August/September 2021 | Volume 15, Issue 4
5 Favorite Things Britain Sledge | Ponchatoula Volunteer Fire Department | Hammond Northshore Air Show
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NORTHSHORE MEDIA GROUP
RADIO • MAGAZINES • DIRECT MAIL
SHOP. LISTEN. READ. LIVE. EAT. APPRECIATE LOCAL. NORTHSHOREMEDIA.NET JUNE/JULY
Rain, Rain Go Away!! It’s been a wet summer so far, but the wet weather hasn’t slowed the activity in Tangipahoa! From Manchac to Kentwood, our local business owners are telling us they’re having a busier than normal summer. So, on behalf of our locally-owned businesses, we say THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING LOCAL! As we do on our radio stations daily, each issue of Tangi Lifestyles celebrates our local schools, businesses, social organizations, civic groups and people of interest. In this issue, we feature the inaugural parish wide Restaurant Week, our Regional Airshow, the Ponchatoula Volunteer Fire Department, SLU’s F.E.Lions, and we help kick off the school year and the high school and college football seasons with team previews. We hope you enjoy. Beginning in September, be sure to tune in to Tangi 96.5 and Kajun 107.1 each Friday night to listen to a local high school game of the week and tune into Kajun 107.1 as we broadcast all of SLU’s football games!! Be sure to download the Tangi965 and Kajun107 apps so you can listen anywhere. LION UP! We have so many good things happening in our community! We encourage our readers to send us pictures to include in our Seen N Heard section, to send us ideas for stories you’d like to read, and to send us your events for our calendar of events. Send all to events@ tangilifestyles.com. We’re proud to call Tangipahoa home. Buy local. Be local. Promote local.
PUBLISHER Northshore Media Group PHOTOGRAPHY CONTRIBUTORS Johnny Chauvin Phillip Colwart EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS Erin Bolton Eloise Cottrell Charles Dowdy Nick Gagliano Debi Menasco Brian Shirey ADVERTISING (985) 345-0060 CORRESPONDENCE 200 East Thomas St. Hammond LA 70401 For advertising rates, call (985) 345-0060 email@example.com Calendar submissions and “Seen and Heard” pictures may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
We do it every day. We hope you will, too!
August/September 2021 Volume 15, Issue 4
Northshore Media Group 200 East Thomas St. Hammond, LA 70401 985.345.0060
Tangi Lifestyles is a bi-monthly publication produced by Northshore Broadcasting, 200 East Thomas Street, Hammond, LA 70401. All rights reserved. Tangi Lifestyles is staffproduced and cannot be held responsible for any unsolicited materials. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and artwork.
On the Cover: Cover photo by Johnny Chauvin 4
Rooted in generations of public service, Ashley Anderson Traylor and Chris Edwards are making their mark on the legal community as they continue their families' traditions of helping local families and businesses. Learn more about them on page 10.
Contents 6. Calendar Of Events 10. Cover Feature
Anderson Traylor Edwards Attorneys At Law
14. Tangi Neighbors Taste of Tangi
Dr. Trey Waldrop Sr. Pastor First Baptist Church Amite
18. Tangi Entertainment
Hammond Northshore Airshow
22. Tangi Community
Ponchatoula Volunteer Fire Department
26. Tangi Travel
Rob Carlisle's Family Adventure
30. Tangi Schools
F.E.Lions - Growing the Pride
34. Tangi Proud
Army National Guard
36. Tangi Football
2021 Season Preview
44. 5 Favorite Things Britain Sledge
46. Seen And Heard Photo by Phillip Colwart AUGUST/SEPTEMBER
FIRST FRIDAY OF MONTH
Gospel Music Fest 13101 Hwy, 442 W., Tickfaw 985 974 0507, mvmgoodnews. com
Hammond Farmers’ Market 2 West Thomas St., 8 am-12 pm Independence Craft & Farmers’ Market 750 E. Railroad Ave., Independence, 8.30 am-1 pm • Facebook.com/Independence
FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS
Ponchatoula Farmers’ Arts & Crafts Outdoor Market 10 E. Pine, Ponchatoula • 985.386.9580 Ponchatoulacountrymarket.org Fri. 9 - 5 • Sat. 10 - 5
Ponchatoula Lion's Club BINGO 750 E Pine St, Ponchatoula 985-386-2852
V I S I T TA N G I TO U R I S M . CO M F O R M O R E H A P P E N I N G S
Aug 4-7 10 AM - 5 PM South LA Swamp Heritage Museum and Educational Gator Tour
Kliebert Headquarters, 41083 W. Yellow Water Rd, Hammond email@example.com August 6-September 3, 2021 Hammond Art Guild's 59th Annual Open Judged Exhibition Opening reception: August 6, from 5-8 p.m. Hammond Regional Arts Center www.hammondarts.org August 6-September 3, 2021 Day Dreamer by Ella Campbell Opening reception: Friday, August 6, from 5-8 p.m. Hammond Regional Arts Center www.hammondarts.org 8/27 Hot August Nights
5:30 - 10 PM Downtown Hammond www.tangipahoa.org
