Undergraduate researchers awarded at annual Fisheries meeting

Louisiana Tech undergraduate Biology majors Annabeth Rawls and Caitlyn Fontenot each won student awards after presenting their research at the annual meeting of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) held virtually May 27-28.

It was the first presentation either had given at a scientific meeting.

Rawls, who works with Tech Assistant Professor Dr Jennifer Hill, presented her research on “Crabtivating behavioral analysis: the impacts of fipronil pesticides on Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) behavior.”

“Presenting was such a rush,” said Rawls, who won third place in the student abstract category. “This was the first time I have presented at a conference, so I was not sure what to expect. Overall, it was a great experience being able to share what I have been working on the past year and seeing everyone take interest in it the way I have. And hearing and seeing everyone else present their research helped me learn what I could do to better my own presentation.”

Fontenot’s research was done as part of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)/Louisiana Tech Internship Program; she was mentored by Associate Professor Dr. Terri Maness from Tech and Dr. Abigail Bockus from LUMCON.

The poster presentation of Fontenot’s research was titled “Pass the salt! Environmental predictors of Brown Shrimp abundance in Louisiana.”

“This was my first real scientific presentation, along with my first time using an online meeting platform for such a large audience,” she said. “It felt so gratifying to finally present my research to my peers and receive feedback. It felt even more rewarding when I got second place in the poster division. Turns out all my hard work actually paid off. I do wish that I could have been able to talk to people face-to-face and have a bit more time to elaborate my findings, but now I’m even more prepared for conferences to be back to in person.”

The awards competition grouped undergraduates, master, and PhD students in the same category.

“Our students should be proud of how well they performed,” Maness said. “They exemplified the high standard of research conducted by faculty and students in the School of Biological Sciences and at Louisiana Tech to researchers, agency managers, and other stakeholders throughout the state and across the southern division region.”

All meeting presenters were required to submit an abstract of their presentations, which are then published in the Meeting Abstract Book.


Angler’s Perspective: Size Really Does Matter

Summer time fishing means one thing to me…it’s time to break out the big worms. By big worms I mean “BIG” …anything from a 10 to 12-inch worm. There’s a saying… “If you want to catch big fish, you need to throw big baits.” It’s no secret that big fish like a big meal and most big bass don’t want to have to exert a lot of energy to feed. So, a big worm is a great bait to entice those sluggish largemouth bass.

Now don’t get me wrong, I will still pick up my faithful 6.5-inch trick worm more often than not just because I have so much confidence in it but my body starts to shake and quiver every time, I throw either a Texas rigged 10.5-inch V& M Wild Thang, or Straight Wild or even a Zoom Ol’ Monster. These are my three favorites and all will catch fish. The 10.5-inch V&M Wild Thang and the Zoom Ol’ Monster both have great ribbon tails which have a lot action. But there are days when the V&M Straight Wild is a better choice when the bass aren’t as aggressive. The Straight Wild worm is also great for rigging on a big 5/16th or 3/8th oz. shaky head. The shaky head technique is a finesse technique used when the bite is really slow. It’s a great way to put a limit of bass in the boat on those tough summer days. Worms of all sizes are used on a shaky head from 4 up to 10-inch worms.

The thing about fishing a big worm, is that it’s great in all situations whether you’re fishing a hard drop off, punching hydrilla(grass), fishing lily pads or dragging it through a brush top. A big worm is never a bad choice due to its versatility. Now let’s talk what colors are best. If you ask ten anglers their favorite color worm, you’ll probably get ten different colors. But I’m going to give you a good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to color that former Bassmaster Classic Champion Dion Hibdon gave me back in 2004. Stick to your earth tone colors like watermelon, watermelon/red, green pumpkin, red bug and black neon (black with red flake). With these 5 colors, you can fish anywhere in the country and catch fish especially with green pumpkin. Now that being said, every angler has his “go to” color that he has a lot of confidence in. If you have one favorite color, throw it! Because the more you believe in a certain color, the better you’ll fish it. Of the five colors I’ve given you here, there’s one that will work 90% of the time…green pumpkin! There’s not a single major bass tournament where someone in the field does not throw some form of soft plastic in green pumpkin. It just might be the most popular soft plastic color of all time!

