NCHS Boys Basketball: I-49 Shootout Schedule

The Natchitoches Central Chiefs will host their annual I-49 Shootout at Prather Coliseum Friday, Dec. 28. The annual shootout combines teams from North Louisiana playing teams from South Louisiana. It will be a great afternoon/evening of High School basketball.

2:00 pm Saline HS vs Haughton HS

3:30 pm Capt. Shreve vs Live Oak HS

5:00 pm Montgomery HS vs South Beauregard HS

6:30 pm Hicks HS vs Summerfield HS

8:00 pm Natch. Central vs Dutchtown HS

*First team listed will be Home and will wear white.

Please arrive no later than an hour before scheduled time.
Admission: $8

4H Club brings Christmas to Fairview Alpha and Goldonna students

4H Club 12-2018 Lakeview

Members of the Lakeview Jr/Sr High School’s 4H club participated in their first annual Pictures & Peppermints event on Dec. 14. Santa, Mrs. Claus and his “Elves” visited Fairview Alpha and Goldonna students to have their picture taken with Santa, tell them their Christmas wishes and received a candy cane attached with a note from Santa. The day was enjoyed by both the 4H members and the students.

Pictured on front row from left are Emily Corley, Kallie Ayres, Ashlie Key, Zoie Britt, Asharia Smith, Liberty Collins, Jorryn Harris, and Holtz Helms. On middle row are Mrs. Claus (Sherry Helms), Lashanti Prudhomme, Allie Hill, Allison Anderson, Sarah Jones, Jaydean Fenn, Josie Ayres, Aky’a Chatman, JaMichael Burgess, Trinity Browder, Chelsey Winslow, and Lauren Custis. On back row are Cameron Toussaint, Austin Smith, Destiny Williams, Cami Faircloth, Edward Smith, Charley Litton, Daniel Holland, Randell Slaughter, Hailey Poydras, Elizabeth Poydras, Nyla Carter, Brenton Cherry, Josh Mattox, Destinee Britt, and Santa Claus (Brandon Helms).

Ponderings with Doug – December 21, 2018

After all these years in Natchitoches, I am spoiled by the wonderful decorations.

Can you believe that not every town decorates for Christmas like we do?

Here’s what happens in the Gibsland metroplex. The Christmas decorations are attached to the light poles. One decoration per light pole. The decorations are snowflakes, Santa, angels, snowmen, boxes with bows and ribbons, candy canes, candles, and bells. The decorations are on both sides of Main street in Gibsland proper.

Last year on MY pole, the municipal Christmas decorations hanger attached a snow flake. The snow flake had blue lights. The lights are never off, day or night they are glowing brightly. My snow flake didn’t light up. Someone didn’t reset the circuit breaker on the pole plug. I was tempted to prop my ladder against the pole and fix the problem. I said tempted. I enjoyed looking at the snow flake, imagining what it would be like if the blue lights worked. The disappointment of last Christmas was tempered by the hope of the Christmas decorations this year.

This year, the decoration dude placed all the decorations by their respective poles and then went back and hung them on the pole.
This year I have a candy cane. The candy cane has red and white lights.
The candy cane is not hanging but propped against the bottom of the pole. The candy cane municipal Christmas decoration has been propped against the bottom of the pole for two weeks now.

As I survey Main Street, I note that the decoration dude started south of town and worked his way north on Main Street. As he went, he decorated all the poles on the right side of the street. On the left side of the street, many of the decorations remain propped at the bottom of the poles. Maybe the decoration dude was an arch conservative and only decorated poles on his right. Maybe he worried that decorating poles on the left would give assent to liberalism.

Maybe the dude’s wife had a baby and he never got back to the other side of the road. Maybe his truck broke down or his knee buckled. He might have forgotten, after all, half the town’s decorations are propped against poles. Maybe this is the year of unhung decorations in Bienville Parish and I didn’t get the memo.

I hope the authorities in the Gibsland metro area don’t pay this guy for the job. He did a half way job.

I was excited about the municipal decorations at the camp this year. I had resolved to climb up and make sure the circuit breaker was in the ON position. I was planning to enjoy the decoration on my corner.

Alas, it was not to be!

Isn’t that just like some Christmas plans?

