JHHS and Quitman High School announces Students of the Year

During August through May, except for holiday periods, hundreds of youth from across Jackson Parish get up in the early hours of the morning during the week and make their way to school. Some ride a bus. Others are taken by family members or friends. Then some are older that drive themselves. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors and creeds, ranging from wee little, pre-K kids to tweens and teens, yet they are all the same in the sense that they are students who are doing what they have to do to get their education.

That is, except for a select few.

These are the ones who don’t just go to school because it is required, always looking at the clock wishing the class would get over and the last bell would ring. They aren’t the ones who have a bad attitude, are always late to class, and never have their lessons done on time.

These are the ones who apply themselves and pay attention to what is being taught because they want to learn. These are the ones who do the little extra things and offer to assist their classmates, their teachers, and the school’s administration. These aren’t the ones that examples aren’t made of, but the ones who set the example of what a student should be like. 

These are the ones who have risen above the norm to stand alone among their peers.

These are the ones who have been selected as Student of the Year! 

This past week the Student of the Year was selected at Jonesboro-Hodge High School and for the Elementary, Junior High, and Senior High divisions at Quitman High School. 

Logan Wiggins – Jonesboro-Hodge High School: An exemplary student, Wiggins is a two-sport athlete, who earned 1-2A All-District honors last spring and is the returning MVP of the Tiger baseball team. The senior also was a member of the JHHS football team this past fall. Upon graduation, Wiggins will serve in the United States Armed Services, having enlisted this past September.

Blake Carter – Quitman High School: The son of Matt and Angela Carter is a standout two-sport star for the QHS baseball and basketball teams and has been a member of BETA since he was in the 6th grade. He is an outstanding student that has maintained a 4.0 GPA during high school and his peers look up to him as a leader and a role model. Blake is a New Prospect Baptist Church member and plans to attend La Tech University and major in Sports Marketing.

Libby Morgan – Quitman Junior High: The 8th-grade daughter of John and Tracey Morgan maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a phenomenal student. She is a co-captain of the junior high cheer squad having already been named All-American three times and won the “Pin It Forward” award twice at the competition. Libby also competes for the QHS tennis team and is a member of the Beta Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). She is an active member of Sweetwater Baptist Church where she is currently involved with her favorite outreach program, Operation Christmas Child. In her free time, she enjoys painting & visiting with friends.

Ella Simonelli – Quitman Elementary: The daughter of Michael and April Simonelli is in the 5th grade, holds a 4.0 grade point average, and is very active in sports. She is a member of LA Gunsmoke, which is an elite 10U independent softball travel squad, and has represented Jackson Parish for the past 4 years on summer All-Star teams, including being an integral part of the 2021 Little League 8U State Runner-Up squad. Ella also plays in the Jackson Parish Recreation Department Youth Basketball League and is a huge fan of the Lady Wolverines junior high and varsity basketball teams. She is a member of Sweetwater Baptist Church and is in the Children’s Choir.

Local preps take holiday break, early season stat leaders recognized

When coaches think about a prep basketball season, one way they look at it is by breaking it down into different sections. First, there is the early season before the Thanksgiving holiday break kick in. Normally that will run between 8-12 games depending on how many a school plays in the various tournaments they enter. Then there is roughly the same number of games that will be played up to the Christmas break followed by the stretch run which is composed of a few games followed by the district schedule.

With the first “section” in the bag, let’s take a look at how the girls and boys at Quitman and Weston fared along with who is leading in individual statistical categories. if you are wondering about Jonesboro-Hodge, they don’t play their first game until November 29th.

Weston girls: With a 10-1 record, the Lady Wolves claim the most wins in the first section of the season. Weston set a new school record for the start of a season by winning their first nine games and their impressive 63.2 points per game scoring average are more points than ever before at this stage of the season. Currently ranked #10 in Division V, where so many small school powers reside, the Lady Wolves are the highest-ranked team from North Louisiana. 

Quitman girls: While at 7-2 the record is not quite as good as their fellow neighboring district 1B rival, Quitman’s strength of schedule, especially in the last five games, makes their mark just as impressive. The two losses are to a pair of south Louisiana powers and last week the Lady Wolverines took down Class 2A Winnfield and perennial Class A power Ouachita Christian, who over the last 3+ seasons has compiled a 96-8 record. At #19 in the Division V power ratings, the Lady Wolverines are the 4th highest-ranked team in north Louisiana. 