To wrap this up, remember this, no other bait has been responsible for more bass caught that the plastic worm. It is without a doubt the number one bass lure of all time. A lot of professional anglers like Tommy Martin, Larry Nixon, Bill Dance and Roland Martin have all made a good living throwing the plastic worm. So, the next time you reach into your tackle box, grab a soft plastic worm! Till next time, don’t forget to set the hook…. especially when you’re throwing a worm!

Steve Graf
Owner/Co-host
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live


Bulldogs’ Delfin earns Academic All-District honors

Louisiana Tech junior offensive lineman Abraham Delfin was voted First Team Academic All-District 6 as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday.

Delfin graduated summa cum laude with a degree in construction engineering technology in May and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in engineering and technology management. Delfin registered a 3.91 cumulative GPA and has been named to the AD Honor Roll 12 times, Dean’s List 12 times, President’s List seven times and the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll four times. He is a four-time C-USA Academic Medalist and earned a spot on the C-USA Football All-Academic Team in 2020.

On the field, Delfin was named an All-Conference USA honorable mention for his work in the 2020 season. The Plaquemine native started in all 10 games at right guard in the 2020 campaign where he was part of an offensive front that ranked first in C-USA and second in the FBS in fourth down conversions at 88.9 percent (16-of-18). Delfin helped the offense rank fourth in C-USA and 53rd in the FBS in red zone offense at 84.6 percent (33-of-39). He assisted the offense in averaging 315.8 yards of total offense, including a 216.6 passing yard average and a 99.2 rushing yard average.

First-team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot. First- and second-team Academic All-America® honorees will be announced in early July.

Photo:  Louisiana Tech offensive lineman Abraham Delfin was honored for his academic and athletic prowess. (Photo by TOM MORRIS)


Welcome Reception June 24 kicks off LSHOF Induction Celebration

Some of the best things in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Celebration are free, including the event that kicks off the three-day party on Thursday, June 24.

The Welcome Reception is free and open to all from 5-7 p.m. inside the world-class Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum, located at the Front Street traffic circle in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

The party features a casual vibe with tasty hors d’ouevres, refreshing drinks, lively music and the chance to meet and mingle with the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2020 inductees and their family members as they arrive to begin the three-day Induction Celebration June 24-26.

The June 24 reception provides guests the chance to see the new display items honoring the 2020 inductees, while meeting the sports heroes and socializing. There’s no need to dress to impress – this is not a coat-and-tie evening.

It’s the first of seven events. There’s also a free Rockin’ River Fest concert Friday night, June 25 and a free Junior Training Camp on June 26. For information on all the events and registration, visit LaSportsHall.com or call 318-238-4255.

The new inductees are an accomplished and fascinating bunch. There’s massive Ronnie “The King” Coleman, a Bastrop native who played college football for Eddie Robinson at Grambling, and after graduating and relocating to the Dallas Metroplex, began training for competitive bodybuilding. He became world champion, winning Mr. Olympia honors a record eight times, and Mr. Universe as well.

Then you look up and see the smiling face of 6-foot-10 Minden native Sweet Lou Dunbar, who has traveled the world as a legendary player and coach for the Harlem Globetrotters.

Another pair of basketball greats are NBA standout Kerry Kittles and Angela Turner Johnson of the two-time national champion (1981, 1982) Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters. The Bienville Parish (Shady Grove) native was Final Four MVP as a junior and started in the Final Four all four of her seasons. Kittles grew up in New Orleans, starred collegiately at Villanova and helped the New Jersey Nets to the NBA Finals.

Former Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman starred at UL Lafayette before 13 NFL seasons. Mackie Freeze becomes the oldest-ever inductee, at age 94, after being an undefeated pitcher for the Grambling Tigers, lining up in training camp with Jackie Robison and the Brooklyn Dodgers, then becoming one of the state’s greatest high school football coaches at Richwood in Monroe.

The most famous member of the class is the Duck Commander, Phil Robertson, who will arrive in time for the Friday night concert on the riverbank. Sports broadcasting legend Tim Brando of Shreveport, LSU graduate and former Tennessee athletics director Joan Cronan, an Opelousas native, join journalists Robin Fambrough and Kent Lowe as special award winners and inductees.

