your purpose in this world. That is what Lane has done for my child.”

During a stellar playing career at Byrd High School in Shreveport, Steele said he came on a few visits to Louisiana Tech. It’s where he dreamed of playing. Tech was in Steele’s blood, almost literally.

Steele’s grandfather was the late Tech hall of famer Tommy Spinks, who starred on the great Bulldog football teams of the late 1960s. Red and blue ran deep through the Spinks and Netterville families.

However, according to Steele, Tech didn’t offer a scholarship or even a preferred walk-on spot. That is until Burroughs took the job following Greg Goff’s departure in the summer of 2016.

“He gave me an opportunity. He knew I was an I-20 boy,” said Steele. “I guess I did enough to deserve a preferred walk-on. He was one of the few who gave me an opportunity, and I ran with that. I have done everything I could in my power to prove him right. Hopefully I have made him proud.”

Mission accomplished.

“I am so proud of him … and Taylor (Young) and (Jonathan) Fincher and all of those guys,” said Burroughs. “You talk about Steele Netterville. He was a walk-on. He has Louisiana Tech DNA. A Bulldog man, through and through.”

Burroughs isn’t the only part of this two-sided coach-player relationship that gets emotional when talking about their bond. What does Burroughs mean to Steele?

“Just being asked that question makes me emotional,” said Netterville, who turned red-faced, looked away and cleared his throat. “He is everything that I ever could have hoped for and dreamed for in a head coach.

“He is more of a family member; like a second father. He is such a special person, and human being, and leader. I would need more time to describe what he means to me. He means everything and I love that man to death.”

Anyone who has watched these Bulldogs compete under Burrough’s guidance over the past few years can see the passion in which they play for while representing their University and their coach.

“When Steele came on board and felt that kind of connection with Lane, I realized that this was something different,” said Teri. “They have all said they would run through a brick wall. They would run through fire for him.

“Lane is not only invested in them as players, but also in their lives. I’ve seen this with Slade as well. As a mom, you cannot ask for more. It’s more than I ever dreamed or prayed for. He’s impacted Steele’s life in a way where he will forever be better because of Lane Burroughs.”

As the sun begins to set on Steele’s career as a Bulldog, there is still baseball left. The Bulldogs will find out their fate this morning at 11 a.m. on the NCAA Baseball Championships Selection Show.

“I really love this team and I love these coaches,” said Steele. “Going into the regional, we’re in the best frame of mind that we’ve been in all year. And there’s no one else I’d want as our captain but Lane (Burroughs).”

And if these Diamond Dogs can pull a little more of their late inning magic over the coming week, their may be more opportunity for baseball and plenty of more tears.

“It’s been the ride of my life,” said Teri. “It’s not something I expected. I’ve never seen this with another coach before. Our entire family feels invested in Lane and his family because he has been so invested in ours.

“To have someone like Steele who loves people, but who keeps most at arm’s length … Well, when he allowed Lane past that wall and into his heart, you see why he breaks down just at the mention of Lane’s name.”

Panthers win Sterlington Shootout

Stephen Burks III (3) is pictured putting up a shot for the Lincoln Prep Panthers. (Photo by TONY VALENTINO)

By T. Scott Boatright

STERLINGTON — It took double overtime to pull off a tournament championship as the Lincoln Preparatory School boys basketball team outlasted the host team Wednesday night with a 64-63 championship game win at the Sterlington Panthers Shootout.

The tournament was played at Ouachita Christian after the Sterlington gym received water damage after frozen pipes burst during the recent Arctic cold blast that brought some of the lowest temperatures north Louisiana has seen in years.

Sterlington started strong, building a 20-9 advantage over Lincoln Prep by the end of the opening stanza.

But the Panthers roared back in the second quarter, outscoring Sterlington 22-9 to lead 31-29 at intermission.

Sterlington outscored the visitors 11-6 in the third quarter but Lincoln Prep again battled back in the fourth to push the game in overtime.

Both teams came out cold in the first extra stanza, with each scoring five points to push the contest to a second overtime period tied at 54-54.

Lincoln Prep then outscored Sterlington 10-9 in a faster-paced second OT period to escape with the win.

“We went through some early adversity and overcame it, and that was good to see,” said Lincoln Prep coach Antonio Hudson. “The team kept working and kept fighting.

“But still, at the end of the game, we were making the kinds of mental mistakes that will make it hard to win on down the road if we continue making those mistakes we made. That’s something we’ve got to clean up.”

