Loyd Star players look at Friday’s foe
Published 6:00 am Friday, November 23, 2001
The Loyd Star campus is virtually deserted. Students have beenout of school since last Friday, enjoying a long Thanksgivingholiday. A northerly wind scatters copper-colored leaves across thenear-empty parking lot.
Meanwhile, the Loyd Star field house is a beehive of activity.Coaches study game films and eat their lunch simultaneously, alsotaking notes. Players, many of them devoted deer hunters, arrivefor practice wearing camouflage gear.
The Hornets are practicing every day this week, plusThanksgiving Day, but they don’t mind the overtime. They are amonga handful of high school football teams still competing in thestate playoffs.
Loyd Star hosts archrival Wesson Friday night in a Class 2Aquarterfinals showdown. One of the largest crowds ever to witness afootball game in Lincoln County is expected for the 7:30 kickoff onWilliam E. “Sambo” Smith Field.
Senior defensive tackle Beau Morrison has been an anchor in LoydStar’s line. Standing 6-foot-2 and filling that frame with 315pounds, Morrison is an impressive sight on the line ofscrimmage.
Morrison said he was looking forward to practicing tomorrow. “Ithink it’s a good idea. I think we’ll enjoy practicing. We aregoing to practice at 8 a.m. and then go eat.”
Looking back to that October 12th Friday night when Wessonrallied for a 28-9 victory at Loyd Star, Morrison said the Hornetshave improved since then. “I think we got all of the mistakes outof it since last time. We are clicking pretty good.
“It’ll be a tough game,” Morrison continued. “We’ll have to bowup and play hard. We’ve been waiting for it. This is where we wantto be.”
Center Unquirie Smith has been the starting center for the LoydStar Hornets and touches the football on every offensive play. Hesaid a key to the game will be turnovers.
“If we hold onto the ball, we can come out on top” said Smith.”We have a better game plan this time.”
Smith said Wesson has a talented team. “Wesson is good. Theyhave good running backs and a good line. We want to get them forgetting us.”
Offensive split tackle Matt Sanders agreed. “I think revenge hasa little bit to do with it. It’s a playoff game we have to win toreach one of our goals.”
Sanders has been a steady, 2-year starter for the Hornets. Hesaid the team has improved. “Our offensive line is coming off theball better and we don’t turn the ball over as much. It should be agood game.
“Wesson is real solid and their defense is real good,” Sanderspointed out. “I think we always have a chance to come back andwin.”
Cass Brister has taken over at quarterback since Seth Britt wentout with a shoulder injury in the Wesson game. He and his teammateshave improved since that fateful night in October.
“We have a good running team and a good all-around offense,”said Brister. “We have a good defense and our offense is gettingbetter every game. I don’t mind practicing on Thanksgiving. It’sgood.”
Brister said Wesson is a quality opponent. “Wesson is a goodrunning team, good all-around. If we play our best game, we canbeat them.”