Demons turn to Florida junior college coach to fill basketball vacancy

NEW TO NSU:  Tallahassee Community College basketball coach Rick Cabrera will be officially announced today as Northwestern State’s new coach. (Photo courtesy Tallahassee CC)

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

A year to the day after choosing Corey Gipson as his first head coaching hire at Northwestern State, Demons’ athletics director Kevin Bostian tabbed Gipson’s replacement Tuesday evening.

Tallahassee Community College’s Rick Cabrera will officially be announced today as the Demons’ next head basketball coach. He has 150 wins and only 44 losses (a .773 winning percentage) in six seasons as a head junior college coach and will lead TCC’s Eagles into a second-round National Junior College Athletic Association tournament contest this afternoon in Hutchinson, Kan.

Gipson, who led NSU to a 22-11 mark in his only season, accepted the head job at his alma mater, Austin Peay, four days after the Demons lost in the Southland Conference Tournament championship game. Nine days after his resignation, Bostian and NSU president Dr. Marcus Jones replaced him.

Cabrera’s hiring was confirmed late Tuesday night by NSU assistant AD for media relations Jason Pugh. CBS Sports college basketball reporter Jon Rothstein was first to report the hire, followed locally by Tim Owens of KTAL-TV in Shreveport.

Two others were also reportedly in the final mix, according to various college basketball analysts:  New Orleans native Quannas White, an assistant coach at No. 1-ranked Houston, and Alcorn State third-year  head coach Landon Bussie, who has led the Braves to two straight Southwestern Athletic Conference titles, and a pair of National Invitation Tournament appearance.

Cabrera, who has 13 seasons of Division I assistant coaching experience, is expected to be introduced in Natchitoches sometime next week, said Pugh.

While Cabrera has no direct ties to Northwestern State, he does have a good point of reference. He rose from assistant to associate head coach at Tennessee Tech while on staff there from 2012-17, working under former Demons’ assistant coach Steve Payne, who was on J.D. Barnett’s NSU staff in the mid-1990s.

Cabrera is finishing his second season as head coach at Tallahassee. From 2004-08, he was head coach at Lackawanna (Pa.) College, going 100-29 in four seasons. He has won three Coach of the Year awards, including this season as the 12th-seeded Eagles carry a 29-5 record into their game today against No. 5-seeded Salt Lake. He is 50-15 at TCC.

TCC held a No. 7 NJCAA Top 25 poll ranking at the end of the regular season. Five players earned all-conference honors.

Along with his stint at Tennessee Tech – his alma mater – Cabrera has been an assistant coach at Arkansas State, Austin Peay and Chattanooga, where he helped the Mocs win the Southern Conference regular-season and tournament championships on the way to a 2009 NCAA Tournament appearance under head coach Jeff Lebo.

As a player at Tennessee Tech, he helped the Golden Eagles win an Ohio Valley Conference regular-season crown. He began his career as a high school assistant coach in Miami, Fla., and in Tennessee, and was a graduate assistant coach at Tennessee Tech before becoming a fulltime assistant at Keystone (Pa.) College.

A native of Manhattan, N.Y., Cabrera played professionally in the Dominican Republic, where his father Hugo Cabrera is one of the country’s all-time great pros. Ironically, NSU freshman sensation Hansel Enmanuel, who is one of seven NSU players entering the transfer portal on Monday, is a native of the Dominican Republic.

Contact Doug at

NSU Students Earn The David and Sherry Morgan First Generation and Sherry Fargerson Morgan Extra Mile Scholarships

Kevin’s Gallery

It was an auspicious evening for members of Northwestern State University’s Alpha Zeta chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and Beta Omicron Chapter of Pi Kappa Phi fraternity as a hard-working group of their members were presented with scholarships at NSU’s Magale Hall, Monday, March 20. The scholarships, drawn from a permanent endowment totaling over $1,000,000.00, were founded through the generosity of 1973 NSU alumni and Pi Kappa Phi member David Morgan and his wife Sherry Morgan.

The Sherry Fargerson Morgan “Extra Mile” Scholarship recognizes young women who are members of NSU’s Sigma Sigma Sigma chapter who display the traits of hard work, character, and service to others. The awards range from $300.00 to $1,000.00. The scholarship is named in honor of Sherry Fargerson Morgan, a Sigma Sigma Sigma alumna.

The David and Sherry Morgan First Generation Scholarship is open to members of NSU Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority chapter and Pi Kappa Phi fraternity chapter. The award is open to members of either organization who are first-generation college students and are Louisiana residents. Those earning the scholarship exemplify the traits of academic success, engagement in college activities, and service to others.

