Bedgood’s Bravado

DennisColemanThe Natchitoches Parish Journal received this submission from Dennis Coleman. The views and opinions expressed are those of Mr. Coleman 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

I noticed that Parish Councilman Rodney Bedgood has gotten placed on the Agenda for the upcoming Council meeting consideration for a pay raise for the Council members. Really? Is this the same group that has sat on their collective hands for the past four years; not a single member of the Council had the intestinal fortitude to offer real suggestions to be considered for the improvement of the roads of the Parish. And is this the same Mr. Bedgood who sought and was recently re-elected to this job? I do remember Mr. Bedgood for his antics at one Council meeting. It seems he had some photographs that he was sharing with the other members…jumping around from person to person pointing out that his constituents had to drive on these roads… Oh, not to forget, the reason for Mr. Bedgood’s animated behavior — it was being considered to pay a private land owner to pick up litter around a dumpsite which was located on his property. THE COUNCIL VOTED NOT TO DO THAT.

We all hear and grow tired of hearing about the ‘records’ of those elected to public office. The issue here begs the question, “What has the Council accomplished?” More importantly, what has been done that would bring an improvement to the worn out roads of Natchitoches Parish? Have the accomplishments of the Council been so numerous that the citizenry feels compelled to pay more for their service? Hardly.

I have no idea what the pay should be, but I would suggest that, based on the past and current performance, that a method of ‘repayment’ should be made available for those on the current Council. The citizens of Natchitoches Parish have for too long been underserved by those elected to serve. A little more than four years ago, it was voted that the Home Rule Charter be adopted, replacing a century or more of the former police jury. That was progress, but some on the current Council seem unashamed to hinder that progress in any way possible. The very idea of a pay raise should have been repressed by anyone with a conscience. Could that be…?

Volleyball — NSU set to end season, say goodbye to three seniors


The three Northwestern State volleyball seniors joked after Thursday’s five-set win against Incarnate Word they were trying to squeeze out just a little more time on the court.

Head coach Sean Kiracofe’s responded he was fine with that plan – as long as the team picked up a win.

It worked out fine, and Kiracofe would be OK with the same scenario playing out Saturday when NSU wraps up its 2015 season with a 2 p.m. matinee against Southland Conference foe Abliene Christian.

The match will mark the end of the careers of middle blockers Glynna Johnson and Amanda Kunz and outside hitter Caiti O’Connell, who helped lead Northwestern State (7-21, 5-10) to its first NCAA Tournament appearance a season ago.

“You always hear that college goes by faster than you believe, and it’s true,” said O’Connell, who delivered a season-high 18 kills Thursday against Incarnate Word.

“It’s been such a blessing to be here for five years. We worked really hard to build a team that is really driven and focused. If you see the upperclassmen working hard, it rolls down the line. The upperclassmen every year have shown that.”

O’Connell became the seventh member of Northwestern State’s 1,000-kill club on Oct. 15 at New Orleans.

The milestone was special anyway, but the sequence meant even more to O’Connell.

“It’s something you don’t hear often and something I didn’t realize I was close to,” said O’Connell, a member of the Southland Conference All-Tournament team in 2014 and the All-Louisiana Freshman of the Year in 2012. “To be the seventh one was cool, the coincidence of it all. Seven is my favorite number.”

Johnson will leave Northwestern State as the school’s single-season and career leader in block assists. She will leave in the top three in block solos as well, having been an imposing part of the NSU block for four seasons.

Offensively, Johnson has enjoyed her most productive offensive season as a senior. She enters Saturday’s match needing three kills to set a new personal single-season high. Her average of 1.84 kills per set is the highest of her career.

“It’s gone faster than I expected,” Johnson said. “I feel like I just moved in yesterday, like I was a freshman yesterday. Now, it’s my last game. It hasn’t really sunk in yet, because it’s gone by so fast.”

Kunz, Johnson’s fellow starting middle blocker, saved her most productive season for 2015.

