NSU’s Cabrera reflects on his ‘dream job’

Rick Cabrera’s introductory news conference Thursday afternoon in the Student Union Ballroom on Northwestern State’s campus was just another part of a dream.

“My dream job is being here as your head coach,” Cabrera told assembled media, fans and university staff members. “When I decided to get into coaching, I laid down at night and said I want to be a Division I head basketball coach. This is my first opportunity, so this is my dream job. I’m so greatly appreciative of having this opportunity. Like I said earlier, 363 (Division-I head coaching jobs). I bet the applicants were times nine of 363 for this job. I had people believe in me that I was the next man to win an NCAA Tournament game.

“Just watching a Fairleigh Dickinson, Florida Atlantic. I say, ‘Why not us?’ That’s the attitude you’ve got to have.”
Cabrera, 47, said he wants to instill a “tough” team once the 2023-24 season rolls around in Natchitoches, but Thursday was a chance for the first-time Division I head coach to show the other side of his emotional spectrum.

He fought back tears when speaking about his wife, Danielle, and had to compose himself when his thoughts turned to his late father Hugo Sr., saying out loud through a raspy voice, “I’m not going to talk about dad,” to which his sister in attendance responded, “He’s here.”

A six-year head coach at Lackawanna College and Tallahassee Community College, Cabrera compiled a record of 152-45. He spent 13 years as a D-I assistant at Tennessee Tech, Austin Peay and Arkansas State where he recruited and tutored all-conference players and helped Austin Peay standout Terry Taylor become an NBA player.

“As we went through the search process, it was clear coach Cabrera possessed all the qualities we desired in a head coach,” Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian said. “We wanted somebody who was an elite recruiter and a developer of young men, not only on the court but off it as well. We wanted someone to fit the culture of Northwestern State. His enthusiasm, passion, energy and hands-in-the-dirt approach and grind-it out work ethic were a perfect match for Northwestern State.”

Cabrera’s biggest takeaways from his journey? Patience and the value of family.

“Sixteen or 17 years ago, we went on our first date,” said Cabrera, whose wife claimed it to have been 18 years ago. “We were dating for about a month, and I knew this is what I wanted to do. During a date, we were at an Italian restaurant called Fratelli’s. We’re sitting across from each other, and I said, ‘Listen, this is the profession I want to go into. It’s going to entail some traveling, some moving.’ She had just graduated from Penn State. She’s very close to her family in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I wanted to give her a head’s up to say, ‘Hey, do you want to come along on this ride? If not, you can get out early.’ She looked across with her big blue eyes and said, ‘I’m in.’ Seventeen years later, we’ve been all over the place.

“She gave up her career as an athletic trainer. She went to school and got a degree in kinesiology, and she hasn’t done anything with it in that realm. She’s a teacher, now. I appreciate you more than you ever know.”

Throughout his introduction to Northwestern State and to Natchitoches, Cabrera reference a handful of quotes. One of those belonged to an unidentified speaker, but it related to the Cabrera family as a whole.

“A quote that has always stuck in my head – and I wrote it down – is, ‘A good coach needs a patient wife or husband, a loyal dog and a great post player, but not necessarily in that order,’” NSU’s 11th head men’s basketball coach said. “I definitely have two of the three in a patient wife and a loyal dog. I have a great post player coming, just wait and see.”

For Cabrera, Thursday’s moment was the culmination of a two-decade journey that began as a graduate assistant at Tennessee Tech where he played basketball and baseball. It wound through Miami Killian High School and Keystone College before taking him to Lackawanna College in his wife’s hometown of Scranton.

It was during his time at Keystone that Cabrera had a bit of an epiphany and discovered just how much he wanted to coach basketball.

“I was a dorm director and an assistant coach at Keystone College,” Cabrera said. “I told my wife this a couple of nights ago, but I wish I had kept my first pay stub from Keystone College. I remember it. With taxes taken out, it was $159.38 just for the coaching stipend. That was every two weeks. I’ll never forget it. I’m out of college, and I have a master’s degree. I’m thinking, ‘What am I doing?’ It’s all about patience. It has paid off. It has allowed me to take care of myself and my family.”

