Photos by Ronnie Day
Three H.W. Byers Lions, Zachary Snow, Jaylen Gibson and Lequavious Jenkins, take down a Vardaman ball-carrier during the jamboree Friday.

Lequavious Jenkins (20) of Byers tries to escape the grasp of Potts Camp’s Kalif Alford (55).

Photos by Ronnie Day
Javion Smith (21) makes a tackle from behind versus Vardaman.

Byers’ Jaylen Gibson (18) and Markeio Raimey of Potts Camp go for a pass.

Three Byers Lions, Zachary Snow, Jaquavion Jones and Rmonta Laney team up to bring down a Vardaman ball-carrier near the goal-line.

Lions making move to 1A next season

H.W. Byers hosted a spring football jamboree Friday, and coach Chris Daniels called it successful with all teams benefiting from good competition.

“I think it turned out well,” he said. “Considering the amount of rain we had leading up to the jamboree, I thought we had a pretty good crowd.

“The main thing in the spring is you don’t want any teams to come out with injuries. And it was a win Friday because of that – no team had injuries.”

Daniels said lining up against some other teams in the spring is very helpful.

“We can try different formations, on offense and defense, to see if they work and then make the adjustments we need to make going into the fall,” he said.

In each match-up, teams had 10 plays on offense and 10 on defense – on just one half of the field.

The Lions got off to a slow start, falling to Potts Camp and Vardaman before tying both Byhalia and Holly Springs.

“Potts Camp came out throwing the ball all over the field, and nobody was expecting that,” Daniels said. “They caught us off guard.

“Other than that, I thought our defense played pretty good in the jamboree. Offensively, we struggled some. It was sort of a tough day. The field conditions worsened as the games continued.”

Daniels is looking forward to the 2017 season, when his Lions will drop from Class 2A to Class 1A.

Last year got off to a rocky start as the head coach himself missed the first eight games due to health issues.

“I think if we stay injury-free, we will be OK in 1A,” he said. “Last season, I certainly didn’t think the injury bug would hit me.

“If we don’t turn the football over, and we stay injury-free, I think we will have a good season. I can see us winning six or seven games.”

Daniels expects to have 30 to 35 players, and “that’s a great number for 1A.”

Last season the Lions finished 1-10.

Daniels will enter his fifth year at the helm in 2017, and Byers was a playoff team in his first two seasons.

“We have to have a productive summer,” he said, “as far as conditioning and in the weight room. We have to get bigger, stronger and faster.”

H.W. Byers will kick off the season in just three months – Thursday night, Aug. 17, at home versus Hickory Flat.

Two other non-district contests follow, at home versus Houlka on August 25 and at Walnut on September 1.

Then the Lions face nine consecutive district foes – Sept. 8, Okolona, away; Sept. 15, Falkner, home; Sept. 22, Smithville, away; Sept. 29, Tupelo Christian, home; Oct. 6, Coldwater, homecoming; Oct. 13, Biggersville, away; Oct. 20, Thrasher, home; Oct. 27, Potts Camp, away; and Nov. 3, Ashland, home.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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