Haunted Trail Ride, Minden Rec’s Fall Festival show community missed Halloween

By Josh Beavers

The ride began about a half a mile away. My wife and I found ourselves on the back of a trailer where we were joined by 8 or 9 kids a lot younger than half our age. We sat on the small bales of hay, and the late October wind chilled as we rode in the open night air to the haunt. 

The pasture was dark save for the glow of a movie screen. It was likely a strange sight to any passerby on Miller Road Saturday night. The truck pulling our trailer rolled to a stop. The creepy music the driver had been playing was killed, and on the screen appeared a pair of undead immortals. They may have been vampires, not certain, but what was for sure is that they were set to be our guardians through the ghouls that were to come. 

We weren’t in a Hollywood horror film but instead just participating in one of the coolest and most well-thought out local haunted trail rides in which this writer has ever participated. It was put on for the community by Eastside Missionary in Minden, and the number of young people in attendance was truly remarkable. 

Our pale-skinned guides told us the history of the land, a remarkable back story about a tragic family and the spooky legacy they’ve left behind. The trail wound us through the woods; torches lined the way and strobe effects, and rudimentary but effective practical effects thoroughly scared the young people in front of us.

One little boy was so spooked by the “Stage 3” zombies that he raced back past us older folk with an audible “nope, I’m out.” I assume he made his way back to his friends and the “Stage 3” didn’t get him.

At the end of the attraction, we were offered a ride in the truck with the kind couple who were hosting the larger part of the event at their home on Sugar Creek. Their house was the drop off and pick up point and the place for hot dogs, jambalaya, deserts and all kinds of other treats. All of this, like the haunt itself, was completely free. It was just the work of a group of adults who wanted to give the young people of Minden a good laugh and a good scare on Halloween. 

Trailer load after trailer load passed through. All night long. 

All the ghouls were played by locals, adults, and teens alike, and our silver screen narrators and future guides were Justin Greer and Cale Frye. To say they were enjoying their job would be an understatement. The costumes, the exaggerated accents, and the acting showed folks really enjoying the simple act of making others happy.

That was what I saw all over Minden on Saturday night. I took my youngest and a couple of her little friends trick or treating to kick off the evening and made our way through a couple of neighborhoods. Some houses that are usually bustling with activity were dimmed. Signs in some of their yards about Covid and its occupants being at risk. That was sobering but a reminder and indication, I think, of why last night and the Trunk or Treat at the library earlier this week were so well attended.

Kids missed Halloween. Adults missed Halloween. Covid killed it last year. 

At the Rec Center, Rocke Musgraves told me they were amazed at the attendance. All parking lots were full, and the line for the haunted house had a couple hundred constantly waiting to pass through. 

Candy was gone by 7ish and there were still at least two hours to go. Kids didn’t care. Smiles. Laughs. Frights. Something normal.

Minden did good this week. Minden came together this week. We showed that, once again, there is more that unites us than divides us. Our common humanity, our common bonds of love for our young people. And, apparently, our community has a common love for that special holiday that comes at the end of every October. 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could be this united every day? That should be the goal, and it’s not as unattainable as some make out. It takes us, you and me, the common folk, to keep doing what we’re doing. Keep our kids together. Keep giving smiles and authentic hellos to each other. Keep remembering we’re all humans, all in this together.

Remember the faces of our young ones.

And leave Minden a little better for them than it was left for you.

I’ll keep working, and I hope you do, too.

It’s basketball season in Doyline

The Doyline Panthers and Lady Panthers began their seasons last night with jamboree action. The Ladies beat Simsboro, and the boys beat both Castor and Simsboro. Both teams are looking to earn championship glory. We spoke to a few of the players and the coach about the new season and the new gym at Doyline.

Tide unravels in 2nd Half; Huntington takes advantage

By Whitman McGee

Class 4A’s fourth ranked Huntington Raiders paid a visit to W.W. Williams Stadium on Friday night for a much-anticipated senior night matchup with the Minden Crimson Tide.  

Unfortunately for Tide faithful, however, the Raiders (8-1) bested the Tide (3-6) by a final score of 40-7.   

Minden won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. 

After a back-and-forth that saw the Tide force two Raider 3 & out’s, Minden started to put a drive together. 

Tide lead running-back Daylen Robinson, was at the forefront of this drive, rushing for 48 yards and eventually a Minden score. Carter Barnett’s extra-point try was good, and Minden led 7-0 with 3:04 to go in the first.

Huntington held Minden scoreless through the rest of the contest, finding the end-zone six straight times of their own.

Despite a solid defensive effort throughout most of the first half, fatigue set in for the Tide, and Huntington extended their winning streak to 8 games.

“We played well, especially in the first half,” said Head Coach Spencer Heard. “I think later in the game there were some tackles we should have made. Some of that may have been fatigue or loss of focus toward the end when they were up on us.” 

The Tide did what they were looking to do, dominating the time of possession battle by holding the ball over 20 minutes more than the Raiders. 

Huntington counteracted this by scoring on explosive, chunk plays that accumulated in 246 of their 414 total yards.

Offensive highlights for Minden include RB Daylen Robinson’s 100-yards rushing with 1 touchdown and QB Andrew Cooper’s 65 yards rushing.

Defensively, Junior DE Makhi Reed registered a sack late in the 3rd quarter.
The Journal would like to send our thoughts and prayers for a speedy recovery to Huntington RB Demajah Riley, who suffered an apparent leg injury that required medical attention.

Following this defeat, Minden falls to 3-6 on the season, but all hope is not lost.

