DEVELOPING: Eight minors summoned to court following Cedar Creek civil lawsuit

Eight minors have been summoned to appear at juvenile court.

Earlier this month, parents of a minor who formerly attended Cedar Creek School filed a civil lawsuit against faculty, administration and the parents of eight minors who also attended Cedar Creek School. The civil lawsuit claims that the minors sexually abused and bullied the plaintiff.

According to KNOE, the eight minors listed in the civil lawsuit are the ones summoned to juvenile court.

According to two sources, juvenile summons generally means that charges have been filed against a minor, and the individual in question will go to juvenile court.

More information will be disseminated as it becomes available. The Journal maintains its commitment to not print the names or identifying information of the victim or the charged juveniles in any criminal or civil case.

For further information regarding the Journal’s stance for the civil lawsuit filed Friday, Sept. 17, click HERE.


Beason’s last second field goal sends Bearcats over Bears

As the clock wound down to two seconds remaining, Ruston High School head football coach Jerrod Baugh was fully confident in his kicker.

That confidence paid great dividends as senior Brady Beason split the uprights with room to spare Friday night at James Field at Garrett Stadium from 41 yards out to best the Carencro Golden Bears by a final score of 38-35, sending the home fans into jubilation and the Bearcats to a 3-1 record on the year and their third victory in a row.

“It took everyone to win this one,” Baugh said. “Early on, it looked like an offensive battle between two good teams, and we played better in the second half.”

With the score tied at 35, the Bearcats made one final 12-play drive to the Bear 24 yard line in the final minutes of regulation. A perfect snap and a perfect hold gave Beason the setup for a Hollywood ending.

”The kids executed what they needed to do,” Baugh said. “I believed in Brady, and he earned that tonight.”

All night, the two historic programs traded scoring blows back and forth. Neither team was able to take a two-score lead for the entire night. Carencro led 14-7 after the first quarter before the Bearcats took to the halftime locker room tied at 21. The third quarter saw Ruston take its first lead of the night at the 1:25 mark with an 8-yard touchdown run by junior running back Dyson Fields, who ended the night with 227 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Junior Jaden Osborne added 185 yards on the ground with two rushing scores, along with a touchdown strike through the air to Fields for a 33 yard score.

Senior linebacker Brilun Elmore led the Bearcat defense with nine tackles and one sack on the night.

“This is what we talked about all week,” Baugh said. “We needed to win first downs and make adjustments on the line defensively. It ended up working out for us. Our students showed up and cheered their hearts out; our kids noticed it.”

Ruston returns to action Friday, Oct. 1, to take on another state champion from last season in the St. Thomas More Cougars. It will be the final non-district game for the Bearcats before they begin District 2-5A play on Friday, Oct. 8

The will be broadcast live on KXKZ 107.5 FM with the pregame show starting at 6 p.m. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

PHOTO CREDIT: Reggie McLeroy

 


Defense leads Bulldogs to C-USA Win


Don’t talk to Skip Holtz about ugly wins.

With the way the Bulldogs season has started with two last second heartbreaking losses, Holtz will take the W anyway he can get it.

And on Saturday night at Joe Aillet Stadium, the Bulldogs – playing without starting QB Austin Kendall who was out for medical reasons – built a 24-0 lead early in the second quarter and held on for a 24-17 win over North Texas in the Conference USA opener.

“Right now, it’s a win,” said Holtz. “I will take it. Now tomorrow when I’m watching film, I will probably be a little tougher on a lot of things. But right now I’m proud of our guys and happy with the win.”

Despite playing without Kendall, the Bulldogs (2-2, 1-0 C-USA) looked like world beaters early. Aaron Allen led Tech to TD drives on its first two possessions of the game.

Allen was efficient early – despite missing a couple of deep balls to open receivers – and led Tech down the field before Marcus Williams capped both drives with TD runs. Williams scored from two yards out on the opening possession and then found a seam and scored from 42-yards away on the second possession.

Tech led 14-0.

Freshman JD Head then got his turn. Head went 4-for-4 on his first opportunity and found Sam Emilus for a 34-yard strike and a 21-0 Bulldog lead early in the second.

