Saturday, September 02, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Titans cruise to win at Hall High

Leader sports editor

Things didn’t always go as they should, but it came out right at the end as the Jacksonville volleyball team opened 5A/6A-East/Central Conference play with a 3-0 sweep of Hall High on Tuesday in Little Rock.

The Lady Titans cruised in dominant fashion through game one, winning 25-9. There was a brief lapse in game two, but the visiting team still came out with a relatively easy 25-14 victory. Things got shaky in game three when Hall put together a run thatcut a 20-12 deficit to just 21-17, but Jacksonville recovered for a 25-20 win to get the sweep.

“We just got complacent, is what it comes down to,” said Jacksonville coach Savannah Jacoby. “I was satisfied with the first set. The first set was great, but we got relaxed and lost focus. Which happens, they’re teenage girls. They did really well and then it just started declining.”

Jacksonville started game three well. Sophomore Blair Jones served four-straight points to open the set, and the points did not result from Hall errors. There was one ace, and kills by Rebecca Brown, Aaliyah Burks and Chandee Wesley. The lead great to 11-4 when Hall (2-3, 1-2) made its first big run of the match to cut it to 11-10. Those points were all the result of Jacksonville errors. There was a miscommunication in which a one-hit return fell in the middle of the Titan defense. When a three-ball bump also fell for a Hall point, Jacoby called timeout with her team holding an 11-7 lead.

After the timeout, Hall’s J. Kidd served up an ace, followed by a pair of miss-hits that made it 11-10.

Jacksonville (1-5, 1-1) finally ended the rally with kills by Wesley. Basia Brown took serve for Jacksonville and extended the lead back to seven with five-straight points, including four aces. The other point was a huge kill by Burks that landed inside the attack line.

Basia Brown finally served one long, but the Titans broke right back with a big kill by Brittney Eskridge that made it 18-12.

With libero Lindsey Holt serving, Rebecca Brown got two more kills and Burks one to extend the lead to 21-12. Seemingly back in control, that’s when Jacksonville suffered another focus lapse and allowed the Hall rally to 17.

Jacksonville finally broke to go up 22-17, and Jones served up back-to-back aces, but Rebecca Brown tried to tip the ball on the next point, and tipped it into the net.

Hall then missed a serve to end the match.

“I think communication and hitting errors are what we need to fix from this match,” Jacoby said. “But it was all from the second and third sets. For the most part, we were strong all the way in the first set. I think we missed three serves, so I told them let’s focus on our serves, but everything else was fine.

“But really, I think the communication and hitting errors were from losing focus. They were sending the ball over on one a lot. We have to be mindful of that and be expecting that. That’s when our communication breakdowns happened most often.

“But a win is a win. I’m not completely happy with it, but we are focusing this year on just being 1-0 every day, so we accomplished that.”

Jacksonville scored 14 points on Jones’ serve, which included four aces. She also had seven kills and nine assists.

Rebecca Brown had 11 points on serve. She also had game-highs with five aces and nine kills.

Holt had nine points and three aces while Wesley and Skyra Gulley also had three aces apiece. Wesley added a game-high 13 assists.

Hall had just 14 points on serve total, including just three in the first two sets combined before getting 11 in the third.

Jacksonville will travel to Little Rock Parkview on Tuesday, and host J.A. Fair on Thursday.

SPORTS STORY >> Badgers’ versatility leads to comeback

Leader sports editor

The Beebe Badgers mixed up their offense an unusual amount, and the results were worth it in the home opener Friday. The Badgers came back from an 18-7 halftime deficit to beat Greenbrier 26-18 at A.S. Bro Irwin Stadium.

The Beebe coaches didn’t change much about the defensive strategy at halftime, even though Greenbrier scored three times in final 3:48 of the first half to take the two-score lead into intermission. Head coach John Shannon just thought his players answered the call in the second half.

“The defense was just lights out the whole second half,” said Shannon. “They kept giving us opportunities, and we finally hit a couple big ones. We just kind of wore them down in the second half.”

Neither team scored in the first quarter, but the Badgers didn’t wait long in the second to get on the board. On the first play of the second period, junior halfback Taylor Boyce danced into the end zone from 6 yards out, and Daniel Martinez added the extra point for a 7-0 Beebe lead with 11:55 left in the first half. That drive was mostly out of the Spread formation.

Greenbrier answered with a 9-yard run by Spencer Sutterfield to make it 7-6 with 3:48 left until halftime. The Panthers then covered an onside kick, and immediately hit a 45-yard touchdown pass just nine seconds after the first score. Another missed extra point left the Panthers with a 12-7 lead.

Beebe wasn’t able to get a first down, and a short punt set Greenbrier up in good field position. With 21 seconds left until halftime, the Panthers scored again for the 11-point lead.

Beebe came out in the Dead-T to start the third quarter and drove down the field. Quarterback Mason Walker capped the drive with a 19-yard option keep for the score. The extra point was blocked, leaving the Badgers trailing 18-13 with 9:16 left in the third quarter.

The two teams traded possessions the rest of the third, but the fourth belonged to the Badgers. With 9:16 left in the game and Beebe back in the Spread formation, fullback Kahlil Anthony went off tackle for 68 yards untouched for the go-ahead touchdown.

The PAT failed again, leaving Beebe clinging to a one-point lead.

Greenbrier put together a good drive, but was stopped on downs near midfield. Anthony then broke another long run, this time for 35 yards and the score with 4:14 left in the game. The extra point was good, giving the Badgers the 26-18 lead.

“It was just an outstanding game for our defense,” Shannon said. “Offense wasn’t great, but it produced when it had to produce. They stopped us near the goal line early. We got down there in the T and they stuffed us. So next time we got down there we went to the Spread. That gave us some running lanes, and we were able to get it in. We jumped in and out of the Spread probably more than we ever have tonight.”

Greenbrier finished with 330 total yards of offense to Beebe’s 333. The Panthers had 99 rushing and 231 passing. All of Beebe’s yards came on the ground. Anthony led all players with 20 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns.

The Badgers will travel to longtime rival Lonoke next week. The Jackrabbits beat Carlisle 42-6 Friday after invoking the mercy rule with a 35-0 halftime score.

