Natchitoches Christmas Festival poster unveiled on Sunday – tomorrow!

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

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

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

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

NSU calendar for Oct. 17 – 23

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

# Livestream at

Leah Forsyth to present English Horn recital Oct. 22

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

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

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

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

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

Boy to Men Club 2021-22 Membership

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

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

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

Pianist Michael Gurt to present concert Oct. 21

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notice of Death – October 15, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LSU President discusses potential articulation agreements with Louisiana School

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

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

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

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

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

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


By Tommy Rush

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

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

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

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

Unbeatens collide as NCHS visits Captain Shreve tonight

There are only 26 high school football teams in all classifications around the state, and only nine in Class 5A, that are unbeaten entering the seventh week of the season.

Two collide tonight in Shreveport in a battle for control of the District 1-5A race when upstart Natchitoches Central visits Captain Shreve.

The Chiefs snapped an 11-game skid with their first win this season. The Gators opened the season ranked in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association state Class 5A top 10 poll and stand sixth this week.

Captain Shreve is No. 1 in the LHSAA’s Class 5A power points rankings. NCHS stands eighth.

MATCHUP: Natchitoches Central Chiefs vs. Captain Shreve Gators

WHERE/WHEN: Tonight, 7 p.m., Lee Hedges Stadium, Shreveport

RADIO BROADCAST: 95.9 Kix Classic Country, Steve Graf calling the game. Pregame show at 6:45.

LISTEN LIVE:  95.9 Kix Classic Country


RECORDS: NCHS 6-0 overall, 3-0 in District 1-5A. Captain Shreve 6-0, 3-0

LAST GAME: Natchitoches Central defeated Southwood 37-6; Captain Shreve beat Benton 48-35.

NOTES: NCHS travels to Shreve’s Lee Hedges Stadium, where the Chiefs were victorious in their last visit, beating C.E. Byrd 23-0 two weeks ago. The Chiefs will look to match the best start in school history by going 7-0. The only other time NCHS did that was 25 years ago, in 1996. The Chiefs-Gators matchup is 318Sports’ Game of the Week and the KTAL TV Game of the Week, and is’s pick for the top game in northwest Louisiana.

The NCHS dynamic duo of running back Caylin Demars and quarterback B.J. Young will be the focal point for the Chiefs. The talented tandem has combined to account for 20 touchdowns. Demars has run for 10, while Young has 7 on the ground and 3 in the air. The tandem has rushed for 1,035 yards as Demars has 755 yards and Young has 280 behind a big and physical offensive line.

The Chiefs’ defense has given up no more than two touchdowns in any game this fall. Fred Jackson Jr., Justin Aaron, and Logan Saucier lead the team in tackles as Jackson has 57, Aaron has 51 and Saucier has 50. The Chiefs defense has accounted for 16 sacks, and forced 15 turnovers.

Testing the NCHS defense will be highly-ranked Captain Shreve senior receiver and kick returner Kendrick Law, ranked as the No. 1 athlete in Louisiana by one recruiting service with 4.4 speed (10.48 in the 100 meter dash). He has scholarship offers from top programs around the country.

COACH JAMES WILKERSON SAYS: “Shreve is one of the top teams in the state for a reason. They are very well coached and have athletes all over the field. This will be our toughest test this year. We have to be at our very best in every aspect of the game.”

Dear Lord, It’s Me Again

Have you ever heard anyone start their prayer by humbly saying, “Dear Lord, it’s me. I know you feel like I am shaking you down, but we really need you again”?

These were the sweet words communicated from my oldest daughter’s lips while we were praying as a family about a situation that had suddenly arisen. I could not contain my laughter and my youngest daughter could not contain her shock. But, we all chuckled so hard it took us a few minutes to gather our composure to pray with more earnestness.

Earlier this month she was worried about her very last college tuition bill that was due before she graduates in December. God has blessed her many times in her years at Northwestern State University with scholarships that have helped with the burden of tuition. It seemed as though this last bill was having to come out of her meager pockets so she became concerned. I explained to her that God cares about the things that concern us, not matter how large or how small.

I refused to let her be anxious about it so I spent a lot of time explaining that God has brought her this far and he will not leave or forsake her now. We took it to Jesus and did not worry about it again. Sometime the next day I felt led to ask her if she completed the annual scholarship applications in a timely manner.