August 7 - Art from the Heart Young Artist Art Walk 10 am - 4 pm Downtown Ponchatoula August 10 - 15 - Taste of Tangi Celebration of local flavors Hammond area restaurants August 14 ARTisTRY Classes Hammond Regional Arts Center Kids: 10 - noon Teens & Adults: 1pm - 3 pm www.hammondarts.org August 25 - Tangipahoa Professional Women’s Luncheon 11:30 to 1:00 Le Fleur de Lis Reception & Catering - Ponchatoula tangipw.org August 28 - Touring Tangi Car Show Gates open at 7:00 am Tangipahoa Parish Fairgrounds
SEPTEMBER September 10 - Krewe of Erin - Whiskey Tasting September 11 - Celtic Festival Ponchatoula Chamber September 10 - October 22 Desu: The Art of Anime Opening reception: 5-8 p.m. Hammond Regional Arts Center www.hammondarts.org
SEPTEMBER September 10 - October 22 Nightmares & Dreamscapes in the Mezzanine Gallery Opening reception: September 10, from 5-8 p.m. Hammond Regional Arts Center www.hammondarts.org September 11 ARTisTRY Classes Hammond Regional Arts Center Kids: 10 - noon Teens & Adults: 1pm - 3 pm www.hammondarts.org September 11 #Ballin' 4 Options 4th Annual Charity Basketball Game. 1-3 pm 42074 N. Hoover, Ponchatoula facebook.com/options4U September 16 - Women Mean Business Conference 9 am to 3 pm Southeastern Student Union Ballroom • tangipw.org September 24 Brews Arts Festival 5-9 p.m. • Hammond Regional Arts Center September 24 - 25 TPSO Mounted Division Rodeo
Florida Parishes Arena www.tangipahoa.org
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: The Hammond Union of Police Daddy Daughter Dance is back on for this year.
OCT. 2, 2021 6 pm - 9 pm Hammond Police Union Hall 201 Natchez St. Hammond, LA Cost: $30 per Dad 6 6
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HomeGrown ... Tangi Proud Story by Nick Gagliano Photos by Johnny Chauvin
There’s a new generation of home-grown attorneys with a desire to serve the legal needs of families and businesses in Tangipahoa Parish.
ooted in generations of public service, Ashley Anderson Traylor and Chris Edwards are making their mark on the legal community as they continue their families' traditions of helping local families and businesses. “Chris and I grew up surrounded by elected officials,” said Ashley Anderson Traylor. “It is in our DNA to help people legally protect themselves and their property.” Ashley Anderson Traylor, along with her father Tom Anderson, and Chris Edwards formed the law firm of Anderson, Traylor and Edwards in 2020, since then the firm has grown due to their legal experience and their desire to be the area’s local law firm. “We are proud to be natives of Tangipahoa Parish, and we are proud to be able to provide legal representation for people from birth to grave and every other time in between,” said Edwards. Anderson, Traylor and Edwards offer a full range of legal services for their clients. While personal injury was their main focus, they soon realized that many families had other legal matters that needed their attention. So they expanded to include successions, wills, business law and estate planning.
plans. She liked what she heard, and they launched Elite Title Solutions. Since then, business has steadily increased, and to help with the volume, Ashley and Chris brought Camp Sledge to the team.
Like many other small businesses across the country, the COVID Pandemic caused a pivot at Anderson, Traylor and Edwards.
“With Christy Guidry and Camp Sledge, we feel we have a great group with a great reputation among realtors, lenders, buyers and sellers. Ashley and I are here to help and oversee the process,” said Edwards.
They had plans to build a new office complex. Then a local title company closed, and Ashley and Chris saw an opportunity to expand their practice by opening a title company and move into a building that was already code-approved for title work.
The law firm of Anderson, Traylor and Edwards along with Elite Title Solutions is the perfect combination for these three home-grown attorneys. They have found that families new to Tangipahoa Parish are looking for local attorneys to start a legal relationship for the short-term and long-term.
There was one more piece to the puzzle. They met with long time real estate closing specialist Christy Guidry to discuss their
“We are people-driven,” said Ashley. “We help protect people and we help people protect their property.”
Christy Guidry is a Senior Closing Specialist and Company Manager for Elite Title Solutions. Christy has over 25 years of experience in the real estate and title industry, and she has performed title service work throughout Tangipahoa Parish and southeast Louisiana. Her experience and “know how” has gained her an outstanding reputation with realtors, buyers, sellers, commercial and residential lenders, banks, credit unions, developers, contractors and investors.
CHRISTY GUIDRY Senior Closing Specialist
Christy has gained the trust and loyalty of the lenders and real estate professionals she works with by ensuring that every real estate closing gets the attention to detail it deserves. Her expertise and conscientious attention to detail provides clients with the peace of mind that they can leave the closing table knowing that their transaction was completed timely and correctly.
