Wildcats Fighting for District Championship

Above: Silliman seniors; top (l-r) Ryan Armstrong-offensive line, Bucky Hornsby-defensive line, Todd Bourgeois-running back/free safety, Tyler Boyd-strong safety, Clay Reynolds-defensive tackle bottom-Daniel Myers-kicker, Collen McDowell-wide reciever/cornerback, Tabary Cucullu-wide receiver/corner back, Smith Marquell-fullback, John Gill-defensive tackle

Above: Silliman seniors; top (l-r) Ryan Armstrong-offensive line, Bucky Hornsby-defensive line, Todd Bourgeois-running back/free safety, Tyler Boyd-strong safety, Clay Reynolds-defensive tackle
bottom-Daniel Myers-kicker, Collen McDowell-wide reciever/cornerback, Tabary Cucullu-wide receiver/corner back, Smith Marquell-fullback, John Gill-defensive tackle

Silliman football coach T.J. Davis said he’s looking for steady improvement from his players this year.

“We’ve had two first round losses in the last two years, so our goal right now is to get past that first round,” Davis said.

The Wildcats ended last season at 6-5 with a 27-12 loss to Trinity Episcopal Day School (Natchez, Miss.) in the first round of the Mississippi Private School Association district playoffs.

They began last season with a loss to Brookhaven Academy, then had three straight district wins before losing to Centreville Academy and Trinity Episcopal Day.

“We had a talented team, but they didn’t gel like I thought they should have,” Davis said.

Many returning players echoed their coach.

Senior corner back and wide receiver Tabary Cucullu said they worked really hard as a team over the summer.

“Coach had us running a lot and we did a lot of seven-on-seven drills to make sure we are playing as one unit and really got to know our plays,” said Cucullu.

“I felt like I got a lot of help from the seniors last year,” said junior defensive end Jordan Talley.

He ended the season with 107 tackles overall, 17 sacks and 26 tackles for a loss, according to Talley.

He said he spent most of his summer in the weight room with his teammates, trying to get stronger.

Going into the season, Talley said he feels he still needs to improve his tackling technique and for the team to come together.

“As a team we’re there physically but not really all there mentally and need to gel and come together. I think we’re definitely getting there.”

Senior wide receiver and corner back Collen McDowell said summer football camps helped him.

“Last season, I feel like mentally I hit a wall as far as picking up on plays and different techniques,” McDowell said.

He said he learned how to cover people better and loosen up.

“I was really over thinking a lot of stuff last year,” he said.

Senior running back Todd Bourgeouis said spent the summer doing some make-up work after missing two games because of a concussion.

He said his time at the Manning Passing Academy helped him improve on his footwork in the backfield.

Junior lineman Jozie Milton said the team is focused on a state championship this year. He said the team practices have brought them together more.

“If somebody messed up, we used to just jump on him and yell at him. Now we make sure they understand where they were supposed to be and make sure they get it right next time,” Milton said.

Milton said he finished last season with 97 tackles, 7 sacks and 4 fumble recoveries and said he and Jordan Talley will kind of compete to see who gets the most tackles.

“Our guys really bought into our off season program and had some terrific gains in the weight room as far as amount of weight they were pushing, the distances they were running, said Davis. “This season’s schedule is going to get steadily harder, but we’re conditioned and ready for a full season of football.”

Their first regular will be against Oak Forest Academy on Aug. 23.

original link: http://www.felicianaexplorer.com/content/wildcats-fighting-district-championship

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August 25, 2013 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Broncos Look To Expand On Last Season’s Success

By Vanessa C. Deggins

Zachary football coach Neil Weiner said he was pleased with his players’ effort last year but would like to see his Broncos make it past the first round of the playoffs despite a challenging 2013-2014 schedule.

Weiner described last season as up and down and said his players came home with some big wins but came up short in the playoffs after getting “pushed around on defense a bit” by Acadiana High School, who beat them 63-42 in the 5A, District 4 playoffs.

The Broncos finished last season at 6-5. During the season, they handed Dutchtown its first regular season loss since 2009 and beat East Feliciana in overtime.

“I believe the key will be us being bigger, faster and stronger,” said Weiner. “This summer, we had the players focusing on speed more than in the past few years and working really hard in the weight room.”
Junior quarterback Keon Brown shared his coach’s sentiments.

