Basketball Playoffs This Weekend

Red River Boys begins their quest for the state championship.  Riverdale Boys and Girls wrap up their championship run.  And it all happens this weekend.

Friday night Red River hosts Amite at the Dawg Pound.  Amite is seeded #26 in class 2-A and has an overall record of 12 and 16.  The Bulldogs are seeded #7.

The game begins at 6:00 Friday night.  Journal Sports will broadcast the game beginning a few minutes before tip-off.  You will get a text a few minutes before the start time with the link to listen to the game.  Here is the link to the Bulldog broadcast:

HTTP://69.64.65.171:8192/dogs

The Riverdale Rebels are in Learned, Mississippi Friday for the semi-finals of the State 1-A Tournament.  Both Rebels and Lady Rebels won on Tuesday, setting up the Friday night matches.

The Lady Rebels play at 3:00 pm vs DeSoto School Lady Thunderbirds.  The winner advances to the final game at 3:00 pm Saturday afternoon.  The girls consolation game will be at 1:00 pm.

The Rebels play Friday night at 7:00 pm vs Delta Academy.  Delta defeated Tensas Academy Tuesday.  This could be the biggest challenge of the year for the Rebels.

Both Riverdale games will be broadcast live on Journal Sports.  Coverage begins about five minutes before tip-off.  You will receive a text just before the game with the link to listen.  That link is: HTTP://69.64.65.171:8192/rebels


All Star on the Court and in the Classroom

A Red River athlete is being recognized for her performance on the basketball court and in the classroom at Red River High.  She is senior Kaitlyn Antilley and she was a major contributor to the just wrapped up Lady Bulldog season.

LHSAA Academic All-State Team:

To earn Composite Team honors, a student-athletes six-semester GPA must have an un-weighted 4.00. The composite team (all un-weighted 4.0 students) will be honored at the LHSAA state events but this year due to COVID all awards will be honored by your student-athlete’s school. These students cannot even have an “B” on their transcript. Note: Honors classes are not considered.

All senior student-athletes must be registered and submitted by a school principal on the LHSAA Member Website by the specific deadline date established.

Antilley was 1 of 73 girls basketball players in Louisiana classes 5A – C.

“I am excited to have been awarded this honor,” said Kaitlyn.  She added, “I have worked hard my high school career not only on the court or the field, but most importantly in the classroom.  Being able to play sports is a privilege that can be taken away at any time, but you will always have your education.  And this is very important in being successful in life.”

She is also a member of the All-Stars team.  Louisiana is divided into an east team and a west team.  Coaches first nominate their seniors that they think have earned the honor of being picked.  Coaches from the east side and coaches from the west side meet separately – (a coach from each classification) and chooses 15 players to represent their team.  Then they will choose 15 alternate players as alternates in case one of the 15 chosen cannot play.  

Red River girls coach Missy Antilley will be coaching one of the teams.  She said, “I am honored to have the opportunity of being the head coach of the West team this year and coach Kaitlyn one last time.”  

The game will be on Saturday March 20th location still to be determined by it is usually in the Shreveport area. 

Friday March 19th – Banquet honoring the players

Saturday March 20th – All-Star game

Kaitlyn is excited about the opportunity to play on the team.  “I am honored to have the privilege to be able to play in the All-Star game and have my mom coach me one last time,” she said.  Antilley added, “I have worked hard my four years to get this honor from late nights in the gym, traveling to and from training lessons, and watching hours and hours or game films.  I am also excited because I get to play in the All-Star game with some of the girls I train with during the summer and weekends.”


Last Day to Register to Vote This Spring

Red River Registrar of Voters Debra Jones told The Journal today is the last day to come register in person to vote March 20th.  And Saturday is the deadline for registering online to be eligible.

Jones explained that due to the winter storm the Courthouse has been closed however it is probable that it will have water service restored and be open on Friday.  In that event they will be able to offer in-person registration today (Feb 26th).  She suggests you call first to make sure they are open.

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin is reminding Louisianians that Saturday, February 27 is the online registration deadline for the March 20 election. This deadline is for citizens who are unregistered, as well as registered voters who would like to make changes to their registration. Citizens can check their registration or register to vote online at www.GeauxVote.com. In order to submit electronically, a Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana special ID card must be used. 

 Early voting for the March 20 election is scheduled for Saturday, March 6 through Saturday, March 13 from 8:30 am to 6:00 pm (excluding Sunday, March 14). 