Bralyn Mayfield doubled-doubled, leading the Panthers with 19 points while adding 14 rebounds, five assists, one steal and a blocked shot while Brandon Heard chipped in with 18 points, seven assists, two boards and a steal for Lincoln Prep.

Lincoln Prep’s Kobe Mack also recorded a double-double, totaling 10 points, 15 rebounds, one assist and one steals while Trey Spann added 11 points, six rebounds and two steals for the Panthers, who now stand at 8-3.

“We started the season pretty rough as our football guys were still working their way into basketball shape,” Hudson said. “We’ve been playing better here recently, but we still have a long ways to go to be where we want to be byFebruary

The Panthers, winners  of six straight games, will next play D’Arbonne Woods (1-9) on Tuesday.



STERLINGTON — Senior Bralyn Mayfield poured in 17 points to lead the way for Lincoln Prep on Tuesday as the Panthers pounded Oak Grove on the first day of the Sterington Shootout held at OCS.

Mayfield added six rebounds a pair of assists and a steal to his stat totals in that win while Kobe Mack chipped in with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and one assist for the Panthers, who also received eight points, two rebounds, two steals and two assists from Stephen Burks, III along with six points and six steals from Amarjae Young.

Lincoln Prep’s Trey Spann hit for five points, four steals, three assists and two boards while Brandon Heard chipped in with four points, four steals and four assists.



FARMERVILLE — Lincoln Prep began the holidays by going on the road and bringing home a win over Union Parish on Dec. 23.

The Class 1A Panthers built a 30-23 advantage by halftime and then held on for the win against Union, a Class 3A program.

Bralyn Mayfield  and Brandon Heard each double-doubled for the Panthers, with Mayfield totaling 21 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and two assists while Heard added 18 points, 10 assists, three rebounds and two steals.

Kobe Mack chipped in with eight points, 10 boards and a steal for the Panthers, who also got seven points, six rebounds, a pair of steals, a blocked shot and an assist from Trey Spann.

New rules on carbon monoxide detectors

The State Fire Marshal’s Office has issued guidance to prepare for an upcoming change in the law regarding the presence of carbon monoxide alarms in homes across Louisiana.

During the 2022 Legislative Session, the State Fire Marshal’s Office collaborated with State Representative Stephanie Hilferty (R-Metairie) to develop and pass Act 458 which revised Louisiana law on carbon monoxide detectors. Simply put, any house sold or leased after January 1, must have at least one installed carbon monoxide alarm.

In addition, the Louisiana Uniform Construction Code Council adopted an amendment to the state’s residential building code requiring carbon monoxide alarms to be installed at the same time a standby generator is installed.

“These changes are the direct result of the tragic aftermath of the 2020 and 2021 hurricane disasters across our state that saw more than a dozen carbon monoxide-related deaths and dozens more hospitalizations, all attributed to both portable and standby generator use,” said State Fire Marshal Dan Wallis. “We’re grateful to the housing and real estate industry for being proactive ahead of the law change to ensure everyone is appropriately educated on this effort to save lives well before the law goes into effect.”

The changes go into effect on January 1.

The Fire Marshal’s Office stresses the need for having working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms in a home regardless of any law requirements. A Ruston man died in a house fire earlier this month.

If a resident needs assistance obtaining a smoke alarm, the Fire Marshal’s Operation Save-A-Life can help. Visit for more information on the program.

BEST OF 2022- Louisiana Tech student cracks Bulldog Code

Since the addition of the indoor pool to the Lambright Sports and Wellness Center, many have driven down Tech Drive and wondered, “Do the windows on the side of the building mean anything?”

A decade ago, when architects constructed the newest addition to Lambright, the Bulldog Code that can be seen on the side of the building was used to aid in the design.

In late June, during one of his daily walks, Louisiana Tech University President Dr. Les Guice urged followers on Facebook to solve the puzzle using their love of Louisiana Tech and their wits. Sarah Scarlato, a student lifeguard at Lambright, saw a code that was meant to be cracked.

“I have always wondered what the windows meant but never actually took time to try to crack the code on my own,” Scarlato said. “One day I decided I was going to take the time to sit down and figure it out. So I did!”

Scarlato said she solved the code with a notebook, a pen, a pencil and an episode of “The Golden Girls.”

“The funniest part about this is that I’m really quite awful at math, codes, and other things like that,” Scarlato said. “I am also incredibly proud of myself and very excited to have done something like this here at Louisiana Tech.”

Now that the decade-long secret has been cracked, the code will remain a secret until the time is right to reveal it.  But others, including Louisiana Tech’s cyber students are working to discover the code’s meaning themselves.

