Here Tonight at 7: Many Vs. Avoyelles, Round 2, for a Trip to the ‘Dome

This week’s pre-game coverage is sponsored by Many’s newest clothing store, The Fitting Room Boutique! With styles beautifully curated for any and every event, this new chic boutique is sure to have just what you’re looking for! From casual to classy and everything in between, Many’s newest outfit coordinators are ready and excited to dress you up for any occasion, especially for those nights that you need to step out in a style that’s a little more dressy! Be sure to check out their comfy and cute weekend styles that you’ll love to dress up with all the accessories and shoes they have to offer. Stop by 612 Nabours Street in Many today and see what your closet has been craving! Good Luck Tigers! From The Fitting Room Boutique!

It’s Round 2, this time, for keeps. After a down-to-the-last minute regular season battle between the teams, the No. 1-ranked Many Tigers will host the No. 4 Avoyelles Mustangs in a high school football state semifinal matchup at John W. Curtis Stadium in Many tonight at 7 o’clock.

The winner will play next Friday for the Class 2A state championship in the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans. 

It’s the Mustangs first trip to a semifinal game. The Tigers, defending state champions, return to the semifinals where they’ve been eight times over the previous nine years and look to return to the championship game for the third season in a row. 

This contest will be like a heavyweight fight — Ali-Foreman, Tyson-Holifield, and in this matchup, Andy Boone-Jess Curtis.

Those are the opposing head coaches. They won’t trade punches, literally. They’re good friends who have enjoyed good-natured banter in the media and social media back-and-forth since the end of last Friday night’s quarterfinal playoff wins.

Avoyelles (11-2) faced familiar foes in its first two playoff games, beating parish rival Bunkie 42-7 and dispatching district opponent Winnfield 30-21. Last Friday, the Mustangs went on the road north of Shreveport to topple North Caddo 46-28.

Many (12-1) scored 30 points in the first seven minutes last Friday and blasted Rosepine 50-12. A week earlier, East Feliciana battled the visiting Tigers down to the last seven minutes, but then another scoring blitz broke open a one-score game in a 51-22 Many victory. The playoff opener for the Tigers was a 49-0 romp past Independence.

It’s a matchup of district rivals who played a very physical contest Oct. 15 in Many. The Tigers won 34-30, coming from behind late in the game, scoring the game-winning touchdown with under a minute left on the way to winning District 3-2A. 

The Mustangs have since been banged up with their big running back and linebacker Carlos Bazert out with an ACL (knee) injury. Decareyn Sampson has had a high ankle sprain but is back playing. Sampson scored three touchdowns in the first meeting, two on offense and one on defense with a scoop and score. There is some speculation in the news media that Bazert may try to play despite the injury. 

The Tigers want to continue the offensive express they’ve been on in the playoffs. Averaging 50 points in three playoff games, Many has not had a close one yet. The Tiger defense has given up an average of just over 11 points per game in the playoffs.

Many will again be missing linebacker Marquis Maxie, out with an ACL knee injury. Explosive running back Jeremiah James did not play in the first meeting but now he is back at full force in the Tiger backfield.

The Mustangs come into the contest with their very unorthodox style of play. Avoyelles uses a run-heavy offense and a never-punt philosophy that gives many teams a real problem since no one else plays the style they do. They also onside kick every kick off. The Tiger hands team on kickoffs will be very important as well as the defensive game plan to stop the Mustangs.  

Last week’s award winners after the 50-12 quarterfinal victory against Rosepine were Jack Deville with the Foy’s Game Ball. Keaton Montgomery won the Sledgehammer Award and Ja’Korey Jones was the recipient of the Hard Hat Award. 

This looks to be a hard-fought, very physical, old school game in the trenches, just like the first meeting.

There’s been a lot of talk during the week on social media, the news stations, and in newspapers. It’s time to see who will walk the walk after all the talking. This one will be a classic with the winner set to face the survivor of the Jonesboro-Hodge at Amite semifinal in the Dome next Friday at 3:30 for all the 2A marbles.

