Special Edition: Tornado rips through Hodge

A little after noon on Wednesday fierce line of thunderstorms rumbled its way across Jackson Parish spawning a tornado that ripped the roof off the Hodge Shopping Center and causing severe damage to the General Dollar Store and Mercy Medical Hospital. 

Additional reports indicated that an 18-wheeler had been flipped by WestRock, Inc and that multiple instances of trees and power lines were down all over the Jonesboro-Hodge area. Outlying areas also lost power. Fortunately, no injuries were reported. Quick response by Entergy crews had most of the power restored to the parish by 3:00pm.


Pay dispute leaves Jonesboro without Police protection

On Sunday evening a call was received by Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) about several disturbances and fights taking place during a large gathering at Pierre Park in Jonesboro. Deputies quickly responded. A few minutes later another call, this time to 911, was made indicating that shots had been fired at the same location. More JPSO Deputies arrived.

The question then arose about why were no Jonesboro Police Department (JPD) Officers on the scene? Here it was a gathering of roughly 500 people at a public location within the city limits of Jonesboro, yet there was not a single Officer from the JPD on site. Not before the disturbances took place. Not after. How could this be? The answer is simple. There were no JPD Officers on duty. 

When Jonesboro Police Chief, James “Spike” Harris, was questioned about this, he gave a simple explanation.

“We didn’t have anybody on duty because my Officers refused to work without being paid,” said Harris. “I don’t blame them either.” 

Harris then expounded further. 

“Now I am being questioned about why there were no Officers on site. My reply to that is who would go to work if they knew they weren’t going to get compensated for their time? I certainly wouldn’t and don’t know of anyone who would.”

“Our Officers are supposed to be paid for their service but now the JPD is in the spot-light and it shouldn’t be. What should be happening is the Mayor being brought to the table for not paying employees their due wages.”

To get a perspective on this you must backtrack to the Board of Aldermen meeting that was held in January where Mayor Thompson indicated that the Town of Jonesboro was in dire financial condition and that harsh changes had to be made. Of particular importance was the decision to change the wage scale for all town employees to a compensatory time schedule. 

Compensatory time is an arrangement by which eligible employees are entitled to take time off in lieu of overtime pay. Yet in this instance, this was not something the JPD Officers had an option of considering but instead had forced on them. 

Immediately after the new payment plan was instituted Chief Harris balked at signing the agreement on behalf of the JPD. His objection was two-fold.

“First of all, what Mayor Thompson did is highly illegal as he has no right to refuse to pay the Jonesboro Police Officers their due wages without the consent of the Chief of Police. Per Louisiana Revised Code 33:2213.1 (B) subsection (b) an agreement or understanding about wages must be arrived between the employer and employee before the performance of work.”

“The Police Department does not report directly to the mayor’s office. The Chief of Police in this municipality is an elected official who controls the budget set forth by the Board of Aldermen and handles day to day operations of the police department. So in effect, the JPD Officers don’t work for the Town of Jonesboro but for the Jonesboro Police Department. In my capacity as the head of this department, or their employer, no agreement or understanding has been reached with the Officers, who are the employees. other than the original agreement they signed when they were hired.”

“Secondly, the original agreement stated that employees who did not take their compensatory time within a 30-day period would lose it. This would require officers to be forced to miss work, which would cause serious manpower shortage problems or work without getting paid for their time.”

At the Board of Aldermen meeting in February, this was brought up again by Assistant Police Chief, Ciera Murphy. After hearing her objection, Mayor Thompson stated that he would look into this and make adjustments as necessary. 

When the JPD Officers received their pay this past week there was no overtime pay included. According to what Harris was told by his Officers, when they questioned why their check was “short” they were told by the City Payroll Clerk that the Mayor said not to include overtime pay in their checks.

Chief Harris said that this is just another ploy of Mayor Thompson in his long going, vendetta against him and the Police Department. He also added that sadly, it not only hurts the people who are trying to keep Jonesboro safe but puts the public at risk. 

“In Mayor Thompson’s previous administration, he had the police department defunded,” recalled Harris. “Since Mayor Thompson was re-elected, he has been tired time and again to take money and resources away from the JPD, but this time the town council has been wise enough to not vote to do so. He even went so far as to say in a public forum that He will have the Jonesboro Police walking or riding bicycles.”

Harris concluded by saying enough is enough and he will no longer sit idly by and see his department be subjected to this type of action anymore. 

“I am in contact with the necessary authorities about what is going on and am in the process of seeking not only criminal charges against Mayor Thompson and his staff, but also filing for civil litigation in this matter.”

