Tabary wants his legacy to be more than numbers

McNeese State’s James Tabary has a lot to prove this season. Despite leading the Cowboys offense for two consecutive seasons as the first quarterback in the Lance Guidry era. Breaking multiple program records and being on the verge of setting more records as he enters his senior campaign, that’s not enough.

Tabary has yet to play in a Football Championship Subdivision playoff game, let alone win one.

He wants that to change as much as any other player on the roster, if not more.

“I’ve grown a lot,” Tabary said. “I was not happy with my success last year. Some might say I had a bad year or a good year. I thought I had a bad year, myself. My expectations are really high and they’re to win every game.

“My personal goals come after winning. If we’re not 11-0 and winning in the playoffs, then I’m not doing my job.”

Tabary’s first two seasons at McNeese didn’t mirror one another.

He burst on the seen in his first season of eligibility after transferring from Arkansas State and winning a battle against Grant Ashcraft. He proceeded to break the McNeese single-season records for most completions with 249 and pass attempts with 415. His 3,036 yards left him 32 shy of the record set Blake Prejean in 1997

The problem? Those numbers didn’t translate into wins.

The Cowboys went 6-5 in 2016 and finished fourth in the Southland Conference with a 5-4 league record, keeping them well out of playoff contention.

Tabary’s second year, while solid by most standards, didn’t live up to the numbers he put up in his debut season.

He completed 199 of 353 passes (56.4 percent) for 2,511 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also threw eight interceptions, including a costly pick-six against Nicholls State that ultimately contributed to a 37-35 loss in the season opener in Thibodaux.

By his own admission Tabary never found the rhythm he got into during the previous season. It would be easy to put that on the depleted offensive line, but that’s not Tabary’s style.

“Those big guys need a break up there,” he said. “Those are the guys that get the offense going. Without them, we’re nothing.”

This year Guidry shook up his offensive coaching staff, switching the roles of offensive coordinator Landon Hoefer and co-offensive coordinator Kerry Joseph.

Hoefer took over the wide receiver responsibilities, Joseph, a former McNeese great behind center with professional experience both at the NFL and CFL, took the quarterback duties.

Tabary said Joseph’s experience at the position is invaluable as a coach, and Joseph sees something special in Tabary.

“He just needs to keep competing against himself and all the guys in that room,” Joseph said. “He just has to keep doing the little things on and off the field. A lot of times at the quarterback position it’s not about what you say, it’s about what you do. Those guys are going to follow you.

“He’s done a good job and bought into the things I’ve brought into the meeting room. He has to be the leader in that room.”

Tabary enters the season 2,679 passing yards away from the school career record held by Derrick Fourroux (8,226) and 23 touchdown passes shy of Joseph’s career record of 67.

Records might not be at the forefront of his mind when he goes out and tries to win games, but that’s not going to stop him from trying to achieve them.

“I just try to be the best I could possibly be, but for my team first,” Tabary said. “But if I can break every record, I’m going to try do it. Absolutely.”

 
 

McNeese at Northern Colorado, 3:05 p.m.

””

In this file photo, McNeese State quarterback James Tabary is hit as he throws against Nicholls State last season in Thibodaux. Record-breaking McNeese State quarterback Tabary enters his senior season in search of consistency and a postseason trip. Last season’s numbers were down in comparison to his sophomore season. (Abby Tabor / Special to the American Press)

Abby Tabor / Special to the American Press

SportsPlus

Local News

UPDATE: Four of five candidates for superintendent already work for CPSB

Local News

Calcasieu Parish’s Galan touts progress with drainage projects

Crime

Inmate inadvertently released from custody back in handcuffs

Local News

Three new fire trucks on the way for DeRidder Fire Department

Local News

Iowa approves operating budget, reallocates some sales taxes

Crime

6/26: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Westlake approves plan to allow golf carts on streets

Crime

Four accused in theft ring at Academy stores

Local News

Supreme Court rules for Biden administration in social media dispute

Crime

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange returns to Australia a free man after US legal battle ends

Business

Process Service Specialists announce $3.5M expansion into SW La.

Local News

Poll: Most Americans plan to watch the Biden-Trump debate — and many see high stakes

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:How about the 10 Bill of Rights?

Local News

Superintendent search narrowed down to five

Local News

American Job Center, Louisiana Workforce Commission to host job fair July 10

Local News

Family & Youth award Youth, Humanitarian of the Year honors

Local News

Cassidy meets with realtors on flood insurance

Crime

6/25: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

ROADWORK UPDATE: US 165, I-10 closures planned

Crime

Julian Assange leaves jail on his way to enter plea deal with US

Local News

Local leaders concerned as standards for La. schools change

Local News

Sharing the knowledge: LC recovery story will be recounted at summit

Local News

Paying tribute to their own: Residents honor area Vietnam veterans

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Vietnam veterans honored