I am not sure about your children but sometimes mine need reminding to handle their business.

Much to my surprise, she said she did so we checked on the status of her application. A few days later she was notified that she was awarded a scholarship that took care of seventy-five percent of her tuition. You could hear the hallelujah chorus being sung from our kitchen from miles away. We were just so grateful and could not contain our praise.

A few days after this joyous occasion she was hit with the news that her car was in need of repair and it would cost a few hundred dollars. We prayed about this and the very same day she received this news she also received a COVID check from NSU. It was completely unexpected but could not have come at a better time. It was almost as if God was working things out before she even knew there was a need. He’s been known to do this from time to time.

While I admired my daughter’s honesty and frankness in her prayers I did wonder if Jesus ever gets tired of hearing from us. We talk to him daily, we thank him daily and sometimes we do need him to show up and help us. We routinely bring everything to him and lay it at his feet. He is truly the friend we run to first and that is exactly how she was addressing him, as a friend.

Prayer time for me and my girls has always been a special time and this was one of the things we were most excited to continue when my oldest came home from her travels. It gives us each a few moments to share what is on our minds for the day and remember those who also need prayer. In this particular prayer where she was “shaking the Lord down” she was asking for help again and it is my belief that he loves hearing from us even when we are in need.

It is an easy lesson to teach someone to trust God when their prayer is being answered. Not all prayers are answered in the way that we wish and that is part of life. Our true test of friendship comes when we can continue trusting even though we are not totally happy with the outcome or we are having to wait longer for answers. The bigger test of friendship with our savior comes when we can be joyful while we wait and content while we trust.

Take heart if you find yourself “shaking the Lord down” for help. That is exactly what he wants us to do.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6


Judge supports Literacy Night at NJH

Natchitoches Junior High School wants to thank Judge Owsley for his donation towards our upcoming Literacy Night.

Literacy Night will take place on Nov. 2. Please join us as we celebrate the love of reading. We will have fun literacy activities and workshops that will help your children keep their reading work going at home.

Thank you again to Judge Owsley for his generous donation towards student success!

Tigers stumble out of the gate, then roar to life to blast Bears

St. Mary’s:  41
Block:  6

The St. Mary’s football team didn’t get the start coach Aaron York wanted Thursday night, trailing winless Block after the first quarter.

Then the Tigers roared to life, taking control by halftime and scoring all their points before the final quarter in a 41-6 romp at Turpin Stadium.

Winning its sixth straight contest, St. Mary’s improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in District 3-1A. The Tigers, who cracked the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 1A top 10 this week at No. 8, intercepted four passes and held the Bears to 140 total yards.

Junior quarterback Adam Parker ran for three touchdowns and a team high 70 yards on seven carries as the Tigers rolled up 214 yards on the ground. Parker scored on runs of 6, 22 and 1 yard, all in the second period as SMHS opened a 21-6 halftime advantage.

The winners’ touchdowns in the third period came on a 44-yard scamper by Jaydyn Jackson, a 4-yard run by Bryson Barnes, and Conor Jordan’s 25-yard pick six interception return.

After that final TD, with eight seconds left in the quarter, the game clock went to running time in the final period with the outcome long since settled.

The Tigers were in running mode all night. They never punted as they averaged 10 yards per carry and threw only 12 passes, with Parker completing 10. The other two were intercepted in the frustrating first quarter.

“But we pulled together after that, ran the ball quite well, and played physical football,” said York. “Everybody got to play. Our younger kids got their feet wet, which was good.

“The offensive line, tackle to tackle, had a pretty good game. We got surges going on their side of the ball. Defensively, our front seven was good. Our linebackers had a good night,” he said, citing Ben Bienvenu (4.5 tackles, 2 for lost yards) and Logan Watson (3.5 stops, 2.5 for lost yards) as playing particularly well.

Graeme Fidelak, who was banged up in last week’s homecoming win over Northwood-Lena, made four stops and had an interception. So did Payne Williams, who made three tackles. Along with Jordan’s swipe and score, Nathan Slaughter collected the other pickoff.

Stalemating the Bears and padding the lead allowed St. Mary’s to get plenty of players on the field after halftime.

