Student charged with drugs at school

A 13-year-old student at Union Parish Junior High School has been charged with distributing marijuana on campus. 

According to the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office, its school resource officer and narcotics units learned during an investigation that the student took marijuana edibles to the school campus in Farmerville and distributed them to another 13-year-old student. 

After consuming the edibles, the other student required treatment at a local hospital for a suspected drug overdose. 

After being taken into custody, the accused student was released to a guardian pending a court appearance.

UPSO said the case is still under investigation and additional arrests are expected.

McLeroy’s print available for purchase and pickup

This is an advertorial.

By Reggie McLeroy

Introducing “Ruston Football, Rising to a Higher Level”.

I’m very proud to announce that I will be selling copies of the picture I drew celebrating this season. As a proud Ruston alum, I was humbled to be able to share this drawing with Coach Baugh, his staff, and the Ruston football team. Their hard work on and off the field inspired me to create this piece that celebrates the new standard that has been set by the 2022 team. Just like the helmet in the picture, our team is on the rise.

The pictures will be presold as a run of 300 limited edition prints (size of print 16″×20″) will include an edition number along with my signature. The price will be $68 (including tax). A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Ruston Bearcat football team.

Make sure to get yours while you can.

I want to thank the Bearcat Booster Club for commissioning me as a way to honor this football team as well as Ruston High School.

Prints will be available for purchase using Paypal, Venmo, or Zelle. Pickup will be at the Community Room located inside of the main branch of Louisiana National Bank (rear entrance) on Saturday, February 4, 2023 from 10am-Noon. No prints will be available for purchase on-site, all orders must be completed online.

Venmo: @reggiemcleroyartwork



Louisiana Tech’s Online MBA ranked highest in state on latest U.S. News & World Report list    

Louisiana Tech University’s Professional Master of Business Administration (MBA) and online bachelor’s programs were named to U.S. News & World Report’s 2023 list of Best Online Programs released today.

The online MBA was ranked No. 85 in the nation, and was the highest ranked program in Louisiana for the second year in a row.

“Our top rankings coupled with outstanding placement rates for our students — 100 percent for MBA graduates — are evidence of the outstanding education delivered by some of the best faculty in our nation,” said Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business. “As we continue to grow our enrollment, we also celebrate the increased academic achievements of our students and the high impact research of our faculty. I am proud of the hard work each person in the College of Business has put in to make us the best in our state.”

U.S. News ranked MBA programs using five categories: engagement, peer assessment, faculty credential and training, student excellence, and services and technology. The 2023 rankings assessed 366 online MBA programs.

The online MBA was also recently ranked No. 1 on Fortune’s list of “25 Most Affordable Online MBAs” and No. 52 on their “Best Online MBA Programs” list.

“I’m proud that we are able to deliver a top academic program with such a high return on investment,” said Martin. “Our graduates leave Louisiana Tech prepared to be innovative and ethical leaders in today’s rapidly changing business environment.”

Accredited by AACSB International, Louisiana Tech’s Professional MBA program is designed to provide a solid foundation in all business disciplines while integrating technology and innovation and exploring business issues in a global context. The online delivery method makes learning convenient for those who cannot attend a consistent class schedule and prefer to work at their own pace.

Additional delivery methods include the Traditional MBA, Hybrid MBA, and Executive MBA. Graduate certificates in business administration and information assurance as well as a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) and Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) are also offered as part of the College of Business’ graduate programs.

For more information on these rankings, visit For more information on Louisiana Tech’s MBA, visit

Ruston hoops squads take down West Ouachita

(Photo credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

Both of Ruston’s basketball teams took home wins Friday night against West Ouachita in District 2-5A matchups with the girls winning 50-36 and boys following with a 75-24 victory.

“I’m proud of how we played through adversity tonight,” Ruston girls’ head coach Meredith Graf said. “West Ouachita really shot the ball well and played hard from the tip. We struggled to score at times and gave up too many second chance points in the first half. I loved how we responded in the second half. The fourth quarter was tight until a series of transition baskets to help us separate in the last four minutes. Heart and effort will continue to be what keeps us in ball games.”

After being tied 28-28 after the third quarter, the Lady Bearcats outscored West Ouachita 22-8 in the fourth quarter to take the win. Junior Jaliyah McWain led Ruston’s scorers with 24 points, while junior Aakeyliah Jones added 14.

On the boys’ side, the game was never in doubt as the Bearcats cruised to a 75-24 victory.

“This past week was a chance for us to work on a few things for West Monroe and Ouachita,” Ruston head coach Ryan Bond said.

 Sophomore Joran Parker led the way with 22 points after knocking down six three-pointers. Senior Braylan McNeal added 11 points, while junior Lonnie Dimmer scored 10.

Both teams will be on the road this week against West Monroe on Tuesday, Jan. 31, and then at Ouachita Friday, Feb. 3.


COLUMN: What is counseling?

By Brandon Ramsey

Since I will be publishing this article weekly, and we will discuss a multitude of topics that can be covered in counseling, such as depression, parenting, anger, and making positive changes in your life.  Perhaps before we do, we should cover the subject of counseling itself.  What is counseling?  There are many misconceptions and judgments connected to counseling, and I would like to clear some of them up.

When we hear that we need to go to a counselor, words like shrink, crazy, sick, couch, and new age come to mind.  That is the stigma that we as counselors have to fight every day in our offices.  Today’s world teaches us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and not let anyone into our little messed up world.  So we spend half our time fighting through defense mechanisms and faulty preconceptions.  You would not believe how many times I have had people leave my office and say, “Man, this was nothing like I thought it would be.”  What did you expect?

Most people think one of two things.  They have this idea that I’m going to lay you down on a couch, turn the lights down low, and ask all kinds of Freudian questions, such as “tell me about your mother” or “what are your deepest, darkest secrets?”  It is nothing like that.  I do have a small couch in my office, but there is no lying down.  If I don’t get to lie down on the job, then you don’t either.

Others believe that a counselor is going to get into all your business, and tell everyone about it.  They don’t understand that counselors are governed by the same type of confidentiality rules as doctors and lawyers.  Counselors will (and should) lose their license if they break confidentiality.  I like my job way too much to lose it over starting a little rumor.

Granted that some of those preconceptions were true about counseling many years ago, but counseling has become more solution focused.  It is based more on helping the client change the situation that is happening around them than delving into their past.  Don’t get me wrong.  Sometimes we have to look to the past for answers, but it should always be tied into how that information can help you now. 

A counselor can be used as a sounding board.  Someone to listen and allow you to vent about feelings that are not socially appropriate to publicly vent, then help you come up with a plan to proactively keep these issues from happening or affecting you as much the next time.  It is more about you and your situation than being an advice giver in this situation.  What works for you and your family is the most important thing.  Though I have certain beliefs in life that I would never steer someone against, my job is to help you or you and your spouse find your way.

Counselors can also be used as a voice of direction in some cases, especially in the case of drug abuse, dealing with a friend or relative who is a drug abuser, or a family going through a divorce.  Along with other topics, these are ones that counselors are specifically trained in to help people navigate these dangerous waters.

The biggest misconception is that a counselor should only be seen as a last ditch effort to save a situation or relationship.  Would you call a life guard after the person sinks out of sight or would you get a doctor’s help only after the situation is life threatening?  No, of course not!  Many times that is how we treat our lives or relationships.  Just hold on until all hope is gone, and pray someone can put the pieces back together.  I will make it easy for you; a better approach is to see a counselor before it reaches crisis stage.


Brandon is the Owner/Director of Faith in the Family Counseling. He has been practicing in Ruston for over 16 years. His website is Brandon was born and raised in Ruston and is a graduate of Ruston High and Louisiana Tech. He is married to Marcie Ramsey and has three childen. 

Creek, Lincoln Prep split hoops action

Mallory Smith (5) drives past a Lincoln Prep defender during the Lady Cougars district win Friday night. (Photo by Darrell James)

by Malcolm Butler

Cedar Creek and Lincoln Prep split District 2-1A action Friday night at the Brickhouse with the Lady Cougars winning 58-22 and the Panthers prevailing 66-38.