Jack McCain, Jr., a man whose life exemplifies service to the community as a veteran, business owner, 12-year city councilman, and family man, gave the keynote address. Mr. McCain was not only the first member of NSU’s Pi Kappa Phi chapter, he served as their first president as well.

The recipients are a talented group of young men and women pursuing an eclectic range of interests. Past recipients have gone on to work in private industry, the State Department, and in the Caddo parish school system.

In the years since the scholarships were endowed, 87 scholarships assisting 57 students have been awarded. That is a phenomenal record of philanthropy by any measure! The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to commend David D. Morgan and Sherry Fargerson Morgan for their generosity in helping make dreams come true for first-generation college students. Changing lives for the better is part and parcel of Northwestern State University’s mission. We also extend our best wishes to each of the students who earned, not “won”, a scholarship. Go out there and do great things! Lastly, we wish to commend Mr. Jack McCain for his quiet servant leadership in our community

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. The photos may be accessed from “Kevin’s Gallery” in the story. The families are welcome to any they wish with our compliments.

Jason Dewitt announces candidacy for District 25

Jason Dewitt, of Boyce, recently announced his candidacy for State Representative – District 25.

Dewitt graduated from Menard High School in 1985 and graduated from Northwestern State University in 1989. He worked as a first responder for DEQ for 30 years and then owned and operated his own business, Terminator Pest & Pond Management, for the past 12 years.

He decided to run because he’s tired of Louisiana as a state being 41st, and not in the good section. The main reason he decided to run is because of the children and grandchildren in the community.

“I look forward to meeting everyone on the campaign trail,” Dewitt shared. “I’m going to hit the ground running.”

He went on to speak of respect and higher pay for law enforcement officers. He also spoke on early vocational workforce training and education for students and work to prevent graduates from going out of state for their college education.

Dewitt also mentioned supporting teachers throughout the state, as well as addressing the conditions of roads and bridges. He supports the second amendment and he’s pro-life and very conservative. He assured everyone that he’s going to work hard and do the best job he can.

Goldonna News: March 22, 2023

The Goldonna Christmas in the Park Committee members is the hardest-working elves around, even in the off-season! Mayor Gayle Cloud would like to announce that the Annual Fish Fry brought in a little over $2,000.

“The outpouring from the community was astonishing it was a great success, and the donated desserts were appreciated and a huge hit,” said Cloud.

The next fundraiser will be held in conjunction with the Winnfield First Assembly of God Church on Sunday, April 30. More details will be released soon. If you want to help the committee you can always reach out to the Mayor or one of the Aldermen.

The Creston Dusty Cut League Softball will host their signup on Tuesday, April 4th beginning at 5:00. T-Ball practice will start at 5:30 with each age group following as normal.

The Goldonna Assembly of God Youth Group has announced they will present “The Life of Jesus”. This will take place on Friday, April 7th and Saturday, April 8th at 7:00pm. This will be a Silhouette Performance which has become a local favorite. The church is located at 108 Talley Street, downtown Goldonna.

Goldonna Baptist Church is laying the groundwork to have the biggest year of Operation Christmas Child that the Goldonna community has ever seen. Pastor Dupree recently announced the following donation schedule:
March Toothbrushes & floss
April Toys (cards, dominos, jump ropes, small musical instruments, matchbox cars
May Hard plastic cups, bowls, utensils
June Sewing kits and multi tools
July School supplies, pencil cases, notebooks, crayons, coloring books
August Hats/caps, tshirts, undies, socks
September wipes, makeup, hair clips, maxi-pads, solid deodorant
October Christmas Stockings, Christmas Cards
November Packing Party

Pastor Dupree extends the invitation to the area churches and the entire community. He also invited everyone to attend the packing party as well. This is when you see all of the hard work that was dedicated during the year come to fruition.

Kingdom Kids is still going strong every Wednesday night unless the public schools are closed. Mark your calendars! The church will also be holding a 5th Sunday Singing on April 30th with food and fellowship to follow.

Pastor George Procell, River of Life Family Worship Center, announces that their church will host an “Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Prayer Breakfast” on Saturday, May 6th. Breakfast will be served at 8:00am. The prayer service will begin at 9:00am with Brother Wade Smith as the featured speaker. Everyone is invited to enjoy a hot breakfast and fellowship with their brothers in Christ. For more information be sure and visit the event page on the church’s Facebook page.