Jones confirmed that there will be no election for Alderman of the Village of Edgefield.  Two candidates had qualified; however David Layfield has withdrawn.  That means the other candidate, Chandra Wilson, wins without opposition.

There will be candidates for the BESE board on the ballot parish wide.  In addition residents of Police Jury District 3 will select a new juror between incumbent Shane Young and John Lindsey.


Angler’s Perspective

Is Pre-Fishing A Waste of Time?

By Steve Graf

As I have pointed out before, tournament bass anglers are a strange bunch. We are constantly trying to outsmart, over think and over complicate how we should be catching fish. Growing up as an athlete, baseball was a sport that I truly loved, and to be good at it, took practice and lots of it. A lot of time spent in a batting cage, taking ground balls, catching fly balls and working on base running. As someone once said, “practice makes perfect.” But in bass fishing, that’s not always the case. You can spend or waste a lot of time practicing and catching fish days before an event only to have to disregard everything you put together due to a major change in weather. So many times, in my fishing career, I’ve had to adjust or abandon my game plan for a tournament. Which brings us to the question, “Is pre-fishing a waste of time?”

Well, my first reaction would be “yes” but then I think back over time how important my practice time was for me having a high finish. But so many times due to variables out of my control like a front coming through, high winds, temperature change, heavy rain, the lake rising can all contribute to a change in fish behavior. Mother Nature and what she can throw at a bass angler, can be brutal. But just like any other sport, bass fishing is a game of adjustments and sometimes due to how we caught them during our pre-fishing time, we tend to try and force the fish the bite the way they did in practice. This is major mistake when you’re competing in a tournament because bass are worse than women, they are constantly going through mood swings. (Sorry ladies)

For me the benefits of pre-fishing are getting out on the water and checking out the areas of the lake you want to fish. Looking at watercolor, is it muddy, stained or clear; what’s the water temperature and seeing what the bass are relating to. Are they on wood cover like cypress trees or maybe brush tops and laydowns off the bank? Are they in vegetation like hydrilla or coon tail moss, are they under lily pads or our newest invasive species of aquatic vegetation… Salvinia?. Are they on boat docks? Are they in the backwater or on main lake points?  Now most of these questions can be answered basically by what time of year it is as to where the bass should be.    

As you can see, bass fishing is more science than luck especially for a tournament bass angler. But the time you spend pre-fishing or practicing, can be crucial in determining when, where and how you will catch them on tournament day. But this is where a word that I used earlier comes into play, adjustments. Bass fishing is a constant game of adjustments and the angler that does this the best on tournament day, will be the most successful. More times than not, the conditions in which you found fish in practice, will not be the conditions you face on tournament day. So, is pre-fishing a waste of time? Well, the time of year has a lot to do with this in that with spring fishing, there are constant weather changes and fronts are more frequent making it hard to plan too far ahead for a tournament. But during the summer months, the weather is a lot more stable, and the fish are a lot more predictable as to where they will be. The fall can also be pretty easy to find fish in that bass tend to migrate up the creeks this time of year.

As you can see, pre-fishing can have it advantages. It all depends on what time of year it is.  To hear more fishing tips, tune in to Tackle Live every Monday on our Facebook page at 12:30 CST as we discuss the latest news and tournament results from Toledo Bend, Sam Rayburn and other great bodies of water found right here in the Ark-La-Tex region. Until next time, don’t forget to set the hook!!


SWEPCO Thanks Customers For Patience, Conserving Energy During Extreme Weather

SWEPCO would like to thank all customers for their patience throughout last week’s severe weather event. Louisiana experienced record low temperatures, reaching as low as 7° F in Natchitoches, and 23,200 customers were without power at the peak of the storm. 

“We greatly appreciate everyone for bearing with us over the past week,” said Malcolm Smoak, SWEPCO president and chief operating officer. “We understand the issues that outages can create for our customers, and that’s why our crews worked around-the-clock in hazardous conditions to restore power for everyone.” 

A crew of 1,500 workers, including more than 300 SWEPCO employees, worked out of three basecamps to assist in restoration efforts. Power had been restored for the majority of customers across Northwest Louisiana by Sunday night. 

The storm caused almost a half-inch of ice to accumulate between Sabine and Natchitoches parishes. Temperatures remained near 32° F for much of the storm.

When temperatures reach extreme lows, power demand creates a heavy load on the regional electric grid. SWEPCO would like to thank all customers who helped conserve energy over the past week. Everyone working together to provide small contributions—such as minor adjustments to thermostats and reduced use of lighting and appliances—can make a significant difference to the overall electric system.

