Lakeview HighSchool Celebrates Homecoming and Construction of Football Turf

The sun was setting as the community was arriving at Lakeview High School for the Homecoming Football game and the ceremonial groundbreaking for the construction of the new field turf. The golden shovels were ready to make their statement as the local dignitaries made their way to the sidelines prior to kickoff.

Local officials on hand to celebrate with the Lakeview parents and students were: Campti Mayor, Laron Winslow, Principal William Hymes, Coach Brandon Helms, Sheriff Stuart Wright, NPSB Finance Director, Lee Waskom, Superintendent Dr. Grant Eloi, School Board President Steven Harris, Vice President Reba Phelps, Board Members Eugene Garner, Rhonda Guidroz and Beverly Broadway.

Principal Hymes shared, “We are so excited about this investment in our campus and we are certain that we will be able to host more home events at our home field.”

Mayor Winslow and Principal Hymes thanked the board for their commitment to improve all of the campuses in the school system.

Principal Hymes also shared that the student body was very excited about all of the changes and upgrades to the 28 year old football field that was dedicated in September of 1993.

In honor of the event the Lakeview Culinary Arts class, instructed by Sherry Helms, provided a tailgate style catered meal on the sidelines. Every dish that was prepared was homemade and served by students from the class.

The construction of the new football turf was a unanimous decision made during the October 7th meeting of the Natchitoches Parish School Board. The base bid was awarded to Geosurfaces, Inc for a total contract price of $893,800. The Board also accepted the option to lease the turf installation and maintenance for a 10 year period provided by Sustainability Partners. The monthly lease price is $10,091 per month.

During the meeting, Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, Brandon Helms presented photos of the proposed turf and explained the benefits of never having to miss a game due field conditions. The multi-layered surface will feature Dynamic shock pad and drainage blanket technology as well as lower temperature than traditional grass.

The Lakeview Gators did not pull off the homecoming win against D’argonne Woods but maybe next season the new turf will have them on a level playing field!

Construction of the new football turf is slated to begin in January 2022.

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Chiefs rally against Shreve, but not quite enough to stay unbeaten

Captain Shreve found ways to move the ball against Natchitoches Central’s fierce defense while containing the Chiefs’ explosive offense Friday night, but NCHS mounted a strong rally in the game’s last 16 minutes before falling 31-20.

It was a battle of unbeatens, with control of the District 1-5A championship race going to the Gators on their homecoming night. Shreve built a 17-0 halftime lead, then quickly expanded it to 24-0 before NCHS finally began to answer.

The Chiefs ran off 20 unanswered points in seven minutes to pull within four, 24-20, with 8:04 remaining as junior quarterback B.J. Young ran for scores of 4 and 70 yards and connected with Braylin Demars on a 39-yard touchdown pass.

The Chiefs couldn’t quite get over the hump. Facing fourth down deep in their own territory with just over three minutes remaining, they failed to get a first down, and the Gators took over at the NCHS 24. Shreve star Kendrick Law ripped off a 17-yard run and scored a couple of snaps later to ice the outcome.

FINAL SCORE: Captain Shreve 31, Natchitoches Central 20

GAME SITE: Shreveport, Lee Hedges Stadium

RECORDS: NCHS Chiefs 6-1 overall,3-1 in District 1-5A; Captain Shreve 7-0, 4-0


CS – Thomas Murray 27 field goal, 7:53 1st, CS 3-0 (Drive 7 plays, 43 yards)

CS – Kenyon Terrell 17 run (Murray kick), 2:15 1st, CS 10-0 (Drive 4 plays, 53 yards)

CS – Matt Hall 4 run (Murray kick), 7:14 2nd, CS 17-0 (Drive 6 plays, 61 yards)

CS – Terrell 13 run (Murray kick), 9:19 3rd, CS 24-0 (Drive 2 plays, 26 yards)

NC – B.J. Young 4 run (Sam Maggio kick), 3:21 3rd, CS 24-7 (Drive 7 plays, 51 yards)

NC — Young 70 run (Maggio kick), 11:33 4th, CS 24-14 (Drive 2 plays, 70 yards)

NC – Braylin Demars 39 pass from Young (kick blocked), 8:04 4th, CS 24-20 (Drive 6 plays, 60 yards)

CS – Kendrick Law 8 run (Murray kick), 2:25 4th, CS 31-20 (Drive 3 plays, 24 yards)

KEY STATS: Captain Shreve became the first team in 2021 to produce points and yards against the NCHS defense. The Gators ran for 257 yards on 42 carries (6.1 average) and had 334 total yards to 261 for the Chiefs. NCHS ran for 194. Each team had two turnovers. Caylin Demars posted 165 yards rushing on 22 carries with B.J. Young adding 49, but the Chiefs’ quarterback was snatched for 67 lost yards, most on sacks. The NCHS passing game, which was 7 of 10 two weeks ago in the big win at Byrd, completed only 2 of 14.