Two points to ponder and I’ll let you go. First, for some folks the light of this season simply doesn’t shine. They don’t feel the love and joy of Christmas. Their hearts are broken, and the memory of loss or brokenness is too close. We can surround those folks with love and care. Remember, don’t practice theology without a license, be a quiet caring friend. You don’t have to give answers or explain the ways of God or of life. You can be a silent presence and that is adequate.

Second, I think the broken Christmases are the ones we remember. I already remember my two Christmases as a camp owner. The city decorations didn’t work on my light pole or never got hung. We remember easily, the time when the gift wasn’t right, the batteries weren’t included, or the plans went astray. We remember the times when things were not Norman Rockwell simple. We remember because of a spiritual connection to the first Christmas. The very first Christmas was all fouled up. Joseph explaining Mary’s condition, the trip to Bethlehem, the relatives that didn’t have room for a couple of cousins and the birth in the barn.

Christmas is about our brokenness and disappointments. It is about your Christmas decoration propped against the pole. It is about looking forward to a better time and a time when “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Doug FUMC - Christmas decoration


Ben Johnson Center International Paper

Ben D. Johnson Educational Center (BDJ Center) received $15,200 in grant funds from International Paper Red River Mill. The grant to the BDJ Center will be used towards the Legacy Youth Workforce Development program. The program will begin March 2019 and will serve young people ages 16-24 who are out of work and out of school by teaching occupational and life skills training with support to overcome social barriers. The program will utilize our food service business, Legacy Café, as a hands-on training environment.

The Ben D. Johnson Educational Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Natchitoches, Louisiana and founded in honor of the late Ben D. Johnson whose holdings represented one of the largest minority-owned enterprises in the state. More importantly though was Mr. Johnson’s legacy of a lifelong commitment to community. The Ben Johnson Educational Center will utilize a social enterprise structure to serve the community with a Youth Workforce Development Program, Legacy Café, Teaching Farm & Green Market and a Shared Community Kitchen/Business Incubator.

“We are grateful for the financial support to address this critical community need,” said Founder and Board Chair Claire Prymus.

The mission of Ben D. Johnson Educational Center is to build community in Natchitoches and give access to social and economic success for all of its residents.

Founded by Claire Prymus in honor of her late uncle, the Ben D. Johnson Educational Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a commitment to building community and providing access and opportunities for residents in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Pictured above from left are Victoria Lemane, Mill Communications Manager; Dallas Russell, Executive Director BDJ Center; and Mike Carroll, Mill Manager.

Lakeview FFA places in Leadership Development Events

gracie- area

Gracie Niette placed 1st in Area II in Geaux Teach Ag.

Lakeview FFA members recently competed in Leadership Development Events (LDE) and placed at the Area and State level. Emily Windham competed and placed 3rd in the Employment Skills LDE, which consists of creating a resume and cover letter, filling out a job application, a phone interview and mock personal interview with a panel of possible employers. Salem Johnson competed and placed 3rd in Area in the Gulf of Mexico speaking contest. The Gulf of Mexico LDE is designed to promote citizen concern and student awareness of the problems facing the Gulf of Mexico and the states that border the Gulf. The program is also designed to involve students in preparing and delivering a speech related to those problems. Gracie Niette competed in the Geaux Teach Ag LDE placing 1st in Area and 3rd in the State. The Geaux Teach Ag LDE involves students in preparing and delivering lesson plans based on a topic in the field of agriculture. The National FFA Organization is dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

emily- area

Emily Windham placed 3rd in Area II in Employment Skills

9-1-1 Addresses Office Holiday Schedule

Natty 911

The Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 Communications District addressing office will be closed on Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25 in observance of Christmas. It will reopen on Wednesday, December 26, resuming our regular schedule.

The 9-1-1 Commissioners and staff extend best wishes for a Happy, Safe, and very Merry Christmas!