It also led Cabrera to a state that helped him develop as a New York City high school basketball player.

“Dale Brown is a great friend not a good friend,” Cabrera said of LSU’s Hall of Fame coach. “I talked to him this morning for 20 minutes. He’s 87 years old and kicking like he did when he was 45. When I was in New York City, Dale Brown was great friends with my dad, and my dad got him a player by the name of Jose Vargas from the Dominican Republic. He said, ‘Bring your son to our camp.’ I went my freshman year, sophomore year, junior year and senior year. One thing I noticed, the heat in Baton Rouge is unbelievable. The camp was the whole month of June. Dale is a mentor of mine. He’s always been good to me. He’s recommended me for a lot of jobs.”

Brown wasn’t the only Louisiana coach Cabrera referenced Thursday, paying his respects to longtime Demon head coach Mike McConathy.

“Mike McConathy is a guy I followed in my Division I career,” Cabrera said. “He was a heck of a coach. One of my assistant coaches, who was in this league last year, came up to me in my first year at Tallahassee in the middle of the season. We were struggling on getting some offense early in the shot clock. He came up to me and said, ‘Coach, listen, I was at Southeastern Louisiana. That coach at Northwestern State, I can’t remember his name, but he had an unbelievable secondary break, a roller replace secondary break. They scored really quickly. At some point, they led the country in scoring (2014-15). I don’t have an ego. I steal from everybody in the coaching community. I said, ‘OK, let’s try it. As a head coach, I’m going to allow you to put it in.’ He put it in and our offense was like, ‘Pop.’ It changed in a day.

“Thank you, coach McConathy. I appreciate that. Your legacy is still here. As an assistant coach, I watched you win a lot. I look forward to talking to you in the near future.”

Photo: Chris Reich/NSU Photographic Services

Severe weather risk through Friday for the Sabine area

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for our four state area of southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, eastern Texas and southeast Oklahoma.

DAY ONE…This afternoon and tonight.

Showers and thunderstorms will develop across our I-30 corridor this afternoon, continuing into the evening and overnight hours. Small hail and gusty winds will be possible in extreme southeast Oklahoma and adjacent areas.

DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…Friday through Wednesday.

Thunderstorm chances will increase on Friday and Friday night. Scattered severe storms will be possible along and north of the I-20 corridor, with numerous severe storms possible across southern Arkansas. Tornadoes, damaging winds, and large hail will be possible.

More thunderstorms will impact much of the ArkLaTex during the day Sunday, overnight into early Monday, and again Tuesday. Storms which develop on Tuesday will have the potential to become severe across areas along and north of I-20, especially southeast Oklahoma and southwest Arkansas.

Blessed: Heavenly Solution

It may sound a little unbelievable to admit this and it completely goes against human nature. Most people are not fond of this. But Monday is my absolute favorite day of the week. Monday’s hold so much promise and innocence. Typically nothing stressful has occurred yet and even though your calendar may be full its just always a wonderful day to start afresh.

I enter every Monday with wide-eyed optimism because that is the day that all of my Podcasts update. Sunday night, I am like a child waiting for Christmas morning.

One of the podcast that grabbed my attention lately was one hosted by Dr. Tony Evans. There isn’t much that leaves his lips that is not complete Biblical wisdom and sometimes humorous. On this particular episode he was talking about the power of prayer. He simply mentioned that our earthly problems have heavenly solutions. It literally stopped me in my tracks.

He went on to say that when we try to solve our earthly problems with earthly solutions it never works out. Again, I was just in awe of this simple statement. There have been countless times that I attempt to solve my own problems without even consulting our Heavenly father. This week I was faced with an earthly problem that I was going to remedy on my own. This is what strong, independent and prideful women do. Right?

The more I thought about my problem I decided that I would check with God on his promises of hearing our prayers. Sure, I have prayed numerous times before with amazing results but this time I was simply a little tired of running my own problem solving campaign. I really needed a heavenly solution. I needed a heavenly partnership. I started praying on Monday of this week.