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Let's Eat! Celebrating the Great Restaurants in Tangipahoa Parish Story by Nick Gagliano
The Taste of Tangi is a weeklong celebration of the great restaurants in Tangipahoa Parish. The week-long events will be August 10 to August 15. Over the past two years, Tangipahoa Parish has become a dining destination with visitors coming from surrounding parishes and southern Mississippi to enjoy our variety of unique restaurants. “We see the tremendous growth and interest in the restaurants in Tangipahoa Parish,” said Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Carla Tate. “With so many great restaurants from Manchac to Kentwood, we have seen visitors make multiple trips to our parish to enjoy the different cuisine we offer.” A concept for a meaningful restaurant week for the hospitality industry was originated by local restaurant owner Saul Rubio with Nick Gagliano bringing the concept to fruition. Rubio said the weeklong celebration is designed with two objectives. The first is to highlight the many top-of-theline restaurants in Tangipahoa Parish. The second objective is to provide informational workshops and inspirational presentations for the local restaurant industry and the general public who enjoy the dining experience. “We have created an extraordinary two days for everyone who works in our local restaurants and those who enjoy food. Our speakers are first-class, and we invite everyone to take advantage of the wealth of information we are presenting.” Taste of Tangi kicks off on Tuesday, August 10 with a daylong schedule and speakers at the Columbia Theater in downtown Hammond. All of the presentations are free and open to all members of the local restaurant industry and the general public. The Ballard Brothers from PJ’s Coffee and Tea will be the first presentation of the day and will be followed by workshops for individuals looking at starting or just opened a restaurant or catering business. Then there will be workshops for social media marketing and restaurant industry updates. The keynote speaker at 6:00 p.m. will be New Orleans Chef and Restaurant Owner Dickie Brennan.
Photo by Johnny Chauvin
“We have a full day planned,” said Taste of Tangi Coordinator Nick Gagliano. “Dickie Brennan is a dynamic speaker and everyone in and out of the restaurant will enjoy hearing his remarkable story.” As of press time, other events planned are a tequila tasting, a cookbook signing in Amite, a wine tasting in Ponchatoula, a white linen and art show night at North Cypress Fitness Center, a celebrity cook-off in Cate Square, Chillin’ with the Chamber at Chappapeela Sports Park, and a Sunday brunch in Cate Square. A complete schedule can be found at www.tasteoftangi.com
Taste of Tangi will be marketed from Lafayette to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and from McComb, Mississippi to New Orleans.
“A restaurant week showcasing our restaurants has been an event I thought would be successful and beneficial to our restaurant and tourism industry,” said Tangipahoa Parish President Robby Miller. “I’m glad to see it become a reality and I’m inviting everyone from inside and outside of Tangipahoa Parish to come see us August 10 – 15 and dine at one of our great restaurants.” The response to Taste of Tangi has been outstanding. The week will be sponsored by Tangipahoa Parish Government, Tangipahoa Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rubio Enterprises, City of Amite, City of Hammond, City of Ponchatoula, Amite Chamber of Commerce, Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce, Tangipahoa Chamber of Commerce, Hammond Downtown Development District, Ponchatoula Downtown Revitalization Program, S & W Wholesale Foods, Gulf Coast Bank, and the Gagliano Group. The website is www.tasteoftangi.com AUGUST/SEPTEMBER
ROOM AT THE TABLE DR. TREY WALDROP, Senior Pastor First Baptist Church Amite
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil. 2:3 Mary Lee and Joe Curtis were their names. They lived so far back in the woods that mosquitos waited at the mailbox to bite them on their way to town. Home was a shack where chickens roosted in the attic and pigs made themselves at home under the porch. Mary Lee had more consideration for others than she had teeth, and Joe Curtis had more trust in Mary Lee than he had sense. They had a particular smell; something like the scent of a high school football locker room mopped with cabbage leaves. As a child, the sight of these characters was mesmerizing. I can remember the first time my young eyes saw the beige Chrysler in my grandparent’s driveway. I was notFR. exactly sure where that car had been but BRAD DOYLE Parochial Vicar choose - St. Margaret & St. Thomas (Springfield) did not dare ask should they to (Albany) show me. As different as - St. Thomas School welcome at my they were, Mary LeeChaplain and Joe CurtisAquinas wereHigh always grandparent’s supper table. I have come to realize that the common decency of my grandparents has become a dying art in “civilized” society. My grandparents were not people of means, but they were willing to share what they had, listen attentively, and serve Jesus faithfully. We are all beings created in the image of God, sustained by the mercy of God, and saved by the grace of God through his son Jesus. Our cultural, political, socio economic and societal difference, indifference, and trouble is not a result of the absence of God, but rather the abandonment of God’s people from that which is true, sincere, and makes us whole. We need not scream louder, protest longer, or boycott. We simply must leave room at our tables. So, let me ask you, are the people who sit with you at your table just like you? Jesus shared his last meal with tax collectors, sinners, and the very person who would leave the table to betray him. Who is welcome at your table?
