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Bears picked in cellar of 7-2A

By Staff, 07/18/18 2:06 PM

SPRING HILL – Though it may be mid-July, the 2018 football season is not far away.

Practice starts on Aug. 1, with teams in the area getting ready to hit the gridiron for another campaign on the turf. Each and every team starts with the same record, and all have hopes and dreams of making the trip to Little Rock to play for a title in December.

The Bears of Springhill will be suiting up for another season in the 7AA conference. However, a statewide publication has the Bears picked to finish in the cellar of the conference.

Foreman’s Gators are picked to win the conference, based on returning seven starters from last year’s offense and eight on the defensive side. The Gators posted a 13-1 season in 2017 and are expected to repeat in 2018 as the squad looks for a second consecutive state title.

Next on the list is the Mount Ida Lions. Mt. Ida went 14-1 last season and is hoping for a third straight conference title. The Lions return six starters from each side of the ball, which will help, and returns a big senior class with 29. However, the Lions may not have the speed in 2018 the team had in ’17.

Mineral Springs is being picked to finish third in the conference. Last year the Hornets went 6-6 after an 0-5 start. The Hornets return five from each side of the ball and while the squad has speed and is athletic, it doesn’t have many players.

Gurdon’s Go Devils are expected to finish fourth in the league. Last year the Devils went 4-6 but hope to improve this year. Gurdon returns six starters from both sides from last year’s team, which should help, especially at the skill positions, but the Devils overall, will have a lack of experience.

The Cougars of Lafayette County are picked to finish fifth. The Cougars are coming off a 2-8 2017 campaign and return eight starters from offense and four from defense, which could help. While the Cougars are expected to have plenty of speed, the team won’t have much in the way of depth and overall strength.

Sixth on the list of predictions are the Dierks Outlaws. Last year the Outlaws had a dismal 1-9 record and will return six starters from each side of the ball, which could help. While the Outlaws should be stronger, it will still be a young team at the skill positions.

The Rattlers of Murfreesboro are expected to finish seventh in the conference. Last year the Rattlers were winless. This year the squad returns four starters from offense and seven from defense. The seniors should provide leadership, but the team doesn’t have much in the way of depth or experience.

Spring Hill is picked in the cellar of the 7AA in spite of posting a 4-7 record in the ’17 season. The Bears return eight from last season’s offense and five from the defensive side of the pigskin. While the team should have a seasoned offensive line, the questions are at quarterback and receivers.

Preseason predictions, though, are meaningless as the information comes from the previous year and doesn’t measure the desire of the teams and players involved. Once the helmets are strapped on, the lights come up and the whistle blows, anything could happen – especially in high school football.