Smoke Harris then ignited the Tech faithful with a 67-yard punt return, giving the Bulldogs a first and goal at the NT 2-yard line. Although the Bulldogs weren’t able to find the end zone, Jacob Barnes connected on a 21-yard FG and the lead was 24-0 with 10 minutes to play in the second.

Little did Tech fans know it would be the final points of the night for the Bulldogs.

“Offensively, it was ugly at times, but then other times it looked great,” said Holtz. “We hit some big plays early, scoring 24 points.  The second half offensively, we really struggled.  Fortunately, we made enough plays to hang on and get a conference win.

“When you look at the season we have been through, we needed this one. I am really proud of the way we came out.  We talked about how we are learning a lot about our football team. This one was an absolute must and we found a way to get the win.”

While the Tech offense disappeared for most of the final 40 minutes, the Bulldog defense stood tall. Although North Texas scored 17 points over the final 31 minutes of the game, Tech got stops when it mattered, including a fourth down stop with just over a minute to play in a one-score game.

North Texas was 0-for-6 on fourth downs and managed just 333 yards despite running 86 offensive plays.

“This is the same offense that had 550 against SMU two weeks ago,” said Holtz. “I thought the defense played really well. I thought they showed up tonight, on a night we needed them especially.”

Tech returns to action Saturday when it travels to Raleigh to face North Carolina State, who defeated No. 9 Clemson in overtime.

Photo: Darrell James

Panthers dominate Arcadia in win


By T. Scott Boatright

Consider the rivalry renewed.

Lincoln Preparatory School made the official Friday night as the Panthers roared to a 33-6 road win at Arcadia.

It had been since 2015 that a Grambling-based high school football team, then known as Grambling Laboratory High School had defeated the rival Hornets, and that wasn’t something lost on Lincoln Prep head coach Glen Hall.

Like a phoenix, Lincoln Preparatory School rose from the metaphorical ashes of old Grambling Lab at the start of the 2016-17 school year following a consent decree from the U.S. District Court following a decades-long desegregation order. Since then and until Friday, the Hornets had defeated the Panthers by a combined score of 172-45, winning 42-8 last season, 40-8 in 2019, 54-6 in 2018, 36-25 in 2017 and 36-6 in 2016.

Talking about the longtime sports rivalry between the schools earlier this week, Hall said a rivalry really isn’t one until each team wins every other year, or close to it.

So after the Panthers big win on Friday, the rivalry is officially back.

“I feel good because it’s my first time since I’ve been here that we’ve beat Arcadia,” Hall said. “The kids went in and focused on their roles and assignments. They were tied in all week. We had a great week of practices. They deserved this one.”

The Panthers took over early, leading 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 20-0 at the half.

Hall said his team could have had an even larger lead at intermission.

“We threw a screen that went for 70 yards and it was called back,” Hall said. “We threw another bomb and it was called back. We made some errors that could have cost us. But these kids fought hard and overcame them.”

Dmitry Payne played a big role in Grambling’s win, hauling in five receptions for 152 yards, including scoring catches of 41 and 21, while adding 32 rushing yards and pouncing on a loose ball in the end zone for a third touchdown. 

Also playing a big role was junior running back Jamarion Buggs, who took over much of Lincoln Prep’s rushing duties when starter Chauncy Harper was injured after rushing for 33 yards on five carries while adding a two-point conversion run as well as making a tackle and picking off a pass on defense.

Buggs ended up leading the Panthers with 118 rushing yards on 17 carries while adding a tackle and a pass break-up on defense.

“Harper rolled his ankle and we ended up going with Buggs, our second team running back,” Hall said. “And he carried the load. Once he gets experience and lets us teach him to run low behind his pads, he’s going to be a good player.”

“We were able to control the ball with the run game. Then we were able to throw the play action pass off of that. We ran the screens, we ran the draws, and all that working together really helped us.”

Defensively, Lincoln Prep was led by Emmanuel Bryant, who totaled 13 tackles while adding a fumble recovery and breaking up a pass.

