Thursday, October 29, 2009
By BARRY BURLESON
One word sums up the H.W. Byers junior high football season – domination.
The young Lions finished 7-0, outscoring their opponents 288-8.
“We only gave up one touchdown all year,” said head coach James Kimbrough. “This was one of the best tackling junior high teams I’ve ever seen.”
Byers beat Byhalia 30-0, Coldwater 28-8, Union County 48-0, Tupelo Christian 50-0, East Union 38-0, Potts Camp 38-0 and Holly Springs 56-0.
And this is only the second year for junior high football at the Marshall County school.
“I’m very proud of the kids,” Kimbrough said. “They’re eager to learn the game, and they work hard. We’re not high as far as numbers, but this is a fine group.”
He said the offensive line was the key to the whole season. The anchor there was Dalton Pritchard.
“We ran behind him most of the time,” Coach Kimbrough said.
The top beneficiary of that fine blocking up front by the lineman was running back Ladarrius Jones. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards and scored the bulk of the touchdowns.
Other leading runners were Quantario Stigger and Marcus Word. Running the option well, Kimbrough said, was quarterback Anthony Rubin, and Ronnie Dennis was a standout at tight end.
“We ran the football 70 percent of the time,” the coach said.
Byers, known for its basketball success, is building a football program, and Kimbrough said this junior high group is the future.
“Our emphasis has been on the younger kids and building our varsity program,” he said.
Next year Byers will play its first varsity schedule after also playing a junior varsity slate this season.
The JV squad is 3-2 after a 34-15 win over Holly Springs Tuesday of last week.
The JV Lions trailed 15-0 after one quarter but scored 34 straight points.
Trelorenz Stephen rushed for 200 yards, scored three touchdown and all the two-point conversions.
Dominic Jones had 80 yards rushing, with one touchdown.
“We only threw the ball one time,” Kimbrough said.
The H.W. Byers football facilities, including a field house, are taking shape with improvements being made daily.
“Everything is coming together,” the coach said. “Now we’re adding small pieces. It will be bigger and better, but we’ve come a long way. Every day we’re doing something to add to it.”
The junior varsity Lions will close their season this Thursday, Oct. 29, with homecoming versus Potts Camp. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
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