State Champion Saints send nine athletes to the next level

Nine members of the 3A State football champion West Feliciana Saints signed scholarship offers from universities on National Signing Day, ensuring their futures will include football.

One player, Jacob Fudge, committed to track and field.

Derius Davis, Derek Turner, Davon Harris, Zakk McKeehan, Chad Tillery, Antonio Whitaker, Tarik Freeman, Richard Harris Jr. and Fudge were recognized for their accomplishments by family, friends, teammates and school personnel Feb. 7 in the school gym as they made their commitments official by signing scholarship offers from their respective schools.

These signees and the other seniors guided the Saints to a 13-1 season and state semifinals in 2017 and their first 3A state championship with a 14-1 record in 2017.

Davon Harris, the running back/special team dynamo who recently won the Warrick Dunn award, and quarterback Derek Turner signed with Louisiana Tech. They will join West Feliciana alum and senior all conference defensive lineman Jaylon Ferguson at Tech.

Turner is projected as a safety in college, and Harris will likely play wide receiver. Both were all state selections in 2017. Turner’s brother Derius Davis, also an All-State selection, will be further west on Interstate 20 at TCU, where he is anticipated to play on the offensive side of the ball.

All-State defensive lineman McKeehan, a two-way player on the offensive and defensive line, plans to attend Georgia Tech and play offensive line in a similar triple-option offense to the one he mastered at West Feliciana.

Chad Tillery will take his talents at cornerback to McNeese, which finished 9-2 last season. Antonio Whitaker is anticipated to play wide receiver for the Louisiana College Wildcats, Tarik Freeman will be heading to Dodge City Community College to play defensive tackle, and Richard Harris Jr. is anticipated to play defensive back for the University of Arkansas at Monticello Boll Weevils.

East Feliciana Parish football signees

Over in East Feliciana Parish, Trace and Garrett McManus signed letters of intent to be Choctaws at Mississippi College, where they will participate in track and field and football.

Trace is projected to play tight end, and Garrett is expected to play nose guard. Silliman Institute coach T.J. Davis indicated that “both are expected to have an early impact for the Choctaws.”

East Feliciana wide receiver and defensive back Cedric Anderson II signed a scholarship to play football for Northwestern State University and their new head coach, Brad Laird. Anderson was first team All-District as both a wide receiver and a defensive back in 2017.

Saints and Tigers compete in “Last Chance Qualifier”

Boys and girls from West and East Feliciana competed in the “Last Chance Qualifier” for indoor track and field at the Carl Maddox Field House on Feb. 3. Top finishers included Derius Davis of West Feliciana, with a first-place finish in the 400 with a time of 48.65; Kam Jackson of West Feliciana, with a second-place finish in the 60 with a time of 6.84; and Jacob Fudge with a third-place finish in the shot put with a throw of 50-5 feet. East Feliciana Tiger Charvares Wilson placed second in the shot put with a throw of 51-1 feet.

The State Championship Indoor meet will be held Feb. 17 at the Carl Maddox Field House on the LSU campus.

Warren Brady covers sports for The Watchman and Democrat. He can be contacted at