With one game remaining in the regular season, Coach Heard wants the Tide to finish on their terms, saying, “I told them a couple of weeks ago that we want to finish correctly, we want to finish the right way.” Heard continued, “So we’re going to show up to work next week just like any other week, put a gameplan together, and practice well and try to go execute next Friday night.”

Special thanks to Mark Chreene and KASO/KBEF radio for providing The Journal with stats from Friday night’s game.


Senior-less Apaches make quick work of winless Beekman Tigers

The Glenbrook Apaches were forced to take a glimpse into next season as they took on Beekman Charter Friday night with their only two seniors out with season ending injuries.  
The Apaches wasted little time as Ty Feaster hit Turner Mclelland for a 44 yard touchdown strike on the first play from scrimmage.  After a successful extra point by Feaster, the score was 7-0 with 11:48 remaining in the 1st quarter.  
The Apache defense got in on the scoring as two huge sacks by Preston Pope and Mason Farnell forced the Tigers to punt from their own 29 yard line.  The snap sailed over the punter’s head and into the end zone, where Landry Powell jumped on the loose ball for the Apache’s second score of the night.   With the extra point successful, the Apaches now led 14-0 with 10:28 to go in the 1st quarter. 
After another strong defensive effort forced a Tiger 3 and out, the Apache punt rush forced an errant punt that went out of bounds at the Beekman 16 yard line. 
The Apache offense took full advantage as Ty Feaster threw a slant route to Cason Clemons, who slashed between two defenders as he raced into the end zone for the 16 yard touchdown.  With the extra point, the Apaches led 21-0. 
The Glenbrook defense once again forced the Tiger punt team into action, but a muffed punt return gave Beekman life at the Apache 40 yard line.  
After allowing a 13 yard pass, and the Tiger’s first 1st down of the game, Hayden Harmon and Landry Powell combined for a big sack of the Beekman quarterback that set up a 4th and 20 from the Apache 30 yard line.   The Tiger’s fourth down pass attempt fell harmlessly to the ground and the Apaches took over with 14 seconds remaining in the first quarter. 
A 52 yard run by Chase Sentell set the Apache offense up inside the Tiger 10 yard line.   Tre Kent then took the toss around the left end and into the end zone or the touchdown.  After the successful Feaster extra point, the lead was extend to 28-0.
A Garret Brown interception on the Tiger’s next possession, set the Apache offense up on their opponent’s 28 yard line.  
A block in the back penalty on the Apaches pushed the ball back to the 41 yard line.   On the very next play, DJ Carter burst through the line of scrimmage on a 41 yard jaunt into the end zone.   Ty Feaster was once again right between the uprights on the extra point and the Apaches led 35-0.  
A Hayden Harmon interception gave the Apache offense one more chance to put points on the board in the first half.  
Landry Powell took the snap and called his own number while taking the ball across the goal line from 31 yards out.  A successful Diego Morales extra point made the score 42-0 as the first half came to an end.
Beekman received the second half kick off and set up shop at their own 35 yard line.  
Another great defensive effort forced the Tigers to punt from their own 25 yard line.  Once again the snap sailed over the punter’s head and into the end zone for the safety and an Apache lead of 44-0. 
Grayson Williams scored from 9 yards out on the very next Apache offensive possession.   A Diego Morales extra point made the score 51-0.  
Beekman scored two touchdowns late in the 4th quarter to bring the final score to 51-14.  
The Apache offense racked up 356 yards and 6 touchdowns on just 20 plays.  
The Apache defense forced 2 turnovers and sacked the Tiger quarterback 4 times while allowing just 105 total yards.  
Next week the Apaches return home for the final game of the season, as they welcome the Arcadia Hornets to town.  Game time is 7 p.m.

Stephens scores four times to pace Knights to win

The North Webster rushing attack could not be stopped Friday night in a 38-22 win over the Mansfield Wolverines.

The combination of senior phenom Ja’marcus Stephens and junior quarterback Colin McKenzie ripped off great run after great run behind the behemoth North Webster offensive line. Stephens finished with over 200 yards with 4 touchdowns, and McKenzie topped the century mark with one score. 

The game was never in doubt, as North Webster jumped on top 24-0 in the first quarter and never looked back. 

Mansfield made the game interesting by rattling off a pair of scores to open the second half, but the Knights kept their cool and answered with a touchdown to stall the Wolverine momentum. 

With the win, North Webster is a lock for postseason play as this win will vault them even higher than the No. 29 spot they entered Friday’s game at.

Next week, the Knights will return home for senior night against Green Oaks to close the regular season. 

Warriors fall, 15-12, in old school football match

By Josh Beavers

It was a throwback to a simpler time.

Lakeside and D’Arbonne Woods combined for just 10 pass attempts in a run-heavy and stoutly defensive contest. The inside handoff ruled the night for both teams, but it was the Timberwolves from Farmerville that put more points on the board as they came to Sibley and went home with a 15-12 win.

Lakeside fell to 3-5 while D’Arbonne Woods improved to 6-2.

Low scoring, run heavy, smash mouth, and big hits. That’s the story of Friday night down in South Webster.

Lakeside started with the ball to open the contest, but both teams would trade possessions in a first quarter that was highlighted by several big defensive plays from Warrior junior defensive lineman CJ Watts.

Watts led a Lakeside defense that was solid all night before wearing down at the end. Turnovers plagued both teams, and the first of the turnover bugs bit Lakeside right at the end of quarter number one.

A Warrior fumble was recovered by the Timberwolves, and a few plays later Reagan Walker connected with Cole Carter for a 25-yard touchdown. It would be the second longest play of the game and good for a 7-0 lead following the point after.

Ashton Stewart quickly registered the longest play of the game less than two minutes later. He took an inside handoff and cruised through a hole large enough to drive a Chevy through on his way to a 62-yard touchdown.