Willis Carter, Director

Natchitoches Parish 9-1-1 Communications District

Notice of Death – December 20, 2018

Notice of Death 2017



Peggy Jean LaCaze
Visitation: Friday, December 21 from 5-8 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, December 22 at 2 pm at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Interment: Fern Park Cemetery in Natchitoches

Robert Demetrius Griffin
June 02, 1995 – December 13, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, December 22 from 10-11 am at the Asbury United Methodist Church
Service: Saturday, December 22 at 11 am at the Asbury United Methodist Church

Derrick Sharold Brown`
May 13, 1982 – December 14, 2018
Service: Saturday, December 22 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches


John Michael Carroll
May 27, 1977 – December 13, 2018
Service: Friday, December 21 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Fisher Cemetery


Nadine Edna Haas Larsen
February 11, 1929 – December 17, 2018
Service: Saturday, December 22 at 2 pm at St. James Episcopal Church in Alexandria


Enola Chreene Crumholt
December 25, 1930 – December 19, 2018
Service: Saturday, December 22 at 12 pm at Chreene Cemetery in Stanley


School Board Member- Elect Donates to Teacher Luncheon

Reba to Parent Action Committee.jpg

Natchitoches Parish School Board Member-Elect, Reba Phelps, made a donation to the Parent Action Committee Teacher Christmas Luncheon at NSU Middle Lab School. The luncheon was held Dec. 18 and is held every year in appreciation for the teachers and their dedication to the students. Pictured with Phelps is Jamie Hogg, who was a teacher for seven years and knows the importance of making teachers feel appreciated and loved. Other PAC members Stephanie Dyjack and Gretchen Murchison assisted with the luncheon to make it as special as possible and can be seen around the school regularly volunteering in different capacities. School Administration and the teachers were very appreciative of all of the parents who donated their time and gifts to make this event memorable.

Shaving Every Day is a Pain in the Neck – and the Face

By Joe Darby


It’s one of those things that guys just have to do. Well, most of the time.

Our genes and our male hormones make it so. We have facial hair and if we’re not to look like total cavemen, we have to do something about it.

As you are well aware, many guys these days have beards. But the great majority still shave their necks and upper cheeks. The point is, though, that every day, or almost every day, we have to put on the lather, pick up the razor and clear at least part of our faces of fuzz.

Now I’ll admit that my shaving only takes about three minutes. That’s certainly not a lot of time, but to me it gets old, having to go through the process every day, day after day.

I also realize that you ladies, most of you, go through the makeup routine daily and that takes more time than shaving. And you probably freshen up the makeup several times throughout the day. So I know that guys are not the only gender with annoying rituals that we must perform. (And let me say here that most of us guys do appreciate your efforts with makeup. Y’all look really nice!)

Perhaps I get irritated (no pun intended) at the daily shave simply because it’s something I must do. Oh, I do skip a day now and then, if I’m not going anywhere, but that just means that when I finally do shave, it makes for a much more scratchy ordeal.

Funny that I’m tired of shaving now, because, like most lads, when my whiskers started to grow and I needed to start shaving, I felt like I was really becoming a MAN! I was probably about 16 at the time, a time when boys are eager to be a MAN and to be able to show it through facial hair.

When I began shaving I started using the popular Gilette safety razor of the time. After a while I tried an electric razor, which I found irritated my skin and didn’t give me a real close shave anyway. So I went back to the good old blade razor, which I’ve used ever since.

I was clean shaven until my late 20s, when I grew a mustache. Then, in 1972 I was in a pretty bad auto accident and cut my chin when my head hit the sheering wheel. (That was in the days when seatbelts were just lap belts. They stopped you from going through the windshield, but didn’t prevent your upper body from being slammed forward.)

The scar was so bad that I couldn’t shave over it and I had to grow a goatee. And once I had the goatee, I said, why not go all the way and grow a beard. So I did, and it was quite a beard if I do say so myself.

Photos of how I looked at that time are kind of embarrassing to me now. I mean, my beard was a typical 1970s beard, a fat one, sticking out like I’d just put my finger in an electrical outlet, or something. I later trimmed it into a much more neater one and I think it looked okay.

But then I decided to go back to the goatee, just covering the chin. Some folks today refer to my chin growth as a beard. I don’t bother to correct them. I suppose technically it could be called that, Anyway, because of that scar underneath, I’m pretty much stuck with the goatee for life.

And I suppose that’s all right. Nature decrees that the male of the species will have facial hair. And it’s up to us to make what we will of it.



Parish President Rick Nowlin has announced that all Parish Government offices, as well as the Parish landfill, will be closed Monday, December 24, 2018 and Tuesday, December 25, 2018 in observance of the Christmas holiday. Bin sites in the Parish will close only on Tuesday, December 25. Residents with questions about the closures may call the Parish Government offices at 318-352-2714.