Rayshun Stringfellow added seven tackles for the Panthers while Amaru Landy added six tackles.

After starting 2-0 before losing big last week at Glenbrook, Hall is just pleased to see his team get back on a winning track and stand at 2-1 in District 2-1, especially when the Panthers travel to Shreveport to take on Calvary Baptist next Friday.

“I think sometimes when you’re not used to success, when it first comes to you — you don’t know how to handle it,” Hall said. “I think last week knocked us back into reality. Now we understand how to win and face defeats as well. Once you can do that you can overcome anything.”

Photo: Tony Valentino

Late play lifts OCS past Cedar Creek

Landon Graves threw a 97-yard TD pass to Tristan Wiley with less than two minutes to play and No. 2 ranked Ouachita Christian School rallied for a 33-22 win over Cedar Creek before a pack house Friday night at Cougar Stadium.

With the Creek (1-2) leading 22-21 in the final minutes, the Cougars were forced to punt around midfield. The punt pinned OCS at its three-yard line.

With no timeouts remaining, OCS (4-0) needed a score. The Eagles got it in one play.

“We had a bust in coverage,” said Cedar Creek head coach Matt Middleton. “Wiley made a break on a ball. We had underneath coverage. We had a defender go for an interception and miss. Wiley made a heck of a catch and ran down the sideline.”

OCS entered the game 3-0, including wins over Southwood (40-0) and Oak Grove (35-21). The game had a David vs. Goliath feel to it leading up during the week. But Cedar Creek stood tall despite an early deficit and gave itself a chance to win in the fourth quarter.

Middleton said he was proud of the fight his team showed culminating a very emotional week at Cedar Creek.

“We knew that nobody believed we had a chance except us,” said Middleton. “That’s the way we fell. Even with a lot of outside noise and distractions this week, these kids rallied around each other as a family and a team and got after it. They played well. Make no mistake about it, they played for each other and they know they can play with anybody.”

Mid-way through the third quarter it appeared as if OCS may run away – or pass away – with the game. The Eagles scored on their opening possession of the third quarter to up the advantage to 21-6.

However, following a failed onside attempt by OCS, the Cougars waisted little time in getting back into the game. Jed Worthey, who rushed for 152 yards on 26 carries, took a handoff and galloped 50 yards to paydirt. After a successful two-point conversion on a pass from Caden Middleton to Bryce Rushing, the Creek only trailed 21-14.

“I think the biggest thing is we tried to establish the line of scrimmage,” said Middleton, who saw his team rush for over 200 yards in the loss. “We made a lot of corrections this week. We haven’t run the football effectively however last night during OCS we were able to run the football effectively. It was a good night from a rushing standpoint.

“We made some adjustments this week and some changes, and we made some correction. I think the kids were a lot looser and more confident in their assignments. And I think it definitely paid off last night.”

Following a forced punt by OCS, the Cougars put another scoring drive together. Lane Thomas capped it with a two-yard TD run and then another Middleton to Rushing connection on the two-point conversion gave Cedar Creek its first lead of the game.

The scored remained that way until late. Creek had an opportunity to run out the clock with one more first down, but on fourth-down and 10 to go, the Cougars punted to pin OCS deep, setting the stage for the Eagles heroics. OCS added a late pick-six to complete the scoring.

Despite the heart-breaking loss, Middleton said his team can take a lot away from the performance.

“I told them we can play with anybody,” said Middleton. “We’ve proven that. We have played against two of the top teams in our district and we are a couple of plays away from being 3-0. We only have three seniors so we are a young team. We have shown we can go toe-to-toe with anybody in our district and that has given us some confidence. Hopefully we can get on a run.”

Caden Middleton finished 5-of-10 for 91 yards.

Defensively, the Cougars were led by Quincy Lewis (14 tackles), Lawson Lillo (11 tackles), Carson Riley (10 tackles) and Jed Worthey (10 tackles).

“We played really well defensively,” said Middleton. “We have been really good against the run this year. We gave up some big plays in the passing game that hurt us. Their quarterback and two receivers are special. Their O-line is probably as good as I’ve seen at this level. They didn’t give up a sack all night.”

