Christmas Eve Services

First Baptist Church Christmas Eve Service is Tonight at 6:00 pm.

Wesley Chapel Methodist Church will have Christmas Eve Service with communion at 4:00 pm.

First United Methodist Church will have Christmas Eve Service with communion at 5:30 pm.

Social Springs Baptist Church is having two Christmas Eve Candlelight Services.  The first will be at 5:30 pm with coffee, wassail and hot coco served at 5:00 pm.  The second will be at midnight Christmas morning.  Hot coffee, hot chocolate and wassail will be served at 111:30 pm.

St George Catholic Church – Celebrate Christmas Mass at 7:00 pm on December 24th.

Red River High Christmas Reflection

As we reflect back on the last few days before the schools closed for the holidays, it reminds us of the story of an excited group of young students who were enacting the story of the first Christmas. Their modern-day version of the events showed Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem, along with a young boy dressed as a shepherd, using his cell phone to call ahead for a reservation.

High School Has Something to Celebrate

Last Friday the Red River High School Faculty and Staff celebrated our School Performance Score Growth.  We had some that are not pictured but we are so proud of our growth and our new shirts.  We understood the assignment, now let’s keep it going in 2022. 

To read the Journal report on those test scores from earlier this month CLICK HERE

Merry Christmas from Red River High School.

It’s Christmas Eve!

By Steve Graf

It’s Christmas Eve and all across the world kids are waiting on the man called Santa Claus to make their dreams come true. It’s with great anticipation that most children will have a hard time going to sleep tonight. Some will even try and sneak a peek just to confirm or deny their thoughts that he really does exist. Now before we get to the reason we love the old man in the bright red suit, let me give you an angler’s perspective about this special time of year.

As I have stated before, bass fishermen are a funny bunch. They are guys who believe in many different things. One is their ability to catch and figure bass out. They think they are smarter than the little green fish they pursue. It’s a group that, when push comes to shove, are the most intelligent outdoorsmen on earth. But there are a few who are very superstitious, especially when it comes to things like a banana in the boat. If you want to upset a pro angler, get in their boat with a banana…they will freak out. It’s a superstition that goes all the way back to when our country’s settlers sailed across the ocean with bananas on their ship (which is a whole other story). Just like most families do on Christmas Eve, some anglers have rituals they do before every event. There are some anglers like Kevin Van Dam (greatest bass fisherman of all time) who have their wives make them lucky cookies to carry with them on tournament day. Some anglers will only eat at specific restaurants on certain nights of the week during the tournament.  Some guys even wear the same underwear two or three days in a row if they are doing well in the event.

But one other thing we bass anglers believe in….Santa Claus! That’s right, we do believe in jolly Ole Saint Nick. You know the man in the bright red suit with black boots and a belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly. Here are some reasons why we think so much of Ole Saint Nick….

  1. He does so many good things for everyone young and old.
  2. He’s committed to doing a good job every Christmas Eve.
  3. Just like bass fishermen, he has high expectations of himself.
  4. He takes great care of all the little people (Elves).
  5. He takes pride in his sleigh looking good, like anglers do with their bass boats.
  6. He makes sure all the reindeer are taken care of like anglers do with their outboard engines.
  7. He gives attention to the misfit toys and makes them feel special.
  8. Just like bass fishermen, he pays attention to detail.
  9. Since the beginning of time, he never fails to do his job.
  10. But the greatest reason anglers love Santa Claus….HE was the man who gave all of us anglers our first rod and reel combo.

It’s the belief in Santa that makes Christmas special, especially in the eyes of children. It does your heart good to see them light up once they get a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they want for Christmas. Now there are a few (depending on age) who are scared out of their mind upon the sight of Santa Claus, but over time and as they grow up, Santa usually wins their love and support. I can remember as a kid going out early Christmas morning and looking for deer tracks in the front yard just to convince myself that he is real. I knew for a fact that he did not land on our roof since we did not have a chimney. My brother and I always left the traditional cookies and milk, but as I got older, I wondered why he would drink warm milk….but he always did!