Breaking into the starting lineup on a full-time basis, Kunz is tied for the team lead in block solos (23) and second in block assists (70). She also ranks fourth on the team in kills (176) and service aces (24).

“Going in a couple of matches the last couple of years helped me get ready for this year,” Kunz said. “I’m so blessed and so grateful to have been able to play this year and do what I’ve done.”

Like her teammates, Kunz’ mind goes back to this past November when NSU captured its first Southland Conference Tournament title and the resulting NCAA Tournament bid.

“That probably is one of the top moments of my career here,” she said. “Just being able to see the focus, the determination and the drive to do that was really cool to be a part of.”

Despite having coached them for only one season, Kiracofe knows what the trio has meant to the program.

“They’ve had great careers,” Kiracofe said. “I feel very lucky to have had that talent coming in. We’re going to miss them, and hopefully we can go out with a win and send them off in style.”

Family Farm Grows Green Through Value Added Production

Stevensons Family Pic

Consisting of five females spanning three generations, the Stevenson family lives in Fairview Alpha, Louisiana, on their 50-acre family farm. The farm grows a variety of fruit: citrus, muscadine, grapes, figs, pears, apples, and persimmons.They also grow a variety of ornamental flowers and plants.In addition, there is also cows, goats, and chickens. All the produce is grown organically. Recently, the farm expanded to include beekeeping. The entire family are crafters, with individual interests ranging from soap making, needlework, crocheting, sewing, canning, sculpting, basket weaving, and photography.

In an essay in the 2011 Kauffman Thoughtbook published by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Nicholas M. Donofrio, Retired Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology at IBM wrote a thought-provoking article titled “Innovation that Matters”. With the benefit of forty-four years at IBM, he points out that, “The innovation that matters now – the innovation that we’re all waiting for, even if we don’t know it – is the one that unlocks the hidden value that exists at the intersection of deep knowledge of a problem and intimate knowledge of a market, combined with your knowledge, your technology, and your capability…whoever you are, whatever you can do, whatever you bring to the table.” He suggests that we start not with the solution and what we want to accomplish, but with the problem and what needs to change, and then start thinking about how to change it.

This is exactly where the Stevensons family found themselves in 2003 when granddaughter Gabriel was diagnosed with leukemia. She was only eight years old and because her immune system was practically zero they had to eliminate germs from the house which led to making all natural cleaning supplies.

Chemotherapy dried out Gabriel’s skin so her mother, Rachael, started to make goat milk soap because it added natural moisture and was free of the harsh chemicals found in commercial products. This eventually developed into a small business called Southern Lane Soaps. These products can be found at the Campti Historic Museum and will soon be available through the Red River Farm Fresh virtual marketplace.

In 2015, Rachel ventured into beekeeping with one hive. It was a natural fit with the orchard. She collected 105 pounds of honey and totally sold out. “I plan to add at least 5 more hives in 2016 because the additional income comes in handy and it is not that much more work,” she said.

If you are looking to go from a hobby to a business, there is technical and financial resources to help you get there. Join us on Monday, November 16, 2015, at The Abundant Life Church, 618 Ben Drive, Natchitoches, LA, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., to learn more about USDA programs focused on traditionally underserved groups: beginning farmers and ranchers, veterans, women, minority groups, and specialty crop producers.  For more information, you can contact Donna Isaacs at Campti Field of Dreams, 318-332-7791 or USDA Natchitoches, 6949 Louisiana Highway 1 Bypass, Natchitoches, LA, 71457, 318-357-8366.

David Vitter is Going to Win

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham, III

David Vitter is going to win. I don’t say this as a partisan commentator. I don’t say this as a David Vitter supporter. I don’t even say this out of the sheer dislike for John Bel Edwards that I have. I say it as a matter of objective fact.

In just over a week, we as a state will be voting on our next governor. And by “we,” I of course mean the 40 or so percent who actually show up to the polls. In the primary, we had a statewide turnout of 38.5 percent of registered voters in the most important statewide race of the cycle. This is an off-year election – even with a gubernatorial race, there is going to be a low turnout.