I reminded God of the timeline. I mean, I hate to be pushy but we had a deadline of the weekend approaching. As I was sitting my desk fielding business emails and phone calls I received my answer in one of the emails. Just a casual, friendly email that answered all of my problems in fell swoop….problem solved. Immediately I shared the news with my coworkers and then shared it with my daughters when I got home. Everyone had the same reaction.

Teary-eyed optimism at my heavenly solution that actually came two days early. While I am used to God sliding in a the very last minute, this time he answered with a two day cushion.

God is so faithful. He is so loving. He is so kind. We are the ones who complicate his love and his heavenly answers for our earthly problems. I encourage to bring him all of your worries and all of your cares. He has not disappointment me yet. I am so thankful that he puts up with my self-induced drama and pity parties which are brought on by trying to solve my earthly problems without his assistance. Where would be without his patience and love?

“Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken.” – Psalms 62:5-6

“The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

$199 million paid in retirement income to Central Louisiana residents in FY 2022

The latest economic impact report from the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL) shows that retirement dollars are fueling regional economies across Louisiana. 
In Fiscal Year 2022, TRSL provided $199 million in retirement income to retirees and beneficiaries in Central Louisiana (see chart below for a parish-by-parish breakdown). Statewide, TRSL retirees took home $2 billion. 
 Other highlights from the report:
  • TRSL pensions support approximately 15,507 Louisiana jobs and more than $719 million in income.

  • TRSL has invested more than $1.1 billion in companies that do business in Louisiana, supporting economic and job growth in the state.

  • Almost 90% of the retirement dollars TRSL pays out goes to individuals who live in Louisiana, where they buy local goods and services.

  • Less than a penny of every dollar spent at TRSL is for administrative expenses. TRSL provides a high level of service at a low cost.

Preparing for a national championship event

Bass fishermen are always dreaming of participating in a national championship. The ultimate event and goal of all anglers from the day they’re born is to be in the Bassmaster Classic, the Super Bowl of bass fishing, the crown jewel, an event that draws anglers from all over the world.

There are so many tournament trails of all levels, and most have a path by which you can qualify for either a regional or a national championship event. Today you’ll get to hear how I, and so many other anglers, prepare for a championship event. 

Coming up next week on beautiful Red River out of Red River South Marina just south of Bossier City, one such event will be taking place — the ABA Ray Scott National Championship. This is a tournament that an angler must qualify for by finishing in the top five in the Angler of the Year standings in one of 16 divisions nationwide from New York down to Florida over to Texas and all points in between. It truly is a national circuit with some great anglers.                                                        

For the last month, anglers including myself have been on the unpredictable and ever-changing Red River despite the high, cold, and muddy water. Now why would anglers be looking for fish two months in advance when the tournament doesn’t start until April 1?

With most major national championships, there’s what’s called a dead water period. This rule states that no angler can be on the Red River nor receive any information starting at sunset on March 1 until sunrise on April 1. This rule is in place so that local anglers don’t have an unfair advantage over those coming from all parts of the country. So, before this dead water period begins, anglers are looking for good backwater areas that have some fairly clean water that might still be holding bass at the start of the tournament. 

After the dead water period is over (sunrise April 1), it’s tournament time. For this event we’ll have four official practice days followed by four competition days.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to practice. Some anglers go out and fish just like they would in a tournament by hooking all the fish they can and seeing how big they are. Then there are anglers like me who refuse to hook a bass and will put some form of plastic tubing over their hooks to make sure they do not hook fish that they might catch during the actual tournament.

There’s also a thing called “sore mouthing” fish which is when you hook fish a day or two before the tournament.  These fish probably will not bite for another three or four days unless it’s during the spawn when bass will bite multiple times in one day. It all depends on the time of year.                                                            

For this angler, I’ll be looking for areas holding several schools of bass while looking for quality. Having multiple schools in an area is great, but only if they are bass with good size that allows me to be competitive. Small bass, known as “dinks,” will not put you in the winner’s circle in any event.

My tournament history on the Red River has shown that you need several areas that you can rotate to, especially with this event being four days. With over 100 anglers participating, there’s a lot of pressure on the fish and a lot of anglers will find the same schools. That’s why it’s important to find as many schools of bass as possible, in multiple locations, so that you don’t burn all your fish on the first or second day of competition.                             