Should we replace The Statue of Liberty’s torch with a stop sign?

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

The words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty say quite a lot. They are from an 1883 poem by Poet Emma Lazarus titled New Colossus. The ending has become famous because the thoughts symbolize the spirit of a nation that welcomes those seeking relief from suffering and tyrants. Those words are these: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Beautiful. In her hand is a torch that lights the way to a free world. But if you were to look at the news lately, you would be right in wondering if some people believe that torch should be replaced with a big fat, red stop sign. I am talking about the noisy debate about building walls to stop Mexicans from entering the U.S illegally. That is a key word in all of this: illegally.

Many in the nation—more often Republicans– are feeling that illegal immigration has become epidemic. They point to the large number of illegal immigrants working in the U.S. and claim that this is hurting employment for Americans. They are urgently seeking a solution and are compelled to even consider building a wall to keep these illegals out.
On the other side of the fence (pun intended) there is an opposing group, usually liberal Democrats, who point to those words on Miss Liberty and remind us all that it is immigration that built the nation. They urge us to open our hearts wide and our borders wider. They say, let the Mexicans in, and some go so far as suggesting ways to give benefits to illegals already here. Who is right? Is it possible as happens in many heated arguments, that both sides may have a point? The Trump White House has made it clear they believe border security should be seen as a top priority. They are urging the building of the wall and President Trump has had a noisy televised argument with Democratic Leaders over this. Some of those opposing the president claim he is racist. But is he? Border security is a responsibility of every president and although Mr. Trump is very aggressive, does it make him a racist to want to do all he can to secure borders, when that is a mandate of the office?

On the other hand, people who support his position seem to believe that those on the other side don’t care at all about homeland security. They suggest that these more liberal Americans are recklessly open to leaving the borders unprotected and letting anyone in without any kind of screening. They point out that among the many Mexicans headed here illegally are dangerous people—you know, drug dealers, users, rapists, killers, etc. However, when you see photos or news footage of the illegals, they look like ordinary families often with small kids. Seems both sides have a tendency to lean to the extreme when characterizing the opposing camp and when depicting who these Mexicans are and why they’re headed here.

The Mexicans themselves either say they are fleeing persecution or poverty or both and are just seeking a better life. That should sound familiar because it is what the immigrants from Europe said in earlier centuries. If they are right, that brings up a series of questions. First question: Do we owe these Mexican Refugees the same assistance we owed those fleeing dictators and starvation decades earlier?

What are we saying when we turn away the desperate? Are we so hard up as a nation that the words on the Statue of Liberty no longer apply? Can we no longer help those who are trying to provide a better life. Do we need to say to them sorry, but they need to seek help elsewhere, because we are “full up”. If so then maybe it’s time to remove this inscription encouraging the “homeless, the tired, the huddled masses” to come this way. But would doing so count as a sin?

On the other hand, why can’t authorities enforce the immigration laws that are on the books? Why are those laws there and why can’t we allow law enforcement and the Immigration Department to go ahead and enforce what has been legally approved? If we disagree with these laws, why don’t we change them? But if we have laws and they are not enforced, what does that do to our society. When officials refuse to obey certain laws but insist on enforcing others doesn’t that create chaos? And let’s face it, this debate cannot honestly take place without using the word “illegals”. Of course, I can hear radical voices pointing out that all Americans are illegal as this was the land of Native Americans. But let’s get real about this. The current laws on the books are still laws. All nations place limits on immigration. Enforcing immigration laws is standard everywhere in the world.

Maybe what we need most is for people on both sides of this immigration debate to stop the shouting matches for a while and take time to close their mouths and open their ears to truly hear the other side and realize this is not truly a simple an issue as both sides present it. Solving it will require thought and creativity.

