Aaron, Demars, Jackson get All-State honors after great NCHS football season

Pictured left to right are NCHS football coach James Wilkerson, running back Caylin Demars, safety Justin Aaron, defensive tackle James Jackson, principal Micah Coleman, and athletic director Dean Johnson

Senior standouts Justin Aaron, Caylin Demars and James Jackson have received All-State recognition from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association for their pivotal contributions to the outstanding Natchitoches Central High School football season last fall.

Aaron, a safety, was a first-team All-State selection, among four defensive backs from around the state’s Class 5A ranks. Demars, a running back, and Jackson, a defensive tackle, were among the honorable mention choices by a panel of LSWA members from around Louisiana.

Additionally, Aaron was named to the GeauxPreps.com All Large School roster representing the prominent high school sports website’s top performers from Classes 5A, 4A and 3A. Only four defensive backs were chosen.

Aaron led NCHS with 93 tackles, including 60 solo stops. He had five tackles for loss. Aaron intercepted seven passes and made 14 pass breakups. He also recovered a pair of fumbles, and scored twice on defense by returning turnovers.

“Justin Aaron was one of the main reasons for our turnaround,” said Chiefs coach James Wilkerson. “He played both sides of the ball (receiver on offense), was a leader on and off the field, and he worked hard and earned all of the awards he has received.”

Demars ran for 1,432 yards and 14 touchdowns as one of the most explosive and tough running backs in Class 5A.

“Caylin Demars was the guy who made our offense go,” said the Chiefs’ coach. “He did everything asked of him, and more. He is reliable, a fierce competitor, and very deserving of this recognition.”

Jackson made 69 tackles with 16 for lost yards, three sacks, two forced fumbles and a recovered fumble.

“James Jackson often gets overlooked but is one of the best defensive linemen around. He’s a hard worker who gave everything he had, every day,” said Wilkerson. “He’s a great young man.”

The 2021 Chiefs shocked everyone but themselves by not only ending an 11-game losing streak dating back to 2019, but winning their first six games and finishing with a 7-4 record. NCHS made a state playoff appearance for the first time in several years. Only an injury that sidelined quarterback B.J. Young for the last three games, all defeats, may have curtailed a deep playoff run.

“All three of these guys will be known for years and years as key parts of the foundation that got Natchitoches Central back on the map for good high school football in Louisiana,” said Wilkerson.

Photo: courtesy NCHS