Anacoco drops doubleheader to Zwolle

BWS Sports
ANACOCO – Defense, rebounding and making free throws are key for any basketball team to find success. But when one of those is missing, it is very difficult to get the win.
The Anacoco Lady Indians found that out the hard way, missing 12 total free throws as they fell in non-district action Tuesday night to the visiting Zwolle Lady Hawks, 55-53.
“We are improving everyday,” Anacoco head coach Tim Parker said. “The girls are playing really hard, we just missed too many free throws.”
Along with the missed free throws, Anacoco (6-4) suffered through some foul trouble as post player Paige Mayo saw limited minutes, playing maybe half the game before fouling out midway through the fourth period.
After Zwolle (7-3) opened up an early lead with buckets from MaKayla Price and Olivia Sepulvado, the Lady Indians went on a 9-0 run thanks to a trio of three-pointers from Bella Henry. But thanks to Price and Sepulvado, the Lady Hawks fought back to take a 16-12 advantage after the first eight minutes of play.
Zwolle was able to expand its lead to nine points during the second period, but watched Anacoco claw back to within two points on a Bailey Davis three-pointer, a short bucket from Henry and a layup by Ava Davis, cutting the gap to 27-25.
But Price hit back-to-back layups for Zwolle to end the half, giving the Lady Hawks a 31-25 cushion at the intermission.
Mayo returned to the court for only two minutes in the third period and managed to help Anacoco cut the gap to three points. But when she picked up her fourth foul, the Lady Hawks extended their lead back to nine points, only to see Henry hit a three to trim the deficit back to six points at the end of the frame, 45-39.
The Lady Indians continued to claw back into the game and tied it up twice in the fourth, the final time at 49-49 on a basket by Mayo.
Zwolle retook the lead on a three from Sepulvado and held off a late Anacoco rally to prevail by two points.
Sepulvado led all scorers as she poured in 29 points for the Lady Hawks. Price finished with 11 points.
Bailey Davis paced Anacoco with 18 points and 20 rebounds, while Henry finished with 16 points, including four three-pointers.
Zwolle Hawks…….44
Anacoco Indians….41
A 16-point first-half deficit proved to be too much to overcome as the Anacoco Indians dropped their third game in a row on Tuesday night, losing to the Zwolle Hawks, 44-41.
Anacoco (12-3) took the initial lead of the game on a free throw by Emanuel Luzardo. However, that was the last time the Indians led in the game as Zwolle (8-3) got nine points from Kenneth Montgomery to build a 20-6 advantage by the end of the first frame of play.
Montgomery connected on another bucket to give Zwolle its biggest lead of the game at 22-6, but Anacoco finished off the frame with a 9-3 run to close the gap to 10 points at intermission, 25-15.
Dustin Welch and Brayden Prichard connected a couple of early baskets in the second half to get the Indians to within six points, but Zwolle, behind Tyren Thomas, worked back out to a nine-point advantage by the end of the third, 33-24.
But Anacoco refused to go away and closed to within 40-39 on a jumper from Chase Taylor. However, Zwolle connected on 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch to hold on for the victory.
Montgomery led all scorers with 19 points for Zwolle, while Thomas contributed 13 points.
Anacoco got 12 points from Welch and 11 from Luzardo in the loss.
Photo courtesy of SAMANTHA GOODWIN
Anacoco guard Bella Henry scored 16 points, hitting four three-pointers, in the Lady Indians’ 55-53 loss on Tuesday to the Zwolle Lady Hawks.

Sabine Parish Basketball Scores

Check out the basketball update for Sabine Parish this week! 
Monday November 29
Florien Lady Blackcats 87 (12-1)
Atlanta Lady Bulldogs 44 (6-5)
Many Lady Tigers 42 (2-1)
Bolton Lady Bears 35 (1-4)
Evans Lady Eagles 62 (7-4)
Negreet Lady Indians (59 (6-7)
Florien Blackcats 85 (6-7)
Atlanta Bulldogs 70 (4-7)
Evans Eagles 45 (8-4)
Negreet Indians 42 3-10)
Tuesday November 30
Negreet Lady Indians 60 OT (7-7)
Ebarb Lady Rebels 54 OT (4-7)
Plesant Hill Lady Eagles 62 (4-6)
Grace Christian Lady Warriors 11 (2-9)
Converse Lady Wildcats 64 (2-6)
Dodson Lady Panthers 30 (0-12)
Florien Lady Blackcats 45 OT (13-1)
Hicks Lady Pirates 44 OT (10-3)
Zwolle Lady Hawks 55 (7-3)
Anacoco Lady Indians 53 (7-5)
Negreet Indians 52 (4-10)
Ebarb Rebels 44 (4-7)
Pleasant Hill Eagles 50 (7-3)
Grace Christian Warriors 49 (5-8)
Converse Wildcats 63 (4-5)
Dodson Panthers 37 (1-12)
Hicks Pirates 63 (8-3)
Florien Blackcats 52 (6-8)
Zwolle Hawks 44 (8-3)
Anacoco Indians 41 (12-3)