Lady Cougars 58, Lady Panthers 22

Cedar Creek (18-4, 5-0) got off to a strong start, outscoring Lincoln Prep (2-18, 1-4) 15-0 in the first quarter en route to the 36-point victory over the Lady Panthers. Creek swept the season series from Lincoln Prep with the win.

Lizzie McAdams scored a game-high 19 points, including a trio of three-pointers while Lillian Soto and Olivia Underwood each added eight points. Allie Furr and Mallory Smith scored six points each.

After a balanced first quarter by the Lady Cougars that saw Furr and smith each net four points, McAdams (7 points) and Soto (6 points) took over the in second quarter leading Creek to a 32-9 halftime advantage.

McAdams picked up where she left off after halftime, netting 10 of Creek’s 20 points in the third quarter, while Underwood added five points, including a three-pointer.

Creek sent to its bench in the fourth quarter as Baylee Maboue (4 points) and Caroline James (2 points) totaled the Creek’s points.

The Lady Cougars will travel to Ouachita Christian Tuesday for a chance to win the outright district title with a win over the Lady Eagles. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.


Panthers 66, Cougars 38

In the boys game, it was Lincoln Prep (16-4, 5-0) that jumped out to the quick start as the Panthers saw six different players score in the opening period en route to a 21-7 first quarter advantage.

Brandon Heard netted eight more points in the second quarter as the Panthers pushed their advantage out to 39-19 at the half.

Davis Walsworth (7 points), Jack Echols (5 points) and Carter Hill (5 points) paced the Cougars in the opening 16 minutes of play while Heard (12 points), Stephen Burks (6 points) and Kobe Mack (6 points) led the Panthers.

Lincoln Prep continued to get a balanced offensive attack in the third quarter with six players finding the scorebook, led by Heard and Burks with five points each. The Panthers led 60-27 entering the fourth quarter.

Connor Johnson, Jack Bell and Noah Martin each connected on three-pointers in the fourth quarter for Cedar Creek (9-12, 2-3) who fell for the second time against Lincoln Prep this season.

Heard led LP with 17 points and 7 assists while Burks added 11 points. Bralyn Mayfield added nine points.

Creek was led by Echols with 8 points and Carter and Walsworth each added 7 points.

The Cougars travel to face OCS Tuesday at 6 p.m. Lincoln Prep faces St. Frederick Tuesday.

Simsboro Tigers earning stripes despite growing pains

Simsboro’s Earnest Chatman goes up for one of two dunks he turned in for the Tigers during Saturday’s game against Rosepine. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

The Simsboro Tigers overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to put themselves in position to potentially win during a home game against Rosepine Saturday afternoon.

But the Tigers didn’t quite overcome the growing pains they’ve experienced so far this season.

First year Simsboro High School boys basketball coach Randy Carlisle knew he had his work cut out for him rebuilding a Tigers program decimated by senior attrition off of last year’s squad state champions.

The Tigers were put to the test last week with four games, including three played on consecutive days.

Simsboro concluded that run Saturday against Rospine as the Class B Tigers hosted Class 2A Rosepine, which escaped with a 69-62 win.

Early on, the bigger school controlled things early before Simsboro made a move late in the second quarter, with a pair of short jumpers in the key by Jalen Beard pulled the Tigers within four points at 26-22 with 2:09 remaining beore halftime.

But the Eagles countered with an 8-4 run in the final two minutes to go into the locker room at halftime holding a 34-26 lead over the Tigers.

Rosepine came out strong to open the third quarter, building as much as a 12-point advantage at 40-28 and leading 54-43 at the end of the third quarter before the Tigers slowly started scratching and clawing their way back.

It was a 3-pointer by Earnest Chatman with 5:42 remaining that seemed to spark the Tigers as they pulled within six points at 57-52.

Chatman followed that up with a thundering dunk at the 5:15 mark of the final stanza to cut the Eagles’ lead to 57-54.

After Rosepine pushed its lead up to six points at 61-55, Chatman again provided the spark, nailing a turnaround jumper in the key with 3:17 left on the clock before leaving the game seconds later after turning an ankle.

Trumarion Smith’s short jumper with 2:34 remaining pulled the Tigers’ within two points at 61-59, but Rosepine responded with an easy layup to move back up by four before Chatman returned to the floor for the Tigers with 1:57 remaining.

Chatman added a 3-pointer he banked off the glass with 1:01 left on the clock, cutting the Eagles’ advantage to 67-62 and sealed things away with the only points scored in the final minute with a pair of free throws with 21 seconds remaining.

It was only Chatman’s fourth game with the Tigers after becoming eligible starting with last week’s game against Choudrant.

“We’re still trying to work him in and help him learn the system,” Carlisle said. “He rolled that ankle but came right back. He’s tough and gritty, and if he stays focused he’s only going to get better and better.

“None of these guys had much playing experience at all.I knew it was going to be like this when I came here. We’ve come a long way since the start of the season. Rospine is a really good team. We just have to remember to run a system and take easy shots and not just force things up there. It gets out of hand sometimes when we take bad shots.” 

Chatman led the Tigers with 22 points against the Eagles while Kaelip Wright added 13, Smith chipped in with 10 and Jalen Outley hit for 10.

Simsboro, now 8-17 overall and 1-1 in District 2-B, will next play at Downsville Charter on Tuesday.

Brown leads Simsboro girls to 2-0 start in district

Simsboro’s Ikeia Brown goes up for the two of the 29 points she poured in Friday night in a home win over Forest. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

Ikeia Brown took over early and propelled the Simsboro High School Lady Tigers to a 60-24 home win over Forest Friday night in District 1-B action at the SHS Gym.

When the 5-3 senior dynamo wasn’t forcing steal after steal against the Lady Bulldogs, Brown either went long or drove inside to put the ball in the basket during a 29-point performance that also showcased her major passing skills.

The Lady Tigers led 14-4 at the end of the opening stanza as they tried to get into gear.

They kicked it into overdrive in the second quarter, outscoring Forest 18-7 to build a 32-11 halftime advantage.

“That was huge,” said Lady Tigers coach Matt Herring. “We knew we had to go through them if we want a district championship, 

“They (Forest) were 11-5 on the year — they were 1-0 in district and we were 1-0 in district. And I’ve been told if we want to win it, we had to beat them. So it feels so good to have that game behind us. We still have to go to Forest, but 2-0 in district and we control our own destiny. That’s a good thing.”

Maybe most impressive about Brown’s performance is that after she scored a pair of inside baskets off steals in the first 49 seconds of the fourth quarter, Herring called her to the bench and emptied his bench.

“This was the kind of game we needed at this point in the season,” Herring said. “We have momentum heading down the stretch. Now we need to stay focused and take advantage of that.”

Amani Dean added 12 points for the Lady Tigers.

Next up for the Lady Tigers, 11-11 overall and 2-0 in district play, is a Tuesday night game at Downsville Charter.


Lincoln Prep races past Arcadia

Kobe Mack (13), pictured with Lincoln Prep coach Antonio Hudson, led the Panthers with 19 points in a 56-43 win over Arcadia on Saturday. (Photo by T. Scott Boatright)

By T. Scott Boatright

The two schools may no longer play in the same district, but Saturday night’s gamet was a back-and-forth showdown that at times looked more like semi-controlled chaos than a hoops battle between traditionally powerful rivals.

And in the end, Lincoln Preparatory School ended up on the winning side of the scoreboard as the Panthers took a 56-43 win over Arcadia at the Jonesboro-Hodge High School Gym.

The Panthers roared out of the gates to start things off with a 12-0 before the Hornets quickly rebounded to pull within one point, 16-15, by the end of the opening stanza.

The momentum bounced back to the Panthers, who went on an 18-1 second-quarter run that  propelled them to a 34-16 halftime advantage.

An early third-quarter run by Arcadia cut the Lincoln Prep lead to single digits, but the Panthers bent but never broke in the second half, maintaining a lead the rest of the way.