The Healthy Living Club at Goldonna Elementary Junior High will be hosting a “Take Down Tobacco Week” from March 27-31. For $1 a day the students can dress down and donate the money to the club. The Wildcat and Lady Wildcat ball teams will be having their Spring Fundraisers. Please contact the school’s office at 318-727-9449 for more information on the “Egg my Yard” and “Easter Desserts” fundraisers. The school has also announced Kindergarten Graduation will be held on May 22, 2023 at 9:00am and the 8th grade Graduation will be held at 6:00pm.
The school will be closed for Spring Break from April 3rd thru April 10th. Students will return on April 11th.

If you have news to include please email Reba Phelps at

OMC’s Celebrating Colon Health Week


MARCH 29TH, 2023
10 AM – 12 PM
1 PM – 3PM

  • OMC is promoting colorectal cancer screening during the week of March 27th – 31st.
  • A colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years, for ages 50-75.
  • OMC invites you to make an appointment for an evaluation.

“Because caring for you is what we do.”
(318) 352-9299

Terrell twirls no-hitter as NCHS blasts Byrd

NO-NO:  Sydney Terrell tossed a no-hitter for Natchitoches Central Tuesday. (Photo by DUSTY GRIMES)

Sydney Terrell was brilliant in the circle on Tuesday, tossing a no-hitter to lead Natchitoches Central’s softball team past Byrd 15-0.

Terrell struck out six and walked one in her four-inning gem as the Lady Chiefs stayed perfect in District 1-5A at 4-0 and raised their record to 17-3 overall.


Second baseman Morgan Robinson led Natchitoches Central’s offense, driving in five runs.  Robinson went 3-for-3 at the plate.  Robinson drove in runs on a double in the second, a double in the third, and a double in the fourth.

While the Lady Chiefs scored five times in the second, third and fourth innings, Maddie Robinson delivered the long ball in the third inning.

In an 11-hit NCHS attack, Morgan Robinson, Terrell, Skylar Braxton, Ehren Guidroz and Maddie Robinson all had multiple hits, led by Morgan Robinson’s trio of two-baggers.

Both teams were error-free. Byrd remained winless (0-14, 0-3).

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love

This was a favorite time of year for Rolly Walker, not that he didn’t appreciate the other times because Rolly was if anything a day-to-day guy, not a prima donna or a guy demanding to sing lead. Rolly was blue-collar DeQuincy, Loooosiana, ready to chop wood and carry water soon as the sun came up.

“You always get to choose your attitude,” Rolly would say, then he’d strap in whether it was a cold day in January or his turn to go off on No. 10 in the Fall Church Scramble.

But springtime was his wheelhouse. Long and lean and smart and resourceful, he was a good athlete and natural at so many things, a hoops player who appreciated the wonder of March Madness and a track star — track was his favorite — and a golf nut because it put him outside in his Father’s World and with friends and you could play it forever and you could mess with people and do funny stuff, enjoy the pace, be at peace with the way the round and the day dripped away. You could slowly “celebrate the temporary,” another thing he’d say that kept this athlete-turned-coach-turned-preacher in the moment.

Years ago, a member of his Methodist congregation, Mrs. Loretta, she started writing down those sayings. She called them “Walker Wisdom — gems to ponder in your heart and live by daily,” and she drew a big heart in the script and around it wrote many of these “gems” so the sayings expanded into bigger hearts …

Don’t take yourself too seriously … Life is full of choices … Say, “I love you!” … You can’t please everybody …

And she splashed color all over it and his family appreciated that. So much so that at the recent celebration of his extraordinary 84 years, there were stacks of reprints at Trinity Methodist in Ruston, and anyone could get one, and I did, standing way in the back behind all those people there to honor Rolly.

Don’t stir manure … Make every day a master-peace … Are you fun to live with? … Eat dessert first …

I never got to eat with Rolly. Never rode around in the car with him. I think we suggested it a time or two…

He read by stuff for years, and I listened to his sermons, and we saw each other here and there and exchanged many letters and books and he was just a joy. He was a man disinclined to condemn the world for all its injustices, although he understood better than most the dangerous pickle, we were in. Instead, he chose to walk with grace, to make sure grace happened whenever it might be his turn to get in the starting blocks.

Rolly was like a good medicine, a homespun cure. His whole secret, which he never tried to hide, was simplicity. His life was Poe’s purloined letter, left in plain view if we’d only take the time to look.

The jug is always full … Don’t keep score … Shalom.

When Grace and Mercy breathed, they sure did look a lot like my old friend.

Contact Teddy at and Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

LQHBA SCHOLARSHIPS: $6,000 to be awarded

Join us for the Mardi Gras Futurity and Louisiana Downs Futurity at Louisiana Downs on Saturday, March 25, 2023

Three scholarships will be awarded through a LIVE drawing in the Louisiana Downs winner’s circle on Saturday, March 25th, immediately following the 4th race.