SPORTS STORY >> Panthers score 20 unanswered

Leader sports editor

Things didn’t look good early, but the Cabot Panthers kept grinding, and finally grinded their way to a 20-12 season-opening victory over the Pine Bluff Zebras at PBHS on Friday. The Panthers could get nothing going offensively early, but the defense made things hard on the host team as well.

Neither team could score on its first two possessions, but Pine Bluff finally broke the ice with three big plays on its third possession.

The first was a 31-yard run by tailback Braylon Moody to the Cabot 41-yard line. Rod Stinson Jr. then got two passes for 39 yards to the Cabot 2-yard line. Moody got the call from there and scored with 58 seconds to go in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead. Cabot’s Austin Swackhammer blocked the extra point.

Cabot continued to struggle offensively and punted back to the Pine Bluff with about nine minutes left in the half. This time, it didn’t take the Zebras long to strike. Again the pass play went to Stinson on the corner route for another score with 7:31 left in the half. A two-point conversion attempt failed, leaving the score 12-0.

With the running lanes blocked up, Cabot went to the air on its next possession, and found some breathing room. The Panthers needed just over two minutes to go 65 yards in six plays, with 51 coming on the last one. Quarterback Tommy Oaks found halfback T.J. Rogers open down the sideline after a play action off the counter with 5:12 left in the half. The extra point was no good, leaving the Zebras with a six-point lead.

As dominant as Pine Bluff’s defense was for most of the first half, Cabot’s was even more so in the second. The Zebras did not get a first down on the opening possession of the second half, and the Panthers did.

Cabot’s first possession of the second half resulted in a 10-yard option keep by Oaks for the score with 6:27 left in the third period. The extra point gave the Panthers their first lead of the game at 13-12.

Pine Bluff never got anything going, but the defense was still strong.

The two teams continued trading possessions and punts, until Cabot added one last score with 3:45 remaining. It was play action again that got the halfback open.

This time it was Bradley Morales who made the 11-yard catch in the end zone, and the extra point set the final margin.

Pine Bluff finished with 222 total yards, but only managed 38 total yards in the second half. Cabot had 264 total yards.

The Panthers will host their home opener next Friday against El Dorado, a 29-7 winner over Camden-Fairview on Friday.

SPORTS STORY >> Jackrabbits roll through rival Carlisle

Special to The Leader

The Lonoke Jackrabbits traveled to Fred C. Hardke Memorial Field in Carlisle on Friday night to face the Bison in the second year of the Central Lonoke County Showdown. Last year, at Lonoke, the Jackrabbits were the victors, and this year it was Lonoke again, winning this year’s contest 42-6.

The Jackrabbits (1-0) dominated the first half, scoring on their first five possessions, while the Bison (0-1) could get nothing going on offense. The second half was played under the sportsmanship rule, with the teams scoring a touchdown each.

“We came out and did what we had to do,” Lonoke coach Taggart Moore said. “We wanted to stay healthy. We had a lot of stuff we wanted to get in and see how they reacted to it. I thought we did a great job. Like I said, the mainthing coming into this thing was get through it healthy, get ready, we got a big one next week. And, we did that, and I’m pleased with it.”

Lonoke had the first possession of the game and started from its own 35-yard line. The Jackrabbits moved down the field to the Carlisle 17-yard line on five runs by Xavier Hodge. Quarterback Daniel Seigrist was dropped for an eight-yard loss by Baylor Craig to bring up fourth down and 17 on the 25-yard line. Seigrist then found Braidon Bryant in the end zone for the touchdown reception. Nick Tate added the point after for the early 7-0 Lonoke lead.

The Bison went three and out, and the Jackrabbit offense struck again. This time Hodge ran for 38 yards on first down to the Carlisle 15-yard line. Davonta Adams moved the ball to the five, and Hodge scored from there. Tate again kicked the extra point for a 14-0 advantage.

Carlisle again was forced to punt, aided by a 10-yard sack of quarterback Braiden Jenkins by E’shaun Brown.

As in the previous possession, it only took three plays for the Lonoke offense to strike. On second and 13, Seigrist again was complete to Bryant who escaped for 49 yards and a touchdown. Tate again was good for the point after, and the score was 21-0.

Will Carter returned the ensuing kickoff to the Bison 39-yard line. Ian Seidenschwarz picked up 10 yards and a first down, but Carlisle then stalled and turned the ball over on downs.

It was Hodge again for Lonoke, this time with a 45-yard touchdown run at the start of the second quarter upping the score to 28-0 with Tate’s extra point.

On Carlisle’s possession, Jenkins completed a pass to Houston Garrich for 10 yards on fourth down to pick up a first but was then intercepted by Dalton Smith who ran to the 12-yard line of Carlisle to put the Jackrabbits in great position to score again.

This time it was Seigrist to De’Angelo Noid for the 12-yard touchdown reception on fourth down. Once again, Tate added the PAT, and the score was 35-0 with 7:10 left in the half. That remained the halftime margin.

Lonoke scored once more on its first possession of the second half, this time on a keeper by Seigrist from 25 yards out. Tate was perfect for the night to make the lead 42-0.

The Bison then put together a 14-play 78-yard scoring drive, picking up four first downs along the way. Jenkins moved the ball to midfield on a 25-yard keeper to pick up the first. Davarius Allen carried the ball 10 times on the drive, gaining 32 yards and scoring the Carlisle touchdown from less than a yard out. The two-point conversion was no good, setting the final margin of 42-6.

Hodge rushed 12 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns for Lonoke. Bryant had three receptions for 87 yards and two touchdowns. The Jackrabbits had 315 yards of total offense.

Allen had 42 yards on 13 carries and one touchdown for the Bison. Seidenschwarz carried nine times for 33 yards. Carlisle had 109 yards of total offense.

Lonoke will host Beebe next Friday, while the Bison travel to DeWitt.

SPORTS STORY >> Jacksonville wins opener

Leader sports editor

A nose-to-the-grindstone running game and a late defensive personnel adjustment helped the Jacksonville Titans to a 25-21 season-opening victory over Mills on Friday in Little Rock. Jacksonville held a 19-7 lead at halftime, but got burned continually with the deep ball as the Comets pulled to within 19-13 and 25-21 in the second half.