KNOE-TV, Channel 8 does feature about dispute

On Monday a feature was done on the dispute by KNOE-TV, Channel 8 where Harris and Thompson were both interviewed. To see the news piece entitled Police chief in Jonesboro seeking legal action against Mayor click here.



Prep Results! Lady Tigers beat Dodson to break long losing streak

What is the special connection between the date of March 28th and the Jonesboro-Hodge softball team? There obviously is one. When the Lady Tigers beat Dodson 6-0 on Monday, for the second straight year now the Lady Tigers have won their first game of the season on this date. If something happens once it may be considered a fluke, but twice in two years? Things that make you go hmmmm…….

In retrospect, you can go back to the final inning of the 20-10 loss to Northwood-Lena on March 23rd that dropped JHHS to 0-9 on the year to find the catalyst behind J-H being able to finally put an end to the 16-games of futility that extended exactly one calendar year and over two parts of two seasons.  

To set the stage, JHHS was down 14-5 heading into the top of the fifth inning and seemed destined to be on their way to another thumping. No one would have been surprised if the team would have just played out the string so that the game would get over as soon as possible. After all it is a long ride back from Alexandria and the girls not only had school to deal with the next morning but another game that night. 

Instead, the girls showed tremendous character and dug deep to score the most runs (6) in one inning than they have all year, sans one game. True, Northwood-Lena came back to complete the “ten run rule” victory by scoring five in the bottom of the inning but the momentum gained in the Lady Tiger’s final at bat of that contest carried over against Dodson. 

Led by a pair of runs scored by Zoie Anderson and individual tallies by Kyla Hayes, Realti Atkins, Madison Page and Madison Houston, JHHS scored in every inning. Adding to the thrill is Anderson hurling the shutout marking the first time that has been accomplished by a JHHS pitcher since 2018.

Sterlington stuns Weston

Only two times this year has Weston been in a close game. They have lost both of them as Sterlington did what the Wolves couldn’t. In the first one (4-3 to Teurlings Catholic) the Wolves rallied in the 7th inning to get to within one and had the score tying runner on base This past Thursday the roles were reversed as Weston was ahead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Sterlington not only tied the game but won it in stunning fashion with a three run, walk-off, home run. 

As Sterlington is the 7th rated team in Class 3A, the loss did not affect Weston’s #1 ranking in Class B but did narrow their lead over second place Zwolle. The defeat left the Wolves with an 11-4 record while Sterlington improved to 10-9 on the year. 

In the top of the second inning, Drew Browning slapped a double to left field to score Davis Tolar who had reached on an error. Weston doubled their score later in the inning when Kaden Shirley’s groundout plated Cooper Delaney who had singled. 

A run in the bottom of the second, third and fourth innings gave Sterlington a 3-2 advantage. Weston rallied to score a pair in the top of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Tait Henderson got things started with a two out single. After Caleb Waters got hit with a pitch, Davis Tolar hit a drive to right field that scored both runners with the help of a Sterlington throwing error. 

Three Sterlington pitchers combined to strike out 10 and give up only four hits over the seven innings. Barr got the win while Kaden Shirley got the loss after relieving Cooper Delaney who pitched 6 2/3 innings, struck out 7 and gave up only two earned runs.  

Weston (11-4)0200200442
Choudrant (10-9)0111004792

WP – Barr
LP – Shirley (1-1)
2B – Browning
RBI – Shirley, Browning
RS – Henderson, Waters, Tolar, Garrett

Brymer’s big day lifts Lady Wolverines

For the second time in three days, Quitman defeated Class 3A North Webster and for the second time it was the second inning that made the difference in the game. It was also the second time that Maddie Kate “Big Bopper” Brymer feasted at the plate. 

In the 17-4 “ten run rule” victory on Monday, Brymer went 4 /4, scored twice and knocked in five. All but one of the RBI’s came in Quitman’s nine run second inning where she blasted a three run homer and hit a single. Over the two games Brymer has recorded 7 hits in 8 at bats, scored three and brought home six, giving her a team tying 34 RBI on the season. 

Maggie Guyotte also went 4/4 on the day scoring a pair of runs and knocking in two to tie Brymer for the team RBI lead.  Cali Deal (3RBI) and Skylar Hall went 3/4 (2 RS, 2RBI, 2SB) with Madison Chaplin (3RS, 2SB, RBI) and Averie Williams (2RBI, RS) adding two hits apiece as Quitman gathered a season best total of 19 on the day. Marley Bell and Anna Leach scored three runs apiece, with Karley Huckaby adding a run to round out the scoring. 