Applicants must register in person beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

Registration will close promptly after the third race.


  • For more information on the scholarship eligibility or the rules, please see the attached flyer or visit LQHBA.COM

Attention Drivers! Protect Yourself and Your Family!

At the Harrington Law Firm, we spend a great deal of our time fighting with insurance companies in order to compensate our clients for legitimate damages resulting from car, big truck, and motorcycle wrecks.

Because of that, it may seem a bit odd that we are recommending to our clients and other drivers to buy more insurance. On its face, it may look as if we are trying to help out the very same companies that we are fighting. What we are actually doing is urging all drivers to protect themselves and their families by purchasing Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage as part of their automobile policy.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to many reading this to learn that statistics show that over 1 in 10 drivers on our Louisiana highways are driving with absolutely no insurance coverage. Of the drivers who do have insurance in non-commercial vehicles, more than half have “minimum limits” liability coverage. (Under Louisiana Law, non-commercial drivers are required to carry a minimum of $15,000/$30,000 in liability coverage.)

What this means is that when someone has minimum limits coverage and the driver negligently causes an accident resulting in injuries and damages to another person, the most that the insurance company will have to pay is $15,000 for a single injured party and a cumulative total of $30,000 for all injuries and damages to all parties, no matter how many there are and no matter how much the injuries and damages are.

These limits include damages for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost income, disability, etc., etc.

In other words, if a person sustains serious injuries in an automobile accident as a result of another person’s negligence with huge medical bills, loss of income, etc., and if that person only had minimal limits insurance the most that claimant will be able to collect is $15,000.

Of course, even worse, if the driver negligently causing the accident has no insurance, then there is no one to collect from and party or parties are, simply put, out of luck!

One might think you could simply sue the person who caused the accident individually and make them pay. While that is true that person would be individually liable for the damages he or she caused, our experience at the Harrington Law Office is that in situations where the driver causing the accident is uninsured or has minimum limits, it would be extremely rare that they would have the personal financial assets or income to compensate the injured party. Even if you sued them personally and got a judgment, in most cases they could simply file bankruptcy and get out of it.

So as Louisiana drivers, how can we protect ourselves and our families against these potentially devastating results? The answer is simple. Make Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage a part of your automobile policy.

Louisiana Law requires that when a person purchases a policy of automobile insurance, Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage will be a part of the policy unless the purchaser rejects that coverage. In other words, when you buy car insurance, you must sign or initial your application rejecting that type of coverage, or you will automatically have it.

Unfortunately, because of high insurance costs, many people simply tell their agents they want the cheapest coverage possible and end up rejecting Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage. Thereby, they are leaving themselves vulnerable to those Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists who are traveling our highways.

PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOU FAMILY AGAINST THOSE DRIVERS! Make certain that your automobile policy includes Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage! It is relatively inexpensive and could help you avoid a catastrophic financial loss should you or someone you love be injured or damaged by an Uninsured/Underinsured driver. Also, do not try to save a few dollars by purchasing “Economic Only” Uninsured/Underinsured coverage. This would only compensate the injured party for medical bills and lost income but not for pain and suffering, which often can be substantial.

Again, the difference in cost between regular Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist and “Economic Only – UM,” is fairly insignificant.

In conclusion, while it may seem strange for us, Personal Injury Attorneys, to recommend that you help the insurance companies by buying more insurance, what we are really doing is recommending that you protect yourselves, and the only way to do so is making sure that you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.

The main office of the Harrington Law Firm is located at 459 Jefferson Street in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and partners, Rodney and Eddie Harrington represent clients all over Louisiana in all types of injury cases including automobile accidents, slip and fall, and medical malpractice. They also handle bankruptcy and debt negotiation, Social Security claims, and successions. For a free appointment, call 318-352-5900.

NSU Student Ms. Mary Scruggs Earns the “Extra Mile” Scholars Award

Ms. Mary Scruggs, a 2020 St. Mary’s alumna, was one of several members of NSU’s Alpha Zeta Chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority to earn The Sherry Fargerson Morgan “Extra Mile” scholarship at a ceremony in NSU’s Magale Hall Monday, March 20. The award is given to members of NSU Sigma Sigma Sigma chapter who exemplify the virtues of hard work, service to others, campus involvement and academic success.

Ms. Scruggs will receive her degree in Mass Communication this year and plans to attend law school following graduation. The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes Ms. Scruggs all the best in her legal studies.