“The young kids, our ninth graders, handled themselves well. Braylon Normand and Conor Jordan, are two who jump out before we get to watch the film,” said York. “I’m sure there will be more.”

With three district games left, beginning next Friday night at longtime neighborhood rival Montgomery, the Tigers haven’t quite kicked into gear, but York sees the potential.

“We’re still not playing our best ball, but when we put it all together, we might be a pretty dadgum good football team. We just have to figure out how to do that,” he said.

Determined Gators take aim at a happy homecoming tonight

Lakeview High School has a big homecoming celebration slated tonight, and the Gators football team can ramp it up with a win over visiting D’arbonne Woods in a non-district matchup.

The 7 p.m. kickoff follows a landmark ceremony at 6:45 when groundbreaking festivities will officially start the project to install a $900,000 artificial turf field at the school. The Lakeview homecoming court will be presented at halftime, and there should be four quarters of competitive football between a hungry Gators squad and a better-than-expected Timberwolves team.

Lakeview is 1-6 overall, while the visitors are 3-2 and have outscored their last three foes 104-20 after opening with a pair of losses. But this contest is undeniably within reach for a Lakeview team that has battled some quality opponents in the last five weeks.

“It’s a much improved D’arbonne Woods team. They’ve played really well,” said Gators’ coach Brandon Helms. “They’re run-heavy, so that simplifies our defensive approach. We believe we have a good plan, our kids have done a good job of buying into it, and now we just have to execute it.”

Homecoming festivities are the bane of a high school coach’s season, providing constant opportunities for distractions that gnaw away at the attention spans of their players. Helms has not seen that this week.

“It’s been a busy week, like homecoming weeks always are. The kids’ attitude has been great, and we’ve gotten some good work in,” he said. “We’ve gotten better in some areas this week.”

All over the practice field, the Gators have given their coaches good effort. Some have stood out.

“Matt Howard has had a great week of practice, and so has Kaleb Collins. Donavon Carries has probably had his best week of practice in two years,” said Helms, citing his defensive end and quick side guard for an especially noteworthy work week.

“He’s understanding what we want him to do, and the technique and why we’re doing what we’re doing. I’m seeing that more and more each week with our kids, but it’s really stood out in Donavon’s case this week.”

What is Helms asking his Gators to do tonight?

“Maintain control of the ball, don’t turn it over and make it down the field into the end zone. It’s a pretty simple approach,” he said. “We don’t have to do special things, we just need to do the basics well and we will have a chance to celebrate homecoming the right way.”

Krewe of Dionysos Donates To NRMC Cancer Center

The Krewe of Dionysos donated $1000 to the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Cancer Center. The Krewe donated these funds in honor of their members that fought the battle with cancer, or who may be currently fighting this disease. Krewe members volunteered their time to work the beer distribution booth at the recent TappedTober event, which was held to raise money and awareness for the NRMC Cancer Center. The Krewe volunteers collected $550 in tips for the day and donated them back to the Cancer Center with an additional $450 to make it an even $1000.

**Save the date for our upcoming Parade to be held February 26, 2022!

For those interested in joining the Krewe of Dionysos, contact us at

The Krewe would like to thank the members who volunteered to work the event.

Pictured: Krewe member and Cancer Survivor, Jim Davis, NRMC Cancer Center, Tom Matuschka, Krewe Member Dennis Bryant, NRMC Foundation Development Officer Halie Errington, Krewe Member Dennis Arthur, NRMC Cancer Center Sean Baylor and NRMC Cancer Center Kayla Dowden.

Best Bass Catching Baits For The Fall

For me, the fall is my favorite time of the year to bass fish. Those hot summer days are behind us and cooler days and nights take over. This in turn cools the water surface temperature down which helps to trigger a good feeding frenzy. Today, we’ll take a look at few of the best fall baits you need to have tied on the next time you go fishing.