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Hammond northshore Airshow Looking Up
The Hammond Northshore Regional Airshow is getting ready to take off with two days of extraordinary performances from some of the top airshow acts in the country. “WE CAN’T WAIT FOR OCTOBER 16 AND 17,” SAID HAMMOND MAYOR PETE PANEPINTO. “People are still talking about our first Airshow in 2018, and now the excitement grows
Story by Nick Gagliano
daily for this year’s event.”
riginally scheduled for October 2020, the Airshow was cancelled like everything else.
“Of course, we were disappointed, but this extra time has allowed us to prepare for an even better show in 2021. I am encouraging everyone to get their tickets to spend two great days at the Hammond Northshore Regional Airshow presented by First Guaranty Bank on October 16 and 17,” said Mayor Panepinto. Featuring some of the best high-flying acts in the country, this year’s scheduled list of performers is a who’s who on the airshow circuit. The AeroShell Aerobatic Team has been performing for over twenty-five years, amassing thousands of hours in front of airshow fans all over North America. The team flys the North American AT-6 Texan, nicknamed "The Pilot Maker," which first appeared in 1938. This year's show will feature Skip Stewart's Prometheus BiPlane. This flying machine looks like a good old American hot rod and Skip Stewart has proven to be one of the most entertaining airshow pilots in the world today. Drag Racing excitement is here! Hammond will host the world's fastest semi, the one and only Shockwafe Jet Truck. Get ready for more fire, more smoke, more speed, and more fun!
While these are just some of the highlighted performers for the Airshow, there is so much more for families on the Airshow grounds. There will be a number of food and beverage options being sold by local non-profit organizations. “This is truly a family affair,” said Airshow Foundation President Guy Recotta. “In addition to the great airshow acts and wonderful food, we will have a Kid’s Village with special event fun and unlike most airshows, admission to the Kid’s Village will be completely free.” Mayor Panepinto also knows and recognizes that such a massive event takes sponsors committed to the community and many community volunteers. “Once again when we asked for help to get the Airshow back in the air, our generous community responded. A special thank you to First Guaranty Bank for being our presenting sponsor again this year. I continue to be amazed at the number of great people and businesses we have in our community.”
For tickets and current information on the Hammond Northshore Regional Airshow visit hammondairshow.com AUGUST/SEPTEMBER
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FIRE! Ponchatoula may be just a small town, but its Volunteer Fire Department is no small operation. With 40 volunteer firefighters, 13 full-time firefighters, 18 trucks, two boats and three stations, Fire Chief Stormy Joiner has a big job.
Joiner has been working with the fire department since 1994. He said it’s the volunteers who make the fire department successful and have been doing so since 1920. With great respect to those who risk their lives to protect Ponchatoula, he takes personal responsibility in protecting this century-old tradition.
While the events of 2020 may have spoiled a formal centennial celebration, its history is
AS PONCHATOULA GROWS, VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS REMAIN KEY Story by Amber Narro | Photos by Phillip Colwart
one that is honored daily with several third and fourth-generation firefighters having served this small community. “My brother and dad were firefighters,” says Joiner. “And this is true of many of our firefighters as their dads were also volunteers. Most people have followed in their family’s footsteps as firefighters.” Joiner’s father was also chief in the 1970s. Firefighting isn’t limited to men. Women have volunteered with the Ponchatoula Volunteer Fire Department as well. And Lieutenant Jeremy Peltier knows this all too well as a special lady in his life is among them.
“I’ve been volunteering since 1999. My grandpa, my uncle, my dad, myself, my brother, and my wife have all been volunteers in the fire department,” he said. Volunteers must be 21 years old and live in the fire district. Upon completion of their initial background check and screening, current volunteers vote new firefighters into the department, keeping it a community endeavor. Peltier says volunteers get active training on Monday nights and must complete a little over 200 hours of annual training.
Service isn’t limited to emergencies. Peltier leads the community education initiative that provides fire safety tips to elementary school children. Thousands of children come through the Ponchatoula Fire Department for fire education each October during Fire Prevention Week. And firefighters also go to local daycares to share fire prevention and safety information. “Children come and crawl under smoke from our smoke machines and around staged furniture to get to safety,” said Peltier. “They also get to hold the firehose and spray water on a pretend fire.”
There is always a full-time firefighter who responds to calls. While the organization depends on its volunteers, eight of 13 fulltimers are on duty at all times, so the public can be assured safety is top priority.
These activities were designed by the firefighters themselves. They love getting recognized by the children in the community after they have shared fire safety information. And the firemen are proud of the 1967 Mack truck that is recognized in parades and events as they lead the way for local organizations and entertainers.
For every fire alarm, two engines, a tanker and a rescue truck respond. Different types of trucks respond to different types of emergencies. “We have different apparatuses for each situation,” Joiner said. “And of course, we also have our boats.”