NOTES: The defeat stopped NCHS’s win streak. The Chiefs hadn’t been 6-0 since 1996.

NCHS COACH JAMES WILKERSON’S COMMENTS: “We didn’t play fou quarters and you have to be at your best every play when you play a team like that. We came out flat and made too mistakes, but I am proud of our fight and our effort to come back. This will be a good game to learn from as we push to finish the regular season against our other district opponents.”

NEXT UP: Thursday night, the Chiefs will host the Parkway Panthers in the NCHS
“Pink Out” game at Turpin Stadium. Kickoff in the District 1-5A contest is set for 7 o’clock.

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Demons upended by second-quarter McNeese surge

The Northwestern State football team did not suffer a sluggish start Saturday afternoon against McNeese.

The tough part of the Southland Conference game for the homestanding Demons came in the second quarter as the Cowboys took advantage of the wind and extremely favorable field position to set the tone for a 35-17 McNeese victory.

“I’m very disappointed,” fourth-year head coach Brad Laird said. “We came out up 3-0 and went through a bad stretch in the second quarter. It all started when they pinned that punt at the 1. We were going into the wind, and their next three possessions were on the plus-24, the plus-42 and the plus-48. They converted two of those into touchdowns.”

As the Demons (2-4, 1-2) fought the wind, the Cowboys (2-4, 1-2) took advantage.

Following a Callum Eddings punt that was downed at the 1, the Demons went three and out. A short punt gave the Cowboys the ball at the NSU 24, and three plays later, Josh Parker’s 3-yard run started a 21-point second-quarter avalanche that put the Cowboys ahead to stay.

In a matchup between the Southland’s top turnover-forcing defense (Northwestern State) and its stingiest offense in terms of giveaways (McNeese), the Demons did not produce enough extra possessions to change the momentum.

Instead, one came from the Cowboys as Corione Harris returned a Zachary Clement fumble 15 yards for the final of McNeese’s three second-quarter touchdowns and a 21-3 lead.

“We had some big stops defensively,” Laird said. “One came after the fake punt they had in the second half. There was another after the punt return to the 6. We got a stop when they turned it over out of the end zone, but we weren’t able to get that big momentum takeaway that we have in the past. In times like that, whenever we can’t get it going, that’s when a big takeaway can change the momentum.”

Northwestern State’s offense managed just 254 yards on the game, 104 of which came in the first half.

For the second straight week, the Demons came alive offensively in the second half as Clement scored twice on a pair of short runs, marking the third straight game he posted a rushing touchdown.

However, the 25-point deficit built by the Cowboys on Parker’s 19-yard run at the 8:39 mark of the third quarter was too much to overcome.

“We weren’t clicking,” said receiver Jay Griffin IV, who led NSU with five catches for 38 yards and added 20 yards on four carries. “We weren’t executing the way we need to execute. We can do a better job catching the ball, passing, blocking, everything. We’ve got to step our game up next week.”

Clement saw his most extensive playing time of the season, playing the entire second half, and finished 8-for-15 for a career-high 147 yards through the air in addition to his two rushing touchdowns.

Defensively, the Demons held McNeese to 337 yards total offense and collected a season-high 11 tackles for loss.

Linebacker Jomard Valsin had three of those tackles behind the line, including a sack, as part of a 10-tackle performance. Isaiah Longino added two TFLs as eight different Demons made a stop behind the line of scrimmage.

“We’ve got to continue to do our jobs,” Valsin said. “When we did, they had three and outs, and we got them off the field. We’ve got to keep our head up.”

Added Laird: “We did a lot of good things, but there are a lot of things we can point at in all three phases. The bottom line is I didn’t have this football team prepared to play. I’ve got to be better, and we’ll be better as we move forward.”

The Demons cap a two-game homestand next Saturday, hosting Southeastern at 3 p.m. in NSU’s annual Homecoming game.

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A member the Child Support Enforcement section of the Natchitoches Parish District Attorney’s Office earned statewide recognition from the Louisiana Support Enforcement Association at its annual meeting and training conference.

Angela Rachal, child support enforcement analyst, “Outstanding Enforcement Analyst in a District Attorney’s Office” Rachal was nominated by peers and co-workers. “I am delighted that the association awarded this much-earned recognition to Angela. She and the members on our team possess the necessary professionalism and compassion required to carry out the
duties of the division. I am proud of these accomplishments and the ongoing effort provided by Angela and the entire staff,” said District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington.

