Senior linebacker Lucas Lara has stayed busy this season, averaging 14.7 tackles per game.

When Beekman's defense is on the field, follow No. 2 and it's a pretty safe bet that you will find the ball.

Senior linebacker Lucas Lara has amassed 88 tackles through six games for the Tigers this season, highlighted by a 20-tackle effort vs. Mangham. He also logged 19 stops vs. Homer and 18 vs. Lakeside.

At 14.7 tacklers per game, Lara has nearly tripled his output from last season when he averaged 5.2 stops.

Lara credits Rob Perry, Beekman's first-year defensive coordinator and strength coach, for his drastic improvement.

"I'm running to the ball and tackling better this year," Lara said. "Up until this year, I had a tendency to leave my feet. Coach Perry worked with me to break that habit. He keeps me motivated. I want to do my best because I don't want to disappoint him."

With an open date last Friday, the Tigers had a light week before practicing in full gear Monday.

"We mostly went over our defensive package against Rayville last week, which gives us an extra week to make sure we have everything straight," Lara said.

Beekman resumes District 2-2A play Friday night at home against Rayville. Though the Hornets are heavily-favored, Lara is looking forward to the challenge.

"Rayville has some guys who are going to play college ball," Lara said. "I want to see how I measure up against those guys."

For Lara and his classmates, Friday night's game is their final homecoming.

So, what is his final part about homecoming?

"I like to see the girls dress up," Lara replied honestly.

Having played at Beekman from the sixth grade up, Lara has been part of the varsity program since Day 1. Making the jump to 2A this season, the Tigers (0-6) have had a difficult time.

"We're young. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores on the line and at linebacker, but what really hurt us was moving up to 2A," Lara said.

For the Tigers to become competitive, Lara says the culture must change.

"It's going to take some discipline," Lara said. "People have to start hitting the weight room hard during the offseason. Everybody is going to have to start showing up, listening to what the coaches say and paying attention instead of goofing off while we're going through the drills. They're going to have to realize that football isn't something you just start doing when school starts. You can't just show up, strap the pads on and start winning. You have to put in the work and pay the price to win."

After the Rayville game, the Tigers travel to Lake Providence General Trass and wrap up the season at home vs. Ferriday. Lara, meanwhile, is on pace to shatter the school record for tackles.

"I would like to finish with between 120 and 130 tackles," Lara said.

Lara, a 5-8, 190-pounder, plans to play at the collegiate level.

"I want to get a college scholarship," Lara said. "If it doesn't work out, I'll walk on at UAM (Arkansas-Monticello)."

A 3.5 student, Lara plans to follow in Perry's footsteps as a strength and conditioning coach.

"Coach Perry's a lovable guy," Lara said. "He wants to make people better. I want to make people better, too. He's influenced me a lot by his actions."

Lara's actions have left a positive imprint on the Beekman program.