Bulldog Football Ticket Sale

Bulldog fans finally get their wish.  The 2020 regular season will finally get underway Friday night.  COVID-19 restrictions say only 25% of the 1500 seats in the new Strother Memorial Stadium can be filled.  So Red River High is selling advance tickets to only 400 people who would be allowed to attend.

Tickets to the public went on sale Tuesday morning.  The final sale is this morning (Wednesday) beginning at 10:00 am.  Athletic Director Norman Picou said late Tuesday, There are only about 100 tickets left for the Mansfield game. Once we sell all 400 tickets there will be no other tickets sold for the game at the stadium.

Anyone wishing to purchase ticket may do so by coming to the bus unloading area at the rear of the high school. Bring cash or money orders.  No checks will be accepted.

There are Season Tickets on sale for $40.  You get a ticket to each home game this fall.  Individual game tickets are also on sale.

The home schedule begins Friday with Mansfield October 2nd, then Many October 9th, Winnfield on October 23rd, and concluding with Holy Savior Menard on October 30th.

The start of fall sports was pushed back from the first of September due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings.  Louisiana has now moved into Phase Three of reopening and businesses and public accommodations are being allowed to operate at a much higher rate of occupancy.  But the Governor, in his Phase Three proclamation, restricted outdoor gatherings, like football games, to 25% occupancy.  He charged the State Fire Marshall with enforcement of the occupancy limit.

Second Arrest in Youth Suicide at Ware

A second person has been arrested in connection with the suicide of a youth held at the Ware Youth Center north of Coushatta.  Two young boys hanged themselves on the same weekend in February of 2019.

Jhanquial Gemarrio Smith was arrested September 21st by the Sheriff’s Office.  He is charged with Malfeasance in Office.  On August 5th, Marvin Ray Rogers was arrested, also on a charge of Malfeasance by the Sheriff’s Office. 

Both Smith and Rogers are also charged in connection with the suicide of one youth a year and a half ago at Ware.  They are charged with Malfeasance, which is defined as “wrongdoing, especially by a public official.”

Seventeen year old Jordan Bachman and 13-year-old Sloan Peterson both committed suicide while being held at Ware.  They were both arrested and charged by the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Smith and Rogers are charged in connection with one of the deaths, the hanging suicide of Sloan Peterson.

Representative Firment on Special Session

House District 22 Representative Gabe Firment is representing our area in the Louisiana Legislature during the Special Session.  Last week Firment posted:

I signed 2 important documents today designed to move our state forward and restore the individual rights and freedoms we cherish. First, I signed a petition to call the legislature into special session beginning one week from today to deal with Hurricane Laura recovery, Covid-19 response, and budgetary issues such as the imminent crisis with the unemployment trust fund. 

Second, I proudly signed a petition that with a simple majority of the House or Senate could immediately override the governor’s emergency proclamations. This would end the oppressive and unconstitutional executive mandates that have been forced upon the people of District 22 with no legislative input or representation. This would allow for the immediate repeal of the mask mandate, opening our nursing homes to common sense visitation, allowing families to attend high school football games, and reopening our small businesses that have somehow managed to survive this government imposed shutdown of our economy. 

The hard working people of District 22 have made it clear to me that they are sick and  tired of the government being involved in every single aspect of their lives. It’s time to stop living in fear and start demanding that our Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are honored by the government that exists solely at the will of the governed. Thank you and God Bless.

Bulldogs Scrimmage Bossier

By Hayley Loe with photos by Gracie Price

The Red River Bulldogs took to the field for a scrimmage against the Bossier Bearcats

Friday night to give the fans a first look at what the upcoming session will look like. Although this game does not count in the season standings, the RRHS Bulldogs defeated the Bossier Bearcats 21-0.

Scoring touchdowns for the home team Bulldogs were Cameron Keith #3 and Jonny Maxie #4, Ryder Hogan kicked two extra points.

The Bulldogs clearly had been working hard since last season, as defense held its ground without faltering, while the offense was precise on getting all of their points.

