Cane River Lake – Public Notice

Cane River Lake
At about 8:30 pm Cane River Lake reached 96.4 MSL and rising.  The lake is now open.   Spillway and Washington Street Landings remain closed due to low water levels, when the lake reaches 97.4 MSL they will reopen.   Shell Beach and Point Place launches are open to public use.  Question and/or concerns please contact Betty Fuller at 318-617-3235 cell, 318-379-2878 home, 318-357-3007 office.

Election Day 2015

Nowlin Logo-SPOT-2012-08-22 with No. 52Dear Friends,

Saturday, October 24th, is election day and it is important that you exercise your right to vote.  If you did not vote early, please make every effort to vote.

While there are a number of important elections to be decided, the Parish President election is critically important to the future of our beloved Parish.  It will determine not only who will serve, but also the direction the Parish will take.  Since taking office less than 3 years ago, we have accomplished so much.  Here are just a few of our accomplishments:

1.  Balanced the budget
2.  Paid our bills as they became due.
3.  Paid down nearly $200,000 of the debt to the Detention Center that the Police Jury created.
4.  Reduced the size of the administrative staff to save over $200,000 per year in operating expenses.
5.  Reorganized Parish departments to make them more efficient and productive.
6.  Adopted a more accountable and transparent method of operation—focusing on service to the public.
7.  Achieved renewal of the Head Start program for 5 years.
8.  Improved maintenance of all Parish buildings and facilities.
9.  Implemented a more comprehensive and effective purchasing system based on requisitions and budget considerations.
10.  Prioritized our road maintenance program.
11.  Secured over $8,000,000 in State Capital Outlay funds in the State plan for local projects—primarily roads and bridges.

We have made a great start, but there is much more to be done.  We simply cannot afford to go back to the old days and the old ways of doing business as a Parish.  We must continue to move forward.

It is a great honor to be allowed to serve as your Parish President.  I humbly ask that you help me continue our progress by voting to re-elect me as your Parish President on Saturday, October 24th.

Thank you, and may God bless you and our Parish.

Rick

The Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from Parish President Rick Nowlin. The views and opinions expressed are those of Mr. Nowlin and not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.

Election Day Weather

ElectionWeatherMap

Thus far portions of Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma have received about three inches of rain mainly from Idabel to Clarksville overnight. Rainfall is forecast to continue and shift east today through the weekend. At this time, our flash flood guidance suggests that between 3 to 4 inches of rainfall per hour is necessary for flash flooding to occur. At worst, even with prolonged rainfall we would need upward of 6 inches in a 6 hour period to experience flash flooding problems. Therefore, we are holding off on any type of flash flood watch at this time based on the fact that our dry soils can manage a substantial amount of rainfall through the weekend.

However, there are a number of uncertainties in the timing and placement of precipitation through early next week. One of these uncertainties is what becomes of the remnants of Hurricane Patricia in the Eastern Pacific ocean. Moisture from this storm is forecast to stream northeast and will maintain a wet forecast across the region through possibly Tuesday. There are many different model solutions as to the nature of Patricia’s characteristics after traversing across Mexico and its reentry into the Gulf of Mexico (should that occur). At this time, we will continue to monitor this evolving event and if necessary will follow-up should the situation warrant.

Election Coverage 2015

ElectionCoverageMy939

Join My93.9 for Election Coverage Saturday night starting at 8PM. Pastor Steve Harris, Paul Johnson, George Sluppick and A.B. Dupree will cover the returns. You can listen on My93.9 and 1450 AM KNOC.

Ponderings wtih Doug – October 23, 2015

dougthumbHave you noticed that none of the guys in your wallet are smiling?

It could be bad teeth. Most of the guys in your wallet lived before modern dentistry. I suppose they aren’t smiling because of bad teeth. Maybe they are not smiling because of the lack of indoor plumbing. Even the guys on the coins are not smiling. Perhaps they are not smiling because they need woman to join their money fraternity.