Stewart immediately recovered an onside kick on the next play, and the Warrior crowd was excited. Unfortunately, the offense stalled, and the only highlights of the remaining half were solid tackles from Koby Mangrum, Ross Weaver and Cade Boley as well as a fumble recovery by Jaden Miller.

It would be Kris Redden on fumble recovery duty when the second half began. The turnover set up a long drive by Lakeside that culminated in a one-yard touchdown by Watts from the quarterback position.

The try for two was no good, but Lakeside took its first lead at 12-7 with 5:31 to go in the third.

Redden made another big play on defense, and Jake Wilkins recovered a fumble, but the biggest play of the night was likely D’Arbonne blocking a Warriors punt on the Lakeside side of the field.

That came just under the 10-minute mark of the last quarter and was immediately followed by a Gavin Rawls 21-yard touchdown that would prove to be the final points of the evening.

Lakeside didn’t give up and had plenty of time to respond. Stewart returned the kickoff to midfield and Koby Mangrum picked up 25 yards on a beautiful misdirection play.

But after a Warrior fourth down pass was broken up in the endzone, all the Timberwolves had to do was pick up a few first downs to seal the victory.

And that’s what they did.

Big Gavin Rawls ran straight up the middle against an exhausted Warrior defense. A couple of speedy backs went outside, and the game was over when the quarterback went for 20 yards on a draw.

D’Arbonne took the ball all the way inside the Warrior five and kneeled the ball on the final play.

For D’Arbonne: Gavin Rawls carried the ball 19 times for 118 yards and a score.

As for the Warriors, Ashton Stewart ran 15 times for 114 yards and a touchdown.

Kris Redden had 16 yards. CJ Watts had 24 and a touchdown. Rokedrick Smith had 28 yards. Koby Mangrum had 32. Cade Boley had 12.

Lakeside ends the season next Friday on the road against Jonesboro.


Career fair connects students with colleges, employers

By Josh Beavers

Minden High School hosted its annual College and Career Fair this week. 

Juniors and seniors from MHS, Lakeside and Doyline were able to meet representatives from 26 colleges stretching across four states. 

Minden partners with the Louisiana Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (LACRAO) every fall to host the event. 

“We believe it is vital for students to have the opportunity to see what options there are for their future,” Minden school counselor Whitney Cate told The Journal. “This event allows students to meet with recruiters, ask questions, and get general information about the schools.”

She said the school believes every student needs some type of post-secondary training whether it is a technical diploma from a technical or community college or a degree from a university.  

“Hosting a College and Career Fair is a wonderful way for students to explore colleges without leaving Minden,” Cate told us. 

Red Ribbon Week a hit in our schools 

By Josh Beavers

Webster Parish schools celebrated Red Ribbon Week over the past five days. The event is all about encouraging students to make healthy choices and show off their spirit in the process.

Across the district, students celebrated this year’s theme of “Drug Free Looks Like Me” with dress-up days and other activities and contests that encouraged drug prevention and healthy well-being.

According to the national Red Ribbon Campaign’s website, this year’s theme was chosen because “it best describes how all of us must do our individual parts to keep our communities safe, healthy and drug free.”

The first nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign was organized by the National Family Partnership in 1985 in response to the murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Following his murder, communities across the country began wearing red ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the destructive impact of drugs.

Over time, the campaign has evolved from wearing ribbons to include week-long themes aimed at promoting healthy, drug-free communities.

The Journal spoke to Ursula Hullaby, the district’s Safe Schools Coordinator and Community Liaison, about how schools recognized this year’s Red Ribbon Week.

“We educated our students by involving them in fun activities that centered around drug prevention,” Hullaby told us. “Red Ribbon Week is important because it is an opportunity to educate our students about pitfalls of drugs and all that’s involved.”

Covid put a hamper on last year’s celebration, but this year the event was back with gusto.

“Our ultimate goal is every school, every student to participate. Although that goal may not be reached at 100% – I dare say that more than 90 percent of our students participated in the activities for at least 1 or more of the five days,” she told us.

Education doesn’t end in school, and she said it is important for parents to have preventative conversations with young people and to lead by positive examples.  

“Red Ribbon Week is a success because students find it informative, enjoyable and relevant,” she said. 

The Colorful World of Baits

When it comes to soft plastic lures, one thing anglers will say is that “color does not matter.” But I’m going to give my perspective on why it does. For years both novice and professional bass fishermen have made a case for why the color of your bait doesn’t matter. They say it’s more about the presentation than it is the color of the bait itself. This may be true in some isolated cases, but if that’s true, then why do manufacturers make soft plastic worms in so many colors? Is it to catch fish or is it to catch anglers?  

 Today’s anglers are overwhelmed with color selection by many of the top name brands like Strike King, V&M, Gary Yamamoto, Zoom, and Reaction Innovation, just to name a few. Each of these manufacturers produce some of the best soft plastics ever made. But colors in the bass fishing world are not your standard red, blue or greens. They have very creative names like red bug, tequila sunrise, green pumpkin, watermelon and my personal favorite, black emerald. Bait companies are even more creative than the original box of 64 crayons when it comes to color options. You may remember this from your childhood days when Crayola crayons had names like Brick Red,  Burnt Orange, Chestnut, and even Bittersweet. But today’s box of crayons might include Inchworm, Granny Smith Apple, Caribbean Green, Tropical Rainforest, or my personal favorite Permanent Geranium Lake. Who comes up with these names? How is a child or an angler today, suppose to understand or learn the different color pallets of this magnitude?