The Cougars will host River Oaks Friday night at Cougar Stadium.

Photo: Darrell James (dgjames.photoshelter.com)


Tigers offense falters in Saturday loss


by T. Scott Boatright

The struggles continue for Grambling State University’s offense, as well as their efforts to beat Prairie View A&M, as the Panthers topped the G-Men 24-10 Saturday at the annual Texas State Classic in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

It was Prairie View’s fourth straight win over the Tigers. The win also kept Panthers head coach Eric Dooley undefeated against Grambling, the school he served as offensive coordinator for four seasons before taking over the Prairie View program in December of 2017.

“We played a very good Prairie View A&M football team today and my hat goes out to Coach (Eric) Dooley and his staff,” said GSU coach Broderick Fobbs. “We made some mistakes that hurt us during critical points in the football game and that can’t happen. Our staff will look at the film to make those adjustments and corrections.”

Fobbs is now 4-4 against Prairie View.

Prairie View took control early and never looked back, opening the game with a 14-play, 75-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 13-yard scoring strike from Jawon Pass to Donovan White at the 9:06 mark of the opening stanza.

The Panthers added a field goal in the second quarter to push their lead to 10-0.

It looked like Grambling was building momentum late in the first half as quarterback Elijah Walker hit receiver Greg White, who made a diving catch down the right sideline deep in Panther territory to set up a two-yard scoring scamper by CJ Russell 20 seconds before intermission.

That touchdown snapped a streak of nine straight quarters for the Tigers without scoring a point. The Tigers (1-3) haven’t scored more than 16 points in a game this season and are averaging an anemic 6.5 points per contest.

But despite the late first-half score, Grambling’s offensive struggles returned after intermission as the Tigers took the opening possession of the second half but went three-and-out.

Shortly later Jaden Stewart gave Prairie View A&M a 17-7 advantage as burst up the middle on a 17-yard touchdown run with 12:16 left in the quarter.

Trying to spark the GSU offense, Fobbs called true freshman Noah Bodden off the bench in relief of Walker, but the Tigers’ offensive struggles continued. 

Grambling did get a 29-yard field goal from Garrett Urban to cut the Panthers’ lead to 17-10 at the 1:14 mark of the third quarter. That field goal was set up by a GSU fumble recovery at the Panthers’ 12-yard line.

Prairie View’s final score came with just under 11 minutes remaining as Jailon Howard hauled in a 36-yard touchdown pass from Pass.

Grambling will next play its first home game of the season as the Tigers return to Eddie G. Robinson Stadium to play host to Alabama A&M (3-0), the No. 1 team in both the BOXTOROW Coaches and Media Black College Football Poll.

Photo: GSU Athletics

Notice of death

Hilda G. Lee
May 27, 1942 – September 24, 2021
Visitation:
Douglas Church
Tuesday, September 28, 20211:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Service:
Douglas Church
Tuesday, September 28, 20212:00 pm
Cemetery:
Pleasant Grove Cemetery
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Barbara Jean Bell
April 24, 1939 – September 23, 2021
Service:
Sibley Cemetery Choudrant
Sunday, September 26, 20213:00 pm
Cemetery:
Sibley Cemetery Choudrant
Sunday, September 26, 2021

Lewis Beavers
November 23, 1956 – September 24, 2021
Arrangements Pending


Tech police make arrest in indecent exposure cases

Louisiana Tech University police officers quickly apprehended a suspect Tuesday after receiving a report of a man exposing himself on campus.

On Monday, Sept. 20, Tech Police received a report that a man in a gray car had exposed himself to a woman he asked to approach and provide directions. Police located surveillance video of the suspect in a gray Honda Accord at the edge of campus but could not locate the vehicle.

On Tuesday, Sept. 21, Tech Police received a second report of a man in a gray Honda exposing himself to another woman in a similar manner. Tech Officer C. Porter located the suspect vehicle matching the video from the previous day and the clothing description given by the second victim. 

Derick Lamar Young, Jr., 22, of Grambling, admitted exposing himself while asking for directions. He was arrested for two counts of obscenity for the two separate incidents.