The code’s solution will remain hidden in the Centennial clock tower, Guice said.

“Once you understand the Bulldog Code, you will never look at Lambright, or Louisiana Tech, the same way,” Guice said. “Congratulations to Sarah for her incredible work in decoding this familiar phrase.”

TKE pledge class ‘plays it forward’ for A.E. Phillips

By Leslee Bennett

As a part of their 2022 pledge class project, the brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) have donated to the “Play it Forward” campaign for A.E. Phillips Laboratory School’s (AEP) new outdoor learning space.

Every year, the TKE pledge class is encouraged to complete a project that involves a type of philanthropic or fundraising event.

TKE pledge member Jacob Michelli led this year’s initiative.

“I was driving past A.E. Phillips when I saw the ‘Play it Forward’ initiative, and our pledge class project immediately came to mind,” Michelli said. “When I brought it up, they were immediately on board.”

Michelli said he joined TKE because of the organization’s focus on philanthropy.

“The pledge class kind of nudged me to be the leader, simply because I knew the most about the project. It also helps that I love philanthropy,” Michelli said.

AEP Director Dr. Jenny Blalock said she is thankful for the donation from TKE.

“I love when A.E. Phillips is able to connect with organizations on campus, Blalock said. “This is one unique aspect of our school that enriches the experience for teachers and students. Greek life was special to me when I was a student at Tech, and for our school to be a recipient of TKE’s philanthropy is heart-warming.”

To help support the A.E. Phillips “Play it Forward” campaign, visit

Furr, McAdams lead Lady Cougars to win

Allie Furr scored 23 points to lead Cree to a 53-19 win over Family Community School. (Photo by Darrell James)

by Malcolm Butler

Allie Furr scored 23 points and Lizzie McAdams added 18 to lead Cedar Creek to a 53-19 win over Family Community School in Winnsboro Thursday night.

Creek (9-4) led 16-5 after the first quarter behind a combined 12 points by Furr and McAdams before extending the advantage to 30-12 at the half.

Furr hit 10 field goals and was 3-of-6 from the free throw line while adding six assists and six steals. McAdams made eight field goals and was 2-for-2 at the free throw line while adding eight rebounds.

Creek led 43-19 entering the fourth quarter where the Lady Cougars outscored FCS 10-0 to close out the win.

The Lady Cougars will travel to Calvin Tuesday night.

BEST OF 2022- LPSB to install new parish-wide camera system

All Lincoln Parish schools will be receiving a new camera security system over the next few years as the LPSB has authorized an RFP for the upgrade.

By Malcolm Butler

In the latest Lincoln Parish School Board meeting a few weeks ago, the council voted to move forward with the Request for Proposal (RFP) on a new video camera system that will eventually be installed and utilized in every school within the parish. 

It’s something that is greatly needed in a day and age where more and more incidents on school campuses nation-wide are occurring. 

Lincoln Parish School Board superintendent Ricky Durrett said the timeline for installing the new system — once a company is selected through the RFP process — across every campus in the parish is approximately two years. He hopes installation will begin on the first campuses as soon as October. 

“We have four different camera systems that are currently being used across our parish school system,” said Durrett. “(Most) of them are 10 to 15 years old. We need to have one system — the same system — at every school in order to make it more efficient. Cameras have come a long way in the last five years, and we need to have a better quality system and better quality cameras.”

Durrett said the RFP is out for 30 days, then the school board will be able to select the company. He anticipates the cost of the new system parish-wide will be somewhere around $1 million. 

We are using stimulus money to pay for this,” said Durrett. “It’s a good expenditure utilizing one-time monies. Once we get the new system in place, we will have the structure necessary to monitor all of our schools. And it will make replacing cameras or other parts much easier.”

Tim Nutt, child welfare and attendance officer for the LPSB, said he has spent much of his summer working with area principals, administrators and the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office to talk through current safety measures and what can be done to improve them.

“We are constantly plotting and talking and trying to address weak areas within our campuses as far as safety is concerned,” Nutt said. “We are in the process of revamping every camera system. High quality cameras. Additional cameras. A more user-friendly system. That’s another piece of the safety puzzle.”

Nutt and Durrett said that not only will each school be able to monitor their cameras on school premises, but the Lincoln Parish School Board central office and the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office will be able to utilize them both in real time as well as to review taped footage. 

“It helps us in classrooms, in the hallways, and in exterior areas of our campuses,” said Durrett. “It’s safety and security, but its also a deterrent — both for people breaking into a school and for student’s on campuses. The camera never lies. It’s more powerful than one person’s word against another person’s word on what happened in a particular situation.”

