Many goes the distance to win slugfest with Avoyelles

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A game that was expected to be very physical and hard hitting was all that, and more, in a slugfest Friday night between Class 2A stalwarts settled in the final seconds.

The Many Tigers scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute, then held off the previously undefeated Avoyelles Mustangs to earn a 34-30 victory at John W. Curtis Stadium.

Many improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in District 3-2A. Avoyelles fell to a 6-1 record, 3-1 in district. Avoyelles entered the night No. 2 statewide in the all-important LHSAA Class 2A power points rankings, one spot ahead of No. 3 Many, who will doubtlessly move up.  

Jayvion Smart’s interception on a desperate halfback pass on the game’s final play locked down the win for the Tigers, who are No. 1 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A top 10 media poll.

Tackett Curtis scored on a 15-yard run with 59 seconds left, and London Williams added a two-point conversion run for the third and final lead change in the showdown.

This game was all it was hyped up to be. Each team scored in every quarter. Avoyelles totalled 302 yards, six more than Many.  It was intense, a playoff-type atmosphere and as physical a football game as you’ll find.

On the first play from scrimmage, Avoyelles’ star running back Carlos Bazert was brought down on a bone-crushing tackle by Curtis, a preview of things to come.

Despite that, the Mustangs marched 71 yards in eight plays, ending with a 3-yard touchdown run by Bazert. Avoyelles tacked on the two-point conversion to go up 8-0 with 7:28 left in the first quarter.

On their first possession, the Tigers matched the Mustangs drive with one of their own: an eight-play, 61-yard scoring drive, highlighted by a fourth-down Trent Williams 44=yard scamper. It concluded with a 3-yard London Williams TD run. The conversion failed, however, and the Tigers trailed 8-6 with 2:17 left in the opening quarter.

Avoyelles answered immediately. After four running plays netted the Mustangs 11 yards, quarterback Nick Casugay found Decareyn Sampson down the right sideline for a 63-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter. The conversion was good, putting the Mustangs up 16-6 with 11:50 to go in the half.

The Tigers were stopped after seven plays on their next possession, being shut down on a fourth-and-1 as London Williams was halted at the line of scrimmage. But the Many defense picked up the slack.

On the ensuing Mustangs drive, Casugay was sacked and fumbled. The Tigers’ Swayze Carheel picked up the loose ball and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown. London Williams added the conversion to bring Many within 16-14 with 3:22 left in the half.

Avoyelles’ next possession ended on the fourth play when a hard hit from the Tigers defense forcing another fumble, this one recovered by Keaton Montgomery. From the visitors’ 22-yard line, it took the Tigers only three plays to score, this time on a 2-yard run from London Williams. Although the conversion failed, with 36 seconds left in the half the Tigers were up 20-16.

The opening drive of the third quarter featured Many’s running attack featuring London and Trent Williams and highlighted by a 47-yard scamper by Curtis. Trent Williams capped the drive with a 5=yard run. The extra point was no good, but the Tigers led 26-16.

Another Avoyelles fumble set up the Tigers with great field position but the drive ended on a fourth-down stop by the Mustangs on the 6-yard line. One snap later, the Mustangs’ Sampson dashed 92 yards for a touchdown. Adding a two-point  conversion, Avoyelles drew within 26-24 with 33 seconds left in the third.

The visitors quickly took the lead. Just 58 seconds into the final quarter, the Mustangs defense answered Carheel’s earlier fumble return TD with one of their own.  Sampson scooped and scored on a London Williams fumble that was returned 36 yards for the lead, 30-26 with 11:02 left in the game.

The Tigers responded but couldn’t cash in. Many made a long march down the field only to be stopped after eight plays on a Trent Williams fumble at the 8-yard line, with 6:45 left.

The Tiger defense rose to the occasion, creating a fourth-and-12 situation when nearly every team in the country would punt from deep in their own end of the field. But Avoyelles never punts, and the Tiger defense stopped them well short of the first down, taking over with a short field on the Mustangs’ 26-yard line with 3:08 left.