So Titan coaches decided to put starting quarterback and safety Harderrious Martin at corner on defense, and the strategy worked. Mills tried to go deep a few more times, but one was picked off by Tre Newson, one batted down by Martin, and the last gasp was picked off by Martin with 4:04 left in the game.

“He’s just a player, man,” Jacksonville coach Barry Hickingbotham said. “He’s just a guy that needs to be around the ball. We had some mistakes at corner that were costing us. So we stuck him in there. If they had been killing us up the gut, we’d probably put him at tackle.”

It didn’t take long for Martin to make his mark offensively, either. The Titans got the ball first, but most of a good gain on the first play was erased by a penalty on the second. Martin then kept on the read option and went 56 yards for the score just one minute into the game. The extra point missed, leaving the score 6-0.

The defense then held after giving up one first down, and the offense came through again. This time Jacksonville grinded out 29 yards on six plays to the 49. Martin then went to the air, where Xavier Scott made the catch at the 15, broke a tackle and scored on the 51-yard play. Hunter Fletcher’s extra point was good, giving Jacksonville a 13-0 lead with 4:46 left in the first quarter.

Mills then hit its first long pass. Quarterback Taydrean Ford found Pernell Bobo 46 yards downfield for a first down at the 16. Three plays later, Ford kept from 10 yards out and scored. The extra point made it 13-7.

After two fruitless possessions by each team, Jacksonville got good field position after a long punt return by Shavarrious Curley set the Titans up at the Comet 40. The return actually went all the way to the 22, but an illegal block erased the final 18 yards.

Mills gave most of that back two plays later when an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was added to a 6-yard reception by Deboious Cobbs, putting the ball on the Mills 20. Martin kept again on the next play, and again scored. Another missed PAT left it 19-7 going into the intermission.

Mills struck big right away in the second half after flubbing the kickoff and starting at its own 3-yard line. Plays of 52 and 43 yards got the Comets to the other 3-yard line in just two plays. Another two plays and the score was 19-13 with 10:42 left in the third quarter.

Curley went in at quarterback for Jacksonville on the next drive and did well. He salvaged a busted play by scooping up a low snap and turned a negative play into a gain of zero.

He then hit Cobbs over the middle for a long pass play. A personal foul added 15 more, and Jacksonville had first and goal at the 2. But running back Shawn Ellis was hit at the line of scrimmage on the next play, and was stripped of the ball as he fought for extra yardage. Mills covered at the 3, and drove into Jacksonville territory before Tre Newson got his interception. He returned it 25 yards to the Mills 32.

From there, Jacksonville fed Ellis six-straight times to the 3-yard line. Curley took it in from there for a 25-13 lead with 11:55 left in the fourth quarter.

Mills’ final touchdown drive started with 8:42 left after a bad punt set the Comets up at the Jacksonville 27-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Ford hit Broderick Lacy for the score. Bobo added the two-point conversion to make it 25-21.

The Comets forced a three-and-out on Jacksonville’s next possession, and another bad punt gave Mills the ball at the Titan 44. Four plays got them to the 30, but a holding penalty negated a 9-yard gain on third down that would’ve been a first down. Mills had another receiver open in the back of the end zone, but the pass was a wobbly floater and went out of bounds.

Martin then came through with his interception on fourth down, giving Jacksonville the ball at the 38 with 4:04 to go.

From there, it was another steady dose of Ellis up the middle to run out the clock.

Jacksonville finished with 338 total yards and Mills had 373. Ellis was the workhorse. He carried 26 times for 130 yards. Martin had five carries for 83 yards and two touchdowns. Cobbs had three receptions for 41 yards, Scott one for 51 and a touchdown.

The Titans will host Catholic High at Jan Crow Stadium next Friday. The Rockets pummeled Sylvan Hills 44-7 last night at War Memorial Stadium.

SPORTS STORY >> Bill Reed’s legacy will last

Leader sports editor

There’s a reason the words legend and legacy are from the same root, and if you’re from Jacksonville and knew Bill Reed, you know the reason. Reed, a native of Lonoke, only lived in Jacksonville for 10 years, and hasn’t been here since 1982. He is a legend in Jacksonville because of the three football state championships he won, but his legacy in the town looms much larger than mere sports.

Bill Reed died Tuesday in Texarkana, another place he’s a coaching legend, at the age of 79. His career accolades are too long to list, but among them are the state championships at Jacksonville and five more conference championships at Texarkana before he retired in 1989. He has been inducted in the Jacksonville High School Hall of Fame, the Arkansas High School Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame. (He was profiled in The Leader in February, 2004).

Less known about Reed is that he is also a multi-state championship coach in girls’ basketball. As the youngest head coach in the state at 21 years old, Reed won the first of back-to-back state titles at Marked Tree in ’59-’60 and ’60-’61.

His keen eye for talent led him to pluck two future NFLers and Super Bowl winners out of the hallways at JHS and Arkansas High – Dan Hampton and Rod Smith. He has influenced several coaches throughout Arkansas, including the wildly successful Mike Malham at Cabot, and his own son, Scott Reed. Malham was an assistant for Reed at Jacksonville, and has won two state championships with the Panthers. Scott Reed played for his dad at Jacksonville before signing with the Razorbacks. He won four state championships as coach at El Dorado.

Over the years, those he influenced have spoken glowingly about him, and talked about what they took from his mentorship.

“The main thing I learned from him was the importance of off-season,” Malham told The Leader when Reed was inducted into the AHSCA Hall. “He said you build a program there, and we still run our off-season very similarly to the way he did back then.”

Former Red Devil coach Johnny Watson, who won numerous conference championships after taking over for Reed in 1983, liked his hands- off approach towards his staff.

“He let the coaches coach,” Watson said. “He’d tell the assistants what he wanted the kids to learn, but then he let you go out there and teach it to them your way. He let you make the decisions on who to play and how things were done. He was the head coach of a program and he’d oversee it. And that’s what I tried to do.”

Reed’s career started in 1959 as a 21-year-old girls high school basketball coach at Marked Tree.

Reed moved on to take an assistant coach’s position at Wilson High School and head junior high coach. Wilson enjoyed his first undefeated season in ’62 with his junior high team.