“I don’t know … I really don’t know what to say,” Hudson said of the game. “It kept changing. We start off with a 12-0 run then the next thing I know we’re only up one point. Then the next thing you know we go on a long run and get up by double digits again.

“The thing is, it’s about consistency. We’ve got to be consistent and we really we’re tonight. I understand basketball is a game of runs, but some of the stuff that happened tonight was self-inflicted. We have to focus on what they do offensively and what we do defensively and not let the other team dictate things.”

Lincoln Prep led by 10, 44-34, at the end of the third quarter, and Kobe Mack’s layup 22 seconds into the final stanza gave the Panthers a double-digit lead they maintained the rest of the way.

That didn’t mean doing so looked pretty, as a plethora of turnovers plagued the Panthers and both teams, actually, in a chaotic fourth quarter in which Lincoln Prep led by as many as 15 points after a pair of Mack free throws with 35.5 seconds remaining.

“So many of them were unforced,” Hudson said of those turnovers. “It got crazy out there at times. That’s getting away from what we do. I tell them that each possession matters. Just because we’re up 12 right now doesn’t mean we’ll be up by 12 two minutes from now. We’ve got to treat every possession like it’s our last and we sure didn’t do that tonight.”

“I like where we are and we should be OK, but basketball is a real fickle sport.” Hudson said. “Anything can happen in any given game. We just have to make sure we take things on games at a time, that we don’t overlook anybody, stay focused on what we’re going and just continue to get better.”

Mack double-doubled and led the Panthers with 19 points and 13 rebounds while adding a pair of steals and a block shot.

“The last two games he’s played really well,” Hudson said about Mack. “The thing with him is trying to figure out a way to build his confidence. Because they’re all kids, they get emotional and stuff sometimes. So we’ve got to work on finding some kind of way to build his confidence.”

Bralyn Mayfield also double-doubled for Lincoln Prep, totaling 14 points, 13 birds, three assists, a steal and a blocked shot while Brandon Heard added 11 points, six rebounds, five steals and three assists.

The Panthers also received nine points and a pair of steals from Trey Spann along with three points, seven assists and four rebounds from Stephen Burks, III.

Arcadia, now 13-10, was led by Ratrevious Crawley with 13 points.

Lincoln Prep, now 16-4 overall and 5-0 in 2-1A, returns to district  play when the Panthers play host to St. Frederick on Tuesday night.


LA Athletics weekend roundup

Isaiah Crawford ignited LA Tech down in the stretch in the Bulldogs 66-55 win at UTSA Saturday.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Bulldogs 66, UTSA 55

The duo Isaiah Crawford and Cobe Williams accounted for over half of Louisiana Tech’s scoring on Saturday, combining for 37 points to help lead the Bulldogs to a 66-55 victory over UTSA inside the Convocation Center.

Not only did the tandem do the bulk of the scoring, they also combined for 13 rebounds, seven assists, and three steals as LA Tech (12-10, 5-6 C-USA) snapped its two-game losing streak and picked up its first road win since Jan. 5.

Neither team could put the ball through the hoop in the early going, combining for 18 straight misses and the score being stuck on 5-4 for almost six minutes.

“Shots were not falling early, and that is why you want to carry your defense everywhere you go,” said head coach Talvin Hester.

“We weathered the storm until we got better offensively.  I thought we got a big jolt off the bench from Kaleb Stewart.  He pushed the tempo for us, which got us playing a little faster.  I thought our small-ball lineup gave us the separation we needed.  We played well as a team.”

The offense slowly started to kick in for both teams.  First it was UTSA (7-16, 1-11 C-USA) who built a 14-10 advantage with 5:54 to go in the first half.  It was the ‘Dogs turn after that, making their largest scoring run of the contest with 10 straight points, including back-to-back three-pointers by Crawford and Williams.

The advantage ended up being 25-18 at halftime and was pushed to a 32-20 lead at the 17:32 mark of the second half, but Crawford picked up his fourth foul.  Then came the Roadrunners.

UTSA had its best scoring run, 7-0, to get back to within two possessions.  But, keeping the home team at bay was Kaleb Stewart who scored seven of his nine points during a 6-minute stretch to push the lead back to double digits at 46-36.

The Roadrunners would not go away, heating up from beyond the arc with back-to-back triples Isaiah Abdo-Ankrah and Christian Tucker to get to cut their deficit to four at 48-44 with 7:46 left.

After a timeout by head coach Talvin Hester, Crawford checked back in and took control.  He scored nine of the team’s 11 points and assisted on the other score with an alley-oop pass to Williams to put the contest away.

“When Isaiah has been good, we have been great,” said Hester. “That is the story of our season in some ways. When he is locked in and stays out of foul trouble, he becomes great, especially late in games. He is as good as they come.”

The Bulldogs host Rice Thursday at 6 p.m.


UTSA 66, Lady Techsters 63

Louisiana Tech women’s basketball team fell to UTSA 66-63 at home Saturday afternoon despite a game-high 22 points from Keiunna Walker, who moved from No. 14 to No. 11 on the all-time scoring list. 

“I didn’t think we started the game well defensively and traded baskets for the longest time,” said head coach Brooke Stoehr. “They are a team that was hungry for a win, and we let them gain a lot of confidence in that first half. We still only give up 66, but the scoring drought in the fourth quarter is what did us in. It is tough to swallow, but you have to give UTSA credit.”

It was a hot start for both teams in the TAC, with both squads combining 18-32 from the floor in the first, including seven threes (7-13). UTSA built a 15-10 lead over the first four minutes, but a 14-5 finish gave the Techsters a four-point lead after one, 24-20.

LA Tech (12-8, 5-5 C-USA) was able to build a little breathing room (29-22) in the first minute of the second, but an 8-2 burst from UTSA (4-15, 2-8 C-USA) cut the lead to one. Tech was able to add one to the lead at the half over the final five minutes of the half to take a two-point edge into the break (36-34). 

Both teams cooled off in a back-and-forth third quarter where no team could make much of a run, but Tech could slightly extend the lead to three heading into the final stanza (53-48). 

Amaya Brannon extended Tech’s lead to seven, but UTSA quickly erased the lead with a 7-0 run over the next 90 seconds to even things with seven minutes to play.

UTSA grabbed their first lead since the first quarter off a Jordyn Jenkins jumper which began a 9-0 run over the next five minutes to build a six-point lead with just 1:17 to play.

Walker’s and-one with 42 seconds remaining cut the game to one possession, followed by a stop and two more Walker free throws to bring the game to one, but a UTSA layup pushed the lead back to three. Tech would get one final opportunity with a look from three to tie, but Walker’s attempt was wide left.

The Lady Techsters travel to Rice Thursday.


Track and Field

The Louisiana Tech men’s and women’s Track & Field team competed against the nation’s best over two days in Lubbock, Texas, at Texas Tech Open over Friday and Saturday, posting five more PRs bringing their total to 33 for the indoor season through the first three meets.

“I am extremely proud of this group we are definitely getting better and gain experience for what it takes to become dominant in the conference and on a national level,” said Director of Track and Field Brian Johnson. “We have a couple of weeks to get better and stay healthy for conference which is coming up soon.”

Rodney Heath Jr. continues to shine in the sprints, reaching the podium in the 60m, taking third place with a run of 6.67. Heath also tied the LA Tech 60m indoor program record with a PR of 6.64, which ranks top-25 in the NCAA this season. Heath’s 6.67 is also the second fastest time in program history.

In the women’s 60m, Ulanda Lewis posted back-to-back PRs of 7.49 in the qualifying round and first-rounds final. Urijah Williams reached the first-round final with a PR of 8.04, the third fastest time of the qualifying round in the men’s 60m H.

In the men’s 400m, freshman Laeden Tucker posted a personal best of 48.98, which placed him in the top third of the field. Mateo Smith added a PR of 6.82 in the men’s 60m qualifier.

LA Tech posted a top-10 finish with Jiana Stewartburgess (T-10th) in the women’s high jump, registering a leap of 1.65m (5′ 5”). 