Getting a critical third-down conversion, Curtis picked up a first down on an 8-yard run, the capped the decisive series on his 15-yard touchdown run. London Williams added the conversion lifting the Tigers up 34-30 with 59 seconds left.

It wasn’t over. Avoyelles returned the kickoff to the 50-yard line. The Mustangs gained 9 yards on three plays, but grinded the clock down to one second for a last chance from the 41. Smart intercepted Casugay on the last play of the game to allow Many to escape with a 34-30 win.

Curtis spearheaded the Tiger defense with 10 tackles, and many of them could be heard all over the stadium. Tylen Singleton and Carheel each registered four tackles.

Scoring Summary

1st Quarter

7:28, A: Carlos Bazert 3 run, Bazert conversion, Avoyelles 8-0

2:17 M: London Williams run, conversion failed, Avoyelles 8-6

2nd Quarter

11:50 A: Nick Casugay 63 pass to Decareyn Sampson, Bazert conversion, Avoyelles 16-6

3:22 M: Swayze Carheel 58 fumble return, L. Williams conversion, Avoyelles 16-14

0:36 M: Trent Williams 2 run, conversion failed, Many 20-16

3rd Quarter

7:59 M: T. Williams 5 run, conversion failed, Many 26-16

0:33 A:  Sampson 92 run, Bazert conversion, Many 26-24

4th Quarter

11:02 A: Sampson 36 fumble return, conversion failed, Avoyelles 30-26

0:59 M: Tackett Curtis 15 run, L. Williams conversion, Many 34-30

Player Stats:

Passing: M – Curtis 1-3, 19 yards

                A – Casugay  2-4, 92 yards, 1 TD

Rushing: M – Curtis 7-106, 1 TD; L.Williams 24-91, 1 TD, T. Williams, 15-80, 2 TDs

                 A – 36-210, 2 TDs

Receiving: M – L. Williams 1-19

                  A – 2-92, 1 TD

Tackles – Curtis 10, Tylen Singleton 4, Carheel 4

Town of Many Receives Grants for Concerts, Cops, and Kids

Many Mayor Robert Hable is all smiles as multiple grants have been received to help the Town with delivering the Arts, security, and other services.

The Town of Many has received quite a few grants in the past few months totaling $139,329 with most programs slated to begin next year.  The popular Many Cultural District’s “Music in Many” program has received $7,026 from two grantors: the Central Louisiana Community Foundation for $1,500, and the Louisiana Project Grant, formerly known as the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, for $ 5,526. The Cultural District is planning on two music shows next year along with daytime performances by the Shreveport Opera’s traveling group geared toward high school students. A world-renowned poet will round out the schedule with readings and workshops for students and adults. 

Mayor Robert Hable had this to say about the grants, “The Town of Many is continually looking outside the box for grant opportunities to enrich the lives of our citizens.”

Two grants for $1,140 each were received from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation for historical markers for the KCS Depot and the Sabine High school. These properties were placed on the National Historical Register in 2000 and 2020, respectively, and the KCS sign will be installed in the near future. The Town is still awaiting delivery of the sign for Sabine High School but it will be installed upon arrival.

Just last week, the Town was notified that a grant for $49,475 has been awarded by the Northwest Law Enforcement Planning Agency, Inc., (NWLEPA) to help the Town’s Police Department pay for the School Resource Officer assigned to SPARK, but the funding date will not start until next fiscal year. The same agency also provided the Police Department with $1,140 for trauma kits for each police car and camera equipment to aid criminal investigations.

Hable also stated, “I am ecstatic that we were able to secure a grant to keep our children safe in school with a Many PD Resource Officer by partnering with NWLEPA, the Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office and the School Board.”

Senator Louie Bernard went to bat for the Town during this past spring’s legislative session and was able to secure two appropriations for a total of $70,000. The Sabine Many Museum, that is progressing toward opening early next year, will receive $25,000 to complete needed repairs and to acquire displays. The town was able to purchase its own debris removal equipment for $45,000, which will save taxpayers money on contract services after the next storm that causes fallen trees and limbs.