I hope today’s article helped to jog your memory and take you back to a time when we were all so young and innocent. This truly is a special time of year as we get together with family and friends. But I want you to remember the real reason for the season, and that’s the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He is the reason for this great celebration that we have all come to love and cherish. So, this Christmas enjoy all the food, gifts and family gatherings, but make sure you give thanks to Lord above for sending us his only son who sacrificed his life for each of us. I would like to wish each of you a “Merry Christmas!” Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!

Riverdale Academy Holds Annual Christmas Program

By Molly Seales

On Friday morning, December 17, Riverdale Academy in pre-k through 12 grade presented their annual Christmas program in front of a packed gymnasium filled with family and friends. Principal Danny Rester opened the program with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, and then we went straight into the program. The preschoolers were adorable in their antlers and their red noses as they presented “The Reindeer Pokey,” followed by the kindergarteners singing “Must Be Santa.” Next the first graders formed a sweet skit entitled “Five Little Christmas Trees;” the second grade followed them with “Here Comes Santa Claus.” The third grade sang “The Little Drummer Boy” as they played their drums, which were made out of large empty coffee containers. The fourth grade, under the direction of Mrs. Amanda Cason, did an awesome job performing “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas” with handbells.

The fifth graders acted out Clement Clarke Moore’s famous story “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” They were followed with the sixth graders singing “Mary, Did You Know?” and the eighth graders with “Jingle Bell Rock.” The eighth graders shared the book The Legend of the Candy Cane and presented each class with candy canes and laminated bookmarks. The next act was a hilarious rendition of “The Redneck 12 Days of Christmas” by the freshman class. The sophomore class did the narration for the program. The junior KREB News team had been working since October and released their Christmas special news edition about the true meaning of Christmas. Elementary students were in the production telling their version of what probably happened the night that Jesus was born. You can watch this and follow the KREB News on YouTube. The senior’s performance was outstanding, and it will be hard for future senior classes to match it. Under the direction of Dr. Hunter Brown, the class played “White Christmas” using 5 gallon buckets and drumsticks. It was unbelievably good!

The program ended with all students singing “Born is the King” with soloists and a live band. 6th grade student Hayden Cason played the drums, 8th grade student Charity Williams played the keyboard, and staff member Kym Dabbs played the flute. Soloists were Cameron Bamburg, Maddie Baxley, Hasty Davis, Brooklyn Giddings, Ellie Reese Hillman, Kandyn Nettles, Ryder Shaver, and Hope Williamson. The audience sang along on the chorus. After the program, the classes had their Christmas parties and then were dismissed at 11:30 for Christmas Break. The faculty, staff, and students of Riverdale would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful year in 2022!

Nonsense in New York: NYC Lets Non-Citizens Vote

By Royal Alexander

The City Council in New York City recently approved legislation that would allow approximately 800,000 non-citizens to vote in local elections.  One of the several problems with this bill (which will become law because NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he won’t veto it) is that it is clearly unconstitutional as to both the New York state constitution as well as our U.S. Constitution.  It is highly likely the law will be immediately enjoined and then litigated in court where I believe it will be struck down.

The New York State Constitution guarantees citizens the right to vote.  In fact, the Second Article of New York State’s Constitution ensures that “every citizen shall be entitled to vote at every election for all officers elected by the people … provided that such citizen is [18] years of age or over and shall have been a resident of this state, … county, city, or village for [30] days next preceding an election.” (Emphasis added).

Supporters of this measure have argued that because this language does not expressly exclude non-citizens, New York City can allow them to vote.  This is ludicrous.  This constitutional language does clearly exclude from voting those who are not citizens by expressly requiring that voters be citizens.  This law is also backwards and has no limiting principle.  It is easy to imagine it being manipulated.  At a minimum, the brief 30-day residency by non-citizen voters would allow a non-citizen to live in NYC for the duration of a particular job or project, making them eligible to vote, after which they return to their native country.  This would easily allow outside influences to impact New Y0rk City elections.