Sheriff Aaron Mitchell announces the inmate litter crew stats for the months of October and November 2021.

8 inmates with 2 deputies spent approximately 144 hours picking up litter along state highways across Sabine Parish during the last two months.
Approximately 2085 bags of trash were collected along 112 miles of Highway 6 west, Hwy 174, Hwy 175, Hwy 191, Hwy 483, Hwy 1217, and Hwy 3229.
Sheriff Mitchell encourages citizens to secure their trash in their vehicles and on their property and do not litter. Deputies will issue citations to anyone caught littering; it is a state law.
Sheriff Mitchell thanks everyone for their understanding and patience as the litter crew makes its way across Sabine Parish.

Vehicle Crash Investigation Training

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office along with the Louisiana State Police conducted a training class the last two afternoons at Project Celebration Inc. The class was to teach and refresh Sabine Parish Sheriff Deputies about vehicle crash investigations and how to complete the Louisiana Uniform Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Report.
Tony Rawson of the LSP Motor Carrier Safety was the instructor for the class.
Approximately 25 reserve, part time and full time patrol deputies attended the classes.
Sheriff Aaron Mitchell thanks the Louisiana State Police and Project Celebration for the opportunity and ability to conduct this very important training class for his Deputies.

Traffic Stop Leads to Damaging Off-Road Chase and Drug Arrest

ZWOLLE, La – Christopher Delane Malmay (age-27) of Zwolle was arrested this afternoon.

Sabine Parish Sheriff Tactical Narcotics Team Agents attempted to stop Malmay driving his white Jaguar Type S vehicle for a traffic violation in the Billy Road area off LA Highway 3229. Malmay refused to stop and led T.N.T. Agents on a pursuit, traveling through yards in the neighborhood and damaging property.
Agents also observed Malmay throw items from his vehicle. Agents were able to stop Malmay’s vehicle and had to physically detain him to effect the arrest. T.N.T. Agents located suspected marijuana and Xanax he threw from his vehicle and found more inside his vehicle.
Malmay was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center for Possession of Marijuana, Possession of schedule IV (Xanax), Aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer, Aggravated flight from an officer, Aggravated criminal damage to property, Resisting a police officer with force or violence, Reckless operation of a vehicle, Simple criminal damage to property, Intentional littering, No vehicle license, No vehicle insurance, Illegal window tint, and a warrant for Aggravated assault.

A girl named Sue

By Doug Ireland, Journal Sports

It really was about a girl named Sue.

Susan, actually — known to family and friends forever as Susu.

Susu Williamson, part of a cornerstone family of Natchitoches, caught the eye and then quickly captured the heart of an out-of-place Ohioan.

Greg Burke met his destiny. He certainly didn’t realize it at the time, 37 years ago, but falling for that pretty little blonde girl with the antebellum accent moved the center of his universe about 1,500 miles south.

He was an intern in the Northwestern State athletic department, nearing the end of his nine-month appointment, when his boss, Tynes Hildebrand, and the president of the Demon Booster Club, Layne Miller, agreed that the three-person athletic administrative staff should add a full-time fundraiser.

Greg had little experience in that mode. But in his multi-faceted capacity at NSU, he had shown a cordial connectivity that belied his Yankee roots. Besides, his work ethic and efficiency was remarkable.

“The interest in staying here had grown immensely,” he said. So he applied for the new position, was an easy choice for Hildebrand, and not long afterward, he was proposing to Susu. In 1986, they tied the knot.

He spent five years, from 1986-91, as assistant athletic director and fundraiser for Northwestern. The Burkes moved back near his hometown of Alliance, Ohio, about an hour south of Cleveland, when he got hired at the University of Akron to raise money for the Zips’ athletic department.