The Town also received a grant from the Louisiana Government Assistance Program (LGAP) for a fire hydrant maintenance and repair program for $9,408 and is still waiting to hear whether or not the Community Water Enrichment Fund (CWEF) will be granted with proceeds going toward paying for a new clear well ground storage water tank at the water plant west of town. Last year the town’s grant writer was able to get a scope of work change approved by the state for LGAP money awarded in 2019 in the amount of $35,000 to also help pay for the new water storage tank. The cost to replace the current 175,000-gallon tank is around one-half million dollars.

Other grants that have been applied for or that are in process, but will not be awarded until next year include: Capital Outlay through the State; Water Sector Program Grant, specifically for water and sewer projects; and the Community Development Block Grant, which has also been dedicated to the Town’s water and sewer infrastructure improvements. Projects written under these grants total more than $15Million and will allow the Town to bring the aging water and sewer infrastructure into the 21st century. 

Hable went on to say that, “The Town of Many sincerely thanks our Senator and all of the grantors listed above that have helped us in providing services, security, and entertainment for our residents and visitors alike.”

Communities Talk: Starting Local Conversations About Preventing Underage Drinking

According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), we as a nation have seen a decrease over the past 15 years in the percentage of 12- to 20-year-olds who report any lifetime alcohol use: 56.2 percent in 2002 down to 41.0 percent in 2017. However, Sabine Parish has a way to go in this area.
The 2018 Caring Communities Youth Survey (CCYS) data reveals that Sabine Parish students reported the following for lifetime alcohol use: 6th grade 22.6%, 8th grade 48.8%, 10th grade 55.2% and 12th grade 53.8 %. For drinking in the past 30 days, 6th grade reported 9.2%, 8th grade 21.5%, 10th grade 37% and 12th 18%. Binge drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks at one sitting. Sabine 6th graders reported binge drinking at 5.4%, 8th graders 16.1 %, 10th graders 26.1% and Seniors at 18.4%.
The Sabine Prevention Alliance (SPA) a community led coalition is working toward increasing awareness of our underage drinking problem through increasing awareness of students, parents, teachers, church groups and citizens serving youth. One of the SPA’s evidence-based strategies is the SAMHSA Communities Talk town hall meeting. This month SPA will sponsor its second round of annual town hall meetings in Many to include Florien and Negreet and in Zwolle to include Ebarb Converse and Pleasant Hill. The purpose of the Communities Talk is to bring together the various community sectors to discuss the Caring Communities Youth Survey Data and to develop strategies that we can employ to prevent and reduce our underage drinking problem.
SAMHSA’s initiative, Communities Talk Town Hall Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking began in 2006 with the goal of bringing together stakeholders ranging from parents to law enforcement and educators to elected officials–anyone with an interest in preventing underage alcohol use and high-risk drinking among youth and young adults. Last year’s meetings were well attended, and this year SPA is again partnering with the towns of Many and Zwolle. An addition to this year will include the Sabine Parish Student Drama Club and the Choctaw Apache Rising Sun Youth group who will provide a youth let introduction to our topics of discussion.
A panel of community sector leaders will discuss the top four risk factors identified by our children and youth in the 2018 CCYS data, will listen to input from local citizens and will help develop strategies that we, as a community can implement to reduce and prevent this problem. The panel is composed of representatives from the school system, local and parish law enforcement, business, human service agencies, faith-based organizations, parents and youth. Last year’s meetings produced the following recommendations:
1. Talk with your kids, they will listen. Before going to hang out with friends, before the camping trip, before the sleepover, before the game, before the prom, do not preach, threaten, coax, nag…………. just talk with them and they will listen.
2. Be clear with your expectations and walk what you talk.
3. Volunteer to support and help with positive activities for our children and youth provided by our schools, churches, organizations, tribes and towns in Sabine Parish.
4. Talk with law enforcement, DA and Courts about having clear and consistent consequences for underage drinking and adults who enable.
5. Volunteer to help with projects such as the Communities Talk town hall meetings and other youth focused activities.
6. Learn more about the Sabine Prevention Alliance to see how you can make a difference.
What’s In this for You?
If you are interested in learning more about what is going on with our children and youth, the risk factors they face and the protective factors that help keep them safe, sober, and successful, invite a friend or two to attend one of the Communities Talk Town Hall Meetings scheduled for Thursday, October 21st at the First United Methodist Church in Many and/or the Zwolle Festival Grounds Multipurpose Building in Zwolle on October 28th. Both meetings begin at 6:00 and will last about an hour.
This message was brought to you by the Sabine Prevention Alliance in partnership with Northwest La. Human Services District and LA Office of Behavioral Health, the towns of Many and Zwolle. The SPA is our local volunteer coalition dedicated to preventing and reducing underage drinking and other high-risk behaviors in our Parish. Come join us!, 318-315-0081, Facebook/ Sabine Prevention Alliance and Instagram