Photo: Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame


Techster softball players enthusiastic about their new coach

Although Josh Taylor hasn’t made it to Louisiana Tech yet – the newly hired Lady Techster softball coach is in full recruiting mode while trying to make the move from Reno – the early indications are he is a home run hire.

Taylor, who is the fourth head coach for the program in the past four years, departs his alma mater where he is a member of its Athletics Hall of Fame after eight seasons on the Wolf Pack staff, including the past five as the head honcho.

And although none of the current Tech roster has met in person with Taylor – they were introduced to him via a zoom call on Monday – one former Techster is very familiar with him.

“I believe Josh is the perfect fit for Louisiana Tech because of who he is as a person and a coach,” said Berkley Calapp, who has spent the past two years as a member of Taylor’s staff in Reno. “He is an unbelievable person and an even better coach. His love for his players and staff is what makes him fit so perfectly in the Ruston community.”

Calapp played four years in Ruston and was a member of the 2017 and 2019 Conference USA title teams and she knows what the culture was like during those years under Mark Montgomery. She is an expert on both Tech and Taylor.

“On top of that he wants to win, and wants to take Tech back to the top of Conference USA,” said Calapp. “His knowledge of hitting is incredible. He keeps it simple for his hitters, allowing them to flourish in the moment. He teaches the game right, and makes sure that his players are prepared.”

Players on the current Tech roster reached out to Calapp following the announcement and the word of what he will bring to Ruston has spread quickly.

“I’m most excited for new beginnings and for the opportunity to not only grow as a player but as a team under the guidance of Coach Taylor,” said catcher Brooke Diaz. “The things I have heard about Coach Taylor have been nothing but positive. I know that he will be an excellent addition to the Lady Techster Softball family, and I cannot wait for season to start.”

Taylor led Nevada to a program record 16 wins in Mountain West play in 2021 and a non-conference victory over No. 2 ranked Washington. His Wolf Pack team also boasted a team grade point average of 3.70 this past season.

“I am most excited about getting back on the field and creating a new chapter of culture with our new head coach,” said pitcher Audrey Pickett. “I’m excited to see where he takes us this upcoming season because I have a really good feeling about it.

“I have heard that Coach Taylor is a very caring coach and is a coach that is capable of getting us where we need to be as a program. I have also heard that he is more than a coach and that he is a person that is going to be there for you no matter what. He is going to coach us on the field and care for us more off the field.”

Taylor, who will hit the recruiting trails this weekend in Arizona as in-person recruiting opens for the first time since it was shut down in March of 2020, will be hiring a staff in the coming weeks and will be officially in Ruston in early to mid-July.


Sigh of relief, surge of pride for Burroughs, Diamond ‘Dogs

Lane Burroughs sat in his office Monday afternoon looking like a relaxed man for the first time in almost two years.

Why not.

The Bulldog skipper had just wrapped up one of the most impressive seasons in Tech history, a 42-win season that capped a grueling two year stretch dating back to the EF3 tornado that devastated JC Love Field in April of 2019.

Although his team fell just short of a Super Regional appearance against Arkansas, Burroughs and Co. have plenty to celebrate.

“When the season started, we were practicing out at Ruston High and Memorial Gym,” said Burroughs. “We didn’t start the season at our home stadium, and then it all culminated in hosting the conference tournament and an NCAA Regional.

“It was a great year, with lots of ups and downs, peaks and valleys like most seasons tend to be. We had a theme from the start with the guys of ‘leaving a legacy.’ Be that team that future teams look back and go ‘that’s the team that got it going.’ They went out and did it, and I couldn’t be prouder of a group of young men.”

The Bulldogs led by an experienced and talented group of Covid-19 seniors took Conference USA by storm, the nation by surprise and Ruston by its heartstrings, and they rode the momentum of early season wins over No. 1 Arkansas and No. 4 Ole Miss all the way to program’s first ever NCAA Regional host.

“I’m very proud of our guys,” said Burroughs. “They left it all out on the field. I think we created something. Our fans, from our student body to our season-ticket holders to our single-game buyers and the people who were out there for the first time ever, we created something and some tradition that I hope carries on for years to come.”

Tech won in about every imaginable way in 2021. Late inning heroics. Blow outs. Pitchers duels. Slugfests. The Bulldogs had answer after answer along the way.

It took the final day of regular season conference play to claim the West Division title – Tech defeated UTSA while Southern Miss fell at Florida Atlantic.