The couple became parents Dec. 8, 1993, when Catherine Jean arrived. Life was good, even if Bill Belichick and a young assistant coach named Nick Saban couldn’t turn Burke’s beloved Cleveland Browns into winners.

Life got better in the summer of 1996, when new NSU president Dr. Randy Webb tapped Burke to replace Hildebrand as the Demons’ athletic director. The chance to bring his wife home, to a place he adored, and to raise their daughter there was too appealing to pass up.

Now, a quarter-century later, it’s Burke who is being replaced as AD. After months of discussions, first with his friend Dr. Chris Maggio and this fall with Maggio’s successor as NSU president, Marcus Jones, Burke and his bosses have found the perfect next step.

His talents are shifting to a much more finite role, as a fundraiser for the NSU Foundation, which supports the overall mission of the university.

In a few weeks, Burke will no longer sweat out a mind-boggling array of athletic issues, although he’s still going to avidly cheer on the Demons and Lady Demons. Instead, he will assist Jones, NSU Foundation director Drake Owens and the Foundation staff in a major capital campaign in 2022 and beyond.

“Even though I will be transitioning out of athletics, I loved this university then, 30-some odd years ago, as much as I do today, and will continue to do as I take on this new role,” said Burke.

What the future holds is outlined in Etch-A-Sketch. What he’s done is indelible in his photographic memory. Burke can recall sequences from NSU games in every sport dating back to before he met Susu.

The passion he has for Northwestern, built around athletics but broadened since, is astonishing. So as news spread just before Thanksgiving about his move across campus, he felt, purely, thankful.

It’s been the opportunity of a lifetime. There’ve been a lot of great moments, and a lot of tough moments and stressful moments, but what I am taking with me are the treasured relationships with people on campus, in this community, around the state and around the nation,” he said.

“I appreciate everybody who’s been a part of the career I’ve had with NSU Athletics. Those people are still going to be a part of my life, a part of who I am. I encourage people, more than anything else, to support this university.

“Find a way to get behind these young people, these coaches. Maybe it’s giving $20 a month, or maybe it’s $2,000 a month, or anything in between. Come to ball games, like our posts on social media, encourage recruits to visit our campus, because when they do, they’ll love what they see and experience. They’re not coming just to score touchdowns or hit home runs, they’re coming to be students, and to become graduates of a great university that’s been producing successful alumni since 1884.”

Burke’s departure from athletics will leave a gaping hole that ought to be filled by several people. Since 2007, he’s been doing the work of two, at least. Budget concerns led Dr. Webb to not fill the vital slot of assistant AD for internal affairs that was vacated by the retiring, unsung hero Donnie Cox. Burke assumed all of those duties, and soldiered on.

Before, and after, he had offers elsewhere, at brand name programs and ambitious climbers, from friends who admired him and wanted him alongside them, but not because he applied any place. Each time, Burke weighed the added prestige and significant income jump, yet stayed put.

It was really all about a girl named Sue. And as time passed, a place he grew to love, NSU.

What To Do Now?

Now that the fall feeding spree is just about over and bass have headed for their winter haunts, it is a great time to start preparing for the upcoming season. For many anglers, the new season starts the first weekend of January. So, what to do now? Let’s start with taking care of any maintenance and repairs that relate to all your equipment. Most anglers have a fishing room or man cave where they store, clean, repair, lube, and re-spool all their reels. It’s a good time to check rod eyes for frayed edges that can cause fishing lines to break on the hook set. A fishing room is an angler’s sanctuary, a place where we can get away from all the noise of the holiday’s and focus on getting our gear ready for another season. You want to try and control as many facets or variables of fishing as you can like equipment and boat maintenance.  Some anglers neglect this portion of work that’s not fun, but necessary.

Another area that anglers need to focus on is boat maintenance. As soon as my last tournament is over, which is usually by November 1st, I’ll make an appointment with my boat dealer to take care of any routine service work like changing my engine lower unit oil and replacing spark plugs and water pumps. As the old saying goes, “You can either pay me now or pay me later.” Preventative maintenance goes a long way in helping me to avoid motor breakdowns. I think this is one reason I’ve had very little issues with my Yamaha motor over the years. This type of maintenance is even more important today than in years past, since now parts are so hard to come by. Part shortages like computer chips and power packs continue to plague boat dealers due to Covid issues and shipping issues from China. Spending the preventative money now, will save you repair money later.