How casting a “NO” vote can prevent the serious weakening of one parish library and the closing of another

By Edwin Crayton/Opinion

This month and again in April, you’ll hear four confusing words quite a lot: “Rededication of library funds”. The word rededication in this case does not mean what you probably think it does. Hint: it has nothing to do with devotion or renewing wedding vows. Actually, it’s not nice at all. The best way I know to explain what “rededication” does mean, is to share a bit of personal experience from out of my past. At one point in my life as a little boy, I lived in a kind of rough neighborhood in Alexandria. In our neighborhood, if you a saw a toaster at someone’s house and it looked just like yours, it almost certainly was yours. You might say, that when you were not looking or not at home, that person had “rededicated” your toaster to his or her home. In other words, they took it from you and decided to make it their own. The way I see it, that is basically what the Parish Council will be doing on April 29, if a proposal to “rededicate library funds” is voted in by the voters of Natchitoches Parish. If the proposal passes, it will cut library funds severely. Those funds will then be used to work on roads in the parish.

Here’s how the Natchitoches Parish Library describes the situation, “The Natchitoches Parish Council has put a proposal on the ballot that will be asking voters to rededicate half of the library’s millage—approximately $1.5 M—and use it to “fix” Parish roads exclusively outside the city limits of Natchitoches.” The Natchitoches Parish Council voted 3 to 2 to do this. Let me ask you something. What would you do if your personal budget was slashed in half?

Well, if we the voters decide to allow “rededication” of funds meant for the local Parish libraries, it will have a very negative impact. At the main branch in Natchitoches, it will mean decreasing hours of operation. It will lead to discontinuation of databases. It will lead to a reduction in Bookmobile services. These services are a big help to students and residents in rural areas. It will also lead to reduction or elimination of programming for all ages (including summer reading performers.) At a time when literacy is a big need throughout Louisiana. In Campti, “rededication” will be even worse. It most likely lead to the closing of the newly built branch there. Many Americans know that closing a library is a very negative blow to a community. In fact, a 2013 Pew Research Study revealed that 90% of Americans 16 and older said, “the closing of their local public library would have an impact on their community, with 63% saying it would have a “major” impact. Asked about the personal impact of a public library closing, two thirds (67% said it would affect them and their families, including 29% who said it would have a major impact.”

Let me try to put a warm face on those cold numbers. As I was writing this article, I met an 18-year-old young woman. She lives in Campti. She was worried that without the library, it would be hard tor her to submit scholarship applications to colleges. She mentioned that she has a computer at home, but does not have a printer. Before the Campti library was created, she had to travel to Natchitoches just to print out her school work or whatever she was working on. So here is a young person trying to better herself by going to college, who uses the library to make that easier to accomplish and we may vote to take that away from her? My hunch is, there are many more people who are using the library to get ahead and that closing the library in Campti will be a big setback for them. Libraries are more than just places to get books. In a 2017 article from the Brookings Institute 2017, Researcher Marcello Cabello and Senior Fellow Stuart Butler said:” A reason public libraries are seen as such important third-place institutions is that they and their librarians have gradually taken on other functions well beyond lending out books.” Indeed, they are right. Our local libraries like most libraries today, are job centers where people apply for work. They are meeting places for the community. They are places were people who are too poor to afford high technology are able to access the latest technology they need to stay relevant and live life in a technology-driven world that isn’t going backwards, but forward towards new technological horizons we can’t even imagine. The library is the gateway for those who otherwise would be locked out because they live in rural areas or because they are too poor. It is an equalizer.

Even if you do not use the library it will impact your life. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say, you have a business and you use low wage workers. Most people in that group will not have computers. They use the library’s computer technology to search for jobs, fill out applications and gather documents. If their library closes or is weakened, it will be hard for them to do those things and some may even up their job search. That could make it harder to apply for work and this could lead to a slow down in your ability to fill jobs. Or, what if the town you live in wants to attract higher wage jobs by trying to entice companies to relocate to your town? When considering relocating, companies place a priority on quality of life for their employees and good schools and good libraries tend to be on their wish list. Knowledge is power. God blesses both rich and poor with talents that allow them to thrive. Many great performers in business, the arts and the sciences come from poor neighborhoods. But by God’s grace and hard work they are able to contribute much to the world. Often, the library is a tool that helps turn their career dreams into reality. If you run a business or growing organization of any type, you may discover—if you haven’t already– that your best leaders and performers sometimes come from disadvantaged backgrounds and neighborhoods.

If Natchitoches voters decide to cut library funds by voting for rededication, and you are one of those who vote that way, remember something as you drive along your tiny stretch of road that resulted from rededicating library funds. Think of what that road really cost. It was paid for by boarding up and closing one practically new library in Campti. It was paid for by slashing data resources and new technology at the main branch. It was paid for by reducing bookmobile services to rural residents and students.