Well, bass fishermen new to the industry are in the same boat. How is an angler supposed to know the difference between crab apple or plum? Well crab apple, also known as red bug by some companies, are red worms with green flake. But back in the day when soft plastic baits were first invented by Nick Crème of Crème Lures, crab apple was the original red worm with green flake. By the way, it was at the Cleveland Sportsman’s Show in 1951 that Nick Crème introduced and sold over 9600 packs of soft plastic worms which jumpstarted the soft plastic industry. Today the king of soft plastics is a company by the name of Zoom, which started manufacturing soft plastic baits in 1977.

As you can see, the color pallets of the bass fishing world all depend on what company is producing the baits. But does color really matter when it comes to catching bass? I say yes, because I’ve seen days where you can throw red bugs and then switch to green pumpkin and start catching fish. Just like this past August, I was pre-fishing for a tournament on Sam Rayburn and was throwing one of my favorite V&M baits called a Baby Swamp Hog in watermelon/red with basically zero bites in the first three hours. I switched to Gleason Candy and it was like someone turned on a light switch. Making this change in color allowed me to finish in 2nd place in that event. I’m also of the opinion that if color doesn’t matter, then why do they make so many color options for anglers to choose from? Now I will admit that some colors are designed to catch anglers rather than fish, but in general, the array of color choices allows an angler to experiment and try something that maybe the bass have not seen.

So, the next time you’re in your favorite tackle store, make sure you know what color soft plastic you’re looking for. Know the difference between watermelon/red and green pumpkin with red flakes.  If you’re not sure, ask someone to help you. Till next time, good luck, good fishing, and don’t forget to set the hook!

Steve Graf

Co-Host Hook’N Up & Track’N Down Show

And Tackle Talk Live

Notice of Death – October 29, 2021

Marion Wyatt Bevill
March 31, 1935 – October 14, 2021
Interment: Whitehall Cemetery in Leton, LA, Saturday, November, 13, 2021, at 2:00 p.m

Melinda Ann Six
September 4, 1962 – October 22, 2021
Service:  10:30 a.m., Saturday, October 30, 2021 at Forest Park West Cemetery, 4000 Meriwether Road, Shreveport, Louisiana. 

Terry L. Woodard
March 7, 1956 – October 20, 2021
Services: Pending 

Lynn Harvey
October 9, 1956 – October 20, 2021
Graveside Service: Saturday, October 30, 2021 at 11:30 a.m., at Rose-Neath Cemetery, 5185 Swan Lake Spur, Bossier City, Louisiana.

Jerry “Bubba” Tomlin
January 20, 1948 – October 24, 2021
Services: Pending

Law enforcement has 11 in custody

Cutline: One of the many teams responsible for rounding up members of the TTS gang are, from left, Lt. Brandon Curry, Ofc. Jason Smith, Off. Kendale Booker and Det. Shane Griffith.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

As of Thursday afternoon, Minden Police and other law enforcement agencies had arrested 11 alleged members of the TTS (Train to Step) gang. All are charged with criminal street gang, according to Title 15.

They are as follows:

Kawasaki Bradford Jr., 20, of the 400 block of W. Todd St., Minden;

Decorrey Bridges, 20, of the 5400 block of Hwy. 164, Sibley;

Howard Collins Jr., 19, of the 100 block of Grice Lane, Sibley;

Donavan Fort, 19, of the 1500 block of Sheppard St., Minden;

Collin J. Harris, 19, of the 1300 block of Sibley Rd., Minden;

Kameron Heggar, 20, of the 600 block of Military Rd., Ringgold;

Devonte Jackson, 21, of the 800 block of Carolina St., Minden;

LaCarlos Tyreke Lofton, 22, of the 200 block of Nursery Rd., Sibley;

Laverto T. Shyne, 20, of the 200 block of Valley Oak, Cotton Valley;

Aldaravion Taylor, 19, of the 800 block of Wood St., Minden; and,

Nathaniel White III, 20, of the 100 block of Emerald Dr., Minden.

They will be transported to Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center on bonds of $50,000 each.


Law enforcement rounds up alleged gang members

By Bonnie Culverhouse

Several law enforcement agencies, led by Minden Police, rounded up 11 alleged gang members, beginning early Thursday morning.

Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper said a FBI task force, Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office, Probation and Parole, United States Marshal’s Service and Bienville Parish are assisting in the arrests.

Cropper said for the past 14 months, detectives have been documenting and photographing everything about TTS (Train To Step) gang members.

“We still have some warrants to be served,” Cropper said. “They will be charged, according to Title 15, with criminal street gangs and patterns of criminal street gang activity.”

According to Title 15, if convicted, “they shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than one-half the maximum term of imprisonment provided for an underlying offense committed in a pattern of criminal gang activity and may be fined an amount not to exceed $10,000.”

“It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing,” said the chief.

Cropper said detectives are tying the members together through the same body tattoos of TTS and photos with other gang members being posted on social media.

“I think there are four juveniles involved, but they are all in Texas or Shreveport,” he said. “I don’t anticipate arresting any juveniles today, but eventually they will be arrested.”

Some of the gang members are already incarcerated and will be served their papers in jail.

“Other arrests will follow,” Cropper said. “I believe residents may be concerned because the force is shorthanded and think we may not be able to respond to calls, but we can and we will. We may not be as quick as we could be, but I am comfortable with our police protection.”

Video: Detectives Kenny James (front) and Shane Griffith flank the first interviewee and alleged gang member, Donavon Fort.

Shots fired in busy Minden neighborhood

Staff Report

Minden Police are still trying to piece together the mystery behind a “shots fired” call that took place Tuesday. 