Look in your wallet. Can you find a woman in the bunch? There were times we had females on our coins, but only three in circulation now that depict women. Do you know which coins and the identities of the women? I wanted you to get up and look something up this morning. At the beginning of the 20th century, lady liberty appeared on several coins as well as the Morgan silver dollar. Something happened and lady liberty is not the symbol she once was and our money became male dominated. Still, those guys are not smiling. You would think that they would smile since what you do with them brings some measure of satisfaction and in instances happiness.

This made me think of a bit of church humor.

A well-worn one dollar bill and a similarly distressed twenty dollar bill arrived at a Federal Reserve Bank to be retired. As they moved along the conveyor belt to be burned, they struck up a conversation.

The twenty dollar bill reminisced about its travels all over the country. “I’ve had a pretty good life,” the twenty proclaimed. Why I’ve been to Las Vegas and Atlantic City, the finest restaurants in New York, performances on Broadway, and even a cruise to the Caribbean.”

“Wow!” said the one dollar bill. “You’ve really had an exciting life!”

“So tell me,” says the twenty, “where have you been throughout your lifetime?”

The one dollar bill replies, “Oh, I’ve been to the Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, the Lutheran Church…”

The twenty dollar bill interrupts, “What’s a church?”

There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.

An angel hears his plea and appears to him. “Sorry, but you can’t take your wealth with you.” The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules. The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him.

The angel reappears and informs the man that God has decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.

Soon afterward he dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter. St. Peter seeing the suitcase says, “Hold on, you can’t bring that in here!” But, the man explains to St. Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checks and comes back saying, “You’re right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I’m supposed to check its contents before letting it through.”

St. Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, “You brought pavement?”

Jesus never condemned wealth, money or possessions. He talked about money more than he talked about prayer, so the subject is of spiritual significance. He warned us to be careful with our money because our money could tempt us in ways that were destructive. Maybe those guys in the wallet are not smiling because they have done harm to good people.

Voting Numbers and Parish Elections

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham, III

Election day is just days away, and while we can’t make any final calls with just early voting results, there are some trends we can look at to see where things are headed as Saturday approaches. The parish had (as of October 20) 2,931 early and absentee votes in. The breakdowns here by party and race can give us a clue as to what we could expect to see after Saturday.

In the early voting period, we see 2931 totals votes cast. Of those, 1768 were white and 1,073 were black. In terms of party, 1,542 were Democrats, 942 were Republicans, and 447 were labeled as “other.”

In looking at these numbers, we can see a number of implications in some of the Natchitoches parish-wide races, but let’s look at two in particular (these are two that I’ve made endorses for at The Hayride, if you care to see) If these are reflective of the overall turnout, then that it is likely, but not guaranteed that David Stamey walks away from the Clerk of Court race without a run-off. However, assuming the turnout on election day is the same as the turnout during early voting turnout is a pretty big assumption.

The reason we can consider the possibility of Stamey winning the race outright is based on the racial turnout. If we assume that the white vote went almost entirely to Stamey, then roughly 60% of the vote goes to him, with the other 40% being split between the Louis Byers and Betty Sawyer Smith.

What’s not so easy to predict is the Parish President race. This is an instance where neither party nor race will really tell you the story here. What we do know is that the black community will likely be split between Rick Nowlin and John Salter, with more going toward Salter. The white vote will also be split, but in this case, more toward Nowlin because they will largely come from the City of Natchitoches. Rural whites that do turn out will likely lean toward Salter, but perhaps not in great numbers.

If that scares you as a Nowlin supporter, it should – go out and vote for him. John Salter is promising something he cannot deliver in repaired roads, and Nowlin’s budgetary changes in the parish are the best chance you’ve got of getting those roads fixed more quickly.

Of course, there’s also the fact that Salter has openly called for a return to the police jury system

Cane River Food Pantry – Rice and Cornbread Mix nedded

CaneRiverFoodBank

The Cane River Food Pantry in desperate need of specific items.  As you know the holiday season is just around the corner and with that becomes a higher demand for food.