The Child Support Enforcement section of the District Attorney’s Office includes a staff of four whose responsibilities include establishing and enforcing child support obligations ordered by the 10th Judicial District Court. The office also assists in establishing paternity, which is required by law to enforce child support for a father of a child born outside of marriage.

Each year, the Child Support Enforcement section manages an average of 300 child support cases. Citizens can apply for services by visiting the office at 203 St Denis Street in Natchitoches. Applications for support can be obtained online at
and click on “Seek Child Support” on the front page of the website. Also, citizens can inquire by telephone at 1-888-LAHELP-U (524-3578).

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Pikes’ big night sparks Lakeview, but bad start does in Gators

Dillon Pikes and the Lakeview Gators offense did their part Friday night, but the D’arbonne Woods Timberwolves were able to pound away and prevail 33-22 to dampen the LHS homecoming celebration.

On a landmark night for Lakeview, with the official groundbreaking ceremony pre-game for a new $900,000 artificial turf field to be ready next year, the ground games were good for both teams.

Pikes was dynamic, posting 196 yards rushing on 22 carries, including two touchdowns.

But the Timberwolves were just unstoppable. D’arbonne Woods (5-2) jumped to an early 14-0 advantage that the Gators couldn’t overcome.

“Offensively, we moved the ball. We just couldn’t get off the field defensively,” said Lakeview coach Brandon Helms. “They had a 230-pound back who wouldn’t bust you for 25 and 30-yard runs, but it was just the six-yard runs that kept piling up. They converted so many third-and-twos, not by much, but they did a good job.”

The visitors got a 25-yard touchdown run on their second possession to move on top, then pounced on a fumble and turned a short field into a 14-0 lead.

Pikes broke loose on a 65-yard scoring bolt and added a two-point conversion to cut it to 14-8, but the Timberwolves regained a two-score lead, 22-8, shortly before halftime.

In the second half, Pikes cracked the goalline again, but the Timberwolves again answered. Kaleb Collins dashed 33 yards and converted a two-point play for Lakeview, but D’arbonne Woods kept pounding away and retained the upper hand.

“We just never could get the lead,” said Helms. “Against teams like that, we needed the lead because they struggle in the passing game and it’s tougher to come from behind. You’ve got to be able to get chunk yards to rally and neither team has been able to consistently do that this fall.”

The Gators’ success running the ball wasn’t just due to the skill of Pikes and Collins, said Helms.

“Our offensive line got better this week. Dillon Ireland had a good night up front for us.”

With all of the festivities associated with homecoming, and the groundbreaking ceremony, there was almost a great week for the Gators.

“It was a good homecoming week,” said Helms, “other than the fact we just couldn’t get that W. But we’ll let the rest of the school enjoy fall break, and come Monday we’ll get back on that field and get going to have a good week of practice.”

Lakeview (1-6) will get back to District 3-2A play next Friday night, making the short ride up to Coushatta to play the Red River Bulldogs.

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Lady Demons looking to pass next test at Nicholls

Northwestern State passed its first test of the weekend on Thursday with an all-around team win. The next challenge for the maturing Lady Demons lies in the quick turnaround that comes with another road match two days later.

NSU travels to Nicholls (7-11, 0-6) looking for a better result this Saturday than it had a week ago following a quality win. First serve is set for 1 p.m. with live coverage links available a

The Lady Demons (8-13, 2-4) fought from back from early deficits in both the second and third sets against a scrappy New Orleans team on Thursday night. They held off three set points in the second storming back to a 26-24 win and hammered seven straight kills late in the third to take it 25-23.

The critical moments in both of those sets turned in NSU’s favor thanks to clutch plays from multiple sources on multiple occasions. A kill from any number of attackers at any position on the net, a block in the middle or at either pin or a point-saving dig from the back line all went for the Lady Demons on Thursday.

In four-set matches it was the first time since the 2018 season NSU had four players with 10 or more kills and the first time since 2016 they had five players with 10 or more digs, the two have never occurred in the same match in program history before Thursday.

In-match adjustments contributed to the varied success seen against UNO and will once again test the Lady Demons on Saturday. Both New Orleans and Nicholls have made formation changes from match to match this season forcing a wider lens of preparation in a shorter window.

“They have a couple of key players that you know you’re going to have to defend,” Kiracofe said. “But they’ve been in and out of a 6-2 and a 5-1, changed some people around which is common, we’ve done the same things, to figure out what works best. There’s a big difference depending on which formation they’re in and they’ve been bouncing between them.”

The Colonels are still winless in conference play after a 3-1 loss to Southeastern on Thursday, that coming after a five-set loss to UIW a week ago where they jumped ahead two sets to none. Prior to their current seven match losing skid, Nicholls picked up quality wins against Southern Miss, UTRGV and UMBC during the non-conference schedule.

