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Lyles sparkles on defense in win over Loyd Star

WESSON – Senior defensive end DerrickLyles,(6-1, 230) and his Wesson teammates wanted to play a stronggame against their archrivals, the Loyd Star Hornets. Lylesresponded with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery as the Cobraslimited Loyd Star to just 87 yards total offense in a 34-6triumph.

    That performance has earned Lyles The DAILY LEADER’s DefensivePlayer of the Week honors.

    Wesson head coach Tommy Clopton lauded the performance by hisdefense and Lyles received special recognition. “Derrick played thebest game he’s played all season. Our whole defense had their bestgame of the year.”

    Lyles recovered one fumble and caused another fumble. He disruptedwhat the Hornets were trying to do in running their optionoffense.

    Clopton said, “Derrick is a hard worker and he’s very coachable.He’s a team player and will do whatever it takes to make our teamsuccessful.”

    The Cobras stand at 3-4 overall on the season and are 2-0 in theRegion 6-2A race. They invade Enterprise Friday night for anotherregion test.

    Lyles is the 17-year-old son of Derrick and Priscilla Smith. He hastwo brothers: Demarcus Smith, a 13-year-old eighth grader who is adefensive tackle; and Sebron,7.

    Asked about his defensive teammates, Lyles said, “We have a realphysical defense and we play real hard. We always want to win. LoydStar is a rivalry game.”

    Also on defense are Javoris Smith and Nick Lewis at end, CullenGreer at tackle, Tyler Hall at nose guard, Payton and Paxton Cupitand Quiten Lindsey at linebacker, Bailey Warren at safety and JacobFischer and Chris Craft at cornerback.

    Asked about his responsibilities at defensive end, Lyles said, “Ihave to take the dive plays and meet the fullback. I have to turneverything inside.”

    Lyles said the Cobras have a legitimate shot at winning the regioncrown. They finished 10-2 last season and were regionrunners-up.

     “I think we will do wellin district,” said Lyles. “We have a good chance of winningdistrict.”

    Lyles wears jersey No. 21 and plays tight end on offense. After thefootball season, he will play the post position for Wesson’sbasketball team.

    Looking to the future, Lyles said he wants to play football for OleMiss and pursue a career in physical therapy.

    Lyles said he enjoys playing football at Wesson. He has 4.6 speedin the 40-yard dash and excels in the weight room. He bench presses350 pounds, squats with 540 and can power clean 290.

    In his spare time, Lyles enjoys watching the New York Jets andAll-Pro running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

     “I love playing for CoachClopton,” said Lyles. “He knows his football. Coach Phillip(Knight) does a good job with our defense.”

    The Cobras plan to remain unbeaten in the region race when theyvisit the Enterprise Yellow Jackets Friday night.