The first reason why David Vitter is going to win is because Louisiana is a red state. At the end of the day, no matter what you say about Vitter’s sordid past, the fact is Louisiana doesn’t care about it so much that they will go out and vote Edwards – they’ll stay home. That’s the risk that Edwards runs with his negative ads. He’s not going to make people turn out, he’s going to make them stay home. More voters works in Edwards’ favor, but fewer voters means he’ll be watching a bunch of older, white Republican men go to the polls to keep someone like him from winning.

The second reason Vitter is going to win is because everyone has it so set in their mind Edwards is going to win based on polling. In Kentucky, a similar situation was brewing just a few weeks ago. Every poll had Matt Bevin, the Republican, down at least four points and set to lose the race. Every poll showed it, every pundit said he ran an awful campaign.

He won by eight points.

The methodologies being used in a lot of these polls are estimating a higher than should really be expected Democratic – and black – turnout. The numbers seem to me to be based on the idea that 2014 is a good baseline for turnout, when in reality, the baseline data from the 2014 year is an anomaly. We had a highly-publicized Senate race that would decide the fate of the U.S. Senate control. More people turned out for that than will likely turn out for this one.

And, speaking of black turnout, that’s another piece of the puzzle. Edwards is not going to get them out to vote in many areas of the state. He just skipped out on a black issues forum at Southern University out of fear of both confronting Vitter and fear of scaring white voters. It doesn’t matter that he’s done speaking events at Southern before, this was a candidates forum, with statewide candidates from several races appearing in order to talk about the issues. The top Democratic candidate in the state decided not to show.

The main reason I dislike Edwards is because of his opposition to school choice. Education is going to be the next great civil rights battle we fight as both a state and a nation, and Louisiana is going to be on the front line in that battle. School choice is the most effective way to get good kids out of failing schools, and Edwards opposes it. That is the final reason he is going to lose.

If I had to guess, I’d say it would be a close race. Vitter wins, maybe 52/48 and becomes the next governor. For better or worse.

Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at, contributor to The Hayride, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at

Early Voting – Natchitoches Parish as of 11-10-15

Early Voting reopens today at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse


November 10, 2015
WARD TOTAL White Black Other %
ONE 328 195 124 9 76.64%
TWO 21 21 0 0 4.91%
THREE 33 21 12 0 7.71%
FOUR 46 30 10 6 10.75%
428 267 146 15 100.00%
November 9, 2015
WARD TOTAL White Black Other %
ONE 336 182 146 8 77.60%
TWO 23 14 8 1 5.31%
THREE 25 16 8 1 5.77%
FOUR 49 23 20 6 11.32%
433 235 182 16 100.00%
November 7, 2015
WARD TOTAL White Black Other %
ONE 291 168 114 9 86.61%
TWO 14 11 3 0 4.17%
THREE 6 4 1 1 1.79%
FOUR 25 13 9 3 7.44%
336 196 127 13 100.00%
Early Voting to-date:
WARD TOTAL White Black Other %
ONE 955 545 384 26 79.78%
TWO 58 46 11 1 4.85%
THREE 64 41 21 2 5.35%
FOUR 120 66 39 15 10.03%
1197 698 455 44 100.00%

Quote Of The Day, November 11, 2015 – Joe Cunningham, III

From The Hayride & Fox Business Channel

Quote of the Day JC

“The best part of the night last night for literally every American was Donald Trump telling John Kasich to be quiet and let Jeb Bush speak.”

– Joe Cunningham, on the Fox Business Channel GOP debate.

Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at, contributor to The Hayride, contributor to the Natchitoches Parish Journal and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at

Christopher to perform recital Monday

Paul Christopher

Cellist Paul Christopher will present a recital at Northwestern State University Monday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Christopher is an Associate Professor of Music Theory and Low Strings at Northwestern State. He will be assisted by fellow faculty member Dr. Francis Yang on piano and Theresa Zale-Bridges on oboe.

