South Lamar lost the season opener at home 28-16 to 2A Lamar County, but won the two region games against Hackleburg (27-15) and Brilliant (64-21). The region loss last week (33-22) to a tough undefeated Lynn team is now behind them.
"Throughout the four games this season, wins or losses, we haven't had a complete game, and that has been a disappointment because we know what our players are capable of," assistant coach Josh Harper said.
"Obviously, they are still learning the new offensive and defensive system that Head Coach Rusty Funk has brought in. Coach Funk has won three state championships in Mississippi at the 1A level and feels we have similar characteristics of those teams."
"Up through the first three games we have shown improvement. We gradually added more plays, and the boys responded."
"Lynn was a let down. We thought we were turning the corner, but failed to execute in critical situations, allowing them to regain the lead and take the win."
High school coaches are great spotters of talent on the opposite side of the field as they prepare each week to stop or block.
"Out of the four teams played some of the names that standout are: Michael Bradford-QB, Lance Bobbitt-FB/LB, and Ladarius Granville-TB/DB from Lamar County; Jason Leggit-RB, Joel Ingle-WR and his QB Sutherland at Hackleburg; Judson Davis-RB, Shawn and Allan Gilbert-LB/L at Brilliant; Matt Bridgon-RB/DB, Daniel Cagle-CB, and Hank Harbin-LT at Lynn.
"Probably the best we have seen on film this season has been Caleb Massey-QB from Sulligent. From past experience, Johnny Lockett-RB from Sweetwater is an awesome athlete as well."
Harper talked about the strengths of their 2008 South Lamar team.
"Some of our strengths this season are our one-two-punch in (1) Justin Brock-linebacker and running back. He is only 5-9 and 190 pounds, but he is a rock solid player," Harper stated.
"He has played varsity football since the 8th grade for the Stallions and has started at QB (in the spread) since the 9th grade. Anyone that has seen him knows he is a player. Anyone that has seen him knows that he is capable of playing at the next level."
"He has amassed over 6,000 total yards since his freshmen season and has 500 yards rushing this season and is second in tackles."
(2) Nathan Funk-linebacker and fullback. Nathan, 5-11, 215, is an all-around workhorse for the Stallions. Nathan leads the team in rushing with 626 yards from his fullback position and also leads the team in tackles."
"Nathan is our punter, averaging 35+ yards per punt, snapper, PAT kicker, and kick-off specialist. Nathan, too, is capable of playing at the next level at a variety of positions."
"We have a solid core of seniors (Russ Cole, David Seay, Hunter Williams, Koby Newman, Kyle Trull and Eric Adams) that don't get a lot of attention that have opened holes and have complimented Justin's and Nathan's efforts."
"We are growing as a team, and as that process grows so will our success."
South Lamar is coming off a tough loss last week. Sometimes hard to motivate players to get up for a region contest against a team who has yet to win a game in the 2008 season.
"It is not hard to motivate our boys this week against Parrish," Harper said. "First off, it is Parrish. There is a lot of tradition there. We have a tradition that we have to defend as well. It is a home game. It is a region game."
"It is the week after a poor performance on our part. They have some athletes that are capable of hurting us if we don't do our jobs. It is imperative that we prepare for a hard fought game and our boys understand this."
South Lamar enters the match-up with no major injuries.
Class 1A Schedules and Scores [click here].
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