This Week’s Browse the Bend!

The Sabine Parish Journal is excited to bring you the main events happening throughout the parish and on the lake this week! It’s fall and that means fall fun for everyone! The Bend is packed with fun events for every age group! 

October 20th:

Young at Art Painting Class with Shanna Dees Gaspard at Sabine Council on Aging will be held Wednesday, October 20th at 1:00 pm. Don’t forget to bring your own canvas!

Painting classes are held at the Many location on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.

Phone number: 
Event Location: 
Sabine Council on Aging
200 Legacy Drive
ManyLA 71449
October 22nd:

Vintage Market Days presents Forever Vintage at the Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds on October 22-24 from 10 am – 4 pm. There will be vintage items, vintage-inspired, architectural salvage, repurposed finds, jewelry & clothing, live music & food trucks. Admission is $15 on Friday, $10 on Saturday & $5 on Sunday. Tickets are good for re-entry all weekend. Children 12 & under are free.

Event Location: 
Beauregard Parish Fairgrounds
506 West Drive
October 23rd:
Zwolle Marketplace will be held at Pat’s Place in Zwolle from 9 am – 4 pm; The market will have a variety of vendors. Call or text Stephanie at 318-521-0961 for more information.
Phone number: 
Event Location: 
Pat’s Place
21340 Hwy. 191
ZwolleLA 71486

Justin Hewitt Band will be performing at Beer Time on Saturday, October 23rd at 9:00 pm. There is a $10 cover charge.

Phone number: 
Event Location: 
Beer Time
206 E Port Arthur Street
ConverseLA 71419

The Sabine Freestate Festival is pleased to announce the 41st Annual Miss Sabine Freestate Pageant is scheduled for Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 10 am – 6 pm. Keeping safety in mind, we are planning to have a morning competition for the Baby Miss through Little Miss and an afternoon competition for Jr. Miss through Miss. Please note that this is subject to change depending upon state and/or federal COVID-19 guidelines.

For more information, please visit 2021 Miss Sabine Freestate Festival Pageant’s Facebook page. 

Event Location: 
Sabine Freestate Festival Grounds

Polk Street Market will be held Saturday, October 23, 2021 from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm. Local artisans, crafts, produce, food trucks, children’s activities, gospel music & live band.Free parking & free admission! 

For more information or vendor application, contact or call 318-510-8567.

Event Location: 
Court House Square
115 N. Washington

Calvary Baptist Church is hosting a Fall Fest & Pig Roast on Saturday, October 23rd beginning at 2:30 pm.

Phone number: 
(318) 256-2871
Event Location: 
Calvary Baptist Church
105 Peterson Street
ManyLA 71449

Fall Fest at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Florien is Sunday, October 24th at 5:00 pm.