Still the love for the community is the number one motivator. And the greatest respect lies with those who are dedicated to protecting Ponchatoula and give of their time.
The boats are staged at the station, and there is someone on each shift certified to operate them. The Ponchatoula Fire Department often assists in rescue operations in Manchac.
“Volunteers have always been the biggest part of the Fire Department,” Joiner says. “They are available 24 hours a day. They don’t do it for the paycheck; they do it to help.” AUGUST/SEPTEMBER
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Rob Carlisle, Chief Executive Officer of Child Advocacy Services. Father to Cross & Cale.
27 YEARS LATER Landing in South Africa … Story and photos by Rob Carlisle A lifetime ago, I had an opportunity to work several summers at a children’s camp in Malibu, California-- Cottontail Ranch. So many memories were made, even more adventures- too many to share now. It is where I fell deeper in love with travel and bit by the bug to work with children in their life journey. All the rest is history, right? Along the way, I met many people who shared this dream and connected with others across the United States and the world. It is a rich band of men and women who keep in touch today more regularly now than even those summer nights in Malibu. One character specifically, Ferdinand Rabie from Cape Town, South Africa. Owner of Ferdinand’s Tours & Adventure and Legend Events https://fgroup.co.za/ - some may know him for winning South Africa Big Brother Season 1. Don’t mention it to him, but he's a local celebrity in South Africa. I do not want his head to get any bigger. Ferdinand visited Hammond for months
We took the trip. After flying 21 hours, we traveled in an automobile, on the left-side of course, over 1,000 miles across a landscape and country that can only be described as beautiful, adventurous, and mesmerizing. South Africa is the entire world in one country. At one moment you felt like you were visiting the East Coast, then the desert, then mountainside, and on to the West Coast. We slept in eleven different settings. Experienced wild game driving, Great White Shark diving, Land Rover dune riding, bungee jumping, lighthouse climbing, Lion’s Head hiking, helicopter flying, zip-lining, sunrises, sunsets all wearing our Veldskoens.
and learned firsthand the power and closeness of our beautiful community. He has been in tourism for as long -- as I have been serving children and families. A largerthan-life person to whom everyone is immediately drawn with a never-ending personality. We all know at least one person like that. When he called, I could tell it was a different tele ring. He said, “Mate, you, Cross, and Cale come to South Africa to see our country! My treat for all you have done for me, and I will show you the trip of a lifetime. Our tourism is suffering from COVID and we may never see it again the way it was before. I would like to video your trip of a lifetime and show AmericaSouth Africa is a destination and place to visit."
I have always believed that the connections we make may result in relationships that live on forever. This adventure and journey was one of the most amazing steps in mine and my sons' lives. It will be built upon for many more through our futures in the experience and mystery we call life. Enjoy watching our journey on YouTube by searching 27 Years Later Landing in South Africa….
I replied, "When?” His reply, "Your flight leaves in two weeks, your birthday, their summer break, our winter, and no one is here. The time is now, my friend."
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PRIDE Story by Amber Narro
n August, the FeLions will once again host more than 600 athletes for the Salute to the Lions event in The Student Union. The only event all athletes attend together, this evening provides athletic staff an opportunity to address the students and welcome them as part of the bigger Lion Athletics family. And the FeLions are quick to do their part to provide food as it also kicks off the organization’s annual programming. Established in 2003, the FeLions quickly got to work, birthing Champagne Bingo in 2004. The first year of efforts culminated with a $10,000 donation to Lions Athletics to support Southeastern's return of football. Current FeLions President Jan Labbe’ salutes Pam Skibinski for starting the organization and Veda Abene for winning the contest to name it. Labbe’ said then Alumni Executive Director Kathy Pittman’s influence allowed the organization to blossom. First begun to support football, the FeLions now donate to every sport. “The bulk of our funds still support football,” says Labbe’, “but we want to make sure we support every student athlete.” The organization also funds thousands in scholarships, presents the Sandy Goodwin Most Spirited Athlete award and provides medals to athletes for academic achievements. Perhaps most recognized through Champagne Bingo, the organization has raised approximately half-a-million dollars with this annual event. And its current leaders say the membership and volunteers are to thank for this successful celebration. “You have to mention Michele Sutton when you mention Champagne Bingo,” Labbe’ says. “She and a team of volunteers including Lions enthusiasts Sherry Beall, Stephanie Kropog, and Pam Cantrell work to get items for the silent auction as well as the live auction. They organize everything, and it runs like a well-oiled machine.”