Bail is set at $50,000.


Friday Night Lights: Meet Lincoln Prep’s Khyla Brown

Meet Lincoln Prep’s Khyla Brown

Parents: Chandra Hall and Brimmer Brown Jr.

Siblings: Kendra Brown

School: Lincoln Preparatory School

Grade: 12th

Spirit Squad: Cheer Squad

Honors (Academic, Spirit Squad, Athletic):  I am a 3.6 GPA student currently working to get my associates degree at Southern university Shreveport, Louisiana. I am also a part of 4H. Miss LPS.

Favorite Subject in School: English

Favorite Show on Netflix? On My Block

What is on your play list? R&B, rap, and 90’s music

Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl

Who is your biggest Role Model? My Mom

Favorite meal? Beef tips with rice and gravy

Question: What do you love about your school?

Answer: I love the school spirit my school has and the educational opportunities it offers.

Question: How long have you been cheering and what is it about it that you enjoy?

Answer: I started cheering at the age of 5 and I stopped in 8th grade. I decided I wanted to dance. Eventually I met my coach, Coach Kaniya, and she convinced me to finish what I started. I enjoy the feeling cheering brings me, and it is an outlet that provides so much joy.

Question: What is your favorite high school cheer moment? I love making the posters to show school spirit.

Answer: What are your plans after high school? After high school I plan to attend Florida A&M University to become a nurse.

Question: What three people from history would you like to sit down and eat dinner with and why?

Answer: Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, and Harriet Tubman. Maya because of her wit and wisdom, Malcolm because of his daring spirit, and Harriet Tubman because of her leadership qualities.


Ruston hosts defending 4A State Champion Carencro

The Ruston Bearcats (2-1) will continue non-district play Friday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. at home against the defending Class 4A state champions Carencro Bears (1-2).

Ruston dominated the Airline Vikings last week for homecoming by a final score of 50-0. The Bearcats were in complete control for the entire night.

“I think our kids came out ready to play,” Bearcat head coach Jerrod Baugh said. “I thought we executed well from the time the ball was kicked off until the final horn. That’s really nice to see. I really commended our second and third groups.”

Junior running back Dyson Fields finished the night with another high yardage game with 236 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Junior quarterback Jaden Osborne completed 4-for-6 passing for 50 yards and a 19-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Dawson Willis.

Baugh was very pleased with how his team stayed focused during the homecoming festivities last week.

“A lot of things were going on that could have been a distraction, and we had a lot of reasons to not play well with it being homecoming and having the 1990 (national championship) team getting recognized,” Baugh said. “And the weather was a factor, but our guys stayed focused and did really well.”

Carencro is coming off of a 31-28 loss to Lafayette. Last year’s Bears’ team finished 13-1 on the season and won the state championship.

“(Carencro) has a really good program,” Baugh said. “It’s an opportunity to play a really good football team. We get to see how well we play football. They will run it at you over and over again, and we’ll have to dig in and get after it.”

The game will kick off at James Field at Garrett Stadium at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on KXKZ 107.5 FM. The pregame show will start at 6 p.m.

Photo credit: Reggie McLeroy

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Two wrecks lead to fatalities in Lincoln Parish

Ruston – Early Thursday morning, shortly before 6:30 a.m., Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a single-vehicle crash involving a pedestrian on LA Hwy 544 just east of Tarbutton Road.  This crash claimed the life of a pedestrian that was walking in the roadway.  

The initial investigation revealed a 2006 Toyota Scion, driven by 58-year-old Joseph Jeffers of Arcadia, was traveling east on LA Hwy 544 over a small hillcrest.  A pedestrian, 68-year-old Milton Woodard of Ruston, was standing in the eastbound lane of travel.  Jeffers was unable to take evasive action and struck Woodard.   

Woodard was pronounced dead at the scene.  Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis.  Jeffers was not injured during the crash.

Pedestrians and motorists alike are urged to remain vigilant while on area roadways and pay close attention to their surroundings.  Crashes involving pedestrians can often be avoided by following some basic safety guidelines.  Pedestrians should wear light-colored or reflective clothing and should always avoid walking on the roadway in dark areas.  Pedestrians must also assume that approaching motorists cannot see them, especially at night.

