NSU’s Turpin Stadium was the scene of some intense gridiron action as all three local high school football teams took to the field at the Natchitoches Regional Medical Center High School Football Jamboree Friday, August 24th.
One noteworthy item is that all three teams have first year coaches at the helm. NCHS’ Bryon Keller made his debut as the Chief’s coach after three years heading the Lakeview Gators while his predecessor at NCHS, Brandon Helms, took over the Lakeview program. Saint Mary’s also has a new coach with Aaron York taking the lead of the Tiger football program.
The Lakeview Gators faced Alexandria’s Bolton Bears in the 1st matchup. Coach Helm’s young Gator team came out strong in the first quarter and gave the Bears all they could handle in a hard fought game but came up short 16 to 22.
Byron Keller’s Chiefs put up a fierce battle before falling to perennial powerhouse Many Tigers 20 to 29, a score that belies the impressive effort made against a team that is a sure contender for a yearly trip to the Dome. There is much to be hopeful about the Chiefs.
The Saint Mary’s Tigers put up the only victory of the evening, delivering a decisive 31 to 0 rout of a hapless Ringgold team. If they can keep up that impressive level of play, they will need to begin looking for a charter bus company for a trip to New Orleans.
There is more to football games than meets the eye. Every Natchitoches Parish home game has an ambulance on standby. Several local physicians volunteer their time on the sidelines to be on hand in case of need. NRMC Lead Athletic Trainer Lennis Watson and his staff attend not just football games, but every home athletic event. His influence throughout the years can be seen in the young people he influenced. NCHS 2008 alumni and football standout Cardarious Murphy is now a physical therapist who comes by to visit his mentor and help out at games. NCHS 2015 alumna, cheerleader and softball player Kayla Roquemore now plays softball for NSU and is interning under Mr. Watson. Lastly, each football team has a cadre of student trainers who watch for injuries and assist with hydration and other tasks. All of this is provided without charge to the school.