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|Bayou Jamb lineup announced|
The West Monroe Rebels and Neville Tigers have had a pair of classic football battles in the St. Francis Bayou Jamb at Malone Stadium on the campus of ULM the past two years.
The August battles have drawn more fans to a high school game than any of their separate regular season gates.
Now the two schools will not line-up against each other as it appears the addition of the Bastrop Rams will change the format of the 2009 event.
The tentative schedule for the event shows three games instead of the usual four.
The Oak Grove Tigers and Jonesboro-Hodge Tigers will be on the prowl when they go head-to-head at 4 p.m. on Aug. 29.
The heat will really crank-up by 6 p.m. when West Monroe battles the Rayville Hornets at Malone Stadium.
This will be the first ever meeting between West Monroe head coach Don Shows and Rayville head coach Bo Barton. Two of the most successful coaches in northeast Louisiana for over a decade, it should give local fans their money's worth that day.
Neville will then be in the final game at about 8 p.m. when they kickoff against District 2-4A rival Bastrop, in what will surely be another intense encounter of the two schools.
"We play those guys in week nine," Neville head coach Mickey McCarty said. "and when you play a team of that caliber you find out real quick what you have and what you need to improve on and that is a positive thing for us."
Bastrop has owned the last six years of the series and the Tigers return much firepower from the second round playoff team while Bastrop lost many key components of a Class 4A semi-final squad in 2008.
Food and fun in the ULM Grove will also be provided, including a Kids Zone. Individual school pep rallies that were held in The Grove last August will return this year as well.
All of the Neville versus West Monroe series is not lost however, the teams will lock up in an early season game during the regular season for the first time since 2000 this coming fall.
"We decided to get back with West Monroe for a couple of years," McCarty said. "It should be an exciting and tough game for us in both the jamboree and in the regular season against West Monroe."
It will be the beginning of a two-year deal with each team getting a chance to play at home.