The crash remains under investigation. 

___________________________________________________________________

Clay – Shortly after 8:30 a.m. Thursday, Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a two-vehicle fatal crash on Old State Road just west of LA Hwy 818.  This crash claimed the life of an unrestrained Minden man.

The initial investigation revealed a 2014 Ford Focus, driven by 24-year-old Zachary Hickingbottom of Minden, was traveling westbound on Old State Road.  For reasons still under investigation, Hickingbottom was traveling in the eastbound lane of travel and sideswiped a 2021 Ford F350.  After impact, the Ford Focus traveled off the roadway into a ditch.  Hickingbottom was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected during the crash. 

Hickingbottom was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.  Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for analysis.  The driver of the Ford F350 was not injured during the crash.

Buckling up is the most effective way to protect yourself during a vehicle crash.  Failure to take a few seconds to buckle up can have devastating consequences.  Louisiana law requires every person in a vehicle, regardless of seating position, to be properly restrained day or night. 

The crash remains under investigation. 

In 2021, Troop F has investigated 40 fatal crashes resulting in 49 deaths. 


Q&A with Marcie Nelson, interim library director

With Lincoln Parish Library up for a millage renewal in November, the LPJ decided to ask Marcie Nelson, interim LPL director, about some of the programs, activities and opportunities the library offers the parish.

What children’s activities does the library offer?
We are still running our current football themed reading challenge as well as our virtual story times on Mondays at 10 a.m. and virtual crafts on Mondays at 2 p.m. and our in person story time on Tuesdays at 10 a.m. New take-and-make crafts are also available each week in the children’s department.

What teen activities does the library offer?
We offer a monthly craft or challenge for teens and will be partnering with the Princeton Review to host a virtual ACT practice program on Saturday, Oct 9.

What adult activities does the library offer?
We also offer monthly themed adult reading challenges as well as monthly take-and-make crafts for adults. We also have an ongoing in person program sponsored by Trailblazer RC&D on the first Tuesday of the month where we will host a free workshop on various topics. Oct. 5 is Basic Estate Planning with featured speaker Attorney Paul Spillers in the Event Center. Johnny’s Pizza will be provided at 5:15 p.m., and the program begins at 6 p.m. The second part of the series for Advanced Estate Planning will be on Nov. 2. We will also host investigative journalist and Louisiana author Stanley Nelson on Thursday, Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Event Center. He was a Pulitzer Prize nominee for his works written in the Concordia Sentinel and efforts investigating several cold cases from the Civil Rights era in our state which led to his first book, “Devils Walking,” published in 2016. His second book, “Klan of Devils,” will be available Oct. 6.

Basically, there’s something for everyone, right?
Absolutely! we have programs and resources for all ages and walks of life. From physical materials like books and movies to digital access to databases, ebooks, movies and music. 

What book are you reading right now?

Ooh, fun one! I’m reading a book on a list for a grant I’m actually applying for. It’s called “The Once and Future Witches” by Alix E. Harrow. It’s Salem meets the Women’s Suffrage movement.

What has been your favorite book of 2021?

I recently finished “The Last Chance Library” by Freya Sampson. It came out at the end of August and is about a band of misfit patrons who, with the help of a young librarian, fight to save their local library from closure due to budget cuts. You can see the appeal I’m sure. It’s a feel good read with vibrant and varying characters that ends on a good note but not in the way you’d expect. Of all the books I’ve read in ’21, however, I would say my favorite so far has been “South of the Buttonwood Tree” by Heather Webber. I am a huge fan of magical realism. Particularly when it has a southern setting. I devoured her first book “Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe” and was excited to find she had written another. In this story a young children’s book author is sort of the black sheep of the community. Her family has a sordid past and is considered cursed by all the locals. It’s a great tale of a small town set in its ways and how things aren’t always what they seem, especially people.

Why are libraries so important to the community?