For my money, I like the words on the Statue of Liberty. And I believe removing them will cost more than the wages of the workman who would be paid to remove them. Sure, living up to them has never been easy. But America became the nation it is because God blessed America through the blessing of immigration in large part. Yes, these Mexicans are illegal immigrants, and that is not a good thing. But they are still immigrants and immigrants have been major contributors to building the America we live in. Among earlier immigrant groups was a Albert Einstein, Irving Berlin, Joseph Pulitzer, Andrew Carnegie, Bob Hope, Heddy Lamar, (Hollywood star who helped invent digital cell phone technology) Cary Grant, and even Trump’s wife First Lady Melania Trump. Immigration contributes to our nation, because immigrants come prepared to do so. Escaping poverty and cruelty we can’t imagine, they enter these shores motivated in ways natural citizens often are not. One argument for keeping Mexican illegal immigrants out is that among them are criminals. Maybe. However, what if among them are real contributors, like those on the list. What if one of them is the child who will one day grow up to find the cure for cancer? You never know.

Maybe that is one reason past generations have not taken down the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. And why as we debate the issue of immigration we would do well to read and reread those words, pray and remember the promise of America so when we portray and present ourselves to the world as a freedom loving resource for those in need, we are not guilty of false advertising.

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

–The Bible

NCHS Class donates supplies to Humane Society

NCHS Class donates supplies

Lesa Thompson’s dual enrollment English class at Natchitoches Central High School donated dog food, toys, treats, towels and blankets for the Natchitoches Humane Society’s rescue facility, Happy Tails. As part of the project they had to write about the benefits of donating to worthy causes. Pictured on front row from left are Kailyn Kendrick and Sara DeMattie. On middle row are Kate Methvin, Callie Owsley, Sarah Hicks, Madeline Joubert, and Lesa Tompson. On back row are Maeli Usleton, Timothy Giddens, and Reagan Washington.


DaJohn Hymes

A Natchitoches man wanted in connection with a domestic abuse incident in Natchez was captured after a four hour manhunt Tuesday morning, Dec. 18 at 7:54 am.

NPSO Patrol Division deputies responded to 911 reports of a disturbance at Natchez Place Apartments in the 100 block of Hwy. 119 in Natchez.

The callers reported it appeared that a female was being abused by a male inside the apartment. Deputies arrived on scene a short time later and they could hear a disturbance inside the apartment. Deputies could hear a female pleading to let her arm go so she could leave.

Deputies gave verbal instructions to open the door or they would make entry based on exigent circumstances and a male yelled, “we are not doing nothing.”

A short time later, a female identified as the victim opened the door allowing deputies to enter the apartment.

Deputies then conducted a protective sweep and search of the apartment discovering a stolen Glock .40 caliber handgun hidden near the sofa.

The victim informed deputies the suspect identified as 25-year-old DaJohn Hymes jumped out the bedroom window and fled.

Deputies exited the apartment and began searching the area for Hymes reportedly wearing red pajama pants and a white t-shirt.

Deputies also learned Hymes was wanted by the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office for Resisting Arrest since January of 2018.

As the investigation and search continued, deputies spotted Hymes in a swamp area off of La. Hwy 119.

Multiple NPSO Deputies along with supervisors , a NMJDTF K-9, NMJDTF agents, Natchez Police and the Winn Parish Tracking Team with K-9s and horses responded to the area to aid in the search.

Some deputies remained at the scene interviewing the victim that did not require medical attention but was referred to her private physician for an examination.

During the interview, deputies learned the suspect allegedly threatened to kill the victim if she left the apartment.

Throughout the search, law enforcement spotted Hymes in several areas but he would elude them running in the woods or abandoned mobile home areas making it difficult to find him in extremely foggy conditions.

At 11:25am, deputies spotted Hymes running towards La. Hwy 494 in Natchez wearing only blue underwear with no shirt or shoes on.

A perimeter was set. Deputies, K-9s and law enforcement on horseback began to focus on that area.

At 11:40am, Hymes was captured and taken into custody without injuries.

DaJohn Hymes, 25, of the 300 block of Winnona Street, Natchitoches, La. was transported and booked into the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with Domestic Abuse Battery, False Imprisonment, 2-counts of Resisting an Officer, Illegal Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Possession of a Firearm by a Person convicted of a Felony, Simple Criminal Damage to Property and being a Fugitive from Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Hymes remains in the Natchitoches Detention Center awaiting bond and transfer to Caddo Parish.

Hymes has prior arrests in Caddo, Red River, Sabine and Natchitoches Parishes.

Update: This morning rumors circulating in the Natchez area revolved around the female victim being pregnant and that she had lost her baby as a result of the domestic abuse. We have talked with the victim she has followed up with her physician as instructed and she reports that she and her baby are fine.

