Homecoming Hope! Tigers look to get back on track against Lakeview

It is said that “the third time is a charm.” As the JHHS vs Lakeview football game this Friday night will mark the third time this season that the Tigers will have competed in a Homecoming game, the hope is that the adage will prove true. Game time is set for 7:00pm at Caldwell-Peacock Stadium on the campus of Jonesboro-Hodge. 

If Jonesboro-Hodge has any playoff aspirations a victory is a must. The Tigers enter the contest with a 2-6 overall record and an 0-3 mark in district 3-2A. More importantly, JHHS currently sits at #31 in the latest power point rankings in Division IV, where only 28 teams will qualify for the LHSAA state playoffs. The contest is equally important to Lakeview.  Lke JHHS, the Gators have an 0-3 record in 3-2A play but is 4-4 overall. Despite the .500 record Lakeview is just two spots ahead of JHHS at #29.

JHHS head coach Terrance Blankenship knows the importance of the game. 

“We have been preaching to our guys all week that they had better be focused as we have to have this one if we hope to continue to play,” warned Blankenship. “Homecoming is always a lot of fun for everyone but it is also the one game that has the most distractions which can cause a player to lose focus.”

The teams have played two common opponents in Red River and Mansfield, each losing to both. If margins of score count for anything then the Tigers seem to have an advantage as Lakeview fell by scores of 40-6 and 37-0 while JHHS lost 28-22 and 20-12. 

“I don’t know if that really means anything,” said Blankenship. “A loss is a loss but we certainly feel like we can win this one if we take care of our business like we should.”

Injury Report: JHHS will be without starting quarterback Dominick Strickland after suffering a season ending, dislocated patella (kneecap) in the loss against Many. Hopeful to return is freshman running back, Jason Blackburn, who has been progressing from an injured ankle that has forced him to miss the last three games. 

Keys to victory! 

1. Stay in the moment! During homecoming it is easy to get caught up in all the festivities that is going on during the game and having your mind wander to what will take place after. JHHS must keep their head in the game every play. 

2. Limit miscues! This has been a bugaboo of the Tigers all season. JHHS enters the game having committed 19 turnovers while forcing only 8. Each and every possession has to be positive ones. 

3. Play to potential! JHHS has the talent to win but that talent has to step up and play like they are capable of. All to often this season, JHHS playmakers on offense and defense hve played well for a quarter or two only to disappear other times.  

“First Family of JHHS Football” to be honored at halftime

In conjunction with the sponsor, Jackson Parish Journal, another “First Family of JHHS Football” will be recognized at halftime. This week the Booker family, whose has been a part of JHHS/Jackson High football for over 50 years will be recognized. Below is a little on each who will be honored. 

Calvin Booker – The elder statesman of the family who has supplied the most quarterbacks in local prep history. Calling the signals back in1966 -67, Calvin was one of the last quarterbacks to play for the now defunct Jackson High.  
Donald Booker – Now deceased, Donald played with Calvin at Jackson High in 1966 as a defensive back.
Randy Booker – The little brother of Calvin was the first African American quarterback at JHHS, leading the Tigers to a 9-1-1 record in 1970 and an undefeated district championship and helping set a school record for second largest turnaround in number of wins from the year before. (8)
Marty Booker – The son of Calvin, left JHHS as the schools alltime leading passer. After a star studded career as a receiver at Northeast La University (NLU), now known as the University of Louisiana-Monroe (ULM), Booker went on to have a 1000 yard season as a receiver for the Chicago Bears and become only the second Tiger gridder be named All-Pro.
Cortez Booker – The Offensive MVP in district 3-2A and honorable mention All state running back led JHHS to a semi final berth in 1985 and the first of three state championships in 1986. Left JHHS as the all time leader in touchdowns in a season and points scored in a season. 
Kameron Booker – The son of Cortez helped pace JHHS to a single season scoring average record while entering his own name into the record books for rushing. Accounted for over 2000 yards in total offense his senior season. Only father / son duo to be listed in JHHS individual records. 
Asanti Belton – Hampered by injuries and illness during the majority of his high school career, Belton overcame his setbacks to become a professional player for the Louisiana Kings in the ABA Basektball League. Helped coach the JHMS football team this past season. 

Former Coach Lonnie Calahan to be recognized

Lonnie Calahan, one of the most beloved and distinguished football coaches in JHHS history will also be recognized at halftime by a congregant of player he mentored during his tenure from 1973 to 1982. During his four year tenure as head coach from 1979-82, Calahan led the Tigers to a 25-19-1 overall record and a state finals appearance in 1981. 

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