“My only goal for the season really is to help the team get past the first round of playoffs,” Brown said.

This will be his first year starting at quarterback, so Brown said he spent his summer honing the fundamentals of his position, such as reading defense and throwing accuracy.

Senior offensive lineman Terry Minor has played all four years, but this will be his first year as a starter. He said he and his teammates having been working to fix the mental breakdowns he saw during the end of the season.

“Compared to last year, there’s a big difference in atmosphere at practice. We’ve all been making sure we are in shape and I feel like I’m ready to lead this year.”

Minor said he thinks the scrimmage against West Monroe and the jamboree game against West Feliciana will be a good way to see how quickly he and his teammates can adjust to different teams strategies.

Senior running back and free safety Forrest Town said the Broncos also need to focus on consistency.

“We definitely played well as a team last year, but I think we became a bit lackadaisical toward the end of the season and lost a couple of games we should have won,” Town said.

Town said he thinks staying consistent deep into the season will help them when going into the playoffs.

Along with getting stronger, Town said he and the defense have been working on better recognizing offensive plays.

“We have a lot of new starters who are adjusting to game speed, so we have been focusing on fundamentals and trying to get them mentally prepared,” Weiner said. “Our first regular season game is against Byrd (Shreveport, La.). They’re a Top 10 school, so they really have all of our focus now.”

The Broncos with play Byrd High School on Sept. 6 in Shreveport.

original link: http://issuu.com/zacharypost/docs/zachary_post_8-27-13

August 25, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Morning Rush

Louie’s cook and neighborhood hero Frenchie Cox on 25 delicious years

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Ask any former or current LSU student about Louie’s on State Street and they’ll tell you about their favorite omelet or style of hash browns.

But along with their favorite dish, they may also have a story about Frenchie Cox, the daytime line cook.

FRENCHIE-R,M

No matter how busy he is, Frenchie somehow manages to greet everyone entering the diner.

If you’re a regular, he will greet you by name, with a joke or an inquiry about work, family, or other tidbits you shared with him in the past.

“The regulars are like family. They’ve been coming here for so long, and now then they bring their family,” Cox said. “I like the close contact because the place is so small.” Standing along the flat top, Cox regularly carries on conversations with nearby tables without raising his voice.

Cox was born in Marksville, La. and raised in Mansura. After graduating from Mansura high school, he thought he would follow his father into law enforcement.

“But then I discovered girls,” Cox said. While he was a student at LSU Alexandria, the Vietnam War started. Cox was drafted and served in the Air Force.

He doesn’t really talk about his time in the service.

“It was just a job I did. I think more people should focus on the ones who didn’t come back,” Cox said. “For me, that’s in the past. That was 40-something years ago.”

After the Air Force, Cox said he traveled around the country, working many odd jobs before settling in Baton Rouge in 1987 to do what came naturally to him – cooking.

“I don’t remember, after getting out of the service, doing anything else. There was one thing I was good at and that was cooking,” Cox said. “What I think I was trying to do was like when an athlete retires – you’re still trying to get that adrenaline rush. And late night Louie’s during the inebriation hour, that’s pretty intense. You got a bunch of testosterone run amok, fueled by alcohol and some false bravado.”

Now he says every morning is a challenge.

“You don’t know who’s going to come in, how busy it’s going to be,” Cox said with a smile, continuing to move along the line.

“I’ve been described as Baton Rouge’s oldest fry cook, but I like to say ‘most experienced fry cook.’”

Regular diners have fond memories of their time with Frenchie.

WRKF host Jim Engster has breakfast at Louie’s almost every morning before his talk show. He has had Frenchie on the show three times and describes him as a remarkable guy.

“He’s talked about his mama, his military service, and being from the same town as Edwin Edwards,” Engster said. He also called Frenchie a hero, which the cook took issue with.

“He just has me on when he needs a rating boost,” Cox said.

Frenchie turns 60 on April 12. He will mark his 25th year at Louie’s the following month, and said he plans to cook as long as he is alive.

“I don’t have any retirement plans. I plan to keel over here in the midst of a Sunday rush and a seafood omelet.”

April 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm Leave a comment

If You Cook It

Nooley’s comes to Game Day Daiquiris, offering food just like you remember

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

The Nooley special. Photos by Brei Olivier

The Nooley special. Photos by Brei Olivier

Jacob Couvillion is bringing his family tradition to Baton Rouge.