It was paid for by reducing hours at the main branch as well. And last but certainly not least, it was paid for by cutting jobs and losing a very good staff at the main branch. Those are not final costs either. Indeed, we will be paying for such a bad decision for a long time.

That is why the best and most helpful word on the upcoming ballot is NO.

“Whatever the cost of our libraries, the cost is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.”
—Walter Cronkite, legendary news anchor of CBS News

Demons near new basketball coach as roster empties

OUTBOUND:  DeMarcus Sharp, recently named Southland Conference Player of the Year in his first and only season at Northwestern State, is among seven Demons who entered the transfer portal Monday. (Photo by CHRIS REICH, Northwestern State)

By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports

Northwestern State is moving toward announcing its new men’s basketball coach today or Wednesday, and he will apparently inherit little of the production from the Demons’ 22-win season under departed coach Corey Gipson.

Monday, all five players who started at the end of the regular season and in the Southland Conference Tournament championship game entered the NCAA’s transfer portal, along with at least two key reserves. While entering the portal does not require a player to leave, it indicates a strong interest in transferring.

Heading the list: Southland Conference Player of the Year DeMarcus Sharp, second-team all-conference pick Ja’Monta Black, and standout defender Isaac Haney – all who followed Gipson, a longtime assistant at Missouri State, to NSU last spring.

Also entering the portal from the starting lineup two weeks ago was the team’s leading rebounder, freshman forward Jalen Hampton, and freshman Hansel Enmanuel, whose exploits playing despite having only one arm have built a global social media audience over 4.2 million.

Key inside reserves Dayne Prim and Jordan Wilmore also went into the portal on Monday. Combined, the seven players apparently leaving Northwestern averaged 64.2 of the team’s 74.6 points per game and 25.3 of the Demons’ 33.8 rebounding average. The team’s top four scorers, the only ones averaging in double figures, are outbound as of Monday.

Gipson relied on transfers and recruits to build the roster for his first and only season at Northwestern. After posting a 22-11 record (13-5, good for second, in the Southland), Gipson was hired last weekend as head coach at his alma mater, Austin Peay, and reportedly is bringing his entire NSU coaching staff along – notably associate head coach Rodney Hamilton, reported to have been a candidate to replace Gipson.

Sources said anticipating Gipson’s exit, NSU president Dr. Marcus Jones and athletics director Kevin Bostian engaged a search consultant to identify coaching candidates, likely the same one — Kyle Bowlsby – who last year identified Gipson and Bostian as hires at Northwestern.

The announcement of a new coach could come as early as today, barring late developments, sources said.

After averaging 19.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.9 steals for the Demons, Sharp told ESPN college basketball writer Jeff Borzello that he has interest from Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi State, Loyola of Chicago, Central Florida and St. Louis, along with Austin Peay, in the hours since entering the portal.

Contact Doug at

PODCAST: State Representative Jack McFarland joins Billy West

Jack McFarland, State Representative for Winn, Jackson and parts of Bienville and Natchitoches Parishes talks about his proposed legislation and attempts to relieve local Governments of their budget problems related to fixing our roads and bridges. Representative McFarland also talks about teacher pay raises and the $1.5 Billion surplus and how to be a good steward of that budgetary windfall.

The Fifth Annual Flavor of Louisiana Is Held at NSU-a Wonderful Event for a Worthy Cause!

Northwestern State University’s annual The Flavor of Louisiana fundraiser made a welcome appearance, as Prather Coliseum was once again transformed into what was arguably the finest restaurant in the state Friday, March 17. Twenty-six area establishments presented their best seafood cuisine and drinks to a hungry crowd of over 650 Northwestern State University supporters. The diners enjoyed some of the best seafood dishes to be found anywhere while supporting our hometown university.

In addition to the delicious food, NSU’s Phi Mu chapter held a fundraising raffle and the Dylan Kyle Poche Memorial Bass Fishing Tournament was on hand to raise awareness of this fun event held to raise funds for an NSU scholarship in Dylan Kyle Poche’s memory

The Flavor of Louisiana is a signature fundraiser for NSU’s Columns Fund. The money raised will be used to further the Columns Fund’s mission of supporting NSU students with scholarships and travel funds, as well as providing opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to reach out to the surrounding community. In the words of Drake Owens, Executive Director of the NSU Foundation, “The money can be used where there is the greatest need…” This year’s event is expected to raise over $105,000.00 for this eminently worthy cause.