As writer, commentator and former Asst. U.S. Attorney, Andrew McCarthy, has stated, “…when noncitizens vote, it dilutes the votes of citizens, because the concept that the votes of citizens count is a bedrock of constitutional democracy.  Also fundamental is the concept of citizenship, to which singular allegiance to the nation and its laws is basic.”  That is why, McCarthy continued, “if citizenship is eviscerated, so are our ties to the nation and to the ideal that we are a unified political community.  This is why citizenship has always been a prerequisite to voting.  To be a citizen is not merely to have the rights but also the obligations of being an American. Citizenship implies a commitment to the nation and its principles, which is what makes the country work, and makes us a unique national community.”

It is unquestionable that the hallmark of a legitimately functioning democracy in a free society is the honest exercise of the voting franchise by its citizens.  Period.  If people become convinced that their vote—the most powerful tool they possess to express themselves, their policy preferences, and to participate in our civic life—is not valued and protected, the rule of law will crumble.  And when the rule of law is gone what results is chaos, anarchy, and the law of the mob.  Many people in this country already feel powerless and disconnected and if the hope and faith they place in their vote—their voice—is corrupted and destroyed, our nation cannot endure.

As Thomas Paine said, the right of citizens to vote “is the primary right by which all other rights are protected.”  We must recall that in the history of the world, the right of a citizenry to choose its leaders—in this great American experiment in Democracy, as Lincoln articulated it—is a narrow historical exception to rule by a king or czar or mullah or dictator or tyrant.

Our right to vote is a sacred right that wasn’t given to us by politicians, journalists, priests or rabbis.  It is a precious right given to us by the Founders who pledged “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor”  in commitment to the principle of  individual freedom and with an understanding that freedom is not free; and also given to us by 1.1 million American service men and women since the Revolutionary War up to the present day who have given the “last full measure of devotion” to grant and protect citizens’ right to form and sustain a “government by consent of the governed.”  NYC dishonors those who gave their lives to give us the right to vote.

Our fundamental right to vote is truly preservative of all our other rights and citizenship has always been the only moral and credible place to draw the line regarding this sacred right.  And it must so remain.

Riverdale 7 and 8 Graders Christmas Giving Project

By Molly Seales

During the Christmas season, most of us get very busy in the hustle and bustle and often forget that the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We forget that before the colored lights and Christmas tree that our Lord and Savior was born in a stable in placed in a manger filled with hay. On that first Christmas, God gave us the greatest gift we would ever receive-his Son, Jesus. For many years, middle school teacher Bethany Seales has tried to get her classes to slow down a bit and focus on the giving aspect of the Christmas season rather than the receiving aspect. Each year she chooses an organization or an individual that is struggling or does good for others daily, expecting nothing in return. She encourages her students to give to this person or organization. She said it is so heartwarming to see students give their concession stand dollar or $10 of their birthday money to help someone else.