After four days of practice, it’s time to go to work. This is when all those long days on the water hopefully pay off. Bass fishing tends to reward those anglers who put in the long hours of practice and preparation; long days starting at 5 a.m., fishing hard until the sun goes down.

There’s a saying among all anglers, “There’s no substitute for time on the water.” Anglers that follow this golden rule tend to be the most successful.

The final challenge for any angler that has a major tournament on his home water is the mental side. The problem is that you have so much history and know too many places to go and catch fish. For example, if the spot you start on does not pay off, you start to second-guess your game plan. It’s hard to win on your home water. There’s more self-inflicted pressure to contend with for the win because you’re the local favorite.

My goal is to try and take it one day and one fish at a time and hopefully be in contention on the final day. Fish the moment!

If you get the chance, come out to the daily weigh-in April 5-8 starting at 3 p.m. at Red River South Marina located off U.S. 71 just south of Bossier City. I’m looking forward to seeing you there and hopefully you’ll see me standing in the winner’s circle. Good luck, good fishing, and wear your sunscreen! 

Contact Steve at sgraf26@yahoo.com

Many Annual Autism Awareness Walk

Many will be holding its sixth annual Autism Awareness Walk in April, which is Autism Awareness Month. It will be held at the Many Community Center, 11am on April 1. Participants are encouraged to gather their teams, design their shirts, and support the awareness walk. 

LAST CHANCE: Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival EARLY BIRD TICKET sale ends this week!


THIS WEEK IS YOUR LAST CHANCE to secure your 2023 tickets at the lowest price possible for the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival on May 12th & 13th.

The Early Bird sale ends March 31st at 11:59 pm!

Buy tickets and be entered in the Steel Magnolia’s Getaway Giveaway!

VIP ticket buyers will be entered into an exclusive VIP Giveaway to be announced! STAY TUNED!

Get your tickets & enter the giveaway here:


CID Phone Outage Update

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office 318-590-9475 (CID & Sheriff) number continues to have limited capabilities at this time.
Calls cannot be transferred, and there is just one line available. The problem should be fixed by the end of the week.
They will make every effort to contact callers with the correct person when they call. If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

Politicians and diapers

There are many differences between the French and Americans. Over here, it’s common for conservatives to look down on European nations, reserving greater amounts of agitation for Parisians and their fellow countrymen and women. 

You know the jokes. The ones about the white flags. The ones about World War II. The ones about Freedom Fries. Etc. Tensions reached an all-time high about 20 years ago when they wouldn’t join in a war that turned out to be as false as they said it was. No WMDs. And Iraq, as well as the entire Middle East, is more unstable now than at any point in modern history. A lot of good men and women died. 

We have differences. And they extend beyond drinking hot brown water and eating snails. 

But there’s one area in which we could learn a lot from the nation across the Pond. 

They know how to stand up for themselves, and they know their government works for them and not the other way around. The French have always held their politicians accountable. These are the people that invented the guillotine and went on a bloody rampage against the king and queen and nobility a few hundred years ago because of the greed and apathy of the ruling class. 

Currently, the French are having nationwide protests because of workers’ rights and governmental lunacy. This is a standard operating procedure for French citizens when they don’t like what their government is doing. And as a result, the French enjoy a much better standard of living than us and have happier lives because they will take nothing less. I saw a video of a garbage truck full of trash being dumped on a politician’s yard because of the politician’s policy stances. The nation is at a standstill because its people will not budge. 

Meanwhile, over here in little Louisiana, a state with deep French roots, we’ve got a politician pushing a bill that would triple legislator pay. Being a politician shouldn’t be a career. Politicians shouldn’t be deified and made celebrities and asked for autographs and have rallies celebrating them. 

In a society long ago, politicians and actors were treated relatively poorly because they didn’t add much value to society. Somewhere along the way, Americans changed and actors and politicians went from being our servants to our overlords. 

We need to be more like the French in our view of elected officials. They shouldn’t talk down to us. They shouldn’t look down on us. They work for us. 

The old joke goes politicians are like diapers. They should both be changed often and for the same reasons. 