At the last meeting of the FeLions’ “season,” Champagne Bingo tickets go on sale at the door; but soon after the meeting starts, they are sold out. Members expect this year to be no different. “We have been inside for so long,” Labbe’ said. “This event helps Southeastern, and the women love it. It’s a great way to show support.” Champagne Bingo started at Twelve Oaks and moved to the Student Union Ballroom. There is a limit on tickets, but that doesn’t mean the Ballroom isn’t packed with ladies celebrating the Lions and raising money for a great cause. Since the event quickly sells out at the luncheon, and luncheons are only for F.E.Lion members, joining the organization is especially important for those who wish to attend Champagne Bingo. “We also want people who are ready to volunteer with the organization,” says Matheu. “We support the Lions, and we use the organization as a place to network with others in the community. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know other women who are all excited to support Lion Athletics.” Coach Frank Scelfo and Athletics Director Jay Artigues speak at every meeting. “Our meetings are fun,” says Labbe’. “And we always have some sort of entertainment. We also have other opportunities for participation. Between meetings, Rita Bertolino keeps us updated with newsletters.” Meetings take place the Thursday before each home game. This year’s first meeting will be Sept. 2. Dues are $20, and each lunch is also $20. “During the membership drive, women will sign up for membership and the luncheons as well,” Matheu said. “No children. No husbands. Ladies only.” A passionate group of women, Matheu said COVID-19 couldn’t slow them down. “We had to move our location from the old Trey Yuen, and that didn’t stop us,” she continued. “We didn’t stop when we moved from the Alumni umbrella to LAA, and we’re not stopping during a pandemic. We’re still working hard to support the Lions.” Visit lionsports.net and click on LAA for more information about this ladies only organization. For more information on sponsoring luncheons, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting 2021 Dates: September 2 September 23 October 14 October 28 November 18 December 2 Meetings begin at noon and end at 1 pm. at the Event Center. For more information, check the F.E.Lions on Facebook.
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Sgt. Gabe Patterson, Sgt. Megan Zander, Sgt. Khalil Washington
Discover a fulfilling future through joining the Louisiana Army National Guard. Story by Debi Menasco | Photos by Johnny Chauvin
Wikipedia's definition of military recruitment is as follows: Military recruitment refers to the activity of attracting people to, and selecting them for, military training and employment. Sergeant Megan Zander walks into the room and you are immediately catching up with an old friend. Her contagious smile and friendly demeanor lets you know she is a person you want to know more about. She's a wife, she's a mother, and she's a sergeant in the Army National Guard. “We live here, we work here, we serve here,” exemplifies Megan, an area recruiter for the local Louisiana Army National Guard which is her chosen work. She explains that when you join the Guard, you create a world where goals are within your grasp. It isn’t easy but you will overcome whatever challenge is laid out before you with the training you receive. Megan and her fellow recruiters are looking for men and women between the ages of 17 and 35 to serve in the Guard. She is passionate about that calling. She explains they are looking for good people who are a good fit to help the community in times of crisis. She was first introduced to the National Guard in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Katrina impacted her family like many others during that time. She recalls the Guard was there providing water, food, and support to her family and the community around her. At that moment, she decided she wanted to be a part of that service and calling. “We are the first responders after a crisis,” she explains. The Guard is her way to be able to pay it forward. Sometimes life doesn’t go by a plan. The Guard offers you the opportunity to change lives at the first level. Each recruit comes from different backgrounds, different levels of experience, different educational levels. “Trust me with your children. I want to see them to the
finish line and reach their goals,” says Zander. She says she wants each of her recruits to be better than her. Joining the Guard gives you more than just the pride that comes from serving your country. Get a degree with money for school, learn job skills that translate to the civilian world, make bonds that last a lifetime, and earn pride for life. “When you become a Guard Soldier, your family will thank you, your community will thank you, your country will thank you, and your future will owe you,” says Zander. During your service, you will earn benefits to help pay for your education and expenses, and you can complete your education while you serve. The National Guard offers many programs for every type of student, whether you are still in high school, attending college or working toward a vocational certification. You are paid for every day you serve, whether in training, weekend drills, annual training or on deployment. Your rank, job, and education level will determine your specific pay level. The higher you go, the more you earn. And the more time you serve, the more you earn. Physical and mental toughness are just the basic requirements. This is about a commitment to yourself. A commitment to those around you. A commitment to make a difference, help those in need, and be a keeper of the American dream. It also takes drive – the kind that doesn’t fade when impossible obstacles stare you in the face. It takes mitigation, teamwork, and the will to achieve something bigger. Zander explains, “If you are looking for something more, the Guard is looking for you.” To learn more, stop by the local National Guard office located at 14203 West University Avenue or call 504.442.4558. You may also visit lang-recruiting.com AUGUST/SEPTEMBER
Tangi • Football
2021 SEASON PREVIEW 36