Lt. Gov Nungesser’s office, in conjunction with the Louisiana Seafood Board, provided the seafood served at the event. The Louisiana Seafood Board is charged with promoting the use of seafood from Louisiana’s waters. The dinner featured each of the six species of fish, alligator, crab, oyster, shrimp, and crawfish that are native to our state. Lt. Gov. Nungesser and the Seafood Board thought of the Flavor of Louisiana event to both promote the use of local seafood and as a way to raise needed funds for our state’s colleges and universities.

The event is a true community effort on the part of the NSU family. NSU’s Purple Jackets and Blue Key organizations volunteered to help with the event. University employees from every area of the university contributed to help make the fundraiser a success. This year’s Flavor of Louisiana marks the fifth year of what will hopefully be many more. The Bayou State features some of the best seafood to be found anywhere!

The students attending NSU are a hardworking and talented group of young men and women who make life in our community richer and better. The money raised at the Flavor of Louisiana will help these young men and women achieve their dreams of a better life. Let us help make Northwestern State University an even better place!

The 2023 Steel Magnolia Run-a Fun Event with a Serious Purpose

Kevin’s Gallery


Over 350 runners came out on a beautiful Saturday morning to compete in the 2023 Steel Magnolia Run Saturday, March 18 held in beautiful downtown Natchitoches. This year’s edition of the popular event featured a course taking runners through our picturesque city. Runners had a choice of a one mile “fun run” or a 5K race.

This event, in its fifth year and sponsored by the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Foundation, was more than a chance for fun and competition. The race is a major fundraiser for the NRMC Foundation’s various initiatives to improve the health of the parish’s citizens. This year’s race is raising funds to purchase a PET scanner for the NRMC Cancer Center.

The Steel Magnolia Run has become more widely known outside of the local area. A group of military spouses from Fort Polk ran the race in St. Patrick’s Day costumes. The US Army Recruiting Battalion for our area also made a strong showing with several soldiers completing the 5K run. The command team of LTC Adam Marsh and CSM Jeremy Barbaresi ran the course in boots, uniform, and body armor. There were also runners from Lafayette and Alexandria in attendance.

The annual race is a true community effort. The Natchitoches police department directed traffic and ensured a safe environment for the runners. The NSU Soccer team cheered on the runners as they began the race and again as they finished. Scout Troop 160 from Stonewall presented the colors before the race. NRMC paramedics were on standby in case of need. Ms. Lauren Uram, a third-year medical student from the VCOM Medical School in Monroe, graciously volunteered to be “Pacey”, the armadillo mascot of the race.

One notable feature of the Steel Magnolia Race is that the top trophies are pieces of art! NSU Assistant Professor of Art, Corbin Covher, sculpted the awards for the top male and female runners. His handcrafted trophies helped make the race a special experience. The NRMC Foundation makes our community a better place. Let us help them as they help us!

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event photography. The gallery is unlocked, and downloads are enabled. We do ask that should you find a photo you like, please consider a donation to the NRMC Foundation in lieu of payment. We would also like to extend our best wishes to Ms. Uram as she pursues her medical studies.

The 2023 NYP St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl Brings the Party to Downtown!

Natchitoches’ Front Street was transformed into a rollicking street party as the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce’s Natchitoches Young Professionals hosted its 8th annual St. Patrick’s Day Pub Crawl Saturday, March 18. The popular event was back in business as approximately 500 pub crawlers, many in colorful costumes, walked the length of Front Street. The partygoers visited businesses along Front St. to draw a card for the event’s poker run as well as enjoy food and drink specials. There was an inflatable play castle for the younger set as well as Jenga, beer pong and cornhole games for the adults.

Volunteers from the Natchitoches Boys’ and Girls’ Club staffed the poker run stations and helped out where needed. The Natchitoches Boys’ and Girls’ Club was the NYP’s Non-Profit partner for the event.

The pub crawl culminated at the riverbank stage where the pub crawlers enjoyed a band.

Lady Chiefs softball dominates two south Louisiana victims

SLUGGING, TOO:  Ace pitcher Maddie Robinson was one of many NCHS Lady Chiefs who had big days at the plate Saturday in two wins. (Photo by DUSTY GRIMES)

The Natchitoches Central softball team broke loose at the plate Saturday, sweeping two non-district games played in Beau Chene to raise the Lady Chiefs’ record to 16-3.

NCHS scored 31 runs against smaller-class opponents, pelting Church Point 15-5 and hacking away in a 16-3 rout of Hanson Memorial.

Mallory LaCour swung the big bat against Church Point (6-11), driving in four on two hits, including a home run in the third inning.