Josh Beavers is a teacher and a writer. He has been recognized five times for excellence in opinion writing by the Louisiana Press Association. 

LAST CHANCE: Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival EARLY BIRD TICKET sale ends this week!


THIS WEEK IS YOUR LAST CHANCE to secure your 2023 tickets at the lowest price possible for the Natchitoches Jazz/R&B Festival on May 12th & 13th.

The Early Bird sale ends March 31st at 11:59 pm!

Buy tickets and be entered in the Steel Magnolia’s Getaway Giveaway!

VIP ticket buyers will be entered into an exclusive VIP Giveaway to be announced! STAY TUNED!

Get your tickets & enter the giveaway here:


Murder suspect turns himself in after shooting that claimed life of Sabine Parish man

Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Stuart Wright has announced that Jacoby Javon ‘Cobi’ Forte, 20 of Mansfield, wanted in connection with the shooting death of Jalan Dunte McGee on March 26 in Powhatan turned himself in at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center at approximately 12:45pm.
Forte accompanied by his Shreveport attorney was administered miranda warnings, processed, and booked in the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center charged with 1-Count of Second Degree Murder and 1-Count of Illegal Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Felony.
No bond has been set pending a 72-hour judicial hearing.
Detectives traveled to Shreveport this morning for the autopsy, continue to interview potential witnesses and gather evidence as the investigation remains active and ongoing.
No further information will be released at this time.
Detectives ask that if you have any information to please contact them at the NPSO Criminal Investigations Bureau at 318-357-7830.
Case Agents:
Detective Sgt. Craig LaCour
Detective Lt. Jonathon Byles
NPSO Criminal Investigations
The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office thanks Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office, DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office, Crime Stoppers of Natchitoches, the public and our media partners for your assistance during this ongoing investigation.
The investigative file when completed will be turned over to Natchitoches Parish District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington’s Office for review.

The magic of sticking together

Standing in line for more than two hours in a receiving line at the funeral home, not just standing in line but moving in line and sharing in line and encouraging in line — living in line — gives you time to think.

For starters, even though you don’t know everyone in line and they don’t know you, you feel a part of a greater good, a part of the force that was this life and this family you are here to honor. This one life, in ways special to each of us, touched all these people and hundreds more who couldn’t be here.

The emotional mix is stunning: the uncomfortable feeling of loss and unfairness, and at the same time gratitude for being able to count among your friends this life that radiated a deep and unselfish goodness.

It’s early spring and yet so many are going through a storm. There will always be storms but if you live long enough, they will now and then come one right after the other and you can’t keep the pieces all picked up, for yourself or for your friends. You are tying but more pieces keep falling. Breaking.

Mercy at the loss lately, and the threat of more loss. It all combines to remind me how little control we have, and how I am blind at times to things I do have control over. Which is pathetic. Sad. I am waiting in line to hug the family of a friend who was a master of doing the little things. I’m not sure he even thought so much about it. He just did them. He was aware that he had control over these little actions. He knew they made the difference.

And the difference is real, because all these people are around me. To thank him.

You can make someone happier today. You can. It might be paying for coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive-thru, or it might be calling an old friend, or thanking your Sunday school teacher, or the custodian who keeps your building clean, or the boss who signs the checks.

You ever color a picture and send it to someone for no reason? I do. It’s stupid. But it’s a surprise, and they’ll always call to thank you, because for one moment an ordinary day held a silly surprise for them, and only heaven knows how those kinds of things make a difference, but they do.

I’ve heard these things called “the smallest acts of love.” Remind someone how strong they’ve been. Compliment them for whatever makes them them. Praise. Encourage. Smile. These little things add up.

Our friend we lost, he did lots of big things. Beautiful things. He made the world prettier, literally. But when I think of him — and this has been for years, not just now — I am always left with how he made me feel. He had plenty to do but when we were together, he was present. Honest. Funny without meaning to be because he was just him. A friend.

We are all just people but somehow, we have the gift inside that, if we share it, has the potential to help a sister or brother over the next hill. The smallest thing, if it’s real, can be the thing that holds up, can be the stuff that works. The smallest thing can make a difference.