This past summer, Mrs. Bethany’s husband was diagnosed with colon cancer, and she was introduced to a charity she wished she had never been introduced to – the Caring Shirts Ministry. Shortly after school began, she received a package at school with a most unusual gift enclosed. It was a t-shirt in which one sleeve buttoned down from the neck to the end of the sleeves. This design gives easy access to the patient’s port. Upon further investigation, she discovered that this shirt came from a group called Caring Shirts Ministry. They are based out of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and this ministry was formed by Katherine Oldenburg. This is what Ms. Oldenburg said about Caring Shirts on its Facebook page. “June of 2019 my granddaughter was diagnosed with stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It was a shock to her as she had no symptoms and was about to celebrate her 35th birthday. She would be hospitalized for the first couple of weeks and one week a month for a five-day, 24-hour continuous chemo treatment. After the initial shock, she was ready to fight. However, she hated the hospital gowns. Walking around with her rear showing was not an option. Being fully dressed was fine until she realized that she couldn’t change or shower well due to being hooked up to the continuous chemo. That’s when her wonderful coworkers at Riverhills Band got together and bought her some shirts which one of the girls altered to snap down the side so she could change. They even had plastic snaps so that she could wear them while having MRI/Pet scans. They were just awesome! It allowed her to wear regular clothes and be able to change. I was so touched by them. I thought…why has no one else thought about this? This is awesome! While I couldn’t’ help her fight, I could help others. So with the help of my church family and friends, we started Caring Shirts. We started by donating them to her cancer floor. Soon we were making them for people who didn’t even live in our state. The have gone to children as well as adults. Some do not even have cancer but other health issues. Thousands of shirts have been distributed across the USA to almost every state, as well as Canada, Australia, Ireland, England, South Africa, Wales, and Russia. We will ship anywhere, and there is never a cost to the patient. We are funded through love offerings and donations.”

This ministry really touched Mrs. Bethany’s heart, and she decided that this would be her Christmas giving project for 2021. The class goal was $100 for the Caring Shirts Ministry, but as usual, her students, parents, and alumni donors stepped up BIG. The 7th and 8th grade classes collected a total of $520 for Caring Shirts. When Ms. Oldenburg found out, she shed tears of joy. She said, “My heart is so full. Thank you and your students a zillion times. Tell the kids that their money will get shirts to 52 people.” She was completely overwhelmed by the generosity of a small group of 7thand 8th grade students and their parents.

I asked Mrs. Bethany, who also happens to be my mom, why she thought projects such as this were so important. She responded, “We are so blessed in our daily lives that we often forget those who are going through unimaginable things. I try to instill in my students that at Christmas and always, we should be aware of those around us who may need a blessing. When we see those people, we should always strive to help them if we can. What better time than Christmas to share joy with others?”  I know that we are blessed with a wonderful, unselfish group of students and parents at Riverdale Academy, and their generosity to this cause was further group. Merry Christmas, and remember that if you have the opportunity, “Be the good.”

ETC… for Friday, December 24, 2021

A reminder to throw away carefully after Christmas.  Thieves love to cruise by your house the trash day after Christmas and shop for things to steal.  If you leave the box in plain sight, the bad guys will know you got a new, bright, shiny whatever.  Don’t give them a chance.

There is a LifeShare blood drive scheduled at Fairview Baptist Church January 8th at 10:00 am.

The Louisiana Department of Health is pausing administration of monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments at LDH-run mAb treatment sites in response to a federal decision to cease state allocations.  LDH sites previously offered two mAb treatments: REGEN-COV and bamlanivimab and etesevimab administered together. However, recent data demonstrate that these two monoclonal antibodies are not effective against the Omicron variant, which is now the dominant variant circulating in the U.S.

And finally… Did you ever have one of these?

Winter Is Here

Happy First day of Winter.  Tuesday was the Winter Solstice or the shortest day of the year 2021.  The Solstice actually occurred at 9:59 am CST!

The day was chilly with grey skies for the most part.  There was some sun during the afternoon.  However, there is more dark or sleep time this day than any other.

Addition to Red River Coaching Staff

“We are excited to announce that Alan Carter is joining our staff as a non-faculty coach,” said Red River High.  Carter will be Defensive Coordinator. The addition of Carter to the staff was announced by the school on Tuesday.

Coach Carter served as head coach at Jesuit/Loyola, Parkway, and Byrd. He’s won district championships at Parkway (‘89), Byrd (undefeated ‘93 & ‘96) and multiple playoff appearances.

The school said, “Coach Carter will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our football program. We are excited that he’s a Bulldog!”

Bank Holidays

All of the banks in the parish will take some time off for Christmas and New Years.  The Journal called them to get their holiday schedules.

American Bank:

Close at noon on December 24th.  Re-open on Monday.  For New Years, close at 2:30 on December 31st for the weekend.