Last year, he and his wife Charmin opened Nooley’s Restaurant in Prairieville, rekindling a business his father Johnny ran until 1999.

Jacob Couvillion, Charmin Couvillion and Johnny Couvillion.

Jacob Couvillion, Charmin Couvillion and Johnny Couvillion.

About two weeks ago, Couvillion partnered with business associate Charles McClaren to open Nooley’s at Game Day Daiquiris, which is just off College Drive. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Game Day offers most of the Nooley’s menu and operates as a sit down restaurant and daiquiri shop.

“We had been open as a daiquiri shop for about three years, and when I decided to sell food I really didn’t want to have the generic bar menu, so I sought out someone with quality food and name recognition,” McClaren said.

“About eight months ago, he approached me with the idea to bring the menu here, but I wasn’t really ready to move forward since me and Charmin had just opened the restaurant,” Couvillion added.

Once they got the Prairieville location going, Couvillion said he was ready to move forward with a Baton Rouge location.

“My wife still pretty much runs the Prairieville store and I’m here [in Baton Rouge] in the afternoons,” Couvillion said.

He had missed the restaurant business.

“I was 21 when my dad got out of the restaurant business, and I just missed it. I’d see people and they would tell me they missed the food. It was always in the back of my head,” Couvillion said.

For almost two months, he said he noticed a vacancy in a small shopping center near his house on Highway 44.

“It was a wing shop that had shut down and I would always wonder what was the deal with it,” Couvillion said. He continued by comparing his next experience to that of Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams.

The morning after LSU lost the BCS Championship to Alabama was his turning point.

“I was mad and something made me stop and see what was going on with the property. My curiosity got the best of me,” Couvillion said. “The landlord had a construction company next door and came out and talked to me. He said the previous tenant had just left, didn’t take any equipment or anything.”

He said his mind was racing as he left the property.

“The first person I called was my dad and I told him everything, then my wife and some friends who may have some startup money.”

“I thought he was crazy at first,” said Johnny Couvillion. “But after we started fixing up the location, I felt like he could do it.”

That was January 10 of last year. The Prairieville location opened on April 28.

“It was a crazy opening because people still remembered the name. We are doing good, which I worried about because we aren’t on the main drag in Prairieville,” Jacob Couvillion said.

Couvillion said he is no longer in a rush to expand. Right now, he is focused on consistency.

“We are always asking people how it compared to the old Nooley’s and how was the food,” Jacob said. “We’re going for ‘it’s just how I remember it.’”

Nooley’s at Game Day is located at 4619 Bennington Dr.

April 10, 2013 at 7:02 pm Leave a comment

Barley, hops and six courses

The fourth course of panko lamb chop with potato latke, beer olive aioli and beer braised mushroom ragout. All photos by Brei Olivier

The fourth course of panko lamb chop with potato latke, beer olive aioli and beer braised mushroom ragout. All photos by Brei Olivier

Tallulah chef cooks up varied meal with Houston brews as main ingredient

BY VANESSA C. DEGGINS

Last week, Mockler Beverage and Houston-based Saint Arnold Brewery hosted a beer dinner at Tallulah Wine Bar in the Renaissance Hotel. The six-part meal featured regular and seasonal beers. Tallulah sous chef Chris Price said as a beer drinker, he was familiar with some of the beers before he was presented with the task of planning the meal.

The meal started with the seasonal Spring Bock, which was paired with an amuse bouche of a beer and cheese soup shooter with a white truffle porcini crouton. The hearty soup was a good counter to the malty German style beer. The spring bock is available February to April.

The amuse bouche of a beer and cheese coup shooter with a white truffle porcini crouton.

The amuse bouche of a beer and cheese soup shooter with a white truffle porcini crouton.

The first course was the Amber Ale with a duck and sweet potato pierogi with beer braised red cabbage and smoked paprika sour cream. The beer is light and floral and made very flavorful braised cabbage. The pierogi was a little greasy, which sometimes happens when the frying grease is not hot enough, but the sweet potato helped cut the richness of the duck for a nice, light flavor.

“The amber ale is our oldest beer, but we just started distributing it in Baton Rouge last week,” said Nicole Froland, Saint Arnold’s Louisiana sales representative.