And that’s when, in the middle of the storms, the miracles show up. In the smallest, most sincere acts. One thoughtful moment, one honest ear to listen or hand to hold. Be present and be ready. We need you. You can make the difference that makes the difference for someone today, and the difference for today can make the difference for forever.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu or Twitter @MamaLuvsManning

Ready, Aim, PULL!

Caddo, Bossier, Claiborne, Desoto, Red River, Sabine and Webster Parish Farm Bureaus are teaming up to host the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation Sporting Clays Shootout on Friday, April 7 from 7:30 am – 3:30 pm to raise money for a good cause.


Each team must designate a team captain upon registration. 4-H Teams designate a coach as captain. Youth teams include 4th-8th grade and 9th-12th grade. Adult teams, ages 18 and up.

PLEASE PRE-REGISTER. All shooters pre-registered by March 15th will be entered into a drawing for a $500 store credit to DeSoto Town & Country. We must receive your registration by March 15th to enter you into the drawing. You must be present during the drawing to win.

Please send check payable to Caddo Parish Farm Bureau, and mail to: Caddo Parish Farm Bureau, 8640 Business Park Dr. Shreveport, LA 71105


20 stations, 100 shots, $135 per person/$540 per team Ammo available for purchase

Meal provided for all shoot participants. Shooters must provide their own gun, ammunition, gear and protective eye and ear wear. Personal Utility Vehicles welcome, but 4-wheelers are not allowed. Golf carts will be available for $85 if pre-ordered with registration. Ammunition will be available for purchase at the event.


Chris Long by email at chrisl@lfbf.org or by phone at 318-210-4254


All proceeds of the event will support Farm Bureau causes, including the following:

The Louisiana Farm Bureau Foundation awards scholarships each year to eligible graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue degrees in agriculture at Louisiana universities. Since 1993, we have awarded 175 scholarships for a total of $440,000 to aid our future generation of farmers and ranchers.

The Louisiana Ag in the Classroom Foundation provides funding for the Louisiana Ag in the Classroom (AITC) program. The purpose of the AITC program is to increase understanding of agriculture and instill an appreciation for our renewable food, fiber and fuel systems through education. The main way we accomplish this is through showing teachers how to use agriculture in teaching core subjects, such as math, science and social studies.

DOTD to install flashing yellow left turn arrow traffic signals in Sabine Parish

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development announces the first of two projects to install the flashing yellow left turn arrow traffic signals in the central region.

The first project (Part 1) includes the installation of the foundation, mast arm, and signal work for 30 locations in Natchitoches, Avoyelles, Sabine, Vernon and Winn Parishes. These upgraded signals will only be installed at intersections where a protected left turn (left turn arrow) and designated left turn lane already exist.

Locations for flashing yellow left turn arrow signals in Sabine include:

LA 6 (San Antonio Ave.) @ US 171 (Hill St.)
US 171 @ LA 474 (Port Arthur)

Currently, the contractor for the $2.8 million project is installing concrete foundations for the new mast arms that hold traffic signals at various locations. Motorists can expect to see the new signals operational in the next few months.

The second project (Part 2) – anticipated to go to bid in April 2024 – includes signal upgrades in Rapides Parish. Please note that letting dates are often subject to change based on a variety of factors.

Flashing yellow arrow signal indications feature a flashing yellow arrow, in addition to the traditional red, yellow, and green signals.

When illuminated, the flashing yellow arrow allows waiting motorists to perform a left-hand turn after yielding to oncoming traffic.

Oncoming traffic has a green light, so drivers must wait for a safe gap in the oncoming traffic before turning.

Flashing yellow arrow signals provide more opportunities for motorists to make a left-hand turn and reduce delays when traffic is light.

Motorists will eventually encounter the new flashing yellow arrows on all state-maintained traffic signals across Louisiana where a protected left turn already exists, as part of a federal standard for implementation of the signals.

For more information on flashing yellow arrows, click here. To watch a video explaining the operation of the new signals, click here.