Grambling Athletics weekend wrapup

Virshon Cotton helped the Tigers down Jackson State Saturday. (photo by Marcus Plummer)

Courtesy of GSU Athletic Communications

Tigers 78, Jackson State 66

The Grambling State University men’s basketball team continued to protect home court on Saturday afternoon, defeating Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) opponent Jackson State 78-66 on Willis Reed Court at the Frederick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.

The victory not only marked the Tigers’ seventh consecutive victory at home, but it also improved GSU to 13-7 overall, 6-2 in the SWAC and gave the Tigers a share of second place in the conference standings.

Four GSU players scored in double-figures. Cameron Christon led the way with a game-high 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, with eight rebounds, a lock and a steal. Version Cotton (13), Shawdarius Cowart (10) and Quinitn Murrell (10) were the other Tigers to score at least 10 points. 

Jourdan Smith also made an impact on the contest, narrowly missing a double-double, snagging 10 rebounds and scoring nine points. 

Nearly midway through the first half, Grambling State and Jackson State (6-15, 5-3) were tied 13-13. Christon’s free throw with 11:57 to go in the half gave the Tigers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the contest. GSU led 38-28 at the half.

JSU tried to make things interesting in the second half, but the closest it could get to Grambling State was 52-47 at the 14:15 mark. GSU wore Jackson State down over the final 10 minutes of the game, easily disposing of them. 

Grambling State made the most of its offensive rebounds and second-chance opportunities, out-scoring JSU 21-8 in second-chance points. 

Both teams shot relatively well from the field, with both programs connecting on over 45 percent of its field goal attempts. GSU went 28-of-58 (48.3 percent) while Jackson State knocked down 25-of-54 attempts (46.3 percent).

Zeke Cook and Chase Adams both contributed 13 points for JSU. 

Grambling hosts Alcorn State tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.


Jackson State 67, Lady Tigers 52

It was a battle between the Tigers at the Fredrick C. Howdy Assembly Center in a highly anticipated match-up featuring the Grambling State women’s basketball team and the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) defending champions, Jackson State. GSU fell to JSU 67-52.

The duo of Phylicia Allen and Leah Morrow combined to score 27 points

Allen paced GSU (5-14 overall, 4-4 SWAC) with a game-high 14 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field, while Morrow scored 13 points going 5-for-11. 

JSU (10-8, 7-1) opened the contest with a 4-2 lead, but GSU inched in front 5-4 thanks to a 3-pointer by Leah Morrow. With JSU lead 14-9, Grambling State’s Tiana Gardner nailed three in the waning seconds on the quarter, trimming the deficit dow to two, 14-12, heading into the second period. 

Jackson State maintained control in the second quarter building a 24-19 lead with 4:58 to go until the half. Jazmyne Jackson scored the final bucket of the half for GSU, as the Lady Tigers found themselves down 33-27 at the half.

Trailing 33-29 midway through the third quarter, two free throws by Miracle Saxon, followed by a layup from Morrow, tied the game 33-33 with a little under 5 minutes remaining in the frame. However, JSU would go on a 12-2 run and begin pulling away from GSU, Jackson State led 47-39 at the end of the quarter,

The deficit continued to grew as Grambling State ran out of steam in the fourth period, as the Lady Tigers couldn’t regain its footing. 

The Lady Tigers host Alcorn State tonight at 5 p.m. at the Fredrick C. Hobdy Assembly Center.


Track and Field

CJ Guidry’s run in the 200 meter dash highlighted the final day of performances at the Texas Tech Open for the Grambling State University track & field team on Saturday afternoon. 

Guidry posted one of the fastest 200 meter times in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) blazing the track with a time of 21.78 in just his second meet with the Tigers. 

In the women’s high jump, Jamie Richardson turned in a seventh place finish with a mark of 1.65m.

The Grambling State team of Amari Wrightsill, Ivory Davis, Sharon Laibich and Dayna Sterling placed 17th in the women’s 4x400m relay, clocking in at 3:54.91. On the men’s side, GSU’s lineup of Dakar Betts, Malachi Johnosn, Michiah Myles and CJ Ekeanyanwu finished 20th with a time of 3:28.53

Mercy Kwambai (12:05.77), Ruth Tibet (12:45.52) and Lillian Thou (12:54.04) coveted in the women’s 3000m, placing 15th, 16th and 17th. 

Weekly 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

Monday, Jan. 30
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — everyone welcome 
5 p.m.: GSU women’s basketball v Alcorn St
7 p.m.: GSU men’s basketball v Alcorn St

Tuesday, Jan. 31
7:30 p.m.: Louisiana Tech presents “A Divine Kerfuffle” (Stone Theatre)

Wednesday, Feb. 1
7-8 a.m.: Veterans Coffee Club (PJ’s Coffee)
11:30 a.m.: Lunch on Us (Presbyterian Church, 212 North Bonner Street., Ruston) — everyone welcome
7:30 p.m.: Louisiana Tech presents “A Divine Kerfuffle”  (Stone Theatre)

Thursday, Feb. 2
6 p.m.: LA Tech men’s basketball v Rice
7:30 p.m.: Louisiana Tech presents “A Divine Kerfuffle” (Stone Theatre)

Friday, Feb. 3
7:30 p.m.: Louisiana Tech presents “A Divine Kerfuffle” (Stone Theatre)

Saturday, Feb. 4
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Ruston Farmers Market
7:30 p.m.: Louisiana Tech presents “A Divine Kerfuffle” (Stone Theatre)

Sunday, Feb. 5
2:30 p.m.: Louisiana Tech presents “A Divine Kerfuffle” (Stone Theatre)

Remembering Marion Ronald Hall

Marion Ronald Hall

Funeral Services for Marion Ronald “Ronnie” Hall, age 79, of Ruston, will be Monday, January 30, 2023, at 11:00 A.M. at Temple Baptist Church Chapel, Ruston, LA.  Visitation will be Monday from 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.  Officiating will be Dr. Reggie Bridges, with interment to follow in Kilpatrick’s Memorial Gardens in Ruston, under the direction of Kilpatrick Funeral Home of Ruston.

Marion Ronald Hall was born on August 14, 1943 in Alexandria, LA to Marion Dewey Hall and Osie Artis Alexander. He passed away peacefully at home in Ruston on Thursday, January 26, 2023.

Left to cherish his memory are his children, Deanna Renee Davison and husband Todd Allen Davison and Ronald Lance Hall and wife, Vickie Leah Hall.

Ronnie’s most precious and loved grandchildren will miss him always; Brittany Davison Brown (Cameron), Thomas Paul Davison (Rachel), Ashley Davison Bailey (Will), Price Alexander Hall (Ryan), and Jacob Ryan Hall. Ronnie was also blessed with four great-grandchildren: Olivia, Lilly, and Caroline Davison, and Tripp Bailey.

He is also survived by his sister Betty Gail Fuqua (Rodney), niece Lisa, and nephew Keith (children: Mary Taylor, Maggie and Hayes).

Ronnie was a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served in the Vietnam War. He owned and operated Hall Carpet Cleaning for over thirty years. He spent the latter part of his life on Lake Holbrook in Mineola, Texas, where he enjoyed bass fishing and living on the water. When he and his wife, Charlotte, moved to Ruston two years ago, they became active in Temple Baptist Church and enjoyed attending their Sunday School class.

Ronnie was a devoted husband to his wife, Charlotte, and took care of her during her illness for the past few years and will be joining her in heaven. He loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren dearly.  

Pallbearers will be Thomas Davison, Price Hall, Jake Hall, Cameron Brown, Will Bailey, and Keith Fuqua.

Memorial contributions can be made in Ronnie’s name to Temple Baptist Church or the Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers.