We are asking that everyone please spread the word that the food pantry will be hosting a food drive for rice and cornbread mix starting Oct. 25th and ending Nov. 8th. The First United Methodist Church will have boxes people can drop their donations off in the foyers of our worship space. We ask that each church does the same. The food can also be dropped off at the church offices of First United Methodist Church at 220 Amulet St. (right behind Shipleys).

Follow us on facebook www.facebook.com/crfoodpantry.
 
Thanks so much for your continued support of the food pantry!

Blessings,

Lynda Hammett
lynda@fumcnla.org
Director of Communications & Youth Ministries
FUMC Natchitoches

Football – Demons team with Tri Sigma sorority on community service

When Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority at Northwestern State launched its “Character Counts Week” activities Monday, seven NSU Demon football players were among the first students to get involved. Tri Sigma sisters shown (l-r) are event chairman Demmi O'Donnell, Kenedy Lampert, Andrea Boyd and Haley Jorgensen. The Demon football student-athletes volunteering were (l-r) Lyn Clark, Darius Poullard, Dalen Morgan, Wilbur Myers, Jared West, and Jahvez Barnes.

When Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority at Northwestern State launched its “Character Counts Week” activities Monday, seven NSU Demon football players were among the first students to get involved. Tri Sigma sisters shown (l-r) are event chairman Demmi O’Donnell, Kenedy Lampert, Andrea Boyd and Haley Jorgensen. The Demon football student-athletes volunteering were (l-r) Lyn Clark, Darius Poullard, Dalen Morgan, Wilbur Myers, Jared West, and Jahvez Barnes.

Sisters of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority at Northwestern State kicked off “Character Counts Week” on campus Monday with the help of several Demon football players.

The sorority is promoting positive character traits and community service all week long on campus. The players, in the wake of the 48-35 Homecoming victory Saturday night over Lamar, joined the Tri Sigmas and played their “good deed dice” game. Participants rolled dice on a specially designed board, filled with different good deeds to accomplish during the week.

The NSU football student-athletes who took part Monday morning were junior safety Jahvez Barnes, sophomore linebacker Lyn Clark, sophomore defensive end LaAllen Clark, freshman defensive tackle Dalen Morgan, senior linebacker Wilbur Myers, junior safety Darius Poullard, and freshman running back Jared West.

The Demons’ participation was a fun start to an important week, said Tri Sigma event chairman Demmi O’Donnell.

“The Tri Sigma National Character Counts week focuses on building character, and the Alpha Zeta chapter chose good deeds and service to demonstrate just that. We are using this week to show NSU and the community that we are women of character,” said O’Donnell. “The football players wanted to take part in sharing our message by participating in our ‘good deed dice’  game, while socializing with fellow Demons.”

Community service is a point of emphasis for NSU students and student organizations, and for NSU Athletics. The nearly 400 student-athletes at NSU adhere to a departmental cornerstone values of “academic achievement, personal responsibility and competitive success” and last year won the initial “Southland Strong” Award for compiling the most community service hours among the athletic
departments at the 13 conference institutions.

College of Business, Technology presents honors

Professorship: NSU Alumni Ellis and Juanita Coutee created the Richard A. deVargas, Andrews LaCaze and Dr. William Henry Pierson Endowed Professor in Business through a donation to the NSU Foundation.  The professorship was announced during the College of Business and Technology’s Homecoming reception Saturday.  From left are Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation;  Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney, Juanita Coutee, Jill Bankston, associate director of development; Ellis Coutee, Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology, and NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.

Professorship:
NSU Alumni Ellis and Juanita Coutee created the Richard A. deVargas, Andrews LaCaze and Dr. William Henry Pierson Endowed Professor in Business through a donation to the NSU Foundation. The professorship was announced during the College of Business and Technology’s Homecoming reception Saturday. From left are Drake Owens, executive director of the NSU Foundation; Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney, Juanita Coutee, Jill Bankston, associate director of development; Ellis Coutee, Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology, and NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.