Only 2 of the 4 runs North Webster scored as Quitman struggled in the field with 6 errors. Cali Deal went the distance to improve her record to 9-2 on the year. Her 11 K’s marked the 5th time this season she has recorded double digits in strikeouts and put her total at 133 in just 74 2/3 innings pitched. 

North Webster30100442

WP – Deal (9-2)
LP – Campbell
2B – Williams, Deal, Bell
HR – Brymer
RBI – Brymer 5, Deal 3, Williams 2, Hall 2, Bell 2, Guyotte 2, Chaplin
RS – Leach 3, Chaplin 3, Bell 3, Guyotte 2, Brymer 2, Hall 2, Huckaby, Williams
SB – Hall 2, Chaplin 2

North DeSoto sends Quitman to 4th straight loss

North DeSoto, the 6th ranked team in Class 3A, scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to break open a 1-0 game enroute to the 6-2 victory. The loss was the fourth in a row and fifth in the last six games as Quitman continued to struggle against a stacked schedule comprising of teams from higher classifications. 

Ty Simonelli, who took the loss on the hill, had a great day at the plate, reaching base in all three at bats by coaxing a walk and slapping a double for one of his two hits. He also scored both of Quitman’s runs and stole a base. Logan Ponder and Riley Duck were the only other two Wolverines to touch up North Webster pitching for hits. The loss put Quitman at .500 on the season with a 7-7 record while North Webster improved to 11-8 on the year.

North DeSoto001311x672

WP – Richardson
LP – Simonelli 
2B – Simonelli
RBI – Duck
RS – Simonelli 2
SB – Simonelli

Jonesboro Board of Aldermen makes move to secure needed grant money

The Jonesboro Board of Aldermen agreed to introduce an Ordinance that was needed in order to secure a $750,000.00 grant that has been earmarked for the town by the Department of Environmental Quality. (DEQ)

The move was done at a special called meeting on Monday where Devin Flowers, Pete Stringer, James Ginn, Robbie Siadek and Nia Evans-Johnson all gave their approval after listening to City Engineer Brad Graff explain why it was necessary to get the process of receiving the money right away.

As Graff explained to the council, the language of the grant requires that the money be used by October. The plan in place is for the reconstruction of the 12″ main sewer line off the lift station located at the end of 5th street in Jonesboro. A line extension to South Polk Avenue is also on the schedule.  

The process of receiving the grant money started last fall, when Graff made several applications for funding from various departments and government entities. The DEQ responded with approval for $750,000.00 providing that the town could show a revenue and expense projection regarding the sewage program. 

This was submitted but the plan fell short of one of the requirements set forth.  This was that the town had to be able to show solvency in the sewage program over a ten-year period. Original projections submitted indicated that the town would be incurring more expenses than revenues beginning in 2025. 

In the original plan there were no increases in sewer rates for in town and out of town residents and businesses other than a standard 3% cost of living increase. In order to alleviate the shortfall of revenue, Graff devised a plan to increase rates by 4% yearly from the year 2025 to 2030 which would suffice the requirement of showing positive revenue over expenses. He then submitted this to the DEQ for their review and got a favorable reply.

The Ordinance (2022-001), which had the terms of the planned yearly rate increases published in the March 27th edition of the Jackson Parish Journal, now will be on the May 10th meeting agenda for ratification. Prior to the session a Public Hearing will take place to allow comments to be made.


Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame taking nominations for Class of 2022

The Jackson Parish Sports Hall of Fame Board is taking nominations for the Class of 2023. Deadline for submittals is April 20th, 2022. For a person to be nominated the following qualifications must be met.

  1. Prospective inductees must have been retired from their respective field of endeavor at least three (3) years prior to their selection.
  2. Inductees must have competed for at least two (2) years at the varsity level in high schools located in Jackson Parish, Louisiana or have coached for at least five (5) years at the varsity level in high schools located in Jackson Parish, Louisiana.

In submitting the form have all biographical information as complete as possible as well as a picture of the nominee. Also state reasoning as to why the individual is being submitted as a possible inductee to the Hall.