Nutt said that the central office hasn’t pinpointed the order in which the new system will be installed in parish schools, but the goal is to begin with the schools in greatest need.  

Ruston High School Principal Dan Gressett said the new system will be a tremendous upgrade in a number of areas from what they are currently using. 

“It’s just so outdated now,” said Gressett. “It’s a few different systems from a few different companies kind of patched together. We have made some improvements over the years; really just a band aid here and a band aid there. We are in desperate need of a totally new system. 

“We have some cameras that aren’t operational. And when one goes down, you have to figure out who is supposed to work on it. It’s just not a totally efficient system due to its age. We have really been pushing for a new system for a while. We just need a total redo. We want the best we can have in order to add to our safety measures on campus.”

With the start of new school year just days away, Gressett said he feels good about RHS’s safety measures already in place, but that the new system will just add another line of campus security.

“We have assistant principals that monitor them throughout the day,” said Gressett. “It’s essential for us to be able to have eyes on all areas of our campus in order to feel more comfortable that our campus is safe. We are limited now in some areas on what we can see. The new system will make it much more efficient for us.”

LPJ not to publish Jan. 2

In order for our Lincoln Parish Journal staff to spend time with family and friends this holiday weekend, we will not have our usual Monday publication.

However, our Tuesday publication will arrive in your inbox at its regular time at 6:55 a.m. Our Weekly Events notice, which usually available on Monday, will arrive in Tuesday’s publication.

Remember, if you’re not currently subscribed to receive our email five days a week, please sign up by clicking HERE. The Lincoln Parish Journal always publishes free news articles, and they will always be free.

Happy 2023 to our parish!

Celebrity Pickers Standing

Ronny Walker
Week 15Overall%

Malcolm Butler
Week 14Overall%

Kyle Roberts
Week 15Overall%

Teddy Allen
Week 15Overall%

Santoria Black
Week 15Overall%

James Necaise
Week 15Overall%

BEST OF 2022 – Cedar Creek names Hampton Head of School

Cedar Creek School has announced the selection of Cindy Hampton as its permanent head of school. Hampton has been serving as interim head since October of 2021.

The school’s former assistant principal of academics, Hampton has been an educator for 39 years, the last 28 at Cedar Creek. She began her tenure at Cedar Creek as a science teacher, teaching physics, chemistry, and AP biology courses and was head of the science department before being named assistant principal in 2007.

“In her nearly 30 years at Cedar Creek, Mrs. Hampton has risen from teacher to assistant principal to interim head, ably proving her leadership skill to the entire school community,” Lomax Napper, president of Cedar Creek’s board of directors, said of Hampton’s selection.

Prior to coming to Cedar Creek, Hampton taught at Solomon Junior High School and St. Joseph’s Catholic High School in Greenville, Mississippi, at Northside High School in Lafayette, and at Farmerville Junior High School and Farmerville High School in Union Parish.

She graduated from Oak Grove High School and attended the University of Louisiana-Monroe, ultimately earning a B.S. in Biology Education from the University of New Orleans and a M.S. in Biology Education from Delta State University.

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as Cedar Creek’s next head of school,” Hampton said. “I would like to thank the board for its confidence in me. I love our school community and am delighted to have the opportunity to continue to grow the school as its next leader.”

Hampton and her husband, Bruce, have been married 42 years and have two children and five grandchildren.

Weekend events

Each Monday and Friday, the Lincoln Parish Journal will post a list of non-for-profit upcoming events happening in the parish. If you would like to add your event to this list or advertise your for-profit events, please email us at

Saturday, Dec. 31
New Year’s Eve
2 p.m.: LA Tech women’s basketball v. Charlotte 

Sunday, Jan. 1
Happy 2023!

Monday, Jan. 2
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — everyone welcome
5:30 p.m.: Ruston City Council meeting (Ruston City Hall)

Dogs, Techsters down UTSA in league action

Isaiah Crawford poured in 20 points in the win. (photo by Josh McDaniel)

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Bulldogs 91, UTSA 69

Isaiah Crawford paced Louisiana Tech on offense and defense, registering a game-high 20 points to go along with a career-high six steals, to help the Bulldogs get past UTSA by a final score of 91-69 on Thursday night inside the Thomas Assembly Center on Karl Malone Court.

Three fellow Bulldogs joined the forward in double figures with Keaston Willis adding 17, Cobe Williams with 16, and Dravon Mangum off the bench for 15 as LA Tech (8-5, 1-1 C-USA) shot a season-best 53.8 percent from the field.   

