How Amery Edwards is trying to help Tioga football recover from rough start

LaMar Gafford
Alexandria Town Talk

Tioga senior defensive lineman Amery Edwards is battling injuries to his ankle and shoulder this season.

And it's been a rough beginning for Tioga, who are off to its worst start in six years after a 14-7 loss to Jena on Friday night.

Still, Edwards has handled his role as one of the team’s veteran leaders. 

“He’s really been a lot more mature this year,” Tioga coach Kevin Cook said. “He’s really grown up through the offseason and fall camp. He’s been a lot more of a leader. He’s had a lot more guys in front of him all those other years that were great football players and leaders. Now, he’s had to take that role and he’s handled it very well.”

Tioga's Amery Edwards (91, left) and other Tioga defenders wrap up Jena's Brandon Williams (22) in a game held Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 at The Reservation.

LOUISIANA WEEK 5 SCORES:Louisiana high school football scores from Week 5 of LHSAA season

RAPIDES PARISH SUPER SIX:Meet the Town Talk's 2021 Super Six high school football players for Rapides Parish

TOP IN THE TRENCHES:Meet Central Louisiana's top five high school returning defensive linemen

At 6-foot-2 and 315 pounds, Edwards is not only strong, but possesses quick, nimble feet for a player his size – making him a matchup problem for opponents.

Junior center Hayden Christman, who stands at 6-6 and 305 pounds, normally has to go up against Edwards in practice.

“He gives me a lot of good competition,” Christman said. “I love going up against him in practice. He helps out a lot of the offensive linemen here at Tioga.”

Amery Edwards

His presence alone makes Tioga a better team since he is adept to stopping the run and Jena had to earn its yards on the ground Friday.

“It’s great to have him back,” Cook said. “He’s been injured the past few weeks. Tonight, he was able to be himself and you see the impact he makes.”

The defensive line play led by Edwards left Giants coach Jay Roark impressed.

“I felt like we were always one block or step away from making a big play,” Roark said. “That’s a good defensive line we played against.”  

Slowly, colleges  are starting to take notice about Edwards, too.

Last season, Edwards had 40 tackles and his run-stuffing abilities were a reason why Division II’s Johnson C. Smith and NAIA’s Arizona Christian reached out to him with offers.

That big Division I offer could come soon as Edwards recently gained interest from UL Lafayette.

“I see a camp, I go to it,” Edwards said. “My mom and dad took me anywhere in reach. My goal is to get a scholarship and go somewhere to play ball so my parents don’t have to come up too much out their pocket.”