Senior outside Emily Gauthreaux has been the primary offensive force the past few years for the Colonels and leads them in kills and kills per set once again this year. She is fifth in the conference with a 2.76 average.

Nicholls has two players ranked in the top 10 in hitting percentage in the conference to complement Gauthreaux’s kill totals.

“They’ve been pushing people to five and are in a lot of ways like UT Arlington when we played them,” Kiracofe said. “They have been able to go four and five with a bunch of people and compete with different teams in different ways. They just haven’t quite been able to figure out how to finish towards the end and turn those things into wins.

“They’re pushing people and doing some good things just when it matters the most have struggled a little bit and haven’t been able to turn it into wins but they’re right there.”

Photo:  Gary Hardamon

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Distinguished Educators inductees will be honored during Homecoming

Northwestern State University’s Gallaspy College of Education and Human development will honor several individuals with induction into the Hall of Distinguished Educators during Homecoming festivities.

This year’s honorees are Toni Bennett, Dr. John Dollar, Dr. Chris Maggio and Dr. Elwanda Murphy. Dr. Christy Hornsby is this year’s Outstanding Young Professional.

The College will host a reception beginning at noon, Saturday, Oct. 23 at the Teacher Education Center. The induction program will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Bennett has a 56-year career in education. At NSU, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 1966, Master of Education in Special Education in 1970 and Specialist in Education in Leadership, Curriculum and Assessment in 1984 with additional study at Northeast Louisiana University and Louisiana State University. She began her career as a special education teacher at several schools in Natchitoches Parish before become pupil appraisal coordinator for Natchitoches Parish. She also served on faculty at NSU, Louisiana Tech and Northeast Louisiana, now the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

As the first certified assessment teacher/education diagnostician in Louisiana, Bennett worked for the Louisiana Department of Education to create and implement pupil appraisal, special education and school improvement programs. Throughout her career, she authored and administered grants, assisted in writing handbooks and reference guides for learning standards and was a consultant for curriculum development in Louisiana and several other states. She presented at numerous state and national conferences, served as director of the Department of Exceptional Student Services and was Louisiana’s State Assessment Teacher of the Year, Outstanding Special Education Teacher of the Year.

Although she is retired twice over, Bennett is still serving the educational world by volunteering her time and services to the Early Childhood realm as well as presenting at local conferences disseminating her knowledge of inclusion, diversity and more.

Dollar earned a master’s degree in secondary physical education at NSU in 1981 and retired earlier this year having served as professor and head of the Department of Health and Human Performance. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway where he was a four-year letterman in track. Prior to his appointment at NSU, Dollar was a visiting assistant professor, interim program coordinator, and internship coordinator for the sport management program at Texas A&M University, where he also received his doctorate in sports administration and management.

Dollar has authored numerous articles and presented at state, regional, national and international workshops and conferences on the topics of mentoring, experiential learning, internships and supervision, service learning, career development and curriculum development in sport management. He has also. served on numerous committees and councils including graduate council, faculty senate, standards, academic advising, scholarship, distance learning, and faculty guidelines.

Dollar has taught courses in sport law, ethics and sport governance, human resource management, recreational sport management, research in sport, and supervised more than 1,000 experiential learning experiences for his students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He possesses lifetime teaching certificates in Texas and Louisiana.

Maggio retired earlier this year after serving with faculty, staff and administration at NSU for 33 years, the last four as the university’s 19th president. Maggio guided Northwestern State through some of the most challenging times in the university’s history, providing leadership through a global pandemic and several severe weather events. The four highest enrollments in NSU history were during Maggio’s tenure as president, and the university’s economic impact on the region climbed to an all-time high of $428 million.

Maggio earned a bachelor’s degree from NSU in 1985 and a master’s degree from the university in 1991. He received a doctorate degree from Grambling State University in 2002. He was elected Mr. NSU as an undergraduate.

A lifelong resident of Natchitoches, he taught and coached for two years at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Natchitoches before becoming an assistant track and field and cross country coach at Northwestern in 1988. Over the years, Maggio served NSU as Head Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country Coach, Assistant Athletic Director, Director of Admissions, Director of Enrollment Services, Director of Alumni and Development, Dean of Students and Assistant Provost, Assistant Vice President for External Affairs and Vice President for the Student Experience.

Murphy, who earned her doctorate in education at NSU in 1981 was the first female Superintendent of Schools in Natchitoches Parish. Her 50-year career in public education includes service as a classroom teacher, school curriculum coordinator, assistant principal and principal in addition to her 11 years as Superintendent of Schools. For more than a decade, she was an innovative and dynamic principal at the NSU Elementary Laboratory School, guiding the school in a time of significant growth and success.