Despite missing the opportunity to take part in the playoffs of the FCS spring football season by just one game, the Lions battled through everything thrown at them in 2020. Now, what if I told you it may have been one of the most exciting seasons we’ve ever seen from the Lions? The opening game of the season would end up telling quite the story of the spring season. Southeastern traveled to Huntsville, Texas to take on #17 Sam Houston State. The Bearkats beat Southeastern 4338 in an outstanding back and forth game that came down to the final seconds. Despite the loss, Lions fans had reason to feel good about the outlook of the season. After all, Sam Houston State was ranked 17th in the FCS at the time, the game was played on the road, and quarterback Cole Kelley had one of the best games in Lions history. Kelley completed 67 percent of his passes for 462 yards and 4 touchdowns, but it just wasn’t quite enough to come away with a win. Fast forward to the end of the season and that game proved to be a glimpse for the FCS as a whole on how this season would go. Sam Houston State would go on to be the National Champions, while Cole Kelley would go on to be named the 2020-2021 Stats Perform FCS Walter Payton Award winner. Kelley averaged 380 yards passing per game, ending the season having thrown for 2,662 yards and accounting for 27 touchdowns. Even more impressive was Kelley’s ability to protect the football throwing only 4 interceptions on 305 attempts. In fact, all 4 of the interceptions thrown by Kelley were passes that were tipped, going even further to show how dialed-in Kelley was a season ago. The Lions averaged just under 40 points per game
and were undefeated at Strawberry Stadium during the spring season. So yes, I think it’s fair to say it may have been one of the most exciting seasons in Lions history. Now, just weeks away from the 2021 fall season, the Lions are ranked 15th in the Athlon Sports Top 25, and this season has the potential to top the spring. All the Lions’ best athletes are back, including those who missed the spring. Southeastern had 16 AllSouthland representatives for the spring season, including 4 of the Lions’ 5 starting offensive linemen and all 16 will return for the fall. Another reason for excitement this season is the schedule. While the Lions come in with big expectations as to what they can do on the national level, the Southland Conference has never been more exciting to be in. Due to several teams leaving the conference the Lions will have one of the most unique schedules seen in college football, resembling that of an NFL team. Southeastern opens with 3 non-conference games playing North Alabama, Louisiana Tech, and Central Connecticut State before getting into conference play. The Lions will face Northwestern State, McNeese, and Nicholls twice in the fall with each university playing one game at home and the other on the road. Since being hired, Coach Frank Scelfo has insisted he wants to see Southeastern represented on a national level, being known and respected as one of the premiere college football programs in the country. If the Lions are fortunate on the medical front, and play complimentary football across all three phases in the fall, this may just be the year the rest of the country begins to see Coach Scelfo’s vision. It’s a fortunate time to be in Hammond because the rest of the nation may just learn how we Lion Up!
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Head Coach: David Knight
Mike Janis stepped down as Head Coach of the Hornets in December of 2020, and just a few short months later, Albany announced Defensive Coordinator David Knight as the team's next Head Coach. Knight has been with the football program each of the two previous years, so familiarity shouldn’t be an issue, and it will be exciting to see what Knight brings to the program. After making the previous two seasons, Albany missed the playoffs in the 2020 season, but should be a big player in District 8 for Class 3A.
2020 record: 4-3
HAMMOND Tornadoes Head Coach: Dorsett Buckels Steve Jones retired just before the start of the 2020 season, and the Tornadoes named Buckels as Head Coach 3 days prior to the first game of the season. All things considered, Buckels did a great job last year. The Tornadoes showed improvements throughout the season coming away with a victory in their second to last game, but more will be expected now that everyone has had time to properly get to know each other. The wins may not come right away, but look to see a much improved Tornadoes team from a year ago that will fight in every game they’re in.
2020 record: 1-5 38
Zephaniah Powell Despite all the uncertainty in 2020, one thing remained true; when you play the Amite Warriors, you’re playing one the best teams Tangipahoa has to offer. A shaky start to the year had many raising an eyebrow, but Amite won four straight games to close out the regular season. Then went on to make it to the quarterfinals of the Class 2A playoffs before their season came to an end. There’s no reason to expect anything less than the same from the Warriors this year.
2020 record: 5-2
INDEPENDENCE Tigers Head Coach: Scott Shaffett A season without a win can be hard to handle. While some shy away and make excuses, that certainly cannot be said of Tigers Head Coach Scott Shaffett. Shaffett appeared regularly on Under The Hood with Roger Gill, week after week with no excuses to be made. Accountability, passion, desire, are a few of the certain things you look for a coach to emulate, and there’s no denying all boxes are being checked in this case. The Tigers were a young team a season ago, and sometimes mistakes and learning on the go can look ugly, but a more experienced team comes back this season ready to put last year in the past.
2019 record: 0-7
JEWEL SUMNER Cowboys
KENTWOOD Kangaroos Head Coach: Jonathon Foster
Head Coach: Ross Currier For a team with thirteen wins over the previous three seasons, Cowboy fans were excited as they had one of the best winning streaks to start the season, winning their fist five games. Sumner played well enough to earn the sixth overall seed in the Class 3A playoffs. Although their season came to end in the second round, it’s hard to recall the last time there was this much excitement for the Cowboys heading into a brand new season.
