JHHS and Saline advance, Quitman and Weston eliminated in first round of playoffs

This past Tuesday, four area schools in the Jackson Parish Journal coverage area started on the journey that they hoped would end in Lake Charles where the LHSAA boys basketball state tournament will be played. Two continue. District 1-2A runner-up, Jonesboro-Hodge and Saline, who finished in second place of district 1B, won their opening games of “Marsh Madness” while district 2B representatives, Quitman and Weston, were ousted.

LHSAA Boys Playoffs – Round One

JHHS 49 Welsh 46

WHEW!!!! That was the collective response from the fans in attendance after the Tigers made a late run to push past the upset minded, #24 seed from South Louisiana and avoid what looked like was going to be a demoralizing first round loss.

To say the contest was ugly is an understatement. Especially the play in the second half when both squads made numerous mistakes and were unable to score for long periods of time. A perfect example is what the score was following the half and by the end of the third quarter. At the half the two teams were tied 32-32. When the fourth quarter started the score was 36-35 in favor of Welsh. That is seven total points scored by both teams in eight minutes of play. 

SAY WHAT?

That is no misprint. The two teams combined to score only seven points in eight minutes of play. The teams must have slowed the pace and held the ball like in the days of the “stall” offense, right? Hardly! Both were playing at breakneck, fastbreak speed, hardly ever taking the time to even set up a play. Time and again shots “clanged iron” no matter where they came from. It was especially frustrating for the Tigers, who had a decisive height advantage and would often get multiple chances from underneath on a possession after dominating the glass to get second, third and sometimes four, point blank chances.

The offensive production wasn’t much better in the fourth period either as both teams continued to struggle with their shots. Then Welsh hit JHHS with a “gut punch” that raised a lump in the Tiger fans throat. With just a little over three minutes to play JHHS was trailing 41-40 when Welsh connected on a three-point shot and the Tigers committed a foul, which led to a made free throw. The rare, four-point possession upped the lead to 45-40, which seemed almost insurmountable at the time given the way JHHS was shooting.

With the way the Tigers were struggling to score the reality that JHHS may be going down was thrust forefront into the minds of the home faithful. To the Tigers credit they responded with steely resolve. Through a tenacious, ball-hawking, defensive effort JHHS fought back to take a 47-46 lead. Then with 27 seconds left and JH with the ball, Welsh fouled Ajay Tew.

MISTAKE!

It had been a hard night for Tew, who before making a three pointer earlier in the fourth quarter had struggled from the field, making only one free throw. On the line is where the Tiger’s top marksman does his best work though. With the crowd screaming at a fever pitch, Tew stepped up and calmly sank both charity shots to up the lead to three. which the Tigers made stand up.

NEXT UP! Waiting for the second-round matchup is #8 Oakdale. This is the same school that JHHS unceremoniously dumped in the first round of the football playoffs and who will be certainly looking for revenge. Another performance like in the first round will be a death noll but perhaps the “gut check” is just what the Tigers needed to get them in playoff mode. Game time is set for 6:00 pm in Oakdale.

#9 JHHS (18-7)131931449
#24 Welsh (13-16)1220 41046
(JHHS scoring) Malone 13, Mozee 9, Joe 7, Tew 6, Gray 6, Phillips 5, Calahan 3 (Welsh scoring) Hebert 11, Janise 11, Pattum 7, Soulaire 3, Benard 2, Achane 2, Williams 2

Saline 65 Converse 57 

After starting the season by losing their first four games, Saline has been working feverously to get back to the .500 mark. Since the non-district schedule included two schools from Class 5A and Class 3A, three schools in Class AA and four games against Class A schools, it has been a hard struggle. That’s not to mention that they also played the top ranked teams in Class B & C twice and the team they finished second to in district 1B (Doyline) finished the year with a 28-2 record. It has been a “long row to hoe” but after 35 games the Bobcats are now just one win away from achieving the goal.