Notice of death — Jan. 29, 2023

Alice Ray Frazier Stewart
March 20, 1927 – January 26, 2023
Visitation: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston, Thursday, February 2, 2023, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Service: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston, Thursday, February 2, 2023, 1:00 pm
Cemetery: Cook Cemetery, Thursday, February 2, 2023

Dr. Tomas Jared Reeves
March 26, 1951 – January 24, 2023
Visitation: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe, Friday, February 17, 2023, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Service: Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – West Monroe, Friday, February 17, 2023, 2:00 pm

Patsy Ann Pesnell Bullock
August 26, 1940 – January 23, 2023
Service: Longstraw Baptist Church, Monday, January 30, 2023, 2:00 pm
Cemetery: Longstraw Cemetery, Monday, January 30, 2023

Gloria(ous) career; Creek coach earns HOF moment tonight

Gloria Riser (right) has been a part of 19 state title teams in her coaching career. (Courtesy Photo)

By Malcolm Butler

Gloria Riser never aspired to become a coach.

That is until one day when then Cedar Creek principal Randy Moore made her an offer – and a challenge – she couldn’t or wouldn’t refuse.

Almost four decades later, Gloria Riser’s accomplishments as a coach earned her an induction into the Cedar Creek School Athletics Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony will take place tonight in between the Creek boys and girls varsity basketball games at the Brickhouse. The girls tip-off at 6 p.m. thus the induction should be approximately at 7 p.m.

“It is an honor because Cedar Creek is the one who gave me the opportunity to first coach,” said Gloria. “I had never coached before outside of coaching (my daughter) Sammi’s rec softball team. I don’t have a PE degree. I was an elementary ed teacher. It was only by chance that (coaching) happened.”

Moore, a long-time educator in Lincoln Parish at A.E. Phillips, Cedar Creek and Ruston High, may not agree it was by chance. According to him, he did his homework before presenting Gloria with her first opportunity back in the late-1980s.

“She applied for a 5th grade teaching position at Cedar Creek,” said Moore. “I did my background on her. Everyone I talked to had unbelievably positive things to say about Gloria as a teacher and person. From parents to educators, everything was very positive.”

However, it was a conversation with then Ridgedale Academy principal Harper McKay that got Moore to think about Gloria as more than just a potential teaching candidate.

“Back then Ridgedale Academy was a hated rival of Cedar Creek,” said Moore. “I called and talked to Harper McKay. Had a long conversation with him. I remember him telling me that the only thing Gloria did better than teaching was coaching.

“I think Harper was familiar with Gloria coaching her daughter’s rec teams because she hadn’t coached on the high school level. But I think he had her in mind as someone he may want to hire as a coach.”

When Moore hired Gloria as an elementary teacher, he asked her to help with the Lady Cougars softball program as an assistant coach. That led to a Hall of Fame career.

“Someone else was the head softball coach when I was hired,” said Gloria. “I was asked to help him, but he wound up leaving in the middle of the school year. And suddenly I was the softball coach. It was difficult at first. And from there is multiplied (to other sports). I have so many memories.”

One of those memories is a conversation with Moore that kick-started her career.

“I can remember trying to get out of coaching the first time when I found out I was the head coach in softball,” said Gloria. “I went to the school’s front office, and I had a message in my mailbox to call a school about a game. I went to the school secretary Ms. Ann and said, ‘You must have put this in the wrong box.’

“She said ‘No, I think you are the head softball coach.’ I thought ‘I don’t know how to do this.’ I had never even played softball. I went to see (Randy Moore) and told him ‘I don’t think I can do this.’ He said, ‘I didn’t know you were a quitter.’”

Those words hit home.

“I told him ‘I’m not a quitter,’” Gloria said. “He said, ‘I guess I will see you at practice this afternoon.’ He knew the key to turn with me.”

Moore doesn’t recall his exact words in the conversation, but said he trusts Gloria’s recollection better than his own.

“I remember she was shocked I was asking,” said Moore. “I probably did say something along the lines of ‘You are not a quitter, and you don’t shy away just because you haven’t done this before.’

“But boy, history began that day.”

Indeed, it did.

Gloria coached softball, girls basketball, cross country and track and field during her time at Cedar Creek, including stints from 1988 to 2003 and 2013 to 2019. She led the Lady Cougars to more than 20 district titles and 20 state playoff appearances, including capturing state championships in 1994, 2014, 2017 and 2018.

She left for Choudrant High School where she served as the coach from 2004 through 2012, winning multiple district titles and helping the 2010 Aggies softball team capture the state title (Gloria was an assistant coach that year and also coached girls basketball for the Aggies).

Gloria’s daughter, Sammi (Riser) Massey, played for her mom in the 1990s and was instrumental in helping the Lady Cougars win the school’s first state title in 1994.

“She is the hardest working person I know,” said an emotional Sammi (Riser) Massey over the phone on Thursday. “She is the most caring; the most driven person I have ever met. And she is the most selfless person I know.

“Over the years just watching her take her teams and bring them together as one has been amazing. She is such a motivational person and is able to get the kids to buy in. She has tons of motivational tools and activities she uses. When you play for her, you know you are a vital part of the team.”

Although it is not surprising a daughter would feel that way about their mother, Sammi’s sentiments are shared by others.

“I could see her commitment to teaching, not just teaching them but motivating them,” said Moore. “She inspired those girls so much. She reminded me of (former Louisiana Tech women’s basketball coach) Sonja Hogg. Her players wanted to be like her. They wanted to be like her, act like her, dress like her. They were infatuated with her. She was a major motivator. She was a goal-oriented person in everything she did. That was one of her strengths.”

Gloria also coached the varsity girls’ basketball team at Creek. She was the head coach from 1989 through 2002 and then came back to help as an assistant from 2013 to 2016. She led the Lady Cougars to multiple district titles on the hardwood and a Sweet 16 appearance in 1996.

Not only do her former athletes posses unbelievable respect for Gloria, but so do her colleagues.

“No one outworks, Coach Riser,” said current Cedar Creek head girls’ basketball coach Gene Vandenlangenberg who coached alongside Gloria for a number of years. “The energy and passion she has for coaching is second to none. She is a motivator who can get players to give their best effort. And her teams were always prepared.”

Gloria also helped start the cross country team at Cedar Creek when her son Ben was in high school.

“I became the cross country coach because I went to ask Coach (Wallace) Martin if we could start a team,” said Gloria. “By son was a runner. I didn’t even know what cross country was really. Coach Martin said there wasn’t really any interest.

“It was a God thing. I opened my big mouth and said “Can I coach it?’ I instantly wondered what I had done. We didn’t win the first year but after that we did. I had to do a lot of research and learned a lot by trial and errors.”

Under Gloria’s leadership, Cedar Creek won 10 girls state cross country championships and four boys cross country state championships from 1992 through 2002. She also became the first female to hold an office in the Louisiana Cross Country/Track and Field Coaches Association.

Gloria added track and field to her resume from 1999 through 2002.

Her honors are just a small result of all of her success. She was named the Shreveport Times Coach of the Decade (1990s) and was the State Softball Coach of the Year in 1993. She was a multiple winner of the Lincoln Parish Coach of the Year award presented by the Ruston Daily Leader.  She was inducted into the Louisiana Softball Hall of Fame in 2006.

When asked why she feels she has been so highly successful during the past four decades, Gloria points to a few things.

“We worked hard,” said Gloria. “We outworked everybody. I feel like I’m a pretty good motivator. Motivation and hard work. Those were the reason for our success.”

Tonight, Gloria will be enshrined into the Cedar Creek School Athletics Hall of Fame with her husband Ben and her children, Ben and Sammi, and plenty of grandchildren by her side.

She becomes just the 13th member of the school’s most prestigious club, joining her daughter Sammi who was enshrined as part of the Class of 2021.

“My life is a big miracle,” she said. “God has put me in so many places and opened so many doors. I have had the most wonderful people to work with and the kids have been amazing. I feel very blessed.”

As do all of the students who were fortunate enough to call her coach.

“I would not have been the athlete I was nor had the success I had without Gloria Riser,” said Nicole (Burn) West, a member of both the 1994 state softball title team and the 1996 Sweet 16 basketball team. “She was hands down one of the most inspiring and motivating coaches of my career. In fact, she was the one who first handed me a basketball in sixth grade and taught me to play the sport I love with my whole heart.

“I mean every word. I owe her so much.”

