Letterman Magazine


Tigers look to improve from 2017

Over the past decade, no Northeast Louisiana prep football program can match the Neville Tigers’ success. Since 2009, Neville has captured four Class 4A state titles (2009, 2011, 2014, 2015) and 2 state runner-up trophies (2012, 2016) along with advancing to the state semifinals 7 times and earning a trip to the quarterfinals every year.

With this kind of success, expectations are always high for the Neville Nation. Last season, the Tigers (8-5, 3-0) won the District 2-4A championship advanced to the Class 4A quarterfinals where Neville lost to the eventual state runner-up Lakeshore Titans.

Most football programs would view a season that had a district title and a playoff run to quarterfinals as a successful season, but Neville is not like most football programs. Last season’s loss total (5) was more losses than the Tigers have compiled in the previous five seasons (only 4 total losses between 2016-2011).
With last season behind them, Neville coach Mickey McCarty and his coaching staff is looking forward to the Tigers taking the field in 2018.

“We have high expectations entering the 2018 season,” Neville coach Mickey McCarty said. “We must improve in all areas daily.”
During the Coach Mickey McCarty era at Neville High School, “Win Today!” has been more than a slogan. Each of the Tiger teams that have worn the black and gold uses that slogan every day as a motivator to get better every play and every day.

On offense, Neville returns senior quarterback Jordan Thomas (5’10”, 160 pounds) to lead the Tigers’ offense in 2018. Last season, Thomas split time under center with Peyton Batteford who graduated last year.
In 2017, Thomas completed 58-of-117 passes for 663-yards with 5 touchdowns and 7 interceptions while rushing for 610-yards on 90 carries with 9 rushing touchdowns in split time duty with Batteford. Thomas was named to the 2017 All-District 2-4A Second Team as an athlete.
Joining Thomas in the Neville backfield with be senior running backs Tylor Brown (5’11”, 175 pounds) and Andrew Greeley (5’10”, 210 pounds).

Senior wide receiver Tavis Butler (6’1”, 175 pounds), who is a three sport athlete as a starter on the Neville basketball and baseball teams, returns as a weapon for the Tigers’ to spread out opposing defenses. Joining Butler in Neville receiving core will be junior wide receiver Tanner Staten (5’8”, 140 pounds), senior tight end Cade McCarty (5’11”, 200 pounds), junior wide receiver Derrick Dorsey (5’9”, 160 pounds) and senior tight end Gordan Willson (5’11”, 165 pounds).

Up front, Neville will have plenty of beef on their offensive line which averages 6’2” and 271 pounds per man. The Tigers’ offensive line will feature senior right tackle Ricky McCallister (6’1”, 260 pounds), senior right guard Jake Newton (6’0”, 255 pounds), senior center Neil Mott (6’3”, 305 pounds), left guard Tyler Kirk (6’0”, 245 pounds) and senior left tackle Logan Newell (6’6”, 290 pounds).
Last season, Newell was named to the All-District 2-4A First Team while Kirk and Mott earned second team All-District 2-4A honors.

On defense, senior defensive tackle Martravius Johnson (6’0”, 255pounds) and senior defensive end Lakamion Franklin (6’1”, 196 pounds) will anchor the Tigers’ defensive front this year.
The Tigers’ linebacker core will be led by pair of juniors in Ikem Tankchell (5’11”, 185 pounds) and Javon Carter (5’10”, 175 pounds).

The Neville secondary will consist of senior free safety Zorian Littleberry (5’9”, 145 pounds), senior corner back Carl Edmunds (5’8”, 168 pounds), senior defensive back Troy Gaines and junior free safety Andrew Cagle (5’9”, 160 pounds).

Edmunds is a returning All-District 2-4A first teamer from last season while Littleberry was named to the 2017 All-District 2-4A honorable mention team.
On special teams, senior Zach White (6’0”, 165 pounds) returns and will handle kickoffs, field goal and extra point kicking duties while senior Cade McCarty will be the Tigers’ punter. Todd Stewart is slated to be the Neville long snapper this season.
Last season, White was named the All-District 2-4A first team kicker.
Neville will open its 2018 regular season by traveling to Ruston to face their “longtime rival” in the Ruston Bearcats on Friday, August 31.

In weeks two and three, the Tigers will open a two game home stand as Neville hosts Warren Central out of Vicksburg, Mississippi on Friday, September 7. On Friday, September 14, the Ouachita Parish Lions invade Neville’s Bill Ruple Stadium.

In weeks four and five, Neville will travel across town to face the Carroll Bulldogs on Friday, September 21 and across the Ouachita River to battle the West Monroe Rebels on Friday, September 28 in a marquee game in the state.

Neville will have an open date in week 6 on Friday, October 5 as the Tigers will rest and get back to fundamentals in preparing for the second half and district portion of their schedule.

The Tigers will host perennial Class 4A playoff team in the Franklinton Demons face the Franklinton Demons on Friday, October 12. Neville will open their District 2-4A schedule at home against the West Ouachita Chiefs on Friday, October 19.

In week nine, the Tigers will travel to Winnsboro to face the Franklin Parish Patriots in another key District 2-4A contest on Friday, October 26. Neville will host the Bastrop Rams on Friday, November 1 as the Tigers close out its regular and District 2-4A schedules.

During football season, the Neville Nation can listen to all of the Tigers’ 2018 varsity football games on KNOE Mix 101.9 FM each week along with the Mickey McCarty Coaches’ Show on Wednesdays at 6 p.m.

Neville Head Coach: Mickey McCarty (17th Season)
Neville Assistant Coaches: Taylor Burch (Offensive Coordinator), Benjamin Lewis (Defensive Coordinator), Chris Campbell (Defensive Backs), Chad Johnson (Linebackers), Jeff Gregory (Running Backs), Leonard Ceaser (Receivers), Matthew Dickerson (Offensive Line), Jeffrey Gregory (Special Teams), Reagan Wise (Safeties), Jeff Tannehill (Tight Ends).
Neville High School’s Home Football Stadium: Bill Ruple Stadium (Artificial Turf)
Neville Tigers’ Past Five Seasons:
2017 Overall Record: 8-5 District Record: 3-0 (District 2-4A Champions, Class 4A Quarterfinal Playoff Qualifier)
2016 Overall Record: 13-1 District Record: 5-0 (District 2-4A Champions, Class 4A State Runner-Up)
2015 Overall 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)
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): 38 – 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, 2017
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, 2017)

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