It took two come-from-behind, late inning wins over Southern Miss on the Saturday of the Conference USA Tournament for the Bulldogs to most likely earn the right to host the Ruston Regional (many experts believed that regional was headed to Hattiesburg before that Saturday that Tech fans will not soon forget).

And then, ultimately, Tech hosted the likes of North Carolina State and Alabama at the new-and-improved JC Love Field at Pat Patterson Park for its first ever home regional.

“It was special,” said Burroughs.

“When you’re in the middle of it, you don’t really take it all in. But now that I’ve had time to sit back and think about what it meant, it was phenomenal. In one of our early season chapels, nobody was really saying anything about why we play this game. I said, ‘I want to bring people joy.’

“If you look at our crowd, they were happy and having a good time and enjoying themselves. I thought our players did that. They brought people joy and a reason to cheer, and that’s enough if people come back and if we’ve created something, that’s good enough for me.”

Photo:  The scene at J.C. Love Field Sunday during Tech’s NCAA Regional 10-8 win over Alabama. (Photo courtesy LA Tech Athletics)


Notice of Death – June 10, 2021

Eric K. Jackson
August 25, 1960 – Dec. 12, 2020
Memorial Service: Saturday, June 12, 2021 at King’s Funeral Home in Ruston; 1 p.m.

Annie M. Jones
August 13, 1936 – June 1, 2021
Visitation: Friday, June 11, 2021 at King’s Funeral Home in Ruston; 3-5 p.m.
Service: Saturday, June 12, 2021 at King’s Funeral Home in Ruston; 11 a.m.

Sarah Hanna Taylor
October 14, 1925 – May 30, 2021
Visitation: Friday, June 11, 2021 at Mulhearn Memorial Park Mausoleum in Monroe; 1:30 – 2 p.m.
Service: Friday, June 11, 2021 at Mulhearn Memorial Park Mausoleum in Monroe; 2 p.m.


Chamber celebrates Callie’s Corner at Ribbon Cutting

The Ruston Lincoln Chamber of Commerce welcomed Callie’s Corner to the Chamber at a Ribbon Cutting on June 8. Callie’s Corner is ” a thrift store & so much more” with a wonderful eclectic selection of crafts, clothes, and everything in between it’s a wonderful addition to our Chamber. Attendees checked out the wares, took home door prizes, ate Cotton Candy, and enjoyed live music.


Lincoln Parish students listed among Tech Spring honor roll

Louisiana Tech University has announced the names of students on its spring quarter president’s and dean’s honor lists.

Students whose names are followed by an asterisk earned recognition as members of the president’s honor list. That distinction signifies achievement of at least a 3.8 academic grade point average on a minimum of nine semester hours completed (100-level or higher), with no grade lower than a B.

To be eligible for the dean’s honor lists, a student is required to earn at least a 3.5 academic grade point average with no grade lower than a C on a minimum of nine semester hours completed (100-level or higher).

Courses yielding satisfactory/failure grades and courses audited do not count toward eligibility for either recognition. Only undergraduates with no incomplete grades are eligible to make either list.

Honor students are listed below by their hometowns, with all Louisiana students listed first by parish.

