Arthur Lavalais might be Alexandria-area's top running back — and he's only 5-5

LaMar Gafford
Alexandria Town Talk

At 5-foot-5, Peabody senior running back Arthur Lavalais continues to fight for everything he gets, whether its yardage or whatever helps his team win.

In Friday’s Week 6 game against Tioga, Lavalais rushed for 250 yards and four touchdowns, but it was not enough as the Warhorses lost 38-26 at W.C. Davis Memorial Stadium.

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“We came in with a good game plan, but we let this one slip away,” Lavalais said. “We had opportunities that we just didn’t capitalize, but I’m proud of my guys. We played hard. We just have to come back, execute and get better for next week.”

Peabody's Arthur Lavalais (1) center runs the ball against Tioga in a game held Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at Peabody Magnet High School.

It has been a tough season for Peabody (0-6, 0-1 3-4A) despite Lavalais doing his best to power them in close games.

Through six games, Lavalais has 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns but the rough start has not stopped him from thinking about his teammates first, especially his offensive line.

“They do an amazing job,” Lavalais said. “We’re a brotherhood and we play for each other.”

Lavalais’ dependability has been something the Warhorses have looked forward to throughout his career.

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He had 500 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman in 2018 before breaking out for 1,620 yards and 36 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior years to secure a spot as not only one of the top running backs in Central Louisiana, but one of the top players.

Peabody's Arthur Lavalais (1, right) looks to get past ASH defender Josh Marie (17) in a game played Friday at Butch Stoker Memorial Stadium.

“It’s just been my mentality,” Lavalais said. “I’ve always been undersized as a kid, so I’ve always had that chip on my shoulder of ‘you’re not better than me and I’m going to keep coming at you’. It’s just how I grew up – that toughness that my family, my dad and my mom instilled in me.”

His toughness helped against Tioga, with three runs of at least 50 yards.

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“King Arthur’s definitely they say he is,” Tioga coach Kevin Cook said. “I’m glad he’s a senior, because he’s a nightmare. He’s very difficult to tackle and is really one of the best backs we’ve played in the past few years put together.”

Peabody Magnet High School senior Diara Perry (left) is Miss Warhorse 2021 and senior Arthur Lavalais is Mr. Warhorse 2021.

Only East Texas Baptist has shown interest in Lavalais, but he is hoping other schools such as Southern and McNeese State will begin to recruit him.

“Hopefully, it starts to pick up,” Lavalais said. “I’m starting to see that people are having eyes on me, so I just have to do what I have to do in the classroom and keep that up. Hopefully, God says the same and that somebody will give me an opportunity.”