As does Cedar Creek School.


Cedar Creek Athletics Hall of Fame

Class of 2019-20

Doug Bagwell

Donnie Barmore

Steve Johnson

Wallace Martin

Frankie Garcia

Jane Ellen Cook


Class of 2020-21

Tommy Joe Eagles

Sammi Riser Massey

Kelly McHale

Ann Pendergrass Harris


Class of 2021-22

Dickie Crawford

Nicole Burn West


Class of 2022-23

Gloria Riser


New parishes provided political power

By Wesley Harris

Lincoln Parish is commemorating the 150th anniversary of its founding in 1873. This is part one of the LPJ’s examination of the early days of our parish. 

The creation of Lincoln Parish in 1873 occurred as a political move to gain power in the difficult days of Reconstruction after the Civil War. As one of several new parishes formed after the war, the new Lincoln Parish government provided additional political offices for the party in control of the state.

The war’s end in 1865 failed to bring peace to Louisiana. Local and state governments, which had been controlled by white Democrats for decades, were held during Reconstruction mostly by the Radical faction of the Republican Party. To bolster local Republican loyalists, the Louisiana Legislature created new parishes to provide positions of authority to its like-minded collaborators. The Democrats fought back—literally and politically—and President Ulysses Grant sent federal troops into Louisiana to quell violence against freedmen, the state government, and these local Republican fiefdoms.

First among the new parishes were Iberia and Richland, both formed in 1868. Tangipahoa and Grant Parishes followed in 1869. In 1870, the fifth Reconstruction parish, Cameron, was created, followed by the sixth, seventh, and eighth new parishes (Red River, Vernon, and Webster) in 1871. 

Lincoln, named after the late president, was the ninth parish to be formed under Radical Republican rule. In 1877, Carroll Parish was divided into East and West Carroll, the tenth and eleventh Reconstruction parishes. 

Violent encounters revealed the animosity local citizens possessed against officials installed in these new parishes. Disputes over the 1872 election results had produced dual governments at all levels in Louisiana. Democrats claimed victory in most elections, but an election review board gave Republican candidates the win in virtually every race.

Grant and Red River Parishes suffered some of the worst clashes over political control. The battle over the Grant Parish courthouse was one of the bloodiest single instances of racial violence during Reconstruction in the United States. Fearful local Democrats would seize power, former slaves under the command of black Civil War veterans and militia officers took over Colfax, the parish seat. A massacre ensued, led by the Democrat who claimed he won the sheriff’s race, including the slaughter of about fifty African Americans who had laid down their arms and surrendered.

White League influence spread through northwest Louisiana in the summer of 1873. Its brutal actions targeted white officeholders as well as freedmen. One such episode was directed against the family of Vermont “carpetbagger” Marshall Harvey Twitchell. Twitchell and his family controlled virtually every public office in newly created Red River Parish. In 1874, the White League executed Twitchell’s brother, two brothers-in-law, and three other white Republicans while Twitchell was in New Orleans. Twitchell returned to Coushatta with two companies of federal troops to restore Republican rule in the parish. Democratic leaders wrested control of local politics, however. In 1876 they assassinated Twitchell’s brother-in-law, and tried to kill Twitchell, who lost both arms in the ambush.

Allen Greene was declared a Jackson Parish state senator after the disputed 1872 election. Greene’s first move as senator in collaboration with his son Charles, a state representative, was to secure passage of an act creating a new parish from portions of Bienville, Claiborne, Jackson, and Union. For the new parish, Governor William Pitt Kellogg appointed a slate of officers submitted by Greene. These included James B. Ray as sheriff, a Republican from Ouachita Parish; Greene’s son William as tax collector; son Jackson as tax assessor; and son Charles as parish judge. Friends and fellow Republicans were appointed to other posts. As a sop to the local opposition, lawman Spencer P. Colvin, a well-known and respected Vienna resident, was appointed clerk of court as the sole Democrat officeholder. The parish seat was established at Vienna.

Lincoln Parish saw its share of friction but without the bloodshed experienced in some north Louisiana parishes. Total control of the parish by the Radicals led to talk of mass revolt but elder citizens counseled restraint and suggested a petition asking Greene, his three sons, and several other officials to resign. An overwhelming majority of Lincoln Parish taxpayers—white landowners—signed it. While Sheriff Ray was pressured to go back to Ouachita Parish, the others remained in office with the governor and the federal government behind them. 

The situation nearly exploded several times. The removal of all parish records and offices from Vienna to Greene’s plantation several miles to the northwest infuriated the population. Greene and his family became virtual prisoners as it was too dangerous to leave Greensboro, their home on what is now the White Lightning Road. The arrival of federal troops to arrest purported leaders of Greene’s opposition almost triggered bloodshed. Each time it appeared the lid would blow off the volatile situation, someone backed down and the lethal clash experienced in other north Louisiana communities never occurred in Lincoln.

Coming next: How Allen Greene amassed power

Great Scott: Former Tech star leads Eagles into NFC Championship game

Former Bulldog Boston Scott will lead the Eagles into the NFC Championship game against San Francisco Sunday. (Courtesy Photo)

EDITORS NOTE: Boston Scott is in his 5th year with the Philadelphia Eagles after an all-conference career with Louisiana Tech. He will lead the Eagles into this week’s NFC Championship title game against San Francisco. The former Bulldog walk-on helped lead Louisiana Tech to four bowl game wins in four years in Ruston.

Below is a feature story originally run on Dec. 18, 2017, prior to the Bulldogs playing in the DXL Frisco Bowl against SMU telling of Scott’s journey, including a health scare in 2015 that he thought might cost him his career. 


By Malcolm Butler (Written Dec. 18, 2017)

RUSTON – See Boston block. See Boston catch. See Boston run.

Boston – in this case Louisiana Tech senior running back Boston Scott – gives credit to God for his ability to do all of these things and more.

After all, it was only a few years ago that the Baton Rouge native began to doubt whether he would ever be able to run, much less play football, again.

Succeeding at football on the collegiate level was going to be a challenge for Boston as it was. The three-sport athlete out of Zachary High School didn’t receive a single Division I offer to play on the gridiron, mostly due to the measurements of his physique – 5-foot-6 and less than 200 pounds – but not his heart.

But because of Louisiana Tech’s renowned engineering program (Boston was originally majoring in mechanical engineering before graduating in November in kinesiology and health science), he chose to enroll in Ruston and take a chance.

“I had sent my film out to every college out there,” said Boston. “I just wanted a chance. I was standing in a line of students at orientation and I got a direct message from Coach (Joe) Sloan saying, ‘Hey Boston. We got your highlight tape, and we want you to come in as walk-on.’ It was a cool coincidence.” Sloan remembers why the program offered Boston the chance to walk-on with the Bulldogs, despite his lack of physical size.

“He played in a really good program at Zachary High School for a great guy at the time in Neil Weiner,” said Sloan. “He spoke to (Boston’s) character. Boston’s elusiveness and quickness stood out on film. The same things he showed on the field here that have made him such a special player.”

These days Boston is the prototypical collegiate football player, a sculpture of human flesh. No fat on that frame.

But during his true freshman season in 2013, Boston began suffering from mysterious neurological symptoms during his first quarter in college.

Muscle twitches. Fatigue. Cramps, Numbness. Weakness.

“My body started to break down on me,” said Boston, who leads Louisiana Tech into Wednesday’s 7 p.m. match-up against SMU in the DXL Frisco Bowl at Toyota Stadium. “It was scary. My mom saw her child dealing with a condition that people thought might be ALS or MS.

“I was already feeling numb everywhere from the waist down. I felt weak. I had to walk everywhere because I didn’t have a car. I remember walking to class one morning. I lived in UP, and I made it halfway to the bridge. I was like, ‘What are you doing?’ (as Boston looks down at legs). Somebody had to come get me. It was real frustrating.”

Boston’s mom, Shelly, remembers the fall of 2013 vividly. And not so fondly.

