Bears have high expectations for new season
Last updated 8/23/2022 at 1:48pm
The expectations are high for the start of the football season at Little Cypress-Mauriceville. The Bears are the defending co-district champions, and they are getting a new football field to play on this year.
The installation of the artificial turf at Battlin' Bear Stadium is still in progress but the season does kick off on Thursday for Little Cypress-Mauriceville. Coach Eric Peevey is excited about the start of a new season for his Bears.
A final preparation for the Bears was a scrimmage or maybe more correctly said scrimmages with Port Neches-Groves. The weather including lightning caused the scrimmage to be stretched out over two days on Thursday and Friday of last week.
Before the interruption of the scrimmage on Thursday LCM got twenty plays in. Quarterback Dean Reynolds looked very good. Reynolds passed the ball well and the Bears scored quickly.
The LCM defense played strong especially in the defensive line. "Port Neches' offensive line was huge, but we stood stout and did well. We had some guys really come out like Jarves Riley and Jose Molina up front. I thought Luke McDow our mike linebacker played really well on defense," Peevey assessed.
Peevey agreed to play three quarters when the scrimmage resumed on Friday. "I thought we played great for the Indians to give us their best shot. We did a really good job with the offensive line having come a long ways. Brady Wright at center has done a really good job, and I felt some of our younger players in the lineup have done a good job. It was a great scrimmage. We got exactly what we needed out of it against a bigger school, and I feel like it got us ready for this week," Peevey recapped.
There were no injuries from the scrimmages with Port Neches-Groves. Peevey was waiting earlier this week for the MRI on DJ Roberts' knee which was injured in the first scrimmage against Orangefield. Roberts is an experienced two-way player who will be missed by the Bears if he is unable to play this season.
Because there were no freshmen nor junior varsity scrimmages Peevey and his coaches got to toss a lot of younger Bears into the mix against Port Neches-Groves. Peevey added, "We've got our eyes on a lot of guys just to check with our depth."
The Bears' opponent for Week One are the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks which have a new head coach and have installed a different offense. Zach Bass has replaced Dwayne Dubois who retired and switched from the Slot-T to the Spread.
The change means there is not a whole lot of film footage concerning what the Hawks do on offense. Peevey had only a video of twenty plays from a scrimmage for Hardin-Jefferson against Livingston and a basic scrimmage film versus Tarkington to study with his coaches in preparation for the Bears' game against the Hawks on Thursday.
Peevey summarized, "They basically run the same offense we do. Spread with H-Back formation, but personnel wise in a scrimmage they're all wearing white jerseys, so we really don't know where they're putting their kids just kind of what they look like."
Six starters are returning for Hardin-Jefferson on offense. Luke McCullough rushed for 482 yards with four touchdowns last season. Ends C. J. Demas and Logan Hodges are both back and should be key receivers in the Hawks' new Spread Offense.
Caleb Cheshire returns as the quarterback for Hardin-Jefferson. Sophomore Carter Mouton could also see some plays under center for the Hawks when they have the football.
On defense Hardin-Jefferson lines up with a three-man front. "We just don't know if it's based more out of a 50 front or if it's based more out of a true 3-4 or more of a Bear front," Peevey advised.
In the Hawks' first scrimmage against Tarkington which runs the Slot-T they basically played it like a Bear front. The next week against Livingston which throws the ball frequently Hardin-Jefferson slid into a slightly different look.
Peevey stated, "We have an idea of how they're going to lineup and what they're going to do, but we really don't have a hundred percent film of what they're going to do, so we've pretty much just got to worry about ourselves this week, and our kids practice against all fronts. We've got to be ready to make changes on the fly as the game goes on."
For this opening game of the season for Little Cypress-Mauriceville the Bears have got to do their assigned jobs while also blocking and tackling well. "In a game like this where a lot of people are picking you to win that goes out the window. We've really just got to focus on us and what we do and knowing that we don't have a hundred percent tendencies on them. We've got to be prepared for everything, and this is a great Week One game to go into because throughout the weeks of practice we've had we've shown the kids everything so now they've got to recall that, get ready to go, and be ready to make adjustments during the game," Peevey evaluated.
Although winning the first game of the season is always the goal Peevey has his expectations on reaching the playoffs again by being successful in the district. Peevey stated, "We've got to continue to get better in running our base offense. We've still got to see what players can do, and we're going to pin multiple players in different game time situations that we haven't seen yet this year because we're worried about district and we're worried about the future."
The first game of the season usually sets the tone for the rest of the year for most teams. Coach Peevey is hoping for a victory in the season opener for the Bears. "It's always good to start the season with a victory. Even though it's not at home this is still considered a home game for us. It's very important for us to set the tone for the entire year with this first game. What type of team we're going to be, who we're going to be, and play the entire four quarters. This is the first full four quarters of the season we're going to play. I need to see our kids play an entire four quarters just so we can continue to get in game shape and see how they react and how they play for an entire four quarters," Peevey concluded.
The game date and location have been changed because of the renovations being done at Battlin' Bear Stadium. The game has been moved to Memorial Stadium in Beaumont which Coach Peevey is very familiar with from his days when he coached at Beaumont West Brook. The game between the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears and the Hardin-Jefferson Hawks will kick off at 7:00 PM on Thursday now, not on Friday as originally scheduled.