Lakeview claims championship of Minden Tournament

Lakeview - Minden 2018
The Lakeview Gators rattled off four consecutive wins late last week en route to winning the annual Minden Tournament.

The Gators, now 15-3 overall and winners of five straight games, disposed of district-rival Red River, Calvary Baptist and Camden-Fairview, Ark., before knocking off the host team in the championship of the tournament.

Zarious Lewis brought home Most Valuable Player honors from the event as he averaged 22.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, scoring at least 21 points in all four games. Udonis Jones and Ty Washington each earned first-team all-tournament honors as well, with Jones averaging 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing, with Washington contributing 11.3 points, three steals and 2.3 rebounds per contest.

Lakeview opened the tournament with a hard-fought victory over District 3-2A rival Red River, 80-70. Lewis poured in 24 points and grabbed five rebounds in the win, while Jones reaching double figures with 16 points, along with nabbing seven boards. Nate Braden and Washington each had eight points, while Christopher Small finished with seven points, four rebounds and four assists. Braden led Lakeview with six assists, while Washington snared four steals.

The Gators faced Calvary Baptist in the second round of the tournament and came away victorious, 70-55. Lewis had 22 points and four rebounds, while Jones added 13 points and seven boards. Braden notched 12 points, four assists and a pair of steals, while Washington finished with nine points, four rebounds and three assists.

In the semifinals, the Gators prevailed over Camden-Fairview High School out of Arkansas, 75-71. Lewis had 21 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists, while Jones had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Small contributed 16 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals, while Washington and Braden were in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Lakeview finished off the tournament in fine fashion by disposing of hosting Minden in the finals, 68-57. Lewis led the way with 24 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Washington came away with 16 points, including 13 of those in the final period of play. Braden and Jones added seven points and six rebounds each in the win.

Northwestern State adds 10 in early signing period

10-27 Brad Laird by Gary Hardamon


The second edition of college football’s early signing period was a productive one for Northwestern State.

Head coach Brad Laird and his staff announced Wednesday the addition of 10 high school signees who established the foundation of the Demons’ Class of 2019.

“Our staff did a great job signing 10 young men from high school we feel can come in and be productive at Northwestern State,” Laird said. “It was different for us. Last year (at this time), we were able to get some mid-year junior college guys in. This year, we were able to get on these guys last January and February and build those relationships, which is the most important thing in the recruiting process.”

Wednesday was the first of a three-day period in which student-athletes can sign national letters of intent. The traditional spring signing period opens Feb. 6, 2019.

The Demons struck an envious balance, signing five offensive and five defensive players in their first full recruiting cycle as a staff.

“Balance on both sides of the ball was important for us,” recruiting coordinator Jake Olsen said. “Making sure we found who were good football players more than anything was key. Northwestern State’s not for everybody, but finding guys buying into that was important. When you get here, see our place and meet our people, it’s great. We had success recruiting because of that.”

The Demons landed three offensive linemen in the class, all of whom top the 300-pound mark and hail from Texas.

Spencer Cody is a 6-foot-4, 310-pounder from Pearland Dawson High School. A first-team all-district selection, Cody also played lacrosse for Dawson. He helped the Eagles average 27.5 points per game this season while propelling Dawson to playoff appearances in each of the past two seasons.

Jordan McCray (6-4, 320) comes to Northwestern State from Ennis High School where he was rated the No. 143 guard nationally by He was part of an offensive line that helped the Tigers average 25.8 points per game his senior season. Part of a program that reached the playoffs in all four of his seasons, McCray was a unanimous first-team all-district selection as a junior, helping Ennis win the district title.

Christian Mobley is the third offensive line signee for NSU. A 6-5, 310-pound product of Tomball High School, Mobley was a key part of an offensive line that produced averages of 355.7 yards and 29.5 points per game. A second-team all-district selection, Mobley is another multi-sport athlete, lettering in basketball for Tomball.

“It all starts up front,” Laird said. “Those three guys have the size we wanted and the ability to come in and play right now. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but they give us three big hammers up front who are big, athletic guys.”

The Demons landed a pair of skill-position players to start the early signing period, which runs through Friday.