“I thought our big three – Keaston, Cobe, and Isaiah – were huge tonight,” said Tech head coach Talvin Hester.  “The key to our car has been Jordan Crawford.  For a freshman to come into this game and have seven assists to zero turnovers, he got guys shots and let our big three be great.  We started off well going to Isaiah, getting him some touches.  I felt like he was really locked in.  And from our five spot, Kenny and Will together they had 14 rebounds and 12 points.”

Meanwhile, the ‘Dogs won the battle of the boards (+11 rebounding margin) and had the combination of taking care of the basketball with a season-low eight turnovers while also taking it away (forced 17 that turned into 22 points).

LA Tech gained a little separation in the first half, going on a 10-3 run to take a 33-23 edge with 6:48 remaining in the stanza.  Despite giving up seven three-pointers to UTSA (6-7, 0-2 C-USA) through the first 20 minutes, the ‘Dogs held a 43-36 halftime edge. 

With the Roadrunners still hanging around, trailing by 12 (76-64) with 6:17 to play in the game, LA Tech gradually started to increase its lead.  The ‘Dogs allowed just one made field goal the rest of the way, outscoring the visitors, 15-5 over the final six minutes (including back-to-back layups by Isaiah Crawford).

LA Tech outscored UTSA, 22-4, on points from turnovers and 54-16 on points in the paint. 

LA Tech heads to the east coast to battle Charlotte on Saturday, Dec. 31. The New Year’s Eve showdown will tipoff at 1 p.m. CT and be live streamed on ESPN+.


Lady Techsters 62, UTSA 57 

Lotte Sant tied her career-high with five three-pointers and Keiunna Walker scored 20 points before departing late with cramps to lead LA Tech to a 62-57 road win over UTSA at the Convocation Center.

Playing without all-conference forward Anna Larr Roberson, Tech (8-4, 1-1) overcame plenty of adversity and as much as a six-point second half deficit to win.

Tech hit 16-of-18 free throws, including 8-of-9 in the decisive fourth quarter that saw the Lady Techsters outscored UTSA 18-10.

Salma Bates added 12 points and Amaya Brannon 10 in the win.

The Lady Techsters host Charlotte Saturday at 2 p.m.

BEST OF 2022- Bearcat family ties in the pursuit of a title

(L-R: Lander Smith, Matt Garrett, Joshua Colvin)
Special thanks to Reggie McLeroy and Lee Garrett for photos

The Lincoln Parish Journal reached out to various Bearcat alums that competed for the state championship when they wore the Ruston jersey in the Superdome. Here is what these fathers had to say as they get ready to watch their sons compete for a state title tomorrow night on a special Ruston team.

Father, Lee Garrett, Free safety, ’86 team – son, Matt Garrett, Wide Receiver and Holder

“Matt grew up watching Ruston Football and hearing all the stories about our past winning seasons from back in the 40’s on through the 80’s. Anyone who has been a part of those seasons knows how special that time is and how truly difficult it is to get there.  That experience is what I have always wanted for him and the entire team and coaching staff. We shared a tearful hug after the game Friday night and I couldn’t help but think about how my father was able to watch my brother and me play in this game in ‘84 and ‘86, and this Friday night I get to do the same with my son. Such a legacy is valued because it allows our community to share in the common values which have made RHS such a sacred institution, “Firmly Founded”. One more game, Go Cats!”

Father, Hunter Smith, Quarterback, ’98 team – son, Lander Smith, Fullback

“As a father, it’s one thing, but it’s really more of a Ruston High community supporter. I try not to just focus just on my son’s opportunity to play in the game, but rather, the opportunity for him to be part of something bigger than himself. It’s a 100-year old fraternity that he’ll get to be part of forever. That to me is probably the most special thing I could ask for. Not so much the wins and losses, but the relationships that are fostered with the coaching staff and other players. The impact that these coaches will have on the kids in just one year; it’s almost irreplaceable. To watch the torch get passed to this group of kids in this time in this community; that’s what I’m most excited about. As a dad, former football player and former coach, I want to tell him to just soak it all up. Every moment. You never know if you’ll get back there. We all grew up in this community dreaming about having our chance. I keep telling him that his chance is here. When the clock ticks, and it’s time to go, let the emotion go to your side and get back to what the team does best: focus and execute. When you get to watch your kid play, it’s the best feeling in the world.”