The Houston-based company only distributes in Louisiana and Texas, Froland said.

Course two featured a salmon slider with parmesan frites, ale sriracha mayo and a homemade pickle paired with a cascadian dark ale, which is a seasonal beer that is part of Saint Arnold’s Icon series. It is a rotating special release series Belgian-style pale ale. Each is released for three months.

“These are all very experimental beers for our brewmaster. Once we run out, we won’t make it again unless it’s very successful,” Froland said.

Froland said they used chinook hops and Belgian yeast to create a marshmallow-like sweetness and give the beer banana clove notes.

The third course was potato chip crusted scallops with ale sweet and sour sauce on a crispy pancetta round and micro greens. It was paired with the Santo. Froland described it as a black Kolsch style, for the type of yeast used, and the beer won a bronze medal in the black lager category at the 2012 World Beer Cup. The beer met the description that it “pours dark and drinks light.”

The third course of potato chip crusted scallops, ale sweet and sour sauce, crispy pancetta round and micro greens.

The third course of potato chip crusted scallops, ale sweet and sour sauce, crispy pancetta round and micro greens.

Froland said the Saint Arnold’s brewers invented the style. On the brewery website, that was their best description, since it was technically not a style and they used Munich and black malt to dark, yet refreshing beer. The beer also featured coffee flavors that are common in darker beers, which went well with the scallops and sweet and sour sauce.

“It was very sweet and spicy beer to me and wanted to bring that out with the sauce and the pancetta,” said chef Price.

The fourth course featured Saint Arnold’s Divine Reserve 12 beer, an ale with spicy flavors. These are also small batch beers. Mockler sales rep Jeff Morin said he originally wanted to make the whole meal centered around batches 11-13 but changed his mind because of the high alcohol content of each. The number 12 batch was served with a panko lamb chop and potato latke, beer-olive aioli and beer-braised mushroom ragout.

The finale was a lemon and rosemary sorbet to pair with the Weedwacker, a hefeweizen. Price says he made the balsamic vinaigrette to cut the spiciness of the beer.

Froland said they use the legend of Saint Arnold, the Belgian patron saint of brewers, who encouraged people to drink beer instead of water in the mid-11th century because it was healthier than most water sources at the time.

March 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment

Sweet Frog

NEW YOGURT SHOP OPENS ON COLLEGE DRIVE

BY VANESSA DEGGINS

A sampling of toppings at Sweet Frog yogurt shop. Photo courtesy of Sweet Frog

A sampling of toppings at Sweet Frog yogurt shop. Photo courtesy of Sweet Frog

A new yogurt shop has opened on College Drive. sweetFrog is a self-serve yogurt shop that also offers about 54 toppings and half a dozen sauces.

Owner Jennifer Willis had worked with her brother-in-law’s shops in the Richmond, Va. area and decided to strike out on her own when he mentioned expanding to Louisiana.

The Shreveport native took the opportunity to move back home and opened her doors in October 2012.

“We started slow, but things have really picked up in the past few months,” Willis said.

She said she tries to follow the company’s principles of being involved in the community and being a positive influence.

Willis offers about a dozen flavors, some of which are seasonal, like the Thin Mint and blueberry burst flavors.

She said she also tries to keep at least two sugar-free or dairy-free yogurts for people who may have those health restrictions.

You wouldn’t know that the cheesecake yogurt is sugar free. It also doesn’t have an aftertaste from artificial sweeteners, which Willis said is common.

The other sugar-free flavor she currently carries is praline and her current non-dairy flavors are mango and strawberry lemonade.

The strawberry lemonade can be very tart, but is also a very refreshing light flavor.

The cookies and cream flavor really tastes like regular ice cream and Willis said that flavor and cake batter has converted a lot of non-yogurt eaters.

The different types of toppings include strawberries, blueberries, rice crispy treats, waffle cone bites, granola and cinnamon toast crunch cereal.

The company was founded by Derek Cha in 2009 who wanted to wanted to start a business and offer a bright, family-friendly environment, according to the website.

The site says sweetFrog was “founded on the principles of Christianity and our belief in bringing happiness and a positive attitude into the lives of our consumers.”

So far, Willis has hosted a Yelp! Shelter pet adoption drive and said she would like to work with churches and youth groups for fundraisers.