Northwestern State University’s College of Business and Technology honored several faculty, administrators and alumni as part of Homecoming festivities Saturday.

The College inducted four individuals into its Hall of Distinction. Andy Baragona, Theodore “Ted” Jones, David Meshell and Kevin Murphy were recognized for their professional achievements.

The School honored Dr. Austin Temple and Dr. Joel Worley as dean emeriti of the College of Business and Technology, Dr. Patricia N. Pierson as department head emerita of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Dr. Jack Pace as professor emeritus of the Department of Biology, Microbiology and Veterinary Technology and Dr. Walter Creighton as professor emeritus of the School of Business.

In addition, the School announced the Richard A. deVargas, Andres LaCaze and Dr. William Henry Pierson Endowed Professorship in Business.  The professorship was made possible through a donation from Ellis and Juanita Coutee to the NSU Foundation.

Meshell is a 1999 NSU accounting graduate. He is employed by KPMG LLP as the tax managing director. Meshell has worked for KMPG LLP since 2000. He served in the United States Marine Corps for six years before enrolling at Northwestern. He lives in Houston.

Murphy is a 1982 NSU business administration graduate. He is a certified financial planner for Ameriprise in Shreveport. Murphy has more than 33 years of experience as a private wealth advisor and franchise consultant. He is licensed and registered to conduct business in Louisiana, Arkansas and California.

Jones is the Charles Ragus Family Endowed Chair at Northwestern State. He is a Baton Rouge attorney and lobbyist who has provided counsel to governors, U.S. senators and congressmen and presidential candidates. Jones served as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Speedy Long. He was counsel for Gov. John McKeithen on the newly implemented Medicare program and was a special counsel for Gov. Edwin Edwards. Jones worked on the 1968 presidential campaign of Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

A graduate of Northwestern State, Jones has been honored by his alma mater with an honorary doctorate of humanities and induction into the Alumni Hall of Distinction, the Long Purple Line, an honor given to just 115 alumni out of more than 90,000 alumni in NSU’s 131-year history. He was a director of the NSU Foundation. In 2007, he was inducted into the Louisiana Political Hall of Fame.

Baragona graduated from NSU in 2003 with a bachelor of science in computer information systems. He is a project manager with State Farm Insurance.  Since graduating, Baragona has been actively involved in building the relationship between State Farm and Northwestern State and is the campus manager tasked with recruiting new talent from NSU.  He has assisted more than 40 NSU students in receiving summer internships and full-time employment opportunities at State Farm in the last 12 years and assists them through informal mentoring relationships throughout their careers.   Baragona has also aided the CIS program in receiving more than $90,000 in State Farm grants in the past three years and serves as a member of the CIS Advisory Council.  Baragona has also helped the university by organizing an NSU Alumni group in Bloomington, Illinois, the headquarters of State Farm, that has grown to nearly 50 members.  He lives in Heyworth, Illinois.

Temple, who retired as dean of the College of Science, Technology and Business, was recognized for 50 years of service to NSU last year.   A native of Leesville, Temple received his undergraduate degree from Centenary College, a  master’s degree from Louisiana State University and doctorate from Vanderbilt University.  He held several positions at NSU including professor, department head and dean.  During the 1990s, Temple established Space Camp at NSU that brought hundreds of students to campus for a week to study the science and technology of space travel. Temple was a long-time advisor to Kappa Sigma Fraternity.  He has been an avid supporter of Northwestern athletics, especially the basketball program.

After earning his Ph.D.  from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Worley began his career at NSU in 1983 .  He left NSU in 1986 and returned in 1991 until he retired in 2005.  While at NSU, Worley was a professor of business administration and transitioned into an administrative role as the dean in 2001-2005. While dean, he was instrumental is overseeing and securing the College’s AACSBJ reaffirmation.  Even after retirement, Worley returned in 2006 to teach classes and in 2007 to serve as the acting dean.  He has over 27 years of teaching experience at the post-secondary level, extensive experience in the operation of numerous businesses and private consulting to appropriately 400 businesses.  His scholarly work is published in refereed journals and he made numerous presentations nationally, regionally and locally.