As superintendent, she maintained a close rapport with teachers, principals, parents, students and others as she worked to enhance the quality and effectiveness of schools in the system. Under her leadership, the Natchitoches Magnet School was established in 2005.

Murphy, who also holds education degrees from Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University, continues to provide guidance and assistance to schools, young people and educational organizations in her role as a consultant for the Rapides Foundation and Orchard Foundation that support and promote educational initiatives in this area and beyond.

Hornsby is coordinator of the doctoral program in Adult Learning at NSU. During her career, she has made contributions to classes in Pre-K though higher education and to the profession of education through teaching, research and community service.

Hornsby earned her B.A., M.Ed., and Ed.S. degrees at NSU and is a full-time faculty member. Prior to coming to NSU, she taught in the K-12 system in Grant and Rapides Parish where she held numerous roles during 18 years of teaching and administrative work. She worked as lead teacher, chaired committees and served on leadership teams and school building level committees. She also served the Rapides Parish School Board as the Education Coordinator for the Head Start/Early Head Start Program and was awarded teacher of the year.

Since joining the faculty at NSU, she published several journal articles, presented at state and regional conferences advocating for early childhood students and programs and created a dissertation guidebook for doctoral students in her program. She has served on several committees as well as engaged in university service activities such as promoting the School of Education in Grad Fest and NSU Scholars College Walk. She and her educational sorority, ADK, teamed with the Early Childhood Education program department to collect and distribute school supplies and reading materials through NSU’s Early Childhood Cradle to College initiative.

For a full schedule of Homecoming activities, visit

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Purple Swarm set for rivalry renewal with McNeese

There is no other current Southland Conference football team Northwestern State has faced more than McNeese.

The opponent alone is enough to fire up fourth-year head coach Brad Laird, who has faced the Cowboys as a player, assistant coach and three times as a head coach. He will lead the Demons into the 72nd meeting between the teams at 3:05 p.m. Saturday inside Turpin Stadium.

“One, it’s great to be back at Turpin Stadium on a Saturday afternoon,” Laird said. “On top of that, we get to welcome McNeese. For those guys who have been here – coaches and players – they understand the rivalry. The newcomers, the freshmen who don’t, they’ll figure that out this week. It’s going to be a great game and a great atmosphere.”

Saturday’s game can be seen on ESPN+ and heard on the Demon Sports Network, flagshipped by 94.9 FM The River in Natchitoches. Free streaming audio of the game is available on and the Northwestern State Athletics app, which can be downloaded free for Apple and Android devices.

The Demons (1-4, 1-1) and Cowboys (1-4, 0-2) enter the matchup with identical overall records, but Northwestern State comes in off its first victory of the season, a 21-17 triumph at Houston Baptist on Oct. 9. McNeese has dropped two straight, including a 38-35 decision on Oct. 2 against Southeastern in the Cowboys’ most recent game.

Any victory that snaps a four-game losing streak would create positive momentum, but Laird said it wasn’t so much breaking into the win column but the way the Demons accomplished the feat.

“There were so many different situations and scenarios that made that win so gratifying,” he said. “The way we won the game. Being down 10-0 early. We get the lead late then lose it as soon as we got it. Defensively, we get the big turnover with seven minutes left, and the offense capitalizes to score and seal the victory. I couldn’t be more proud of a group.”

Northwestern State’s “Purple Swarm” defense continued its season-long knack for recovering fumbles, picking up three against Houston Baptist. NSU shares the Southland Conference lead with seven fumble recoveries, and its 11 forced turnovers are the most in the league.

Linebacker Jared Pedraza leads the nation with three fumble recoveries, all of which came in a two-game span against UT Martin (Sept. 18) and UIW (Oct. 2). That skill has found its way across the NSU defense, which has helped the Demons level their turnover margin on the season.

“(Defensive coordinator) Coach (Mike) Lucas puts us in position to make plays,” Pedraza said. “(Recovering fumbles) is just hustle. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. If you do that, plays will come to you. Sometimes, it’s the luck of the draw, but if I see a ball there, I’m going to do whatever I have to do to get it.”

The Demons enjoyed a breakthrough against HBU, converting two of the Huskies’ lost fumbles into 14 points.

McNeese, meanwhile, has been the best team in the Southland in terms of keeping the ball. The Cowboys have committed a Southland-low four turnovers (two interceptions, two fumbles) through four games.

“It’s not just about getting the takeways, but are you able to capitalize on that and take advantage of those opportunities?” Laird queried. “Those previous weeks, we talked about it, and we were able to do so last week.”

Photo:  Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

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Natchitoches Christmas Festival poster unveiled on Sunday – tomorrow!