Britton’s Grandfather’s Photo

Britton set a goal for himself that would terrify the toughest of people.  He wanted to become the youngest person to climb the tallest mountains on each of the world’s continents, what mountain climbers refer to as the “Seven Summits.”  At the time, less than 100 people had ever accomplished this feat.  When asked why he would make such an attempt, Britton said, “I dreamed of throwing myself at a goal, at a challenge that seemed so insurmountable in the face of the odds, that I was willing to risk death in the name of success.”  By 2001, Britton had climbed Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, and Kilimanjaro, four of the seven highest mountains.  By 2004, Britton had conquered Mount Kosciuszko in Australia.  In January of 2004, Britton reached the summit of Vinson, the tallest mountain in Antarctica.  On January 23, on the day Britton returned home to Greenwich, Connecticut, his 76-year-old beloved grandfather, Bob, died.  Britton was crushed.  

Britton had just one more mountain to go to become the youngest person to reach each of the Seven Summits, Mount Everest.  Within weeks of tackling Vinson, as he began packing for Earth’s highest mountain above sea level, Mount Everest, Britton’s thoughts kept returning to his grandfather.  “His memory will be pushing me to strive even harder than I’ve ever strived before,” he said.  “He really just pushed me to push the boundaries and seek the outer limits of whatever I was doing.”  To honor his grandfather, Britton packed a photo of Bob to take to the summit of Mount Everest. 

Finally, in March of 2004, Britton began his climb up Mount Everest with Bob’s photo in his pack.  For two months, Britton and his team struggled through winds which reached up to 125 miles per hour, had to use ladders tied to each other to cross 50-foot deep and 30-foot-wide crevasses, and, had to wear oxygen masks when the air became too thin to breath.  At one point, a falling boulder barely missed hitting his face by only a few inches.  On May 24, Britton became the youngest person at the time to reach the Seven Summits.  While atop the summit, Britton removed his grandfather’s photo from his pack and carefully buried it on Mount Everest.      

Britton grandfather was certainly an inspiration to his grandson Britton, but he also inspired and entertained millions of children on television.  From 1948-1952, he was Clarabell the Clown on the “Howdy Doody Show.” From 1953-1955 he was Corny the Clown on “Time for Fun,” and from 1954-1955 he was Tinker the Toymaker on “Tinker’s Workshop.”  From 1955 to 1985, Bob hosted a children’s television program for which he is most remembered.  The photo which remains atop mount Everest is of Britton Keeshan’s grandfather, Robert James “Bob” Keeshan, but you and I know Bob as Captain Kangaroo.


1.     Ledger-Enquirer, January 29, 2004, p.2.
2.     The Sentinel, February 3, 2004, p.33.
3.     Rutland Daily Herald, May 27, 2004, p.16.
4.     Daily Record, June 10, 2004, p.1.
5.     “Britton Keeshan ’00 Recounts Seven Summits Quest at All-School Meeting, The Phillipian, accessed March 25, 2023. net/2005/10/25/britton-keeshan-00-recounts-seven-summits-quest-at-all-school-meeting/

Baseball and Softball District Standings

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

District – Overall
Red River 0-0 10-9
Mansfield 0-0 3-3
Many 0-0 10-11
Winnfield 0-0 8-11
Jonesboro-Hodge 0-0 2-9
Lakeview 0-0 0-12-1

District – Overall
Converse 4-0 16-2
Stanley 4-0 12-11
Negreet 0-2 2-7
Zwolle 0-4 3-15
Florien 0-2 1-13


District – Overall
Hornbeck 2-0 8-5
Evans 2-1 4-9
Simpson 1-1 5-10
Ebarb 1-3 6-10
Pleasant Hill 0-1 0-3


Tuesday, March 28, 2023

District – Overall
Many 2-0 16-10
Mansfield 1-1 8-5
Red River 1-1 10-8
Winnfield 1-1 10-11
Jonesboro-Hodge 0-1 5-8
Lakeview 0-1 0-11

District – Overall
Converse 1-0 18-4
Florien 1-0 15-7
Negreet 0-0 14-5
Zwolle 0-1 12-6
Stanley 0-1 8-15


District – Overall
Evans 4-0 9-7
Hornbeck 3-1 6-9
Simpson 3-2 4-9
Ebarb 1-3 1-9
Pleasant Hill 0-5 2-12