Bears hope to repeat the success from Peevey's first season
Last updated 8/2/2022 at 3:40pm
Little Cypress-Mauriceville got a new head football coach last year. The Bears got a winning attitude last season they hope to continue when the new season starts later this month.
Eric Peevey came to Little Cypress-Mauriceville from Beaumont West Brook where he took the Bruins to a Class 6A state championship game in 2018. The Bears were co-district champions, made the Class 4A playoffs, and advanced to the fourth round of the post season in Peevey's first year.
The coach credits the Bear players and coaches for helping get the team to the fourth round of the state playoffs last season. "It was a great year, had a lot of senior buy in, had a great coaching staff, we were able to surprise a lot of teams, and this year we're looking to keep it rolling," Peevey replied.
Offensively the Bears return without question their most explosive player from last year in Da'Marion Morris. He was the district most valuable player running, catching, and just doing anything the coaches can design for him to do with the football while eluding opposing tacklers during the regular season and the playoffs.
Also back is Dean Reynolds who will be starting in a different position moving from tight end to quarterback for the Bears. Peevey pointed out, "Dean's had a great off-season and a great summer at quarterback, and I have full confidence he's kind of ready to keep us rolling in that direction."
To open holes for Morris to run through and to protect Reynolds in the passing pocket LCM has some players back in the offensive line. Leading that group is senior Brady Wright who is moving into either the starting center or guard position.
The combination of dynamic skill players and bruising blockers has Peevey thinking positive about the Bears offense this season. "I'm really excited about what we have coming back as a nucleus on the offensive side of the ball," Peevey analyzed.
LCM had an explosive offense last season mixed with a bend but do not break defense which excelled as the season progressed. The Bears return several members of that quality defensive unit.
Topping the list of returners on defense for the Bears is Amier Washington. At defensive end Washington can wreck havoc on opposing runners and quarterbacks.
Jarvis Riley is the other defensive end and Gianni Huffman who rotated in for either Washington or Riley last year will give solid depth for LCM at the defensive end position. Also back in the defensive line is senior Jose Molina.
Seeing time on defense as well as being an offensive standout is Da'Marion Morris at cornerback. Another returner in the LCM defensive secondary will be DJ Roberts who played a lot of minutes at the other cornerback slot.
Little Cypress-Mauriceville will be younger in the linebacker and safety positions. Peevey indicated, "We're going to be looking for a lot of young guys like Luke McDow to step up. I'm kind of excited to see how those young guys do when we go through two-a-days this week."
Some younger Bears are being looked at to make contributions on the LCM varsity this season. Daunte Greer should be helping out at the cornerback position on defense and will carry the ball from the running back position.
William Payne was the junior varsity quarterback last year and is moving up to the varsity this season. Payne is expected by Coach Peevey to be a strong force on defense starting at linebacker.
Filling a position in the offensive line is sophomore Carson Phelps, and Peevey believes Phelps will be an outstanding blocker. The Pollock brothers, Jordan and Jacob, will be playing on the defensive line, in the secondary, and at tight end. "Those guys can kind of play everything, they're just football players. You pretty much put them at any position and they can kind of get it done," Peevey exclaimed.
The coach is pumped the way the young Bears are melding with returners and buying into the winning formula he brought to Little Cypress-Mauriceville. Peevey evaluated, "We're just excited to see how these returning guys step up and which of the younger guys coming up also step up to take spots on the varsity."
There are some concerns Coach Peevey and the other coaches will address in the roughly four weeks before the football season commences. A couple of spots in the defensive secondary need filling as do most of the linebacker positions.
On offense replacing the wide receivers that graduated will be a top priority in the coming weeks. "Those are three spots that we had a lot of seniors at, and now we're going to be returning a lot of younger guys, but the positive side is those guys are going to learn and they'll be coming back for the next couple of years. We definitely have some work to do at those positions, and we'll have to earn our paychecks as coaches," Peevey admitted.
The outlook for LCM is the same every year according to Peevey. The goal for the Bears is to try to make it to a state championship and do whatever is necessary to get there.
The first step to becoming state champions is the first game and winning that contest followed by competing in an extraordinarily tough district. "I think our district has done a great job the last couple of years of just showing the state that we can play some football. We know every week is going to be a battle and that we're going to have to come out there full ready to go. We're just excited, we know what the expectations are which is to win a district championship, go to the playoffs, and win state. Now we just have to work hard to get there," Peevey concluded.
Another expectation for the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears is playing on their new synthetic Matrix Turf field at Battlin' Bear Stadium. The work was ongoing to install the new surface on the field as of the first week of August.
Work on the improvements to the stadium caused LCM to postpone approving VYPE Media to produce publications on the Bears football program and other activities in the school district. "We planned to get on board with them this year, but with our field not being done right now and not being able to get our media day right we'll move with them next year. It's a way to get our kids noticed and get them some exposure. It used to be free, but of course like everything that was free now it cost money," Peevey advised.