“It was very difficult,” said Shelly. “Boston is a very optimistic person. He is a positive person, but that is the first time that I saw him almost lose all hope. We got a couple of bad (doctor) reports at that time. They couldn’t figure out what was going on with his legs, and they also said something was going on with his neck and he should never play football again.”

The dreaded words that no player ever wants to hear.

“He had gotten really down in regards to that,” said Shelly. “We continued to pray and share his issues. I had never seen him become so distraught. I know playing football, especially professionally, was one of his dreams.”

Due to the type of symptoms, especially the numbness in his legs, one of the first thoughts was a bulging disk in the lower back. However, tests showed nothing wrong; a spinal specialist in Dallas that works with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys found nothing out of the ordinary.

Next came a rheumatologist in Baton Rouge. Again, test results were all normal. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Everyone was at a loss. Boston remembers walking into the office of then Louisiana Tech Athletics Trainer Keith Bunch.

“He sat me down and said, ‘God has a plan,'” said Boston. “I was like, ‘Whoa man … ¦what?’ It was tough for everyone. I understand now the frustration of people because they didn’t understand even when I tried to explain. The coaches wanted me to contribute. I wanted to be out there as bad as the next guy. I love football, but I didn’t know what the heck was going on.”

Finally, after a fall filled with fatigue, fear and frustration, a musculoskeletal specialist in Texas discovered the issue. An electromyogram (EMG) performed by the specialist hit the right nerve, almost literally.

“He stuck the needle in my back and sent an impulse into my body,” said Boston. “You could hear the contractions of the muscles on the monitor. He started to hear my muscles fasciculating and twitching out of control. I said, ‘Yeah that is what I can feel all over my body.'”

Cramp fasciculation syndrome (CFS) was the diagnoses. Boston’s body wasn’t failing him. And he wasn’t suffering from a deadly disease with no cure. He simply had a rare peripheral nerve hyperexcitability disorder that causes cramps, pain, fatigue, and muscle stiffness.

“I had to supplement with Vitamin D,” said Boston. “I had to get away from intense physical activity. I had to take some antidepressants to keep my nerves in check. That got it under control. It took almost the entire year, but I’m good now.

With one big hurdle out of the way, Boston then faced a second one. As a walk-on, student-athletes have to pay for their own tuition, room and board. No free ride.

Following the end of the 2015 regular season, Tech was preparing for the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and a match-up against Arkansas State. Although Boston was excited about the second straight bowl game for the Bulldogs, he wasn’t sure if he would be able to continue his college career.

The cost of tuition was adding up and his mother was already working two jobs. However, in the last team meeting before the Bulldogs departed for the Big Easy, Skip Holtz surprised Boston and teammates Aaron Brown and Gerald Shouse with an early Christmas present.

“Coach Holtz wrapped it up and acted like he was walking off,” said Boston. “He then stopped and said, ‘Wait a second. There are a few guys that have done big things for us this year as far as contributing.’ It was huge for me because going into the next quarter I didn’t know how I was going to be able to pay for school. It was real tough. I was considering going to find a job and not necessarily being able to go on with school. A blessing is an understatement as far as what it meant for me. I definitely needed it.”

Boston said his battles with the fear and uncertainty of life inevitably helped him build a stronger relationship with Christ.

“Coming in as a freshman my faith wasn’t where it is now,” said Boston, who has served as President of the Louisiana Tech chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for two years. “I wanted to dabble in the partying, the college atmosphere, all of that. Ultimately, God did some work on me. He showed me that it’s not about the things in this world, but it’s my faith in Him that is most important.

“It allowed me to realize that football isn’t just a sport, it’s also my mission field. It’s where I have an opportunity to reach out to those who don’t know what I know. There are a lot of guys that are in the position that I used to be in.”

“After the struggles with the physical issues, we just decided we were going to stay positive and God was going to work it out,” said Shelly Scott. “And He did. It seemed like Boston got back to the place where I had always known him to be. His outlook certainly improved because of the fact he was rewarded that scholarship. It did something for his belief in God because after that he got really involved in the FCA. It opened up his belief system even more. It gave him more depth in reality. He saw God made something out of nothing.”

On the field, Boston saw very little playing time in 2014. Playing behind current NFL running back Kenneth Dixon and even fellow senior Jarred Craft, he finally started to see more opportunities to contribute during the Bulldogs run to the 2015 New Orleans Bowl, rushing for 275 yards and recording 251 more yards on kick returns.

He credits former teammates Hunter Lee, Blake Martin and Paul Turner with taking him under their wings as a young college student and showing him the importance of keeping God first. Now, he serves as the mentor to many young Tech student-athletes.

“In order to lead, you have to make sure you are living your life the right way,” said Sloan. “The way he does in school, the way he works in the weight room to get better, and then the extracurricular off the field especially with his faith. How he represents himself as the president of the FCA: that’s where I think it starts. The way he carries himself. And his personality: he gets along with everybody and has great relationships. That makes him such a great leader.”

He registered his first career 100-yard performance in Tech’s 47-28 win over Arkansas State in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, including a 77-yard run from scrimmage against the Red Wolves.

The past two years, he has shared time in the backfield with Craft as the Bulldogs two-headed running monster. After rushing for 515 yards and six scores as a junior, he has bettered those numbers this year by totaling 937 yards and eight touchdowns.

Boston rushed for three touchdowns in a 42-28 win over Rice this season while also playing through a toe injury in the season finale to rush for a career-high 138 yards and the game-clinching 35-yard score with 2:23 to play in the 20-6 win over UTSA that made the Bulldogs bowl eligible.

“To watch the way he has grown from when he came in here as a freshman as an undersized walk-on running back who had some talent is amazing,” said Tech head coach Skip Holtz. “He suffered some injuries, and had to wait his turn, but Boston is a guy that kept working, kept getting bigger and faster.

“This year has been a great year for him as well as the way he has developed physically. He really grew and matured as a running back, making the hard yards in between the tackles, the extra yards. Boston means an awful lot to this team and is a leader because of his work ethic. As good of a player as he is on the football field, he is a better young man. It’s been a pleasure to coach him.”

As Boston takes the field for the final time in a Louisiana Tech uniform Wednesday night, he will do so alongside a senior class that has a chance to win four bowl games in four years. He will suit up one last time with his Bulldog brothers, trying to make history.

“I love this team and how we fight and compete no matter what the results have been,” said Boston. “We have had some close games, some heartbreakers. Some losses that a lot of teams don’t come back from. The team has the mindset of ‘What can we do to get better? We are going to come back harder next week.’ We never quit. I am so thankful for being able to be a part of a team like this that never quit, that responded positively to those circumstances.”

Circumstances have never stopped Boston Scott from playing a game he loves. The trials and tribulations of an up-and-down senior season won’t stop him now.

And for one final time, Bulldog fans will get to see Boston block, see Boston catch, and see Boston run.

Run fast, Boston. And run hard.

Search warrants reveal drugs at two Ruston locations

Three men are in custody on multiple drug charges after the Lincoln Parish Narcotics Enforcement Team executed two search warrants in Ruston Wednesday.

Nicholas D. Moore, 30, Ladarius D. Winzer, 41, and Miketavious Dice, 33, were present at a Larson Street residence when the search warrant was executed. An affidavit supporting the arrests by a Lincoln Parish deputy sheriff assigned to LPNET stated the house “was obviously the site of a large, organized illegal drug operation.”

Among the items seized were 1,046 grams of methamphetamine, 252 grams of marijuana, 37 grams of powdered cocaine, 14 dosage units of the amphetamine Adderall, six units of alprazolam, 10 ounces of promethazine syrup, multiple sets of digital scales, large quantities of packaging materials, and a vacuum sealer.

Much of the drugs was broken down and packaged for individual sale. The location is considered a drug-free zone due to the house’s proximity to a church and a school.

A second search warrant was executed at a Monterey Drive residence that Moore shares with another individual. During that search, two parcels were marijuana were found totaling 774 grams.

Each of the three men were booked for possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, marijuana, cocaine, Adderall, alprazolam, and promethazine; possession of drug paraphernalia; and violation of the Controlled Substances Law (drug-free zone).