Sweet Frog is located at 3151 College Drive in the College Creek shopping center behind FedEx. It’s hours are 1 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

link: http://bit.ly/XHFUcv

 

February 27, 2013 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment

Beyond the Koozie

CHEF COOKS UP THREE-COURSE MEAL WITH TIN ROOF AS SIGNATURE INGREDIENT

BY VANESSA DEGGINS

A Perfect Tin Amber Braised Pork Bell with roasted red pepper mash potatoes and slow braised okra and turnip greens is presented on a plate made out of a Tin Roof Amber can. Photo courtesy of Megan Tanner, L’Auberge Casino and Hotel

A Perfect Tin Amber Braised Pork Bell with roasted red pepper mash potatoes and slow braised okra and turnip greens is presented on a plate made out of a Tin Roof Amber can. Photo courtesy of Megan Tanner, L’Auberge Casino and Hotel

Last Thursday, Tin Roof Brewery hosted a Beer Dinner at L’Auberge Casino’s Stadium Bar and Grill. The four-course meal featured foods that paired well with the four Tin Roof beers. Chef Jimmy Johnson said he was very inspired by the beer can designs.

The first course was oysters poached in Tin Roof Blonde Ale. Two oysters were presented on the half shell over rock salt, garnished with seaweed and an empty Blonde Ale can. The oysters were not salty, and featured a light-but-flavorful beer broth.

Tin Roof Brewmaster Tom Daigrepont said the Blonde Ale is their most popular beer, mainly because it goes with everything.

The second course was Voodoo Bouillabaisse. Daigrepont said the Voodoo Bengal Pale Ale is best with spicy food, and Johnson delivered just that.

“I immediately thought crawfish boil,” Johnson said.

Diners received a deconstructed bouillabaisse. They were given a large bowl containing seared red fish, crawfish dumplings, potatoes, corn, alligator, and diced andouille sausage with a piece of crusty bread.

Servers then brought out open Voodoo Bengal cans containing a rich, spicy broth to pour into the bowl.

The third course was Perfect Tin Braised Pork Belly with roasted red pepper mashed potatoes, braised okra, and turnip greens.

The dish was brought out on a plate made from a Tin Roof Amber can. All the food was braised in Tin Roof Amber, Johnson said.

The final course, dessert, was Coffee Porter Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, which featured a chocolate brownie, chocolate hazelnut mousse, Coffee Porter foam, and salted caramel gelato.

Pastry Chef Arlety Estevez said she thought about flavors that she liked with Kahlua.

“I also wanted the layers to give it a dark richness, and I added a piece of chocolate with Rice Krispies to give it some texture,” Estevez said. “I really tried to make sure the Coffee Porter foam had the true flavor of the beer.”

Nadine Richard of Lafayette said the Blonde Oysters were her favorite. “I’m somewhat of a beer drinker, but I love oysters. The Blonde Ale was definitely my favorite because it wasn’t as strong,” she said.

Richard also enjoyed the Coffee Porter. “For a beer, it’s really coffee-like, like chewing on a coffee bean.”

Andy and Kasey Ford of Gonzales offered rave reviews of the entire meal and shared the highlights.

“I love the whole Tin Roof line, but the pork belly was perfectly paired [with the Amber],” Andy Ford said. “Those were some of the best greens I’ve ever had.”

Kasey Ford said the Coffee Porter surprised her. “I really didn’t think I’d like it at all, and I really did.”

Tin Roof Brewery started selling in November 2010, but co-founder William McGehee said he and Charles Caldwell had been thinking about the company for more than a decade.

“In 2003, Charles spent some time in Colorado, and got more into craft brewing, and we realized that there weren’t many craft brewers in Louisiana,” McGehee said.

Fast forward to 2008. Caldwell was back in Louisiana, working at a bank. McGehee was in law school, and he said they were both very unhappy.

“It seemed like every time we talked it was about being unhappy with our current situations, and we said, ‘What happened to the brewery?’” McGehee said.

At that point, they started putting together a business plan, and convincing their parents that they weren’t crazy, McGehee said.

He’s very happy with how far they’ve come in less than three years.

Tin Roof Brewery (1625 Wyoming St.) offers free tours every Friday.

link: http://bit.ly/VSgb1c

February 27, 2013 at 7:55 pm Leave a comment

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