Quitman boys: Win one, lose one, win again! That has been the season story for the Wolverines to date en route to their 5-4 record. Being the fact that only three games have been played at home, including two at their “|new” home, the JHHS gymnasium while their gym is getting renovated the record is pretty impressive. 

Weston boys: The Wolves started the season by losing their first four but have shown improvement by winning two of the last four as losses of key personnel played a big role in the slow start. The future is promising as the problem with scoring seems to be rectified. After averaging only 41 points per game over the first four contests, Weston averaged 60.25 in the last four. against a stronger schedule. 

Girls Individual Stat Leaders

Points per gameEmma Kate McBride (WHS) – 14.6Cali Deal (QHS) – 14.4
Rebounds per gameBriley Peterson (WHS) – 9.6Cali Deal (QHS) – 7.0
Assists per gameEmma Kate McBride (WHS) – 3.9Bethany Leach (QHS) 2.8
Steal per gameLainee Trosclair (WHS) – 3.0Briley Peterson (WHS) – 2.9
Three Pointers madeBethany Leach (QHS) – 33Lainee Trosclair (WHS) – 27

Boys Individual Stat Leaders

Points per gameBryce Zehr (WHS) – 12.7Logan Ponder (QHS) – 12.0
Rebounds per gameBlake Carter (QHS) – 10.1n/a

Representative Jack McFarland announces launching of “Greaux the Good” program

Jack McFarland, Louisiana House Representative for District 13 which encompasses Bienville, Jackson, Ouachita, and Winn parishes announces that as of November 17th and stemming from legislation he authored earlier this year that the “Greaux the Good” farmers market match program has been launched. 

What the “Greaux the Good” program does is create a match program for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and/or Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) which benefits both consumers and vendors who can now buy local farm products and support local businesses.

mcfarland“I am proud of being able to bring all sides to the table to create this great program to help our families and businesses. With 27,000 farm operations in Louisiana, agriculture is one of the top economic drivers in the state. Of those, a little over 1,000 operate as ddirect-to-consumer” said McFarland.  “Unfortunately, many families were shut out of this access to quality farm products due to economic reasons. This hurt our local businesses and contributed to Louisiana’s generally poor health outcomes. With the renewed interest and growth in farmers’ markets, many families have been able to improve their health while simultaneously supporting local businesses.”

If you operate a farm, here is the link to become a partner in the Greaux the Good Program: https://greauxthegoodla.org/become-a-partner


Jackson Parish High Schools earn B performance grade in 2021-22

On Wednesday, November 16, 2022, the Louisiana Department of Education released the 2021-2022 school performance scores for the state’s public K 12 schools and systems. To the delight of the Jackson Parish School District and Superintendent David Claxton, the three high schools in Jackson Parish, (JHHS, Quitman & Weston) earned a cumulative score average of 80.2, which relates to a B average.

“I would like to congratulate all our faculty, staff, students, and parents for their hard work to help increase our district performance score for the past two years. I would also like to recognize the support our community has shown us over the years. I appreciate everyone for everything that you do for Jackson Parish schools,” – JPSD Superintendent, David Claxton

The scores of each school were the highest recorded since the Covid pandemic that began in 2019 and the third consecutive year that scores have risen. Individually, Quitman High School led the way with an 87.0 average followed by Weston High at 80.2 and JHHS at 73.5. In addition, Weston High School was noted as a Top Gains Honoree among all Louisiana High Schools, while Quitman High showed an impressive 5.8-point improvement.  


Where in the ArkLaTex was Rick Rowe? Jonesboro, Louisiana

Every year on the last Saturday of November, the annual Christmas Wonderland in the Pines ushers the holiday season into the town of Jonesboro, Louisiana. With over 5 million Christmas lights dotting the small town, visitors flock from all over the state and region to experience the charming southern community.

On Monday, the television personality who broadcasts the ever popular Where in the ArkLaTex is Rick Rowe feature weekly on KTBS – Channel 3 was in Jonesboro to promote the annual gala event. He arrived to a large throng of Christmas Festival supporters who braved the cold and sang Christmas Carols on Main Street as a backdrop to the segment.

To see the video in it’s entirity click here. 

You can also see another video of the event that was filmed locally by clicking here.


Cartavious Waters receives football scholarship offer

For the past two years, Cartavious “Hambone” Waters has been a stalwart lineman for the Jonesboro-Hodge High School Tiger football team. Now the 2021 1-2A All-District member has the opportunity to continue his playing career at Manchester College in Indiana who last week presented “Tavy” with an official offer. Founded in 1987, the school is one of 10 members of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. 