To make a nomination you should send email to one of the following:

Wilda Smith: wilda@wsmithcoc@aol.com
Bill Staples: bill@jacksonsportshall.com
Harrell Bond, Jr.: harrell@jacksonsportshall.com

Nominations can also be mailed to:
Jackson Sports Hall of Fame
PO Box 200
Jonesboro, LA 71251

Former Hodge resident, Joel Crowson, to debut new book at Sunshine Festival

Joel Crowson, raised in Hodge, Louisiana, will debut his new book, Play the Game, at the Sunshine Festival in Jonesboro on April 16. Joel is the youngest son of Blanche and Leslie Crowson of Hodge, and the brother of Cyndi Crowson Nunn of Quitman.

Play the Game is a historical fiction novel based on the true story of Joel’s great uncle, Neal Crowson, who grew up in Bienville, LA. His story includes baseball, a sea voyage, murder, flight as a fugitive, narrow escapes, the Secret Service, and the love of a beautiful woman. Play the Game is a good read, and reading it is the only way to discover Neal’s fate.

Look for Joel’s booth at the festival. He’ll be glad to sign each copy of the book upon purchase. The official book release is April 21st. It will be available online and at all the major bookstores.

Quitman Relays to be held on Thursday

The 2022 Quitman Relays will take place this Thursday, March 31st with all three Jackson Parish Schools taking part in boys and girls competition along with nine other north Louisiana representatives. Additional schools expected to be on hand are Castor, Cedar Creek, Choudrant, Converse, D’Arbonne Woods, Delhi, Doyline, LaSalle, Lakeview, Saline, Simsboro, St. Mary’s and Summerfield. Field events are slated to begin at 3:00pm with the track portion of the meet running at 5:00pm.

Keys, Giddens win events at Castor Invitational

With some of the best “small school” thinclads from northwest Louisiana on hand at the Castor Invitational track meet held on March 24th, Bailey Keys and Maddie Grace Giddens of Quitman High won gold medals in the boys shot put and girls 300 Meter Hurdles. Team scores showed Quitman coming in 5th place in the boys and 9th in the girls division, while Weston came in 12th in both boys and girls competition.

Nadia Siadek (girls shot put), Carrol Foshee (girls pole vault) and Rylee McBride (boys shot put) grabbed second place finishes for Weston. Hunter Folks (boys pole vault) and Nathan Harvey (boys 110 hurdles) won silver for Quitman.

Chance Chaplin (boys 3200 meters), Jamall Johnson (boys 400 meters), Lajaesha Bailey (girls shot put), Ansley Folks (girls pole vault) and Summer Grillette (girls pole vault) from Quitman also earned trips to the podium for finishing in third place.

J-HMS, QJH fare well at Choudrant Jr. High meet

Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School (JHMS) and Quitman Jr. High (QJH) was well represented on the podium at the Choudrant Junior High track meet held on March 22nd. J-HMS won five events, took three second’s and six third’s, in both boys and girls competition while QJH won three first’s, three second’s and five third place finishes all in the girls division. Weston Junior High also competed and while none finished in the top three of their respective events, several scored points.

In girls competition Sanaa Tatum won the 100 meter dash, finished second in the 200 meters and ran the second leg in the 2nd place winning 4×100 relay team of JaKhorielle Lard, Lakayla McGuire and Ciara Gray. Additional first place winners for the J-HMS girls were Ciana Gray in the girls 100 hurdles and the girls 4×400 relay team of Jaiden Venzant, Makenley Ray, Aspen Atkins and Trinity Davis. Venzant also won second in the 400 meters. Lard took third in the 200 meters, Atkins in the 400 meters and Rihanna Johnson in the discus.

Leading the J-HMS boys was Dakota Knox who won the long jump, finished third in the 100 hurdles and along with Troy Baude, Kamien Rogers and KaDarrion Thompson took third in the 4×400 relays. Jason Blackburn also won first in the 200 meters in boys competition.

Representing Quitman as gold medal winners was Kinley Walker (800 meters), Hallay Taylor (long jump) and Hallie Kate Pullig (shot put). Coming in second place was Audrina Martin (1600 meters), Sophia Kliebert (high jump), and Kinsley Ponder in the javelin. Grabbing third place finishes was Zuwyneshia Johnson (100 meters & long jump), Taraje Wiley (high jump), Emma Walker in the javelin and the 4×400 relay team of Walker, Martin, Megan Kelley and Linsey Woods.


Jackson Parish Bowhunters 3D Archery Shoot winners announced

A total of 45 shooters enjoyed a beautiful spring day by competing in the Jackson Parish Bowhunters 3D Archery Shoot held on March 26th at the Steven Morgan Archery Range, located at the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Sports Complex.

Winners were declared in 21 separate divisions including Chad Dyess who won the Long Shot competition by being within 3/8” of the center of the target from 81 yards away.  The winner of the Elite Embark Bow, that was donated by Superior Outdoors in Hodge, was Courtney Whitehead.

Tournament Results

Men’s Known 50
1st Richard Shell – 188
Men’s Known 45
1st Anthony Breithoupt – 195
2nd Lucas Homan – 178
Men’s Open 40
1st Lance Sims – 171
2nd Terry Sims – 166
3rd Chad Winborne – 143
Men’s Known 40
1st Austin Sims – 204
2nd Hunter Ogle – 202
3rd Shane Rowe – 196
Senior’s Known 45
1st Kevin Howard – 165
Men’s Pin 40
1st Mark Corley – 198
2nd Daniel Laffitte – 195
Senior Men’s Open
1st Michael Graves – 186
Senior Men’s Known 50
1st Chad Dyess – 205
Senior Pin’s
1st Spanky Briggs – 202
Super Senior Known
1st Larry Edwards – 216
2nd Randal Hatten – 210
3rd Glynn Dela Salle – 200
Senior Master Known
1st Ronnie Sims – 150
Women’s Known 40
1st Cassidy Hall – 173
2nd Anita Williams – 160
3rd Raelyn Shell – 148
Women’s Pin 30
1st Jennifer Lasyone – 202
2nd Cheyenne Allen – 180
3rd Courtney Whitehead – 140
1st Joe Nunn – 174
Youth Open Boys
1st Easton Hall – 202
2nd Jake North – 169
Eagle Open Boys
1st Luke Rowe – 203
2nd Eli Rowe – 174
Youth Pin Girls
1st Anna Malsam – 128
Youth Pins Boys
1st Case Sims – 173
2nd Ben McKinney – 103
Eagle Pin Girls
1st Emma Lynn Corley – 175
Junior Eagle Open
1st Remi Williams – 182
2nd Tucker Williams – 168
3rd Kolton Laffitte – 141
4th Kylee Ayn Allen – 126
5th Brandon Laffitte – 112

Lady’s of the Lake assist Chatham Senior’s Mealsite

It is uncommon to have a group of people dedicate their time to coming to the aid of others. Yet that is exactly what the collection of women who live on Caney Lake, aka, the “Lady’s of the Lake” do. Over the past several years these wonderful women have given assistance to a myriad of organizations and events. Now they are at it again.

By providing gift bags to homebound clients, as well as taking part in the entertainment programs offered during the month of March, the Lady’s of the Lake have blessed Chatham area, senior citizens who participate in the Chatham Senior’s Mealsite (CSM) program.

CSM is a satellite outreach site of the Jackson Parish Council on Aging that provides daily meals and activities for people in the Chatham area who are at least 60 years old. They also deliver meals to homebound Senior’s, provide limited local transportation and more.

Recruiting Report! University of Tennessee offers Atkins, Leonard visits GSU

University of Missouri commit, Xavier Atkins of Jonesboro-Hodge High School, received an offer to play for the University of Tennessee this past week. This marks the second SEC school and sixth overall that has officially requested that the 3-Star, junior-to-be, linebacker continue his football career at their university. 

In a tweet posted on March 26th, Atkins confirmed the offer. 

“After a great conservation with @luc_brian (Brian Luc Jean-Mary – UT Linebackers Coach)
I’m blessed to earn my 6th division 1 offer from the University of Tennessee and my Second Sec offer!” – Xavier “DEEBO” Atkins @XavierAtkins8

In additional recruiting news, Chase “Smoke” Leonard made a second visit to Grambling State University. 

“I really enjoyed going to Grambling State University.,” said Leonard. “There was so much enthusiasm with players and coaches.”


April Is Safe Digging Month in Louisiana

(By: Akemi Briggs)

BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards has proclaimed the month of April as “Safe Digging Month” in Louisiana as part of a nationwide safety awareness campaign to draw attention to the thousands of miles of buried infrastructure throughout the state and the importance of safe excavation.

It is extremely important that everyone dial 811 before they dig so that operators of underground utilities and pipelines can mark the location of buried lines to make them easier to avoid. Louisiana 811 answers these calls and notifies member operators of nearby underground facilities free of charge. Louisiana 811 provides the same service via the Internet at www.louisiana811.com

The issue is so important that state law requires all excavators and demolishers to notify Louisiana 811 before they begin work. The law applies to individuals as well as contractors, municipalities and others. Failure to call can subject the excavator to fines and liability for damages to buried infrastructure.

Whether you’re digging a garden, putting up a fence or building a highway, the first step is a call to 811 so professional locators can mark the location of buried lines. It is easy, free, and it helps prevent service interruptions and personal injuries.

· Call two full workdays before you begin.

· Wait for the site to be marked.

· Respect the marks.

· Always dig with care, especially near the marks.

Kansas basketball: A psychiatrist’s dream

Kansas is a 4.5-points favorite against Villanova Saturday in the first of two NCAA Tournament semifinal games. Duke and North Carolina will follow at approximately 7:49; the Blue Devils are a 4-points favorite.

Hello, Awesome Saturday Night. Except …

If you see a Kansas fan between now and then, and if he or she is gnawing on tree bark and unable to mumble a complete sentence, move along. Yes, the Jayhawks are favorites. Yes, Kansas has a basketball tradition as rich as anyone’s.

But yes, Kansas come Tournament time is a heartache waiting to happen.

East Coast. West Coast. Midwest. Deep South. Historically, the Kansas basketball program has arguably left more hoop-loving hearts broken all over this great land and on the Final Four Road than any other program that’s ever dared nail up a peach basket.

They’ve got the awesome old-school gym. The simple, bright, cheerful uniforms you could probably wear to church and get away with. That happy-go-lucky Jayhawk mascot.

It’s a program that’s strung together a ridiculous 31 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, the most ever. All the Jayhawks do is win.

Until it’s time to finish. Kansas has only three NCAA Tournament titles in its illustrious history.

Which is three more than lots of programs, for sure. Most anyone would trade for what Kansas has been able to do, generation after generation.

And still, their reputation is that of a Bracket Buster. Kansas giveth, and Kansas taketh away. Saturday will mark the program’s 16th trip to the Final Four, which means that for all their trips to the mountaintop, the Jayhawks have left as King of the Hill only once every five times.

They’ve been runners-up six times, college basketball’s equivalent of baseball’s 1950s’ Brooklyn Dodgers and 1990s’ Atlanta Braves.

Bridesmaids City.

Recent history:

In 2010, Northern Iowa, historically one of the finest programs in all of the great state of Iowa, bounced them out.

In 2011 as the Tournament’s No.1-seed, Kansas was dismissed by VCU in the Elite Eight. (Time flies; Shaka Smart seems like last week.)

2014, they got Stanford-ed, although it’s important to remember that Kansas was Joel Embiid-less thanks to an unfortunate injury.

2016 and 2018, well, we’ll come back to that in a sec.

In 2020, the Jayhawks were ranked No. 1 in some polls and … The Ultimate Indignity … the Tournament was pandemically cancelled.

So here they are again with head-scratching Kansas, never ranked No. 1 this season, yet champions of the Midwest Regional and the only No.1 Regional seed left in the ballgame. If you are a Kansas fan, you are probably preparing for a dagger where it hurts.

But who knows? Bill Self could become just the 16th guy in the college game to win multiple national titles. Kansas could do what the 1952 and Self’s 2008 team did and win it all.

Very un-Kansas-like, they’ve even won it when they weren’t supposed to. I happened to be there hanging around in Kemper Arena in Kansas City in 1988 when “Danny Manning and the Miracles,” a 6-seed, upset No.1 Oklahoma, 34-3 and winners of 21 of its last 22 games, 83-79. The game was tied 50-50 at the half, the small (for a Final Four) arena was an explosion of cheers and colors and gasps and drama, and the whole thing was more fun than a little bit.

And maybe the same will be true this weekend. Maybe. With Kansas being a favorite over Villanova in the Saturday semis, that’s a step in the right direction.

Except … remember we mentioned 2016 and 2018? Kansas played Villanova in the tournament both those years. And lost. First, in 2016 when the Jayhawks were the top-seeded team in the tournament.

And then in 2018, when Kansas lost to the underdog Wildcats … in the semifinals.

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

Student Athletes of the Week for March 27th-April 2nd announced

The Student/Athlete of the Week for March 27th – April 2nd at Jonesboro-Hodge, Quitman and Weston High Schools has been named. The award is sponsored by the Jackson Parish Hospital and chosen by select faculty and staff at each school. The recipients were chosen based on their academic excellence and athletic achievements during the week. 

Student Athlete of the Week (March 27th – April 2nd)

JHHS –  D’Marrian Thompson (Sophomore, Track)
QHS – Cali Deal (Freshman, Softball)
WHS -Davis Tolar (Senior, Baseball)