Parker starts off with roar
By L. SCOTT HAINLINE
New Spring coach Sam Parker isn't fooling around with the Lions, and a huge test right out of the gate is a clear indication of it.
We're scrimmaging Clear Springs because I want to know right away where we stand and what we need to work on," Parker said. Coach (Clint) Hartman does a great job at Clear Springs, and he's built a powerful program in a short period of time, and it will be a great measuring stick for us."
Spring seniors P.J. Kopesky and Gregg Livingston are battling at quarterback and Parker can see the competition continuing as the team heads into the mid-August scrimmage.
It was very even during spring workouts and they're both phenomenal athletes," Parker said. Whoever doesn't start will help elsewhere and be the backup quarterback."
Kopesky threw for 1,334 yards and 12 touchdowns (84-160-8) as Spring's starter last season, while Livingston, a former signal caller, played wide receiver and linebacker.
Senior two-way standout David Johnson is a rock at wide receiver and cornerback, and part of an all-senior spread attack that features wide outs Randall Riggins, Carl Roberts and Dereck Petry, tight end Khori Girdy, and running backs Robert Hunter, David Bell and Jalen Richards.
That core of skill players is probably as strong as I've seen" Parker said, and it's not unusual to throw the ball 50 or 60 times in our spread attack, but we'll also take what you give us and be able to run the ball."
Parker calls senior left guard Francisco Lopez (6-0, 315) the heart and soul" of an offensive line that also includes junior tackle Jason Jeffries, senior center Cody Jackson, senior guard Brad Beard (6-5, 320), junior tackle Brian Okasun, and junior Matt Gonzales, a transfer from Concordia Lutheran.
Defensive leadership is supplied by juniors James Turner, Chance Lynn and Jordan Johnson, and senior Letarus Lewis, at inside linebacker, and on the outside by seniors Daryn Young, Reggie Johnson and Najee Lawrence, and junior Devonte Dickerson, a transfer from Cleveland.
You have to start with the linebackers because it's one of our biggest strengths," Parker said.
The defensive line also came on in the spring behind seniors Brandon Bennett (Oregon State), Trey Jeffries and DeMarcus Brown, and juniors Cody Phillips, Austin Williams and Chance Brister.
There's plenty of depth in the secondary with seniors Johnson, Trevon Carter and Robert Whitaker, juniors Zak Bataineh, Cameron Weasby, Jeremy Mallett and Sterling Crow, and sophomore Lavase Smith.
It was the toughest spring I've ever been through," Parker said. We had a shortage of coaches because everyone couldn't be on board right away, and we were putting in new systems at the same time, but the players responded very well.
They were just fantastic and they want to be great. They're getting bigger, faster and stronger in the summer, and building relationships with the new coaches.
It's sort of a fresh start for everyone, and that creates a lot of excitement."
After the Clear Springs scrimmage, the Lions meet Conroe, Montgomery and Morton Ranch before heading into 13-5A play and going for one of four playoff berths.
It's really anybody's race and anybody's guess," Parker said of the district race. There will be injuries, grade issues, and the mental stability of the players, so anything is possible, and you just never know what's going to happen.
Is it far fetched to say Spring could win it all? I don't think so."
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