Lincoln Parish

  • Choudrant: Victoria Michelle Breeding, Autumn Bliss Downen*, Peter James Ford*, Ayanna Alexis Foster, Lacey Claire Futch, Brandon Neal Hadley, Avery Lynn Henry, Lena Marie Johnson, Logan T. Newton, Anna Claire Simms, Logan Michael Stevens, Isaac North Thomas, Faith O. Williams, Rachel Ann Williams*
  • Dubach: Caroline Avery Barfield, Lauren Brooke Carter*, Rebekah Heiden, Joshua Logan Johnston*, Morgan Elizabeth Keen*, Brett Garrett Nobles, Caitlin Raye Owen*, Katelyn Grace Pipes, Jesus Salazar, Carley Strickland*, Tristan Alex Sullivant, Miranda Renee Tapp*, Destiny Elania Thompson, Ashley Elizabeth Thorson*, Sarah Elizabeth Truett, Dylan Machal White
  • Grambling: Bryce Antoine Marshall, Lauren Washington*
  • Ruston: Mitchell Reid Adams*, Emma M. Alexander*, Abigail Catherine Ambrose, Anna Claire Amidon, Genesis Jerusha Ayala*, Noura Mostapha Bader, Samuel Wallace Baldwin, Rachel Lane Ball*, Ashton Kaine Barber*, Ryland Paul Beavers, Anna Grace Bennett, Jacob Aaron Bertrand, Rachel E. Bertrand*, Grace Olivia Borden, Jacob Cole Boyt*, Logan Brock Brazzel, Jacob Anthony Broussard, Baylee Auburn Brown, Sarah Califano, Ciaran R. Carbery-Shaha*, Adam Bruce Chinlund, Kevin A. Claros-Mendez, Cadie Colleen Coleman*, Joscelyn Heather Collins, James G. Colvin*, Joshua Chase Colvin*, Madison E. Colvin, Sadie Grace Colvin*, Stacy R. Cook, Samuel Louis Cooley, Olivia Dalton Copeland, Leigh E. Cox*, Natalie Renee Cox*, Annalee Grace Davis*, Malcolm Lavar Davis, William Charles Davison, Samrina Dhami*, Sarah Catherine Doxey, Emily Nicole Dumas*, Kenneth William Duncan*, Maryam El-awadi*, Craig Evan Ellis*, Emily Jane Farmer, Madison Felts, Jonah Frederick Fitzgerald*, Willem G. Flowers, Conley Andrew Floyd, Haley Ford*, Cecile Jennings Foster*, Mary Lindsay Funes*, Marianna L. Gallaspy*, Erykah Rochelle Gant, Emalyne Grace Gay, Christian Gremillion, David Joseph Griffin Jr., Meghan Elise Griffin*, Leah Christine Gurie, David Hale, Jon Patrick Hale*, Joanna Elisabeth Ham, Alys Mae Hamlin, Kyle Donovan Hanley, Alexander Slade Harris*, Gabriel James Harrison*, Laurel Q. He, Clayton Robert Hearn, Grace Marie Hein, Rosario Guadalupe Hernandez*, Grayson Elise Hipp*, Justin Everett Holmes*, Alana F. Hudson, Thomas R. Hudson, Fisher Neal Hull, Nickalaus Wayne Impson, Brittney M. Jeansonne*, Lydia E. Jett, Jessica Irene Johnston*, Shelby S. Knodel*, Randall Hearn Lange, Anna Jane Loftus, Garrett Ryan Madden*, Riley Paul Mahony, Marilyn Chloe Marcus, Caroline Matthews*, Mary Claire McFadden, Elizabeth Ann McKain, Tyler Jay McMullan*, Alexsandra Mendez*, Lauren Alexandra Menzina*, Kathryn Kleinpeter Meyers, Alma Sloane Moegle*, Jenny Kate Moss*, Summer Rayne Nimmers*, Christian Norris, Emily A. Owens*, Ashley Renee Palmer*, Abby Patterson*, Haylea Lain Patterson, Jalia Marie Payne, Kyler Layne Pesnell, Ashley Nicole Peters*, Rosemary Anne Pilgreen, Anna Elizabeth Pody, Kambell Elizabeth Rabalais*, Chord Ramsey*, Madison Kathleen Remrey*, Murphey Elaine Roane, Laney Elizabeth Robbins, Harlee Breanna Roberts, Olivia Anne Roger, Hunter Morris Rowe, Mathew Charles Sauseda, Emma Alice Scheaffer*, Jacob Kennedy Seal, Kaylea E. Sepulvado, Lauren Elizabeth Shirley, James William Sikes, Matthew Leland Skipper, Chandler Smith*, Samantha E. Stephens, Brock Hunter Stevenson, Robert Samuel Stewart, Lauren E. Strickland, Caroline Burt Summersgill*, Garrett Madison Sutherland, Rebecca Christine Taylor*, Ross Elliot Taylor*, Sadiksha Tiwari*, Anna Katherine Tollett*, Kalea Payton Trull, Jessica Ann Upshaw*, Julie Vandenberg*, Ryan James Vedros*, Shelby E. Verrette*, Brandon Edward Vessel, Cameron Jules Vidos, Alexander L. Walker, Collins Raymond Walker, Dianne W. Webb*, Griffin R. Whitaker, Caleb James Whitman, Grace Rebecca Williamson, James Anderson Yates*
  • Simsboro: Georgia Mae Gray, Madison Anne Jones*, Dallas H. Leith, Harlie Noel Robinson, Madison Elizabeth Scheer

Four Bearcats get LSWA All-State accolades, Tollett makes first team

The tremendous baseball season by the Ruston Bearcats was certainly acknowledged by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association on its Class 5A All-State team announced today.