One of the 13 initial recipients of Louisiana’s first athletic scholarships for women awarded by NSU in April 1975, Pierson was the first member of the N Club Hall of Fame when enshrined in 1984.  She was an outstanding basketball player at Northwestern State who became a successful Lady Demons head coach.   A four-year letter winner in basketball, the Pitkin native twice led NSU in assists.  After graduating with honors, she became head coach at Pitkin High and led her team to the state championship game.  Pierson earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in home economics from Northwestern State and a doctoral degree in human resource education and workforce development from LSU.  She was head of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences from 1993 until her retirement in 2012.   She has held local, state, regional and national offices in several professional organizations and has been recognized as advisor of the year and the Alumni Association’s teacher of the year for the University.  She remains active in the community and teaches on an as needed basis for the University.

After earning his Ph.D. from Colorado State University, Creighton began his career at NSU in 1983.  While at NSU, he was a professor of business administration and transitioned into several administrative roles, including chairman of the Accounting and Computer Information Systems Department, director of the Office of Cooperative Education, coordinator of the computer lab  and director of the business program.  In addition to his work as a classroom professor, he also spent much of his time engaged in grant writing, advising student organizations, research and publishing.

Creighton served as the advisor for the NSU Phi Beta Lambda/Business Professionals of America Student Organization from 1986-2009.   He organized and planned the Future Business Leaders of America District Conference from 1984 until 2009. He has more than years of teaching experience at the post-secondary level and extensive experience in the operation of numerous businesses and in private consulting.  His scholarly work is published in refereed journals and he made numerous presentations nationally, regionally and locally.

Pace received his doctorate in animal science from the University of Missouri and began teaching at Northwestern State’s Department of Animal Science in 1974.  He eventually became the chair of that department. He later served as an associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.  He retired from the department last year. During his 40 years of teaching at Northwestern State University, Pace has taught thousands of students courses in animal science, animal nutrition, human nutrition, human anatomy and physiology and science.  In addition to his outstanding dedication to education NSU, Pace has made tremendous contributions to his country, the community and the state. He is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army.  He has been a member of the Natchitoches Police Jury and served on the Natchitoches Parish 4-H Advisory Board, the board of directors of the Natchitoches Farm Bureau Federation and the Masonic Lodge (Scottish Rite).

Creighton: Dr. Walter Creighton was professor emeritus during Saturday’s College of Business and Technology Homecoming reception.  Creighton was a professor of business administration as well as an administrator and advisor to student organizations during his tenure at NSU.  Form left are NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Creighton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney and Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology.

Creighton:
Dr. Walter Creighton was professor emeritus during Saturday’s College of Business and Technology Homecoming reception. Creighton was a professor of business administration as well as an administrator and advisor to student organizations during his tenure at NSU. Form left are NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Creighton, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney and Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology.

Pace: Dr. Jack Pace was named professor emeritus at Northwestern State University for his 40 years as a professor in which he taught thousands of students courses in science, nutrition, anatomy and physiology.  The honor was presented during Saturday’s College of Business and Technology Homecoming reception.  From left are NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Pace, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney and Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College.

Pace:
Dr. Jack Pace was named professor emeritus at Northwestern State University for his 40 years as a professor in which he taught thousands of students courses in science, nutrition, anatomy and physiology. The honor was presented during Saturday’s College of Business and Technology Homecoming reception. From left are NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Pace, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney and Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College.

Pierson: Dr. Pat Pierson, former head Lady Demons Basketball Coach and retired head of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, was named department head emerita by the NSU’s College of Business and Technology.  From left are NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Pierson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney and Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology.