First, let’s tie on an oldie but goodie, a spinnerbait! Now with this bait, you want to keep it simple. Keep in mind that bass are feeding on shad or baitfish trying to fatten up for the winter months. So, the color you choose, should be white or if the water has a little stain, use chartreuse and white combination. I have found more success by using a smaller spinnerbait like a ¼ oz. with two small 1 ½ or #2 willow leaf blades. I like double silver blades if the water is clear and a silver/gold combination if the water is stained. Again, you’re trying to imitate small shad, so smaller blades tend to look more realistic. My favorite ¼ oz. spinnerbait is called a “Humdinger” which has small blades and comes in several blade combinations, but again I like the double willow bait the best. One thing that I feel really sets the “Humdinger” apart from other spinnerbait brands, is the living rubber skirt, which has more action coming through the water than your traditional silicone skirt.

Next, a crankbait can be a great choice when targeting bass that are chasing and feeding on shad or baitfish. Again, you’re trying to match the hatch so again, keep it simple. I like a bait called a “Bandit” which comes in three different series: 100, 200 or 300. The 100 series is shallow running crankbait that runs 2 to 4 feet deep depending on what size line you’re throwing. The 200 series for me is my personal choice and runs 6 to 8 feet again depending on the size line you’re using. And the third series, is a 300 which runs 8 to 10 feet deep. When it comes to color, choose either a pearl-colored bait with a black back, a chrome with either a blue or black back and my personal choice is what Bandit calls the “splatter back” which is a white crankbait with black paint splattered across the back of the bait and has a yellow belly but sometimes I’ll alter this yellow belly with hot red fingernail polish.

One more option is a topwater bait like a chugger, prop bait or a walking style bait like a “Zara Spook”, “Chug bug”, or my personal choice, a “Yellow Magic” (Pop R type of bait). Nothing gets the blood flowing more than a bass exploding on a topwater bait! Everyday can be different; you have to let the fish tell you what they want each day. Some days they want a bait that walks from side to side, and on other days, they may want a slow retrieving prop bait like a small or medium size Whopper Plopper. Also, always, always, always make sure you a have “ SPRO” topwater frog tied on no matter what. When the bass are eating the frog, it can get very exciting really quick.

This fall when you head to the lake, I hope this will help make your decision making easier. The fall can be an awesome time to be on the lake, as bass migrate up the creeks and gorge themselves on shad. It’s also a great time for another reason, a lot of anglers are hunters and are in the woods chasing Mr. Buck; leaving the lakes less crowded. So, take the time over the next two months and lock in on some of the best bass fishing action of the year. Make sure to check out the Tackle Talk Live show every Monday at 11:00 AM on our You Tube channel or on our Facebook page. Good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf
Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show
And Tackle Talk Live

Former basketball standout Waggoner named Saturday’s Exchange Bank Demon Great of the Game

A member of one of the most storied NSU athletics families will be recognized on the Turpin Stadium field Saturday.

Wayne Waggoner, who is the most athletically accomplished of the Waggoner clan, is the Exchange Bank Demon Great of the Game. Waggoner will be honored during the first quarter of the McNeese football game.

Waggoner, an N-Club Hall of Famer on the basketball court, followed in the footsteps of his father Bernard to Natchitoches.

Both Waggoner’s were voted to the 100-man All-Century Team that marked NSU basketball in 2013.

Wayne’s son Jackson hopes he can add to his family’s legacy as a freshman on this year’s Demon squad.

Wayne Waggoner played two seasons at NSU after transferring from Centenary, averaging 16.8 points per game in 56 contests while shooting 57 percent as a guard.

That career scoring average would rank fifth all-time among players who scored 1,000 career points, which doesn’t include Waggoner (939 in two seasons).

His career 85.5 percent free throw shooting ranks second all-time at NSU.

The two-time All-Trans America Athletic Conference player was a sixth-round NBA Draft pick (Dallas Mavericks) in 1983 after helping NSU to a 19-9 record as a senior.

At that time, the 19 wins was the most since NSU became a Division I program in 1976 and wouldn’t be bested until coach Mike McConathy led the 2004-05 Demons to a 21-win season that included a regular season Southland Conference championship.

Waggoner also served as an NSU assistant coach for six years (1983-88).

Like Natchitoches History? You Can Deep Dive Into it This Saturday

By Joe Darby

One thing we have plenty of in Natchitoches is history. We’re the oldest continuous settlement in what was the Louisiana Purchase area, beating New Orleans on the time scale by four years, 1714 to 1718.