The Natchitoches Arts Council will unveil the Natchitoches Christmas Festival poster on Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 1 p.m. on the Natchitoches Riverbank Stage. This year’s Natchitoches Christmas Festival poster was created by artist and Natchitoches native Trevor Lucas. A 1997 graduate of NCHS, Trevor is an award-winning visual artist and television show host and producer who currently resides in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Numbered prints of the 42nd Annual Limited Edition Natchitoches Christmas Poster will be available for sale to the public after the unveiling. Earnings from poster sales are used to fund an Art Scholarship at NSU and to sponsor art camps and projects in the community. “We are so excited to select Trevor’s work. His story is so inspirational!” stated Karen Terrell, President of the Natchitoches Arts Council.

All posters are $35 each. The 1980-2004 collage posters are $15 each. The small posters (3 ¾” x 5”) are $3 each or two for $4. Special prints of the 2008 Fleur de Lis Poster (11” x 17”), the 2016 Christmas in Natchitoches Poster (11” x 14.5”) and the 2019 Sacred Crossroads (11” x 14” reprint of the 1986 poster) are $20. All of the original artwork can also be viewed at the Natchitoches Arts Council office.

For more information, please call Karen Terrell at (318) 792-7234.

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NSU calendar for Oct. 17 – 23

Here is a look at the week of Oct. 17-23 at Northwestern State University:

Oct. 17 – Soccer vs. Incarnate Word, Lady Demon Soccer Complex, 12 p.m.

Oct. 17 – Harpsichordist Kyle Collins with NSU faculty Dennette McDermott and Douglas Bakenhus, Magale Recital Hall, 4 p.m. #

Oct. 21 – J. Walter Porter Forum, Russell Hall Room 107, 9:40 a.m.

Oct. 21 – Seven Oaks Stage Dedication, 6 p.m.

Oct. 21 – Volleyball vs. New Orleans, Prather Coliseum, 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 21 – Pianist Michael Gurt as part of the Louisiana Piano Series International, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 22 – Long Purple Line induction, Natchitoches Events Center, reception 11 a.m., check-in for lunch, 11:30 a.m.

Oct. 22 – Reception for Distinguished Communications Professional award recipients, Claiborne Room,
Natchitoches Events Center, following Long Purple Line induction.

Oct. 22 – Leah Forsyth oboe recital, Magale Recital Hall, 7:30 p.m. #

Oct. 23 — ACT testing, Kyser Hall, check-in 7:30 a.m., testing starts at 8 a.m.

Oct. 23 – N-Club Hall of Fame Induction, Magale Recital Hall, 10 a.m.

Oct. 23 – School of Business Hall of Distinction honorees reception Russell Hall, 11 a.m.

Oct. 23 – Demon Regiment, Noe Military Science Building, noon – 2 p.m.

Oct. 23 – Hall of Distinguished Educators induction, Teacher Education Center, 12:30 p.m.

Oct. 23 – Football vs. Southeastern Louisiana, Turpin Stadium, 3 p.m.

Oct. 23 – Boogie on the Bricks, corner of Church and Front Streets, downtown Natchitoches, 7 p.m.

# Livestream at

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Leah Forsyth to present English Horn recital Oct. 22

Leah Forsyth will present a recital at Northwestern State University on Friday Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall.Admission is free and open to the public. Those attending are asked to follow university regulations and to wear a mask at all times in the building. A livestream will be available at

She will perform works for English Horn by a diverse group of composers including Gordon Jacob, Gaetano Donizetti, Ulysses Kay, Jenni Brandon, Michael Isaacson, and Robert Schumann. She will be accompanied by Dr. Chialing Hsieh on piano and Dr. Greg Handel on organ.

Forsyth is an assistant professor of oboe at Northwestern State. Prior to joining the NSU faculty in 2011, she served as oboist with the United States Army Field Band in Washington D.C. from 2007-2011, where she also performed regularly throughout the United States with the Woodwind Ambassadors Quintet. She previously held the position of solo English Horn with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra from 2005-2007.

A native of Central Ohio, Forsyth holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Florida State University where she studied with Dr. Mark Ostoich and Dr. Eric Ohlsson. She has performed with the Tallahassee Symphony, Charleston (South Carolina) Symphony, Ohio Light Opera, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, Columbus (Ohio) Symphony Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic. She was a member of the Favorable Winds Quintet, performing throughout Central Ohio from 2005-2007.

Forsyth holds the positions of principal oboe of the Rapides Symphony Orchestra and second oboe with the Texarkana Symphony. She performs regularly with the Shreveport Symphony as well as other orchestras throughout Louisiana and Texas. She is a founding member of the Three Reeds Duo with husband and saxophonist Paul Forsyth. Three Reeds performs throughout the world, building a repertoire ranging from baroque and classical transcriptions to contemporary and newly commissioned works.

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Boy to Men Club 2021-22 Membership

The Boys to Men Club is BACK and in full effect for the 2021-22 School Year!!!