The concert will feature music by Aho, Babbitt, J.S. Bach, Milhaud and Xenakis.

Christopher served for 15 years as principal cello of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra and the Shreveport Opera. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from the New England Conservatory of Music and his Master of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Memphis.

Christopher continues to perform with the Rapides, Shreveport and South Arkansas symphony orchestras. In the summer, he serves as assistant principal cello with the Peter Britt Festival Orchestra in Jacksonville, Oregon. Christopher has appeared as soloist with orchestras and has performed guest artist recitals throughout the United States and in Costa Rica, Honduras and South Korea.

Articles authored by Christopher have been published in the Jacques Offenbach Society Newsletter, Strings, American String Teacher, and Bass World. He has prepared and had published scores for Offenbach’s “Cello Duos, Opus 49, Nos. 1-6” and “Opus 50, Nos. 1-3,” and for Mark Prince Lee’s “Resonance for Solo Amplified Cello.” In 2007, Christopher was recognized as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Cello by the Music Teachers National Association.

Christopher has appeared on numerous recordings as a member of the Nashville String Machine with artists such as Faith Hill, Ricky Skaggs, Bruce Springsteen and George Strait. He has also recorded works by contemporary composers Dinos Constaninides, Don Freund and Mark Prince Lee as well as five CDs for the Human Metronome label devoted to the cello music of Jacques Offenbach.

Early Voting – Natchitoches Parish


Day Two – November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015
WARD TOTAL White Black Other %
ONE 336 182 146 8 77.60%
TWO 23 14 8 1 5.31%
THREE 25 16 8 1 5.77%
FOUR 49 23 20 6 11.32%
433 235 182 16 100.00%
November 7, 2015
WARD TOTAL White Black Other %
ONE 291 168 114 9 86.61%
TWO 14 11 3 0 4.17%
THREE 6 4 1 1 1.79%
FOUR 25 13 9 3 7.44%
336 196 127 13 100.00%
Early Voting to-date:
WARD TOTAL White Black Other %
ONE 627 350 260 17 81.53%
TWO 37 25 11 1 4.81%
THREE 31 20 9 2 4.03%
FOUR 74 36 29 9 9.62%
769 431 309 29 100.00%

A frivolous challenge by Jackson “No-Show” Jones

Jones V Bernard

On Friday, October 30, 2015, Jackson Jones filed a letter which was interpreted by the 10th Judicial District Court as being a petition to contest the election held on October 24th. On Monday, November 2nd, Mr. Jones filed a “petition” which the Court interpreted as an Amending Petition. The Petition contained the allegation that Jackson Jones would have won the election had it not been for the voting irregularities that occurred on Election Day due to power outages at three polling locations. In order for Jackson Jones to have won the election, he would have needed an additional 7,585 votes related to irregularities.  There were a total number of 916 votes cast at the three polling places that experienced power outages.

St. Anthony Church

Precinct 1/1

Total Voters


Voter turnout on

October 24th – 171

Victor Jones – 154

Jackson Jones – 17

St. Anthony Church

Precinct 1/1A

Total Voters


Voter turnout on

October 24th – 92

Victor Jones – 78

Jackson Jones – 14

Media Center

Precinct 1/11

Total Voters


Voter turnout on

October 24th – 453

Victor Jones – 413

Jackson Jones – 40

Fairview School

Precinct 2/9

Total Voters


Voter turnout on

October 24th – 200

Victor Jones – 171

Jackson Jones – 29

Among the allegations in Jackson Jones’ letter/petition was that the electricity was off at several polling places resulting in the disenfranchisement of minority voters even though the voting machines are all battery operated and therefore voting never stopped. Jackson Jones also alleged the Clerk of Court would not give him the results of early voting before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day. That is true, but that is also what the law requires.

