Thursday, July 3, 2008
Byers faces top schools in Louisiana
By BARRY BURLESON
Mississippi’s defending Class 2A state champs battled some of Louisiana’s best last week, June 23-26.
The H.W. Byers Lady Lions, for the second straight summer, participated in a team camp at Louisiana Monroe University. They went 4-4 against what coach Jason Thompson called “some top notch competition.”
That competition included several state championship teams from Louisiana, including 3A, 4A and 5A, plus some runners-up, too.
“We played against 4A and 5A kingpins and we handled our business,” Thompson said. “We played well against some bigger and tougher opponents.”
He was also without the services of one of his standout players, Amanda Jones, who could not attend due to another activity.
“I used a lot of young players to get them some experience, and that’s crucial for us going into next season,” Thompson said.
Last year the Lady Lions went 3-5 at the same camp in Monroe, La.
“Last year sort of broadened our horizons,” he said. “We knew what we had to face to be a contender.”
And the Lady Lions proved not to be just a contender, but the Class 2A state champions for 2007-08.
“We learned a lot from that camp last year, and this year was more about getting experience for our younger players,” Thompson said. “They need to see what the top of the high school level is all about. Louisiana has a lot of talent.
“It was great for us to have the opportunity to play against big-time, well-established programs. It can only boost our program.
“The other teams there were highly impressed with my team, too.”
Next up the Lady Lions will go to the Blue Chip Camp in Louisville, Ky., July 21-25. This will be the fourth straight season for Thompson to take his team to that prestigious camp.
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