He moved on to Jonesboro High School as an assistant football and head track coach in 1966. Jonesboro’s football team won three conference championships during Reed’s tenure and played in three state championship games.

In 1972, Reed finally got his first high school head football coaching position at Jacksonville. In his first two years the team went 2-9. In ’74, Reed enjoyed his first winning season and two years later, won the first of three state titles.

Even with all that success, it was his contributions of no recorded notoriety that may have had the biggest impact on the city of Jacksonville. Reed’s arrival at JHS coincided with the early stages of integration. It was a rocky start, but Reed’s influence was a huge factor in smoothing the transition.

“He influenced so many people,” said Martha Whatley, a fellow teacher at JHS at the time. “When the blacks and whites combined, he made them all Jacksonville Red Devils. He was so good at treating everybody the same, and he taught everyone to take pride in what they were doing. It was largely through his efforts and his teamwork concept and the example that his team showed in that school, that we were able to make it a much more smooth transition during integration. His discipline and his way of treating everyone the same was commendable. He was a tremendous asset not only to the school itself, but the whole town. You couldn’t get a seat at that stadium on Friday nights, and the town was empty when they were away. All those kids learned you don’t fail until you quit trying.”

His funeral will be held at the graveside at Lonoke Cemetery at 4 p.m. today.

TOP STORY >> Dope doctor gets 9 years

Dr. Richard Duane Johns, 51, of Little Rock was sentenced Thursday to nine years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, a powerful and highly addictive painkiller.

He illegally distributed at least 39,000 pills with a street value of more than $1 million between 2011 and 2015 after writing almost 200 fraudulent prescriptions.

He sold phony prescriptions for $500 each to patients he never examined and in many cases never met.

Lonoke County sheriff’s deputies began the investigation after a Cabot-area man fatally overdosed in 2014.

U.S. District Court Judge Brian S. Miller handed down the minimum sentence required by sentencing guidelines. Johns, who has lost his medical license, could have received up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Johns was initially charged with 18 others in a federal indictment in September 2015.

He must undergo substance-abuse counseling while in prison and serve three years of supervised probation after his release.

As part of the plea agreement, Johns agreed to forfeit $155,620 in proceeds from the conspiracy and a Ford F-250 truck that facilitated the conspiracy.

According to the plea agreement, he could forfeit more money that he made during the conspiracy.

Christopher R. Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District, said, “Dr. Johns, while purporting to be a health-care professional, is nothing more than a common drug dealer. With opioid abuse continuing to kill at alarming rates, and an opioid epidemic sweeping across the country, the fact that doctors sworn to help people are contributing to the problem is unconscionable.”

The doctor’s drug operation was primarily conducted in Lonoke, White and Pulaski counties.

In May 2015, the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office took Johns into custody charging him with 187 counts of violating the Arkansas controlled substances act, a class C state felony.

The federal indictment later charged Johns and 18 others with conspiring to distribute oxycodone.

The investigation began in November 2014 when Lonoke County Sheriff’s detectives responded to an opioid overdose death of an individual outside Cabot. The sheriff’s office asked the DEA to help determine the source of the oxycodone.

The investigation led to 187 fraudulent prescriptions for oxycodone written by Johns since July 2014 in Lonoke County alone.

Thirty-eight people associated with Johns were charged in Lonoke County Circuit Court with violating the state’s controlled substances act. To date, 17 have already pleaded guilty.

In White County Circuit Court, 15 people connected to the doctor were charged with various drug crimes, and all of them have pleaded guilty.

The DEA determined that Johns was part of a distribution network in which he would write oxycodone prescriptions to co-conspirators who would bring names and dates of birth to Johns with the intent of buying a prescription for oxycodone.

Prescriptions were filled at local pharmacies, and the oxycodone pills sold illegally for about $30 each.

Several area residents were arrested in the case for conspiracy to distribute schedule II controlled substances, including David Scroggins, 58, Marissa Scroggins, 31, Christopher Scroggins, 38, and Donna Cearns, 28, all of Cabot; Vanessa Byrd, 29, and Randy Byrd, 28, both of Ward; and Christine Zeman, 46, of Lonoke.

TOP STORY >> Young county Republicans best in state

Leader staff writer

The Lonoke County Young Republican Committee was named Chapter of the Year last month at the Arkansas Young Republican state convention in Little Rock.

The Lonoke County Young Republican Committee, which started in 2016, is for ages 18 to 40 and has 13 members. It is a subcommittee to the Lonoke County Republican Committee and works with the Lonoke County Teen Republican Committee at Cabot High School.

“The goals of the Lonoke County Young Republican Committee are to grow our membership beyond Cabot into all parts of Lonoke County and try to keep teen and young Republicans active. At some point they are going to turn 18. We can either nurture and be active or push them aside because they’re not old enough,” said chairman Daniel Hayes, who has also been named to the Lonoke County Election Commission.

Hayes said the idea of a Lonoke County Young Republican Committee came from trying to bridge the age gap. Teenagers don’t talk with older Republicans, and the young Republicans helped start a committee for teens.

Hayes said there are not many county chapters for young Republicans as most are regional committees.

“We want to get true conservatives elected to office to preserve the integrity of the organization,” Hayes said.

He said the committee helps Republican campaign efforts by knocking on doors, putting together fliers and doing grassroots footwork.

The Lonoke County Young Republican Committee helped state Sen. Trent Garner (R-El Dorado) with his 2016 election campaign.

The committee offers a platform to speak about issues and organizations and spread the information to voters.

Hayes said Laura Abbott with the Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center recently spoke about victims’ rights.

They gathered donations and supplies to support Arkansas Young Republicans and Young Democrats of Arkansas to send disaster relief to flooding victims in Louisiana last year.

During the Lonoke County Republican Committee Lin-coln Day dinner in April, Hayes was honored as the Young Republican Man of the Year. Courtney Ruble was honored as the Young Republican Woman of the Year.

The Lonoke County Young Republicans meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month. This month’s meeting is at the Cabot Public Library. State land commissioner candidate Tommy Land of Heber Springs will speak.

The committee has a Facebook page. For more information, call 870-830-0087 or send an email

TOP STORY >> Mayor will host breakfast

Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert will host Breakfast with the Mayor from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16 at the Fire and Police Training center on the second floor of the Plaza Building behind city hall.

