Basketball Starts Early Today

Basketball games begin early today.  Riverdale at 4:00 and Red River at 4:30.

The Riverdale Rebels are at home against Riverfield Academy.  There are no JV games today.  Riverdale posted that they were having a Pajama Party.  Students are asked to wear pajamas and “help us put the Raiders to Sleep!”  First game is at 4:30. 

Red River boys and girls are playing in the Doc Edwards Memorial Tournament at Airline High School.  The Bulldogs lost to Parkway Saturday night so they are playing Airline in the third place game at 4:30.

Lady Bulldogs won all three of their games and will play Benton High in the Girls Championship game at 6:00 pm.

Support the Bulldogs or the Rebels by attending a game this evening.  Mighty good basketball played by our local schools.  All games will be streamed by Journal Sports.  Look for your text message alert shortly before game time and click on the link to listen.


Great Week for Red River Sports

Red River sports teams did great last week.  The Basketball Bulldogs won the consolation of the Minden tournament by defeating Loyola 60 to 50.  The Lady Bulldogs traveled to Moss Bluff for the Sam Houston High tournament.  They came  away with a 67 to 63 win over St. Louis Catholic of Lake Charles and a 65 to 37 victory over the New Iberia Lady Jackets.

Bulldog Soccer had a very successful week.  The boys tied Southwood 3-3 then moved on to play Peabody on Friday night. They invited several players from the Lady Bulldogs soccer team to join them in defeating Peabody 2-1.  It was the first win for the boys team.

The Lady Bulldogs won two games last week.  It was the first time in the history of Red River Soccer that a team had back-to-back victories. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Bossier High 1-0 on Tuesday then defeated Woodlawn 1-0 on Thursday.

Beginning this afternoon (Friday December 27th) the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs will begin play in the Doc Edwards Memorial Tournament put on by Airline High School.  The girls game is at 4:00 pm against Northwood High. The boys follow at 5:30 vs Captain Shreve.  Those games will be played at old Benton High School.  Win or loose, the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs advance to games Saturday.

Josh Loftin and Journal Sports will be at both games.  We will stream play-by-play beginning about 15 minutes before the 4:00 pm game.  You will get a text message alert for the game.


Strother Stadium is Gone But Will Return

The wrecking crew did in a day and a half what Mother Nature could not put a dent in for over 66 years. Early Monday morning heavy equipment moved in adjacent to the football field.  By noon Tuesday only a small pile of rubble remained.  See the December 24thJournal  https://redriverparishjournal.com/2019/12/24/stadium-is-coming-down/.

The stadium was named for a Coushatta resident instrumental in establishing football at Coushatta High School in the early 1950s.  He is Pat Strother, father of current school board member Susan Taylor as well as lifelong residents Laurine Adcock (former Principal at Coushatta High) and Patti Strother.  His youngest daughter Norma Lester recently moved back to town.

Go back in history a bit to the early 1950s.  There had been no football teams at Coushatta High for over 20 years when Pat Strother lead a group that organized and coached a team, founded the Quarterback Club, and did everything necessary to lay out a field behind the school and then get a stadium constructed. 

Reading back through past issues of the local paper and the history of the parish you find names recognizable today all joining the effort.  There is Fred Willis, E.R. Crocker, Don Carter, Edgar Gaddis, John Kelly of CLECO, and Gene Knecht.  Other individuals and groups, notably the Lions Club, got involved in the project.

The first teams were not very successful. 

despite some playing experience by Willis and Strother, in 1951 and 1952 they lost every game.  The stadium had been built by 1953 however Strother and other members of the Quarterback Club felt “it was time for a real coach.”  They recruited Gene Knecht from Louisiana Tech.  Within two years Knecht’s team won district.

Coushatta resident Edgar Gaddis remembers it well.  “Strother was in charge of a farm program for USDA Soil Conservation Service,” said Gaddis. He added, “he was a civil engineer and he surveyed the field and worked to see that the project was completed.”

Former Coushatta Mayor Archie Worsham remembers the role Strother played.  Worsham said, “Pat Strother was the announcer for football games. This was after he had worked to start the team and get the stadium built.”

Strother was the game announcer for 18 years, until 1970.  Gaddis took over from Strother in the press box.  Worsham also announced games for a few years.  Many readers will remember Gaddis’ call on the local radio station of the state championship game in November, 1992 and the Gaddis-Worsham duo doing games in the late 1990s and up until 2013.

How did the stadium get the name?  Recognition of Strother’s contribution came in September of 1993 when the Red River Parish School Board approved a resolution by board member J. B. McElwee. Dedication ceremonies were held on September 17, 1993 at halftime when the stadium’s name was officially adopted as Pat Strother Memorial Stadium.  The sign that was placed atop the press box was the first item removed before demolition started. Granddaughter Karen Squires made sure it was saved and secured.

Strother passed away in 1971, however his memory and the contribution he made to Coushatta High and Red River High athletics will live on.  There may only be a pile of rubble left at Christmas 2019 but that is not a permanent situation.  School Board member Susan Taylor told The Journal the major renovations and additions to the sports complex include a brand new, much larger, stadium.  Taylor said, “There will be a brand new sign. And, yes, it will be Pat Strother Memorial Stadium.”