Friday, October 9th the Red River High School Bulldogs will play against the Mansfield Wolverines in the season opener. The game will be played in Strother Memorial Stadium and kickoff is at 7:00 pm.

Due to limited seating of only 400, RRHS fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early at the RRHS main campus.  Those who are not lucky enough to get a ticket can still enjoy the game as the Red River Parish Journal will be live streaming all home and away games this season.  This will give every fan a chance to enjoy Friday Night Lights.

Riverdale Rebels Demolish UCA

By Molly Seales with photos by Ryan Prosperie

On Friday September 25, Riverdale Academy played their first district game of the season at home against the UCA Lions.  The boys have been putting in a lot of work and in this game it definitely showed. The offense and defense worked together as a team for the night’s win.  The final score was 56-0 in favor of the Rebels.

Senior Witt Almond was two for three passing for 87 yards and 1 touchdown.  Senior Parker Almond had 2 receptions for 30 yards.  Junior Ty “Bones” Jones had 2 carries for 14 yards.  Junior Jake Messenger had 1 carry for 85 yards and 1 reception for 47 yards.  Jake had two touchdowns for the night.  Senior Paul Messenger is a big asset on offense in any game he plays in, but Friday night he showed the crowd where hard work can lead to.  Paul had 14 carries for 185 yards and four touchdowns. 

The defense was ready to play as well. Senior Parker Almond had a big interception for the Rebels.  The Messenger boys were in on the action as Paul had 1 assist and ½ sack with 2 TFL and Jake had 3 solo tackles, 1 assist, 1 sack (4 TFL) and a fumble recovery.  Ty “Bones” Jones had 1 solo tackle and 1 assist with 2 TFL. Freshman Ryder Huddleston was on fire with 2 assists and 3 sacks with 5 TFL.  Kaden “Big Kat” Cason had 1 solo tackle, ½ sack (2 TFL) and one forced fumble.  Freshman Hayden Hillman had a huge solo tackle for one TFL. Junior Denver Williams had 1 assist, 1 sack (2 TFL) and a fumble recovery that he turned into his first touchdown of the year. 

I asked Head Coach Jared Smelser about his thoughts on the game and he said, “We played like a well-oiled machine.  We did a lot of things right this week.  Our main focus was to get the running game more involved the last two weeks, and we did exactly that.  Our running backs are running hard, and we have good leadership. Our defense looks fast and dominant.  Coach Edie has them ready to play.”  Coach Jensen Spillum has the offensive line fired up and playing hard.  “We still have a lot to improve on, but I’m excited that we are improving every day.”  The Rebels are inching their way to the top in the 2A PowerPoint Rankings.  They are in the #3 spot this week.

This was definitely a good way to start off the district games this season.  The Rebels will take the field again on Friday October 2 to take on Tensas.  The game will be played at home, so make sure you come out and support them or watch the game at home on the Red River Parish Journal broadcast.

NSU Events Rescheduled to Spring

Northwestern State University’s Golden Jubilee event and Long Purple Line Induction Ceremony have both been rescheduled for 2021.

The Golden Jubilee, an event to celebrate the NSU classes of 1970 and 1971, will take place Friday, May 7-Saturday, May 8, 2021. Tickets are $75 per graduate and $60 per addition guest(s).  Tickets can be purchased at goldenjubilee2021.eventbrite.com. Event details will be announced as they are determined.

The Long Purple Line Induction Ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 9, 2021, at the Natchitoches Events Center. The event will honor those who were set to be inducted in the 2020 ceremony, Sujuan Boutte, Harvey Marcus, Tommy Whitehead, John Smith, Ed Orgeron and Jerry Pierce. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at longpurpleline2021.eventbrite.com. Details for the ceremony will be announced as plans are finalized.

Perry’s Plight

By Brad Dison

E.A. Perry was born on January 19, 1809.  Later that same year, Perry’s father abandoned the family.  In November 1811, Perry’s 24-year-old mother contracted tuberculosis and died on December 8, 1811.  Perry’s 27-year-old father, still estranged from the family, died from an unknown cause just three days after Perry’s mother.  Perry, his brother, and sister were split up.  Perry’s brother lived with his paternal grandparents in Baltimore, Maryland.  His sister lived with family friends in Richmond, Virginia.  Mrs. Frances Allan convinced her reluctant husband, John, a wealthy merchant in Richmond, to foster Perry.   