Sophomore pitcher and slugger J.R. Tollett was chosen a first-team All-Stater, while four more Bearcats received honorable mention recognition: pitcher/hitter Isaac White, catcher Josh Miller and center fielder Jack Whitaker.

The Bearcats, under now retired coach Toby White, had a tremendous 26-10 season including a 13-game winning streak heading into the second round of the state playoffs.

Tollett was the breakout star. He was the District 2-5A Co-Pitcher of the Year with another first-team All-State, Lane Little, who pitched West Monroe to the state championship game. Tollett was 9-2 with a 1.05 ERA and 83 strikeouts. He was also one of the Bearcats’ most explosive and reliable hitters and a strong fielder at third base when not on the mound.

Miller, Whitaker and White were all first-team all-district picks. White made that squad as a pitcher, but carried a big stick when he was in the lineup as a first baseman.

2021 LSWA Class 5A All-State Baseball Team

Pos Player Cl stats
P Lane Little West Monroe Sr. 10-4
P Jack Walker Barbe Sr. 13-0
P Alex Norris Sam Houston 10-3
P Holden Hess Jesuit Jr. 6-1
C Zack Casebonne Jesuit Sr. 391
IF Clint Lasiter Benton Sr. .470
IF JC Vanek Barbe So. .394
IF Matt Russo St. Paul’s Sr. .350
IF Peyton Stovall Haughton Sr. .505
OF Josh Pearson West Monroe Sr. .418
OF Tripp Haddad Jesuit Sr. .431
OF Jack Walker Byrd Sr. .415
UT J.R. Tollett Ruston So. 9-2
UT Gavin Guidry Barbe Jr. 6-0
UT Davis Stephens Holy Cross Sr. .414
UT Caleb Webb Walker Jr. 8-2
UT Blaise Priester Live Oak Sr. .426

OUTSTANDING PLAYER: JACK WALKER, BARBE

COACH OF THE YEAR: GLENN CHECCHINI, BARBE

HONORABLE MENTION: Donovan Lasalle, Barbe; Crawford Courville, Barbe; Grant Comeaux, Barbe; Alex Laiche, Brother Martin; Cameron Senior, Brother Martin; Nyan Hayes, John Curtis; Giovanni Liccardi, Jesuit; Tyler Carreras, Chalmette; Cardell Thibodeaux, Acadiana; Dallas Rhodes, Sam Houston; Kade McBride, Sulphur; Ean Rodrigue, Thibodaux; Spencer Boudreaux, Thibodaux; Chanler Guidry, Terrebonne; Gavin Vordick, H.L. Bourgeois; Collin Husser, Ponchatoula; Collin Zeringue, Hahnville; Zach Shaw, Ouachita; Isaac White, Ruston; Brady Weatherford, Pineville; Kade Anderson, St. Paul’s; Nathan Monceaux, Dutchtown; Grayson Gates, Benton; Mason Langdon, Byrd; Sawyer LaCoste, Byrd; Kirk Martinson, Byrd; Jacob Hernandez, Haughton; Austin Anderson, Haughton; Josh Miller, Ruston; Kyle DeBarge, Barbe; Cole Joyner, Byrd; Collin Loupe, Jesuit; Nyan Hayes, John Curtis; Kade Dupont, Live Oak; Slade Netterville, Byrd; Ean Rodrigue, Thibodaux; Dane Stearn, Benton; Jack Whitaker, Ruston; Cameron Senior, Brother Martin; Dylan Biddick, Lafayette; Addison Ainsworth, Catholic; Darnell Bayonne, Pineville; Alex Walsh, Alexandria; Trent Gonzales, Chalmette; Colin Rains, Haughton; Kenya Huggins, St. Augustine.