In accordance with the Louisiana Election Code, a hearing must be held by 10:00 a.m. on the 4th day following filing of a petition. Jackson Jones requested the Clerk’s office send his Notice to his P.O. Box. The Sheriff’s office made attempts to make personal service on Jackson Jones, but they were unable to locate him between Tuesday and Friday. Jackson Jones failed to appear for the hearing, which was held on Friday morning, November 6th. At the hearing, it was ruled that even if Jackson Jones had gotten all of the votes cast in the three precincts in question, he still would not have won the election. The Defendants have asked the Court to hold the record open to allow its attorneys time to file a Motion for court costs, damages and attorney fees for filing a frivolous petition. That request was granted. A lot of expense and inconvenience resulted from Jackson Jones’ suit. Due to the lawsuit, Natchitoches Parish Registrar of Voters, Debbie Waskom, could not clear the absentee voting machines used in connection with the October 24th election, and since early voting for the run-off election was set to begin on November 7th, the State had to send new machines at considerable expense.

See Original NPJ Story and documents here: FULL PETITION & SETTING

City of Natchitoches takes position on Confederate Flag


The City of Natchitoches has banned the use/display of the Confederate Flag in the City of Natchitoches Christmas Parade.   In a letter to the Historic District Business Association, which operates the Christmas Festival, Mayor Lee Posey states that the City of Natchitoches (CON) has determined that a significant portion of the public associates the flag with organizations advocating expressions of hate, racism and intolerance directed toward people or groups that is demeaning to them.  The letter also takes a position of concern that the display of the flag in the Christmas Festival Parade could be taken by the public as an endorsement of a symbol that is viewed as racially inflammatory.

The 2010 Census shows that the City of Natchitoches is:

Black/African American 59.20%
White 37.20%
American Indian 0.50%
Asian alone 0.60%
Two or More Races, percent, 2010 1.70%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.00%
Hispanic or Latino 0.80%

Vitter slung mud first! Edwards responds.

The choice for governor couldn’t be more clear: John Bel Edwards, who answered our country’s call and served as a Ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division, or David Vitter, who answered a prostitute’s call minutes after he skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom.

Pianist LIna Morita to perform Nov. 12

Morita color pic

Pianist Lina Morita will present a recital at Northwestern State University Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. The concert is part of the Louisiana Piano Series International. Tickets are $15. Students are admitted free. Dr. Francis Yang and Dr. Christine Burczyk Allen are the organizers of the Louisiana Piano Series International.

Morita, an associate professor of music at McNeese State University, made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013.  Her career has taken her throughout the U.S., Latin and South America and Europe for solo recitals. Morita has taught master classes at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Her solo and collaborative performances have been featured on Radio MEC FM in Brazil and WRKF 89.3FM in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Her collaborative performance with soprano Carol Lines was released by Centaur Records.

Morita received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music; the Master of Music from Rice University; and the Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University.

Jazz Orchestra to perform with Opera Creole Wednesday


The Northwestern State University will perform along with Opera Créole Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Magale Recital Hall. Admission is free and open to the public. Associate Professor of Music Galindo Rodriguez conducts the NSU Jazz Orchestra.

Opera Créole is a group dedicated to researching and performing lost or rarely performed music and sharing with the community the contributions of Creole people to this musical art form in New Orleans and around the world.

Opera Créole’s singers are professional artists, educators and international soloists with roots in New Orleans, “America’s First City of Opera.” Members of the ensemble have recently been featured in solo roles in New Orleans Opera’s productions of “Madama Butterfly,” “Samson et Dalila,” “Il Trovatore,” “Salome” and “Porgy and Bess.” They were recently artists in residence at Illinois State University. Members of Opera Créole are part of the New Orleans Opera Chorus.

The NSU Jazz Orchestra will perform works by “The Heat’s On” by Sammy Nestico, “It’s A Heavy Town” by Donald Byrd and arranged by Mitch Farber featuring Kazue Seo on flugelhorn, “A Time for Love” by Paul Francis Webster and Johnny Mandel and arranged by Nestico, “All of Me” by Seymour Simons and Gerald Marks and arranged by Lennie Niehaus and featuring Giovanna Joseph on vocals and “Mack the Knife” by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht and arranged by Eric Burger.