Breakfast will be a potluck and seating space is limited.

“I will present at this session the improvements strategy and financial requirements for city street excavation and paving as well as overlays for the next five years. We will also begin to discuss continued redevelopment of the downtown area amenities, sidewalk connectivity, farmers market, recreational settings such as the skate park, and other venues and improvements to keep the downtown active, well and developing along with the event and senior centers and schools,” the mayor said on Thursday.

After the breakfast, a ribbon cutting and grand opening for Cabot’s new dog park will be held at 9 a.m. at the Community Pond on the Kerr Station Road side.

Cabot will also hold a town-hall meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10 in the Veterans Park Event Center. The mayor noted this event “will have plenty of space and seating.”

“I plan to briefly recap city progress for the last six years and point out plans for the immediate future. Of course, ample time will be left for citizen input,” he said.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lonoke gets sweep of Sylvan Hills girls

Leader sports editor

Lonoke got its first outright win of the season in bracket play of the Spikefest tournament in Little Rock, and then hammered Sylvan Hills in a best-of-five nonconference match at home on Monday.

The Lady Jackrabbits prevailed 25-19 in a close first game on Monday, and then cruised to wins of 25-11 and 25-14 to sweep the Lady Bears at the Gina Cox Center.

Sylvan Hills was the team out of the gate quickest at the start of Monday’s match. The Lady Bears jumped out to a 9-4 lead in game one, but that changed when Lonoke’s Gracie Mason took serve after a break that made it 9-5. She served up four-straight points, including three-consecutive aces, the last two on high, slow serves that landed in the middle of Sylvan Hills’ confused defense.

Sylvan Hills coach Harold Treadway called timeout, and his team broke serve to maintain its lead. But the Lady Bears served long to tie the game at 10, and Lonoke’s Kayla Shelton served up four-straight points, three on unforced SH errors, to a 14-10 lead that Lonoke never relinquished.

Sylvan Hills pulled to within 20-18 when Cory Tessman broke Lonoke’s serve with a big kill, and then served anace. Lonoke broke back, and Shelton served up three more points before the Lady Bears broke to make it 24-18. Lonoke won the set on another long serve by the Lady Bears.

Lonoke took command early in game one. On Maddie Pool’s serve, Lonoke got three-consecutive hard kills, one each from Kennedy White, Shelton and Keiunna Walker to make the score 6-1. Sylvan Hills came storming back to tie the game at 9-9, but the Lady Bears collapsed from that point, scoring just twice more as the Lady Jackrabbits closed the game on a 16-2 run.

Shelton served four in a row before Sylvan Hills’ Anna Snyder got a back row kill to make it 14-10. She then served long, giving the serve back to the home team.

Lindsey McFadden served to 20 before Sylvan Hills broke, but Graemme Withrow served wide and the Lady Bears didn’t score again until game three.

Lonoke’s Emily Armstrong served out the set with one ace. White ended it with a huge cross-court kill from the right side. It was a foreshadowing of game three, when White began to dominate.

The 6-foot outside hitter hammered half of her match-high 10 kills in the final game.

Shelton finished with 15 points on serve, equaling Sylvan Hills’ team total.

Snyder, Sylvan Hills’ libero, led the team in kills with four, all from the back row.

Walker and Shelton had eight kills apiece for Lonoke while Armstrong and Sydney Hallum had five each.

“I’ve got a lot of hitters and it’s sometimes hard to get everybody those opportunities,” said Lonoke coach Laura Park. “But it’s a good problem to have.”

Armstrong also had nine points on serve, and the setter contributed 21 assists to the team’s 36 kills. Hallum had eight assists and Mason six. Mason also had eight points on serve, and led the team with five aces.

Junior libero Trinity Abbott finished with 11 digs.

Despite the dominant win, Park thought her team played better over the weekend than it did on Monday, despite going 1-3-1 at Spikefest.

“We tend to play to the level of our competition sometimes,” Park said. “I thought we played much better at Spikefest even though the scores may not look like it. We were playing some elite competition and we didn’t have everyone there. But I felt like we competed really well.”

At Spikefest, Lonoke opened pool play against Valley, and lost handily by scores of 25-9 and 25-10. Valley View is the defending Spikefest champion, the defending Class 5A state champion, and also went on to win this year’s Spikefest, dropping just one set to Fort Smith Northside the entire tournament.

The Lady Jackrabbits split with Morrilton, losing game one 25-22 before winning game two 25-21. They closed pool play with a 25-14, 25-13 loss to Cabot, and moved into the Bronze bracket of tournament play.

Once there, Lonoke beat Vilonia 2-1 in three exciting games, two of which needed extra points to decide. Lonoke won game one 28-26 and lost game two 25-21. Game three to 15 ended with a 16-14 Lonoke win.

In the second round of bracket play, Lonoke was knocked out of the tournament by Class 6A Sheridan in another close match, 25-22 and 26-24.

Lonoke (2-4-1) will travel to Lisa Academy on Thursday.

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot wins two, Titans one during Spikefest

Leader sports editor

Cabot and Jacksonville took part in the annual gigantic Spikefest volleyball tournament on Saturday, and both teams enjoyed success for the first time this season.

The Cabot volleyball team went 2-2 and got its first win of the year in the opener Saturday morning, beating Morrilton 25-23 and 25-14 in pool play.

Cabot was pooled with the Devil Dogs, Lonoke and defending Class 5A state champion Valley View.

Cabot faced the Lady Blazers in its second match and lost both sets by scores of 25-8 and 25-16. That left county rival Lonoke, which Cabot took care of 25-14 and 25-13, to finish second in its pool and move to the Gold bracket of tournament play.

Cabot found itself in a rematch of its season opening loss to Benton, and again fell to the 6A power that shares its namesake by scores of 25-18 and 25-13.

Valley View went on to win the tournament for the second-straight year. The Lady Blazers beat The Arkansas Flyers home school team 2-0, Fort Smith Northside 2-1, Van Buren 2-0 and Batesville 2-0 in the championship match.

Cabot had trouble with the serve of Benton’s Rylea Brimhall, who took serve with her team leading 8-7, and served 11-straight points for a 19-7 advantage that Cabot couldn’t overcome.