This past season Waters recorded 48 tackles, including 42 solo stops. Included were 15 tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. In his career that JHHS, Waters made 122 tackles, 24 tackles for a loss, recovered four fumbles, and forced and forced a fumble. Waters also played with the offense where he was a lineman and every now and then lined up in the backfield, mainly as a blocking back. In 2021, Waters carried the ball twice and scored a touchdown.  


Kristina Whitman named JFD Firefighter of the Year

This past Saturday all the members of the Jonesboro Fire Department (JFD) came to the Fire Station this past Saturday. For once though it wasn’t because of an emergency call but instead to enjoy food, refreshments, and, fellowship with family members as all enjoyed the 2022 Christmas Party. Highlighting the evening was JFD Fire Chief, Brandon Brown, presenting Kristina Whitman with the JFD Firefighter of the Year Award. 

The Jonesboro Fire Department encourages all residents to be especially safe and careful over the next couple of months and sends their wishes that all have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. 

Tourism Board moves forward with planning of Fishing Tournament and Art Contest

The Jackson Parish Tourism Board held their regulary scheduled monthly meeting on November 15th in the Sunshine Room of the Jackson Parish Police Jury Administration. During the session board members Kelly Spangler, Tammy Gunter, Christie Weeks, Yumeaka Washington and Deneise Barlow discussed the Fishing Tournament that is to be held on Caney Lake in March and agreed to host a 4th annual Art Contest. The 2023 budget was also approved.

In old business it was noted that only a few photos were left to acquire for the Civil Rights Trail and that Christmas ads were up and running on billboards and facebook pages. In corresponding action it was agreed that the amount to be spent on billboards at the three locations chosed was not to exceed $6,000.00. Board members also decided to look into a rental to house tourism board equipment and approved changes to the Promotion Assistance Document Form. The session started with Gary Joyner, Vice President of the Jackson Parish Watershed Board asking for assistance with upcoming events.

J-H Middle School falls to Neville and Natchitoches

Playing against much larger schools on back-to-back nights was too much of a hill to climb for the Jonesboro-Hodge Middle School 7th and 8th-grade boys basketball teams as both fell to Neville and Natchitoches Junior High schools. The odyssey began with a trip to Monroe this past Wednesday to face Neville, where the 7th grade lost 33-25 and the 8th grade fell 40-14. On Thursday, the junior Tigers welcomed Natchitoches to their home gym but again lost by scores of 32-25 and 51-15. 

J-HMS will be in action again on Monday, November 28th when they host Lincoln Prep on 8th grade recognition night. 

Gracepoint Christian Academy students participate in “Operation Christmas Child”

This past week the students at Gracepoint Christian Academy (GCA) participated in Operation Christmas Child. Coordinated by Mrs. Anita Williams, the young children at GCA packed shoeboxes with a wide variety of toys and fun items. After the boxes were filled and labeled the young ambassadors and faculty members who assisted with the program prayed over the packages to be shipped overseas.
Operation Christmas Child is a program of evangelism and discipleship that through multiplication benefits children from all over the world. From children to seniors, people pack shoebox gifts each year to bless children in need around the world. Parents often use the project to teach their kids about giving and year-round volunteers support these efforts across the country.

The administration and staff of GCA would like to thank all parents, families, and friends who donated to make this a success!

Over the river and through the ’hood, complaining away we go

With the Pilgrims held up as our example, we learned early to “be grateful.”

As they dragged us to various in-laws’ in assorted neighborhoods for turkey and pumpkin pie and secondhand smoke, our parents reminded us that at the first Thanksgiving in 1621 (give or take), the settlers of the New World had it much tougher than we do. They had to eat outside. They didn’t have potatoes over here yet. The yeast rolls didn’t rise. William Bradford forgot to pick up a Marie Callender’s Apple Crumb Cobbler at the store, and the cable went out halfway through the Detroit Lions-Chicago Cardinals football game.

“And they didn’t even complain,” our parents said.

“Bet they got drunk then,” I said.

“No, they most certainly did not!”

The Pilgrims really WERE tough; I would have complained if there’d been no potatoes. Loud and clear. They could have heard me back over in England.

But to hear our parents testify, no one 40 years ago ever complained about anything, especially on Thanksgiving. When you are spoiled like I am, that is setting the bar sort of high. But hey, I’m old school too and really not much of a complainer – as long as everything goes right. That’s just me.

This week, complaining is a given. This week is about the pre-Thanksgiving misgivings about “where we’re going for Thanksgiving.” Do you know where you’re going yet? Or what you’re bringing? Or the order in which you’re going to whomever’s house when? Are we all on the same page?