Father, Toby Nations, Linebacker, ’90 team – son, Sam Nations, Offensive line

“This juices up a lot of memories for me and the teammates that used to play with me. There’s so much pride, not just because your son is out there, but you know how they feel. They don’t quite realize it yet, but here I am at 49, and we still talk about this stuff all the time and how much fun we had and the experience that we had. I’m so thrilled my kid gets to be a part of it, and one day, we can sit back and talk about both of our experiences. He doesn’t have to hear it from my perspective; he’ll have his own perspective now. It’s a good deal for the community and for our family. I’m tickled to death, not just for our kids on the field, but the ones throwing the football around that are planting seeds and helping the community.”

Father, Mike Skipper, Offensive line, ’82, ’84 team – son Mason Skipper, Offensive line

It’s really amazing to be able to watch it. I graduated in 1986, so I had the opportunity to see a lot during the eighties. I’ve seen the progression, and to see us finally get back to where we were, and to have my son be a real special part of that, it’s heartfelt. They’ve taken a lot of strides and gotten a lot of monkeys off their backs. Now, they just have to finish the deal. They’ve heard all the stories from us older guys, and that’s our history. Now, they’re making their history, and that’s what’s so amazing about it. I want Mason to stay focused on what he does. There will be a lot going on around, and I want him and all the players and coaches to stay focused on what they do, and it will end the way that it should.”

Father, Rod Colvin, Defensive/Offensive line, ’84 team – son Joshua Colvin, Offensive line

“Playing on a team going for a state championship is a dream. The atmosphere in the Superdome and in the community was exceptional. He’s playing on an elite football team. I’m very proud of Josh. He’s been playing football since he was seven, and he was in a group that we knew was going to special all the way back in the fifth grade. We knew if this group stayed together, they’d be a special bunch, and they have. I’ve never seen a senior class more grown up and mature than this one. They bond really well; no clowning, fussing, or picking on anybody. They’re a tight group of kids.”

Father, Mikie Reeves, ’90, Defensive line – son Michael Reeves, Defensive back

“I want him to enjoy the experience. Nobody can explain to you what it’s like until you actually go. I’m super happy for those guys. They’ve worked hard, and they’ve earned it; all the kids on the team. I want him to pay attention to the game and keep the kids up and forget about a bad play and move onto the next one. If we play Ruston football, we win the game. I’m very proud of this program, and I think a lot of all of those kids.

BEST OF 2022- “It was an unforgettable night.” — Richie Leblanc

By T. Scott Boatright

Former Louisiana Tech University President Dan Reneau had a catch phrase he’d use at every college graduation he presided over.

“It’s a red-letter day,” Reneau would tell new graduates during commencement exercises.

There have also been some red-letter games for Tech athletics over the years — Karl Malone and the Dunkin’ Dogs taking Waymon Tisdale and the Oklahoma Sooners to overtime with a NCAA men’s basketball tourney Elite Eight berth on the line.

The Lady Techsters edging past Auburn in the 1988 NCAA Women’s Championship Game.

The LA Tech football rallying from behind to score in the final three minutes to beat Colorado State 31-30 at Joe Aillet Stadium Stadium and earn a spot in the Independence Bowl against Maryland.

Last year’s home heroics in the NCAA Regionals in the newly rebuilt J.C. Love Stadium were red-letter games for the LA Tech baseball team, but the Diamond ’Dogs have had other big games, too. And maybe none bigger than the Bulldogs’ 1987 home game against LSU.

Both teams had been to the NCAA Tourney in 1986 and were playing well the following season, setting up an April 16, 1987 contest that is still remembered by much of Tech Nation today.

LSU threw a different pitcher every inning, but Richie Leblanc pitched all 10 innings for the Bulldogs and fondly remembers that game.

“I remember everything about it,” said Leblanc, who will be enshrined into the Louisiana Tech Hall of Fame this fall. “Every time we play LSU, everybody still wants to talk about that game back in ’87. It was a great game for the program. The enthusiasm around that game — other than last year in the Regionals — I don’t know of any other time that stadium has seen that much excitement and enthusiasm generated from a ball game.”

Charlie Montoyo, current manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, was the Bulldogs’ small-statured but big-hitting second baseman at the time.

“I’ve never forgotten that game, and I’ve been part of thousands of baseball games,” Montoyo said. “That’s still one of the top two or three games of my career. I’ll never forget the crowd and how loud it got. It was awesome.”

The teams went into the 10th inning tied at 4-4, and Leblanc, who threw nine strikeouts on the night, returned to the mound. And after the Bulldogs recorded two outs, Tech head coach Pat “Gravy” Patterson made a trip to the mound because LSU’s star hitter, Albert Joey Belle, was on deck for the Tigers.