Republican Jay Dardenne endorses Democrat John Bel Edwards

Kevin Litten,

Shared from Kevin Litten

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, one of three Republican opponents of Democrat John Bel Edwards in the governor’s race primary, crossed party lines Thursday (Nov. 5) to endorse Edwards over Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

“The Republican brand has been damaged by the failed leadership of Bobby Jindal during this last term,” Dardenne said in making his announcement. “David Vitter’s governorship will further damage that brand as I and others have pointed out during the campaign. I cannot and will not sit idly by and refuse to speak truth to power.”

Dardenne made his endorsement at “Free Speech Alley” in front of the student union on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge. Dardenne served as president of LSU’s student government when he was in law school.

Dardenne’s Betrayal

Joe Cunningham, III

Joe Cunningham, III

In the gubernatorial race here in Louisiana, Jay Dardenne has made a risky move, and it is one that will make or break his political career in Louisiana. He has endorsed the liberal Democratic candidate, John Bel Edwards.

I’m no fan of Vitter’s past. A lot of people aren’t. I wasn’t particularly enthused by the campaign. A lot of people weren’t. But for Dardenne to call himself a conservative (all sorts of data points to the contrary, mind you) and support Edwards shows exactly the kind of man he is.

He is incredibly bitter about how this race turned out. He was third among Republican candidates, fourth overall, in the October election. The barbs between those two during the primary were sharp and vicious. It’s no shock that Dardenne wouldn’t endorse Vitter – in fact, during a debate, he said he wouldn’t endorse anyone during the runoff. But for him to jump on board with the Democratic candidate leaves you wondering just how bad things were.

Right now, there’s speculation that Dardenne is aiming for or has been promised the top policy job for Edwards. The Commissioner of Administration gig is an immensely powerful one. And it pays very well.  There is also speculation that he told Vitter he’d endorse him if he got that job in a Vitter administration, and Vitter gave him a very forceful “No.”

This doesn’t bode well for Vitter, but it’s not necessarily going to lock in an Edwards victory, either. Edwards is going to have to find a new line of attack on Vitter, because previous statewide elections have shown that the state doesn’t seem to care much for his sordid past. Still, Vitter’s biggest challenge will be to re-connect in a meaningful way with Republican voters in the state.

Edwards, meanwhile, will have to work harder to convince people he really is a social conservative, and he’s going to have to explain why his voting record in the legislature is decidedly not conservative.

But, Dardenne? He had better hope that Vitter loses. Louisiana’s GOP hasn’t had strong leadership in recent years, but Vitter will consolidate power, exercise an iron grip, and probably set fire to Dardenne’s career if he wins.

Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at, contributor to The Hayride, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at

Football — NSU’s Moore on verge of setting career scoring mark

9_3 Chris Moore 37_Tuff McClain 11 (2)
Northwestern State football fans will always remember Chris Moore for kicking a last-play, 47-yard field goal last Sept. 20 to complete the Demons’ comeback 30-27 win over ancient rival Louisiana Tech.

After Saturday’s 6 p.m. home game at Turpin Stadium against Abilene Christian, he’ll likely also be remembered for taking a very prominent place in the NSU football record book.

Moore, a senior from Plano, Texas, who transferred from Iowa State after his freshman year, is three points away from breaking the Demons’ career scoring record. Moore has 221 points on field goals and extra points in three seasons. From 2005-08, Pineville native Robert Weeks kicked his way to 223 for the Demons.

Already, Moore has the school record for field goal attempts (61), hitting 64 percent of them (39), three shy of Weeks’ school career mark. Last season, Moore set the single-season kick scoring record with 90 points.

At Mississippi State on Sept. 19, he made the Bulldog fans jealous as he hammered a 52-yard field goal with plenty of room to spare. A week earlier, LSU escaped Starkville with a win when State’s kicker was off the mark on a late 52-yarder.

The distance is the second-longest, by a yard, in school history, behind a 53-yarder in 1988 by Keith Hodnett at Idaho in an FCS quarterfinal game.

