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Line, special teams important

By his own admission, Loyd Star halfback Marquis Hayes realizesthe importance of spending extra time working on special teams inpractice. That work was rewarded with Hayes returning a punt51-yards for a touchdown against Wesson last week.

Hayes also rushed the football 19 times for 158 yards and a TDas the Hornets clipped Wesson 27-21 in overtime. An overflow crowd,estimated at 3,500-plus, witnessed the showdown between the twoprevious unbeaten Region 6-2A rivals in Co-Lin’s Stone Stadium.

For his performance, Hayes has been selected The DAILY LEADER’sOffensive Player of the Week. He wanted to share the accolades withhis teammates, especially the offensive line.

“We had good blocking on the punt returns and good blocking fromour offensive line,” said Hayes. He revealed a friendly competitionamong the offensive linemen.

“They try to see who blocks the best and gets the most yards andtouchdowns on the right side and the left side,” said Hayes. Hesaid they have a common goal, too, going undefeated and winning astate championship.

Josh Thibodeaux coaches Loyd Star’s offensive line. They don’tmind getting down and dirty in the trenches.

Senior T.J. Floyd starts at tight end. The center is CodyTeekel. On the right side, Clint Scott is at guard and Ken Britt isat tackle. On the left side, Joseph Fredenburg is at left guard andTrey Reid is at left tackle.

Fredenburg said, “I like to pancake people (would-betacklers).

Floyd said he has a feeling of satisfaction when Hayes, fullbackTradarious Wilson, quarterback Joseph Shelby and halfback MarquisSims score a touchdown. “It makes me feel like I’ve donesomething.”

Teekel agreed. “I feel good when they score. I think we arestrong on the line.”

Britt echoed his teammates’ emotions. “I feel like a championwhen they score.”

Scott said he admired the athletic ability of the offensivebacks. “I like blocking for them. I know if we slip up, they canadjust and make the play. I’m glad anytime they score.”

Reid said it takes a team effort to be successful. The Hornetsare unbeaten (8-0) and ranked No. 5 in the latest Class 2AAssociated Press Prep Poll.

“I like blocking because I always have help,” said

Reid. “It’s not a solo job.”

Asked about last week’s big win that ended 5 straight losses toWesson, Hayes said, “We knew we had to step up and play hard. Wehad to do our best and not disappoint our fans. We wanted to winfor our seniors, too. They had never beat Wesson.”

Loyd Star head coach Ryan Ross said Hayes has special athleticgifts that are complimented by a strong work ethic. “Obviously,speed is one of his better assets. He understands the game. Heknows the strengths and weaknesses. He sees the field well. He’sbecome a tough-nosed player.”

Hayes recognizes the importance of Friday night’s home gameagainst the powerful Puckett Wolves (6-1) who graduated to Region6-2A after winning the 1A state championship last year. Puckett isa formidable team.

“We have to come out and hit Puckett first,” said Hayes. “Wehave to be physical and aggressive.”

Hayes said special teams would be important. “We have to focusand stay in our lanes. You don’t run around a block.”

The stands at William E. “Sambo” Smith Field should beoverflowing with Loyd Star fans Friday night.