It can be dicey.

“Are we going to grandmama’s?”

“Not this year. But we’re not sure. We might.”

“When will we know?”

“I don’t know. Who are you, Dan Rather? We’ll know when we hear from everybody and decide.”

“It’s Tuesday.”

“Then good! Since Thanksgiving is on Thursday, as it usually is, that means we don’t have to know yet.”

“We’re cutting it close.”

“I’ll show you what cutting it close is, mister!”

“I was just asking…”

“Well just quit just asking, mister man. Your grandmother might meet us at Big Aunty’s. We might go there.”

“Not to Big Aunty’s! Big Aunty can’t cook, momma. Big Aunty won’t have nothing even done until supper. We’ll starve.”

“She most certainly will have and you most certainly will not starve. I’ll make you a pimento cheese to hold you over. We might just all bring different things.”

“What do you mean, ‘we all?’ Who all is coming?”

“Aunt Jean will bring the macaroni and cheese and we’ll bring the bean casserole and…”

“Momma that means Uncle Lester is coming. He’s a professional smoker. We’ll all smell like something burnt. They’ll be ashes in the macaroni.”

“No there will not!”

“There was last year.”

“You’ll think last year if you don’t shut up! Now I mean it!”

“Can we just stay home and make hamburgers?”

“NO! We can be thankful and not complain about gummy rice and ashes in the food and Jello with nuts in it and getting your picture taken. And if I hear one word, ONE MORE WORD….”

Precious memories. And Happy Thanksgiving; I hope you get where you’re going.

(Originally ran Nov. 20, 2009)

Contact Teddy at teddy@latech.edu

Jay Mallard Ford introduces 2022 models in stock

Jay Mallard Ford, located at 601 Hudson Avenue in Jonesboro is proud to be one of the premier dealerships in the area. From the moment you walk into the showroom, you know our commitment to Customer Service is second to none. Jay and staff strive to make your experience  Whether you need to purchase a new or used vehicle, vehicle information from our on-site specialist, or service your vehicle, Jay and staff strive to make your experience a pleasant one. 

Anyone who has tried to purchase a new car this year knows that inventories have been at an all-time low. Currently, Jay Mallard Ford has a great stock of new models on-site, but it is assured that they won’t last long. Want to provide the ultimate Christmas gift? Come today to take advantage of the great deals that Jay is offering, 

Below are just a few of the models that are currently in stock.

Jackson Parish 4-H holds Holiday Treats Cookery Contest

The Jackson Parish 4-H Club held its 2022 Holiday Treats Cookery Contest at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center on Monday. Fourteen winners were selected in six separate divisions by special guest judges Bettye Pate, Thurston Allen, Amy Magee, and Katelyn Duck. Door prizes were also awarded that were sponsored by Johnny’s Pizza House, Traina’s Bakery, and Sonic Drive-In. Special thanks also go to parent volunteers Kari Potts and Kristy Jordan. 

 2022 Holiday Treats Cookery Contest Winners

Cake Division
1st – Evie Carpenter – QHS – Pumpkin Roll
2nd – Jayna Woods – QHS – Hershey Bar Cake
Candy Division
1st – Alley Hines – WHS – Snowman Chocolate Bark
2nd – John Turner – JHES – Pecan Pralines
Decorated Cookie Division
1st – Brooke Harvey – JHES – Christmas Tree Brownies
Fudge Division
1st – Alley Hines – WHS – Sugar Cookie Christmas Fudge
2nd – Evie Carpenter – QHS – Egg Nog Fudge
Homemade Cookie Division
1st – Tailen Bearden – WHS – Snickerdoodle
2nd – Jayna Woods – QHS – Peanut Butter
3rd – Jana Potts – QHS – Cookie Monsters
Pie Division
1st – Jana Potts – QHS – Lemon Ice Box Pie
2nd – Brogan Carpenter – QHS – Pecan Pie
3rd – Tailen Bearden – WHS – Turtle Pumpkin Pie
3rd – Rachel Bandy – WHS – Cherry Kool-Aid Pie

Louisiana Pecans offered for sale

JHHS Drama Club enjoys fall production at GSU

The Jonesboro-Hodge High School Drama Club attended Grambling State University’s Visual and Performing Arts Department’s annual presentation of their fall production, “Knock Me A Kiss” by Charles Smith. The drama club is under the direction of Mr. Jon Sorenson and Mrs. Amiee Larche. Drama Club members would like to give a special thanks to Ms. Vickie Joe (chaperone) and Coach Justin Durbin (driver)!