Photo: Boatright/LPJ


Lincoln Parish inductees spotlighted in Shreveport at LSHOF Bowling Bash on Friday, June 25

Lincoln Parish residents are invited to All Star Lanes in Shreveport to celebrate Lady Techster basketball great Angela Turner Johnson and two Grambling heroes, Ronnie Coleman and Mackie Freeze, having fun with fans Friday, June 25.

All Star Lanes at 9130 Mansfield Road will host the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Celebrity Bowling Bash presented by BOM and State Farm Agents of Louisiana on June 25, spotlighting Shreveport-Bossier area inductees Sweet Lou Dunbar, Tim Brando and Kent Lowe, among the Class of 2020 being enshrined that weekend.

Turner Johnson, an avid golfer, will take to the lanes. Coleman, a former Grambling linebacker for coach Eddie Robinson and an eight-time Mr. Olympia bodybuilding champion, will not bowl but will be there with his family to greet fans. So will Freeze, undefeated as a Grambling pitcher for an NAIA national champion baseball team and also a football player for “Coach Rob” before he became an incredibly successful football coach at Monroe’s Richwood High School.

Freeze, 94, will be the oldest inductee in LSHOF history. He won’t likely bowl, but he also will visit with fans and other bowlers.

Another 2020 inductee with Lincoln Parish roots, Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson, is arriving later that afternoon due to prior commitments and will join the others for the Rockin’ River Fest concert that night in Natchitoches.

Other 2020 inductees slated to participate include NFL Pro Bowl cornerback Charles “Peanut” Tillman, NBA standout Kerry Kittles, LSU alumnae and University of Tennessee athletic director Joan Cronan, and Baton Rouge sportswriter Robin Fambrough.

Other previous LSHOF inductees and state and local sports celebrities will also serve as team captains, said LSHOF Foundation CEO/President Ronnie Rantz.

Presenting sponsors along with BOM are Shreveport-Bossier State Farm agents Rusty Billings, Jamie Eagles, and Nick and Tag Rome.

“We’ve held this event in Alexandria and Natchitoches, but with Lou, Timmy B and Kent all from in and around Shreveport-Bossier, and Angela, Ronnie and coach Freeze having gone to college not far away at Tech and Grambling in Lincoln Parish, it just makes sense to come to All Star Lanes and a great bowling community,” said Rantz.

The event includes opportunities for team and individual participation. It begins with lunch at 11:30, followed by warmup, celebrity introductions, and bowling competition involving five-member teams. Teams can include four players and a celebrity, or five guests.

Team entries are $400. Individual adult bowlers are $100. Youth bowlers (21 and under) are $50.

Non-bowling guests can attend and enjoy the seafood and barbeque lunch, refreshments and the excitement of the event, which should wrap up in the 2 o’clock hour. Adult general admission is $50 and youth GA is $25.

All purchases can be made securely through the LaSportsHall.com website by clicking the Induction Week button at the top of the home page, or by calling Foundation executive assistant Gracen McDonald at 318-554-9020.

The Bowling Bash is part of the 2020 Induction Celebration June 24-26, culminating with the Induction Ceremony on Saturday night at the Natchitoches Events Center. Information on all events, some free including Friday night’s Rockin’ River Fest concert on Cane River in downtown Natchitoches, is also at LaSportsHall.com.


Fobbs looks south to Ragin’ Cajuns for new offensive line coach

Grambling head football coach Broderick Fobbs added a cornerstone of his offensive coaching staff with Bryant Ross announced Wednesday as the Tigers’ new offensive line coach.

Ross is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and he transitions to Grambling from Louisiana-Lafayette where he served as the assistant offensive lineman coach under head coach Billy Napier for the past two years. Ross also worked for current Florida coach Dan Mullen while Mullen was at Mississippi State.

“Coach Ross is a very energetic and detailed individual,” said Fobbs. “He was very impressive in the interview process and I look forward to working with him.”

The Tigers’ former OL coach, Reggie Nelson, was among the offensive staff members who either departed or were fired during and after the 0-3 spring season. Grambling’s offense has not been up to par in the past three seasons.

During his tenure with the Ragin’ Cajuns, the offense set school records in rushing. In 2020, four out of the five offensive lineman received Sun Belt postseason honors. The Cajuns were finalists for the Joe Moore Award given to the nation’s top offensive line during the three years Ross was on staff.