Pictured from left are Mister Genard Wamber, Mister Devonte Middleton, Mister Khaleb Creighton, Club Director Mr. Jermaine Thomas, NJH Principal Ms. Alexa Bernard, Mister Michael Brown, Jr., Mister Ashton Henry, Mister Tony Johnson, Mister LaGordian Brown. Not Shown are Mister Dreylon Butler, Mister Derrick Beaudoin, Mister Jayden Russell.

The Boys to Men Club was founded in 2018 and is a service organization that promotes life skills to 7th & 8th grade males enrolled at NJH. For more information on the club, contact Club Director Jermaine Thomas at

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Pianist Michael Gurt to present concert Oct. 21

Pianist Michael Gurt will present a concert at Northwestern State University on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Tickets are $15. Those attending are asked to follow university regulations and to wear a mask at all times in the building.

Gurt’s performance is part of the Louisiana Piano Series International. Northwestern State Assistant Professor of Piano Dr. John Price and Associate Professor of Piano Dr. Francis Yang are co-directors of the Louisiana Piano Series International.

He will play works by Muzio Clementi, Chopin, Nikolai Medtner, Ronaldo Miranda, Marlos Nobre and Issac Albeniz.

Gurt is Paula Garvey Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University. He won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in 1982 and was a prize winner in international competitions in Pretoria, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia. He has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Capetown Symphony, the China National Symphony Orchestra and the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa. Gurthas made solo appearances in Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) in New York, Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, City Hall in Hong Kong, the Victorian Arts Center in Melbourne, Australia, Baxter Hall in Capetown, South Africa, and the Attaturk Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

He recently completed tours of Portugal and Brazil. Gurt has collaborated with the Takacs String Quartet and the Cassatt String Quartet and has performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Queensland. Gurt has served on the juries of both the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and he has recorded on the Naxos, Centaur and Redwood labels.

Gurt serves as piano mentor at the National Music Festival in Chestertown, Maryland, and was the chair of the piano department at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival from 1987 through 2007. He has served as piano chair of the Louisiana Music Teachers Association and has taught at two summer music seminars held at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan. Gurt holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School.

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Notice of Death – October 15, 2021

Ronnie Vascocu
May 24, 1949 – October 12, 2021
Service: Saturday October 16 at 11 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home

Rev. Wayne Hicks
January 17, 1938 – October 07, 2021
Service: Saturday, October 23 at 1 pm at Calvary Baptist Church in Natchitoches

Clarence Jones Sr.
February 15, 1929- October 8, 2021
Service: Saturday, October 16 at 11 am at The Abundant Life Church, located at 620 Ben Drive in Natchitoches

Evelyn Dees
May 16, 1920 – October 12, 2021
Service: Saturday, October 16 at 3 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel

Jeanette Soileau Polson
July 25, 1936 – October 11, 2021
Service: Saturday, October 16 at 10 am at St. Terrance Catholic Mission in Florien

Cathy Denise Little
December 30, 1962 – October 13, 2021
Service: Saturday, October 16 at 10 am at Southern Funeral Home

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The Northwestern State University Presidential Search Committee selected six semifinalists to interview for the school’s top post.

“The search committee has fulfilled the first part of its mission by selecting a group of semifinalists with specific qualifications to lead Northwestern State University,” Committee Chair and System President Jim Henderson said. “Each of our nine member institutions is unique and I am confident that the best person to lead Northwestern State, my alma mater, is among these candidates.”

The following candidates are recommended to the search committee for consideration. 

  • Nancy D. Albers, College of Business International Experience Coordinator at Louisiana State University in Shreveport
  • Marcus D. Jones, Interim President at Northwestern State University
  • Darrell P. Kruger, Former Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Appalachian State University
  • Kim M. LeDuff, Vice President of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer at University of West Florida in Pensacola
  • Jeremy L. Thomas, Interim President at Oklahoma City Community College
  • Virginia R. Van Sickle-Burkett, Chief Scientist at U.S. Department of Interior

The committee will interview the semifinalists on Northwestern’s campus the first week of November with opportunities for student and campus community involvement. The next Northwestern president will be selected by the full Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System at a special meeting scheduled for Nov. 8.

“I’d like to thank those individuals who showed interest in this position, we appreciate their attention to the university,” UL System Chair Liz Pierre said. “I look forward to meeting the six semifinalists in Natchitoches next month.”

Chairing the Northwestern State University Presidential Search Committee is UL System President and CEO Jim Henderson as a non-voting member. Voting members are NSU Faculty Senate President John Dunn and UL System Board Members Elizabeth Pierre, Jimmy Clarke, Barry Busada, Lola Dunahoe, Alejandro Perkins, Joe Salter and Student Board Member L’Oreal Williams.