Bank of Coushatta:

Close at noon on December 24th.  Re-open on Monday.  For New Years, close at noon on December 31st and re-open on Monday.

Sabine State Bank:

Open on Thursday, December 23rd.  Closed Friday and Saturday, Christmas Day.  For New Years, closed Saturday, January 1st.

Note that Sabine State Bank is the only local bank that has regular Saturday hours of operation.

First Baptist Church Children’s Musical 2021

By Faerie Sledge

The children’s choir of the First Baptist Church Coushatta presented its annual Christmas musical on Sunday night, December 5, 2021, in the sanctuary. The musical was Angel Alert! It was written by Celeste Clydesdale and arranged by David T. Clydesdale.

Children’s choir members were Waylon Baldwin, Adyson Barrett, Dally Bell, Trevor Bell, Carter Breedlove, McKinley Davis, Reagan Davis, Trinity Dowlen, Mallie Harris, Sawyer Harris, William McCoy, Hope Mills, Julia Mills, Jamason Morse, Laynie Morse, Reston Morse, Morgan Moseley, Hannah Murray, Samuel Murray, Olivia Rice, Pyper Ann Rutan, Ryan Schneider, Jillian Shaver, Ryder Shaver, Hardee Waters, Jett Waters, Landon Webb, and Micah Webb.

Five sixth grade choir members were performing in their final children’s musical. They were Hannah Murray, Julia Mills, Adyson Barrett, Laynie Morse, and Reagan Davis.

Julie Page is choir director. She was assisted by Melanie Davis, Jennifer Moseley, and Nicole Webb. Also helping out behind the scenes were Lindsay Waters and Hunter Brown. Waylon Baldwin and Ryan Schneider passed out programs. Dr. Nathan Davis is pastor.

Sixth Graders (top picture):

Five sixth graders taking part in their last children’s choir musical.

Left to right, front row: Hannah Murray, Julia Mills, Adyson Barrett, and Laynie Morse

Back row: Reagan Davis

Others (bottom picture):

Back Row:  Morgan Moseley, Landon Webb, Reagan Davis, Carter Breedlove, Ryder Shaver, and Trevor Bell

Third row: Samuel Murray, Hannah Murray, McKinley Davis, Julia Mills, Adyson Barrett, Laynie Morse, and William McCoy

Second row: Trinity Dowlen, Dally Bell, Hope Mills, Olivia Rice, Micah Webb, Jett Waters, and Jamason Morse

Front row: Hardee Waters, Jillian Shaver, Mallie Harris, Pyper Rutan, Sawyer Harris, and Rexton Morse

5-K Runners From Coushatta

By Faerie Sledge

A group of ladies from First Baptist Church Coushatta and Fairview Baptist took part in the annual 5K (3.1 miles) Christmas run/walk in downtown Shreveport the evening of December 16, 2021. Overall, 433 people took part in the race, most running, but a lot of people walking, also. 

From left to right in photo are Karen Moseley, Millie Jones, Wanda Eddy,  Faerie Sledge, Judy Covington, Juanita Smith, Betty Lou Walters, and Laurie Jones.

To Miss A Chance Like That

By Teddy Allen

“…and this is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket, and lying in a manger.” –  Luke 2:12

“Only God could have thought of giving us Christmas,” the pilgrim told me.

“I no longer wonder why the world turns again every year to the Babe born in the innkeeper’s cattle shed,” he said. “A baby bundled tightly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Simple enough to be new every year, miraculous enough to be eternal, tender enough to be personal. Only God would have done it that way.”

“No official proclamation. No fuss. No Madison Avenue ad campaign. If man had done it he would have made a great production. But God did it the way God does so many things in the world. The coming of dawn and the setting of the sun are quiet things. Sleep needs no trumpets to announce it. Flowers bloom in silence. Falling snow makes no more sound than the cat’s paw. And so it was with the coming of the Savior of the World. Just the whimper of a baby, asleep on the hay.