Demons’ head coach Jay Thomas is excited about his kicker being on the verge of setting one of the school’s more significant career records. Already this season, senior receiver Ed Eagan has become NSU’s all-time receptions leader (currently with 150, 24 above the old mark) and career all-purpose yardage king (5,126 yards, fourth in Southland Conference history).

Moore ranks among the most accurate kickers in 52 seasons of Southland football. His 96.3 percent rate on extra points (104 of 108, including all 26 this season) ranks 10th all-time.

He’s made 10 of 12 field goals this year, narrowly missing a 37-yarder after a high snap in a driving rainstorm late in last week’s 37-21 win at Nicholls, a kick that would have given him the career scoring mark.

“Chris has really worked on being consistent with his field goals and extra points. It’s been a process for him and obviously he’s done a great job with the accuracy he’s shown knocking the ball between the pipes this season,” said Thomas. “I’m real excited for him to have this opportunity and I hope we can get it done at home Saturday night.”

Having Moore on the sideline gives the Demons confidence in late-game situations.

“He’s hit some huge kicks for us in his three years here, and what we tend to forget is not the game-winner at Ruston last year, but that it was his second pressure-packed field goal in a very short time. He tied the game with just over a minute left (on a 29-yarder) that really had more pressure than the one at the end,” said Thomas.

“He’s got tremendous talent, a great leg, and he’s a lot of fun to be around. He’s such a competitor and he wants every kick to be right. (Special teams coordinator) August Mangin has done a great job of helping him hone his craft.”

Moore has more than the normal amount of affinity for a kicker with his teammates.

“He’s not your ordinary kicker. Those specialists are usually guys who listen to their own music,” said Thomas. “They’re a little different from the rest of the team because of how they practice. They’re not in position groups going through drills with a dozen other guys. They do a lot on their own without constant supervision.

“Our team really enjoys Chris and he has their respect, not only because of what he does kicking the football, but he’s a beast in the weight room. Those other players see that. We have to run him out of there sometimes.”

Moore, who will graduate with a communications degree in December and return home to the Dallas metroplex, is a two-time Southland Conference Commissioner’s Fall Honor Roll student for earning at least a 3.0 grade point average while in season.

Two-sport NSU standout, former major leaguer Jim Willis is Demons’ Great of the Game


There is a piece of Jim Willis that never will leave Brown-Stroud Field.

When Willis returns to Northwestern State’s campus Saturday, it won’t be to see his retired No. 28 that graces the center field wall at NSU’s baseball field.

Instead, Willis will be honored as the Demon Great of the Game during Northwestern State’s football game against Abilene Christian. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Turpin Stadium, and Willis will be honored during the first quarter.

Willis became the first Northwestern State alumnus to appear in the major leagues, debuting in 1953 with the Chicago Cubs. Willis pitched two seasons with Chicago, going 2-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 27 appearances.

Willis, a Doyline native, was a two-sport standout at Northwestern State and a World War II veteran who served the U.S. Army in occupied Germany in 1945-46.

He was inducted in the N-Club Hall of Fame in 1976.

Much like fellow MLB and NSU alum Lee Smith, Willis’ Demons career was more noted for what he did on the hardwood than on the diamond.

Willis was part of the 1948-49 Northwestern State basketball team that reached the national semifinals under legendary coach H. Lee Prather.

His No. 28 baseball jersey was retired prior to the 2009 season, joining Brian Lawrence (29), Jim Wells (17) and Billie Roy Cook (10) as NSU baseball players with retired jerseys.

Willis began his professional baseball career in 1949 with Alexandria and pitched for the Shreveport Sports from 1951-52 before signing with the Cubs.

Willis is the author and illustrator of “My Baseball Story,” which chronicles his childhood, Army service and baseball career.

A Demon Great of the Game is spotlighted at each NSU home football game. Former NFL players Petey Perot and Keith Thibodeaux and iconic two-sport letterman and beloved coach Johnnie Emmons were NSU greats honored at the first three home games this season.