MANY, La (KMSS/KTAL) – In 2020, the Many Tigers took care of some “unfinished business.” After falling in the state championship game in 2019, their revenge tour ended in a 2A title in 2020. But, according to Coach Jess Curtis, the only thing better than your last title, is your next.
“We wanna go back-to-back,” said Head Coach Jess Curtis, who has lead the Tigers to two state championships in his tenure. It’s something easier said than done, but that task isn’t as daunting with the Tigers’ returning roster. After losing Terrence Williams and Cadillac Rhone to D-1 programs, there are plenty of returning faces ready for the limelight.
“We’ve got London Williams, who I think is going to run for around 2,000 yards for us,” said Coach Curtis. Williams was apart of the two-headed monster in the backfield with Terrence Williams in 2020, and now gets the opportunity to get the bulk of the carries this season. In the off-season Williams broke the state record for deadlift as a powerlifter, lifting 570 pounds.
“Doing powerlifting just helps me get more explosive, helped me get quicker with that burst of speed,” said Williams.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers have one of the nation’s top linebacker prospects for the class of 2023 in junior Tackett Curtis. Curtis sets the tone for the Tigers’ defense.
“I’d say we’re a really aggressive defense, we like to fly around to the ball and hit people,” said Curtis. But Curtis isn’t the only SEC caliber player of that side of the ball, with freshman Tylen Singelton picking up offers from Mississippi State, Arkansas and LSU just this off-season.
“It’s a dream come true to be offered by LSU,” said Singleton, whose pick-six sealed the victory for the Tigers in the 2020 2A State Championship game. “Now, I just gotta go out there and prove them right.”
“For a 2A team to have two SEC caliber players on that backend is pretty special,” said Coach Curtis.
To prepare for another state championship run, the Tigers will have to run through a tough non-district schedule that includes 3A runner-up Union Parish and a trio of 4A teams.
“Our non district schedule is a bunch of playoff games, we feel like they’re quarter final, semi final, final type games,” said Coach Curtis. “And then we get into district with teams that would like nothing better than to beat us starting with Avoyelles and Red River.”
In 2021, the Tigers have a target on their back. That’s just how they like it.
“The challenge is, we’re circled on a lot of schedules and we’re excited about it,” said Coach Curtis. “I told the kids the other day, that’s why I’m here, I love the challenge, I live for the Friday night, I live for the battle against other warriors.”