Phone number: 
(318) 586-4680
Event Location: 
Mount Carmel Baptist Church
5049 Hwy 118
FlorienLA 71429
If you have an event you’d like added to the line-up, email the details to

Book Signing to be Held at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church

On Wednesday evening, October 27th at 6PM, there will be an exclusive book signing event to mark the official release of the book, Shreveport Martyrs of 1873: The Surest Path to Heaven. The book details the story of the heroic virtue of the five Martyrs of the Shreveport Epidemic of 1873, including the first priest of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church, Father Francois LeVezouet. The event will take place at the St John the Baptist hall in Many with the three authors giving a short talk about the experiences they had while writing the book. Everyone is invited to attend and welcome the authors, Rev Peter Mangum, Dr. Cheryl White and Ryan Smith. There will be a reception afterwards as well as an opportunity to purchase autographed books.  You don’t want to miss this special event!

Cane River Fall Festivities: Oakland Plantation Homecoming

Cane River National Heritage Area and the Cane River Creole National Historical Park will host the Cane River Fall Festivities throughout the month of October. Oakland Plantation residents welcomed visitors long before the National Park Service acquired it in 1997.

Join us on October 23, 2021, as the National Park Service welcomes former plantation residents and their descendants back home. Generations of the same families of workers, enslaved and tenant, and owners lived at Oakland Plantation for over 200 years. During self-guided tours from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm visitors will have the unique opportunity to visit and talk with former Oakland Plantation residents.

In addition, 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of the construction of the Oakland Plantation Main House. The tools of the enslaved carpenters, masons, and blacksmiths who built the house can be seen in a special commemorative exhibit. To remember the works of these craftspeople the park invites you to step into the past with skilled park rangers and park partners as you learn how to make bousillage, a traditional Creole building material, watch a blacksmith and experience the clang of the hammer on hot iron, view a special carpentry display, and visit the enslaved nanny’s room on the lower level of the Main House.

Demonstration Schedule

10:00 am – Creole Architecture: The Making of Bousillage
10:30 am – The Art of the Forge: A Blacksmith’s Workshop
11:00 am – Creole Architecture: The Making of Bousillage
11:30 am – Beneath the Surface: The Enslaved Nanny’s Room
12:00 pm – Beneath the Surface: The Enslaved Nanny’s Room
12:30 pm – The Art of the Forge: A Blacksmith’s Workshop
1:00 pm – Creole Architecture: The Making of Bousillage
1:30 pm – The Art of the Forge: A Blacksmith’s Workshop

There is no entrance fee at Oakland Plantation. All tours and activities are free. Oakland Plantation is located at 4386 Highway 494, Natchez La 71456. To reach Oakland Plantation, take I-49 to Exit 127, Flora/Cypress. Head east on LA Highway 120 toward Cypress. Cross over LA Highway 1 onto LA Highway 494. The parking lot and entrance pavilion for Oakland is 4.5 miles east of Highway 1 on the left.

Service organizations team up, increase collective impact thru food pantry donations

Honoring Joint Service Week (October 10-16), Rotary International collaborated with our friends at Kiwanis International, and Lions Clubs International to increase our collective impact through community service. A joyful collaboration among the three local organizations occurred on Friday, October 15. Each organization donated canned food items to restock the Natchitoches Cane River Food Pantry. In addition, Rotary donated $210 for Cane River Food Pantry Representative Donna Greene to use as needed for purchasing additional food items.

Pictured from left are Rotarians Lance Lopez and Jessica McGrath, Kiwanis President Kaitlyn Harris and Board Director Tiffany Woods, Greene, and Lions Club Member Josh Pierson.

The 2021 Natchitoches Christmas Festival Poster is from an Artist with Natchitoches Roots

The artist whose piece was chosen by the Natchitoches Arts Council as the official 2021 Natchitoches Christmas Festival poster is a young man with deep local roots and an incredible talent. Trevor Lucas, a 1997 NCHS Alumni, was chosen over a field of almost 30 artists from across Louisiana and several other states.

