Led by head coach Jimmy Smith, the Louisiana Bootleggers Elite 7-on-7 team enjoys a reputation for…
Laurence Jones preseason update
Laurence Jones and his teammates at Neville are seeking their third state championship in four years. The north Monroe (LA) school claimed the Class 4A crown last season by defeating Edna Karr, 27-6. In 2009 head coach Mickey McCartey's team knocked off Franklinton in the title game. The Tigers are looking good again this fall with players like Jones and four-star LSU commit John Diarse returning. "I have a good feeling about things," Jones said. "We lost Brandon Walker (to graduation) but return a couple of good receivers. We have a good linebacker in No. 49, (junior) Ashari Jones. "(Diarse) is looking pretty good. We had a scrimmage last week against Minden. It went alright, and I'm taking a look at stuff that needs improvement. I want to improve my hand-eye coordination and get faster out of my breaks. To me my hand-eye coordination is good, but I want it to be great." This week, Neville challenges defending 5A state champ West Monroe in a jamboree that's sure to have more of a playoff game atmosphere than that of a preseason warm-up tilt. "It's for bragging rights," Jones said. "We just have to play a lot better than them in order to win. We have to maintain our focus this week." Jones, who has been well-known in the Monroe area for years, achieved statewide notoriety in a 2011 semifinal contest at Breaux Bridge where he was assigned to shadow WR Travin Dural (now at LSU). "That was the best team we played all year," Jones said of Breaux Bridge. "That was the best team we saw on tape or on the field. It was a great atmosphere." Jones and the Neville defense limited Breaux Bridge to a single touchdown that night in a 16-7 victory. Neville held 10 opponents to single-digit scoring and only allowed 12 and 14 points, respectively, in two more games. The Tigers tangle with 5A Ruston in week one of the regular season. Neville trounced the Bearcats in last year's matchup (42-6). Jones has offers from LSU, Alabama, Texas, Stanford, Oregon, Oklahoma and many others, but he's pushed recruiting to the side as his junior season gets started. "I don't have any comment about that," he said when asked about any favorites or frontrunners. Jones (6-2, 215) camped at Alabama and LSU during the summer.
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