“Gravy and I discussed it several times,” Leblanc said Patterson considered putting in another pitcher. “Jimmy Faircloth (Tech’s No. 2 pitcher) will tell you he threw a whole game in the bullpen.

“In that game, Belle hit a home run, then I struck him out,” Leblanc said. “Then he hit another home run and then I struck him out again. Those home runs he hit were over the lights in right field. And they were opposite field home runs, because he was right-handed and hit them right. They about made it to Memorial Gym. Both of them.

“He was on deck in the top of the 10th and Gravy came out and made it known I was not going to pitch to Joey, because what had already happened. Belle was due for another home run. That was the pattern he had set for the game. And my pitch count was up there in the 160s – 170s, which is unheard of today. So I’m glad that we got the third out, because I would have come out of the ball game.”

Then in the bottom of the 10th, Montoya finally got the pitch he was looking for as he launched the ball out of the park for the 5-4 walk-off win for the Bulldogs.

“I just wanted to hit the ball out,” Montoyo said of that at-bat. “I just wanted it all to fall into place and I was just praying for that to happen. And it did.”

Montoyo said he knew right away the hit was going to leave the park.

And so did the Bulldog faithful as they erupted into one of the biggest parties ever seen in Ruston.

“You could feel it as much as you could hear it,” Montoyo said, “The crowd was awesome and everybody was going crazy. It doesn’t get any better than what happened that night.”

A night that still lives in the annals of Tech athletics lore.

“I was in the dugout knowing I was out of the game,” Leblanc said. “They had taken my glove away and my arm was already being iced. I can’t even remember seeing Charlie’s swing. But I do remember seeing the ball take off thinking, ‘That’s got a chance.’ Obviously it was a home run, and what ensued at that point was a lot of fun to be a part of. It was an unforgettable night.”

Tigers route NAU Thursday night

Shawndarius Cowart led the G-Men to a home win Thursday night. (Courtesy Photo)

Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications

Five players scored in double figures as the Grambling State University men’s basketball team got back into the win column with a 101-42 rout in its final non-conference game against North American University on Thursday night at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

Grambling State (7-5), which held North American to just 15 field goals, led by 20 points, 47-27, at the half and outscored the Stallions (0-15) 54-15 in the second half in getting back into the win column after losses to Virginia Tech and Liberty.

Shawndarius Cowart paced the Tigers by going 8-of-16 from the floor for 19 points, five assists, five steals and three rebounds. Cameron Christon posted 18 points, including a blistering four 3-pointers, along with nine boards, four assists and a pair of blocked shots. Jourdan Smith and Jonathan Aku registered GSU career highs with 16 points apiece. Smith tallied four assists, four boards and two steals, while Aku added seven boards, two assists and one steal. Virshon Cotton recorded 10 points four boards four assists and a pair of steals.

Kiante Kizzie led the Stallions with 13 points, four boards three steals, three blocks and a pair of assists. Kenneth Love chipped in nine points, two steals and one rebound.

Grambling State led 30-15 through the first 10 minutes as Cowart drained a 3-pointer and a Cotton layup gave the Tigers a 35-18 advantage with 6:01 remaining in the opening half.

A Love 3-pointer closed the gap to 35-21 with 4:57 left in the first, but the Tigers used a 12-6 run to take a commanding 47-27 lead into the break.

The Tigers pushed the advantage to 51-27 on a pair of free throws by Aku with 17:25 remaining and GSU extended the lead to 62-29 after a trey by Cotton with just over 14 minutes to play.

North American closed the margin to 67-37 with 10:49 left, but never got any closer down the stretch as Grambling State picked up its largest victory of the season.

GSU travels to Prairie View A&M Jan. 2.

Remembering Vivian Eve Spell Magee

Vivian Eve Spell Magee

Vivian Eve Spell Magee, 89, passed away on Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at Northern Louisiana Medical Center after a brief illness. She died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her loving family. Visitation will be at 10:00 AM, and funeral services at 11:00 AM, on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at Temple Baptist Church officiated by Dr. Reggie Bridges. Interment will be at Kilpatrick Memorial Gardens under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Ruston.

Vivian Eve Spell was born November 29, 1933, in Collins, MS, to Olin and Ella Spell. She was born premature and because she was small, the family called her Biddy and still do. She graduated from Salem High School in 1952 and received a Bachelor of Religious Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1957. 

Vivian married a young pastor, Robert Solomon Magee, on June 21, 1953. She loved and supported him in his ministry for 45 years. Dr. Magee served as pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Ruston from 1964-1998 where she remained a member until her death. Over the years, she taught Sunday School, was active in the Women’s Missionary Union, served in the nursery, sang in the choir, and loved and served anyone and everyone. 