The 2021 Christmas Festival Poster was unveiled Sunday, October 17 at the Natchitoches Downtown Riverbank. Representatives from the Natchitoches Arts Council were joined by Mayor Ronnie Williams, councilpersons Dale Nielsen, Betty Sawyer-Smith and school board member Reba Phelps in welcoming Trevor Lucas home. Classmates of Mr. Lucas from the NCHS class of 1997 were also on hand as were members of his family.

The poster was unveiled by Miss Merry Christmas Julia Ferrell and the Christmas Belles. The piece incorporates traditional Christmas themes as well as those of Natchitoches and NSU. Trevor Lucas’ artistic talents have been evident since an early age. While still a student at NCHS, he was a two-time winner of the Gatorade Super Dome Classic poster for the LHSAA football playoffs, a truly remarkable achievement. Trevor Lucas is a visual artist, working in all forms of visual art with the sole exception of sculpture. He is also a television host and content creator. He makes his home with his family in Virginia Beach where he has resided and built his art business since his service in the US Navy after graduation from NCHS. He and his wife have one daughter who is an aeronautical engineering student.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal wishes to congratulate Trevor Lucas upon his being chosen as the winner of the Natchitoches Christmas Festival Poster Contest. His piece is superbly done and captures the spirit of the holidays perfectly.

Notice of Death – October 17, 2021

Emily Ann Dillard
August 23, 1936 – October 14, 2021
Service: Monday, October 18 at 10 am at First Baptist Church of Pleasant Hill

Rev. Wayne Hicks
January 17, 1938 – October 07, 2021
Service: Saturday, October 23 at 1 pm at Calvary Baptist Church in Natchitoches

Robert Glen Downs
February 22, 1962 – October 12, 2021
Service: Tuesday, October 19 at 11 am at Rockett-Nettles Funeral Home Chapel

District lead at stake as Tigers host Avoyelles tonight

It’s rare, to say the least, in recent years for the Many High School football team to meet a District 3-2A opponent that outranks the Tigers, but that’s the case tonight.

In a much anticipated matchup, the Tigers will host the Mustangs from Avoyelles at John W. Curtis Stadium at 7 p.m. in Many. 

Looking at the rankings that matter most, the LHSAA power point standings, Avoyelles is No. 2 in Class 2A, while the Tigers come in right behind at No. 3. In the Louisiana Sports Writers Association top 10 media poll, Many is No. 1 and Avoyelles stands just outside in 11th.

The Tigers are 5-1 overall and 2-0 in district while the Mustangs are 6-0 and 3-0 in district. Many is averaging 47 points a game while the Mustangs come in averaging 49. Based on the power point rankings, this game could go a long way in determining which team could possibly be at home in the playoffs until the state finals.

Many, on a five-game winning streak, crushed Winnfield 50-0 at home last Friday, leading 36-0 at halftime. Tylen Singleton won the game ball. Swayze Carheel was the Sledgehammer Award recipient and Blake Matkin earned the Hard Hat Award for the Tigers.

Avoyelles rolled at Lakeview, 54-12, last Friday. Other than an opening 22-20 win over Rayne, the Mustangs have dominated their opponents, winning by no less than 27 and by as many as 52.

The game will showcase two rushing attacks and could possibly be one of the fastest paced games this season. Avoyelles features a very unique type of offense. The Mustangs never punt, never kick extra points, and onside kick on every kickoff. If the Mustangs run a pass play it was likely a mixup in the huddle.

Many has a stable of talented running backs led by senior London Williams, who has scored 22 touchdowns and rushed for 1,141 yards (fifth statewide in all classifications) while averaging 10.7 per carry.

This game also features two of the best offensive lines in 2A. The Mustangs have one of the bigger offensive tackles in the state while the Tigers’ entire offensive line unit has been very impressive this season. The game will be won upfront, in the trenches in a smash mouth, old fashion style of physical football. This will be a full-out football WAR!

Both teams are expected to have long journeys in the Class 2A postseason. Come early and tailgate, watch the pregame fireworks, the enjoy a regular season game with playoff type atmosphere featuring two of the state’s best teams in 2A.