2009 Team Insider: Arp Tigers

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2008 was a year to remember for the Arp Tigers as they posted an 11-1 mark and advanced all the way to the Class 2A Division I Quarter-Finals before dropping a 28-26 heartbreaker to Kirbyville. There are legitimate state title aspirations now in Smith County as the Tigers bring back 14 starters and 21 letterman along with fill ins from an 8-2 JV squad.

The number one threat for Arp is RB Lavocheya Cooper who as a junior rolled up over 1500 yards on the ground and 16 touchdowns earning first team all 19-2A honors along with second team all-area honors. Cooper is a dangerous receiver from his RB slot and he is more than capable in the return game. Sophomore Kyle Copeland takes the reins at QB after a successful run on the JV, Copeland has solid size, a good arm and good mobility. Summer work in 7 on 7 will be key as this will be the one position offense where Arp lacks experience. Michael Wade joins Cooper on offense in the backfield and is more than cable of posting big numbers on the ground as well. The receivers are in good hands with Clint Copeland, Andrew Brown, Tywon Scott and Delvin Bagley. The offensive line has good experience but doesn't have a ton of size, that could change if OT Dylan Steinbeck at 305 pounds can blossom into a productive player.

On defense Arp will be a little less experienced, but even still they've got back six starters including Cooper who was first team all-state as a junior. Lavocheya returned three interceptions for scores last year once again proving just how dangerous he is. Junior Jamie Warren leads the front four in the Tigers 4-2-5 scheme and he's got the potential to play at the next level. LB's will be inexperienced but look for sophomore Kasey McClendon to play a key role. In addition to spelling Cooper on offense (McClendon ran for 1700 yards on JV) he'll be asked to step in and fill a key spot at LB. Michael Wade joins Cooper to give Arp a very athletic secondary, Wade was first team all 19-2A as a junior.

Arp will start the season out as a Top 10 team in most every major poll, they are at worst the second best team in East Texas this side of Daingerfield. As long as the Tigers avoid Daingerfield I see them winning Region 3 and advancing to the state championship game. This is an athletic team with playoff experience and they'll be a tough out come playoff time.

2009 Arp High School Dope Sheet Information

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