“That’s just like God,” the pilgrim said.

“Bethlehem tells us that the loveliness in life is not in the things that we possess, the titles and checkbook balances and plaques on the wall. Bethlehem tells us that the loveliness in life is in our relationships. ‘Come see the baby. Come spend time with us, and come spend time with the baby…’

“That long ago Judean night when Heaven dipped down to Earth, there were no costly jewels, no golden streets, but instead a place where God was at home in a stable…a place where shepherds were as welcome as wise men…a place where, for a moment, nothing in Creation was more important than a donkey who bore on his back a suffering woman, a woman of God’s favor, a woman who stepped into a barn on the brink of the Fullness of Time and into a place where a stable filled with animals was a temple fit for a king.

“That’s so like God. To send his one and only son into a place humble, a place where voices joined in chorus with the first cry of a newborn. There is nothing in the world so new as Christmas, and nothing in the world so old.

“Bethlehem tells us that God is awake while most all the world sleeps. It was while the world lay in darkness that God chose to come down to Earth. He came into a world of darkness then, He comes into a world of darkness now. Isn’t it comforting to know that in a time of darkness and despair, God is always awake, is alive, and is still ruling the universe?

“Christmas asks us to follow the star, to look for the light, and to listen for the baby. Where there is light, there can be no dark, and so it was into the night that the baby came.

“The gift in the manger reminds us that the joy and truth of Christmas can be recaptured. There is nothing in the world like a baby. The whole silly world stops when a baby is born. God, a baby at Bethlehem…

“The wonder of it all…

“There is nothing as tragic as missing something of great importance when there was no reason to have missed it at all. Such was the experience of those who missed the first Christmas and the experience of those who miss Christmas today. One of those was the innkeeper in Bethlehem. He should not have missed it, because he was so close to it. He missed the Greatest and the Most Important Birth in all of history, right in his own backyard. This child of prophecy, this baby sent to restore and to redeem, born right under his nose. But he was so preoccupied with business, with noise and crowds and himself that he missed the first Christmas in history. He had no room.

“What a tragedy, to miss a chance like that.”

Contact Teddy at

Originally Published: December 2009

Military Reports to the Board

Red River High’s Junior ROTC Program gave their annual report to the December meeting of the Red River Parish School Board.  The report was given by cadet corps commander Eric Hanson.

Several goals were exceeded including recruiting.  Hanson said their goal had been to recruit 20 new cadets for the corps.  They got 43 or doubling the goal.  The overall GPA of the corps is targeted at 2.75.  Hanson said they have made 80% of that goal and they hope to exceed it by the end of the spring.

Hanson said the JROTC program has obtained an FAA Certified Flight Simulator and cadets can log time recognized by the FAA as they work toward a pilots license.  They received a grant to cover the $8,000 cost.

Col. Mark Duffield, the corps commander thanked the board for their support of JROTC at Red River.  He said the cadets are looking forward to the upcoming end of year trip.  Duffield promised another update on the program toward the end of the spring term.

Riverdale at Prairie View Double Header

By Molly Seales

On Friday and Saturday, the Riverdale Rebels and Lady Rebels traveled to PVA in Bastrop for a double header. Both the girls and the boys played both games against teams that were in much larger schools. The girls were fortunate to come out with 2 wins, while the boys, unfortunately lost both games-one by only 3 points and the other by only 4 points. On Friday, both teams played Riverfield Academy. The girls came away with a 36-24 win, and the boys dropped a 48-45 heartbreaker. Kenley Loftin led all Lady Rebels in scoring with 15 points while also having 5 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 assists. Jessie Kate Cobb added 8 points and led in rebounding with a total of 7 boards. Rylee Kate Woodard added 6 points, Sky McMullan had 4 points and 8 steals, and point guard Mary Claire Jones added 3 points. In boys action, Ty Jones led all scorers with 22 points, and Ben Almond joined him in double figures with 11 points. Denver Williams had 5 points and led all rebounders with 10 boards, while Caden Long also had 5 points. Reagan Huddleston had 2 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals.