Living in the Allan household afforded Perry a good education.  Frances, unable to have children of her own, adored and protected young Perry.  Frances introduced Perry to the genteel life which came with being a member of the Allan family.  Despite the high standing of the Allan family, however, Perry could not escape his status as a foster child.  To John, Perry was a drain on his finances.  As Perry grew older and more independent, he and his foster father clashed.  John was strict with Perry and was stingy with his money.  Perry longed to be on his own and to become a member of genteel society. 

In February 1826, Perry enrolled at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.  John begrudgingly paid Perry’s tuition, but failed to provide him enough money to live on.  Perry excelled in his studies but struggled with his newfound freedom.  He drank and gambled away what little money he had to cover his expenses.  By the end of his first year at the university, Perry had accumulated debts nearing $2,500.00, which adjusted for inflation, would be just over $40,500 in today’s money.  John refused to help Perry cover the debts and their relationship worsened.  Unable to repay his debts, Perry abruptly left the university.    

On May 26, 1827, using an alias to escape his creditors, Perry enlisted in the United States Army at Boston, Massachusetts.  In addition to lying about his name, Perry also lied about his age.  He gave his age as 22 years old, when in reality he was 18.  Whether he gave a false age as another way to keep his creditors from tracking him down or for some other advantage can only be speculated upon.  His enlistment paperwork showed that Perry agreed to serve for a period of five years “unless sooner discharged by proper authority.”  Perry listed clerk as his occupation.

Perry prospered in the army.  In just nineteen months, Perry rose from the rank of private to Regimental Sergeant Major, a meteoric rise which was uncharacteristic, especially in peacetime.  Perry became the company’s clerk, which brought him into constant contact with the company’s officers and relieved him of participation in more rigorous duties.  By December of 1828, however, Perry decided he wanted out of the army because he was unable to secure commission without having been educated at West Point.  He still owed the army three and a half years.  Perry spoke with Lieutenant Howard, who said he would agree to his discharge upon reconciliation with his foster father and if he provided an acceptable replacement to serve in his stead at no cost to the army.  Perry wrote to his foster father, but John refused to answer his letters.  Only after Perry told John of his plans to enter West Point did John agree to aid in Perry’s resignation from the army.     

On February 28, 1829, Frances Allan died.  For a short time, Perry’s and John’s relationship improved.  John provide Perry with money along with a new suit of clothes and all of the necessary accessories for a young man of status.  In addition, John provided the required permission for Perry to resign from the army along with funds for Perry to hire a substitute soldier.  Perry left the army with several recommendations from his commanding officers in support of his application to West Point.       

In May of 1829, Perry hand-delivered his application to Washington and delivered it to the Secretary of War.  He returned to his residence in Baltimore and anxiously awaited news of his appointment.  When, in July 1829, he had received no word, he walked the forty miles from Baltimore to Washington to check on the status of his appointment.  Perry’s impatience did him no good.  Perry had no choice but to walk the forty miles back to Baltimore.  Finally, in March of 1830, Perry received his appointment at West Point.

The other cadets looked up to Perry because he was slightly older and because of his previous university and military training.  In his spare time, Perry wrote poetry.  His fellow cadets enjoyed his writings and many of them agreed to share the cost of publishing a book of his poems.  The treasurer of the academy withheld $1.25 from each participating cadet’s $28.00 monthly check until the amount reached $170.00. 

Perry’s reputation grew and he confidently boasted that, with his previous educational background and military experience, he would complete the four-year program at West Point in only six months.  However, Perry was stunned to learn that his previous experiences and his rank as Sergeant Major would not enable him to complete the program at West Point in a shorter timeframe. 