Erik Hart, a 5-10, 180-pound running back from China Spring (Texas) High School, is both productive and projectable. Hart twice set the school single-season rushing record, first with 1,559 yards in his junior season then with 2,117 in his recently completed senior season.

Hart twice scored five touchdowns in a single game, establishing another school record. He proved to be a versatile back, catching 18 passes for 188 yards and a score his senior season. Hart was tabbed to play in the Blue-Grey All-American Game and was named one of the top 25 prospects in Central Texas.

“He’s a very dynamic back,” Laird said. “We identified him early in camp and built that relationship with him. Coach (Mike) Lucas had a connection with his high school coach. That’s key in recruiting. Erik is a very dynamic back and can be very explosive.”

Wide receiver Robbie Williams III brings a 6-4 frame to Natchitoches from Chapel Hill (Texas) High School where he was a versatile performer in all three phases of the game.

A four-sport letterman, Williams tallied 12 total touchdowns as a senior – eight receiving, two rushing, one passing and one via punt return. As a senior, Williams totaled 515 receiving yards, made 40 tackles, intercepted a pass, blocked a kick and handled both punting and field goals.

For his career, he surpassed the 2,000-yard receiving plateau and scored at least nine touchdowns in three different seasons. A first-team all-district selection as a junior, Williams also lettered in basketball, soccer and track and field.

“He’s another young man we saw early in camp and followed throughout the recruiting process,” Laird said. “You look at what he did at Chapel Hill, not just as a receiver, which we saw in camp. Defensively, he’s not afraid of contact. You get a receiver like that, he adds a different dimension.”

As they did on offense, the Demons added signees at all three levels defensively.

On the line, Northwestern State signed Welsh defensive end Johnathan Daigle and John Tyler (Texas) defensive tackle Ja’Bralen Yarber.

Daigle was a standout defender and key part of a Welsh program that won the 2017 state championship and finished the 2018 season as the state runner-up. He recorded 136 tackles and nine sacks as a senior after collecting 147 tackles, seven forced fumbles and five sacks as a junior.

For his career, Daigle totaled 365 tackles and helped Welsh advance at least to the quarterfinals in all four years of his high school career.

“I don’t know that he ever came off the field,” Laird said. “He played tight end for them as well. He is going to be very productive for us.”

Yarber followed a similar path at John Tyler, helping the Lions reach the state playoffs all three seasons of his career.

As a senior, Yarber (6-1, 280) helped guide the Lions to a 6-0 district mark and a berth in the third round of the state playoffs, recording 69 tackles, including 26 for a loss. He added six forced fumbles, an interception and a safety.

“He’s the same type of guy (as Daigle),” Laird said. “He played offensive line and defensive line for them. We felt utilizing his athleticism and quickness on the defensive line would benefit us.”

Franklin (Texas) High School linebacker Jared Pedraza is another two-way standout who was equally productive on either side of the ball.

Pedraza earned honorable mention all-state honors from the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors after his senior season. That came a year after the Texas Sports Writers Association named him a first-team All-State honoree as a junior.

In his junior season, Pedraza collected 158 tackles, 14 pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery on defense while rushing for 1,135 yards and 17 touchdowns on offense. Those efforts earned him the District 10-3A-I MVP honor. Pedraza was a first-team all-district performer as a sophomore and the District 12-3A-II Newcomer of the Year as a freshman.

“He’s been a very successful running back and linebacker,” Laird said. “He’s done that since he was a freshman, but you watch him and you see him getting better and better as a linebacker.”

The Demons added a signee to their hybrid “Buck” position as well, nabbing West Monroe’s Chandler Moncrief.

In his one season with the Rebels, Moncrief helped West Monroe reach the state championship game and a 14-1 season. He was a first-team all-district selection after transferring from Sterlington High School.

In his four years, Moncrief totaled 194 tackles (113 solo), eight sacks, one forced fumble and one interception.

“When you talk about Class 5A football in north Louisiana, you talk about West Monroe,” Laird said. “Four of their five playoff games were shutouts, and he was a big part of that defense. Coach Olsen did a great job with him. He knew about him when he was at Sterlington and did a great job of following him throughout the recruiting process to get to where we are today.”

Much like West Monroe, John Ehret put together a dominant defense this season. Cornerback Kunta Hester was a key piece of that defense, which held seven of its 14 opponents to seven or fewer points, including four shutouts.