Bail amounts were not available.

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. 

Parish heavyweights schedule non-district ballgame

(Photo credit: Reggie McLeroy)

By Kyle Roberts

With both teams setting their eyes on respective postseason runs, Ruston and Choudrant decided to play a non-district matchup in February to prepare for formidable play-off foes.

Scheduled at Ruston High’s gym for Thursday, February 16, it will be varsity boys only in a hoops matchup that will be sure to shake Lincoln Parish.

“We know adding a game with Ruston is going to be a real challenge,” Aggie head coach Ryan Smith said. “I feel that you can make a case for Ruston being one of the best teams in the state regardless of class. Coach (Ryan) Bond has done a tremendous job of elevating that program in just a few years. We wanted to play a game that will prepare us for a deep playoff run and going to play at Ruston is going to do that. We won’t see that level of athleticism and talent in the Division-5 playoffs, so we feel it’s a great opportunity to improve even at the end of the season.”

Bond echoed Smith’s sentiment about the potential for a good matchup.

“Coach Smith and I have been good friends for 15 years,” Bond said. “We thought it would be beneficial for both programs. It is a opportunity for us to play a really good, well-coached and disciplined team.”

Ruston currently sits No. 2 overall in the Division-1 Power Ratings at 20-2, while Choudrant is No. 8 overall in the Division-5 Power Ratings.

“I’m thankful for Coach Bond giving us the opportunity to play,” Smith said. “I hope it benefits both programs heading into the playoffs. Regardless of the outcome of the game, I know we will both be cheering for each other afterward.”

The game is set for 6 p.m. and admission will be $8.

Traditions updated for the progress of the school

By Sarah Brackin

Students hurry along Louisiana Tech’s Centennial Plaza, criss-crossing paths and weaving between tables, all heading to individual destinations. Only one area is unbothered by the crowd; the Louisiana state symbol with the letter T plastered to the ground.

Students walk a wide berth around it to avoid any accidents until suddenly a foot lands on the blue tile.

10 seconds on the clock.

Students who touched the emblem waste no time to race to the center of the Quad where the Lady of the Mist rests. They kick their shoes off and plunge their feet into the cool water of the fountain.

Students begin the 30 seconds of washing; their graduation is saved.

As a representation of the original bulldog, this is the sacred ground of Louisiana Tech’s Centennial Plaza. The seal that was there was created in 1994 in celebration of Tech’s 100 year anniversary. 

The legend of the bulldog did not come until 2003 when student tour groups told the incoming freshman that the seal was meant to honor the hero bulldog buried somewhere on campus. Over the years, the seal began to wear away, tiles popping up or cracking, and students took notice. 

Around 2018 vice president of student advancement Dickie Crawford met with student focus groups to see what was to be done, and The Campus Core Project was birthed.

Now the Louisiana Tech seal has been raised from the ground to create a fountain. 

Faculty member Jimmy Washingtion said, “The seal symbolizes unity with students where students are all on one accord. Where they believe in  the university itself and the seal brings everybody together because they have that one goal in mind to say that we are Louisiana Tech.” 

Students now spend their time around the fountain on the stone columns talking with one another or working on homework. 

Student Evan Roden said, “It’s better to look at now, and improve on the area so people can actually hang out there.”

The new fountain has emphasized the importance of the seal and raised it for all of Tech’s glory, but some students still miss the threat that came with the old seal.

“The tradition and unity the old seal brought I felt was more significant. Like when we had the freshman convocation, the upperclassmen would mess with first years who stepped on the old seal and it felt like family,” said student Michael Berrigan.

As a solution, Louisiana Tech provided a new seal in the area. Between the clock tower and the fountain is a mark, quoting, “We are Bulldogs; Unity,” where the tradition continues among the students.

Louisiana Tech is growing, and with it, the traditions. As Washington said, “It’s just another change in what we do here: progress.” 

AEP endowment honors long-time CEO Akins

To honor former CEO and President Nicholas “Nick” Akins, American Electric Power (AEP) has established the Nicholas K. Akins Eminent Scholar Chair in Engineering within Louisiana Tech University’s College of Engineering and Science.

“Nick’s leadership in AEP has been highly impactful, and he has established a legacy of innovation in safety, reliability and sustainability for the industry,” said Dr. Les Guice, Louisiana Tech President. “AEP’s commitment will honor Nick by helping our University attract and retain an outstanding senior faculty member who will enhance our tradition of providing unparalleled opportunities in engineering education and serve as a leader for Louisiana Tech’s priority research programs, including energy and cyber security.”

In addition to endowment funding, the Louisiana Tech University Foundation will seek matching funds from the Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund, a constitutional dedication to promote excellence in higher education and enhance economic development through specified purposes including the endowment of chairs for eminent scholars.

“This endowment is a wonderful tribute to Nick, his advocacy of STEM education, and his deep appreciation for the opportunities provided by his alma mater,” said Julie Sloat, AEP president and chief executive officer. “AEP is proud to support Louisiana Tech as it shapes the next generation of engineers who will follow in Nick’s footsteps and lead the transformation of our industry.”

Akins is a 1982 and 1986 graduate of Louisiana Tech with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering. He was honored with the Tower Medallion and induction into Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni in May 2022. The Tower Medallion is awarded to Tech alumni who have distinguished themselves by exceptional achievement, community service, and humanitarian activities.

“This honor is uniquely fitting for Mr. Akins and his continuing commitment to Louisiana Tech’s legacy,” said Lisa Bradley, interim Vice President for University Advancement. “The Nicholas K. Akins Eminent Scholar Chair in Engineering will help our University support one of the best and brightest researchers in critical areas for our state, region, and nation.”

Akins stepped down from his role as president of the company in August, and his term as CEO ended Dec. 31. He will continue to serve as executive chair for the company’s Board of Directors. Under his leadership, AEP invested in modernization and security of the electric grid, resource diversification, and technology and innovation to enable the transition to a clean energy future while preserving universal access to the grid. Through strategic partnerships and collaboration with customers, Akins positioned AEP to redefine the future of energy and embrace the transformation sweeping the industry. 

Ponderings by Doug

I do not wear a tinfoil hat. I don’t necessarily believe in all the apocalyptic conspiracy theories that float around our Internet world. I am cautiously suspicious, and I don’t believe anything coming out of the mouths of politicians and media personalities.

We live in a connected world. We are told that our data is safe, unless you have a Tic Toc account, in which case the Chinese know everything about you. Otherwise, the message is, trust us we are not watching or listening to you.

If “they” are not listening to us, why do the ads on my Internet feed change based on what I just said to my wife across the den. Is my phone listening to me as it innocently sits next me on the table? You bet your Scofield Reference Bible it is listening to you. The Police sang it this way back in the 80’s, “Every move you make, and every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I’ll be watching you.”

Finally, we have arrived at my destination. I don’t know who is responsible for my latest tracking conundrum. I have a vehicle that is several I.Q. points smarter than I am. I also have a smart phone. Every time I get in my car, I receive a text message from Google maps. Mind you I have not started the car. I have gone and sat down in the car. Boom here comes the text message. Is the car telling the phone or is the phone telling the car, I just sat down?

On Sunday through Friday the message is the same. “You are 24 minutes from the office.” I live in Gibsland and Trinity is in Ruston. 24 miles from my front door to the office door, and it takes me less than 24 minutes to get here. I have grown accustomed to ignoring that message.

What bugs me is the message I receive on Saturday morning. If I go to the car on Saturday and sit down, boom the text message comes. “You are 12 miles from Gap Farms.” How does the phone know I’m going to Gap Farms? The phone knows because on most Saturday mornings, my bride and I start the day with breakfast at Gap Farms in the metropolis of Arcadia. Still it is unnerving that the phone knows my behavior so well.

For my Christian friends out there remember the words of Paul, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, make the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Be careful because you are being watched. Be careful because your actions influence others to consider Jesus or reject Him. Be careful because your eternity is hanging in the balance.

Be careful how you live. You are being watched over by a gracious and loving Savior. That gives me hope in this crazy world.