Perry learned other disappointing news as well.  While Perry was at West Point, John had remarried and had fathered twins.  Perry would no longer inherit any of John’s wealth.  Perry was distraught and was determined to resign from West Point.  If he abandoned West Point without John’s permission, he would not receive his backpay.  Perry wrote to John and requested his permission, but John refused to reply.  In his own notes, John commented “I do not think the boy has one good quality.”  In January 1831, Perry abandoned his duties at West Point.  During the court martial, Perry was charged with “gross neglect of duty,” and “disobedience of orders.”  On March 6, 1831, the court found Perry guilty of both charges and dismissed him from West Point.  The academy withheld Perry’s last paycheck but forwarded a check to him for $170.00, the money the cadets had raised for Perry’s book of poems.  In May 1831, a publisher delivered 136 copies of Perry’s book, one for each cadet who had raised money for its publication.  Perry dedicated the book “to the U.S. Corps of Cadets.”

Perry continued to write poetry and short stories.  His works were published in various journals and periodicals in the United States.  He also continued with his old habits of drinking and gambling, a combination which usually led to disaster.  On October 7, 1849, Perry died destitute at the young age of forty from an unknown cause which has been debated ever since.  He failed to achieve the status of a gentleman, which he had witnessed while a part of the Allan family, and was not accepted into polite society.  Since his death, however, Perry has been praised for his works such as “The Black Cat,” “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and a host of other tales of horror and suspense.  E.A. Perry was the alias of Edgar Allan Poe.   


  1. Russell, J. Thomas. Edgar Allan Poe: The Army Years. West Point, New York: United States Military Academy, 1972.
  2. National Archives Catalog. “Enlistment Papers for Edgar A. Perry [Poe].” Accessed September 9, 2020. 

3.  National Archives Catalog. “Trial of Cadet E. A. Poe.” Accessed September 9, 2020. 

Early Voting Changes

There are several significant changes to early voting for the November 3rd election.  Red River residents will have a new place to vote early.  And the early voting periods have been changed.

Most significant is that voters will no longer go to the Courthouse and clear security to cast ballots.  Registrar of Voters Debra Jones told The Journal that recent court rulings concerning the voting plan in light of the COVID-19 virus made the changes necessary.   Jones said, “The ruling took bits and pieces of the summer emergency plan.  The judge agreed for the early voting to be 10 days with extended hours for the November election.  And just regular hours and dates for the December election.” 

For the summer elections early voting took two weeks.  The Journal asked why the change for the fall election.  Jones said, “If we do the two weeks of early voting, the first day of voting is also the last day to add or change a voter registration electronically, which caused some issues during the summer elections.  With the 10 days, we avoid those problems.”

Early voting information is provided below.  Also included is information about registering to vote or changing your address.

Winter Sports Guidelines

Football is just getting underway; however, the Louisiana High School Athletic Association has published it’s guidelines for winter sports.  That included the guidelines for conducting basketball, soccer, indoor track, powerlifting and wrestling.

The complete 15 page guide may be reviewed by clicking on the link below.

The guidelines specify steps to take to keep everyone safe from the COVID-19 virus.  Similar to the fall sports guideline, there are requirements for social distancing, sanitizing, and testing participants for symptoms of the virus. 

In the introduction to the guidelines, LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine terms the guidelines “minimal guidelines, and each member school and corresponding school system are free to adopt additional guidelines for the health and safety of student-athletes, students, coaches, faculty and others expected to attend contests.”  Bonine said, “The LHSAA fully intends to support its member schools and the student-athletes who desire to compete in interscholastic athletics…”

Don’t Miss the Game

Due to severe restrictions on stadium occupancy by the Governor and State Fire Marshall a large number of Red River fans will not be able to attend the game Friday night.  But you can still get the best seat in the house.

Journal Sports will provide live video coverage beginning about 15 minutes prior to kickoff.  And we will alert you when the game is about to start.  Already hundreds of fans have signed up for Bulldog text message alerts so they will be notified when live video of the event is about to begin.

Join the Text Club.  Click the link to sign up.  The Journal will not spam you or sell your information.  And this service is free, so more fans can watch the game.

Click this link:  https://form.jotform.com/63427407805154