Pierson:
Dr. Pat Pierson, former head Lady Demons Basketball Coach and retired head of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, was named department head emerita by the NSU’s College of Business and Technology. From left are NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Pierson, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney and Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology.

Temple: Dr. Austin Temple was named dean emeritus of the College of Business and Technology at Northwestern State University.  Temple served NSU for 50 years before retiring as dean recently.  From left are Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney, Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology;  Temple with his grandson Sam and NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.

Temple:
Dr. Austin Temple was named dean emeritus of the College of Business and Technology at Northwestern State University. Temple served NSU for 50 years before retiring as dean recently. From left are Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney, Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology; Temple with his grandson Sam and NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson.

Worley:   Dr. Joel Worley was named dean emeritus of Northwestern State University’s School of Business.  Worley  was a professor of business administration and later served as dean.  From left are NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Worley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney and Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology

Worley:
Dr. Joel Worley was named dean emeritus of Northwestern State University’s School of Business. Worley
was a professor of business administration and later served as dean. From left are NSU President Dr. Jim Henderson, Worley, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Lisa Abney and Dr. Margaret Kilcoyne, interim dean of the College of Business and Technology

Boston Brass to perform at NSU Oct. 29

BostonBrass

The Boston Brass will present a recital at Northwestern State University Thursday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public.

The recital is part of a three-day residency in which Boston Brass will present master classes and clinics and perform with the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band.

On Thursday, Oct. 29, Boston Brass will present master classes to music students beginning at 12:30 p.m. A series of clinics are set for Oct. 30. The ensemble will perform with the 325-member Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band on Oct. 31.

For 29 years, Boston Brass has set out to establish a one-of-a-kind musical experience. From exciting classical arrangements, to burning jazz standards, and the best of the original brass quintet repertoire, Boston Brass treats audiences to a unique brand of entertainment, which captivates all ages. The ensemble’s lively repartee, touched with humor and personality, attempts to bridge the ocean of classical formality to delight audiences in an evening of great music and boisterous fun. The philosophy of Boston Brass is to provide audiences with a wide selection of musical styles in unique arrangements, provided in a friendly and fun atmosphere.

Through more than 100 performances each year, the members of Boston Brass play to audiences at concerts, educational venues and jazz festivals. In addition to solo performances, Boston Brass regularly performs with orchestras, bands, organ, jazz bands and a variety of other ensembles. They have performed in 49 states and 30 countries and have conducted master classes around the world including sessions and residencies at the Eastman School of Music, The Julliard School, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, Peabody Conservatory of Music, University of North Texas, Royal Academy of Music in London, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory at the National University of Singapore and Mahidol University in Bangkok.

Boston Brass has been featured on The CBS Early Show, National Public Radio’s Performance Today, The Great American Brass Band Festival and has recorded several diverse albums.

Johnnie Emmons honored at Homecoming

Emmons fork em

Johnnie Emmons, one of Northwestern State’s greatest athletes and most iconic athletic figures, was honored Saturday night at NSU’s Homecoming football game as the Demon Great of the Game. Emmons was a football and basketball star, and also a track and field competitor, from 1947-52 who later became an assistant football coach, and head coach in men’s and women’s tennis and baseball, at Northwestern. The longtime Natchitoches resident was introduced at Turpin Stadium during a timeout in the first quarter. Shown are (l-r) NSU director of athletics Greg Burke and Johnnie Emmons.

Demons bounce back with impressive performance in Homecoming win over Lamar

NSU After Game 10-17-15

The Northwestern State football team hasn’t counterpunched effectively this season, until Saturday night.

That helped the Demons surprise Lamar 48-35 to delight a Homecoming crowd of 9,133 at Turpin Stadium, picking up their first win coming out of an open date and after a disappointing fade in a 45-31 defeat at Incarnate Word on Oct. 3.