“We’ve located who we believe was the person being shot at, but the investigation is ongoing,” said Minden Police Chief Steve Cropper. “No arrests have been made in reference to the shooting.” 

Minden Police Association reported the call came in at approximately 3:30 p.m. October 26. The shooting between multiple vehicles occurred at the intersection of Carolina and Jackson streets. Several high powered rifle spent casings were reportedly collected. 

According to the report, multiple witnesses and children were in the area, and one resident had several bullets enter their house and lodge in the refrigerator. Information was provided that eventually led to the location of a vehicle on Elm St. It reportedly had multiple bullet holes in it from the shooting. 

“The area where this shooting occurred was near a heavily populated area as well as two schools,” MPA President Jason Smith wrote on Facebook. “The perpetrators had an obvious disregard for human life.”

Limited details are being provided as this is an ongoing investigation. 

“We at the MPA ask only one thing,” Smith wrote. “If you see something, say something.”

Henderson tapped to lead Glenbrook softball

 Emily Henderson, a 2017 All-American in her sport, has been named new head softball coach at Glenbrook School.

 The Journal caught up with Henderson and asked her a few questions about her experience and what’s next for the Apaches’ program.

 The Journal: First, congratulations. We know you must be excited. Why don’t you tell our readers a little something about your experience?

 Emily: I was born and raised in Stonewall, Louisiana. I started centerfield all four years of high school at North Desoto High School where we won the 2015 & 2016 state championships my junior and senior year. I started my collegiate career at LSU-Eunice. We won the 2017 national championship, and I was awarded 1st team All American as an outfielder and finished fourth in the nation in homeruns my freshman year. My 2018 season at LSU-Eunice we had a 4th place finish at nationals, and I was awarded 1st team all-region, all tournament and academic All American. I transferred to Southeastern Louisiana for a semester to play softball and transitioned to powerlifting at the great Louisiana State University for my last year of eligibility. I qualified for nationals at Penn State, but due to Covid my season was cut short. The past year I have spent at my alma mater volunteer coaching the middle school team along with a travel team associated with the Louisiana Titans providing private hitting and workout instruction to athletes.

 The Journal: That’s an impressive resume. So how do you think the transition to high school will be? What are your first steps with the program?

 Emily: I’m coming on board at Glenbrook during their transition to compete in LHSAA, and I plan to prepare them for the competition they will face. There is already a state championship tradition with their softball program that I plan on growing and continuing during my time here as head coach. As for first steps, the seeds have already been planted. I plan to water them and plant my own and grow a winning culture not just on the field but in the classroom as well.

 The Journal: We can see how important education is to you. Why don’t you tell us a little about why softball is so important to you?

 Emily: Softball has given me so many opportunities throughout the years. It’s hard not to love it. Outside of all the championships I have won, I have met some incredible people along the way. At the end of the day, the lights on the field may turn off but the leadership, work ethic and friendships never do. For that, I am forever grateful for this sport and will always give back to it.

 The Journal: We at the Webster Parish Journal wish you nothing but success. Is there anything else you’d like to tell our readers?


Emily: Joining Glenbrook is a great opportunity for me. I never would have thought I would be in a head coaching position this early in my career, but I have waited for it for what seems like a lifetime. Getting the girls involved with the community and those that give to the school will be a huge step moving forward with this program’s success, and I cannot wait to get started. I am very grateful for Mr. Gladney, Dr. Coyle and athletic director Coach Feaster for allowing me to become part of the Glenbrook coaching staff. Go Apaches!

MHS student shares school push to improve ACT scores

By Taryn Joyce, Minden High student

Minden High School has established an ACT Intervention program to help students improve their ACT and WorkKeys scores.

The ACT and the ACT WorkKeys are the two tests that can aid a student in their selected high school pathway.  The ACT is for the TOPS University Diploma Pathway and is a standardized test used by most colleges and universities to make admissions decisions.  ACT WorkKeys is an assessment where the scores are based on job profiles that help employers select, hire, train, develop and retain a high-performance workforce.  The ACT can increase the chances of a student getting into college if their score is high enough. It can also provide TOPS, which is a program that helps pay for college tuition costs. On average, TOPS can pay for 42% of one’s tuition. The WorkKeys test increases the chance for a person with little experience to get hired and may even lead to higher pay.

Dr. Rebecca Wilson, Minden High principal, and the MHS staff took the initiative to create a program to help students improve scores on both of these tests.  A plan was formulated to ensure that every student who attends Minden High School would have a chance to boost their scores.  

An ACT Intervention Google Classroom was created, and all the students that attend MHS were added.  Daily messages are posted as well as instructional videos and other resources. Students also have access to an Edgenuity course for either the current ACT test portion or for the current WorkKeys test portion. The administration is requiring each student to spend at least 20 minutes studying ACT material.  

Teachers are also helping with the utilization of this program. Mr. John Dillon is tutoring students on the English portion of the ACT.  He’s highly qualified to teach test strategies as he has over 10 years of experience in private tutoring of the ACT.  Mr. Dillon teaches students on the English portion by creating videos and posting them daily in the ACT Intervention Google Classroom.  These videos talk about the different types of questions, how to recognize them, and how to choose the right answers to them.  He shows example questions from various ACT practice tests to show the students how to recognize the questions and answers.  With these instructional videos, Mr. Dillon claims that students will experience “guaranteed score improvement” if they watch and listen to the videos.  If this program were to continue, Mr. Dillon said that he would like to see more recent test copies and more practice for students. 

In conclusion, Dr. Wilson and her staff believe that the students at MHS can do more, and will do more; so they gave them the opportunity to do so.  Only the scores will tell how successful the program will be, but it’s looking great so far.  The students are grateful for this opportunity to boost their confidence when it comes to taking the ACT test or the ACT WorkKeys.

