Madison Parish High opens inaugural season against Davidson|[9/2/05]

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 2, 2005

TALLULAH – The newly formed Madison Parish High football team got a big boost in the past week with the return of former McCall High quarterback Cody Atkins from Las Vegas.

Atkins, who missed much of the preseason because of his long trip to Vegas, which followed recoverey from an injured leg in a spring automobile wreck, is slated to start tonight when the Jaguars host Davidson in the season opener at Tallulah High Stadium.

“Basically what happened is Cody came back from his Las Vegas vacation and joined the team,” new Jaguar and former McCall head coach Levi Washington said Wednesday. “And now, it turns out, he’s going have to start Friday because our other quarterback, Dennis Thomas, turned his ankle in the jamboree at Lake Providence.”

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Having Atkins in the line-up should give the Jaguars an added spark.

Last season at McCall, he was named the District 4-2A Offensive MVP after throwing for nearly 1,500 yards and rushing for 900.

“He brings so much leadership to the position having been a two-year starter and the MVP of our district,” Washington said.

Senior defensive captain Phillip Stillwell agrees that Atkins’ arrival is a boost.

“He’s going to be an improvement for our offense,” Stillwell said.

Atkins is not the only newly arrived player to the Jaguars. Washington said 13 former Tallulah High players have joined up with their old McCall rivals.

“We’ve picked up a few more players. We were at 26 and now we’re at 40,” Washington said. “Anytime you have (consolidation) there are going to be growing pains. Change comes, but we’re working on it.”

The uneasiness between the two former bitter in-town rivals is also subsiding.

“The Tallulah guys and the McCall guys are talking to each other and we’re becoming friends,” Stillwell said.

Besides Atkins, the next biggest impact from the new arrivals is lineman Marvin Haney, who may draw a starting nod.

At Lake Providence last week, the Jaguars downed the Panthers 14-6 in the varsity scrimmage. The B-teamers won 24-0.

Davidson takes an 18-game losing streak into the opener.

“They have a new coach and I saw them to do a real good job in their jamboree against Delhi and against Delhi Charter. They won both of those games,” Washington said. “They have a real large offensive line and a pretty good tight end.”

Sarepta (0-1) at Newellton (0-1)

Veteran coach Gerald Reeves makes his debut with the Newellton Bears tonight when they host Sarepta at NHS Bear Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Newellton was 1-9 last year, but Reeves has already made some changes bringing more balance to the offense and more discipline to the defense.

“With the system being new and with the kids coming in late, we’ve done pretty well,” said Reeves, who coached at Riverfield Academy last season. “We’re a young team that is short on numbers and we have a number of freshmen starters.”

Last week in a preseason jamboree, the Bears tied Delhi 12-12, and then beat Delhi Charter 12-0.

“Our quarterback, Marcus Walker, did good. He’s a freshman starter but he threw for two touchdowns in the jamboree,” Reeves said.

Walker threw for nearly 1,000 yards and was selected to the All-District team as an eighth-grader last year.