About the Team
Head Coach: James Wilkerson, 3rd season (16-34 overall, 7-12 at Natchitoches Central)
Lettermen Returning: 12
Offensive Starters Returning: 5
Defensive Starters Returning: 5
Lettermen Lost: 15
State Champions: 1969
Playoff Appearances: 1958, 1959, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1978, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021
Stadium: Harry "Rags" Turpin Stadium, Northwestern State
Turf Type: Artificial
High expectations have become the new standard at Natchitoches Central as the Chiefs look to build upon their first winning season in a decade with the return of crucial skill players and a schedule that could help prepare them for a playoff run.
In his second season at the helm of a struggling program, James Wilkerson did the unthinkable and led his team to seven wins, the most since 2012, and the program's first playoff appearance in seven years. The success did not come without its challenges, however, Wilkerson has now molded his players into a squad with a mindset that all things are possible with hard work and dedication.
Despite the loss of key offensive starters including Caylin Demars, the Chiefs' offense will have plenty of talent stepping up with senior quarterback B.J. Young, Jr. and tailback Jeremiah Miles as well as junior receiver Camryn Davis. The only question mark is will inexperience have an effect early in the season? That is where Wilkerson will look to his offensive line to carry the team early with a good amount of experience returning.
On defense, only five starters return from last year but expect a ton of physicality up front led by senior tackle Tredarius Brown. A favorable non-district schedule could help prepare the unit for a tough, challenging district slate with virtually no weeks off.
The Chiefs open the season at home with Woodlawn of Shreveport before wrapping up a short non-district slate on the road against Opelousas in Week 2 before a showdown with Alexandria at Turpin Stadium in Sept. 15. In one of the toughest leagues in north Louisiana, Natchitoches Central hosts Benton and C.E. Byrd with a hellish road trip to Southwood, Airline, Captain Shreve, Parkway and Haughton.