Is sixth time the charm? 

Understand Mayor Bump intends to present for approval (sixth time the charm?) the city’s budget for fiscal year 2022 at the next councilist meeting. Up here on the porch, rockin’ chair occupant hears Hizzoner has offered a compromise on the promised pay raise to at least one of his two hires.

Compromise. You know, the art of give and take. But our take is the compromise has fallen on at least two sets of deaf ears with a third set still in the waffling stage and waiting to see which way the strings pull.

According to what we hear up here, council received a message from Hizzoner outlining alternative proposals including a reduced pay raise for one of his hires. In his letter, mayor reportedly also recognized the need to keep council members in the loop on activities and to consult same on new hires and pay raises for key employees. 

Wonder why it took a dead-in-the-water budget and a city government that looks more like a juvenile sitcom than a grown-up public body to make someone realize open lines of communication might help. Key word: might. Hopefully, Hizzoner has learned it isn’t always a good idea to ask forgiveness rather than permission. 

Response to message has been as expected: two no-replies and a no from the majority that doesn’t believe in budgets or state law.

Occupant understands councilperson Wayne Edwards did not respond to message, but has privately indicated he’d be willing to discuss alternatives. Seatsitter Vincen Bradford didn’t respond at all. In his case, silence is maybe the wisest response. 

Apparently the city not only does not pay his phone bill (VB’s on-the-record reason for not returning phone calls), but is also a little lax in paying his bill for the power supply that runs his computer. We believe, though, Bradford’s cellular device is working just fine. Puppet master has that number on speed dial, complete with instructions. 

Then there’s Terika Williams-Walker. We heard she did respond to Bump’s message with an eloquent “I’m not in agreement.” We shouldn’t be surprised by that response. After all, this is the councilperson who regularly votes “no” on approving minutes of previous meetings. Rumor from city hall is she has ordered the “yes” button on her voting device disconnected until further notice. 

Occupant seriously doubts anyone is holding their breath in anticipation of the council approving the budget next meeting time. While anything is possible, we must await the puppet master’s decision on whether or not Minden can move ahead. Now we know the financial status of our city is determined by stringers. 

If, indeed, this council refuses to pass a budget on the sixth try, it would be nice to know some responsible agent with authority to do so would proceed with whatever legal action is necessary to show this council that state law is more than a suggestion where a city’s finances are concerned.

Without at least the threat of consequences, certain persons will continue to wave a California Howdy at the law and the people who call Minden their home. With election time just around the corner, perhaps the people sitting on their collective rumps might do well to remember that we voters might just use that same finger when we pull levers in the booth. Howdy.

Local columnist talks next LSU coach 

 By Irwin Fletcher

 When LSU Athletic Director Scott Woodward said, “The search for a new football coach begins today,” the speculation began to swirl all over college football. With many potential coaching candidate names being thrown around, no one really knows what direction Woodward will go.

 What we do know is Scott Woodward is not scared to go after big name coaches and will try to make it four straight LSU football head coaches who have won a national championship while roaming the sidelines of the real Death Valley.

 Woodward’s first order of business when he arrived in Baton Rouge was to lure Kim Mulkey, Baylor women’s basketball coach and Louisiana native,  to LSU and find a replacement for retired baseball coach Paul Mainieri. It did not take Woodward long to find a replacement in Jay Johnson from University of Arizona.

 The LSU job is without a doubt a premier one in college football. There are top notch facilities, an extremely fertile recruiting area within Louisiana and virtually no in-state competition. Most of LSU’s rivals have two major colleges within their state. This forces those schools to split recruits, fans and money.

 The job does come with some drawbacks as well. The biggest obstacle for any coach in the SEC West is Nick Saban. Saban has been dominant during his time in Tuscaloosa. The other hurdle for the next LSU coach will be the double-edged sword that is the fanbase. The Tigers have one of the most rabid fan bases in the nation. This is great on those Saturday nights in Tiger Stadium when LSU is winning, but when the Tigers are being pushed around all over the field, the fans demand answers.

 The next head coach who leads the Tigers into the pantheon of concrete and steel that is Tiger Stadium will inherit a roster loaded with talent that rivals any school in the country. Some of these talented players are Kayshon Boutte, JaRay Jenkins, Max Johnson on offense and Maason Smith, Eli Ricks and BJ Ojulari on defense. The new coach will walk into Baton Rouge with plenty of stars to help turn the Tigers around immediately.

Tide against Huntington with playoffs looming

By Whitman McGee

The Minden Crimson Tide (3-5) took care of business on the road last Friday night, beating the struggling Bastrop Rams by a final score of 39-14.
After snapping their 4-game losing streak, the Tide are right on the cusp of their 8th straight post-season appearance.

This week will, in all likelihood, prove to be the deciding factor in Minden’s playoff bid as the Tide prepares to square off with the 7-1 Huntington Raiders.

Minden will have their hands full dealing with Huntington’s high-powered offense. 

After falling to the Byrd Yellow Jackets in their season opener, the Raiders have won 7-straight games, out-scoring their opponents by an average of 47 points.

Minden Head Coach Spencer Heard spoke on Hunnington’s offense, saying, “Their quarterback (Kameron Evans) is very talented; he has a good arm and can run.” 

Heard added, “They’ve got a lot of skill guys on offense, which is evident based on the amount of points they score on people.”

Heard also alluded to the Raider defense, noting that they were very energetic and get to the ball well. 

Minden leads the all-time regular-season series against Huntington 17-8. 