The Cabot Lady Panthers will open conference play in the 7A-Central on the road Thursday against Mount St. Mary.

Jacksonville opened pool play at Episcopal Collegiate, and did not get off to a great start. The Lady Titans dropped the first set to Jonesboro-Westside 25-6, but recovered for a much more competitive loss in the second set, 25-16.

Jacksonville then met 7A Little Rock Central and lost two nail-biter sets 26-24 and 25-22.

That left the host team in pool play. Jacksonville won the first set 25-21, but lost the second set 26-24. The way the tournament was scored for bracket play, it counted as a plus-two win for the Titans, and they were sent to the silver bracket for tournament play.

Matched up with Greenbrier in the first round, Jacksonville again suffered a bad first game, losing 25-11. Game two was closer, but the 5A-West team knocked the Titans out of the event with a 25-18 win.

Jacksonville opened conference play at Little Rock Hall on Tuesday. Look for details of that match in Saturday’s edition of The Leader.

SPORTS STORY >> Rattler QB to test defense

Special to The Leader

FAYETTEVILLE – Fans have waited all summer to see how Arkansas’ defense will look under new defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads, and they’ll get their first glimpse on Thursday when the Hogs kick off against Florida A&M at 7 p.m. in Little Rock.

While the Rattlers (1-0) won’t be considered a great measuring stick for the Razorbacks, they do have potential big-play threats capable of testing an Arkansas defense that is still adjusting to a new 3-4 scheme.

It all starts with athletic sophomore quarterback Ryan Stanley, who ac-counted for 238 yards and a pair of touchdowns in FAMU’s 29-7 win over Texas Southern last Saturday. Stanley is protected by four multi-year starters on the offensive line and has weapons in junior running back Devin Bowers and senior receivers Brandon Norwood and Chaviss Murphy.

“They looked well-tuned,” Arkansas inside linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves said. “The running back is really good, the quarterback did some good things, and they’ve got a couple of receivers that can make you pay if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do.

“They’re pretty similar to what we’ve kind of been preparing for. I’m sure they’ll have some wrinkles for us on Thursday, but they look pretty much like they did coming out of last year.”

Arkansas senior nickelback Kevin Richardson, a Jacksonville native, said Stanley reminds him of a former SEC standout.

“He kind of reminded me of (former Ole Miss quarterback) Chad Kelley when he ran the ball,” Richardson said. “He’s a guy that can move around and run. We’ve got to defend the quarterback run game just like we do against teams like Ole Miss and Texas A&M.”

Stanley, who rushed for 351 yards and three scores last season, has the running ability that has been known to give Arkansas defenses fits in recent years.

“He’s a winner. He does a good job passing the ball,” outside linebackers coach Chad Walker said. “He can move well. He dropped back there, did a little scrambling for sure. He did a nice job. He’s got good legs.”

Norwood, who was lightly recruited coming out of high school powerhouse Atlanta (Ga.) Cedar Grove, had 458 yards last year and began this season with five receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown last Saturday.

“Oh yeah, (Norwood) can compete at the highest level if he could,” Richardson said. “We’re going to have to play him like we play any other SEC receiver. He’s got the talent, he’s got the skills. He can play.”

Arkansas’ defensive line has a good collection of talented young guys, but only a couple have seen significant game action. In terms of starts, the Hogs’ defensive front will be facing one of the more veteran offensive lines they’ll see all season.

“We’re going to have to be ready,” defensive line coach John Scott Jr. said. “We’re going to have to be right, we’re going to have to be disciplined and assignment sound. Running the stretch and outside zone and things like that we’ve seen. Their O-line, they play well, they’ve been coached up well on their blocking assignments and where they want to go.”

On the other side of the ball, the Rattlers are undersized but have leaders at each level of their defense.

Up front, senior defensive end Elijah Price (6-3, 225) made 15.5 tackles for loss a year ago. Junior outside linebacker Quenteze Gallon (5-10, 205) had 47 stops including nine for lost yardage.

Cornerback Orlando McKinley had four interceptions, including one for a pick-six, and a fumble recovery. The 5-8, 175-pounder is a threat as a kickoff returner, as well.

Thursday’s game will be televised by the SEC Network.

EDITORIAL >> Mayor we knew well

Mayor Charles (C.J.) Wax of Rockport, Texas, was in the news over the weekend when Hurricane Harvey made landfall just before 10 p.m. Friday. The Category 4 hurricane slammed into Rockport, a coastal town south of Houston, at 130 miles an hour, destroying much of the resort community, with several blocks completely leveled.

One person died in a house fire when the hurricane made landfall there and several others were still missing early this week. At least 30 people are reported dead in Texas so far.

Wax, who was commander of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base in the early 1990s, said the destruction was “catastrophic.”

“There’s been widespread devastation,” he told CNN. The high school suffered extensive damage, and there are no city services. A makeshift city hall has been set up 150 miles from Rockport.

Wax is too unassuming to have told interviewers that he’s a retired two-star Air Force general. He’s been overseeing recovery efforts in his town of about 11,000, which includes longtime residents who live in modest little homes that provide no protection from flooding, hurricanes and tornadoes. Rockport also has million-dollar homes and plenty of fishing and is popular with duck hunters.

Harvey is the worst hurricane to hit Texas since 1961, when Carla, a Category 5 hurricane, made landfall between Galveston and Port Lavaca not far from Rockport. An even more powerful tornado came in behind Carla, killing 34 people and destroying 3,000 homes and buildings in Texas.

Jeff Thornton Jr., 67, told the New York Times this week he was a little boy when Carla hit his family’s home in Rockport. He stayed put during Carla and Harvey and the other storms. As neighbors returned to their homes, they were glad to see Thornton was all right. All around them were downed trees and power lines and roofs blown off homes and no electricity.

Wax, 70, was one of the last commanders at the air base who went to Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines in the 1970s and helped evacuate Saigon in 1975.

Wax was a colonel while he commanded the 314th Airlift Wing from September 1991 to June 1993 and was promoted to brigadier general the following year, when he became commander of Tanker Airlift Control Center at Air Mobility Command headquarters at Scott AFB, Ill.

He commanded the 89th Airlift Wing at Andrews AFB in Maryland, where he escorted President Clinton on the flightline where Air Force One took off.