Next thing to do… clean up and rearrange your fishing room. After a long season of taking tackle boxes in and out of my boat and fishing room, it’s usually a big mess. I’m an angler that likes to be organized. I hate digging and looking for something. I want to be able to go directly to a certain spot and pull whatever I need off the shelf. One item that helps me with being organized is a label maker. There are several on the market and all will do a great job. It also makes it easier to walk into your fishing room and find what you’re looking for. The same goes for storing boxes in your boat. You don’t want to waste valuable fishing time looking for a tackle simply because you’re not organized. In tournament fishing, time is money, and looking for a tackle means you’re not fishing.

Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a tournament angler, the things I’ve mentioned above are critical in helping you to eliminate and control some of the variables that can keep you from being productive on the water. Tournament anglers are some of the most detailed people you will ever meet, and they understand that fishing is more than just luck; it’s all about preparation. Till next time, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!  

Steve Graf

The New Born Tree

Today is December 3rd and a memorable day in my house. Twenty-three years ago on this day the Lord thought it would be quite an adventure to have my daughter born three and a half weeks earlier that expected. Meredith was supposed to be a Christmas Eve baby and all of our family members with December birthdays warned us about the pitfalls that came along with it. Everyone said that she would never have a regular birthday. All of her presents would most likely be wrapped in Christmas paper if she even received a birthday gift.

Just like any new mother, I wanted to truly commemorate the birth of my daughter. There were several different things that I mulled over but for some reason it just seemed fitting to plant a tree the same year she was born and watch it grow. After much research we settled on planting a Yoshino Flowering Cherry Tree. The blooms would a delicate pink just like my precious daughter. The tree was nurtured and fertilized. We did everything that you would do to a tree to build a healthy foundation for future growth and maximum bloom potential.

Of course the first year that it was in the ground there were no blooms. Zero. We researched it and it appeared to be somewhat normal. Much to our surprise after one year it had one bloom and boy was it the most beautiful bud you have ever seen in your entire life. We were so proud. Year two rolled around and we knew it would be the year that wowed us. It had two blooms the entire year but they were breathtaking.

Year three was upon us and our bouncing baby girl was turning three as well. We felt confident that this would be our year to wow the entire town with the loads of blooms. The tree mesmerized us with three healthy flowers. I truly wish that I could tell you that I was exaggerating for literary purposes but I cannot. What I can tell you is that year four, five, six and seven did not disappoint us. Each year it respectively gained one bloom. As humor would have it, when we moved from Winnfield to Natchitoches it had record setting blooms.

I am assuming the pressure to perform and helicopter tree-parenting really took its toll on the precious tree that was planted for the precious baby. The new owner of our old home is very gracious and does mind that I stalk the tree in the springtime just to take a gander at it.

When Meredith’s birthday was approaching I could not help but think about the delicate pink blooms on the special tree that was planted in her honor. As I do every year. But this year was different.

I began to ponder on the infinite wisdom of our loving Heavenly Father and how he picks the day of our birth, ordains our days, orders our steps and even knows the date of our return to him. To take it a little further, I couldn’t help but being wowed knowing that when he created the heavens and earth, he also knew that one day he would create his son and that his son would die for our sins. He knew his son would hang on a cross even though he had committed no wrongs.

Please understand that I dare not compare my daughter’s birth to the birth of Jesus.


When I thought about God watching the new born tree grow that would eventually become a cross that his son would hang on, it literally flooded my soul. Our all knowing, all seeing and all encompassing God knew that one day this tree would be utilized in the most gruesome and painful way. But would eventually give life to all of his children. Did it sadden him to know this tree was growing? Did he watch it grow and check back on its progress or did purposefully pick one that would take thirty-three years to mature?

Some mysteries of the Bible we may never know the answer to but I do know that God gives purpose to every soul that is born and every life that is lived. He chose us to live in such a time as this. My prayer is that you will spend the month of December reflecting on God’s goodness and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

“For thou didst form my inner parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me. When as yet there was not one of them.”
Psalm 139:13- 16