We have the rich history of the Cane River area, and the legacies left by both early French settlers as well as the famed Cane River Creole culture. We have some wonderful old buildings and homes around here, with a variation of early architectural styles. We have our very close brush with the Civil War (have you ever checked out the rifle pits and artillery emplacements up on the bluff at Grand Ecore?).

There’s just so much here for history lovers. And now we will have a chance to talk about it all at a new monthly program at the Fort St. Jean Baptiste State Historic Site, beginning this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m.

They’re calling it Cookies and Coffee with Jeremy, referring to Jeremy McCormic, site interpretive ranger. Staff members are inviting folks to come out and talk about Natchitoches history from “the days of the Caddo Indians to yesterday.” Each guest might have a piece of a historic puzzle, that when put all together, will reveal new pictures of our local heritage, Jeremy said.

I expect Saturday’s conversations to be rich and varied. I like to think I’m fairly knowledgeable about Natchitoches history. I’ve been here since 2006 and I have read a lot about our local area. But, on the several occasions when I’ve just sat down with Jeremy, as well as Justin French, park manager of the site, I’m just blown away by the detailed and extensive knowledge of these two men about our early times.

No matter what aspect of local history that you want to talk about, these guys will be able to rattle off everything from statistics, to fascinating facts to amusing anecdotes about things that happened here in the past. Once in a while I will drive over to the fort and just sit around talking with those men and every time I come away with all of my questions answered and being a little more knowledgeable than I was when I walked in the door to the visitor’s center. The visitor’s center is at 155 Jefferson St., by the way, just a couple of hundred yards from the site of the original fort here. Which I’ll get back to in a minute.

If you’ve never been to the fort, I want to tell you that on ordinary days you will be received in the visitor’s center, which is also a museum with some really interesting displays. There’s also a theater (where we will meet Saturday), where you can see an informative film about the founding and early days of the fort. Then, maybe a quarter of a mile or so down a path is the replica of the fort itself. The state was lucky in having the original plans of the fort and were able to build an exact replica back in the 1970s. So when you enter the gates of the fort you are walking into a virtual time machine.

The fort is open every day except Monday and Tuesday and a very modest fee of $4 is charged, except for folks more than 62 or less than 3. Ample parking is available on the grounds.

But let me get back to talking about the location of the first fort, which I’ve written about before in these spaces. Every time you cross the Keyser Avenue bridge, when you drive through the approach to the bridge on the west bank you are almost certainly driving through the barracks area of the original fort. That fact was revealed by Justin in a talk to the Natchitoches Genealogical and Historical Society a couple of years ago.

As you can tell, I’m an enthusiastic supporter of the fort. I think it’s one of our local treasures. So, unless something very unexpected happens, I’ll be there Saturday afternoon and I will look forward to seeing you there, too. Jeremy and Justin are asking that you call ahead for reservations, as seating may be limited, at 357-3101.

Porter Forum will focus on business resilience during COVID

Northwestern State University’s College of Business and Technology will host the 55th annual J. Walter Porter Forum Thursday, Oct. 21 in Russell Hall Room 102. This year’s theme will be “Business Resilience: Lessons Learned While Facing COVID-19.”

A 9:40 a.m. session will feature panelists State Sen. Louie Bernard, Tom Edens, Louisiana General Manager/CFO of EpicTouch; Mike Newton, president of Exchange Bank, and Jim Phillips, solutions director of Technology Shared Services, GDIT.

A session beginning at 11:10 a.m. will feature Bernard, Janice Bolton, owner/broker of Bolton Realty; Laura Lyles, president of the Natchitoches Area Chamber of Commerce, and Claire Prymus, founder and board president of Ben Johnson Education Center.

The Porter Forum is presented annually by the College of Business and Technology and brings business executives to the NSU campus to speak about best practices, ethics and emerging trends in business. The forum was established by family and friends of the last J. Walter Porter in recognition of his interest in improving the image of business as a career field and his concern for the moral and ethical standards of business.

For more Information, contact Dr. Carmella Parker at

Notice of Death – October 14, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

Bobbie Joy Pitt
October 20, 1929 – October 8, 2021
Service: Friday, October 15 at 1 pm at Warren Meadows funeral home, located at 355 Capitol St. in Many

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