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Sias finds new home at inside linebacker

Ole Brook junior Bart Sias has found a home at a new position.Moved from defensive end to inside linebacker two weeks ago, Siasmade his presence felt in last Friday’s 42-20 victory over theKosciusko Whippets.

Sias (6-0, 215) accounted for 8 tackles and an interception inthe triumph. For his performance, Sias has been selected The DAILYLEADER’s Defensive Player of the Week.

“I feel honored,” said the soft-spoken Sias. “My teammateshelped me win this award.”

A starter at defensive end on last year’s Class 4A statechampionship team, Sias knows what is required to be successful onthe gridiron. “Whatever it takes to win, I’ll do my best.”

The Panthers have rolled off 4 straight victories since theSeptember loss at Mendenhall. They are 5-3 overall and 4-1 in theRegion 6-4A race.

At linebacker, Sias keys on the run first. “Then you have yourdrops and pass coverage.”

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey said Sias has shown steadyimprovement. “Bart has done well at linebacker. He has been arounda while. He understands what is going on.

“He can play the position with some aggression,” Peaveycontinued. “Bart reacts quicker because he understands what isgoing on.”

Ole Brook defensive coordinator Rod Henderson said Sias isworking hard to get better at his new position. “Bart is going intohis third game adjusting to that. He has done a good job. He takesto the coaching real well.”

Inside linebacker was one of the positions vacated bygraduation. Eric Edwards graduated and teammate Darius Perkinssigned with Northwestern (La. ) State University.

“We wanted a seasoned player who understood our scheme,” saidHenderson. “Bart can’t do anything but get better.”

Also working at linebacker are T.J. Qualls, Marlon Dixon andOrlandus Chapman. In the defensive line, the starting crew includesVirgil Sanders, Varis Kees, Larry Winters and Josh Witherspoon.

Sias, the son of Bart and Pat Sias, keeps his state title ringat home. He would like to win another ring.

He has a twin sister, Brittani; and two older sisters, Desiree,a teacher in Alabama; and LaTosha, a nurse. His step-brother, DonExpose, was a standout defensive end for the Panthers and will begraduating from Southern University next spring.

Sias enjoys powerlifting and it shows. He bench presses 245pounds, squats with 395 and deadlifts 415. He wants to throw thediscus for the BHS track team next spring.

“We are honored to play for Coach Henderson,” said Sias. “CoachPeavey is a good coach and he’ll tell you what you need to know. Hedoesn’t hold anything back.”

Sias credits this year’s defense with steady improvement. “Weare faster than we were last year. We can cover the run as well asthe pass.”

In the Ole Brook secondary are seniors R.J. Jenkins, AnthonyCaffie and Jerome Avery.

According to Sias, state playoff experience should help thePanthers this year. “We know what winning and losing is like in theplayoffs. You play harder when you get to the playoffs. We want tocome back to Memorial Stadium,” where the state championship gamesare held.

Sias said the Panthers can’t overlook Friday night’s game atarchrival Lawrence County, even though the Cougars have a losingrecord. “They can run and pass the ball. We have to execute andjump on them early.”

He got his first career interception last week. It could be thefirst of many pass thefts for Sias.