Forget about the 7A West, the 3A division 4 is the only conference in the State with two reigning state champs. Booneville and Charleston both went undefeated last year winning the 4A and 3A titles respectively. Now Booneville joins the 3A and makes the road to Little Rock that much tougher.
“We’ve got a chance to win every single week. We’ve also got a chance to lose every single week,” Jones said. “If you take a week off in this conference, you will get beat.”
“To be the best you got to beat the best every year, that’s what we strive to do everyday,” senior wide receiver Eric James said. “We know we got the players to compete with those teams and we just got to go out and set our mind to it and do it.”
Best way to beat a good offense is with a good defense and that’s something Lamar believes they have.
“We are going to lean on our defense all the away around,” Jones said. “The defensive line is definitely a strength. We’ve got some big kids.”
“I know I’m an offensive guy but our defense is pretty good,” senior quarterback Braxton Sampley said. “Young secondary, strong defensive line, linebackers are going to be experienced.”
Last year Lamar won all but one of their regular season games thanks to some big play seniors. It helps that Sampley is returning at quarterback and have trees for receivers.
“We have about 120 receptions that graduated last year and a 1500 yard rusher,” Jones said. “At the running back position we have about four guys who can take snaps back there.”
“We have Blake Kern coming back, he’s about 6’6″ and on the other side we’ll have Heath Clayborn, he’s about 6’4″,” Sampley said. “I just got to throw the ball and they can go get it.”