MANY, La. (KALB Sports) -- Four years ago, 14 freshmen began a legacy at Many High School. This Friday is the next step to ending that legacy the same way it began- with a state championship.
"That's something that not too many football players that come to this school will do or around the country do," said AJ Carter, senior running back and UCLA-commit.
In Carter's four years as a tiger, Many has gone 51-5. It all started with a 17-0 freshman season in 2014 where Many defeated Kinder, 22-15, at the Superdome.
"These kids have had big shoes to fill and they've done a great job," said Jess Curtis, Many head coach. "They're so close to fulfilling that legacy that they feel like they were part of as a freshman. But they want to earn that ring--they want to be the reason we got that ring as a senior."
Friday the Tigers will take on the Welsh Greyhounds in their second straight road game.
"When you get to the semifinals, we'll play in the McDonald's parking lot," Curtis said. "We don't care where it's played as long as we get four quarters of football, and at the end of it, the winner gets to go to New Orleans."
"Going to the Dome, that would be great but we want to win it," said Peyton Fredieu, senior linebacker. "Ending it with that, that would probably the best thing ever."
Welsh is ranked No. 1 in Class 2A with a 12-1 record, and carries some daunting statistics. The Greyhounds average 322.4 yards per game and 28.3 points per game, while the 11-2 Tigers average 377.9 yards per game and 39.6 points per game.
But Curtis says it's nothing his team hasn't seen before in themselves.
"We look in the mirror and we see a team a lot like ourselves: a team that's hard-nose and physical coming off the football," Curtis said. "We know it's going to be a great atmosphere and a great football game."
To these seniors, it's not that their high school careers will end, but how--and what they leave behind when they do.
"I just want the kids to feel like how I felt my freshman year to walk on that turf," Carter said. "When I leave, they can give the legacy to the other ones that are coming up."
"(They're) just tremendous workers," Curtis said. "These kids have given it their all, they don't miss workouts, and they're here. They'd rather be here than go chase stars at these combines and 7-on-7's. They're here with their teammates and they've been tremendous leaders.
"I'd give anything to get them back to New Orleans."