The Journal thanks Karen Squires, Susan and Joe Taylor, Archie Worsham, and Edgar Gaddis for contributing to this report.


Women’s Conference Planned

Red River Cowboy Church is planning their annual women’s conference Faith of a Cowgirl.  It will be held Saturday, January 18that the church.

Delinda Haire is the contact for more information.  Her phone is 318-754-8533.  Registration online is open at RedRiverCowboyChurch.org.

The day will begin with registration at 9:00 am.  The theme is from Ephesians 4:32 Encouraging and Empowering Women Through Kindness.

The full day of activities includes Christian comedian Tammy Whitehurst, the guest speaker.


Local LSU Graduates and Honor Students

LSU recognized 1,986 graduates at the university’s 300th commencement exercises on Friday, Dec. 20.  Two of the graduates are from Red River Parish.

The 1,986 degrees awarded is a new record for LSU’s fall graduation. The fall graduating class represented 55 Louisiana parishes, 42 states and 39 foreign countries. Men made up 48.55 percent of the class and women made up 51.45 percent. The youngest graduate was 19, while the oldest was 61 years old.

From Red River Parish, Harley Rayne Almond received a degree from the College of Human Sciences & Education.   Natalie Mechell Anderson was awarded a degree by the Manship School of Mass Communication.

Also LSU has announced the names of the students who have made the  President’s Honor Roll for the fall 2019 semester.  There is one student from Red River Parish on the list.  He is Robert Y. Legrande of Coushatta.  Legrande is enrolled in the University College Center for Advising and Counseling.

Undergraduate students enrolled in at least 15 credit hours who earned grade-point averages of 4.0 or higher during the semester are listed on the President’s Honor Roll. Undergraduate students who earned grade-point averages of 3.5 to 3.99 in at least 15 credit hours are listed on the Dean’s List.


NSU Graduates from Summer and Fall

Northwestern State University conferred degrees to 943 graduates who completed coursework in the Summer 2019 and Fall 2019 semesters.  The commencement speaker was author Denise Lewis Patrick.

Graduating in the Fall semester were Christopher Wesley, Associate of General Studies; Latijah Davis, NaCara Hallmon, and Phillip Marston with an Associate of General Studies; Shatalma Guye, Jon Hester, and Aaron Murray with a Bachelor of Science; 

Summer term graduates from Coushatta were Sherry Swayze, Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Nakeshia Owens, Master of Science.


4-H Hiring for Summer Camp

Want to upgrade your summer camp experience.  4-H members in the parish are invited to apply to work at camp this summer.

The Grant Walker 4-H Education Center is now accepting applications for 2020 4-H Summer Camp!!! Follow the links below to the application site. Applications are due on February 14th, 2020.

The camp said they will provide Certified Lifeguard Training during staff training week for those interested in applying for the lifeguard position.

For any additional information, feel free to contact Adam O’Malley, the 4-H Program Coordinator, at aomalley@agcenter.lsu.edu or (318) 765-7209. We are looking forward to another fun and exciting summer camp season.  Information may also be obtained at the local 4-H office in Coushatta.


ETC… for Friday, December 27th

The Journal hopes everyone had a very Merry Christmas and you are looking forward to a prosperous and Happy New Year.  Elizabeth Full Gospel Baptist Church is planning a Watch Night Service beginning at 10:00 pm on Tuesday, December 31st.  Pastor Richard Logan promises “a night of praise and worship as we welcome the New Year.”

There is a change of the regular monthly meeting of the Red River Parish Police Jury beginning in 2020. The date has changed to the first Wednesday of each month at 10:00 am.  Since the first Wednesday falls on New Year’s Day, the January meeting of the jury will be on Wednesday, January 8that 10:00 am.  The other change is that the committee meeting and the full jury meeting will run consecutively, or the regular meeting will begin immediately after the committee meeting concludes.

Your other public meetings for January include the Town Council meeting on January 14th(second Tuesday) at 5:30 pm at Town Hall.  The Red River Parish School Board meets on the second Monday or January 13th.

The Journal received this invitation from Minister Lillie Horton Roberson of New Mary Magdalene Baptist Church.  The first integrated elementary class of Coushatta will be celebrating their 55th Birthday celebration at the Coushatta Event Center in Coushatta December 27-29.


Merry Christmas from The Journal

We are publishing a day early this week.  It’s Christmas and The Journal staff is taking a day off to attend Christmas Eve services and do some serious playing with grandbabies.

Here is our Christmas Eve edition.  It’s packed full of some glad and joyous articles.  And there is the latest news of the day also.  We are a very generous community and many groups do a lot for our neighbors this holiday season.  If we missed your group’s contribution and you would like it to be recognized, send it on to The Journal.  We would love to see it.

Our regular schedule will resume with the Friday edition.  And of course we will do an update any time when significant news happens.

We hope you remember the reason we are celebrating this year.  Merry Christmas from the Red River Parish Journal.