On Saturday, both teams played PVA. The Lady Rebels came away with another victory with a 43-34 win over PVA. They led 34-6 at the half, which allowed the subs to play most of the second half. Sky McMullan had a big first half for the Lady Rebels, leading all scorers with 11 points, while also having 3 rebounds, 7 assists, and 6 steals. Mary Claire Jones joined her in double figures with 10 points, Rylee Kate Woodard had 7 points, Kenley Loftin added 4 points, while Renee Prosperie had 2 points and led all rebounders with 6 boards. Unfortunately, the Rebels were not able to win against PVA, losing by a score of 53-49. Ty Jones again led the Rebels with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals. Ben Almond added 9 points, and Denver Williams had 8 points and led all rebounders with 11 boards. Caden Long added 7 points. Both the Rebels and the Lady Rebels played hard fought games this weekend.

Riverdale Takes Four Wins vs. Providence Classical Academy

By Molly Seales

On Monday, December 13, Providence Classical Academy came to East Point where the Rebels and Lady Rebels claimed a victory in all 4 games. The evening kicked off at 4:00 p.m. with the JV Lady Rebels defeating the JV PCA team 38-18. 8th grader Makayla Pickett had her first double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 20 rebounds. Haylee Smith added 7 points and pulled down 12 boards, while Hanna Catherine Huddleston also had 7 points along with 5 rebounds, 5 steals, and 3 assists. Jadyn King also had 7 points and 5 steals. In the JV boys’ game, Riverdale defeated PCA 49-24. Ashton Almond led all scorers with 15 points and also had 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Aston Hester wasn’t far behind him with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Logan Gryder scored 2 points and led all rebounders with 10 boards. Tanner Carlisle had 6 points and 7 rebounds, while Cannon Breedlove added 5 points and Colton Caskey added 4 points.

The Lady Rebels faced PCA for the second time this season and again defeated them again, this time by a score of 46-24. Sky McMullan had another big night with 20 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. Kenley Loftin also had a big game with 15 points, 8 rebounds, 5 steals, and 2 assists. 8th grade point guard Mary Claire Jones added 7 points, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds. Jessie Kate Cobb had 4 points and led the Lady Rebels in rebounds with 14 boards. Renee Prosperie added 7 boards, 4 steals, and 2 assists.  The Rebels faced PCA for the first time this year and came away with a low-scoring 36-29 win. Ty Jones led the Rebels in scoring with 13 points. He also had 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. Denver Williams had 8 points and pulled down an outstanding 23 rebounds! Caden Long had 5 points, while Reagan Huddleston and Ben Almond added 4 points each. Thad Bates rounded out the scoring with 2 points.

The Lady Rebels go into Christmas Break undefeated with a 7-0 record, while the Rebels overall record is 3-2. There are no games during the Christmas holidays. The Rebels will hit the road on Tuesday, January 4, to take on Union Christian Academy in Farmerville.

Disguised to Be Recognized

By Brad Dison

On Friday morning, December 23, 1927, a gang comprised of ex-convicts Henry Helms, Marshall Ratliff, Robert Hill, and a fourth man who had no criminal record, Louis Davis, headed to the First National Bank of Cisco, Texas.  Davis was a last-minute addition to the gang.  While the other robbers dressed in casual everyday attire that would allow them to blend in perfectly with the other customers, Davis wore a flashy suit that stood out like a sore thumb.  Davis wanted to disguise his identity.  This was his first foray into crime and he wanted everyone’s attention on him while the other three robbed the bank.  The gang was unconcerned that the Banker’s Association had recently posted a $5,000 reward which could only be redeemed for dead bank robbers.   