In the Patriots’ second-round playoff win against Haughton, Hester picked off a pair of passes, helping send Ehret to the quarterfinals.

“Coach (Anthony) Scelfo did a great job recruiting him,” Laird said. “John Ehret was very successful. Two of their losses were to West Monroe this year. Coach (Marcus) Scott does a great job down there, and we’re very fortunate to be able to snag one from John Ehret.”

The 10 players provide a foundation for a class that will be complete in February. Laird called Wednesday’s announcement a “kick start” for the newly adjusted recruiting cycle, one the Demons’ staff is learning.

“As far as a baseline, you feel good knowing the guys you’ve signed and got in the boat,” Olsen said. “We now have the ability to attack and focus in on some key guys in January who will sign in February. It’s huge to have that base in and have the ability to show those guys’ buy-in to our program, which will show other guys how special this place can be.”

Photo Credit: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

CLTCC Natchitoches Campus to Offer Emergency Medical Technician Course in January 2019

EMT Course
Alexandria– The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) course at Central Louisiana Technical Community (CLTCC) in Natchitoches is now enrolling for its spring 2019 class.

Students will learn to respond to crisis and emergency situations and assist those who are suffering from accidents and other health emergencies. Upon successful completion of the course, students are eligible to test for certification by the National Registry of EMTs and licensure by the State of Louisiana.

Class dates are Jan. 7 – June 3 on Mondays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuition is $965 and includes a CPR card. Students also are responsible for the cost of their criminal background check ($26) to be paid with a money order to the Department of Public Safety, as well as required textbooks and materials, which are approximately $242.

Requirements include a minimum Accuplacer reading score of 42, high school diploma or equivalency, and an Office of State Police Right-to-Review criminal background check prior to class start date.

To register online and pay by credit card visit, go to Students also can register in person at the CLTCC Natchitoches Campus; however, only money orders for full payment will be accepted at the campus.

For more information, contact the Natchitoches Campus at 318-357-3162.

Notice of Death – December 19, 2018

Notice of Death 2017

Robert Demetrius Griffin
June 02, 1995 – December 13, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, December 22 from 10-11 am at the Asbury United Methodist Church
Service: Saturday, December 22 at 11 am at the Asbury United Methodist Church

Derrick Sharold Brown`
May 13, 1982 – December 14, 2018
Service: Saturday, December 22 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches


Judy Delores Williamson
October 28, 1944 – December 18, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, December 20 at 11 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Zwolle
Service: Thursday, December 20 at 2 pm at Bayou Scie Cemetery

John Michael Carroll
May 27, 1977 – December 13, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, December 20 from 5-10 pm at Warren Meadows Funeral Home in Many
Service: Friday, December 21 at 10 am at Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel
Interment: Fisher Cemetery

Edward Malmay, Jr.
February 15, 1942 – December 16, 2018
Service: Thursday, December 27 at 3 pm at the Warren Meadows Funeral Home Chapel in Many


Daniel ‘Paul’ Frazier
December 18, 2018


Ethel Tison Chaffin
Service: Thursday, December 20 at 11 am at Athens First Presbyterian Church
Interment: Oconee Hill Cemetery


Congressman visits Rotary Club, Student of the Month recognized

Rotary Club 12-18-18 (3)

Congressman Mike Johnson spoke to Rotary Club of Natchitoches at its meeting Dec. 18 about civility which he and others have made a commitment to uphold. Pictured from left are Rotary President Richard White, Johnson, Rotarian with the Program Mike Newton, and Rotarian Rick Nowlin.

Rotary Club 12-18-18 (1)
Rotary Student of the Month Sean Grappe is a Senior at St. Mary’s and in the fall will attend Louisiana Tech majoring in Chemical Engineering. Pictured from left are St. Mary’s Assistant Football Coach Stephen Wren, St. Mary’s Head Football Coach Aaron York, Grappe, and Rotary Presidential Nominee David Guillet.

Rotary Club 12-18-18 (2)
Rotary Club of Natchitoches made a donation to the Northwestern State University (NSU) Food Bank. Pictured from left are NSU President Dr. Chris Maggio, NSU Director of Student Support Services Frances Welch, and Rotary President Richard White (Photos by Dr. Ron McBride).