SWEPCO customers can report and check the status of outages by downloading the SWEPCO Customer Mobile App at SWEPCO.com/App or visiting SWEPCO.com/Outages. 

More information on what do to prepare for an outage and safety tips can be found at SWEPCO.com/Outages.


Concert Sunday at First Baptist

Bro. Nathan Davis was very excited when he called to tell The Journal about an upcoming concert Sunday at First Baptist Church.  Davis said Andrew Ishee will be at both Sunday morning worship and then he will give a full concert Sunday evening.

Gospel Music legend Bill Gathier has called Ishee “One fine piano player.”  Bro. Nathan said, “Come and find out for yourself.”

Ishee will lead the worship service at 11:00 am Sunday morning.  The Sunday evening concert begins at 6:00 pm in the sanctuary.


Bulldogs Claim Victories on Opening Day

Wednesday was opening day for Red River’s Baseball and Softball teams.  Both earned victories.

Lady Bulldog Softball opened the season with an 18 to 3 win over Jonesboro-Hodge on the softball diamond.

Over on the baseball diamond, the Bulldogs won both games of a double header 11-0 and 11-0.  They defeated Woodlawn high twice.

The high school posted, “Great job Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs.”


State Makes Funds Available For Students Taking ACT Test

The Louisiana Department of Education is investing $2 million in pandemic relief funds to help ensure more high school students are on track to success after graduation. The Louisiana ACT® NOW program provides vouchers for eligible students in grades 10 and 12 to take an upcoming ACT®.  Since 2013, Louisiana has offered the ACT® free of charge to high school juniors. This endeavor will give students in grades 10-12 the opportunity to receive an additional ACT® this spring at no cost to the system, student or family. 

Louisiana ACT® NOW will give students an additional opportunity to be placed in appropriate entry-level college courses, earn TOPS, qualify for scholarships and gain admission to the college of their choice. It can also help students become eligible for a Dual Enrollment program or other academic programs that require an ACT® score.  

“This use of pandemic relief funds removes financial barriers and opens doors for our students,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “This additional testing opportunity could be life-changing for some students. An improved ACT® score can make college more affordable and expand a student’s post secondary options.”

The ACT® is used for college admissions and access to scholarships and financial aid, including TOPS. Louisiana’s Class of 2020 earned an average ACT® Composite score of 18.7. Louisiana’s score is at an all-time low since the state granted all students access to the test in 2013. The number of seniors earning a college-going ACT® score also dipped for the third consecutive year.

The Department will begin working with school systems this week to provide additional information on submitting voucher requests for eligible sophomores and seniors. Vouchers can be used for the April 17, June 12 or July 17 administrations this school year. Students must meet the registration deadline. Any late registration fees will be the responsibility of the student. ACT® NOW is being funded through $2 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund. 

“I appreciate Governor Edwards for honoring my request to fund this opportunity for students,” said Dr. Brumley. “His support has allowed this program to quickly move forward.”

Students in grade 12 are eligible for an ACT® voucher if all of these apply:

  • The student has not earned an ACT® score that qualifies them for college admissions or TOPS, or who are seeking an opportunity to enhance their current level of TOPS Tech, TOPS Opportunity, TOPS Performance, TOPS Honors, or to seek other merit-based scholarship opportunities.
  • The student is on target to complete all coursework necessary to graduate no later than August 31, 2021.
  • The student is on target to meet all state assessment graduation requirements no later than August 31, 2021.

Students in grade 10 are eligible for an ACT® voucher if:

  • The student requires an ACT® score to qualify for enrollment in a Dual Enrollment programor other academic program(s) that require an ACT® score.


Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory

The Louisiana State Police has issued a Level II Endangered/Missing Child Advisory on behalf of the Vidalia Police Department for 17-year-old Shanon Robb.  On February 25, 2021, Robb was reported missing by his parents.  He was last seen on the home surveillance camera leaving his residence on Linden Street at approximately 3:30 a.m.  He was then spotted walking west on Highway 131 in Vidalia.  

He is a white male with shoulder-length brown hair, stands 5’8” tall and, weighs approximately 130 pounds.  He is a teenager with autism and is possibly armed.  His clothing description was unclear but, he was wearing cowboy boots and a cowboy hat and carrying a large black duffel bag when he disappeared.

Anyone with any information regarding the whereabouts of Shanon Robb should immediately contact the Vidalia Police Department at 318-336-5254.