Wax was promoted to major general in 1997, when he was deputy chief of staff for Air and Space Operations at Air Force headquarters in Washington. He was commander of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Dallas for two years before he retired in 2002.

One of Wax’s successors at LRAFB, Maj. Gen. Michael A. Minihan, later succeeded him at Andrews AFB, where he escorted President Obama to Air Force One. Minihan is now chief of staff of United Nations Command and U.S. Forces in Korea at Yongsan Army Garrison.

As we’ve said many times before, the Air Force always sends us the best. Welcome to Little Rock Air Force Base, Col. Gerald A. Donohue, the new commander of the 19th Airlift Wing.

Donohue told us Monday that the men and women of LRAFB are ready to fly humanitarian missions to Texas and anywhere else as they have for more than 60 years — from Guam to Peru from Haiti to Africa — and they can take off in minutes. We thank you.

As for the rebuilding in Texas following Harvey, that will take years. It will be a while before the water recedes. But Mayor Wax and the good folks of Rockport will again see the sun shine over their bay, and Little Rock Air Force Base will help.

TOP STORY >> Airmen inspire fifth graders

Leader staff writer

Bayou Meto Elementary fifth graders on Friday learned more about the C-130 planes they see flying over during recess.

Teacher Angela Sprow invited Little Rock Air Force Base airmen to talk about the planes and their careers: Capt. John Avera, Capt. Eric Duncan and Capt. Austin Briehl, pilots; Staff Sgt. Joshua McDermott, maintainer, and Senior Airman Dillon Reynolds and (Ret.) Tech Sgt. John Birmingham, loadmasters.

“These guys are important to the defense of our country. Little Rock Air Force Base trains them from all over the world,” Sprow said.

“The nickname for the C-130 is the ‘Hercules’, but the military calls it ‘The Four Fans of Freedom’ because the propellers look like fans. Anytime someone sees them, they know freedom is coming,” Avera said.

C-130s air drop loads of food, fuel and water in locations where large planes and trucks cannot get to. They also deliver leaflets, road graders and dump trucks using parachutes and GPS.

The roads in Afghanistan are very bad, Reynolds said.

The C-130s at LRAFB are the most advanced in the world. They require a lot of maintenance to keep the pilots safe in the air. They can’t fly them if something is wrong with them, McDermott said.

The planes look so slow that they seem as though they could drop from the sky, but they are flying over the playground at 150 miles per hour. They normally travel around 250 miles per hour.

Each airman told the class why they enlisted into the Air Force. McDermott said he always liked airplanes and working on machines.

“I grew up in a poor family and could not afford to go school. The Air Force paid for me to go to school to do what I loved to do,” McDermott said.

Avera said, “I was old enough to remember September 11, and I was moved by that moment. I decided I needed to serve my country and give back for the blessing the country has given me. I always liked airplanes.”

Duncan said, “When I made the decision, I asked myself who is going to protect the liberty we all enjoy as a country? If I didn’t do it, who would I ask to do it for me?”

“I liked aviation. The Air Force gave me the opportunity to do that,” he added.

Briehl said, “I wanted to serve and felt thankful to live in this country we live in, and the freedom and liberty we have growing up. I wanted to play college football and the Air Force Academy gave me the option to serve and play football.”

Reynolds joined the Air Force to have his college paid for with a G.I. Bill after time served. Birmingham’s parents were in the military.

The fifth graders learned that in other countries, children do not go school and play. Boys are farming to help support their families. Some countries do not allow girls to go school. The airmen are helping to defend the freedoms Americans have, the airmen said.

Fifth-grade children in some other countries don’t go to school or play. In some countries, boys and girls can’t sit together. In some countries, girls cannot go to school and boys farm.

The airmen said math and science are very important in their jobs. They also need the ability to write paragraphs and read complex text.

“It sounds like everything you learned in the fifth grade, you’re still using,” Sprow said.

TOP STORY >> Hwy. 67/167 will narrow for widening

Leader senior staff writer

Local officials are concerned that the imminent narrowing and shifting of lanes on Hwy. 67/167 between the Vandenberg Boulevard exit in Jacksonville and Hwy. 5 at Cabot could create a safety problem if and when accidents or incidents occur on the highway, Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert wrote Dist. 6 Transportation Engineer Mark Headley.


“They are planning on a major lane shift this week, with, at least as of this morning, no notification to the public with alternate routes,” Cypert wrote.

The plan is to shift both northbound and southbound lanes beginning Wednesday night with barriers inbetween, part of the plan to widen the highway from four lanes each direction to six lanes.

“The resulting number of travel lanes after the shift will be the same,” Headley wrote in a press release. “There should be no increased congestion, and it should not affect (Razorback) game day traffic the next day.”


Cypert had expressed concern that weather, the Razorbacks game Thursday evening at War Memorial Stadium and congestion could clog the highway, making it difficult for emergency vehicles to reach the scene of highway accidents.

Both Cypert and Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher said they feared that emergency vehicles would have to travel the wrong way down the highway to reach the site of an accident.


The left lane of northbound Hwy. 67/167 will be closed daily between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Wednesday to probably through Sept. 9, weather permitting, Transportation Department spokesman Danny Straessle said Tuesday. Traffic will be controlled with signs and barrels.

The northbound lanes were shifted to temporary pavement Aug. 10 to allow for the southbound shift.

The left lane of southbound Hwy. 67/167 also will be closed from 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. from Wednesday until about Sept. 9, he added, again weather permitting. Traffic will be controlled using signage and barrels.

Diversion of southbound lanes into lanes normally used by northbound traffic could continue until early next year, he said.


Work will cause intermittent and alternate closing on the frontage roads, T.P. White Drive and John Harden Drive, until further notice, Straessle said. Traffic will be reduced to one open lane at time and controlled with flagging operations.

The temporary Hwy. 67/167 lane shifts will redirect traffic through two 12-foot lanes north and two south, bounded by concrete walls, said Fletcher. He suggested motorists consider alternate routes.

The widening 4.6 miles of Hwy. 67/167 from state Hwy. 5 in Cabot to the Vandenberg interchange will cost $79.2 million.

Drivers should exercise caution when approaching and traveling through all highway work zones.

