Letterman Magazine


Neville Tigers’ 2017 Preview

Success never Graduates – Tigers hope to continue latest Neville Dynasty

When one walks the hallowed halls of the Neville High School’s Charlie Brown Field House, you are quick to understand one quick fact about the Tigers’ Football Program – Success Never Graduates!

After all, the Neville Tigers’ football teams have racked up 12 state championships, 6 state runner-up titles, advanced to the semifinals 29 times and the quarterfinals 37 times in 53 playoff appearances (second most in the state to Haynesville’s 55 post season appearances) to earn the title of Northeast Louisiana’s “Most Successful” high school football program.

Neville is Louisiana’s lone football program to have “bragging rights” to the fact that their football teams have claimed a state football championship in each of the past seven decades (1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s).

The most recent Neville Dynasty has seen the Tigers play for the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s Class 4A State Championship the past three consecutive seasons (winning two state championships) and have completed the past four of the past five regular seasons with an undefeated overall and district record.  Since 2009, Neville has made it to quarterfinals every season and to the semifinals 8-out-of-9 years and have won 4 state titles and 2 state runner-up trophies.

Neville coach Mickey McCarty found himself with an opportunity to “Bring Home” a member of that first state title team under McCarty in former Neville quarterback Taylor Burch, who played college baseball and football at Louisiana Tech.  Burch led Neville to the 2009 LHSAA Class 4A football state championship which was McCarty’s first title as head coach at Neville.

For the past two seasons, Burch has worked as the quarterback coach at Alexandria Senior High School where he mentored current LSU pitcher Matthew Beck (who lead the state in passing in 2015 with 267 completions on 403 attempts for 3370 yards with 39 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions) and current Trojan quarterback junior Ben Hesni (completed164 passes out of 273 attempts for 2171 yards with 25 touchdowns and 17 interceptions) under the watchful eye of ASH head coach Thomas Bachman.

With the established experience and success at ASH, McCarty has tabbed Burch as his new offensive coordinator for the Neville Tigers. Burch is replacing former Neville offensive coordinator Brett Lemoine took a position as Texas Christian University (TCU) as the high school coordinator.

The first item on the agenda of Burch is to replace graduated quarterback Jaiden Cole who graduated last May and is now playing for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.  For two seasons, Cole went undefeated as the Neville Tigers’ quarterback until the 2016 LHSAA Class 4A State Championship Game where Neville fell to Edna Karr 34-21.

Senior quarterback Peyton Batteford (6’2”, 205 pounds) looks to be the heir apparent to lead the Tiger offense in 2017.

Batteford has a trio of senior running backs who saw action in 2016 and will join Batteford in the Neville backfield.  Those senior running backs are Demaine Riley (5’9”, 153 pounds), senior Craig Turner (5’10”, 180 pounds) and Jontavious Woods (5’5”, 140 pounds).  Last season, Riley had 90 carries for 490-yards (5.4-yards per carry average) with 8 touchdowns while Turner had 68 carries for 329-yards (averaged 4.8-yards per carry) and 2 touchdowns.

The Neville receiving core will be led by senior tight end Chandler Moses (). Moses, who is the son of former Neville running back David Moses (led Neville to state runner-up titles in 1991 and 1992), had 5 catches for 176 yards and 1 touchdown in 2016.

Up front, Neville will look to senior left guard Devin Phillips (6’2”, 310 pounds) and senior junior tackle Max Mitchell (6’4”, 230 pounds) to provide leadership for the younger offensive linemen.

The Neville defensive line returns two 2016 All-District 2-4A in first teamer senior defensive end Anthony Freeman (6’0”, 235 pounds) and second teamrer senior defensive tackle Gerric Goldman (6’0”, 276 pounds) to led the defensive front for the Tigers.  In 2016, Freeman had 50 total tackles (49 solo tackles and 1 assist) while Goldman had 29 total tackles (29 solo tackles).

Senior middle linebacker Mahlon Markle (6’1”, 175 pounds) is the leading returnee at the linebacker position.  Last season, Markle had 32 total tackles (28 solo tackles and 4 assists).

Senior strong safety Luke Cagle (5’11”, 175 pounds) returns to lead the Neville defensive backfield and will be joined by  junior defensive back Zoran Littleberry (5’8”, 150 pounds) and senior strong safety John Cascio (5’9”, 165 pounds).

Neville will open its 2017 regular season at home on Friday, September 1 when the Tigers host their “longtime rival” in the Ruston Bearcats.

The Tigers will spend weeks two and three on the road as Neville travels to Warren Central in Vicksburg, Mississippi on Friday, September 8 and Ouachita Parish High School on Friday, September 15.

In weeks four and five, Neville will host the Carroll Bulldogs on Friday, September 22 and the West Monroe Rebels on Friday, September in a game that features Class 4A and Class 5A traditional state powers.

Following an open date on Friday, October 6, the Tigers will take to the road in weeks seven and eight as Neville travels to Franklinton, LA to face the Franklinton Demons on Friday, October 13 and to Cadeville to open their District 2-4A schedule at West Ouachita Chiefs on Friday, October 20.

The Franklin Parish Patriots come to Neville’s Bill Ruple Stadium on Friday, October 27 in another key District 2-4A match-up.  Neville will close out its regular and District 2-4A schedules on Friday, November 3 at the Bastrop Rams.



Neville Head Coach: Mickey McCarty (1st Season)

Neville Assistant Coaches: Taylor Burch, Chris Campbell, Paul Guerriero, Chad Johnson, Benjamin Lewis, Britton Leggett, Al Miller, Matthew Dickerson, Jeffrey Gregory and Eric Herndon.

Neville High School’s Home Football Stadium: Bill Ruple Stadium (Artificial Turf)

Neville Tigers’ Past Five Seasons:

2016 Overall Record: 13-1 District Record: 5-0 (District 2-4A Champions, Class 4A State Runner-Up)

2015Overall Record: 14-0 District Record: 5-0 (District 2-4A Champions, Class 4A State Champions)

2014 Overall Record: 13-1 District Record: 4-0 (District 2-4A Champions, Class 4A State Champions)

2013 Overall Record: 12-1 District Record: 4-0 (District 2-4A Champions, Semifinal Playoff Qualifier)

2012 Overall Record: 13-1 District Record: 4-0 (District 2-4A Champions, Class 4A State Runner-Up)

State Championship Season(s): 12 – 1955, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1972, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015

State Runner-Up Season(s): 6 – 1958, 1982, 1991, 1992, 2012, 2016

State Semifinalist Season(s): 29 – 1949, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

State Quarterfinalist Season(s): 37 – 1949, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

State Playoff Seasons: (53 playoff appearances / 1949, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)

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