Don’t let the 17-18 overall record fool you. This 2021-22 edition of Bobcats is a good team that is battle tested and pose a dangerous threat to anyone they play. The LHSAA playoff rating committee agreed when they gave Saline a lofty #9 seeding, the only team in the top ten with a losing record.  they were 

The Bobcats climbed as close to .500 as they all year this past Tuesday when they dispatched a gutty Converse team in the opening round of the LHSAA Class B playoffs but it wasn’t easy. Saline was expected to win. After all, Converse entered the first-round contest with only a 11-23 record and #24 seeding. Robinson knew though that if his team didn’t give a maximum effort the visitors would present a strong challenge. He told his team so but over the first half it looked like they really didn’t believe it. When the horn sounded for the first half break a lackadaisical defensive effort found Saline trailing by a 29-28 margin. It was a different Saline team that took the floor in the second half though.

The players were the same, but the effort and intensity skyrocketed in the third quarter. The result was a 21-8 advantage in the period that gave the Bobcats the commanding lead they were expected to have. What brought about the change? 

“I just told the guys that I was disappointed in their effort,” deadpanned Robinson after the game. “To their credit they came out and played the second half like they wanted to keep playing this year.”

That was especially true of Saline’s top two guns, Titus Malone and Ethan Roberts. The pair was virtually unstoppable, as they stepped up to score all but two of the Bobcats 31 second half points and finish with 26 and 22 points respectively. 

Next Up! The victory advanced the Bobcats to the second round for the first time since 2018 where a trip to south Louisiana is in store for a Tuesday contest against district 8B champion and #8 seed Holden (16-12), who received a first-round bye. Game time is set for 6:00pm. 

#9 Saline (17-18)1414211665
#24 Converse (11-24)1217825 57
(Saline scoring) Malone 26, Roberts 22, Jackson 8, Brown 4, Staggs 2 (Converse scoring) n/a

Negreet 64 Quitman 62

For the entire first half and for three of the four quarters of the game, home standing Quitman outdueled their visitors. Unfortunately, the one quarter that Negreet won, they won big. The result was that after taking a 28-21 lead into the half, the Wolverines found themselves trailing 41-38 after three quarters and despite a frantic final quarter effort saw their season come to a close in the first round of the Class B playoffs. 

 A look at the scorebook shows that a key factor in the game was Negreet’s ability to convert clutch free throws down the stretch. Playing with gritty resolve Quitman kept right firing at the Indians only to see Negreet keep the Wolverines at bay by converting 9 of 13 fourth quarter free throw attempts. Conversely, despite scoring 24 points in the final frame, the Wolverines made only 5 of their 10 attempts in the fourth quarter and just 11 of 21 in the contest. 

After two periods of play it looked like it would be the Wolverines advancing as L D Manning led the way to a seemingly comfortable 28-21 halftime lead with 14 of his team high 25 points. Ty Simonelli also came up big in the early goings with eight of his ten points. 

Then came the third quarter which was what was perhaps the dooming blow to Quitman’s hopes as the Wolverines were able to make only four field goals and score ten points. Were it not for the effort of Blake Carter, who accounted for six points and three of the four baskets it would have been much worse as the rest of the team combined for only one basket and two free throws.

With the loss the 15th seeded Wolverines end the 2021-22 campaign with 15-19 record. Negreet improved 16-23 and will now hit the road again to take on second ranked Anacoco. 

#15 Quitman (15-19)121610 2462
#18 Negreet (16-23)1011202364
(Quitman scoring) Manning 25, Ponder 12, Simonelli 10, Carter 8, Walker 3, Morgan 2, Pabaya 2 (Negreet scoring) Homes 25, N. Byles 20, Dye 10, Smith 8, L. Byles 3

Singer 77 Weston 62

The first and second halves were almost carbon copies of each other for #20 seed Weston in their first round Class B playoff contest against home standing and 13th seeded Singer. Breaking it down even further the first and third quarters as well as the second and fourth quarters were almost identical for the Wolves. If only the odd numbered quarters didn’t count….

In the even numbered quarters the Wolves were dominant, outscoring the team that finished behind Class B powers Anacoco and Fairview in the district 5B standings by a 52-44 margin. Sadly though, basketball is a four-quarter game and just as good as Weston was in the second and fourth frame the Wolves were just as bad in the first and third. 

It could be said after all was said and done that the game was over really before it had got started good. That is because it seemed that the home team forgot to take the lid off the Weston goal as all the Wolves could muster in the first frame was a Davis Tolar basket and two free throws from Eli McBride. Meanwhile it seemed the home team couldn’t miss as they raced out to a 20-4 lead. 

To the Wolves credit they fought gamely and by virtue of Bryce Zehr’s three treys and 11 points as well as six points each by Tolar and Seth Peterson and four from Mitchel Mathews they narrowed the margin to 43-30 at the half. 

What was already an uphill battle turned futile in the third period as just like in the first frame the Wolves couldn’t buy a basket in the third. Actually, they did get one by Zehr.  That, along with the four free throws made by Mathews was all that was scored though and added to the 13 points that Singer scored the twenty-point hill that had to be climbed in the fourth period was too much to overcome. 

 A bright spot for the Wolves was the play of Zehr, who turned in perhaps his best game of the year, finishing with 17 points. Mathews would add 14 and Tolar 12 with Peterson scoring 8 and McBride 6. Ryan Fiern finished with five to round out the scoring for the Wolves who ended the year with a 12-19 record. Singer improved to 18-18 on the year and now advances to face #4 Lacassine. 

#20 Weston (12-19)42662662
#13 Singer (18-18)2023132177
(Weston scoring: Zehr 17, Mathews 14, Tolar 12, Peterson 8, McBride 6, Fiern 5 (Siniger scoring) n/a

Watershed Board introduces Ordinances to amend waterfront facilities rules on Caney Lake

The Jackson Parish Watershed Board held their regular monthly meeting in the Sunshine Room of the Jackson Parish Police Jury Administration Building this past Thursday in front of an overflow crowd of spectators. 

Board members in attendance were Gary Joynor, Jimmy Waggoner, Wesley Harvey, Jerry Chestnut, Kent Hightower, Roy Barlow and Daniel Ponder. 

The main reason for the interest were the four Ordinances that were introduced regarding the amendment of rules and regulations for Piers, wharves, boathouses, floating boathouses, boat slips or any other facilities extending into or over the waters of Caney Lake. In corresponding action, sending the new rules to contractors and home owners after the Ordinances are adopted was discussed.

Ordinances that were introduced:

(1) Ordinance 2022.02.01 amending Rules and Regulations section 3-2(a) Providing maximum total length for Piers, wharves, boathouses, floating boathouses, boat slips or any other facilities extending into or over the waters of Caney Lake.
(2) Ordinance 2022.02.02 amending Rules and Regulations section 3-2(b) Permit Applications for Piers, wharves, boathouses, floating boathouses, boat slips or any other facilities extending into or over the waters of Caney Lake.
(3) Ordinance 2022.02.03 amending Rules and Regulations section 3-2(c) Properly mooring or anchoring for floating Piers, docks, fences, boathouses, floating boathouses, boat slips or any other facilities extending into or over the waters of Caney Lake.
(4) Ordinance 2022.02.04 amending Rules and Regulations section 3-2(d) Permit Applications for floating Piers, docks, fences, boathouses, floating boathouses, boat slips or any other facilities extending into or over the waters of Caney Lake.

Further discussion about a building permit for George Elmer Johnson III, the Chatham Lake Dam and Spill Way Debris Cleanup, new daily permit drop box and lock and the US Army Corps of Engineers attending the March 17th meeting concluded the meeting.


Quitman’s Leach named Coach of the Year in District 2B

After leading his team to a perfect 6-0 record, Quitman head girls basketball coach Kyle Leach, has been named the District 2B Coach of the Year. The honor was the second consecutive award for the Leach, the longest tenured coach in Jackson Parish, who has now guided Quitman to two consecutive undefeated district seasons and 17 straight, regular season district contests over a three year period.

“It is a great honor and I am very appreciative of being selected,” said Leach. “The award though is really more of a reflection of the girls I have been fortunate to coach, as well as our administration who backs us and the parents of the players who are so very supportive.”

Players from Jackson Parish claimed three of the five first team All-District spots with Briley Peterson from Weston and both Cali Deal and Bethany Leach of Quitman receiving top votes. Ikeia Brown of Simsboro and Kylee Portilloz of Choudrant, who was named the 2B Most Valuable Player, rounded out the top vote getters.

Quitman’s Brayli Stewart and Emma Kate McBride were named to the second team and Lainee Trosclair and Mary Catherine Hay from Weston along with Emma Carter of QHS earning Honorable Mention designation.

With the local first and second teamers being juniors or younger, it leads credence to the belief that the future is bright for both schools programs. The thought was not lost on Leach, giving him cause to echo the sentiment.

“There is a lot of young talent in our parish. We didn’t have a senior on the team this year and Weston has several really good players coming back as well.”

While Leach made the point that he is proud of all of his girls, he also recognizes that he and his daughter were put in rare company by being able to share in their accolades.

“Sure, it is special to me and for our family. This is something we will always remember,” reflected Leach. “I may be biased but I think Bethany is one of the top guards in the state. She has worked hard to become the player she is and I think is very deserving of being recognized as a first teamer. Hopefully we will get to do it again next year.”

Girls 2B All-District First Team

NAMESCHOOLPPGRPGAPGSPGBPG
Cali DealQuitman15.37.31.31.40.4
Bethany LeachQuitman10.62.35.52.10.1
Briley PetersonWeston12.36.31.73.00.3
Kylee Portilloz – MVPChoudrant17.014.50.82.20.7
Ikeia BrownSimsboro32.88.24.06.02.0
PPG – points per game, RPG – rebounds per game, APG – assists per game, SPG – steals per game, BPG – blocks per game

Second Team

Emma Kate McBrideWeston12.86.31.73.00.3
Brayli StewartQuitman11.35.81.41.21.0
Mattie JohnsonChoudrant11.34.52.72
Aly ThomasChoudrant9.57.0
Amani DeanSimsboro18.411.23.00.9

Honorable Mention

Emma CarterQuitman3.54.11.31.30.3
Lainee TrosclairWeston8.73.31.12.20.2
Mary Catherine HayWeston4.73.30.90.50.2
Zoey SmithChoudrant5.23.30.81.0

Weston begins baseball season in convincing fashion

The temperature was frigid but that didn’t stop Weston High from opening the 2022 baseball season with red hot bats. Every single starter reached base and all but one scored at least one run in Joey Kemp’s first game as the new Wolves skipper in the 15-0 “mercy rule” jolting of Jonesboro-Hodge in the contest played at the JPRD Sports Complex on Friday.

Weston wasted no time in putting the game away by scoring five runs in the first inning and then ending the contest with ten more in the bottom of the third.  Conversely JHHS was able to muster only two hits off of winning pitcher Caleb Waters, who struck out five in three innings to earn the victory and drop the Tigers to 1-1 on the year.

Waters was also the main offensive threat as he reached base in all three at bats with two hits and a walk, scored twice and knocked in five runs. His first hit got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning when he turned on a Dominick Strickland fastball for a three-run blast after Tait Henderson and Tayt Culpepper had singled and walked. The Wolves added two more in the inning after Cooper Delaney hit a one out single, Colton Blundell reached on an error and Braden Theriot walked to load the bases. Drew Browning then got two RBI’s with a single to give Weston the 5-0 lead. 

The game got out of hand in the bottom of the third when Blundell singled to start the frame and scored on a Theriot double. Browning followed with another “two bagger” scoring Theriot, who would move up to third on a groundout. After Henderson got plunked and stole second, Waters gathered two more “ribbies” with a two out single and then stole his way to second base. Cole Tolar followed with a single scoring Waters and advanced to second when Delaney walked. Blundell also reached on a free pass to load the bases which then got emptied on Theriot’s second double of the inning. An error on a grounder by Browning preceded the Wolves fourth double of the frame, this one by Blaine Graham, that gave the Wolves the final 15-0 advantage. 

JHHS (1-1)000022
Weston (1-0)501015110

WP – Waters (1-0)
LP – Strickland (0-1)
2B – Theriot 2, Browning, Graham
HR – Waters
RBI -Waters 5, Theriot 4, Browning 3, Graham 2, Tolar 1
SB – Waters 2, Delaney, Henderson, Browning, Blundell, Theriot

JHHS gridders receive inspirational message at annual football banquet

Celebrating the success of this past season, Jonesboro-Hodge held their annual football banquet this past Thursday evening at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center in Jonesboro.

Highlighting the evening was an inspirational message delivered by Dr. Trayvean Scott, Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics at Grambling State University. Dr. Scott graciously stepped in when scheduled guest speaker, former NFL and current GSU head football coach Hue Jackson, was called away at the last minute.

Speaking to an intently listening group of players and the overflow crowd in attendance, Dr. Scott relayed his experiences while as a high school and collegiate athlete and offered his wisdom gained from his distinguished career as an athletic administrator.

“Athletics to a school is similar to what a front porch is to a house,” analogized Scott. “From the outside a porch is the most visible thing that is seen but not the most important part of the construction. For a school, the sports program is what people look at but it’s top priority is the education of the students and for an athlete, sports bring rewards but nothing like the reward you will reap completing your education.”

Scott further explained the importance that competing in athletics plays in the development of a person.Scott

“Sports teaches lessons that help you become productive adults,” reflected Scott. “You learn things like how to manage your time, learning to be humble, honest, loyal and to serve something greater than yourself.”

In closing Scott implored the players to “Never lose sight of your dreams and what you want to accomplish.”

Following was the presentation of awards beginning with Touchdown Club president Leroy Blow and Vice President David Belton giving the “Up and Coming” award to freshman, Christian McGuire and sophomore, Braylon Leonard.

JHHS head football coach and athletic director Terrance Blankenship then introduced to the crowd the players by class and presented awards as voted on by the JHHS coaching staff to the following recipients.

Sportsmanship Award – Chase Leonard
Newcomer of the Year – Zion Gray
Most Improved – Javeon Andrews
Defensive Player of the Year – Xavier Atkins
Offensive Player of the Year – Tydre Malone
Team Spirit Award – Javious Holden (posthumously awarded to family)
Team Leader Award – LaJavion Nichols (posthumously awarded to family)

Those elected to All district, All state, All-Region and All-Star bowl games were then recognized leading up to LaTonya Moss, President of the Football Booster Club offering her appreciation to the members and all those who assisted in helping make the 2021-22 football season a memorable success.

Mr. James Bradford followed by offering sincere thanks and appreciation to the individual, organizations and businesses who helped sponsor the gala event. Those included: Randy Ewing, Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Jack McFarland Campaign, Jay Mallard Ford, Pardue Builders Supply, Jonesboro State Bank, Pine Belt Multi-Purpose Agency, James E. Bradford, Miriam’s Furniture, Pilgrims Rest Baptist Church, Menzina Properties LLC, Attorney Yumeaka Washington, Jackson Parish Hospital, Todd Culpepper, Paradise Funeral Home, Family Pharmacy, Protective Agency Inc., Dodson Enterprises Inc., Traina’s Bakery and Grocery, Mitchell’s Pharmacy, Shawn Murphy Insurance, Bethany Baptist Church, Hodge Bank, Gerry Mims, Attorney Darrell Avery, Barksdale Federal Credit Union and Jackson Parish Bank.

The event concluded with JHHS Principal Chevonda Leonard leading the crowd in the singing of the Alma Mater.


Team and Cheerleader pictures of Youth Basketball Leagues

Pictures were made a few weeks back of each team and cheerleader group of the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Youth Basketball Leagues. Through the generous contribution of Ashley Wyatt of Ruffled Feathers Photography, the Jackson Parish Journal presents the “stars of tomorrow” for your viewing pleasure.

NOTE: For information on how to purchase a picture click here: www.ruffledfeathersphotography.com

AGE 5 & 6 LEAGUE – BOYS AND GIRLS

AGE 7 & 8 GIRLS LEAGUE 

AGE 7 & 8 BOYS LEAGUE 

AGE 9 & 10 GIRLS LEAGUE 

AGE 9 & 10 BOYS LEAGUE 

AGE 11 & 12 GIRLS LEAGUE 

AGE 11 & 12 BOYS LEAGUE

AGE 13 & 14 BOYS LEAGUE

TRAIL BLAZERS

CHEERLEADERS

MAROON SQUAD
RED SQUAD
PURPLE SQUAD

Police Jury calls for Special Meeting on Monday

The Jackson Parish Police Jury has called a Special Meeting to be held at 12:00pm on Monday in the Nathanial Zeno Jr. Meeting Room of the Jackson Parish Administrative Building, located at 160 Industrial Drive in Jonesboro.

Three items are on the agenda as follows:

1. Consider and act on recommendation to authorize roadside vegetation spraying for one
pass on gravel roads only
2. Consider and act on authorizing signatures to the bank signature cards
3. Consider and act on temporary setups and other actions for interim staff

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance, please
contact Brad Roller at (318) 259-5691 describing the assistance that is necessary.


Tigers open baseball season with victory over Simsboro


Jonesboro-Hodge opened the 2022 baseball season with a convincing 12-1 victory over Simsboro giving head coach Justin Durbin and assistant Chris Smith victories in their first game as a combination. The Tigers scored seven runs in the second inning that led to the five inning “mercy rule” victory, the team’s first season opening win since 2016.
It was a dominating, total team performance for the Tigers. Offensively they belted out 10 hits, half that went for extra bases. Two hurlers combined to strike out 11 and allow only a pair of hits and in the field JHHS played flawlessly without an error.
JHHS did something in the very first inning that the Tigers failed to do seven times last season – score a run. By games end, the Tigers had plated more runs in the first game of the season than they did in all but one of the 19 contests they played in 2021.
It was cleanup hitter Logan Smith’s triple to left center that plated Dominick Strickland, who had coaxed a two out walk that put the Tigers on the board in the first frame. Then JHHS opened the floodgates with seven runs on seven hits in the second inning to chase the Simsboro starting pitcher.
Titus Thompson opened the second with a single and scored on a triple by Ethan Taylor. After Aiden Price “took one for the team” when he got hit by a pitch, Julian Paggett doubled and Marcus Thompson singled. That set the stage for Strickland stroking the third extra base hit of the inning with a double to right center and Smith getting his second hit in as many innings and scoring a run following an error when I Turnage flew out to right field.
JHHS added another run when Taylor walked to open the top of the third and scored on Thompson’s double, his second hit of the day. The Tigers scored their final three runs in the fifth as Paggett singled and both Thompson and Alphonzo Calahan walked to load the bases. Strickland reached base for the fourth consecutive time by getting hit with a pitch to drive in a run and Smith followed with his third hit that resulted in his second and third RBI. Thompson got the win after striking out seven in three innings of work with Strickland relieving him and striking out four in two innings on the mound.

JHHS (1-0)1710312100
Simsboro (0-2)01000122

WP – Thompson
LP = Mosely
2B – Thompson, Paggett, Strickland
3B – Smith, Taylor
RBI – Strickland 3, Smith 3, Thompson 2, Taylor, Paggett
SB – Thompson 2, Taylor, Evans

Two weeks left to apply for Spring Quarter JSB / Pledge 10 Grant

The Jonesboro State Bank / Pledge 10 applications are now being accepted from area non-profits in Jackson, Lincoln, Winn and Bienville Parishes for the Fall window that runs from July 15th to September 15th. The Spring application window that began on January 15th continues through March 15th.

These grants assist with innovative projects that promote education, youth development, financial literacy or community enrichment in this four-parish area. Awards range from $2500.00 to $10,000.00 To apply for a Pledge 10 grant go online @ Pledge10.com.

Grants are largely evaluated, scored and recommended for funding based on how carefully the guidelines are followed. Please send questions to Pledge10@jboro.com. Upon submission of a grant proposal, contact will be made if any additional information or clarification is necessary. To learn more about the guidelines, grant agreement and for Frequently Asked Questions click here.


ANNA THE ARCHER MAKING WAVES

So how does a pretty young lady, a graduate student at LSU, spend her time? Making sure she’s up to date with the latest fashions? Shopping for lady things like purses and shoes? Some might, and Anna Ribbeck could have interest in these things but if she really wants to be involved in “what’s happening”, she’ll be pulling on her camo, grabbing her bow and heading for the marsh to sling arrows at nutria.

Ribbeck lives in Baton Rouge and works for the Ag Center as Social Media Strategist and attends graduate school studying invasive aquatic plants such as Giant Salvinia and water hyacinths.

“I was introduced to archery in college some four years ago and I fell in love with the sport of slinging arrows,” Ribbeck said. “Since then, I have gotten into bow hunting and have taken two deer already, a doe and a buck.”

There is another critter that has captivated her attention more than hunting deer. She loves to shoot nutria, those invasive rodents that eat native vegetation and their destructive habits are contributing to Louisiana’s coastal erosion. Nutria down in the marsh make one think of feral pigs up this way. Both are putting dents in native habitat, food sources and creating havoc wherever they are found.

“I started hunting nutria last year when one of the stars of the Swamp People television show invited me to participate in a nutria rodeo. I asked him if I could use my bow, he asked me if I could hit them with a bow and I told him ‘shoot yeah I can’,” she said.

Accompanied by her boyfriend, Ribbeck participated in her first nutria rodeo when 62 teams from around the country participated in attempting to see how many of the ugly critters could be eliminated.

“We went back this year to the rodeo, which is held down in Venice, and I decided to leave my bow at home and take my .22 rifle because we wanted to win. In two days of hunting, our team took 220 nutria while a total of some 1900 were taken off the landscape by all teams,” Ribbeck continued.

So, what happens to all the nutria that are taken? Are they just unceremoniously tossed aside for the buzzards to clean up?

“No, we eat them,” she said. “Nutria are vegetarians and the meat is quite good. A nutria gumbo is just plain delicious.”

In addition to spending her time in the woods after deer or in the marsh working on nutria, Ribbeck has another mission in which she is heavily involved.

“I want to educate the public, especially women, on archery. I do a lot of You Tube videos on social media under the name of Anna the Archer and I visit bow shops to teach women about archery. I also participate in competitive archery and that has not only been lots of fun but getting to hang out with others in the sport has been a big help in developing my skills and my love for the sport,” she said.

Ribbeck, aka Anna the Archer, will be in north Louisiana in March to host an archery program in Homer at the Claiborne Parish Library on Saturday March 26 with program beginning at 2:00 pm. If you are a bow hunter, competitive shooter or would just like to meet this archery enthusiast you need to make plans to be there. She may even share her recipe for nutria gumbo.

FISHING REPORT

CANEY LAKE – Bass are starting move up with some still in the deeper holes with soft plastics, jigs and crank baits picking up some good fish. The crappie bite is still best down near the dam in deep water with some bigger fish caught as some begin to move up to spawning grounds. Jigs and shiners are best bets. No report on bream or catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Fishing is slow. No report this week. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – The river is on a rise and fishing has been slow this week. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – A good many crappie are being caught and most are still in the deeper channels with best catches made on shiners or jigs fished 12-18 feet deep in 24-foot water. Some reports of bass beginning to move up but then move back once weather cools. Bream fishing has not yet kicked off for this year, but catfish are still biting cold worms fished off the banks. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie fishing continues to be best fishing shiners in deep water out from the dam while some have been caught on yo-yos baited with shiners back in the creeks. Reports on bass are that some are starting to move more shallow getting ready for the spawn a few weeks down the road. No report on bream, catfish or stripers. For latest information, call Misty at Kel’s Cove at 331-2730 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good on cold worms with mostly frying sized fish caught. Some really big crappie up to 3 pounds have been caught on the north end of the lake. No report on bass or bream. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – The water is low; launching boats is a near impossibility. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is rising rapidly and there has been no fishing this week. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.


Jonesboro Plumbing Repair Company celebrates grand opening with ribbon cutting

The Jonesboro business community added another member this past Tuesday when Chris and Jennifer Audirsch celebrated the grand opening of their business, Jonesboro Plumbing Repair Company by cutting the ceremonial ribbon.

On hand to witness the joyous occasion were several members from the Jackson Parish Chamber of Commerce, including President Darryl Avery, Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson, family members and friends.

Located at 102 4th Street in Jonesboro, Chris brings 25 years of plumbing experience and is licensed, insured and bonded for commercial /residential new construction or repair. If you are in need of a friendly, reliable and thorough plumber come by the new location or call to (318)497-1727.


Skylar Hall receives Superior ratings at La. Tech Literary Rally

If you have been fortunate enough to hear her, you know that there is no doubt about it, Skylar Hall can sing! This is not just an opinion but a fact that was verified recently at the Literary Rally at Louisiana Tech where the junior vocalist from Quitman High School earned the highest rating possible by two separate sets of judges. Following her performance, Hall received a Superior Plus rating from the Rolla Area Music Teachers Association (RAMTA) and scored Superior by Literary Rally judges. By virtue of her outstanding achievement, Hall has now qualified for the state competition.


J-H Middle School gives presentation to celebrate Black History Month

On Friday, February 25th, Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School celebrated Black History Month through a wonderful presentation based on the Greensboro Lunch Counter Sit-in of 1960. Making it happen was committee members: Mrs. Mangum, Ms. Jacobs, Mrs. Crowe, Mrs. Palmer, Mrs. Pearce, Mrs. Manning, Mr. Cash, and Ms. Wimberly.

Special thanks is given to Ms. Alesha Foy who did a wonderful job singing, Mrs. Annie P. Johnson for her detailed experiences right here in Jackson Parish, as well as, faculty member, Mrs. Mable Houston, one of the first blacks to attend Jonesboro-Hodge High School.

Last but certainly not least, the following students for their dedication to this Black History Experience. They have increased their confidence, communication skills, and understanding of the world.

Students: Marquis Baker, Dakota Knox, Colton Worthington, MaKenley Ray, Madison Turner, Alexa Reed, Logan Kelly, Jeremiah Turnage, JaQuan Qualls, Satavia “Saige” Qualls, Rihanna Johnson, Nia Williams, Skyliah Dill, Ma’ Riyah Jones, JoAnn Walker, Timothy “Dallas” Knox, Peyton Shows, Terron Walker, Jaidon Venzant, and Troy Baude.

“As the month comes to an end, let’s continue to learn and make progress throughout the year, not just this month. We are better together!”  – JHMS Principal Danielle Copeland.