NSU dominated early, building a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter, then weathered the Cardinals’ comeback efforts. Lamar couldn’t get on a roll against a revamped Demons’ defense. After the visitors (3-3 overall, 2-1 in the Southland Conference) scored their first three touchdowns, they couldn’t sustain their success, losing the ball on a fourth-down stop and two punts to keep NSU in command up by at least two scores.

“We were able to answer, and that’s what I really liked,” said Thomas Sunday evening after reviewing game tape. “We got out to a strong start for the second straight game, and this time we bounced back well when things went well for the other team. It was a total team win in all phases.”

The Demons (1-5, 1-3) topped their season averages for scoring and total offense building a 31-14 halftime lead with one of the more productive halves in school history, posting 347 yards. NSU finished with season highs on the scoreboard and in yardage (479) while playing keepaway down the stretch.

“The most complete performance we’ve had offensively, against good competition,” said Thomas. “It started up front, where we’ve been pretty good in spurts but were really good all night. We finished blocks aggressively. We protected the quarterback well.  We gave extra effort. You could see the sense of urgency and determination.”

Senior transfer Stephen Rivers went the distance at quarterback after struggling in NSU’s season opener, but rebounding in productive appearances at Mississippi State and UIW. After two seasons with LSU and last year at Vanderbilt, Rivers posted his first two college touchdown throws, going 15 of 21 for 197 yards, and notched his first win in his third career start, including this year’s opener, in his first-ever start-to-finish college game.

“Stephen did a nice job. He was cool as a cucumber, managed the game very well, executed the plan,” said Thomas. “We wanted to get some balls down the field, and we were able to catch them and get some pass interference calls. We got touchdowns to finish drives. We planned to play Joel Blumenthal but you don’t change what’s working really well.”

During the open date, before practices resumed the NSU defensive staff shifted from a base 4-3-4 scheme to a 3-3-5 stack and that move paid off handsomely. Lamar had allowed only one sack all season, including a competitive loss at Baylor and a win over third-ranked (FCS) Sam Houston State, but the Demons got a pair among four tackles for loss and five quarterback hurries.

“We went to a different concept and it helped free up guys to make plays. We took them out of some things they like to do and we made big plays at critical times,” said Thomas. “We have the scheme in our playbook, work it in the spring and preseason so we can go to it as needed, and it was the right move at the right time.

“Was it pretty? No. We were displaced quite often. But we made more plays than we had, by far, in any other game. We got pressure on the quarterback, we got sacks and tackles for loss. Our effort was relentless.”

Along with the overall performance, which included strides on special teams, NSU admittedly got lucky to score two key touchdowns.

Just 13 seconds before halftime, the Demons went up 31-14 when an impressive 8-play, 68-yard drive in the final 3:40 was capped when Rivers’ throw to H-back Charles Vaughn was deflected and fluttered into the hands of nearby tight end Zach White.

In the first minute of the fourth quarter, the Cardinals were poised to draw within one score for the first time since the first period after a 69-yard drive had them second-and-goal at the 2. But star running back Kade Harrington, who scored all five LU TDs and ran for an NSU opponent-record 282 yards (36 carries), had a teammate (an in-motion receiver) bump into his elbow and knock loose the ball, which Demons’ junior safety Adam Jones scooped up and returned a school-record 95 yards for a  commanding 41-21 advantage.

“We had the ball bounce our way a couple of times, finally. We were due. You don’t see either of those plays happen very often,” said Thomas. “The score at the end of the half was big, and the fumble return was a huge play, heads up by Adam but no doubt lucky for us. But you have to take advantage in those situations and we did.”

It combined to produce a joyful scene at game’s end.

“It’s good to see our guys smiling and celebrating. A lot of work all year long goes into these 11 games and to be in our situation, for these players and coaches to stay the course over these last two weeks going in against a good team, it was great to see that rewarded,” said Thomas. “Everybody was able to enjoy homecoming and that made it even better.”

The Demons head south the next two weeks, going to unbeaten McNeese Saturday night and visiting Nicholls on Halloween, before hosting Abilene Christian on Nov. 7.