The town of Cisco was bustling with activity.  With cheerful smiles, the citizens wished each other a “Merry Christmas.”  Miss Ella Andress, head of the Spanish department at the Cisco High School, went into the bank in Cisco to cash a check.  Once her transaction was completed, Miss Andress walked away from the counter and out the bank’s door.  There, she met the man in the flashy suit as he was entering the bank.  He brushed up against Ms. Andress and left small bits of cotton on her coat.  She glanced at the guy wearing the flashy suit, gave him a smile, and kept walking.  She was anxious to get home to start her Christmas holiday.  Mrs. B.P. Blasengame and her daughter followed the man in the flashy suit into the bank.  She needed to cash a check as well.     

The man in the flashy suit did not approach the counter but stood by the door.  The other three bank robbers casually entered the bank and pulled their pistols.  Thinking quickly, Mrs. Blasengame grabbed her daughter and ran from the bank.  As they ran, they yelled to everyone within earshot that the bank was being robbed.

While the three men went nearly unnoticed in the bank, everyone noticed and instantly recognized the man in the flashy suit.  They could describe his every feature and could even call him by name. 

The four bank robbers walked out of the bank with $12,200 in cash and $150,000 in securities.  Had Mrs. Blasengame not escaped, the robbery might have been successful.  A hail of gunfire erupted between the heavily-armed bank robbers and police chief G.E. Bedford and officer George Carmichael.  Stray bullets flew everywhere.  Within seconds, injured people, including innocent bystanders, started falling.  Wounded in the gun battle was the man in the flashy suit, gang member Marshall Ratliff, police chief Bedford and officer Carmichael, and innocent bystanders Marion Olson, Brady Boggs, Pete Rutherford, R.L. Day, Oscar Cliett and Alex Spears.

The man in the flashy suit lay on the sidewalk, too injured to make an escape.  His three co-conspirators, including the wounded Ratliff, dropped their loot, grabbed two girls whom they used as shields, and fled from the scene in a car.  Their plan had failed miserably.  Once the bank robbers were at a safe distance, they released the girls.  The girls told Young county officers that one of the robbers had been shot and another had blood on his face.  The bank robbers drove north trailed by several police officers.  Officers surrounded the men who had run on foot into a wooded area near Ivan, Texas, about forty miles northeast of Cisco.  

The three remaining bank robbers were eventually captured.  Marshall Ratliff was lynched by an angry mob.  Henry Helms was executed by the State of Texas.  Robert Hill was sentenced to life in prison, but was eventually paroled.  The man in the flashy suit, in his first venture into a life of crime, died where he fell.  Even today, nearly one hundred years later, the citizenry of Cisco reminisces about the bank robber and call him by name.  Only people who have studied the failed bank robbery know the name Louis Davis, the man in the flashy suit.  Everyone else just remembers the time the bank was almost robbed by… Santa Claus.


  1. El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas), December 27, 1927, p.1.
  2. The Austin American (Austin, Texas), December 28, 1927, p.8.
  3. El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas), December 27, 1927, p.1.
  4. Abilene Reporter-News (Abilene, Texas), June 29, 1962, p.2.
  5. Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), September 17, 1972, p.81.

Bulldogs Roll This Week

Updated Wednesday morning.

The Red River Bulldogs brought their basketball season record to 6 and 5 Monday night with a win over Green Oaks.  That gives the Dawgs three victories for the week.

On December 14th they suffered a 57-48 defeat at the hands of Avoyelles.  Then in the Castor Tournament last weekend they edged out a 63 to 60 win over Ebarb.  Then Friday night Red River took control early and never gave up the lead to Union Parish.  Final score 69 to 61.

On Tuesday night, they traveled to Natchitoches for a match with Central.  The Chiefs prevailed 60-43.  This brings the Bulldogs season to 6 and 6.

The Lady Bulldogs became giant killers on Monday night when they picked up their second season win.  Final score was Lady Bulldogs 50 and Green Oaks Lady Giants 19.  The ladies now have a season record of 2 and 11.

The Lady Bulldogs are also playing Natchitoches Central on Tuesday night. Their score had not been posted Wednesday morning.