TOP STORY >> Base always ready to help

Leader editor

Col. Gerald A. Donohue, commander of the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, said Monday the base is prepared to provide humanitarian-relief support to the Houston area, where Hurricane Harvey has dumped more than 50 inches of rain, stranding thousands of people.

His airmen are experienced in humanitarian missions. Most recently, in April, they delivered 750,000 pounds of food, water and other supplies to Peru, where more than 1.2 million were displaced by devastating floods.

Little Rock Air Force Base airmen could provide the same relief along the Texas coastline, where millions of people have been affected by massive flooding that has left at least 30 people dead, put 10 oil refineries out of commission, submerged homes and cars and turned highways into raging rivers in a metropolitan area with nearly 7 million people.

More fatalities and more flooding are expected, making Hurricane Harvey one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

“We’ve got aircraft and personnel postured to respond. They put us on the initial alert level to respond. It’s a tragic situation. We are watching it unfold along with every other American, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families. We are ready to do what we are asked to do. My guess is it’s going to be a day or so before getting a sense of where we could even go,” Col. Donohue said.

C-130s are heavy-hauler workhorses that thrive in short landing situations, he noted. C-17s and C-5s, which are also prepared to respond to Houston, may be able to carry larger loads, but C-130s have an easy-in, easy-out capability that could be useful in this crisis. They can land on a 3,000-foot strip as narrow as 60 feet if necessary.

“We are probably the most versatile airframes that have ever flown — one of the most storied aircraft that’s ever flown. If it’s a runway, we can get into it,” Donohue said.

“A relief mission to Houston would mirror what we do on an everyday basis,” he said.

The Arkansas National Guard at Camp Robinson on Monday dispatched 14 members from its 61st Civil Support Team to the Houston area. They will collect soil, water and air samples to detect contaminations.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday two Black Hawk helicopters and two C-130s were also sent to Texas to assist with rescue efforts.

Donohue recalled participating in a similar relief mission in 2002 when Typhoon Pongsona, a Category 4 storm like Hurricane Harvey, battered Guam, causing $730 million in damage across the Micronesian Islands. He flew emergency relief from his base in Tokyo.

Donohue said his airmen and C-130s can be deployed anywhere in the world within 24 hours. The next mission could be to Texas or to any number of hotspots in the world.


Donohue took command of the 19th Airlift Wing in July from Col. Charles Brown, who is now a senior assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in Belgium.

Donohue was previously commander of the 86th Operations Group at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, “where he commanded the largest and busiest C-130 and operational support aircraft squadrons in the Air Force,” according to his official biography.

As the commander of the host wing of Little Rock Air Force Base, he helps oversee three C-130 wings – the 19th, the 314th and the 189th, plus the 913th Airlift Group, with a combined 58 planes, about 6,000 service members and their families and nearly 1,200 civilian employees.

The annual economic impact for Arkansas from the air base is approximately $469 million, and it’s the state’s seventh largest employer.


Airmen from LRAFB have been constantly deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq since 9/11. Donohue said about 25 percent of the base’s C-130 crews are deployed overseas.

“We are either sending folks to the Middle East, as we are getting ready to do, or sending them to Africa and Europe,” he said.

“I’m impressed with how our airmen are doing. How the installation is doing, the focus it has on the future,” he said.

“Right now, we can be the center of the C-130 world, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, but we are looking at ways to increase activity on base,” Donohue said.

The air base continues to train airmen from around he country and from several allied nations.

To add to those responsibilities, Donohue and his wife of more than 20 years, Clara, have six kids at home between the ages of 7 and 16.

“I spent two years here, about 20 percent of my career, although it’s the first time I’m actually stationed in Little Rock. The rest of it’s been temporary. I did have two children born here in North Little Rock,” the colonel said.


One potential new addition for the base is a battlefield airmen training center, where the Air Force could train ground-combat experts. The Pentagon is expected to make a decision on that soon.

The new Battlefield Airmen Training Group is currently consolidating eight such training sites into three or four, according to Air Force Times.

“We’re one of the bases that have been considered for it, and that’s a basing decision that’s ongoing, and we don’t know the outcome just yet,” Donohue said.

“The things that make Little Rock attractive, principally, are the base itself and then the land that we can develop to support that mission as well as the access to various training ranges and air space in the area,” he said.

A battlefield airmen center could bring hundreds of more service members to LRAFB, he said. A decision is expected this month.


Also originally planned for August was the completion of the new $108 million runway. Work has stopped because of a contract dispute and has reduced the length of the runway that can be used for flights. Work is unlikely to resume until at least fiscal year 2019 or 2020.

“It will be a lengthy effort, but one that is absolutely vital,” Donohue said.

“The project has been paused due to some disputes between the government and the contractor. Can’t talk too much about those right now, but after those are resolved we’ll look to continue,” he said.

“Bluntly, there’s been no work on the principal runway itself. So it reduced in length to enable some of the activity to happen, including work on the overrun and the assault zone,” Donohue said.

The base has 7,000 feet of its 12,000 feet of runway open to planes while repairs continue. That’s enough to meet most of its training needs.

“We look forward to getting the full length back, and we’re on track to getting 12,000 feet back by next summer, which should support the base for about a year or so before we relaunch the initiative to revitalize the runway,” he said.

That timeline should allow for the return of the base’s air show, which has not been held to accommodate the runway construction.


“We should be in really good shape for the air show in October (2018). Even if we only have a portion of the runway back, the Thunderbirds have evaluated the use of Bill and Hillary International Airport if they can’t operate out of here,” Donohue said.

He appreciates the community support of his airmen and their spouses and children, especially during times of deployment.

“It’s been absolutely tremendous. We had a dinner for our deployed family members recently. I was just amazed with the outpouring of support we received from the local community. They came out, helped with the dinner, gave families whose members were deployed the opportunity to get together, share stories,” Donohue said.

He thanked area chambers of commerce for helping organize and volunteer those dinners.

“I have been really awestruck by the support we’ve received and the warm support that my family and I have received since we arrived. It’s been absolutely tremendous from the change of command all the way till now,” he said.

Donohue graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1995. He is a command pilot who has flown 500 combat and combat-support hours in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was commander of the 386th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron in Qatar from 2011-12.

His medals include the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Aerial Achievement Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters.