Tech grad authors book on legendary coach

By Wesley Harris

Christopher Kennedy grew up in the shadow of Tech’s football stadium knowing it bore the name of a legendary coach but unfamiliar with the man behind the name.

“I grew up in Ruston, and Dad works at Tech,” Kennedy says. “I went to all the tailgates, played on the field after games, rolled down the hills in front of the fieldhouse. I practiced cross country and track around there and always wondered why the stadium was named after Joe Aillet. No one seemed to know much about him until my mom told me one day to talk to Cynthia Aillet Murry, his daughter.”

That talk told Kennedy, a Tech history grad who has written a book on Aillet, about a young Joe traveling from New York City to Louisiana as part of an “orphan train” of children looking for new homes.

The public is invited to hear Kennedy speak about Aillet at the Lincoln Parish Museum on Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. His book will be available for purchase.

Kennedy said, “The Sisters of Charity, an order of nuns started by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, ran orphan trains that carried young children to church parishes across the country with congregations interested in adoption.” When Joe arrived at the Youngsville station on the orphan train from New York, Father Johanni Roguet, the priest at St. Ann’s Catholic Church, claimed the child. Since the priest could not legally adopt Joe, he handed over the responsibilities of raising the baby to a widow named Eliza Aillet. From these two individuals, Joseph Fuourka was renamed Joseph Roguet Aillet. 

Kennedy’s research for the book took him to the archives of schools Aillet attended–Holy Cross of New Orleans, St. Edward’s in Austin, Texas and Louisiana-Lafayette—as well as the universities where he coached, Northwestern State and Louisiana Tech. 

Kennedy answered some questions from Lincoln Parish Journal about the journey through Aillet’s life and writing of the book.

LPJ: Other than being an orphan train child, what aspect of Aillet’s life did you find most interesting?

Kennedy: That he was able to always keep cool. He was cool under pressure and was referred to, in different variations, as “The Smooth One’ or as a smooth man. It was said in a tone of respect but never to his face.

LPJ:  Aillet’s reputation as a quiet, soft-spoken man doesn’t seem to match the image we have today of a college football coach. How did he interact with players? And did he really quote Shakespeare on the practice field?

Kennedy: He always treated players the same. He respected them, gently corrected them when needed, and threw in some sly humor on occasion. He was very similar to his friend Tom Landry, the coach of the Dallas Cowboys. They both dressed well for games and kept their composure. He liked to quote Shakespeare. His favorite line was from Hamlet: ‘To thine own self be true.’ Pat Garrett, a running back at Tech in the late ‘50’s (son of L.J. “Hoss” Garrett, legendary Ruston High football coach) told me he recalled Aillet trying to teach the winged T formation to the offense. Attempting to get the team to understand the concept, Aillet explained, ‘A sweep is a sweep, is a sweep, is a sweep,’ alluding to the Gertrude Stein poem ‘A Rose is a Rose.’  

LPJ:  You suggest in the book that Joe Aillet was an “underappreciated figure,” due to his efforts outside of football. Explain that.

Kennedy: One important area was his involvement in founding the first and only Catholic church in Ruston, St. Thomas Aquinas. There were very few Catholics in the area, but he had the foresight to help organize with the community and petition the bishop to establish a church.

He was concerned about his athletes’ academics, careers, life choices, and faith. The coaching staff counseled athletes in these areas. They provided tutoring if needed. Athletes were encouraged to attend church. Practices were scheduled around athletes’ academic schedule, such as labs. Scholarships lasted until the athlete graduated, not for a certain number of years. 

LPJ: Coach Aillet was very active on the home front during World War II. Did you explore that period?

Kennedy: Yes, Aillet provided entertainment by being part of the USO—United Services Organization. He would show game film at the Ruston USO and narrate it to servicemen. He was a first lieutenant in the State Home Guard, a special military unit in WWII to protect the home front; home guards were unique as they were controlled by governors, unlike the National Guard which can be federalized. He wrote letters to the 22 Tech football players serving overseas. They traded letters back and forth, one giving constant updates on sports and other campus activity while the others spoke what little they could about military life. Coach Aillet’s scholarship system remained in place. All 22 Tech football players in military service retained their scholarships for the duration of the war.

LPJ: There seems to have been a great deal of tragedy in the Aillet family. He lost a son and grandson while working at Tech and he suffered a long bout with cancer. How did those experiences affect him and his wife Ruby?

Kennedy: Losing Richard “Dickie” Aillet at such a young age was devastating for the family and made him very melancholy. They were involved in a serious car accident one year prior to Dickie’s untimely passing. Joe Aillet’s faith helped him during his illness. It was very hard on Ruby. Cynthia, Aillet’s daughter, served as his caregiver. Friends supported him—one frequent visitor was Eddie Robinson, legendary coach at Grambling.

LPJ: How do you hope the book is received by the Louisiana Tech family?

Kennedy: I hope it satisfies everyone because it contains a little bit of everything. Football fans will love learning Tech football history. His faith will appeal to local parishioners of the church he helped found and a larger audience of believers. His background as an orphan train rider, the opportunity presented to him, and what he made of it, is a heartwarming and incredible story that shines a positive light on early adoption efforts. It is a pro-life message. His care for his athletes outside of sports proves athletics is more than a game. It builds people when they have coaches like Joe Aillet. Also, his story occupies multiple layers of Louisiana Tech history. I hope the Bulldog family will find these and other aspects of his life inspiring; he’s provided the foundation for much of what we have today which continues to point to a bright future.

Kennedy will speak at the Lincoln Parish Museum, 609 N. Vienna, Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. Free admission.

Joe Peel claims prize for Week 3 of NFL Pick’em Contest

Joe Peel (middle) won $100 cash and a $50 gift card from 511 after being the week 3 winner. He is pictured with 511 and Black Rifle Coffee Company General Manager Stephanie Callender and Karl Malone Toyota Finance Manager Louis Allen.

Participation is very simple. Just click on this link below. No entry fee. It’s FREE to play. One entry per contestant.


Joe Peel was this week’s winner of the Karl Malone Toyota NFL Pickem Contest presented by 511 and Black Rifle Coffee

Joe won $100 in cash and a $50 gift card to 511 as this week’s winner. 

How would you like to join Joe in the winners circle?

It’s easy. Each week pick the 10 NFL games that we list and have a chance to win cash and gift cards. The week 4 prizes are $100 and a $50 gift card to Dawghouse.

One lucky (or smart) pick’em guru will walk away with $150 worth of cash and prizes. The weekly deadline is Saturday at 10 a.m. (prior to Sunday’s NFL games). 

Anyone is eligible to participate (only one entry per contestant). Each week the winner will be the participant with the best record out of 10 selected NFL games (ties will be broken by two separate tiebreakers consisting of guessing the total points scored in two of our weekly contests).

There is no entry fee, just like there is no cost to subscribe to the Lincoln Parish Journal. 

It takes 20-30 seconds to sign up and not much longer than that to make your picks.

All contest decisions by LPJ management are final. Weekly winners will be notified Monday and are will be requested to take a photo that will run in the following week’s LPJ.

Every participant will receive a FREE subscription to the Journal, if you’re not already signed up for the easily-navigated, convenient 6:55 a.m. daily e-mail.

Weekly Winners

Week 1: Barry Morales

Week 2: Zoe Collum

Week 3: Joe Peel

Suspected drug dealer arrested

An investigation by the Lincoln Parish Narcotics Enforcement Team has led to the arrest of a 23-year-old man on multiple drug charges.

Jarvis A. Logan of Ruston was taken into custody Friday morning when officers executed a search warrant at his apartment at Campus Evolution Villages at 1812 West Alabama Avenue.

During a search of the apartment, bags of marijuana, cocaine, a .223 pistol, drug packaging materials, and oxycodone tablets were recovered.

The apartment is considered part of a drug-free zone since it is within 1,000 feet of the Louisiana Tech campus.

Logan was booked on warrants from the investigation preceding the search, including three counts of distribution of marijuana, two counts of possession of controlled substance in a drug free zone, two counts of distribution of amphetamine, and illegal use of a controlled substance in the presence of a minor.

Based on evidence found during the search, Logan was also booked for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, illegal possession of a firearm, possession of controlled substance in a drug free zone, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cocaine, and possession of oxycodone.

Logan’s bail was set at $372,500.

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. 

Lady Bearcat volleyball loses heartbreaker in five

Photo Credit: Darrell James

By Kyle Roberts

Ruston High’s volleyball team lost a heartbreaker in five sets at home to Natchitoches Central by final scores of 25-18, 22-25, 22-25, 25-17, 14-16.

“We knew this was going to be a dog fight going into it,” Ruston head coach Lucie Hunt said after the emotional match. “In my heart of hearts, I knew this was going to be a five-set match. I thought we would have executed some things better. We played way better than we did this weekend, so there are some positives to look at. We swung very well. They are super scrappy, and we knew that coming into it. Some things just fell their way tonight.”

The fifth set of the night saw Ruston take an early 3-0 lead before Natchitoches Central went on a 4-0 run. Later in the set, the Chiefs led 13-8 before Ruston put a run together and tied the match 14-14. The Lady Chiefs would score the final two points of the set for the 16-14 win.

Ruston won the first set after pulling away late for the 25-18 win. The second and third sets saw Natchitoches Central take both 25-22, while Ruston dominated set four to win 25-17.

Senior libero Lorelei Freling had an impressive night with 45 digs.

“Overall, I’m happy with how we played,” Hunt added. “We’ve got to get to the point where we finish.”

Ruston heads south to a weekend tournament in Lutcher and will return home Oct. 4 to continue district play against Pineville.

Quick stats

Hannah Rollins: 14 kills, 2 blocks
Jade Smith: 13 kills, 6 blocks
Hannah Johnson: 14 kills, 15 digs
Harper Cauley: 9 kills, 25 digs
Lorelei Freling: 45 digs
Maggie Ambrose: 32 assists, 15 digs
Allie Richardson: 16 assists


Police warn of vehicle break-ins

Louisiana Tech Police recently warned motorists to lock their vehicles to avoid thefts. 

Tech Police Chief Randal Hermes disseminated an email to the Tech family stating his department and the Ruston Police Department had investigated several vehicle burglaries. In each case the vehicle’s doors were not locked, making for easy pickings by the thieves.

Using information provided by Tech Police, on Friday Ruston PD apprehended a suspect and recovered some stolen property, including a handgun, Hermes said.

Hermes recommended drivers always lock up their vehicles after parking, including at off-campus residences. The chief said the vehicle break-ins have occurred on campus and in neighborhoods off campus. 

Crime prevention specialists suggest removing all valuables from view inside the vehicle in addition to locking it. Parking in a well-lit area can help deter thieves as well.

Chief Hermes said, “If you see someone walking through a parking lot checking vehicle door handles, immediately call Tech Police from a safe location at 318-257-4018 or if off campus, phone 911.”

This week’s GeauxPreps Football Power Ratings

Photo credit: Reggie McLeroy

Here are the latest Power Ratings for the Non-Select Division I football schools. These are used to determine playoff seedings at the end of the regular season.

Click HERE to see the complete list for each Select and Non-Select Division, including where Ruston (Non-Select Division I), Cedar Creek (Select Division IV) and Lincoln Preparatory (Select Division IV) are ranked.



The changes the LHSAA made to the Power Ratings formula a few years back will have coaches and fans alike wondering why your calculations do not match GeauxPreps.

The top reason for mismatches is calculating Opponents’ Win points. Win Points are no longer just a straight up number of Wins by teams you have played. Points are now based on the number of wins vs number of games played. This was done to make up for playing opponents who did not play a full 10-game schedule.  

See the summary below on how PR is calculated:

  • Result of Game: If you win, you get 10 Power Points. If you lose, you get none.
  • Classification: If your opponent is in a higher class, you get 2 points for each class higher
  • Opponents Wins: To calculate opponents wins: divide the number of wins by total games played, and multiple by 10.
  • Add these three components, and this is the PR for that specific game played.
  • Do this for all games played, add them all up, and then divide that total by the number of games you played.
  • You can compare your calculations with ours by looking at the Team Schedules Pages, there you will see how many points we calculated for each matchup.

Another major factor that causes mismatches, is Out of State opponents.  We strive to make sure that we have to most accurate Win/Loss record for each out of state opponent. Since schools enter the W/L records for their OOS opponents, and because we don’t know how the schools get their record, we often are off on several matchups.

In addition, a team’s strength factor shall be determined by adding the sum of the opponent’s class to the sum of the opponent’s wins and dividing the result by the total number of games played. The strength factor is used when a tie exists between two or more teams and a head-to-head matchup does not exist. auto-generates its Power Ratings every two hours for football. If you think that you have seen an error or have any other questions, please contact

Traffic violations, warrant lead to contraband

Ruston Police arrested a man early Saturday morning after he was stopped for an equipment violation.

Adrian Foy, 28, of Ruston was stopped for improper tail lamps about 2:00 a.m. Saturday. A records check showed Foy was wanted for failing to appear in Ruston City Court on a driving under suspension charge. His driver’s license was still under suspension at the time of the stop.

At the time Foy was arrested, officers could smell raw marijuana coming from the vehicle. A search discovered a small amount of marijuana in the center console. A backpack contained a set of digital scales, plastic bags commonly used in packaging drugs for sale, and a 3.25-quart plastic container of marijuana.

When asked how long he had been selling marijuana, Foy said he did for a while, then got caught, lost his job, and recently began selling again.

Foy was booked at the Lincoln Parish Detention Center for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, improper tail lamps, driving under suspension, and the warrant for driving under suspension.

Bail was set at $22,000.

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. 

Tech Hoops releases 2022-23 schedule

Keaston Willis and the Bulldogs play road non-conference games at places like Texas Tech and Wyoming as part of their 2022-23 slate.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Louisiana Tech men’s basketball head coach Talvin Hester announced the non-conference slate on Tuesday, finalizing the 2022-23 schedule for the Bulldogs.

After previously releasing the 20-game Conference USA schedule five days ago, LA Tech has 11 non-conference games set with the season tipping off on Nov. 7 at home against Mississippi College.

“We are excited about the upcoming season,” said Hester who enters his first season at the helm.  “The non-conference schedule is a challenging one as we face two top-25 caliber programs as well as other opponents who were leaders or nor the top of their respective leagues last season.  These challenges will help prepare us for what is expected to be a demanding 20-game C-USA schedule.”

The Bulldogs will then have back-to-back road trips as they first make the trek to Lubbock, Texas where coach Hester spent last season as an assistant coach to face the Red Raiders on Nov. 14.  Texas Tech is coming off a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament, finishing as the 12th-ranked team in the country.

The next away game is down in Lafayette on Nov. 17 as LA Tech faces rival UL-Lafayette in their annual match-up.  It will mark the 168th meeting between the two programs.

The ‘Dogs will then host ULM on Nov. 21 for a third straight season before heading to the state of Alabama to face three opponents – at Alabama A&M (Nov. 23), at Samford (Nov. 25) and vs. Tennessee-Southern (Nov. 26) in Birmingham.  The Bulldogs of Samford won 21 games a season ago.

The calendar month then rolls over as LA Tech hosts Southern, who finished third in the SWAC standings last season, on Dec. 2.  The team then makes its longest trip in the non-conference on Dec. 10 to face Wyoming who also made the NCAA Tournament a season ago and was ranked in the top 25.  

The remainder of the non-conference slate includes two home games against reigning WAC regular season champion Stephen F. Austin on Dec. 14 and Jarvis Christian on Dec. 21.

LA Tech will face every league opponent both home and away this season with the C-USA opener coming pre-Christmas on Dec. 17 at UTEP. 

Tip-off times and broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date.

Season tickets for the Bulldogs will go on sale Thursday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.  Fans can purchase them online at or by calling the LA Tech Ticket Office at (318) 257-3631.

For all the latest in Bulldog Basketball, follow them on Twitter (@LATechHoops), Instagram (@LATechHoops) and Facebook (LATechMBB).


2022-23 Bulldog Basketball Schedule

Monday, Nov. 7               MISSISSIPPI COLLEGE

Monday, Nov. 14             at Texas Tech

Thursday, Nov. 17            at UL-Lafayette

Monday, Nov. 21             ULM

Wednesday, Nov. 23       at Alabama A&M^

Friday, Nov. 25                 at Samford^

Saturday, Nov. 26            vs. Tennessee-Southern^ (Birmingham, Ala.)

Friday, Dec. 2                    SOUTHERN

Saturday, Dec. 10             at Wyoming

Wednesday, Dec. 14       STEPHEN F. AUSTIN

Saturday, Dec. 17             at UTEP*

Wednesday, Dec. 21       JARVIS CHRISTIAN

Thursday, Dec. 29            UTSA*

Saturday, Dec. 31             at Charlotte*

Thursday, Jan. 5               at Rice*

Saturday, Jan. 7                UTEP*

Wednesday, Jan. 11        at North Texas*

Saturday, Jan. 14              UAB*

Thursday, Jan. 19             WKU*

Saturday, Jan. 21              MIDDLE TENNESSEE*

Thursday, Jan. 26             at UAB*

Saturday, Jan. 28              at UTSA*

Thursday, Feb. 2               RICE*

Thursday, Feb. 9               at FIU*

Saturday, Feb. 11             at Florida Atlantic*

Thursday, Feb. 16            NORTH TEXAS*

Saturday, Feb. 18             CHARLOTTE*

Thursday, Feb. 23            at WKU*

Saturday, Feb. 25             at Middle Tennessee*

Thursday, March 2          FIU*

Saturday, March 4           FLORIDA ATLANTIC*


^Samford MTE

*C-USA Game

Letters in the key of life 

Yo Brendan! 

Word is you’re headed to church retreat to begin your high school senior year. I’ve been asked to write a letter of encouragement. You’ll get several from friends for you to read this week. Mine is a humble C+ at best, but I’m honored to be asked …  

You were born the day after I coached my final Little League game. For 10-plus years I had that privilege; most fun I’ve ever had. 

The day before you were born, we lost in the semifinals of the state championship, and if I’d have done just a couple things differently — like called time and talked to my pitcher Scarf one batter earlier — I feel certain we’d have been in the finals. And the team that won it all was better than we were but … they might not have been better than us two-out-of-three, not right then. Not on those days.  

So the next day driving up I-49, thinking about nothing other than what I have just told you, coming home after a week in South Louisiana and wishing I could turn back the clock and wishing I’d gotten my lard butt off the bucket and gone to the mound in the top of the ninth — your dad calls. 

Saw his name on the screen and knew what it was about.  

You had arrived on the scene. 

I felt better right then. 

Even though our little team of 14-year-olds didn’t quite get it done, they did as good as they possibly could have. Still, I was sad over the ending. 

And then your beginning made me happy. 

Harmony of the universe and all that. God is like that sometimes.  

I would have loved to have seen you more as you grew up into the wonderful young man you’ve become. 

But I’ve gotten to “watch” you a lot through pictures and mostly through stories from your mom and dad. Every time they mention you, their voices are filled with joy and laughter and gratitude. Every time. It’s been fun to listen. And see. 

Seems all the stories have had happy endings. We’ve been blessed. 

I have a picture posted on my wall of you at age 3-ish sucking down a milkshake at a Shreveport burger joint, your eyes bulging and your cheeks working overtime. I have another picture of you running the bases with a batting helmet on, all business. I remember Brad pushing you into the pool and I remember us playing baseball outside your house.  

Since then, you have learned the joy of live theatre. Learned how to do long division. Figured out how to try and not be scared on a first date. Learned a lot—but you’re just beginning. Keep your mind and heart open for all God is teaching you. 

I am proud of you and love you because your mom and dad are proud of you and love you. There is never anything you could do, good or bad, that would make us love you more or less. We accept you right now as you are and are grateful for you being you. 

Maybe you get the point of all this, which is that I have always been a Brendan cheerleader and that will always be the case. It has made me proud when your parents have called me with a “Little Teddy” update. You were almost named that, but it would have been a disservice to you. You are a Brendan, and a really, really good one. 

A wise man once told me: Be kind. Love God and your neighbor. Don’t be too hard on yourself. That’s it. Enjoy this life you’ve been given. 

Your friend always, 

Uncle TA 

Contact Teddy at 


Lady Techsters release full slate for 2022-23

Robyn Lee and the Lady Techsters will host Vanderbilt as part of their 2022-23 non-conference slate.

Courtesy of LA Tech Athletic Communications

Louisiana Tech women’s basketball announced Tuesday morning the remainder of the 2022-23 Lady Techster Basketball schedule.

After releasing the 20-game Conference USA schedule, LA Tech has ten non-conference games, including five inside the Thomas Assembly Center, beginning with the season tipping off on Nov. 7 at home against Central Baptist College.  

“We are excited about the schedule we have put together and are looking forward to watching this group compete on the court this season,” said head coach Brooke Stoehr. “There are several opportunities for our team to be challenged in the non-conference slate by postseason tournament teams. This team has worked hard in the off-season and is driven to build on what last year’s team accomplished. We need everyone to get behind this group and join us in the TAC for some great home games throughout the season.”

The Lady Techsters will then host Arkansas State (Nov. 10), which will be the annual Education Game, followed by two road contests at ULM (Nov. 13) and SMU (Nov. 22). 

LA Tech will travel to Las Vegas to participate in the UNLV Thanksgiving Tournament, which will feature an eight-team bracket-style tournament from Nov. 25-27. Tech will begin the holiday tournament against Stetson, followed by either San Diego or Illinois State. The other side of the bracket includes host UNLV, Albany, East Tennessee State, and George Washington. 

The tournament will feature a competitive field with three NCAA tournament teams from 2021-22 in UNLV, Illinois State, and Albany. Stetson and George Washington made the finals of their respective conference tournaments, while San Diego made it to the second round of last year’s WNIT. 

The Techsters will return home for a four-game home stand beginning with Alcorn State on Dec. 3, then welcome SEC East member Vanderbilt (Dec. 8) and South Alabama (Dec. 12) before beginning conference play at home on Dec. 18 against UTEP.  

Conference USA will feature a reduced 11-team field following the departure of Marshall, Old Dominion, and Southern Miss. The new-look league will no longer include East and West Divisions. Instead, each team will compete in a home-and-home series against the remaining ten conference members. 

The Conference USA Basketball Championship returns to Frisco, Texas, March 8-11 at the Ford Center at The Star. You can read about the full Conference USA slate HERE.

Tip-off times and TV schedule assignments will be released at a later date. 

Physics professor presents work at photo exhibition

Fine Line Supply Co. in Ruston will host an exhibition of black and white photography created by Dr. Markus Wobisch, Louisiana Tech University Associate Professor of Physics, this fall.

The exhibition, “It’s just a shadow you’re seeing that he’s chasing,” takes its name from a line in Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” and features black and white photos that Wobisch created from shapes found in Louisiana Tech’s Integrated Engineering and Science Building.

Wobisch says his photography is very much connected to his work as a particle physicist, as his goal in both fields is to pare down what he sees into basic elements that may not be obvious to casual observers.

“Getting to the core of things – that’s what I do as a particle physicist and as a photographer. Making sense of a whole through its constituents. Stripping off non-essential pieces to reveal the fundamental building blocks underneath. In particle physics, it means understanding macroscopic matter through interactions of elementary particles. In my photography, I strive to comprehend my environment by deconvoluting its structures into basic geometric shapes and their shadows and reflections.”

His choice to focus much of his work on the Integrated Engineering and Science Building stems from the excitement he felt when he moved his office into the building.

“The new building’s beautiful architecture with its wide-open spaces had an immediate positive impact on my interactions with students simply because it encourages social exchange. We are closer together now – literally and figuratively. And because of that, the quality of my life as a physics teacher has changed in a wonderful way.

“This experience has inspired me to capture the spirit of the Integrated Engineering and Science Building by spotting its not-so-obvious details from unusual, yet telling points of view. My medium of choice is black and white photography which allows me to focus on basic shapes, their shadows, and reflections, without the distraction of color.”

The exhibition is free and will run through Oct. 22. Wobisch will give a short talk describing his work and influences at the reception.

Panthers hope offensive improvement not just passing fancy

Jamarion Buggs will lead the Panthers against Lakeside Friday.

By T. Scott Boatright

Lincoln Preparatory School head football coach Glen Hall didn’t see his team win last weekend.

But he did see improvement, and that’s something he hopes his 2-2 Panthers will build on as they play at 3-1 Lakeside on Friday in Sibley.

The Panthers led Jonesboro-Hodge into the final minute of last week’s game before a Tigers touchdown with 40 seconds left helped them to escape with a 30-26 victory.

“We came away with a lot of pluses out of that game,” Hall said. “We got behind early, but we fought back and took the lead. Then they took the lead and we still fought back and took it again and fought until the end.

“Yes, we made some mistakes but overcame a lot of them. There’s still a lot of stuff we need to clean up. We’re not good enough to win making five or six big mistakes. If we take away a few of those mistakes we come out winners so we’re trying to take this week and clean those mistakes up and see what happens then.”

One big difference between the Panthers’ first three games and the game against Jonesboro-Hodge was that Lincoln Prep passes significantly more than it previously had.

Lincoln Prep quarterback Bralyn Mayfield attempted 38 passes against the Tigers, completing 16 for 166 yards and three touchdowns with one interception.

“After the first series we saw that they were stacking the defensive line,” Hall said. “They weren’t going to give us the run because they knew we had two backs who are having pretty good seasons. 

“It’s called passing, but we threw a lot of screens, three a lot of flares, threw a lot of quick hitches — it was really long handoffs we were going but of course those count for passes,” Hall said. “And we did have a lot of throws downfield, so both our quarterbacks (Mayfield and Chauncy Harper) both did a good job at quarterback.”

Hall hopes it was a game Mayfield will use as a confidence builder.

“It was good to see him throwing the ball well, and he also ran the ball well,” Hall said about his senior quarterback who returned to football this season after not playing on the gridiron since he was a freshman. “He led us in rushing with over 60 yards. So he found out that he is an athlete and can get out and run the ball and make the defense have to make some adjustments that could cause problems for them.”

Harper connected on two-of-three passes for 55 yards while adding three receptions for five yards.

Brandon Heard was the top target on the night with nine catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns while Jamarion Buggs added four receptions for 75 yards and a score.

“He’s become an important player for this team,” Hall said. “He breaks tackles. He goes up over people and catches the ball. He’s doing such a great job that we have to find a way to get the ball into his hands a little bit more.”

Hall getting Buggs more involved in the passing game was another key for the Panthers.

“He’s running deep routes, drag routes and seam routes, catching the ball and making moves to get extra yards,” Hall said. “He also had an interception for a touchdown on defense that was called back. He had a great game.”

Hall said he expects the mental aspect of his team knowing they could have and probably should have won is something he’s focusing his team on this week.

“They showed they can play — that they can go into anybody’s arena and compete with them,” Hall said. “These three games against bigger and talented schools — Jonesboro, Lakeside and then Richwood — I did that for a reason. 

“We’re about to go into district play after next week’s game and I want our guys to understand that they can get out of the field and compete with anybody.”

Hall knows the Panthers will be facing tougher games at Lakeside on Friday and at Richwood next week.

“They’re tough — they’re tough,” Hall said after watching video on Lakeside. “They throw the ball well and have a heck of a running game. They have two guys that run the ball, and even the quarterback is a runner.

“When they open it up they have a lot of weapons, so we’re really going to have to play some good defense and make tackles.”

Louisiana Readers’ Choice announces nominated titles

BATON ROUGE, La. – Entering its 23rd year, the Louisiana Readers’ Choice (LYRC/LTRC) Award Program is excited to announce the 2023-2024 nominated title lists for grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Since the program’s first list in 1999, over 424,000 students have read the recommended titles and voted for their favorites, reading more than 1.35 million books in the process.

Every year thousands of students from elementary to high school age vote for their favorite book from a list of titles curated by librarians serving on the LYRC/LTRC committees from across the state. Many students cast their ballots on real voting machines supplied by the Secretary of State’s Voter Outreach Division.

“The Louisiana Readers’ Choice Awards is just one of the many phenomenal programs offered through the State Library which inspires a love of reading in the young people of our state,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Studies show children and young adults who develop a love of reading do better in school, have better writing and spelling skills, and even develop more motivation and confidence in life. We are especially proud to debut a new list for Kindergarten through Second Grade, which will give our young children the same opportunity.”

The 2023-2024 Louisiana Readers’ Choice Awards nominated titles list includes twenty-one Junior Library Guild Selections, ten YALSA Best Fiction Books for Young Adults, three CILIP Carnegie Medal Nominees, a Schneider Family Honor Book, a Sydney Taylor Honor Book, a Southern Book Prize Finalist, and the winners of the Newbery Medal and the Printz Award. They have earned seventy-three starred reviews overall and were written by outstanding authors such as Katherine Applegate, Bob Shea, Jen Calonita, Peter Sís, Barbara Dee, Candace Fleming, Rae Carson, and Margaret Owen. From fiction to nonfiction, picture books to novels, science fiction to romance, historical to contemporary, these carefully chosen booklists cover a variety of interests and genres, so there is something for every reader.

“The titles on these lists are selected by professional school and public librarians from across the state with decades of experience working with children and children’s literature,” said State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton. “The nominated titles represent a variety of interests and viewpoints. We often say that books can be windows or mirrors, and seeing people who look, think, and live differently is as important as seeing ourselves in our favorite characters and stories. Celebrating our differences connects us all and fuels compassion for others. The books on these lists will be loved and inspire our children and teens to keep reading beyond the classroom walls, helping to create a culture of literacy in Louisiana, all of which is a key part of our mission here at the State Library.”

The Louisiana Readers’ Choice is a reading enrichment program of the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana, which is the state affiliate for the National Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Its mission is to foster a love of reading in the children of Louisiana by motivating them to participate in the recognition of outstanding books. According to a 2019 Kids Count report, 74% of Louisiana’s fourth graders and 73% of Louisiana’s eighth graders are not reading at a proficient level. The Louisiana Center for the Book and the State Library of Louisiana believe fostering a lifelong love of reading among Louisianans will contribute to the state’s overall economic growth and quality of life.

For information about the program including previous winners, how to participate, and additional resources such as free bookmarks, posters, and study guides, please visit the Louisiana Readers’ Choice Awards Program webpage.

2023-2024 Louisiana Readers’ Choice Awards nominated titles list

Remembering Richard Drew Jones

Richard Drew Jones passed September 21, 2022, at 75 years of age after a brief illness.  He was born in Douglas, Arizona, the second child, after his sister Vici, of Richard and Peggy Jones.  A graduate of Louisiana Tech, a journalism major, he loved writing and the written word.  He never stopped learning.  He was a lifelong reader, a keenly observant traveler, and yet a man of few, well-chosen, words.  After college, he served four years in the Army.  He attended OCS and achieved the rank of First Lieutenant.  A long-time resident of Ruston, Drew worked as a businessman, most recently as a partner with MJB Wood Group of Dallas.  He was always concerned with natural conservation and dedicated to doing what he could to preserve the native habitat of North Louisiana.  He nurtured that habitat on the family farm, his creative canvas, where he spent many hours making life better for trees and wildlife on his tractor.  The farm was a place where he fed fish, deer, birds, and friends.  He was an expert tying flies and fly fishing.  His interests weren’t just limited to plants and animals though.  He loved our community and organic gardening, proudly serving on the Board of Directors of the Ruston Farmers Market.

Survivors include his wife, Patricia Tait Jones; their daughters, Susanna Jones Helm and her husband, Andrew Helm of Weybridge, UK, and Margaret Jones Boudreaux and her husband Milton Boudreaux of Ruston; four grandchildren, Richard Tait Helm of Boone NC, Zoe Wyeth Helm of Weybridge, UK, and Benjamin Byron Boudreaux and Lyla Joy Boudreaux, both of Ruston; his sister, Victoria Fallin; and his nieces, Libby Manning, Laura Ferguson, and Carey Hurst.

A gathering for visitation will commence in Haskell Hall at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer on Friday morning, September 30th, at 10:00 followed by a memorial ceremony at 11:00.  Memorials may be made to Ruston Farmers Market, the Nature Conservancy, and the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.

Online condolences may be extended to the family at

Remembering Mary L. Mardis

A Graveside Service for Mary L. Mardis will be held on Saturday, October 01, 2022 at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Dubach, LA at 11:00 A.M.  Officiating the service will be Rev. Terrance Jackson.

Mary L. Mardis was born on January 16, 1949 in Rayville, LA to Thomas Lewis and Ruthie Franklin.  She passed from this life on September 20, 2022, at North Louisiana Medical Center, at the age of 73.  

She graduated college with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and retired as a Registered Nurse from North Louisiana Medical Center (formerly Lincoln General Hospital), in Ruston, LA.  

She is survived by her husband, Dan Mardis, Jr; her daughter, Victoria Wheeler; sons, Dan Mardis III and Joe L. Mardis; grandchildren, Elijah L. Wheeler, Iesha Candler, Dan Mardis IV, Raena Wheeler, Danyelle Mardis, Donatello Mardis, Gabriel Wheeler; sisters, Odessia Buckner, Mattee Jones; and brother, Thomas Lewis.  

Mary’s Active Pallbearers will be Dan Mardis III, Joe Mardis, Elijah Wheeler, Alonzo Howard, LaMond Wheeler and Kevin Mardis. Honorary Pallbearers are Gabriel Wheeler, Dan Mardis IV, and Henry Mardis.   

Visitation will be Friday, September 30, 2022 at Kilpatrick Funeral Homes – Ruston, from 5:00 – 7:00 P.M.

Online condolences may be extended to the family at

Notice of death — Sept. 27, 2022

Ella V. Jackson Howard 
01/19/1937 — 09/21/2022 
Family Gathering: Friday 09/30/2022 2:00pm to 3:00pm at King’s Funeral Home 
Visitation: Friday 09/30/2022 3:00pm to 5:00pm at King’s Funeral Home 
Funeral Service: Saturday 10/01/2022 1:00pm at King’s Funeral Home 
Burial: Saturday 10/01/2022 Following Service at Grambling Memorial Garden

United Aviate, Tech partner to offer greater opportunity to aviation students

Louisiana Tech University and United Aviate Thursday announced a partnership designed to benefit Louisiana Tech students in the Professional Aviation and Aviation Management programs.

Aviate is United’s pilot career development program, offering aspiring and established pilots a path to the United flight deck.

“We are proud to offer our students the opportunity to engage with an industry leader like United Airlines,” said Col. Tom Garza, Aviation Professor. “Thanks to United Aviate, our students have a clear path to pursuing their dream careers.”

“We’re excited to welcome Louisiana Tech University as a United Aviate university partner, benefiting former, current and future Louisiana Tech students in their journeys to becoming professional pilots,” said Michael Bonner, Managing Director of Aviate and Pilot Strategy at United. “Louisiana Tech’s national reputation for a high-quality aviation education aligns with our pilot recruitment strategy.”

Former and current Louisiana Tech Aviation students and instructors who apply and are successful in the Aviate selection process will join the program, receive a conditional job offer from United, and enjoy the benefits from the defined path to a lifelong career at United.

“This program will help our students gain a leg up in the competitive airline industry,” said Dean Karl Puljak of the College of Liberal Arts. “We know that the demand for qualified and motivated pilots is high, and it will continue to grow.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of airline and commercial pilots is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031. About 18,100 openings for airline and commercial pilots are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

“Louisiana Tech is proud to be only one of a handful of universities United has chosen to partner with,” said Dr. Les Guice, Tech President. “Our students have the very qualities United searches for, and our campus culture – including our Tech Tenets – aligns with the core service behaviors and commitment to excellence United expects from all members of their flight and ground operations.”

Bearcats climb in 5A poll

Ruston is ranked No. 5 in Class 5A in this week’s Top 10 poll.

Ruston High moved up one spot to No. 5 in this week’s Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A football poll.

The Bearcats defeated No. 3 ranked (Class 4A) Lafayette Christian 35-20 in Friday night. The Bearcats will play No. 2 ranked (Class 4A) Neville this Friday night at Hoss Garrett Stadium. It will mark the 5th straight Top 10 opponent that Ruston has played to start this season.

Class 5A

School 1st rec pts prev

  1. Destrehan (4) 4-0 113 2
  2. Catholic-Baton Rouge 3-1 99 3
  3. Karr (6) 1-3 98 1
  4. Zachary 2-1 89 4
  5. Ruston 3-1 78 6
  6. Acadiana 3-1 74 5
  7. Byrd 4-0 62 9
  8. Brother Martin 3-1 50 10
  9. Archbishop Rummel 4-0 30 NR
  10. John Curtis 3-1 25 NR

Others receiving votes: St. Augustine 20, Captain Shreve 17, Parkway 16, West Monroe 5, Southside 5, Carencro 1.

Class 4A

School 1st rec pts prev

  1. Westgate (10) 4-0 120 1
  2. Neville 3-1 100 4
  3. Lafayette Christian 3-1 95 2
  4. St. Thomas More 3-1 89 3
  5. Warren Easton 3-1 83 5
  6. De La Salle 4-0 69 7
  7. Lutcher 3-1 61 8
  8. Leesville 4-0 43 9
  9. North DeSoto 4-0 29 T10
  10. Belle Chasse 4-0 26 T10

Others receiving votes: Teurlings Catholic 23, Northwood-Shreveport 20, West Feliciana 13, Huntington 4, Cecilia 2, Plaquemine2.

Class 3A

School 1st rec pts prev

  1. Union Parish (6) 3-1 113 2
  2. E.D. White (1) 3-1 103 1
  3. University (2) 2-2 97 3
  4. Church Point (1) 4-0 92 4
  5. Amite 3-1 77 6
  6. Madison Prep 2-2 61 7
  7. Abbeville 3-1 52 8
  8. St. James 3-1 50 9
  9. Lake Charles Prep 2-2 28 10
  10. Iowa 3-1 26 NR

Others receiving votes: Sterlington 25, John F. Kennedy 17, Parkview Baptist 12, Bogalusa 11, Carroll 7, St. Martinville 6, Westlake 3.

Class 2A

School 1st rec pts prev

  1. Many (12) 4-0 120 1
  2. Newman 3-1 109 2
  3. Oak Grove 3-1 82 6
  4. Notre Dame 3-1 78 3
  5. St. Charles Catholic 2-2 77 4
  6. North Caddo 3-1 63 5
  7. Dunham 3-1 54 7
  8. Calvary Baptist 2-2 53 8
  9. Mangham 3-1 51 9
  10. Avoyelles 3-1 39 10

Others receiving votes: Episcopal-Baton Rouge 29, Rosepine 10, Grand Lake 9, Welsh 4, General Trass 1.

Class 1A

School 1st rec pts prev

  1. Ouachita Christian (9) 4-0 119 1
  2. Homer (1) 3-1 109 2
  3. Southern Lab 2-1 98 3
  4. Kentwood 4-0 91 4
  5. Logansport 3-1 79 5
  6. Vermilion Catholic 4-0 77 6
  7. St. Frederick 3-1 47 9
  8. Riverside Academy 3-1 41 10
  9. Glenbrook Academy 4-0 39 NR
  10. Ascension Catholic 3-1 36 8

Others receiving votes: Haynesville 24, Catholic-Pointe Coupee 18, Central Catholic-Morgan City 5, St. Martin’s 3, Arcadia 1, Sacred Heart-Ville Platte 1.

GSU police investigate threats against victim

A New Orleans woman was arrested Thursday by Grambling State University Police after she allegedly threatened to harm the victim in a recent assault case.

Four witnesses reported hearing Mia Elaine Pierre, 19, of New Orleans make threats to beat up the victim in a September 18 sexual assault. The victim had told investigators the suspect, who was known to her, engaged in the assault while she was too intoxicated to resist.

Lamaj M. Kendrick, 20, of New Orleans, was questioned at the GSU Police Department last Tuesday and subsequently arrested for third degree rape.

Pierre is alleged to have threatened to beat up the victim and that “they are wasting time and money” in charging Kendrick, her cousin. Pierre’s roommate also heard statements about harming the victim according to the arresting officer’s booking affidavit.

The victim told GSU police she was in fear for her life.

Pierre was located at her dorm and questioned about the statements. Pierre stated she did not say anything about the victim and denied mentioning her. 

Based on the statements of four witnesses, Pierre was arrested for intimidating a witness by threat of force.

If convicted, Pierre could face imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of $50,000.

Pierre’s bail was set at $1,500.

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.