If football is being played in late November or early December, you can count on seeing Kentwood represented. A 1-2 start to the year wasn’t enough to change that for the Kangaroos, nor was having to shut down the program for the two weeks leading up to playoffs. Twenty-two days after a victory in district play over Pine, the Kangaroos came away with a huge victory in the playoffs. It wasn’t shocking, it’s what has come to be expected of a Kangaroos team by Jonathan Foster, and it’s what is expected this year.
2020 record: 4-3
2020 record: 7-1
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LORANGER Wolves Head Coach: Sammy Messina A year after a perfect 10-0 2019 season, Loranger dealt with the reality of a senior-heavy team graduating, and an underclassmen-led team taking their place in 2020. Lack of experience was the main problem for the Wolves a season ago, and while 10-0 may not be the result in 2021, Sammy Messina has shown over time he knows how to progressively build a team that can win.
2020 record: 2-5
No one likes excuses, and Coach Misita won’t be the one to make them. The Yellow Jackets looked a step behind during their four-game losing streak to start the year, but then went on a three-game winning streak and the playoffs. Louisiana and Mississippi had different regulations at different times of the year, a playoff trip despite the challenges proves this team will not quit. Expect Oak Forest to be among the top teams in District 1 for Class 6A in the MAIS.
2020 record: 3-5
Head Coach: Hank Tierney
Head Coach: Ryan Serpas
2020 record: 6-1
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Head Coach: Drew Misita
PONCHATOULA Green Wave
A team made up of mostly sophomores in 2019 hinted that big things would lay ahead for the future of Greenwave football. In 2020, an undefeated campaign in district play means we know this team is for real heading into the 2021 season. The potential of what they can accomplish is undeniable; now they just have to go out and do it.
OAK FOREST Yellow Jackets
The sad reality is that everyone didn’t experience 2020 the same way; some felt the effects more than others. The Cowboys season was cut short and unfortunately didn’t play a game in November. Regardless of whether or not the Cowboys can put together a winning campaign and get into the playoffs in 2021, the young men on this team are hungry to be back on the field, and make up for lost time.
2019 record: 2-3
ST. HELENA Hawks Head Coach: Brandon Mitchell Mitchell took over as head coach of the Hawks in June of 2020 and had many paying attention to what he was doing by season’s end. Back-to-back losses to open the year may have had some concerned, but the Hawks would win three out of their next four games to get into the playoffs and ride that momentum to the quarte-finals in Class 2A. St. Helena, Amite, and Kentwood will likely all be vying for the District title until the very end of the season.
2020 record: 3-3
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS Falcons Head Coach: Randell Legette The Falcons proved once again to be the team to beat in District 10 for Class 2A. A first round loss in the playoffs may be the last impression fans were left with in 2020, but Coach Legette has set a standard for this team. Competing for the District Championship and earning their way to the playoffs is the expectation, and the Falcons will look to prove that once again in 2021.
2020 record: 7-1
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5 FAV O RI T E T HI NG S
B r i tA I n
Sledge's Britain Sledge is a proud son of Tangipahoa Parish. He graduated from Hammond High School (’98) and went on to LSU where he earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration before earning his Juris Doctorate and Masters of Civil Law (’06). He immediately returned home and joined the law firm of Rolling, Perrilloux and Sledge. In 2007 he began his career as a felony prosecutor with the 21st JDC, where he continues to work. He has also been the Hammond City prosecutor since 2014. Britain has been married to Judge Erika Sledge since 2008. His wife and children, Coll (10) and Everly (7) are his absolute favorite things, but here are his next most 5 Favorite Things… 44
Coaching youth sports
Britain has enjoyed coaching his son Coll’s baseball teams since Coll was 4. Last year he started helping to coach Coll’s basketball team at Chappapeela. He loves watching their progress through the season and how they’ve advanced over the years.
Ok, so maybe he’s not the best dancer, but when his daughter Everly asks, he MUST do the daddy-daughter dance and humble himself in front of a packed Columbia theater. Priceless memories.
Those that know Britain know that he loves to hunt. He doesn’t have a favorite species. Alligators, deer, duck, dove, rabbit, squirrel, turkey - if there is an opportunity to spend time outdoors with his family, he’s going to take advantage of it.
Enjoying our local waterways
Britain’s favorite activity is floating the Tangipahoa River in an old flat boat fishing for Kentucky bass. But he also loves to run trot lines for catfish, crawfish in the swamp, or just spend a day cooling off in the water of any one of our local rivers and lakes.
He built a critter-proof coop several years ago and he and his wife Erika began building their flock. Today, the flock consists of 8 girls- Claradelle, The Rock, Melania, Mrs. Jenny, Barbie, Blue Duck, Tom Cruise (yes she’s a hen), and their newest edition- Snow Drop. He loves letting them out in the evenings to watch them forage and they provide enough eggs to keep his family and neighbors stocked up. AUGUST/SEPTEMBER
SEEN Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa
uck Adopt a d ance for a ch ) s k c u d r (o in Prizes! 0 0 0 5 $ to win
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For duck adoptions visit deputyduckderby.com 46
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