Ross was also a part of a program that made the Sun Belt Conference Championship since his arrival finishing with a record of 28-11 in three years and 21-4 in the last two years. He helped develop a unit that ranked in the top 10 in college football rushing in the last two years and set a school record winning more than ten games in the last two years.

Prior to his time in Lafayette, Ross was a offensive line graduate assistant at Mississippi State under head coach Dan Mulllen in 2017. From 2014-2016 he also served as the run game coordinator and offensive lineman coach at Central State.

Ross played high school football at Booker T. Washington. After graduation, he attended West Hills Community College for two years and transferred to Alabama A&M to finish his collegiate career.

GRAPHIC:  GSU


Opportunity: Account/HR Administrator at Johnson Dental

Accountant/HR Administrator

Our expanding company is seeking an experienced and professional Accountant/HR Administrator to join our team.  Johnston Dental Care is looking for a full time, in-house individual who will work in a leadership role to analyze and present data related to the financial status of our company as well as being responsible for personnel management.  They will use their specialized financial experience working with business budgets to support productivity, organize and manage tasks that will ensure productivity and growth of our company and our individual departments and teams. This individual, with a background in personnel management and advocacy,  will also oversee the hiring process and ensure all employees know and adapt to Johnston Dental Care culture.

Financial Duties will include but not be limited to:

  • Supervises and leads company’s financial operations
  • Oversees the company’s financial data and compliance by maintaining accurate books in accounts payable and receivable, payroll and daily financial entries and reconciliation
  • Performs daily accounting tasks such as monthly financial reports, general ledger entries and record of payments and adjustments
  • Prepares financial reports of collecting, analyzing and summarizing account information
  • Implements business strategies and strives to make and meet company’s goals
  • Develops and implements financial policies and procedures
  • Evaluate and assess company’s financial performances and overall performance
  • Direct day-to-day operations to guarantee company’s efficiency
  • Develop a comprehensive company budget and perform periodic budget analysis
  • Helps hire and train employees
  • Analyzes information and processes and develops more effective and efficient processes and strategies
  • Generates reports and presents information to Dr. Johnston weekly
  • Negotiates vendor contracts to identify cost-saving opportunities
  • Works with Dentists, Hygienists, Assistants and Office Administrator to improve equipment, products and services
  • Oversees, supervises and supports each department’s financial expenses and productivity

Human Resource Duties will include but not be limited to:

  • Manage the staffing process, including recruiting, interviewing, hiring and onboarding
  • Ensure job descriptions are up to date and compliant with all local, state and federal regulations
  • Develop training materials and performance management programs to help ensure employees understand their job responsibilities
  • Create and implement employee relations policies to help increase employee’s job satisfaction
  • Devise a list of procedures and practices for hiring new employees and managing our staff
  • Establish an orientation procedure for onboarding new hires and training them to meet the needs of the company
  • Communicate with employees about compensation, benefits and other facets of their employment
  • Approve and schedule PTO and SL based on employee need and company requirements
  • Respond to questions or complaints from employees in a timely fashion
  • Create a compensation strategy for all employees based on market research and pay surveys; keeps the strategy up to date.
  • Investigate employee issues and conflicts and brings them to resolution.

Requirements:
Bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, human resources or other business related area
Preferably 5+ years of experience in financial and Human Resource experience
Excellent communication skills, including writing, public speaking and interpersonal communication
Knowledge of a broad range of human resource strategies and practices, including compensation, performance management, safety, hiring and employee relations; able to apply these strategies and practices in compliance with employee regulations.
Ability to create a culture of diversity, inclusivity, collaboration and teamwork.
Superb interpersonal and leadership skills
Great analytical, critical thinking and problem solving abilities
Ability to identify opportunities for growth
Excellent computer skills
Strong time management and organization skills
Ability to work in fast-paced environments
Commitment to provide exceptional service to our patients 
Commitment to provide exceptional support to our staff
Honesty and Integrity, always do the right thing

Our core values are: FUN, CUSTOMER SERVICE, GROWTH ORIENTED, TEAMWORK, EXCELLENT ATTITUDE, COMMITTED and LOYALTY

If you feel you are a suitable candidate for our office, please drop off your resume at 306 East Reynolds Drive Ruston, LA 71270 or email Amanda DeMoss at AmandaWalpoleDeMoss@gmail.com.  Interviews will be scheduled for qualified applicants.

EOE