Mrs. Magee was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Robert S. Magee, and has now joined him in heaven with our Lord and Savior.  Also preceding her in death are her father Olin Timothy Spell, her mother Ella Graves Spell, her sister, Olene Spell Fowler, and her brother, Joe Graves Spell.

Survivors include her two children, Dr. Bruce Robert Magee of Ruston, and Vivian Gayle Magee Red and husband Clark Red of Richardson, TX; seven grandchildren, Jeffrey Magee, Miles Larkin and wife Susan, Jonathan Magee and wife Tiffany, Anna Red Pringle and her husband Evan Pringle, Olivia Red Auzenne and her husband Steven Auzenne, Beverly Red, and Kerr Magee; three great-grandchildren, Amelia Vivian Larkin, Robert Larkin, and Finn Magee; siblings, Jane Spell Funderburk and her husband Carl Funderburk, Nelda Spell Mitchell and her husband Dennis Mitchell, Eloise Spell Corley and her husband Chuck Corley; and numerous nieces and nephews that were loved so dearly by their Aunt Biddy. 

Pallbearers will be Miles Larkin, Jeffrey Magee, Jonathan Magee, Kerr Magee, David Darland, Ben Humphries, Joe Mitcham, and Jim Pearce. The family would like to thank Miriam Ray, the Faith Sunday School class, the McConathy-Hall Sunday School Class, and Vivian’s many friends, along with the church family of Temple Baptist Church for the love and care of our precious mother.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Robert and Vivian Magee Scholarship Fund at Temple Baptist Church.

Remembering Betty Logan Malone

Betty Logan Malone

Funeral services for Betty Logan Malone, 95, of Ruston, Louisiana, will be held at 2:00 PM, Friday, December 30, 2022, in Burkhalter Chapel at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston. Visitation will be from 12:30 PM until service time in the foyer outside the chapel. Our beloved “Mother” and “Mimi” passed away December 28 at Glenwood Regional Medical Center in West Monroe following a brief illness.

Mrs. Malone was born September 6, 1927, to John David, Sr., and Lena Adcock Logan in Monticello, Arkansas. After the family moved to Ruston, she graduated from Ruston High School, attended Louisiana Polytechnic Institute (now Louisiana Tech), was a member of the Blue Jackets and the Glee Club, and graduated in Secretarial Science. It was there on a double date she met James William Malone, a Chemical Engineering major. They were wed at Trinity Methodist Church on November 26, 1952, and were married for 67 years until his passing in 2020. After their graduation, they lived in Baton Rouge where James completed his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering. Returning to make their home in Ruston, James was employed at Tech and Betty with the Marbury Company. They would reside in Ruston the remainder of their lives and there raise their three children.

She was a longtime member of Trinity United Methodist Church, where she belonged to the Willing Workers Sunday School Class and the Chancel Choir. She was also a member of Eastern Star and P.E.O.

She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her brother, John D. Logan, Jr, and her son-in-law, Dr. Stephen Webre. She is survived by her children Karen Malone Webre of Ruston, James David (JD) Malone and wife Jennifer of Monroe, and Laura Malone of Monroe; grandsons Logan Malone of Annapolis, MD, (fiancée Lauren Gregory) and Gannon Malone of Monroe (fiancée Payton Lindstrom), and numerous cousins and friends.

Mimi was a wonderful, sweet, caring mother and grandmother. She deeply loved her children and adored her two grandsons, often babysitting for them or traveling with Granddaddy to endless football and baseball games, soccer matches, track meets, awards banquets, and any other opportunity to spend time with them and celebrate their accomplishments. She was the quintessential southern lady, a kind and beautiful woman to the very end, with genuine charm, a ready laugh, a twinkle in her lovely blue eyes, and a penchant for bright blue nail polish. She was outgoing and never met a stranger. Everyone who met her loved her.

In the last year of her life, Mrs. Malone was a resident of Landmark Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in West Monroe. The family is grateful for the loving care of the nursing and physical therapy staff there, and would also like to thank the staff of Glenwood Regional Medical Center and Dr. Will Sanders at Green Clinic in Ruston.

The funeral will be officiated by Rev. Doug DeGraffenreid and Rev. Micky Cloud. Pallbearers will be Logan Malone, Gannon Malone, Tommy Minvielle, and Mike Martin. Interment will be immediately following the service at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Ruston under the direction of Owens Memorial Chapel Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home or to the music program at Trinity United Methodist Church.