The Tide have won the last 7 meetings, spanning from 2012-2019, with 2020’s matchup being canceled due to Covid-19.

For this week’s player spotlight, Coach Heard highlighted the play of senior LB/RB Kentravion Lister, “He had a really good game last week at linebacker and also came in and had some very good production on offense at running back.”

Lister selflessly took on the role of linebacker midway through the 2020 campaign providing a spark to the Tide’s defensive unit. When given the opportunity on offense, Lister has proven he is still as reliable as they come, represented last week by his 75-yard rushing performance.

Some other individual offensive statistics from last week’s game include: Daylen Robinson 141-yards rushing with 2 touchdowns, Andrew Cooper 71-yards rushing with 3 touchdowns, and Zedekiah Harris with a rushing score from 16-yards out.

Defensive highlights include Jakobe Jackson’s game-sealing interception and D’Quontrez Ridley’s sack.

Coach Heard emphasized the magnitude of this game, telling The Journal, “From a power points stance, this is a really huge game because of the number of wins that they have. Beyond that, it’s an important game, it’s a district game, and it’s senior night.”

Heard concluded by saying, “We just want to go out there and give our best effort, play with intensity, and get after it.”

 The stakes can’t be any higher for the Heard’s group on Friday night, so if you are able, be sure to come out and support the Tide in their final home game of the regular season.

If you can’t make it to W.W Williams Stadium “The Pit” on Friday night, you can tune in to 104.5 KBEF for radio coverage and analysis of the game.

Glenbrook to hit the road Friday night for non-district contest vs Beekman Charter

As the Glenbrook Apaches took the practice field this week in preparation for the Beekman Charter Tigers, two familiar faces were absent from the team’s daily football drills.  Both Cale Hollis and Collin Gregg suffered season-ending injuries in last week’s game vs Ringgold.   
Your senior year flies by fast and is full of many last time moments.  From that last first day of school to that last time you walk off the field or court, these are moments you will remember for the rest of your life.   Unfortunately for the Apache football team, Cale and Collin have walked off that field for the last time.
While both young men will compete in other sports this year once their injuries are healed, these last two Friday nights under the lights will not be the same without them.  
Although the Apaches will have to compete without their senior leaders, the talent is deep on this year’s team and without a doubt there will be young players who will step up to help fill the void.   
One of those players will be freshman Easton Sanders, who will fill in for Hollis at tight end.   Sanders, a Louisiana Tech baseball commit, is an exceptional athlete with good size and soft hands.   In last week’s game vs Ringgold, Sanders was on the receiving end of a 20-yard touchdown pass from Ty Feaster.  
On the defensive side of the ball, the Apaches will shuffle some players around to fill in for Gregg in the defensive secondary.  Chase Sentell will slide out to cornerback, while linebacker Grayson Williams will move to free safety.  
The Apaches will take on a Beekman squad who is 0-8 on the season.  The Tigers lost two games earlier in the year to forfeits due to covid protocol.   In the other 6 games, they have lost by an average of 51-9.   Last week, the Tigers lost to Delta Charter 74-20.  
The Apaches will look for the momentum of a four-game winning streak to carry them to victory Friday night.   Game time is at 7:00pm in Beekman (Bastrop) Louisiana.   All tickets must be purchased online, as no tickets will be sold at the gate.
Next week, the Apaches will return home for their season finale as they host the Arcadia Hornets.

Warriors to tangle with Wolves on Senior Night

 By Josh Beavers

 With two games remaining in the prep football regular season, the Lakeside Warriors are looking to snap a losing skid and move back into the playoffs.

 Geauxpreps.com released playoff projections this week indicating who would in and who would be out if the season ended last week. Lakeside (3-4) was on the outside looking in following three consecutive defeats.

 The Warriors have a chance to make one more push in their final two games. First up for Lakeside is Friday night’s home game against D’Arbonne Woods.

 It’ll be Senior Night at Lakeside as Warrior senior football players and cheerleaders will be recognized. After the pregame honors, the Warriors will try to put an end to the Wolves five-game winning streak.

 The school from Farmerville has a 5-2 record and upset sixth ranked Jonesboro last week.

 The Warriors unveiled a run-heavy attack last week in their loss at North Caddo. Despite losing by a sizable margin, the Warrior offense showed some positive signs.

 Senior Ashton Stewart was joined running the ball by lineman Kris Redden and quarterback CJ Watts. Koby Mangrum and Cooper Chase also registered carries.

 The Warriors will hope the new offensive scheme continues to progress at home against the Wolves. 

Backs against the wall, North Webster looks to make one last push to playoffs

 It’s now or never for the North Webster Knights. 

Following last week’s 38-12 road loss to the Loyola Flyers, the Knights find themselves in what feels like a must win game if they hope to make the playoffs for a tenth consecutive season. 

Standing in their way will be the Mansfield Wolverines. The Wolverines are fresh off a close 14-9 victory over the Bossier Bearkats in a game that was surprisingly low scoring. North Webster knows better than to take the Wolverine offense lightly based off the 14-point outing last week. They have routinely scored in the 40’s this season against teams such as Minden, Red River and North Caddo. 

The Knights benefited from the return of running back/receiver Cooper Sanders against the Flyers to the tune of over 400 yards of offense, but turnovers proved too costly as North Webster gave the ball away six times against Loyola. 

Remaining diverse in their attack and doing a better job of valuing the football will be key to the Knights’ chances Friday on the road. This marks just the third road game of the season for North Webster, having lost the first two against Minden in Week 3 and Loyola last week. 

North Webster comes in at No. 30 in this week’s Class 3A playoff power ratings, with the top 32 teams advancing to the playoffs.

Rosabelle, Believe

Erik Weisz was born on March 24, 1874 in Budapest.  When Erik was four years old, his family emigrated to the United States.  The family settled in Appleton, Wisconsin and changed their last name to the German spelling Weiss.  Erik adopted the German spelling Ehrich.  To lessen confusion, this article will refer to him by his birth name, Erik.

Erik’s family moved often to find work.  His father, Mayer Samuel Weisz, was a Rabbi who was often in search of employment.  In 1882, they moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Five years later, they moved into a boarding house in New York City.  To help earn money for the struggling family, young Erik held several jobs.  At nine years old, Erik made his public debut as a trapeze artist under the name “Ehrich, the Prince of the Air”.  Erik often performed in small tent acts, dime museums and circus sideshows, usually with another performer to double the draw and to share expenses.  For the rest of his life, Erik’s world revolved around entertaining and amazing crowds of people.

In 1894, while performing with his brother, Theodore, Erik met another sideshow performer named Wilhelmina Beatrice “Bess” Rahner.  Within a short time, Erik and Bess married.  They performed together for the remainder of Erik’s career.

On October 21, 1936, Erik lectured before the male student body of McGill University in Montreal.  Topics of his lecture included his ability to withstand immense pain without so much as a wince.  Following his lecture, he answered questions from the students.  One student asked if it was possible to painlessly pass needles through his cheek.  Rather than verbalizing an answer, he took out a hat pin and ran it through his cheek.  He showed no sign of pain.  At the end of his lecture, Erik invited them back to his dressing room for further discussion if they were interested.  To his surprise, many of the students took advantage of the invitation, including Jocelyn Gordon Whitehead.

During the discussion in Erik’s dressing room, Whitehead remarked, “You would hardly feel a blow in the stomach, would you?” “Certainly no,” Erik replied.  Erik was unprepared for what came next.  Before he could tighten the muscles in his stomach to lessen the blow, Whitehead gave Erik “two short-armed punches to the pit of his stomach.”  Erik shuddered because, as he told the boys, he was not prepared for the punches.

While giving his final performance in Montreal on the following night, the crowd noticed that Erik doubled over in pain several times.  Ever the showman, Erik fought through the pain and finished his performance before a cheering crowd.   Erik complained of severe stomach pains, something that had never bothered him before.  

A few days later, while performing alongside Bess in Detroit, Michigan, Erik collapsed.  After he regained consciousness, to the surprise of everyone present, Erik continued with his act.  After the show, Erik checked into a local hospital.  On the following day, doctors operated on Erik for appendicitis.  Following surgery, Erik showed symptoms of swelling of the tissue that lines the abdomen called peritonitis.  Erik’s peritonitis was linked to his burst appendix.  Erik underwent a second surgery to save his life from the effects of peritonitis.  Despite their best efforts, they were unable to save Erik.  He lived long enough to say his final goodbyes to his family and friends who surrounded his bedside.  

Bess was saddened by her husband’s passing but she held out hope that she would soon be in contact with Erik.  “Long before he died,” Bess explained, “we agreed that whoever should go first would try to return to the other.  We agreed upon a message, phased in code.  It was known only to the two of us.  The compact was to last 10 years and no longer.  After that period, the one of us still alive was to abandon hope either in the possibility of the survival of the dead, or their ability to communicate with the living.”  Bess said, “In his last hours, he said to me: ‘Beatrice, I’ll come to you somehow, even though I have to go through hell.”

On the first anniversary of Erik’s death at 8:30 p.m., the exact time of Erik’s death, Bess held a séance in an attempt to contact her beloved Erik.  She anxiously awaited a communication from Erik which said “Rosabelle, Believe”, the code words she and Erik had decided upon.  The words did not come.  She repeated the séance on the second anniversary of Erik’s death, then the third and fourth.  News of the séances spread throughout the world and other people began holding séances to try to contact Erik.  In 1936, on the tenth anniversary of Erik’s death, Bess prepared for the final séance to contact Erik, as per their agreement.  At 8:30 p.m., Bess and other believers in psychic phenomena, one of which was a Los Angeles superior court judge, gathered on the roof of a Hollywood hotel to try to make contact with Erik one final time.  They were not the only ones trying to contact Erik.  People held simultaneous séances in sixteen cities in the United States, England, Australia and Canada, but no lights flickered, no objects moved without explanation, and no one heard “Rosabelle, Believe.”  All was quiet.  Bess never received the message from Erik that she so longed to hear.  On February 11, 1943, seventeen years after Erik’s death, Bess died from a heart attack.  She never remarried.

People still hold séances each year on the anniversary of Erik’s death to try to make contact with him, but all attempts have failed.  Erik was an illusionist, stunt performer, and is most remembered as an escape artist.  He died on Halloween night in 1926.  On this Halloween night, if your lights flicker or you hear a strange sound, it may just be Erik trying to make contact with the living world.  You may not recognize the name Erik Weisz, but you certainly know him by his stage name…Harry Houdini.  Happy Halloween!          


1.  St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri), November 1, 1926, p.3.

2.  The News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington), October 31, 1936, p.2.

3.  Baker, Tom. “Rosabelle, Believe.” Vocal Media. Accessed October 20, 2021. vocal.media/horror/rosabelle-believe.

4.  Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Peritonitis.” Accessed October 20, 2021. hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/peritonitis.

5.  Scotto, Michael. “Upper East Side Séance Attempts to Contact Harry Houdini On the Anniversary of His Death.” Spectrum News. November 1, 2016. ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2016/11/1/upper-east-side-s-ance-attempts-to-contact-harry-houdini-on-the-90th-anniversary-of-the-escape-artists–death.