Non-voting members are Retired Dean of NSU Creative and Performing Arts Bill Brent, NSU Alumni Association’s Nikki Caeser-Small, NSU SGA President Tja’h Edwards, NSU Alumni Association President Patricia Hrapmann, NSU Foundation Member Mike Knotts and NSU Foundation President John Manno, Jr.

ABOUT THE UL SYSTEM: The University of Louisiana System is the largest higher education system in Louisiana enrolling more than 92,000 students at Grambling State University, Louisiana Tech University, McNeese State University, Nicholls State University, Northwestern State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the University of Louisiana at Monroe and the University of New Orleans.

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LSU President discusses potential articulation agreements with Louisiana School

Natchitoches, La. – Louisiana State University (LSU) President Dr. William F. Tate, IV recently visited the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) to discuss forming an articulation agreement to benefit LSMSA graduates who plan attend LSU.

Articulation agreements allow eligible Louisiana School classes to count as college credit with partnering universities. Currently, LSMSA partners with the majority of universities in the University of Louisiana System Administration, two universities in the LSU System, and two regional private liberal arts universities. LSMSA’s Class of 2021 graduated with more than 3,200 hours of dual enrollment and articulated credit.

“Being able to earn college credit for taking Louisiana School classes is one of the unique, long-term benefits of attending LSMSA,” said Horton. “Our students come from all over the state and their college interests vary, so we were thrilled that Dr. Tate asked to visit our school.”

Dr. Tate, Northwestern State University Interim President Dr. Marcus Jones, LSU Associate Vice President of Research & Economic Development Dr. Keena Arbuthnot, Natchitoches attorney and LSU alumnus Bill West, and Natchitoches resident and LSU Board of Supervisors member Valencia Sarpy Jones toured LSMSA’s newly expanded campus with LSMSA Board of Directors Chair Sharon Gahagan, LSMSA Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton, LSMSA Chief of Staff and Director of Administration John Allen, LSMSA Director of Academic Services Dr. Kristi Pope Key, LSMSA Director of Enrollment and Student Services Emily Shumate, and LSMSA Registrar and Chief Articulation Officer Angela Couvillion.

The group toured the school’s new Living Learning Commons, the Music and Arts Building, and the High School Building, where they met with various faculty members.

“We look forward to continuing discussions about how we can give our students who are LSU-bound the same incredible jumpstart for college that we already have with so many other universities,” said Horton.

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By Tommy Rush

I’ve been to Kenya and Tanzania with mission teams probably a dozen times in my ministry. On one trip while traveling through the Serengeti, I was taught some interesting things about rhinos that I did not know from a missionary friend. He told me that one of the most feared animals in Africa is the rhinoceros. Rhinos are not only big, but they are extremely fast and very dangerous. The only animal in Africa that’s not afraid of the rhino is the buffalo bird. Whenever you see a rhino in the wild, you usually find these small birds perched on the rhino’s back or head. Sometimes you will see the bird pecking into the rhino’s back like a woodpecker pecking on wood, but the rhino doesn’t seem to mind. Rhinos and buffalo birds have a mutual commitment to teamwork.

Rhinos have terrible eyesight and their bodies are often covered with mud and parasites that they can’t do anything about. Buffalo Birds are a major source of help because the parasites on rhinos are their food and nourishment. When danger is in the area of the rhino, the buffalo bird will let out a shrill call, warning the rhinos of what they cannot see. In return, the small birds are protected from predators by the big bad rhino. Now that’s what I call great teamwork!

Great teams are always fascinating and fun to watch. I have really enjoyed watching this year’s NCHS Chiefs football team. It’s not only been fun to watch this team, but it’s been great to see the family teams and community team supporting them every week in the stands. It has been a lot of fun seeing the enthusiasm and energy of the NCHS faculty and student body this year. Tonight the 6-0 Chiefs will have a tough game with the 6-0 Gators of Captain Shreve in Shreveport. I’ve been close enough to the team over the past two years(son-in-law is the head coach) to know that the coaches and players are prepared for the challenge. It has been great to see a winless team last year become a winning team this year! The hard work and dedication of the young men on the team this year has been evident to everyone.

It’s encouraging to see good teamwork at work! It always fascinates me to see a team dedicated to each other and working together to make everyone a winner. The truth is, we are all a part of a team. Many of us play on several teams – the family team, the team at work, our community team and the team at church. There’s an old saying that, “Individuals play the game, but teams win the championships.” Tonight as we pull together for the Chiefs, I hope we all remember that no one plays the game of life alone. We not only need each other, but we’ve got to work together to be a winning team. I’m looking forward to seeing our Chief’s Team win tonight! Go Chiefs!

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