Libraries are the heart of the community. A public library is the only place in today’s society where you can come as you are and simply be. We welcome everyone and we try very hard to serve everyone and help them grow in their journey. Within the four walls of a library connections are made and lifelong friendships are nurtured. We foster a love for literacy, the arts and culture through programs and resources for all ages. Our goal is, and always will be, the help people thrive and to make our community better each and every day. 

What is the best part of your job?

People. Plain and simple. I have always said that public librarianship is a lot like mission work. We meet people where they are and we help them to move toward the next step. Weather that’s obtaining a college degree or a GED, applying for a new job or natural disaster relief, or even just simply helping them find their next favorite book; libraries sometimes find people in their most challenging times and we help them move forward. For me it’s the absolute look of joy that lights up their face or the audible sigh of relief when they realize they aren’t in this alone. I would say only one thing can top that, and that’s when they come back a second or third or fourth time because they trust us and they know we are really here for them. When they keep coming back, we know we are doing our job and doing it right.


Bulldogs open C-USA play Saturday at home


Who: North Texas (1-2, 0-1 C-USA) at Louisiana Tech (1-2, 0-0)

Where: Joe Aillet Stadium (Ruston, La.)

When: 6 p.m. Saturday

TV: Stadium

Radio: KXKZ 107.5 FM (Ruston), KDBS 1410 AM (Alexandria), KDBS 94.7 FM (Alexandria), WUBR 910 AM (Baton Rouge), KJVC 92.7 FM (Mansfield), KZBL 100.7 FM (Natchitoches), KOKA 980 AM (Shreveport), KOKA 93.3 FM (Shreveport), KNCB 1320 AM (Vivian), KNCB 104.1 FM (Vivian), KVCL 92.1 FM (Winnfield)

Radio Talent: Malcolm Butler (PxP), Teddy Allen (Color) and Luke McCown (sideline) w/ pregame at 1:30 p.m.

If history is any indication, the scoreboard at Joe Aillet stadium could be in for another workout when Louisiana Tech hosts North Texas Saturday at 6 p.m. in the Conference USA opener for the Bulldogs.

The annual match-up between the two West Division foes is usually a wild one. Tech won last year’s meeting 42-31 in Denton in early December.

“There have been some great games in this series history,” said Holtz. “Seth has done an unbelievable job of putting a lot of talent together. I know the competitive nature between these two teams and the history between these two teams, and I know it’s one our players are excited about.

“This is only the second time in my nine years here that we are opening conference play at home. How awesome is that. And this three-game homestand has been great.”

Well, most of it.

Tech was six seconds away from defeating SMU last Saturday when a successful Hail Mary gave the Mustangs a 39-37 win. Holtz said his team has responded well this week in practice.  

“It’s been a good week of practice,” said Holtz. “They lived what we always talk about. You have 24 hours to celebrate or 24 hours to mourn after games. I said something to one of the players Tuesday in practice, and he looked right at me and said, ‘Coach, the 24-hour rule. That game is over.’

“We aren’t going to have a pity party. We aren’t cursed by the football gods. None of that is going on. We had plenty of opportunities in that football game from the start to the finish. We have gone up the rough side of the mountain the last few weeks and we have learned a lot about our team. We just look at it as an opportunity to tighten some things up and clean some things up.”

North Texas enters the game coming off a 40-6 loss at home to UAB in its Conference USA opener last Saturday. And although the Mean Green comes into the game having lost its last two games, Holtz knows better than to take any game for granted … especially a league contest.

“I have great respect for Seth Littrell,” said Holtz. “North Texas always has high scoring offenses and they have playmakers. And this will be an unbelievable challenge for us. I know our players are really excited about getting into conference. We said we would learn a lot about our team during the first three weeks, and we have a lot of things to get cleaned up for league play. I like our focus and I know our guys are excited about playing again at home this weekend.”

North Texas is led by running back DeAndre Torrey, who ranks seventh in the country in all-purpose yards per game at 162.3, including a career-high 320 in a season-opening win over Northwestern State.

“They’ve had some really, really tough losses that could’ve gone either way,” said Littrell about the Bulldogs. “They could just as easily be 3-0.”

Photo: Tim Smith