Friday, June 19, 2015

SPORTS STORY >> SH Bears do alright at meets

Leader sports editor

The Sylvan Hills football team has enjoyed a solid summer so far. The backs went 4-2 at a 7-on-7 meet at Benton on Tuesday. The week before, the whole team performed well, according to head coach Jim Withrow, at the Ouachita Baptist team camp in Arkadelphia.

One of the biggest advantages of team camp was that the inexperienced Bears got to split into two teams. The varsity squad faced North Little Rock, Catholic, Lonoke and Sheridan, while the junior varsity went against Riverview and Des Arc.

“The main thing is we’re young and we need as many guys getting as many reps as possible,” said Withrow. “I think you get a lot out of those team camps. We lined up against some solid teams, big schools, so we learned a lot about where we’re at and what we need to work on.”

While Withrow hasn’t named a definite starter at quarterback to replace two-year starter Trajan Doss, he was without last year’s backup and the frontrunner for the job this year. Junior Jordan Washington was at the University of Arkansas individual camp while the rest of the team was at OBU. But Withrow has also been high on sophomore Ryan Lumpkin, and said he looked good again in Arkadelphia.

“He played pretty well with the varsity,” Withrow said. “He’s young, too, so he made some mistakes. But he handled himself pretty well out there.”

The Bears replace most of last year’s offensive line, and Withrow says consistency must improve, but is pleased with the potential.

“I thought the two we have back, (Sam) Perez (Temuulen Zolbayar) , they played pretty well,” Withrow said. “The younger ones had some good moments, but then some bad moments. They’d screw up once, and then they’d turn around and make a great play. So the ability is there. We just have to find the consistency.”

The head Bear is concerned very little about wins and losses in 7-on-7, looking mostly at technique and execution from individual players. He saw much that he liked at Benton from receivers Cameron Sharp and Jamar Lane.

“I thought those two receivers really did well,” Withrow said. “Sharp in particular – if he keeps getting after it and working hard, he’s got a chance to have a really good season in the fall. He looked really good.”

Starting on the second Tuesday in July, the Bears will compete in team camps at Catholic each week, and will take part in the fourth annual Garrett Uekman 7-on-7 tournament on July 17 at War Memorial Stadium.