By then, NCHS was already up 7-0, plating five runs in the second inning. The onslaught was led by Desi Robinson, Terrell, and Robinson, who each had RBIs in the inning.

Maddie Robinson recorded 11 of the 15 outs via strikeout, although a very tight strike zone helped the losers snap her scoreless innings streak that had stretched over 50 innings.

Rapping 14 hits in five innings, Maddie Robinson, Desi Robinson, Ehren Guidroz, LaCour, and Robinson had two hits for NCHS, which was error-free defensively.

Against outmatched Hanson Memorial (2-7), Maddie Robinson drove in four on three hits, including a double in the fifth, and a home run in the sixth.

NCHS took control with four runs in the second inning.  Skylar Braxton tripled, scoring one run, and Desi Robinson added an RBI single sandwiched around a wild pitch and error that plated two more.

A five-run sixth inning featured home runs by Maddie Robinson and Terrell.

Terrell got the start in the circle and went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out three.

Terrell, Braxton, Robinson, and Morgan Robinson each managed multiple hits for the Lady Chiefs. Maddie Robinson, Braxton, and Terrell each collected three hits.

Lady Demons finish nonconference with shutout victory

NATCHITOCHES – Four Northwestern State players did not drop a set as the Lady Demons cruised to a 7-0 victory against Alcorn on Saturday at the Jack Fisher Tennis Complex.

Sofi Garcia coasted to a 6-0, 6-0 win against Jamie Edwards at the No. 4 slot, which set the tone for singles.

At the top of the rotation, Tjasa Klevisar topped Alcorn’s Tangia Riley-Codrington in straight sets 6-0, 6-1. In the second set, Klevisar jumped ahead 3-1 and coasted from there.

Ayu Ishibashi wasted no time making her presence felt in the match at the No. 2 singles spot. After not playing in doubles, she came out and made quick work of Aizat Zholdakayeva 6-1, 6-3.

Mariella Minetti reached the win column with a victory against Jamie Edwards, 6-2, 6-1.

“It feels great to be back on the court and competing, I have missed it,” said Minetti. “Usually I always have nerves but today I had none. I am going to keep practicing hard like always.”

Wise clinched the sweep with a 5-7, 7-5, 10-5 win against Mikaela Konstantinova at the No. 3 position. Wise challenged Konstantinova in the first set. She trailed in the second set then coming back and tying the set at 5-5 before forcing a third with a 7-5 win. She quickly grabbed the lead in the super tiebreaker and outlasted Konstantinova.

Ubachs won by default at No. 6, but that does not count to her season total. The Braves played with just five players, meaning Alcorn had to forfeit singles No.6 and doubles No.3.

“Doubles sets the tone for the singles and we used that momentum and carried it into singles, and got fast starts on all of the courts,” said head coach Jonas Brobeck.

To begin the day, NSU (8-5) secured the doubles point with a 6-1 win on No. 1 with doubles pairing Dorota Szczygielska and Renske Ubachs.

Szczygielska and Ubachs are 10-3 in doubles mainly on court 3.

Paige Wise and Sofi Garcia were challenged at No. 2 going down 2-1 early before fighting back to a 4-3 lead. Wise and Garcia finished with a 6-3 win.

The Lady Demons start conference play March 14 and 16, as they head to Texas for a pair weekend matches against Incarnate Word and Texas A&M- Corpus Christi.

Tennis Match Results

Northwestern State v. Alcorn

March 18, 2023, Natchitoches, La.

NSU 7, Alcorn 0


1.Tjasa Klevisar (NSU) def. Tangia Riley-Codrington (ASU) 6-0, 6-1
2.Ayu Ishibashi (NSU) def. Aizat Zholdakayeva (ASU) 6-1, 6-3
3.Paige Wise (NSU) def. Mikaela Konstantinova (ASU) 5-7, 7-5, 10-5
4.Sofi Garcia (NSU) def. Nicole Kells (ASU) 6-0, 6-0
5.Mariella Minetti (NSU) def. Jamie Edwards (ASU) 6-2, 6-1
6.Renske Ubachs (NSU) def. win by default
Order of finish: 4,5,1,2,3


1.Dorota Szczygielska/Renske Ubachs (NSU) def. Tangia Riley-Codrington/Aizat Zholdakayeva (ASU) 6-1
2.Paige Wise/Sofi Garcia (NSU) def. Jamie Edwards/Mikaela Konstantinova (ASU) 6-3
3.Mariella Minetti/Gig Kanaphuet (NSU) def. Nicole Kells/x (ASU) win by default
Order of finish: 1,2

Photo: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services